“Rights of Muslim Converts to Christianity in Egypt” is a research long-overdue, because converts are increasing in number and they are stripped off their human rights, persecuted by state and society, and considered as apostates civically dead. There is a sharp discrimination and difference in jurisprudence between Court of Administrative Litigation of State Council and State Security Court, which deal with converts. Converts of Christian background are recuperating their civil liberty rights, whereas rights of converts of Muslim background are still violated. I reached this conclusion by tracking the jurisprudential development of the Court of Administrative Litigation, which moved from a hardliner stance from 1970s to late 1990s vis-à-vis converts of both backgrounds to a human-rights oriented one vis-à-vis converts of Christian background. The Court of Administrative Litigation, that examined the actions filed by converts of Christian background requesting a name and religion change in the identity cards, entitled them to revert to their original names and religion before embracing Islam. Their new status was registered in the identity card, despite the abstention of the Civil Affairs Registry, affiliated to the Ministry of Interior. Will Converts of Muslim background, if they file such actions, be equally treated by the Court of Administrative Litigation, using the same jurisprudence? Or would the Court’s line of reasoning be different? This remains to be seen. Muslim converts of Muslim background are arrested and inhumanely treated by State Security, accused for contempt of religion under the Egyptian Penal Code, Article 98 F, tried before State Security Court whose jurisprudence remained unchanged, and persecuted by society for disturbing public order. Identity cards in Egypt, instating the religious affiliation, plays a role in discriminating between citizens on religious basis and further violation of the human rights of converts of Muslim background, as well as their children’s rights. Converts to Christianity of Muslim background will partially gain from the deletion in terms of non-discrimination in freedom of worship, movement, work, and education. And they will fully benefit, despite the ongoing social persecution, from the change of religion reflected in their identity cards, in terms of marriage, and children’s education, having to totally forsake inheritance rights in any case.


Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Date of Award


Online Submission Date

February 2013

First Advisor

Bernard-Maugiron, Nathalie

Committee Member 1

Bernard-Maugiron, Nathalie

Committee Member 2

Hill, Enid

Document Type



55 p.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.


Not necessary for this item