The Baha’i Faith in Egypt blog provides links and summaries from international media outlets that recently reported on what the author considers a “deplorable situation facing the Egyptian Baha’is.”

The author also addresses several crucial issues:

1) These cases concern real people whose rights are being violated and who continue to suffer on a daily basis. This is not a laughing matter that can be taken jokingly by a respected judge. It is not appropriate or ethical for a judge to mock these innocent and helpless victims.

2) Contrary to what the judge has said, Baha’is are neither Muslims nor Christians. They are Baha’is–many of whom have been so for several generations. If they falsely state another religion on government documents, then they would be in violation of the law, to which the judge is subservient and obligated to uphold and protect.

The application form required for obtaining ID cards states that any false statements will be punishable by imprisonment and monitory fines.

Since Egypt was invaded by Muslim conquerors from Arabia several generations ago, the judge’s ancestors were possibly either Coptic Christians, Jews, or even followers of the Pharaoh, would this mean that he must state his religion as one of these three? How would the judge feel if someone forces him to do so?

3) If the Baha’is were forced to state their religion as Christian, Muslim or Jew, what would the judge do if one of these Baha’is, who would have been holding an ID card stating that he is a Muslim, marries the judge’s daughter? Would that be acceptable to him then?

4) For a variety of reasons, it is becoming glaringly clear that the Egyptian courts are incapable of solving this identification crisis. The Egyptian government must now step in and produce a satisfactory resolution to the ID crisis facing the Baha’is and the other minorities in Egypt.

Dr. Basma Moussa provides some relevant links on this blog entry, which includes a link to the following article in the BBC:


Rights groups have criticised Egypt for forcing converts from Islam and members of some minority faiths to lie about their true beliefs in official papers.
[...]

“So we are asking the government today to end this arbitrary refusal to recognise someone’s actual religious beliefs,” he [Human Rights Watch's Joe Stork] said.

In the name of interfaith, religious freedom and human rights, our Muslim brethren are encouraged to join the struggle for Baha’i rights. It’s our responsibility to. Please be aware of Baha’i rights abuses in Egypt, publicly and loudly condemn it, and spread the word to inspire further action.

Baha’is in Egypt have been struggling for a long time to get their rights as citizens recognized:

Egyptian courts refuse to recognize the religion and Islamic extremists take such opportunities to attack and oppress the Baha’is minority – claiming to do so under the banner of Islam. This behavior is not and will never be justified in Islam, and fellow Muslims in favor of interfaith and coexistence need to make a bigger effort in condemning this abuse.

Baha’is in Egypt have our consistent support and encouragement. We pray that their rights be recognized soon in Egypt, and in other countries where Baha’is face oppression and abuse, such as Iran.