Egyptian Lawmaker Seeks to Abolish Religion from National IDs

Egyptian member of Parliament Alaa Abdel Moneim
Egyptian member of Parliament Alaa Abdel Moneim
Egyptian member of Parliament Alaa Abdel Moneim


Echoing the sentiment of many enlightened Egyptians, member of Parliament Alaa Abdel Moneim wants to remove the religion field on national IDs — because what is the actual point of it, really?

According to Al Masry Al Youm, Abdel Moneim is submitting legislation regarding citizenship rights to Parliament sometime in the next two weeks, including a clause about abolishing the religious status section printed on Egyptian national identification cards.

The ex-cop and ex-lawyer says that the reason behind the move is to help eliminate discrimination based on religion, upholding Article 53 of the Egyptian constitution, which recognizes the equality of all citizens regardless of religion, sex or race.

An Egyptian national ID card with the religion field covered up by the phrase “7aga tekhoseny” (or “my businesses and my business only”).

A youth movement that gained ground in 2013 — “7aga tekhoseny” — following a spate of sectarian violence, also campaigned for the abolishment of the religion field on Egyptian national ID cards.

Islam, Christianity and Judaism are the only officially recognized religions in Egypt. However, people can opt to list a dash as their religious status in their idenitification documents — a right that was won in 2009 after a prolonged legal process led by Bahá’ís.

Abdel Moneim, who is known for his anti-corruption stance, was an independent MP under Mubarak and is now part of the Support Egypt coalition.




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