There is no compulsion in religion, and if you do not convert to islam…
Copts that become Muslims without knowing it
When he took a new wife, Rami’s father opted for a new life with new children and a new religion: born a Copt, he converted to Islam, the religion of his second wife.
Rami from his part, grew up “normally” next to his mother like a little Copt, he followed religion courses at school (mandatory in Egypt) for Christian students, he went to church once a week and considers himself a young man with a solid faith.
He left school in his teenage years to dedicate himself to the job he still practises today, that of artisan jeweller, and engraves silver jewellery. Rami’s peaceful life changed dramatically in 2002, on the day he went to the Civil Status Department of the Ministry of Interior to recover his new identity card. On that day, he discovered that the civil servants of the Ministry of Interior changed, without consultation, his religion and his name. On his new identity card, his religion was mentioned as Muslim and his name wasn’t Rami Naïm anymore, but Rami Abdallah Abderrahmane Amine.
It looked like a bad joke, but it wasn’t, a real tragedy hit on this young man. The fact that civil servants could think they have the right to convert citizens behind their back revolted him, “even if I wasn’t the Copt believer I am, I find this unacceptable. If I am to choose a religion, it must be of my choice and not be forced to do so without even being informed”, he says with extraordinary calm.
Sitting on the bench of hall number 12 at the High Administrative Court of Cairo, Rami is like a Bouddha of patience in jeans and jacket, slicked hair, a shy look but a determined tone of voice. He knows this hall by heart by now, it’s the fourth time in two years that he comes to hear the verdict for his complaint, a verdict that each time was deferred to a subsequent session.
“I was very young when my father left my mother and today I don’t even know what he looks like. I’m sure that he’s the one who went to request for my change of name and religion”, he tells with cold anger, as if to entertain the endless waiting.
But if for Rami this absurd battle is firstly fought against an invisible and despised father, for several other young Christians it has become an arm wrestling against an arbitrary and senseless mechanism, because their fathers who have converted to Islam, support them and go to the witness box to tell the judges that their choice mustn’t affect their children who have chosen to remain Christians.
Even in these cases “it’s almost useless”, sighs Rami’s lawyer, Adel Ramadane, a young man of the same age, who works for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
And here we have yet another way for the religion of peace to inflate its numbers. How many of those 1 billion have been duped like this poor individual? Not to mention the thousands of little girlskidnapped and forced to marry muslims and thus are forcefully converted.
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