Saturday, June 14, 2008

Unlike Iran, Due Process for Baha'is Exists in Egypt

Even though the process is very slow and tedious, Baha'is in Egypt continue to have the liberty of challenging the violations of their civil rights in courts.

This basic right is not even closely attained by the Baha'is of Iran who, every now and then, end up imprisoned or dead at the hands of their government without the luxury of due process or legitimate legal representation.

A case in point is this recent lawsuit brought by an Egyptian university student, Hadi Hosni Ali El-Qosheiry, who was dismissed from Alexandria University simply because of his religious affiliation. He filed a lawsuit against the Egyptian government and the president of the university, Professor Hassan Nadir Kheirallah.

Incidentally, this is the same--renowned--university that, in 1969, altered my final grades on graduation simply because of my religion (confirmed information). The grades were lowered just enough to prevent me from ever pursuing a faculty appointment in its system.

According to the laws of the State, a university (male) student can postpone his military draft service until graduation from the university. In order to attain this postponement, the student is required to report to the military draft board to be processed and provided with a deferral certificate. This certificate allows the student to continue his education until graduation.

Professor Hassan Nadir Kheirallah, President of Alexandria University

In order to be processed by the military draft board, the student must have a national ID number and hold an ID card under the newly established computerized system. Thus far, Baha'is of Egypt have been refused the issue of these ID cards, even though the court had ruled in their favor on 29 January 2008.

Consequently, Mr. Hadi Ali El-Qosheiry, a Baha'i student who could not obtain an ID card required for the draft postponement process, was dismissed from Alexandria University because he does not hold that draft certificate.

The attached newspaper article in Cairo's Al-Dostoor newspaper, dated 12 June 2008, reported on the court session held two days earlier to hear this case. Apparently this student, because of illness, missed a previous court date and was fined 5 Egyptian pounds for that. The judge dismissed the fine after being informed of the student's excuse, but--as usual--postponed the case until 1 September 2008.

Meanwhile, this student remains hanging. He cannot attend classes and his future and aspirations are put on hold. This is the reality facing the Baha'is of Egypt--another form of persecution and suffering, albeit not as drastic as that of the Baha'is of Iran.


  1. I guess there is a difference between chopping off your head verses chopping off your arm...

    if it was me I'd prefer death...

  2. Persecution is in many forms and has many faces. Regardless of its form, it is always cruel. The degree of cruelty tends to betray the level of civility of its perpetrators.

  3. استاذ بيلو
    احييك على مدونتك الصريحة

    البهائيون فى مصر منذ عام 1960 وهم يعانون بما يمكن ان يسمى: (الضرب تحت الحزام) فلاهم يتمتعون بكامل حقوق المواطنة مثلهم مثل بقية المواطنين المصريين ولا هم يتم محاربتهم فى العلانية كما يحدث مع البهائيين فى ايران

    تتخذ الحكومة المصرية سياسة الضرب تحت الحزام والمماطلة والاطالة وذلك لارضاء الرأى العالمى من جهة ومن جهة اخرى ارضاء الجماعات المتطرفة والشارع المصري
    برأيي ان الهدف واحد فى كلا البلدين مصر او ايران وهو

    ابادة البهائيين سواء فى مصر او فى ايران

    فقط تختلف الوسائل والمعاناة واحدة

  4. Invisible,
    You make a lot of sense by referring to the underhanded treatment of Baha'is in Egypt compared to Iran which is very flagrant. You are correct the ultimate goal of both--Egypt and Iran--is clearly the destruction of the Baha'i community albeit their methods are different.


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