The released Parliamentary report was surprisingly contradictory to the recommendations of the Joint Commission on Defense, National Security, Arab Affairs and Religious Endowments, which considered in its meetings the call for an urgent law to "criminalize Baha'i thought." The newspaper reports that this reversal was a result of the expressed rejection by the Baha'is, followed by pressure exerted by the senior representatives of the ruling National Democratic Party to prevent the writing of such recommendation in the commission's report.
The article also mentions that of "great significance" is the fact that the new recommendations--reversing the proposed laws--carried "the opinions of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Parliamentary faction representatives who have been refusing the law criminalizing the Baha'is from the very start." They [MB] also requested that "the men of religion" as well as "scholars" must begin an open dialogue and discussions with Baha'is, pointing out the danger of dealing with this [Baha'i] congregation with "sticks...." [symbolic]
During these discussions, the senior parliamentary leadership had also requested that the Joint Commission review articles 2 and 40 of the Egyptian constitution regarding freedoms before falling into that grievous mistake, i.e. the previously proposed law.
Another important remark was made by Mr. Essam Mokhtar, a Muslim Brotherhood representative, who stated that the manner by which the Joint Commission had held its consultation on the Baha'i question had almost caused a real crisis, clarifying that "the Commission had become judgmental of the followers of the [Baha'i] thought without allowing a chance for discussions between religious scholars and the followers of that [Baha'i] thought...." He also affirmed that the principle of citizenship and the rights guaranteed to all citizens forbid parliamentary representatives from producing legislation that stand against human rights, otherwise this type of action could "turn everything upside down."
Assuming that these reports are indeed reflective of the recent events in the Egyptian Parliament, one can only conclude that these developments are truly representative of an enlightened phase in the recent history of that body. Additionally, the reaction of the Muslim Brotherhood representatives to this crisis deserves acknowledgment and respect.