Monday, June 26, 2006

Defenders of Baha'is in Egyptian Press

Among the plethora of recent publications regarding the Baha'i Faith in the Egyptian Press, yesterday, 25 June, three interesting articles appeared in WATANI (My Homeland) newspaper.

This paper describes its mission as follows: "Watani is an Egyptian weekly Sunday newspaper published in Cairo. The word Watani is Arabic for “My Homeland”. The paper was founded in 1958 by the prominent Copt Antoun Sidhom (1915 – 1995), who strove for the establishment of a civil, democratic society in Egypt, where all Egyptians would enjoy full citizenship rights regardless of their religious denomination. This remains Watani’s objective to this day, leaning neither left nor right on the political level, but following its own clear course in the press field. Those in charge of Watani view this role as a patriotic all-Egyptian vocation, especially following the increasing marginalisation of the Coptic role, issues and culture within the Egyptian society over the past half century. Watani is deeply dedicated to offer its readers high quality, extensive, credible press coverage, with special focus on Coptic issues, culture, heritage, and contribution to Egyptian society."

The first article was authored by Dr. Nabil Muhammad Mustapha titled, "Is Baha'i a Religion?" The article refuted many of the accusations made by Islamists who have been claiming that the Baha'i Faith is not a Divine religion. Dr. Mustapha used several historical facts, logical arguments and Theological proofs confirming the Divinity and authenticity of the Baha'i Revelation. The full text could be accessed here.

The second one was authored by a Muslim writer, Dr. Saad el-Din Ibrahim, Profssor of Political Sociology at the American University in Cairo, titled, "Baha'is or Egyptians?" He spoke of a recent trip he made to western Europe and North America, and that Egypt was frequently in the news, not because of its political and scientific progress, but rather because of its social, religious and civil rights challenges which have been flooding the world's media. After addressing a separate matter, he went into great detail discussing the complex struggle of the Egyptian Baha'is. He outlined the current conflict, the history of the Baha'i Faith in Egypt, its legal battles, and the challenges facing it. In particular, he questioned the reasons for the current heightened acuity of attacks on Baha'is after over a century of their relatively accepted presence in the country. He spoke of the contributions the Baha'is have made to Egypt, and criticized the intolerance towards them. The full article is linked here.

The third article, which was authored by Mr. Amin Abu'l-Fotouh Batah and Mr. Raouf Isshaaq Tawfik, spoke of a critical period in the history of the Baha'i Faith during the exile journey of the Holy Family and the Bab'i followers from Tehran until their final destination in Acre (Akko), Palestine. It also described Baha'u'llah's declaration of His station and mission while in Baghdad at the Ridwan gardens, on 29 April 1863. They commented on the festivities surrounding that important event and all the dignitaries and religious leaders who had participated in the celebrations. The full text of this article could be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Bilo for compiling this information.


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