Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Egypt: Demise of Academic Intellectual Integrity

A professor at the Faculty of Arts and Letters in Alexandria University used a formal course on Human Rights that he has been teaching in order to foment fear and spread misinformation on the Baha'i Faith to his students.

For his course he had published an 84 page textbook in which he attacked the Baha'i Faith in four of its pages under the disguise of human rights education.

In his introduction on this specific subject, he used the following chapter title in order to introduce his learned opinion on the Baha'i Faith: "The rights of humans to freedom of belief and religion protected by the Administrative Court."

The opinion and stand of Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court on the Baha'i Faith is very well-known by now and is clearly understood by all who have been following this case closely.

However, one is at a loss to comprehend how this professor appears to succeed in convincing himself--and perhaps his students--that the Supreme Court's opinion had indeed ruled in favor of protecting the rights to freedom of belief and religion in denying them the right to obtain ID cards!

How could he use this as an example of the protection of human rights in Egypt?

In his four pages (out of 84) he repeats the exact disinformation, now familiar to many, and propagated by the supreme court as well as the extremists in Egypt. When he administered the final examination to his students (see copy at the end of this post), one out of the total three essay-type questions asked the students the following:

"The Supreme Administrative Court's ruling [16 December 2006] which happened during the course of our lectures on the status of the Baha'iyah in Egypt affirmed the old judicial direction that you have studied. Describe your understanding, from the lectures, of its judicial rulings and the principles applied by the administrative court in that regard. You should then expose the consequences of these judicial decisions influencing it [Baha'iyah]; mentioning examples of the protection provided by the court; concluding your answer by specifying when and where it [Baha'iyah] originated and what its goals are according to your understanding of the lectures."

This professor, under the guise and protection of academic freedom, has been teaching a course on human rights. He has been providing misinformation to his students on the history, the principles and the teachings of the Baha'i Faith. He informed his students that the Baha'is are a threat to the "public order" and the security of the country.

He published this information in his course-book and had copied several statements from previous court rulings and fatwas that have been propagated by the media for several decades. He had not exerted any discernible effort to investigate the truth for himself or for his students. By doing so, he presented his students with one-sided and clearly biased view of a supposedly academic subject, thus violating the principles of the Institution's intellectual integrity.

The students were not well served by this for two reasons: 1) they were not exposed to any scientific methodology in their research and education, and 2) they were taught falsehood that might remain with them for the rest of their careers. Additionally, they knew that in order to avoid failing that examination they were under the obligation to present their answers in accordance with the misinformation given to them by their professor, reinforcing the falsehood and ignorance.

Alexandria University was known to be a highly respected institution. In the ancient days, it was the world's first educational institution of its kind and was linked to the famous Alexandria library. It ceased to exist for several centuries until it was re-opened in the 1940s and has been a leading educational institution for several decades afterwards.

It may be time for the leaders of this respected institution of higher learning to have a close look at their teaching faculty to ensure their proper qualifications and proper motives to teach young minds and to maintain its scientific and intellectual integrity it has been well known for.

11 comments:

  1. Without question, the Egyptian government has violated international human rights, as defined by the following articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

     A certain race, creed, or group is denied recognition as a "person". (Articles 2 & 6)
     Different racial or religious groups are not treated as equal. (Article 2)
     Life, liberty or security of person are threatened. (Article 3)
     Victims of abuse are denied an effective judicial remedy. (Article 8)
     Punishments are dealt arbitrarily or unilaterally, without a proper and fair trial. (Article 11)
     Arbitrary interference into personal, or private lives by agents of the state. (Article 12)
     Citizens are forbidden to leave or return to their country. (Article 13)
     Freedom of speech or religion are denied. (Articles 18 & 19)
     Education is denied. (Article 26)

    To what standards or conventions is the professor referring to by which to advance and see as lawful theories that contradict the very rights that he is required to represent? This is unbecoming of a person of his profession, an injustice to the students, and yet another disgrace to Egypt and its once exemplary institutions.

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  2. to the casual observer he may appear to be erudite and poised. yet when we examine his heart we will find it corrupted
    with self aggrandizement



    The worth of what thou hast chosen and possessed
    Equals that of all the people's accepted prayers."
    To illustrate the treachery of wolves in sheep's clothing, - of Satans rebuking sin and preaching religion - an anecdote is told of a master of a house who caught a thief, but was induced to let him escape by the stratagem of the thief's confederate, who cried that he had got the real thief elsewhere. Apropos of the same theme, the poet next relates the story of "those who built a mosque for mischief," as recorded in the Koran. 2 The tribe of Bani Ganim built a mosque, and invited the Prophet to dedicate it. The Prophet, however, discovered that their real motive was jealousy of the tribe of Bani Amru lbn Auf, and of the mosque at Kuba, near Medina, and a treacherous understanding with the Syrian monk Abu Amir, and therefore he refused their request, and ordered the mosque to be razed to the ground.
    Wisdom the believer's lost camel.

    (Mathnavi of Rumi (E.H. Whinfield tr), The Masnavi Vol 2)

    7:15 Beware of false [teachers], which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

    7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.


    "'O faithless ones! Why do ye outwardly claim to be shepherds, while inwardly ye have become the wolves of My sheep? Your likeness is like unto the star before the morning, which is apparently bright and luminous, but really causeth the misguidance and destruction of the caravans of My city and country.'

    (Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveller's Narrative, p. 68)


    "O ye that are foolish, yet have a name to be wise! Wherefore do ye wear the guise of the shepherd, when inwardly ye have become wolves, intent upon My flock? Ye are even as the star, which riseth ere the dawn, and which, though it seem radiant and luminous, leadeth the wayfarers of My city astray into the paths of perdition."

    And likewise He saith: "O ye seeming fair yet inwardly foul! Ye are like clear but bitter water, which to outward seeming is crystal pure but of which, when tested by the Divine Assayer, not a drop is accepted. Yea, the sunbeam falls alike upon the dust and the mirror, yet differ they in reflection even as doth the star from the earth: nay, immeasurable is the difference!"

    (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 15)

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  3. the middle passges were from Gospel of Matthew Chapter 7 verses 15-19

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  4. Can you imagine how a Baha’i student would feel like taking this examination? I guess he or she could feel forced to write what the professor expects in order to pass, that is if the student has not been already expelled from the university for being a Baha’i!

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  5. medical is beginning to articulate the negative affects of psychological abuse imposed on adults and children...if only these perpetrators could see themselves in a mirror and understand the detrimential affects they are imposing on others

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed&term="Child+Abuse+Negl"[Journal]

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  6. There is no question as to the harmful effects of such maltreatment on the wellbeing of children and youth. The consequences may last a lifetime.... I do not think that most perpetrators are able to comprehend the impact of their actions. If they did, they would have not initiated them.

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  7. R.A.,
    Thank you for your careful and comprehensive research on international human rights.

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  8. I guess the next step of this professor activities will be something like this:

    http://sokagakkai.info/sgi-exhibits/IMAGE/HOLO_2-2-4.gif

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  9. i dunno what to say but im the bahai student that was shocked while i was studying from dr's notebook..i had nothing to do with this Dr coz u know here the regim have no clue to get ur right back or even to make things clear...unfortunately i had to read his aggressive thoughts and so did my friends...it was too awful situation

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  10. I am sorry to hear that, and feel for you. It must have been awful for you to have to respond to this misguided question in the exam.

    Stay strong and never waver!

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