I was reading the October edition of the Arabic newspaper, Sawt al-Muhajir (“Voice of the Immigrant” Y9N62) which regularly reports the abuses non-Muslims, mostly Christians, suffer living in the Islamic world. I found an update to a story we had originally posted here. According to that report, an Egyptian Christian intentionally converted to Islam simply so he could divorce his wife and remarry another, presumably Muslim, woman.
The problem, however, is that, upon converting to Islam, and despite Article 20 of Egyptian law, “which grants custody of children to their mothers until the age of 15, and a fatwa (religious ruling) from Egypt’s most respected Islamic scholar, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, giving her custody,” the court granted the man custody of their two Coptic boys, Andrew and Mario. As the mother’s lawyer observed: “This decision was dangerous because it was not taken in accordance with Egyptian law but according to sharia [Islamic] law.”
The update I read in the Arabic paper yesterday stated that, though the mother (Gaballah) has been fervently trying to seek help, international and otherwise, in getting back her sons, the Egyptian (rather, sharia) ruling still stands. More troubling still, the boys, who desperately want to return to their mother, have made a pact that, if the ruling is not turned, they will go on a starvation strike, to the death.
For more information, or to find ways to help, call the editor of Sawt al-Muhajir at 610-351-9146.