Monday, May 23, 2011

No going back to the Egypt not converted Copts - The Australian

In the upheavals in Egypt since January, reports began to emerge of a surge in the disappearances of Coptic girls.

A priest in the budget of the Cairo at least 21 young girls, as young 14, disappeared from his single parish.

In most cases, when a Christian girl who disappears is found by her family, she was converted to Islam and married. The Coptic authorities even set up a series of shelters in monasteries to manage the growing number of girls who want to return to their families, of which many are not accepted by their family of origin.

But a worse problem for these women is that their conversion to Islam is irreversible.

Religion is indicated on the Egyptian ID documents and even though the secular law provides meshes, in the growth of the Shariah, they are very difficult, except to give them legal advocacy.

This situation is not unique in Egypt. Reported consistent the girls being forced Islamic conversion and marriage in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

It is not in doubt that many of these girls are first runaway. However, there is also evidence that a large number are converted and married against their will.

The situation was documented in a controversial report in 2009 on the conversion and marriage forced Coptic women by Christian Solidarity International, based in Washington DC. The authors are Washington academic Michele Clark and Coptic Egyptian broadcast journalist Nadia Ghaly, based in Melbourne.

Between 2005 and 2008, they were interviewed and documented 50 Egyptian women mainly aged 14 to 25, which had decided to return to their families. All claim would have been misled, compulsion or raped, converted to Islam and married. Most of the interviewees were trying to reconvert to their Christian identity, with little or no success. The conclusions of the report were printed in several major publications, including Forbes magazine.

Since the so-called Arab spring and the riots that followed in the Christian churches, the authors are trying to turn the purpose of forced conversion and marriage with greater importance.

The two groups live very closed and very traditional separate and the standards surrounding marriage and sex are almost medieval, said Ghaly.

Thus, for example, it is not of a young Christian girl from a poor family to escape an arranged marriage. However, a high proportion of these women claim coercion, rape, same, despite the shame that causes such a claim if the girl wants to return.

Many claim that they were kept as virtual slaves. Others who have been able to leave could not bring their children. Ghaly argues that it is more that religious oppression manifest and is equivalent to "a form of cultural genocide."

It cites a document published by Human Rights Watch in November 2007, who said that even if Coptic women can obtain a divorce from their Muslim husband, those who wish to return to Christianity "meet refusal and harassed by the Department of State Civil of the Ministry of the Interior".

Under the Act of Sharia, conversion is considered apostasy punishable by death.

View the original article here

No comments: