Friday, February 01, 2008

Egypt: Television Coverage of Verdict Allowing Baha'is ID Cards

The following is some of the television news coverage on 29 January 2008 immediately after the announcement of the verdict by Cairo's Court of Administrative Justice which allowed the Baha'is to obtain birth certificates and ID cards without forcing them to enter one of the three recognized religions in Egypt (Islam, Christianity & Judaism).

With this verdict, as one can watch the judge explaining in the courtroom, the Baha'is cannot enter their religion either, but can leave that section of official documents vacant, enter a dash (-) or enter "other." Therefore Baha'is can obtain ID cards and other official documents without being forced to lie about their religious affiliation. Consequently, Baha'is in Egypt will be in a position to enjoy all their citizenship rights such as employment, health care and education.

Without ID cards, Egyptian citizens would face "civic death," thus the government has no options but to fulfill its obligations to its own citizens by allowing them to be identified.

The contemplated appeal by the Ministry of Interior would be entirely pointless and would not serve any purpose but to disrupt "public order" and to continue to isolate and disfranchise a group of law-abiding Egyptian citizens, to whom the Ministry has the obligation and the charge to protect. Before deciding on such ill-advised appeal, the Ministry of Interior must think first of what other options would it have to solve this complicated crisis.

First video: Cairo's Dream-2 Channel


Second Video: Cairo's Al-Muhawar Channel

5 comments:

Nabil said...

The news coverage and the words of the judge are very clear: The Ministry of the Interior should issue ID's for Baha'is and others who are not Muslim, Christian, or Jews by not identifying a recognized religion and leaving the space as a dash, empty, or some other indication; that Baha'is are not allowed to place Baha'i in the space for religion.

Why would the Ministry of the Interior consider appealing this ruling? What alternative solution would they have other than disenfranchise Egyptian citizens who hold different beliefs. Leaving the space blank does not in any way commit the government to recognizing the authenticity or divinity of the Baha'i Faith.

Am I missing something here?

Anonymous said...

did i hear it correctly???

Egypt has entered the 21st century????

next thing you might hear is Bahais not being persecuted in Iran

Bilo said...

Sure! Why not? :-)

Vijay said...

Friends, I just want to make it clear, as I cannot translate of what is said in the newsclip. So is this a permanent ruling that everyone from all religious backgrounds are to be issued with ID cards?

Thank you. Be Blessed. Let there be peace, unity, love and prosperity of mankind.

"O Thou Kind Lord! Unite all. Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home. May they all live together in perfect harmony.
O God! Raise aloft the banner of the oneness of mankind.
O God! Establish the Most Great Peace. - 'Abdu'l-Baha(Prayers, ch. 115 Humanity)

Bilo said...

This is a specific ruling on the two cases before the court as explained earlier. The consequences of the ruling are to be seen.

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