Kholoud Hafez Abdou is a 17 years old Egyptian student who, like all other students in her stage of education, must sit for the final exams that allow her to graduate from high school and enter university education.
Students are required to enter their religion on the application form necessary for admission to the examination. Based on the documentation in her birth certificate, Kholoud entered "Baha'i." The high school system's admissions administrator located in the central office rejected her application because she entered "Baha'i" and prevented her from sitting for her final exams.
Kholuod was even willing to be examined in "Islam" under the subject of "religion." However, when the administrator was informed of such by the student's father, the administrator simply stated: "if you are not a Muslim, I have nothing to do with you and your daughter will be deprived from entering the examination."
The instructions given for filling-out the application form clearly state that all information must be accurately & truthfully entered, and any deviation from that would invalidate the application and would be regarded as forgery. The officials, however, demanded that the only way for Kholoud to be allowed entry to the exams is that if she enters "Muslim" under religious affiliation, thus asking her to lie if she wants to be examined.
The 29 January 2008 administrative court decision allows the Baha'is to enter "other", "--" or leave the religion field on official documents vacant. Based on the court's ruling, Baha'is of Egypt cannot be forced to lie about their religion on official documents.
The student is now in a state of shock. Her future is placed "on hold" simply because she is being truthful. Is this what Egypt wants for her emerging young generation? That is: teaching them to be dishonest and untruthful if they want to advance in their education!