Monday, November 27, 2006

Egypt: Another Interview With a Baha'i Family

Today, another article appeared in Sawt el-Umma (Voice of the Nation) newspaper, reporting an interview with a Baha'i family living in Maadi, a suburb of Cairo. Raouf Iss'haq and his wife Manal Adel Mustapha were interviewed, and both have expressed their ordeal very eloquently and clearly. The article is entitled "We asked the Baha'is: How do you feel after being considered apostates in the government commissioner's report?" The subtitle states, "They answered: we were not Muslims [in the first place] to have been apostates, and our hope is in the final court's ruling and in the mercy of God."

The article refers to the government commissioner's report prepared for its appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court in its attempt to reverse the lower court's ruling which has granted the Egyptian Baha'is their rights. The previous post published regarding this report is linked here.

The Baha'i couple described in great detail their daily struggle just to survive in their own homeland without any identification documents or an official proof of their marriage, since their Baha'i marriage certificate is not recognized as such by the Egyptian authorities. Raouf said that he can neither walk freely in the streets with his wife nor can he check into a hotel room with her because, in the absence of an ID card for either one of them, no one will accept his Baha'i marriage certificate as an evidence of their status as a family.

He indicated that his ancestors became Baha'is several generations ago after having converted from Christianity. How then could he be considered an apostate from Islam? His wife is a descendant of a family that had a Muslim background that had converted several generations ago, and she was born into a Baha'i family. How could she be considered an apostate since she had never been a Muslim to begin with?

Mr. Iss'haq also recounted his experience when he went to the government's civil status office to request an ID card and was rudely thrown out of the office and told by its administrator "go and sue the government!"

The couple described in great detail the historical background of this crisis, and alluded to all the false accusations made against the Baha'is as well as the evidence refuting these allegations. They also referred to past court cases and the Egyptian courts' rulings that have emancipated the Baha'i Faith as an independent religion. Much emphasis was also placed on the history and teachings of the Baha'i Faith as a recognized independent world religion.

Manal talked about the laws and the sanctity of the Baha'i marriage as well as the Baha'i obligatory prayers and other sacred principles and noble teachings inherent to the Faith of God, just the same as in other world religions.

Overall, this was a very well written article that illustrated to its readers how a Baha'i couple living in Egypt is struggling daily just to survive and cope with these totally unnecessary barriers, simply because of having exercised their God-given right to freedom of religious belief, which also happens to be clearly stated in Egypt's Constitution.


  1. I saw your post.
    There is not very much to say.

  2. Hopefully these real human stories, exposing the impact of injustice on the daily lives of law-abiding, peace-loving and productive citizens, would illustrate to the public opinion the need for action and prompt the government to expedite the implementation of its planned reforms. There is no justification whatsoever for any human being to be subjected to such treatment.

  3. I think we are coming for an hidden persecution of Bahá'is, and we don't know how it will be in the West.
    That open persecution that happen in the past maybe won't repeat.
    But an hidden persecution it's like a torture.

  4. Joao,
    Correct, it can happen anywhere in the world, and in different forms, but that tends to precede victories and progress.


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