Apostasy and Public Policy in Contemporary Egypt: An Evaluation of Recent Cases from Egypt's Highest Courts

  title={Apostasy and Public Policy in Contemporary Egypt: An Evaluation of Recent Cases from Egypt's Highest Courts},
  author={Maurits S. Berger},
  journal={Human Rights Quarterly},
  pages={720 - 740}
Apostasy, the abandonment of Islam, can be subdivided into the act of apostasy, and its legal consequences. In Egyptian case law of the past fifty years, only the latter plays a role. The act of apostasy hardly needs to be scrutinized by the courts since it is almost never related to religious conviction, but to legal issues like marriage or inheritance. This was different, however, in the 1996 ruling of the Court of Cassation against the Egyptian Muslim scholar Nasr Abu Zayd: here, the… Expand
Islamic Law and Freedom of Religion: The Case of Apostasy and Its Legal Implications in Egypt
The article analyses Egyptian jurisprudence on the issue of apostasy, with a focus on conversion from Islam to Christianity. It argues that the Egyptian judiciary has failed to develop a harmoniousExpand
The Islamist Trend in Egyptian Law
Abstract The past four decades have witnessed profound transformations in the Egyptian legal system and in the Egyptian legal profession. Article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution now enshrines IslamicExpand
Authorizing Religious Conversion in Administrative Courts: Law, Rights, and Secular Indeterminacy*
The administration of religious difference in modern Egypt suggests more continuity in the state’s involvement in personal status affairs over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuriesExpand
The Holy Trinity: Religion, Identity, and International Law in Egypt
This thesis investigates the contradiction between Egypt’s international legal obligations to protect religious freedom and its state practice. Chapter 1 gives a brief history of the relationshipExpand
Managing Religion and Renegotiating the Secular: The Muslim Brotherhood and Defining the Religious Sphere
Abstract This article questions the assumption that — prior to July 2013 when the Egyptian military removed former President Mursi from power — the Muslim Brotherhood was in the process ofExpand
Disputed, Sensitive and Indispensable Topics: The Study of Islam and Apostasy
Using examples from my research on apostasy from Islam, in this article I address some basic methodological and theoretical issues in the study of religions. The article contains an outline of majorExpand
Secularism, Sovereignty, Indeterminacy: Is Egypt a Secular or a Religious State?
  • H. Agrama
  • Political Science
  • Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • 2010
In this essay I offer a thesis about secularism as a modern historical phenomenon, through a consideration of state politics, law, and religion in contemporary Egypt. Egypt seems hardly a place forExpand
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd as a Modern Muslim Thinker
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd is a thinker who has produced works in the fields of theology, philosophy, law, politics and humanities. Abu Zayd’s thought, partly on the Quran and its hermeneutics has stirredExpand
Abstract.  Over the last century and a half, discussions of Darwin in Arabic have involved a complex intertwining of sources of authority. This paper reads one of the earliest Muslim responses toExpand
Modern Perspectives on Islamic Law
This well-informed book explains, reflects on and analyses Islamic law, not only in the classical legal tradition of Sharia, but also its modern, contemporary context. The book explores the role ofExpand


Egyptian law has maintained the Islamic system of interreligious law in which the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities are governed by their own courts and their own laws. In the course of theExpand
Submitting Faith to Judicial Scrutiny Through the Family Trial: The “Abû Zayd Case”
In 1993, a Cairo-based group of lawyers brought an action in the Giza Court of First Instance [Mahkamat al-Jiza al-Ibtida'iyya] demanding the dissolution of the marriage of Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd andExpand
Muslim Voices in the Human Rights Debate
The main purpose of this article is to display a plurality of Muslim positions in the area of human rights. Like other religions or cultures, Islam is a complex reality harboring various, andExpand
Relativism and Universalism in Human Rights: The Case of the Islamic Middle East
‘Islam approaches life and its problems in their totality. Being a complete and perfect code of life. it holds no brief for partial reforms or compromise solutions. It starts by making man consciousExpand
Human Rights and Democracy:The Role of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt
An examination of the human rights jurisdiction of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, with chapters by the Chief Justice, Dr Awad Mohammad El-Morr, and other members of the judiciary. AExpand
Legal Pluralism in the Arab World
Part 1 Legal pluralism, normative plurality and the Arab world: the idea of legal pluralism, G. Woodman norms, law and practices - the practical obstacles that make it impossible to separate them,Expand
The United Nations and Freedom of Religion
A religion, first and foremost, is a collection of beliefs. As such it is an intensely personal matter, every individual being able to decide for himor herself which set of beliefs to adopt. No lawExpand
Freedom of Expression in Islam
PART ONE: PRELIMINARY- I. Introduction II. Definition and Scope III. Rights and Fundamental Rights PART TWO: AFFIRMATIVE EVIDENCE- I. Introductory Remarks II. The Qur'anic Principle of Hisbah III.Expand
Participer au pouvoir, c'est édicter la norme : sur l'affaire Abu Zayd (Égypte, 1992-1996)
La realite politique d'une societe donnee n'est pas inscrite dans des structures stables, mais se construit sans cesse de facon incertaine. Pour etayer cette affirmation, il convient de ne se saisirExpand