Egyptian Christian wife disputes husband's conversion to Islam

Posted: Friday, May 18, 2001

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Hanna Kamal Morgan, a church deacon living in Fayoum, told his wife last year he was going out to buy food. Instead, he went to Cairo and converted to Islam.

This week, a Cairo court began considering a petition by his wife, Inas Emil, to nullify her husband's conversion on grounds he's mentally ill. She is also suing the country's top Islamic theologian, Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, and the interior minister for allowing the conversion.

Emil filed to prevent losing custody of their two daughters and their conversion to Islam, her lawyer explained. In Islam, children follow the religion of a Muslim father if the wife is non-Muslim. A lower court ruled in January that Emil had no legal standing to dispute the conversion.

Her lawyer filed documents showing Morgan was a patient at a psychiatric hospital three times in the past 10 years.

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