No Compulsion In Religion Alert. Islam forbids forced conversion, so why aren’t authorities cracking down hard on this? Because this is a prohibition that is all too often honored in the breach. “Egypt: Christian Twins Forced To “˜Become” Muslim,” from Compass Direct:
ISTANBUL, September 5 (Compass Direct News) — An Egyptian court on Monday (September 3) adjourned the hearing of young Christian twins legally forced to take Islamic education after their estranged father became Muslim.
The attorney for the two young Christian boys forced the adjournment by skipping the hearing, as the outcome of another case involving converts to Islam seeking “re-conversion” could affect the twins” case.
The twins” case highlights inequalities non-Muslims face in Egypt, where one’s religion, printed on all official documents, regulates family laws. Custody of children is automatically given to whichever parent is Muslim, according to many interpretations of sharia (Islamic law), enshrined in the nation’s constitution.
Christian twins Mario and Andrew Medhat Ramsis unwillingly “became” Muslim after their father converted to Islam and used his legal right to change the religion on their birth certificates.
In February, the boys” mother discovered that they had been placed in Islamic education classes at school to reflect their father’s choice, though the Muslim man was no longer living with his Christian family since his conversion and remarriage in 2002.
The twins gained notoriety when they refused to take their Islamic religion exam in May, required in order to pass to the next grade.
“I am Christian,” each boy wrote on a make-up test in July. They turned in the exam with all of the answers left blank.
Egyptian Education Minister Yusri al-Gamal announced on August 25 that he would automatically pass the boys on to the next grade, but the twins” Christian mother said that an underlying problem remains.
“I was made to understand that Egyptian law grants a mother custody of her children until they are 15, but I lately discovered that this applies only to Muslim mothers,” Kamilia Lutfi said in an August 27 press conference, according to Coptic-owned weekly Watani.
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