The writer also indicates that even Sudan, who follows Shar'iah law, does not have religious classification on ID cards. He describes how religious and ethnic identification on ID cards had led to genocide as happened in Nazi Germany and in Rwanda, when nearly one million individuals were killed in one week, by the “Hutu,” just because their ID cards showed “Tutsi.” Also in Lebanon when killing was based on religious identification until 1997 when all fighting factions of the civil war finally realized that there must be an end to such discrimination and removed religious classification from ID cards altogether, thus their entire population became as equal citizens. Even when some authoritarian elements in Pakistan wanted to add religion to their ID cards in 1992, the opposition turned that initiative down.
Egypt has always defended its policy of including religion in ID cards as a necessity for personal status laws regarding marriage, divorce and inheritance. He referred to this as a week argument and excuse since marriage is never a simple matter, in which each party gets to know the other very well before going through with it. It is not such an irresponsible act in which one party easily deceives the other as to his or her religious identity. ID cards are not the “simple” answer to such commitment. In this case he also gave the example of the millions of Muslims living in a country such as France (with no religion on ID cards), surrounded by millions more of Christians…that does not seem to pose any difficulties in going through with any of the required arrangements, and the parents of Muslim women do not seem to have any problem in identifying appropriate suitors for their daughters.
He indicated that having religious classification in ID cards violated the Egyptian laws and the constitution. He referred (according to Attorney Mamdouh Nakhla) specifically to Personal Status Laws # 260 of 1990 and # 142 of 1994—neither of which has any clauses requiring religious classification on ID cards, nor was there any mention of such requirement in the Egyptian constitution. He then referred to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The author presented a very well argued case for finding a solution for this very critical situation. He asks the question: “what do we do with the Bahá’ís and what do we do for the Christians who want to return to Christianity?” He referred to the absurd statements made by some radical Egyptian legislators who said that Bahá’ís should be thrown into the sea [the Nile]! He then stressed the need to continue dialogue [not to forget this problem while absorbed in the many other serious problems facing Egypt] and find a solution for this important citizenship right. He asked at the conclusion of the article: “or is it the right of the Christian majority in America, for example, to throw all Muslims into the sea?”