‘No one leaves Islam,’ judge rules
Egyptian court bans convert to Christianity from changing ID cardPosted: February 1, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily. com

Egypt

No one ever leaves Islam, according to a judge in Egypt who has cited
Islamic religious law in rejecting a request from a Muslim convert to
Christianity to be allowed to change his religious affiliation on his
national identification card.

In a decision that forecasts more and more decisions being based on
Shari’a, Islam’s religious law, Judge Muhammad Husseini has concluded it
violates the law for a Muslim to leave Islam.

According to a report from Compass Direct News,
<http://www.wnd. com/redir/ r.asp?http: //www.compassdir ect.org> the judge
found that the convert, Muhammad Hegazy, “can believe whatever he wants
in his heart, but on paper he can’t convert.”

The report said Husseini cited Article II of the Egyptian constitution,
making Islamic religious law the “source” of Egyptian secular law, as
the basis for his conclusion.

Since Islam is the “final” and “most complete” religion, Muslims already
have full freedom of religion and are not allowed to return to the “less
complete” Christianity or Judaism, the ruling said.

It’s a new peak in the rise of Islam in Egypt, which The Middle East
Review of International Affairs
<http://www.wnd. com/redir/ r.asp?http: //meria.idc. ac.il/journal/ 2006/issu\
e3/jv10no3a7. html
> said began with Anwar Sadat‘s tenure in power.

“He then initiated what one could, in hindsight, term ‘the Great Islamic
Transformation’ of Egypt. The first step was to stipulate in the Second
Article of his new Constitution, promulgated in 1971 (long before
Khomeini embarked on his Islamic revolutionary campaign), that the
Principles of Islamic Shari’a were ‘a main source’ of legislation. In
May 1981, the ‘a’ was replaced with ‘the,’ making Shari’a the term of
reference for the entire constitution, meaning all other articles were
to be interpreted in that light,” the organization said.

“The curricula of public schools, established by the Ministry
<http://www.wnd. com/news/ article.asp? ARTICLE_ID= 59985> of Education,
ignore the Coptic era in Egypt’s history. Courses glorifying Islam (the
‘Only True Religion’) and its history, while vilifying the crusaders
(i.e. Christians) and the Jews, are imposed on all students,” the group
said.

“In the case of a father of a Christian family converting to Islam, his
minor children are forced to follow suit: The mother’s custody rights
– a well established legal principle – are ignored in this case,
as children, according to typical court rulings, are supposed to follow
the ‘better (or ‘more noble’) of the two religions,'” the group said.

On the pro-freedom website called Sons of Apes and Pigs,
<http://www.wnd. com/redir/ r.asp?http: //www.sonsofapes andpigs.org/ 2008/01\
/an-egyptian- court-declares- no.html
> a commentary noted that the
Egyptian court decision “went on and issued a very explicit warning to
Muhammad Hegazy, his wife and their lawyer, that going against the tide
would provoke civil unrest and exacerbate emotions in the Egyptian
society.”

“Freedom of religion doesn’t mean getting in and out of Islam to another
religion, but only means that each person is free to practice his own
religious rites, and not playing games with Islam or contradicting
Shari’a law,” the website said the judge concluded.

The website, which said it took its name from Quranic descriptions of
Christians and Jews, said Westerners don’t realize the significance of
having a national ID card listing the carrier as Muslim.

“If you get caught going to a church while your religion on your ID is
Muslim, that could get you arrested, questioned and tortured,” the
commentary said. “The latest victim was a 27-year-old woman, Mrs.
Sherreen, mother of two children from Alexandria, Egypt. She died at the
police station on Jan. 3, 2008, after five hours of torture for refusing
to renounce her Christian faith and come back to Islam.”

The website noted in Egypt, children of parents with Muslim IDs
automatically are Muslims, and they are required to follow mandatory
Islamic indoctrination classes, and Muslims cannot marry non-Muslims.

It also said to apply for any job, an applicant must provide the
state-designated religious affiliation.

The website also noted according to multiple media reports, Hegazy’s
father issued a statement that, “when I’ll meet my son, I will discuss
with him the reasons and circumstances that ‘forced’ him to leave Islam,
and will offer him the opportunity to come back to Islam, but in case he
refuses, I will kill him immediately. ”

Press reports say Hegazy’s case was the first time someone had sought to
make a change from Islam in the religious designation on an official
national ID card.

Hegazy has reported he was studying various religions, and found he was
not consistent with Islam.

“The major issue for me was love. Islam wasn’t promoting love as
Christianity did,” he said.

As a result of his conversion he’s reported being arrested and tortured
several times, but it’s opened wide the eyes of observers, the Apes and
Pigs website said.

“Muhammad Hegazy’s case dynamited the Islamic mountain of lies,
propaganda and false pride,” the commentary said. “Not only in Egypt,
but all over the Arab world. Exposed to the world [was] the deception of
the Islamic governments, Egypt in particular … [of] ‘no compulsion
in religion.'”

According to the Compass Direct report, Gamal Eid, head of the Arab
Network for Human Rights Information, whose lawyers have been
representing the convert, said that he was disappointed with the
verdict.

“The judge didn’t listen to our defense, and we didn’t even have a
chance to talk before the court,” Eid said.

Meanwhile, death threats have forced the couple, whose new daughter is
only a month old, into hiding.

Compass also reported that at least partly because of the case, lawyers
in Egypt now are trying to force the government to outlaw conversion
from Islam in secular law as well as religious law.

WND previously has reported on a ruling from a U.S. federal court that
an Egyptian Christian who had fled his home nation “most assuredly has a
right not to be tortured.”
<http://www.wnd. com/news/ article.asp? ARTICLE_ID= 56589> The ruling
allowed the Egyptian Christian to remain in the United States.

The court pointedly concluded that “diplomatic assurances” of his
religious rights “by a country known to have engaged in torture” weren’t
reassuring.

A report from the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights concluded
Coptic Christians in Egypt have been harassed, tortured and killed by
Muslims for 1,400 years.

“They have been subjected to all kinds of hate crimes including, the
abduction of young Coptic girls, the killing of Coptic women and
children and the destruction of their places of worship,” the report
said.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an
agency created by Congress, also lists Egypt on its watch list of
countries, noting it had “a poor overall human rights record.”

In addition, Egyptian authorities have threatened two young boys who
were ordered to take training to be Muslims, but refused, stating they
are Christian. <http://www.wnd. com/news/ article.asp? ARTICLE_ID= 56929>

http://www.wnd. com/news/ article.asp? ARTICLE_ID= 59985
<http://www.wnd. com/news/ article.asp? ARTICLE_ID= 59985>

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