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Will Egypt stop listing religion on official IDs?

The draft bill to remove the religion field from national IDs and official documents sparked a debate among Egyptians, with some supporting the decision as it would eliminate discrimination and others arguing that it would further entrench sectarian tension.
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CAIRO — After collecting the signatures of 60 Egyptian parliamentarians, the official spokesperson for the Support Egypt coalition, member of parliament Alaa Abdel Moneim, submitted June 1 to parliament an 18-article draft bill titled Citizenship. Article 3 of this draft bill states, “The religion field be abolished from identification cards and all official documents. No citizen may be compelled to disclose his/her religion unless doing so were necessary to determine the legal premise of matters such as inheritances and marriages.”

The draft bill provoked a sharp debate: Supporters of the bill viewed it as a basis to convert a heterogeneous society predicated on religious affiliation, such as “Muslim” and “Copt,” into a homogenous one founded on citizenship, and not religion.

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