Friday, October 10, 2008

Interesting Proposal by an Egyptian Justice

Addressing the crisis of religious identity on official documents in Egypt, Justice Ra'afat Abdel-Rasheed wrote an interesting proposal that was published on 6 October 2008 in Egypt's leading independent Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.

He indicated that, according to Egypt's constitutional guarantees, the crisis of religious identity involving the Baha'is deserves a just solution and that citizens must be treated equally regardless of their religion or belief. He stated, however, that since Egypt recognizes only three religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) as "heavenly" religions, thus any other Egyptian citizens such as the Baha'is can be identified with their "belief" rather than their religion. He explains that this would avoid opening the door for questions on whether or not the government recognizes the Baha'i belief.

He proposes that ID documents contain one section for religion and another one for belief. Thus Baha'is can be identified correctly as "Baha'is" but only under the section that identifies "belief" and not "religion."

He also added that regardless of the belief identified on these documents, the Baha'is must be treated equally, just the same as all other citizens, and should not be deprived of any opportunities for employment in the public sector provided that they qualify for the position applied for.

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