Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Futile Attempt to Criminalize "Baha'i Thought" in Egypt Falls on its Face

A number of Middle Eastern news outlets reported last week that the Egyptian Parliament's Joint Commission on Defense, National Security, Arab Affairs and Religious Endowments has demanded that the Egyptian Parliament expedite the issuance of "a new law criminalizing Baha’ism...." [see links here, here & here]

As expected, these attempts were armed with the usual absurd fabrications about Baha'i beliefs and intentions. They were initiated by extremist elements in the Egyptian Parliament and were accompanied by a so called "secret memorandum from al-Azhar denouncing Baha'ism...."

This futile and "dramatic" attempt, which has created "a Parliamentarian crisis," was stopped in its tracks, before gaining any momentum, by the wisdom of the Parliamentary leadership, denouncing it as "unconstitutional."

According to an article, published in today's Rose al-Youssef, a paper normally expressing the views of the Egyptian authorities, the Joint Commission, mentioned above, was forced to "erase" its recommendation to "criminalize Baha'i thought and those who believe in it" because such a law would violate the tenets and procedures of the Parliament as well as "articles 2 and 40 of the Egyptian Constitution that guarantee freedoms of citizenship and belief." The Joint Commission, however continues its rhetoric against "Baha'i thought" and its concern for the Egyptian youth and its attraction to it.

The strategy of extremist elements in the Egyptian society, as well as the media and the supportive extremist elected officials, has been to consistently paint the Baha'is with one brush, soaked in a soiled bucket filled with fabrications and blatant lies, intended to stain the Bahai's so that the uninformed masses would be brainwashed into hating and detesting them. These fabrications include, but not limited to: accusations that the Baha'i [religion] is not a divinely-ordained religion, but rather a man-made destructive thought; accusations that Baha'is are agents of Zionism and imperialism with a mission, as a political movement, to destroy the Islamic world and its infrastructure; accusations of immorality, incest and exchange of wives; accusations of being Iranian agents with the intent of destroying the Arab world; accusations of "bribing the Egyptian youth into converting to Baha'ism;" as well as many other fabrications, too numerous and ludicrous to mention here.

The reality is, if any of these fabrications were true, why would anyone in his or her right mind want to joint such a "thought?" Fortunately, Egyptian youth, who are mostly educated, can read for themselves and can independently investigate the truth. Their intelligence cannot betray them into believing such absurdities being thrown at them.

The divinity of a religion is not for any man to judge but rather it is for God to ordain such a power; the proof of which lies in the religion itself and in its teachings. One can simply go to the source of the fountain of truth to satisfy one's thirst--reliable sources such as in this or that site.

How could they accuse the Baha'is of political ambitions and intentions when they well know that one of the main principles of the Baha'i Faith is the absolute necessity of non-involvement in partisan politics?

How could they accuse Baha'is of "immorality" and of "devious thought" when they well know that their teachings are in complete contradiction to their claims? They very well know that when it concerns morality and rectitude of conduct, just like in any other divinely-ordained religion, they do not need to look any farther than to pay attention to the numerous writings of the Baha'i Faith. Morality and rectitude of conduct are clearly the fundamental cornerstones upon which the religion is revealed. Among the many examples of such writings, one can refer to the following quotes:
O ye beloved of the Lord! In this sacred Dispensation, conflict and contention are in no wise permitted. Every aggressor deprives himself of God's grace. It is incumbent upon everyone to show the utmost love, rectitude of conduct, straightforwardness and sincere kindliness unto all the peoples and kindreds of the world, be they friends or strangers. So intense must be the spirit of love and loving-kindness, that the stranger may find himself a friend, the enemy a true brother, no difference whatsoever existing between them. For universality is of God and all limitations earthly. Thus man must strive that his reality may manifest virtues and perfections, the light whereof may shine upon everyone. The light of the sun shineth upon all the world and the merciful showers of Divine Providence fall upon all peoples. The vivifying breeze reviveth every living creature and all beings endued with life obtain their share and portion at His heavenly board. In like manner, the affections and loving-kindness of the servants of the One True God must be bountifully and universally extended to all mankind. Regarding this, restrictions and limitations are in no wise permitted.

Wherefore, O my loving friends! Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindliness, good-will and friendliness; that all the world of being may be filled with the holy ecstasy of the grace of Baha, that ignorance, enmity, hate and rancor may vanish from the world and the darkness of estrangement amidst the peoples and kindreds of the world may give way to the Light of Unity. Should other peoples and nations be unfaithful to you show your fidelity unto them, should they be unjust toward you show justice towards them, should they keep aloof from you attract them to yourself, should they show their enmity be friendly towards them, should they poison your lives sweeten their souls, should they inflict a wound upon you be a salve to their sores. Such are the attributes of the sincere! Such are the attributes of the truthful.

Abdu'l-BahaBaha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 445.
In another passage, one can find the following teachings:
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.

— Bahá’u’lláh — Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh.
[1952] 1983: 285.
How could any of these teachings be a threat to the national security of Egypt, as claimed by those extremists who stated that Baha'is are more of a threat to Egypt than the most venomous and terrorizing organizations currently invading its society? And why would they want to protect the Egyptian youth from such teachings? Their strategy is very telling indeed and can be explained in few simple words: take all the Baha'i teachings and reverse them 180 degrees, so that those who cannot read for themselves would believe their fabricated stories, which in turn can serve their scheme to create an environment hostile to any progressive thought that could be a threat to their own ambitions and power....

The Baha'is of Egypt do not ask for much: they want to be given the opportunity, as equal citizens, to continue to love and serve their society and to contribute to its advancement and its success. In return, they yearn for their society to just love them back--as it is only natural to have such feelings.

Fortunately, Egypt remains to be an enlightened society which continues to be able to halt such desperate attempts at disrupting its diverse fabric and its need for progress. This episode is yet another example of its will to promote a just and tolerant society that aspires to join the rest of the world in its goodwill and prosperity. Egypt's well-recognized ancient civilization and heritage can only attest to that end. Nothing less can be expected from the wisdom and vision of its leaders whose ardent desire is a hopeful and bright future for Egypt's people.

See Refuting Allegations in Arabic here....


  1. Happy to see that the fairminded Members of the Egyptian Parlament refuted immediately to legislate on such a blatant attack to destroy the constituional rights of the Bahais. No civilized country would let fanatics to deny the basic human rights of their minorities. Especially the law abiding Bahais, who are citizens contributing by word and deed to the progress of their country.

  2. It's good to know that the youth in Egypt are not so easily fooled. The 'effort' to 'criminalize' thought of any kind is antithetical to Islam itself! Were it not as stupid as it is, it'd be laughable! My hope is that the older generation 'gets it' as well.

    Good exposition, and great idea, posting the quotes! I've subscribed, and sent to my friends the link! Marty, San Mateo, CA

  3. يُرِيدُونَ أَن يُطْفِؤُواْ نُورَ اللّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَيَأْبَى اللّهُ إِلاَّ أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

    صدق الله العلي العظيم

  4. Amal,
    I wish if you could provide the English translation of your Arabic quote from Qur'an....

    Thank you both for your opinions.

  5. at-Taubah (Repentance) 9:32

    ‏9:32 يريدون ان يطفئوا نور الله بافواههم ويابى الله الا ان يتم نوره ولو كره الكافرون

    Yusuf Ali Fain would they extinguish Allah's light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).

    Pickthal Fain would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdaineth (aught) save that He shall perfect His light, however much the disbelievers are averse.

    Arberry desiring to extinguish with their mouths God's light; and God refuses but to perfect His light, though the unbelievers be averse.

    Shakir They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.

    Sarwar They would like to extinguish the light of God with a blow from their mouths, but even though the unbelievers may dislike it, God has decided to let His light shine forever.

    Khalifa They want to put out GOD's light with their mouths, but GOD insists upon perfecting His light, in spite of the disbelievers.

    Hilali/Khan They (the disbelievers, the Jews and the Christians) want to extinguish Allahs Light (with which Muhammad SAW has been sent - Islamic Monotheism) with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kafiroon (disbelievers) hate (it).

    H/K/Saheeh They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah refuses except to perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.

    Malik They desire to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths but Allah seeks to perfect His light even though the disbelievers may dislike it.[32]
    QXP They seek to extinguish Allah's Light (the Qur'an) by their utterances (61:8). But Allah will not allow this to pass, for He has Willed to spread His Light in all its fullness even though the rejecters may detest it.

    Maulana Ali They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will allow nothing save the perfection of His light, though the disbelievers are averse.

    Free Minds They want to extinguish God's light with their mouths, but God refuses such and lets His light continue, even if the rejecters hate it.

    Qaribullah They desire to extinguish the Light of Allah with their mouths; but Allah seeks only to perfect His Light, though the unbelievers hate it.

    George Sale They seek to extinguish the light of God with their mouths; but God willeth no other than to perfect his light, although the infidels be averse thereto.

    JM Rodwell Fain would they put out God's light with their mouths: but God only desireth to perfect His light, albeit the Infidels abhor it.

    Asad They want to extinguish God's [guiding] light with their utterances:?s but God will not allow [this to pass], for He has willed to spread His light in all its fullness,49 however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth.

  6. Thank you so much Amal for the translations.

  7. I am happy to see that the Egyptian Parliament has had enough of the foolishness from certain irrational elements who pretend to obey Mohammed but do nothing but discredit Islam by just opening their mouths...

    I will continue to pray for the Egyptian Bahia citizens to be allowed to live in peace... And I will pray for our Iranian Sisters and Brothers as well...


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