Tuesday, October 09, 2007

President Mubarak Calls for Religious Discourse & Tolerance

In a speech posted today on Egypt State Information Service, President Hosni Mubarak "renewed his call for an innovative and elevated religious discourse that concentrates on the essence of the faith, spreads the values of moderation and tolerance and rejects extremism and bigotry."

The headline states: "Mubarak calls for renewal of religious discourse to disseminate the Islamic values of moderation & tolerance and to encircle extremism."

The report concludes with the following: "He said that Egypt is determined to build for its people, both Muslims and Copts, a better future that brings about progress and prosperity to them all. Egypt's people are united and will always remain so, he asserted."

"'We will remain committed to our slogan 'Religion is for God and the Nation is for all'. And we will also remain committed to calls for dialogue among people of different civilizations and faiths, he said noting that the world needs such a serious dialogue that is based on mutual respect and interests and common humanitarian principles for a future world that enjoys peace, amity, stability and justice."

To read the entire report, please click here....


  1. Mr. Mubarak's words sound good, though he thinks Egyptians must be either Muslim or Copt. So tolerance appears to be limited to the majority and the largest minority. What about Egyptian Baha'is? The last statement about engaging in dialog and discourse with people of different cultures and faiths around the world sounds tolerant and outreaching. It is my hope that the President will allow Baha'is to receive their citizenship rights of obtaining their IDs without having to resort to violating Egyptian laws by lying about their faith. Of course the majority of Baha'is are suffering because of their fidelity and honesty of not committing such acts. The President owes it to the Baha'is of Egypt who have suffered so much to finally be able to obtain their IDs and they are flexible in terms of leaving the item for religion blank or writing "other" but not being forced to lie on such documents.

    Tolerance requires action on his part to match the patience, suffering, dedicated services, and understanding the Baha'is of Egypt have offered over several generations.

  2. I don't know if this statement "Muslims or Copts" was simply a matter of speaking or it was indeed meant to be that way!
    Surley other minorities living in Egypt must be party to that "dialogue," not just "with people of different cultures and faiths around the world." The dialogue must be with people of different cultures and faiths IN EGYPT as well....

  3. Actually, I do think that he meant addressing the people of Egypt by saying: "We will remain committed to our slogan 'Religion is for God and the Nation is for all'. And we will also remain committed to calls for dialogue among people of different civilizations and faiths." The point of world dialogue came in later in his discourse.

  4. I agree with your conclusions! I hope we are turning the corner on finding a reasonable solution.

  5. I think that this is a good slogan: "Religion is for God and the Nation is for all".

    It could even be adopted by the Baha'is in Egypt in response to their detractors.


  6. It is the rise of fundamentalism that made this slogan less potent in Egypt. It used to guide national policy and it is my hope that it is restored to embrace all Egyptians, whatever their faith is, including Egyptian Baha'is.

  7. President Mubarak said the slogan "Religion is for God and the Nation is for all".
    He also said "Muslims or Copts"
    He also called for tolerance.
    He also called for dialogue "with people of different cultures and faiths around the world." that should be also with the Baha'is of Egypt.
    I recalled that one of the arguments expressed by the Muslim's ledars that the Baha'i Faith is not a religion and is not recognized in Egypt as such and the only religions recongized are Christianity,Jewish and of course Islam.
    I wonder where does that leave the Baha'is? How the dialogue with the different faiths will be like?
    I pray that he meant real tolerance and Religion is for God and the Nation is for All including the Baha'is.

  8. Sincerity and real commitment would find the president's words followed by immediate resolution of the inhuman and illegal restrictions practiced against the Baha'i community, as well as the repeal of the 1960 Presidential Decree 263 by which Baha'i assemblies were dissolved and properties confiscated.

    The language of this latest speech is noncommittal in that actions are described as "renewal of religious discourse", and "disseminate Islamic values of moderation & tolerance", and clearly state "Muslims and Copts". No mention is made of other religious minorities, and particularly the Baha'i community towards which the real issues of tolerance and nationality are critical. Religious discourse is secondary and involves matters of religious belief, while Islamic values of tolerance likewise favor or are dependent on the practices of the Islamic majority, those of which have unremittingly demonstrated the most extreme forms of intolerance, abuse and deceit. If "Religion is for God and the Nation is for all", then both of these statements do not qualify and are irrelevant.

    A period of 47 years has passed since the Presidential Decree, and the opportunities to instate civil justice have been put aside, only to see a sharp decline in the latest resolve to deny the entire community of their rights as Egyptian citizens. Unless the president's words are not followed by positive achievement, this speech will be one of the many that appease the listener while concealing intent to maintain things as they are.

  9. All words are subject to individual interpretations...action speaks for itself!

  10. Action speaks louder than words. We are anxiously waiting for action to match President Mubarak's words.

  11. I did enjoy looking and reading your blog. I am a Bahá'i from Portugal.


  12. dear d. bilo
    we hope to see unity of mankimd


  13. thelightway,
    I love your blog. Very well done!


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