Egypt imprisons entire family for converting to Christianity

Muhammad said: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. But this mother and her seven children just got fifteen years in prison in brave new democratic “Arab Spring” Egypt. The criminal court of Beni Suef must be made up of moderates.

“Egypt, 15 years in prison for mother and seven children, converts to Christianity,” from Asia News, January 14 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The criminal court of Beni Suef (115 km south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali and her children Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir, and Nancy Ahmed Mohamed abdel-Wahab will spend 15 years in prison. Seven other people involved in the case were sentenced to five years in prison.

The case of the family of Nadia Ali Mohamed began in 2004 when, after the conversion, she and her children decided to replace their Muslim names on their identity cards with their Christian names and city of residence change. To do this she was aided by seven Registry office employees e. Born Christian, she had changed her religion to marry her husband Mustafa Mohamed Abdel-Wahab. After the man’s death in 1991, Nadia decided to return to her religion of origins and to push her seven children to convert. In 2006, one of the boys was arrested by police in an information center in the city of Beni Suef. Suspicious of the young man from the documents he as carrying, where he had changed its name to Bishoy Malak Abdel-Massih, police agents interrogated him for hours until he confessed his conversion to Christianity as desired by the mother. The judges then decide to stop not only the woman, but all of her children and seven clerks from the registration office, responsible for changing the documents.

An individuals religious faith is listed in Egyptian identity cards. Christians, converted to Islam for various reasons that attempt to return to the religion to which they belong have enormous difficulty in correcting their names on the documents. This leads many people to forge them, risking prison. The reverse process, ie the transition from Christianity to Islam is not hindered, and in many cases is favored by the very Registry officials.

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  1. says

    Why do I have this incredibly negative, cynical feeling that this story will not garner any attention in the Western press?

    Stop! I already know the answer….

    But I’m sure it will be in the next issue of the OIC Journal, right?

    (Sure, when donkeys begin to talk and fly!)

  2. says

    For the benefit of anyone new to this site and this subject, who may have been told confusing lies and evasions by any Muslim da’wa artists they have come across personally, or in the media:

    The two definitive studies of what one might call ‘the law of apostasy in Islam’ are to be found in Samuel Zwemer’s “The Law of Apostasy in Islam” (Zwemer was a formidable late 19th/ early-mid 20th century American missionary and scholar who understood Arabic and was familiar with all the major and quite a few minor Islamic texts, and had visited practically every corner of dar al Islam) and in ex-Muslim Canon Dr Patrick Sookhdeo’s “Freedom to Believe: Challenging Islam’s Apostasy Law”.

    Zwmer’s book can be read online in full; Sookhdeo’s book can be bought from the Barnabas Fund website (Barnabas Fund is a Christian charity, started by Sookhdeo, which specialises in supporting and advocating for persecuted Christians, particularly inside Islamic countries).

    Sookhdeo was not killed by his parents when – living in London, as a 19 year old student – he told them he had become a Christian; they were ‘moderates’, for they simply threw him out into the street in the clothes he stood up in. (The story does have a happy ending; years later, both of his parents actually left Islam and became Christians).

  3. says

    letter in
    Sir, – Atara Siegel’s explanation for Jewish students’ disillusionment about Israel (“Why Israel is losing support from Jewish students on US college campuses,” Comment & Features, January 13) illustrates how people who believe in a just cause can become demoralized by lack of perspective.

    Every country harbors people who are insensitive or abusive.

    Shining a spotlight on such cases can be used either as a mechanism for positive change or to delegitimize. For example, Nazi propaganda highlighted real or imagined Polish and Czech anti-German discrimination in order to make the Nazis’ evil aims understandable. The same techniques are being employed today by those who want to wipe out Israel.

    The fact is, official Israel does not condone unlawful acts against minorities, and transgressions that do occur are often a source of public embarrassment.

    Contrast that with the celebratory reactions to terrorism in Gaza, where a perfume was recently named M75 in honor of a missile meant to kill civilians. Meanwhile, in virtually every Islamic country, defenseless Christians are being humiliated and attacked with the tacit or overt approval of the authorities and silence from the press.

    Israel is a moral country with some flawed individuals surrounded by immoral countries with some noble individuals. If students can’t figure that out, they are going to college but not getting an education.

  4. says

    This story reminds me of the common apologetic line that apostasy in Islam was/is regarded as treason, and is somehow analogous to Western notions of treason.

    One of the problems with these apologists is that they also maintain that non-Muslims were/are treated as citizens under the tolerant pluralistic umbrella of the Islamic state. If the Islamic state tolerated non-Muslims per se, then why would becoming a non-Muslim, by leaving Islam, be regarded as treason?

    Hence the inconsistency reveals the double-dealing deception of the apologists. Tell enough lies and eventually glaring inconsistencies arise.

  5. says


    And the West is pouring monetary ‘aid’ into Islamic Egypt, where Christians and any kind of apostate from Islam are mercilessly discriminated against and persecuted; where freedom of religion and freedom of conscience are, basically, nonexistent.

    Islam is like a lobster-pot, or like the Mafia: once you’re in they won’t let you get out.

    The apostasy law of Islam, to which *all* Muslims adhere – I have seen an interview with Ibn Warraq, in which he talks about the shock that some apostates receive when, on revealing their apostasy, they encounter terrifying reactions from Muslim kith and kin whom they had thought to be relaxed and tolerant people – is one of the main things we should be stressing when we press our politicians and religious leaders re. the need to **stop** Muslim immigration into our countries.

    Why, why, why should we admit into our countries large numbers of people who publicly and openly and proudly declare their membership in a cult or Gang whose code clearly and emphatically prescribes the *execution* – and at the very least, the merciless punishment and persecution – of any cult member who tries to leave?

    Would we admit thousands of people who openly and proudly declared their allegiance to the Mafia, the Camorra, the Ndranghaeta, the Triads?