Hegazi case: Islam’s obsession with conversions
The case of Mohammad Hegazi, young Egyptian converted to Christianity, who wishes to be legally recognized as such, has opened a new debate in the Islamic world on conversions, which are often seen as acts of apostasy that merit death. What has emerged is a veritable obsession in Islam for personal conversions, this religion having been reduced more to an ethnic and sociological submission. There is even talk of a plan to convert Europe and the world to Islam, to which European governments are giving a hand. The first part in an analysis by Fr Samir Khalil Samir, Egyptian Jesuit, expert on Islam.
Beirut (AsiaNews) - The case has received a lot of public attention: a young Egyptian, Mohammad Ahmad Hegazi, age 25, converted to Christianity some years ago (some say 9, others 6 years ago; according to the Islamic version, it was just a few months ago!). He then married a woman named Zeinab, who also became Christian, taking the name Cristina. In recent months, he asked that his documents show his new religious affiliation. In Egypt, identity cards must indicate the holder’s religion and, so far, Hegazi’s is officially Islam. This means that he is considered to be Muslim for various legal questions pertaining to inheritance rights, family law etc.
His request was effectively been turned down by administrative authorities, who did not see his request through. So, Hegazi went to the government direct. Why did he ask for this change to be made only now, years after his conversion? Perhaps because the couple is expecting a baby. And if they are registered as Muslims, the child will have to be as well, regardless of the parents’ wishes.
When administrative authorities balked at his request, Hegazi went to the courts to claim his rights, with the help of a lawyer from an NGO. The case is extremely important, more than it may appear, also because it has been reported by media around the world and now the press in Egypt is also discussing it. Initially, reactions came from imams, then from the general public. The vast majority is saying that Mohammad Hegazi must be killed as an apostate. Only a small part dares to quote the Koran – which states that “there is no compulsion in religion” – and states its support for his freedom.
Read the whole article by clicking here.