Monday, December 27, 2010

Proposed Egyptian law allowing marriage certification for Baha'is

Egypt's Al-Shorouq newspaper reported today that a law is being put forward by Egypt's government-sponsored National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) that would allow the official registration of Baha'i marriages in the State's Authority that deals with certifying all official transactions and registrations. The Authority is named "al-Shahr al-Aqqary."

This proposed law was just announced by Counselor Muqbel Shaker, Deputy President of the NCHR. The law will require an amendment to Article-V [No. 143, 1994] of the Civil Status/Affairs Law which currently does not allow the certification of Baha'i marriages. Presently, Civil [Personal Affairs] Courts certify marriages between couples belonging to the same "recognized religion."

The amendment would require the use of the word "belief" rather than "religion" when referring to the registration of a married couple, using the words "united in belief" rather than "united in religion."

Current official marriage registration with "al-Shahr al-Aqqary" Authority is restricted to only three types of cases, namely, when the couple belong to two separate recognized religions, or to separate denominations/sects within the same recognized religion, or used for registering marriages between Egyptian nationals and foreign nationals. The proposed law would require this "Authority" to eliminate Article-134 which forbids the registration of any marriages where Baha'is are a party to.

The proposed law clearly points out that this step is not a recognition of the Baha'i Faith, but rather a procedural maneuver and an amendment that would allow Baha'is--according to Islam's teachings and laws of non-discrimination & equality--obtain their civil rights by, subsequently, allowing married Baha'is to be granted ID cards (see previous post for details). The NCHR also bases its proposed law on a statement by the leading Muslim clergy, the late Sheikh al-Azhar, Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, when he said that "there is no harm and no objection to documenting Baha'is as belonging to a 'belief' [rather than a 'religion']."

This development is surely seen as a positive step forward in the government's efforts to correct the civil status of the Baha'i community in Egypt. Thus, ultimately, providing them with their deserved civil rights that will allow them to be integrated in their society and be of service to their fellow citizens and to their nation.


  1. It seems like a good step in the direction of common sense, Bilo. What do they accomplish by mistreating Baha'is, other than to give Islam a world-wide reputation of being a religion of cruelty, injustice and intolerance?

  2. "the undaunted loyalty with which our brethren are battling in Muslim countries with the forces of religious orthodoxy -- these may be reckoned as the most outstanding features of what the world will come to recognize as the greatest drama in the world's spiritual history."

    (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 56)

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Bilo, to you and to the Baha'is of Egypt and Iran, for helping to bring these great unfolding events to us. The awful degenerateness of western media starves people almost totally of heroes and role models. Life would barely be endurable without having these Baha'i heroes and heroines to nourish our spirits with hope for the world.


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