Saturday, December 09, 2006

Baha'i Rights: Egyptian Media Anticipating 16 December Court Ruling

In its 7 December 2006 issue, the Egyptian newspaper "Nahdat Misr" published three articles on the highly anticipated Supreme Administrative Court session scheduled for 16 December 2006 to deliver a final judgement on awarding the Egyptian Baha'is their long awaited civil and human rights.

The first article is entitled "the Baha'is...or the Ministry of Interior?"

The full text of this 'brief' article is translated below.

Who will be victorious on 16 December:

On 16 December the fate of the Baha'is will be decided and the curtain will fall on the litigation that occupied the Egyptian and world public opinion when the Supreme Administrative Court will rule on the appeal put forth by the Ministry of Interior in its attempt to reverse the judgement of the Administrative Court which granted the Baha'is their rights to document their religion on official documents.

The Administrative Court has ruled in favor of a Baha'i family that is made up of a father and a mother who are Egyptian citizens, and belong to the Baha'i religion. They had submitted a request to add the names of their three daughters on their passports, and were surprised [shocked] by the refusal of the administrative agencies to return to them their passports and by the confiscation of their ID Cards [and their daughters' birth certificates], forcing them to file a lawsuit....

Soon after the court's judgement [in their favor], there was an eruption of a debate in religious and legal circuits among those who support the judgement and those who oppose it. While the [Islamic] religious leaders have proclaimed that "Baha'i" is not a religion [according to their opinion] and that Baha'i should not be entered on ID cards as a religion since they are considered as apostates [by Islamic fundamentalists], the human rights organizations praised the judgement as a victory for personal freedom, called for by the [Egyptian] constitution. These issues prompted the Ministry of Interior to appeal the ruling, requesting its reversal, and in its appeal it argued that the judgement gives the Baha'is the right to the recognition of their religion, considered by many as a shameful error. However, the brief for the defense prepared by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights confronted that argument, and affirmed that "not documenting the Baha'i religion in official documents [writing Muslim, Christian or Jewish instead] is considered a forgery crime punishable by the law...."

The full text of both the defense for the Baha'is and the government's response were then published in their entirety as two separate long articles in the same newspaper issue linked here & here.


  1. Bilo,

    Out thoughts are prayers are with the Baha'is of Egypt. What does not kill us make us stronger. If it kills us make the next generation’s faith stronger.


  2. Ultimately, it will all work out.... Justice always prevails at the end!

  3. I hope this generatino will survive and nexte will be stronger.
    But sometimes it seems to me orientals Bahá'ís are suffering and the westerns are becoming stronger (because of the orientals).

  4. Bilo,
    Looks like your blog map is drawing alot of viewers as a result of the heightening of the suspense over which way the Court will turn. Either way it goes, it is a win for international attention on the plight of the Egyptian Bahais. The dominoes will fall either way.

    Edo River rising

  5. Joao,
    Those living in the tolerant world can also appreciate their freedom, and not take it for granted.

  6. Edo River,
    Also, a whole bunch of articles are out already. I am trying to sort them out....

  7. I mentioned to you about the article in the Japanese Asahi Shinbun (Asahi Newspaper) on Nov. 23rd. I wonder if I or you or someone can request a follow up after Dec. 16...I will send an email...before or after the ruling? mayby both.

    Edo River rising...a little

  8. Edo river,
    Your help in this is most appreciated. Do you have a copy of the previous article in Asahi Shinbun (Asahi Newspaper)?


Your opinion is valuable. Please share your thoughts.