We received news from the parliament that an MP has presented a bill requiring the government to remove religion from national ID cards and official documents. This matches the Egyptian Constitution which stipulates non-discrimination among citizens, and that equal citizenship is the only basis in that account. The Egyptian identity must be considered instead of religious identity.
Dr Ismail Nasreddin, presenter of the bill, said that he is supported by more than 200 MPs out of the 596 in the parliament, and assured that removing religion will be in all documents that don t require mentioning religion, not including for instance birth or marriage certificates.
Such bill deserves our support since it is very logical and realistic. It calls to remove information about religion when it is not critical to mention; however, removing such data will not immediately stop all discriminatory practices against Egyptians based on their religion, but it is a nice gesture that Egyptian identity is the key element in dealing with Egyptian citizens. Moreover, the names of the Egyptians mostly reveal their religion identity.
It shows equality among the citizens and the Egyptian state has done the same with the Passport that requires countries to deal with its holder as an Egyptian citizen not taking into consideration their religion.
Other acts of discrimination among the citizens require a lot of procedures and reforms supported by the constitution that calls to eliminate discrimination and punish those responsible for it. Moreover, the Egyptian traditions still hinder our transformation into a full civil state.
The Coptic Christians have to realize that removing religion from the National ID is just the beginning and they have to be positive participants in their society and to demand their own personal status law as soon as possible.