Religion Today

Thursday, June 22, 2006; 12:05 PM

CAIRO, Egypt -- Tucked away in Labib Iskandar's pocket is a neatly folded slip of paper with fraying edges that tells the story of a community fighting for recognition. It's a receipt Iskandar got when he applied for the computer-based identification card Egypt had just then begun issuing—more than five years ago.

Iskandar is a Bahai, a member of a religious community that regards a 19th-century Persian nobleman, Baha'u'llah, as a prophet—a challenge to the Muslim belief that Muhammad is the last prophet. Given the pivotal role of Islam in Egyptian life, the government will not issue an ID card to a Bahai, but only to Muslims, Christians or Jews.

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