Friday, September 22, 2006

Egypt: Words And Action Must Agree

In the 14 September 2006 issue of al-Ahram, the leading newspaper in Egypt, an article reported on the recent convention of religious leaders held in Kazakhstan. Egypt was represented by its Minister of Religious Endowment (Awqaf), Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zaqzooq. In his address to the convention, he stated:

"Islam had depended on religious and civilized dialogue since its inception, with the principle premise to collaborate and cooperate with the followers of other religions and civilizations." He pointed out that "this means--naturally--the recognition of other [religions] and their entitlement to essential rights, such as freedom of belief, and peaceful association without any discrimination."

The Minister added in his speech, representing the Egyptian Government to the convention which was held over a three day period in Kazakhstan:

"Islam is not satisfied merely with the recognition of other [religions], but [Islam] orders [its followers] to live and associate positively with them and to treat them with justice and equality. And that all this is for the purpose of establishing a human society that is endowed with security, peace and stability."

It goes without saying that these pronouncements are truly wonderful, righteous and just. It remains to be seen how these words will be applied into real action within the Egyptian society and not only during international conventions. The Baha'i case is a perfect example for such application, particularly when one examines the recent pronouncements by the same Ministry in the directive given to Mosque leaders around the country asking them to defame and attack the Baha'is during their Friday sermons as had been reported earlier in a post linked HERE. Also, another post regarding a book intended to attack the Baha'is and recently published under the direction of the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowment, can be reviewed HERE.


  1. How can this very nice and gentle man be the head of the same Ministry that in addition to instigating the clergy to give sermons of hate, published a book back in June, calling for the eradication of close to 2000 fellow Egyptians? (

    One possibility is that he may be too weak to have a real say in what his ministry does. Another is that he says things he doesn't really believe in.

    May God help Egypt. - Faisal

  2. Dear Faisal,

    Thank you for reminding me of the other post. I see you are keeping track! :-)

    I added the other link to the post.

  3. Bilo, After reading your series for as long as I have, I am beginning to see the Egyptian ministries as...falable.
    Edo River rising.

  4. Dear Edo River,

    Your comment wins the prize of:

  5. Actually , I will be so happy ,that Minister of Religious (Awqaf), Dr. Mahmoud Hamdy Zaqzooq
    can read this comments from the different peoples.
    may be he can recognize how the world now so small and all the people at any where can see the contradiction between our words and our deeds.

  6. It is about time that those in authority are held accountable. They must enforce what they publicly proclaim to the rest of the world.


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