Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Egyptian Baha'is Will Not Give Up: Yet Another Lawsuit!

News regarding another lawsuit, filed by an Egyptian Bahá’í, was just published in Sawt el-Umma Egyptian newspaper on 23 April 2007. The article is entitled “Bahá’ís will not surrender…a new lawsuit by a Bahá’í demanding that the religion section be left vacant so that he can be issued birth certificates for his two children.”

The article states the following:

On the upcoming 7th of May, the Administrative Court will continue looking into the lawsuit filed by Dr. Raouf Hindy Halim whose twin children reached the age of 14 years without an Egyptian birth certificate, even though they were issued birth certificates from one of the Arab countries which states “Bahá’í” in the religion section. Their parents and grandparents are Egyptian.

Even after the passing of more than three years of court battles, Dr. Raouf has not been able to obtain birth certificates for his children. Since Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court has prevented Bahá’ís from documenting their religion as “Bahá’í” in the religion section on all official documents—in violation of citizenship rights to freedom of belief—Dr. Raouf in collaboration with a team of attorneys, was forced to amend his request to insert dashes or leave the religion section vacant on his children’s birth certificates.

Dr. Raouf Hindy said that this amended request was caused by the fact that he must not be forced to insert incorrect statements in official documents [that is if he enters one of the three allowed religions]…if he did so, it would have given rise to more forgers and liars in the society. He stated that his elder son (the brother of the twins) is in possession of an Egyptian birth certificate with a dash inserted in place of religion that is why he is requesting that his twin children (Emad and Nancy) be treated in the same way.

Of note, children in Egypt that are not in possession of an Egyptian birth certificate cannot attend public schools.


  1. The concept that the parent is required to assign a religious entity for children reflects an outdated and destructive mindset in Egyptian society. The legal age of maturity is 18 years (with limitations), and 21 years. Why is the parent required to indicate religion for a minor? Is that not the choice of the child to make upon attaining the age of maturity, or is religion strictly by inheritance and blind, uninvestigated imitation? What if a child wants to be a Muslim, or a Baha’i, a Christian, Buddhist, or any other?

    Children, above any and all concerns, should be absolutely protected from such restrictions, religious, civil, or otherwise. What an unforgiving shame that the Egyptian government disinherits the descendants of their own country. If this undignified standard is to be accepted practice, then let the country return to its true origins and disregard the immigration of Islamic forces from Saudi Arabia. To eliminate the existence of a child shows neither perception into religious matters, or any sense of national pride and loyalty, or humanity, or any essentials that define character, honor and dignity. Such tyranny is not even found among wild predators, who would to the death, protects their young from harm. What the government is doing is no less than treason and disloyalty, towards the Baha'is and to the entire citizenship who would be better to decide their faith.

  2. Egyptian Baha'is keep on pushin'. They fill me with courage and pride.

  3. Egypt:
    Lift thyself from the abyss, and do not use the Taliban as your model. Grant the rights of Egyptian citizenship to all your citizens, regardless of faith, religion, or creed. Be fair to all your sons and daughters and do not rely on birth privileges to identify religion. If this applied in Egypt prior to the arrival of Islam, all Egyptians would have been Copts. Open thyself to change and to the march forward towards a free society. Free the Baha'is in Egypt from the shackles of tyranny. Only then will thine ancient glory be restored! Only then will thou become a leader of nations, a leader of freedom, and a leader of the right to worship.

  4. Your comments and strong feelings are quite understandable. In doing so, it would be greatly appreciated if care is taken to avoid using words that could be regarded by the government as disrespectful.


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