Saturday, February 09, 2008

Remember Mohammed Hegazy

hegazy Mohammed Hegazy is a courageous man.  Seeking to have his national ID documents legally changed to reflect the fact that he has become a Christian, this former Muslim has recently been denied this chance by an Egyptian court.  In effect, he has been told that he cannot convert, regardless of his personal beliefs.  And I thought that Islam taught that there was no compulsion in religion! 

And yes, the followers of this most peace loving religion have threatened to kill this man for his courage.  Last week, one of our colleagues had the opportunity to meet Hegazy in Cairo. He told our colleague that he is living under growing pressure of his relatives. They declare in interviews in national newspapers that they definitely will kill him in order to bring Mohammed's wife and his newborn baby daughter back to the Islamic fold.

As national newspapers have reported frequently on his case, Mohammed's face and situation are well-known in Egypt. Many Muslims militants want to kill him and so he now has to live in secret places.  He is deeply concerned about his wife and daughter. He told our colleague that he is frequently moving from one place into another and is feeling stressed. But he knows that God is with him.

Mohammed asks for our prayers. He also asked that we raise publicity in our countries regarding his case in the hopes of putting pressure on the Egyptian government.   Will you join in praying for Mohammed, his wife Christine (formerly Zeinab) and daughter Mariam?  If you have a blog, will you tell his story?  And will you take a moment to write to your local member of parliament or to the foreign affairs minister in whatever country you live in and ask him or her to look into the case of Mohammed Hegazy and ask him or her to express your government's concern with the Egyptian government over this violation of this family's right to religious freedom? The Egyptian Constitution seemingly allows for religious freedom, and Egypt has ratified international human rights treaties which grant the individual the right to adopt a religion of their choice. The ruling on Tuesday January 29, however, highlights just how different the reality is for converts like Mohammed Hegazy.

In Canada, you can write to:

The Honourable Maxime Bernier,
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

To find the contact information for your Member of Parliament, click here.


nachtwache said...

What other choice does he have now than to emigrate? How can he exist if he's in hiding? I'll pray for him and his family.

candybar said...

I am a Muslim and i totally disagree with the backwardness that is still practiced in Egypt. How is it possible to think that we can change people's hearts and faith by a court order? i am so sorry for what is happening to this poor man. all this stupidity has to stop. separation of religion and state is a must for societies to progress. if the man and his wife do not want to be Muslims, how is coercing them and threatening them with death going to change their faith, or are appearances all that matter?? hypocrisy is what is called for here.. my heart breaks for you and your family, and because i fear for your life i join those who advise you to leave the country, while you can. i left many years ago and i think this is the right thing to do for all those who don't want to be led like cattle without thinking. save your life. this ship of backwardness is sinking very fast and if you remained, you will only sink with it..
i will pray for you, and i am happy you found your Salvation.people in Egypt have been killed for less than what you did. remember Farag Fouda!!!!!!