A human rights case that all the human rights organizations and the UN should be speaking up about loudly. But…don’t hold your breath. Only HRW seems to have noticed.
“Egypt: In Hiding, Convert Continues Fight for Rights,” from Compass Direct:
CAIRO, November 15 (Compass Direct News) — Sick of hiding in a secret apartment in Cairo, Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy risked his life to shop for groceries late one night last week, a cap pulled low over his face.
The Egyptian convert from Islam to Christianity does not normally chance being recognized in public by running errands for himself. Death threats forced Hegazy into hiding in August after he made an unprecedented legal bid to have his national ID card changed to note his conversion.
The 24-year-old belongs to a new breed of Egyptian Christian converts who see no contradiction between their faith and political activism.
“The Bible says to love your enemy and your neighbor as yourself,” Hegazy explained. “Working politically to provide food for poor people or freedom for the oppressed is one way to fulfill this command.”
That conviction in part motivated Hegazy”s court case, but that same desire to take action has also frustrated him as he has sat idle for the past three months in hiding.
The Christian acknowledged that he was finding his new life extremely difficult. He said it was impossible to hold a job because he couldn’t leave his apartment regularly for fear of being attacked by Islamists or state security police.
On a rare occasion that Hegazy took the chance of shopping in public, a Christian recognized his face from a newspaper photograph.
“If you are who I think you are, then God help you,” the Christian told Hegazy.
Hegazy”s new lawyer, Gamal Eid, noted: “In a country like Egypt, his fears are credible.”
A report condemning Egypt’s treatment of converts away from Islam and members of the Baha”i faith this week noted that until 1990 most Christian converts did not believe they could remain in the country.
“Before  it was just individual converts, and they left the country,” said an anonymous Christian convert quoted in the Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights report released Monday (November 12). “But fifteen converts “¦ wanted to stay and stay together, this was something new.”
Since then, some converts have worked, albeit anonymously, to become more active in Egyptian society.
“The state does not recognize conversions from Islam and refuses to allow citizens to legally change their religious affiliation,” the report stated. It noted that because family law is governed by religion, converts face difficulties in the areas of divorce, marriage, inheritance, and their children’s mandatory religious education.
Read it all.