Egypt: Removing Religion from National IDs a Positive but Symbolic Step, Respect for Freedom of Religion the Only Way to Confront Problems

Published: 7/Aug/2006
Source: Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) today expressed support for the proposal to remove religion from national identity (ID) cards. The proposal will be discussed tomorrow at a workshop organized by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR). Although a positive step, the EIPR warned it would not end discrimination faced by citizens in obtaining necessary official documents because of their religious affiliation.

“Removing religion from national ID cards would undoubtedly be a step forward as it would send a clear message that religion is a private matter and that the state is not interested in the religious affiliation of citizens except where required by law,” said EIPR Director Hossam Bahgat. “But violations of freedom of religion in relation to official documents are far too serious to be solved by such a symbolic gesture.”

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Egypt
Year: 2006