Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Egypt: Rose El-Yousef Returns With Its Own History

The second article in the promised series on Egyptian Baha'is was published on 25 September 2006 in Rose el-Yousef newspaper. As before, the writer relies heavily on sensationalism and contemptible journalism.

This time he recounts the history of a Baha'i Family which was headed by the late Mr. Hussein Ruhi. It is not clear how the author had obtained his information since he does not use any references to support his story. The only reference he makes regarding this, is a vague description of how he had obtained his information by deceiving Mr. Ruhi's son, who was described by the author as: "an elderly Mr. Hassan Ruhi...who cannot differentiate between dreams and reality...and who did not realize that his documents and photographs would land in the hands of a man the age of his grandchildren who loves writing and adores documents in order to satisfy his readers."

It is truly tragic to witness such journalism that is devoid of ethics and integrity!

The purpose of this post is to expose the writer's intentions and to make these articles available to those who would want to respond to the inaccuracies indicated in the publication. The comment section of this blog is entirely open for such responses and clarifications. In addition to posting comments on this blog, members of the families mentioned in the article might also want to write to the editor of Rose el-Yousef with their thoughts, responses and corrections.

The other article published in Rose el-Yousef on the same day, is a report on a study regarding the Baha'i Faith conducted by Mr. Sameh Sayyid who was commissioned by al-Azhar's Islamic Research Council. The "researcher" admits that the Baha'i International Community had written a letter to al-Azhar with copies to Egypt's President Mubarak and Prime Minister Nazif, offering to collaborate with al-Azhar in this study, but apparently the offer was ignored, and the study was conducted without any input from the Baha'i Institutions nor the input of any reputable scholarly and unbiased agency.

Of course the report exudes falsehood and the usual nonsense and misrepresentations--again nothing new! It also clearly illustrates the very poor scholarship and intellectual dishonesty exhibited by this "learned institution" and its so-called scholars and men of the law. All these accusations have been repeatedly addressed by authoritative as well as scholarly responses as can be seen (in English) HERE and (in Arabic) HERE. Other responses to al-Azhar (in Arabic) can be accessed HERE. Also, a letter which was written to Egypt's Minister of Justice prior to the completion of this "study" can be seen HERE.

This apparent "legal scholar" goes further to propose a solution to the ID Card dilemma with which the Baha'is have been faced. He offers that either the section on religion is left vacant or that it indicates "without religion." His justification is that the Baha'is as well as others who don't belong to the "three recognized religions" in Egypt "could be identified and treated accordingly." Here is another reminder of the grim past when people were selectively identified according to their religion so that they could be persecuted and rounded up whenever the need arises, as described in this previous post.


  1. I assume that this story was printed on paper again rather than in their on-line publication, which makes it a bit difficult to express our opinions to the writers and editors.

    In fact I know that it wasn't on their on-line version because when I used their search engine, I couldn't find anything related to the word "Baha'i" in any of their previous articles.

    It's normal to have different stories for different audiences, but it seems that Rose El-Yousef goes way out of its way to prove its patriotism and Islamism to the domestic audience. - Ghanim

  2. It has been published in the daily newspaper edition of Rose el-Yousef (established more recently). Therefore, it is separate from their weekly magazine publication. The website takes you only to the magazine and not the newspaper, that is why you--and I--could not find it. Apparently, so far there is no website for the newspaper.

  3. hmmm, for such a small number of Bahais in Egypt, the clerical establishment is acting as thought it were set upon by a hundred wasps! Of course the wasps cannot be avoided, for they exist in the world of their mind. or is it more correctly that it is their conscious that is pricking them?

  4. They have been stirred by the Power of the Faith of God, which is beyond mere numbers. This, also, is beyond our human understanding....

    Furthermore, they perceive a great threat to their own power and influence--ego and attachment to power become their prime motives for their actions....

  5. Well said Bilo,
    In contemplating the sufficiency of faith that one such as an Egyptian Bahai must have in order to go about the responsibilities of their life while coping with the criticism of society around them..I remember the comment the Christ made about the mustard seed's sufficiency to become a mighty tree.
    However there is also a complimentary spiritual law about the mind that contains even a mustard seed of doubt, which also has the potential to grow into a powerful tree.

    To put ourselves wholly in the trust of God is both a mighty act and probably a continuing walk on a tightrope high above the average person's concerns.

    Those who are alone and try to persevere according to the lights of their faith, probably become giants within their own mental kingdom.

    Edo River rising


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