Ruling Against Islamic Law on Conversion

February 11, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Wire Service: Reuters

In a landmark case, an Egyptian court has ruled that the state must recognise the right of Christians who convert to Islam to change their minds and revert to Christianity.

Until now, Egyptian courts have upheld a traditional reading of Islamic law in such cases, prohibiting the conversion from Islam to any other faith, regardless of the convert's original religion.

While Egyptian law is largely secular and modelled on the French legal system, personal-status issues such as conversion, marriage and divorce are governed by the religious laws of the relevant community. Egypt is mainly Muslim, but has a substantial number of Coptic Christians.