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No advice or guidance for Christian women contemplating conversion

Nader Shukry

05 Jun 2013 12:59 am

A recent meeting which took place between MP Fredi al-Bayadi and Minister of Interior Major General Mohamed Ibrahim focused on the increasing number of missing Coptic women who are later claimed to have converted to Islam and married Muslim men

 
A recent meeting which took place between MP Fredi al-Bayadi and Minister of Interior Major General Mohamed Ibrahim focused on the increasing number of missing Coptic women who are later claimed to have converted to Islam and married Muslim men. Bayadi said he urged the Interior Minister to work to reinstate the advice and guidance sessions which were, until 2004, mandatory prior to the official announcement of any conversion. These sessions, endorsed then by the Interior Ministry, involved a discussion with a priest or a sheikh in respective cases of Christians or Muslims contemplating conversion. The session was usually held in the police station or security office, and was aimed at ensuring that the convert-to-be was taking the right decision regarding his or her faith.
The practice, which was according to a ministerial decree, was discontinued in 2004.
Bayadi said that Ibrahim claimed that conversion was a religious matter that did not concern the Interior Ministry, but was the concern of al-Azhar. “He practically washed his hands of the issue,” Bayadi said.
Bayadi demanded that religious conversion should be carried out through the National Council for Human Rights, and that the person who wishes to convert should sit to a guidance session prior to conversion, to make sure that the decision was taken of his or her free will.
Watani International
4 June 2013


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