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Egyptian Baha'is under attack

Earlier in March, I wrote a post congratulating Baha'is in Egypt when the Supreme Administrative Court removed any grounds for preventing them from receiving proper official identity documents. After a TV appearance Baha'i houses were burnt down in Upper Egypt's governorate – Sohag.

Arabawy called for Solidarity with Sohag’s Bahai’s:

علي ضوء حلقة برنامج “الحقيقة” الذي أذيع يوم الأحد الموافق 29-3-2009 علي قناة دريم، والتي استضافت د.بسمة موسى (ناشطة بهائية) وعم أحمد (أحد بهائيين سوهاج) مع جمال عبد الرحيم، تعرض عدد من أسر بهائيين سوهاج في البداية إلي قصفهم بالحجرة ووصل الأمر إلي حرق بيوتهم وتهجريهم من منازلهم، مما دفع بعض أفراد الأسر إلي الهروب خوفا علي حياتهم والبعض الآخر تم تهجيرهم بالإجبار. وهنا في القاهرة تم معاملة أحد أقارب عم أحمد بطرده من المنزل وعندما حاول الرفض تم تهديده بالقتل أو مغادرة المنزل. هذا بجانب التهديدات التي تلاحق د.بسمة موسى. غدا 2 أبريل الساعة 10 صباحا، تتوجهة عدد من منظمات حقوق الإنسان لتحريك دعوى قضائية لدي النائب العام. يفضل تواجد أكبر عدد من نشطاء حقوق الإنسان والمدونين 10 صباحا – دار القضاء العالي
A number of Baha'i families in Sohag were stoned and set on fire, in the aftermath of an episode of TV show “Al Hakeeka” aired on Sunday 29 on Dream TV where Baha'i activist Dr. Basma Moussa and Ahmed, one of the Baha'is residing in Sohag, were hosted by journalist Gamal Abdel Rehim. Many others ran for their lives or were forced to leave their homes while some of Ahmed's relatives was kicked out of his house and threatened with murder. Not to mention the regular threats that Basma receives. On April 2 at 10 am several human rights organizations headed to the district attorney – your consolidation is highly needed.

Voice of Egypt wrote

فاكرين جمال عبد الرحيم.. أيوة هو عضو نقابة الصحفيين اللي منع مؤتمر حقوق الأقليات و التمييز الديني من الإنعقاد في النقابة السنة اللي فاتت و وقف للناس بالشوم علي البوابة

الجميل بقي انه الأخ جمال عبد الرحيم طلع عنده مدونة بينشر فيها سمومه و كتب فيها مقالة بعد الحلقة يكمل فيها شتيمة في البهائين شوية
مستنيين ايه من بلد بينتخب فيها واحد زي جمال عبد الرحيم عضواً في نقابة الصحفيين؟
منستنيين ايه من بلد يحكمها حزب أريفنا كل يوم كلام عن المواطنة و أمين شباب الحزب بيطرد الناس من قرية علشان بيؤمنوا بدين مش عاجبه؟

Do you remember Gamal Abdel Rehim? Yes! The member of the Press Syndicate who prevented last year's Minority Rights and Religious Discrimination Conference. What's really nice is that this Gamal person has a blog where he further spreads his venom. After his TV episode he wrote a hate post about Baha'is and his commentators applauded him.
What would you expect from a country where a man like Gamal gets to become a member in the syndicate? What would you expect when the ruling Democratic Party preaches talk about citizenship and its secretary for youth evicts citizens from their village because he is not fond of their religion?

Egyptian Baha'i wrote:

هل آن الأوان لرجال الدين والإعلام لمراجعة ما تسببت فيه أيديهم من أذى للبهائيين وخلق وحوش تطلق مثل هذه التعليقات؟ هل آن الأوان للجميع ان يعتذر للمصريين قبل البهائيين ويقولوا: “نحن آسفون. لقد خدعناكم لسنوات. وجعلنا منكم وحوشا ليس لها عقول ولا قلوب. فلو كان لكم عقول لعرفتم أن كل الأباطيل الغير معقولة التي نروجها عن البهائيين غير صحيحة.
Is it time for media and religious figures to reconsider their stance against Baha'is and to stop creating such monsters who make such hateful comments against us? Is it time to apologize to Egyptians before Baha'is and admit that they have fooled them into becoming mindless zombies? – For if they had any brains of their own, Egyptians would have realized that all the rumors about us are figments of their sick imagination.

Suppressed Citizen drafted a reply to the fanatics who who accuse Baha'is of relinquishing Islam:

في البدايه كنت انهال باكيا علي حال مصر مما رايت ما اصابها من عنصريه ولكن صدمت عندما اكتشقت وللاسف مؤخرا ان مصر اصابها او اصبح يسودها التطرف الديني وكما اشرت سابقا ان الازمه ليست بيننا وبينهم فنحن العامه نقول كل انسان حر فيما يعتقده ونطالب بحريه دينيه و اعتقاديه لانه قبل ان نطالب بهذه الحريه فهي حق انساني وهبه الله لنا … وعندما تتحدث مع احد من هؤلاء يقول لك بعد تلك الايات ولكن يا اخي يجب علي المرتد ان يقتل كيف يكون مرتدا ؟ وماذا يعني الارتداد؟ يقول لك مرتد تعني انه خرج من الدين لدين اخرفمن اجابته يتضح انه لايفهم اصلا الدين وانه اصلا ليس متدينا ولكنه متعصب دينيا فقط وساقوم بتعريف المرتد أولا: لفظ مرتد عن الاسلام اي خرج عن الدين الاسلامى وذهب لدين اخــــــــــــر
ثانيا : خرج علي الاسلام اي انه اصبح ضد الاسلام وضد نظمه وقوانينه ويريد محاربه هذه النظم والقوانين اي انه يخرج علي الاسلام ليحاربه والدليل لماذا قامت حروب الرده ؟ فهذا رد علب كل متعصب ديني يحاول اتهام البهائيين بالرده واستباحه دمهم وقتلهم عليكم ان تفهموا الدين اولا ثم فكروا كما شئتم فالبهائيين ليسوا مرتدين ولكنهم اصحاب عقيده ولا يصح ان نقول عليهم مرتدين
In the beginning I used to cry my eyes out when I think of what has become of my beloved Egypt and I was shocked at how deeply rooted religious fanaticism is today. The problem in not between us and Baha'is for the common Egyptian knows and understands that each human being is entitled to his religion and his beliefs – this is the gift God has given us. But when you talk to one of those fanatics he tells you that they deserve to be killed because they relinquished Islam (Redda Wars). This is a proof of pure ignorance of religion since “Redda” means that a person has converted from one religion to another or has converted from Islam and started fighting it. As for Baha'is, they are not converts from Islam … they are people who have a faith and beliefs of their own.

9 comments

  • Thanks Marwa for writing about this important issue.. I don’t know what to say.. I am really depressed from what’s happening..

  • […] April 2, several human rights organizations headed to the public prosecutor in solidarity with the Baha'is who were assaulted in Sohag after a journalist called them reverts and urged people to kill […]

  • Karim Alaa

    This is only a natural result of decades of promoting a religious speech that conveys nothing but hatred and prejudice towards anybody of a differnt background, such terrorist acts are expected when the “MUFTI” Ali Gomaa shows up on national televison 2 years ago and LYING to the Egyptian people by falsely claiming that the Baha’is are supported by zionism and the state of Israel.

  • The Baha’i Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions. Founded in Iran in 1844, it now has more than five million adherents in 236 countries and territories. Baha’is come from nearly every national, ethnic and religious background, making the Baha’i Faith the second-most-widespread religion in the world.

    http://egypt-bahai-id.blogspot.com/

  • Nabil

    It is shameful that someone could insist that only he and people who believe only what he believes are good, and others who do not conform to his beliefs are not only wrong but should be killed! What is more shameful is that he does this in the name of the beautiful Faith of Islam. Inciting violence in the name of religion is the biggest insult one inflicts on his own religion. Baha’is accept Islam as a divine message and have more respect for Islam than someone who professes his beliefs in Islam but rigidly places himself as the judge over the beliefs and lives of others. Muslims should reject this portrayal of their loving and peaceful Faith. As a Baha’i of Egyptian origin living in the West, I along with other Baha’is are constantly defending Islam against baseless accusations against this beautiful Faith because of similar abhorrent behavior of prejudiced and closed minded people that claim God and Faith to be only theirs and perpetrate violence and terror in the name of God. The Prophet Mohamed said to his idol worshiping opponents in Mecca: \You have your religion and I have mine\. He did not oppose them until they attached him and his followers. The people of Mecca were certain they were right when they fought the Messenger of Islam and his followers. Is it possible that this person, sadly an elected representative of the people and a journalist, who is inciting Egyptian Muslims against Egyptian Baha’is and those who acted upon his incitement are repeating the acts of the people of Mecca before Islam became victorious? Another example of history repeating itself! My message to those who incite hatred and bigotry is: investigate before you judge, do not judge before you investigate. But judge only for yourself and do not impose your views, opinions, or your perceptions of your Faith, regardless of how meritorious they are in your opinion, on others.

  • […] Egyptian blogger Ibn Rushd interviewed one of the Baha'i assailants. […]

  • […] قابل المدون المصري ابن رشد أحد المعتدين على البهائيين[انكليزي]. […]

  • برنامج شات بهائى قيد التطوير يعمل بصورة جيدة رجاء التجربة وكتابة ملاحظاتكم واقتراحاتكم عليه وللعلم فسيرفر البرنامج يعمل من الساعة الثالثة عصرا حتى الثالثة فجرا بتوقيت القاهرة وهذا بصفة موقتة وسيتم زيادة عدد ساعات التشغيل مستقبلا ليعمل طوال ساعات اليوم للتحميل http://bahaisearch.oxyhost.com/up/download.php?id=14

  • […] homes have been set on fire on more than one occasion, and in 2001 some Baha’is were arrested for “insulting […]

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