Sunday, September 24, 2006

Egypt: Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Response To US Report

Al-Mesreyoon (The Egyptians) newspaper published an article on 22 September 2006 entitled: [Ministry of] Foreign Affairs prepares a response to the American report on religious includes denial of its accusations that Egypt violates minority rights, and confirms taking "correctional" reforms.

US State Department Report on Religious Freedom can be seen HERE.

The article continues by describing the specific violations that were stated in the US report with reference to the rights of the Baha'is, Christians and Shi'a Muslims.

It added that the government's response will use the April 2006 Administrative Court ruling that granted the Baha'is their rights to indicate their religion on official documents as a proof of Egypt's fair treatment of minorities.

Ironically, the government continues its appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court to reverse the ruling of the Administrative Court! Currently the implementation of the ruling remains suspended as a result of the government's appeal, and the case remains pending before the Supreme Court after being postponed for the third time.

Based on this planned response, one can only conclude that perhaps the government is now considering to withdraw its appeal! Thus its response to the US Report is accompanied with real implementation of its words and with deeds consistent with its response, that is treating the Baha'is as equal citizens and allowing them to obtain ID Cards as provided in the court's decision.


  1. Probably it is a cliche to say that X or Y government responds to outside pressure. Those of us on the outside, I am speaking from memory of my International Studies major as a dewey eyed undergrad, would summarize the outside "pressure" as no big deal. However after living in Japan, I can give several examples of US opinion expressed in some document, obscure or not, being able to influence political decisions here. Well as we all know, no one knows the "real reasons" things change in politics but the perception given by the press, often becomes the reality. We blame the press for so much don't we ;-)

    So here is yet another example. The Egyptian ministry staff members, I can imagine hard at work trying to interpret which of various responses would give the most benefit to the US politicians they want to appease. I wouldn't doubt this is another example of, "If I do this for you, you will do something for me." However the Egyptians are, and I am assuming they will do something, probably worrying whether the right people in the US Admin will recognize the Egyptian actions in the way the Egyptians want it recognized..Politics is a complex game of "I think they think we think that they think I think we said they said that we would say that they said, etc."

  2. It is also critical that the country changes its policies not because of outside pressures, but because it is the right thing to do. This way its dignity is maintained and it would be comfortable with the change since it is on its own initiative.

    Of course world opinion matters because--after all--it is one human family, or as it should be, a one body--when one of its organs is diseased, the rest of the body suffers.

  3. I think your conclusion at the end of the post is very optimistic, but one can still hope that there is some decency left, so that the authorities don't continue to fight the very ruling they are pointing to as proof of their reform and protection of minority rights. Otherwise, if there is no sense of shame left, .. words are a dime per two dozen or cheaper !!


  4. We need hope and optimism. Also, there are Divine forces that are beyond our comprehension. History illustrates the many victories that followed untold crises.


Your opinion is valuable. Please share your thoughts.