The Ministry clarified that "leaving the religion field blank might open the door to inappropriate manipulation of official documents."
This decision was expected since the Ministry has been considering its options on what choice it would make following Cairo's Court of Administrative Justice ruling on 29 January 2008 to allow the Baha'is obtain ID cards and birth certificates.
The court permitted three options for registering their religious affiliation. These options were: 1) "other," 2) dashes "--" or 3) to leave the field blank. As to which choice would eventually be used, the court had left the final decision for the Ministry of Interior to make.
This announcement is an indication that progress is being made by the Ministry in its efforts to proceed expeditiously with granting the Baha'is of Egypt their identity documents and birth certificates.
In a related case involving Egyptians who have returned to Christianity after having been declared Muslims at some point in their lives, the Ministry has decided to enter "formerly declared Muslim" on their ID cards that will be issued stating that they are currently "Christian."