Egyptian media outlets have reported on the attack against Baha’is in the village of Showraniya. The violence erupted after the journalist Gamal Abd Alrahim appeared on TV, and called for the murder of Dr. Basma Moussa. Abd Alrahim has been a vocal critic of Baha’is, and has routinely called for violence against them.

The following account appeared at “Al Gomhuria“:

Violence broke out in the island of Showraniyya in the province Sohag, after one of its residents appeared on a television show announcing his conversion to the Baha’i Faith, and claiming that the entire island has converted to the Baha’i Faith. The island’s youth surrounded the homes of the Baha’is (which were a few in number) and threw Molotov cocktails, gasoline bottles and gas cylinders at them, and they immediately caught fire. The flames spread to adjacent homes, which were vacant at the time.

Security forces rushed to the scence and contained the flames before they spread to the rest of the village; in total, 5 homes were damaged by the fire. Several of the village’s youth placed barricades at the village’s entrace to block the entry of security forces and firefighters, and one police officer was injured in clashes with villagers.

Residents of the island told “Al Gomhuria” that they live in complete isolation, and a ferry is the only means of trasportation for the island’s 30,000 residents. The ferry stops its trips once evening sets in, leaving the islanders with no other option than using small boats.

The island’s residents also stated: “We are all Muslims and Christians, living peacefully side by side. Only a few villagers converted to the Baha’i Faith, and they insulted our village, our reputation and our beliefs. We held demonstrations to announce innocence of these allegations.”

They further stated: “We renounced these intruders who were swayed by money from foreign bodies, and they failed to spread their ideology amongst us.

The violence also spread to Cairo, where one of the relatives of Ahmad Al Sayyid (the Baha’i from Showraniyya who appeared in the television show) was told to either leave his home, or face death.

In response to the attack, rights activsts have called for a demonstration today before the Supreme Court, to demand that the Attorney-General prosecute journalist Gamal Abd Alrahim who called for violence against Baha’is, and to protect Egypt’s Baha’i minority.

Civil rights activists, journalists, lawyers and academics were actively involved in the court cases demanding the issuing of ID cards for Baha’is, and have played a huge role in garnering support for Baha’is.