United Copts of Great BritainPress Release
For Immediate Release
30th January 2008
The Administrative Court in Cairo refused to rule in a case filed by Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy, a convert to Christianity who is seeking official recognition of his conversion from Islam to Christianity, court officials said yesterday 29th January 2007.
Mohamed Hegazy 24 converted to Christianity when he was 16; he is married to a convert from Islam to Christianity, Katrina (Former Muslim name Zainab) who is now almost 9 months pregnant. They both want their newly born child to be registered as Christian.
Hegazy who was born into a Muslim family, is banned from changing his name and his religion on his national ID card as there is no recognized official procedure Hegazy could follow to change his religion on his official papers, the government refuses to allow citizens to legally change their religious affiliation in their ID cards from Islam to any other religion but welcomes and encourages the change to Islam from other religions, the Egyptian ID document carry the person’s religion.
Hegazy and his pregnant wife have been in hiding since early August 2007 shortly after his conversion became public as he received numerous death threats, several Muslims scholars: Sheikh Yossef El-Badri a famous Muslim scholar, Dr Suad Saleh Al-Azhar university, Dr Abdel-Sabour Shaheen, Al-Azhar University, Sheikh Mohammed Hassan and Sheikh Ibrahim Gad Almoula both mosque Imams all called for killing Hegazy through the application of the Islamic Sharia punishment for apostates which means death on the 20th August 2007. On 20th October Hegazy flat contents were thrown onto the street and set a light.
In Egypt, it is known that the police take part in harassing and persecuting converts from Islam.
The United Copts of Great Britain condemns the biased court ruling and ask the Egyptian government and its agencies including the Egyptian judiciary to show justice and respect for Human Rights of the Christian population of Egypt and to do it’s best to fight infiltration of the government agencies by Radical Islamists and to bear in mind its duty and responsibility to treat all its citizens equally.