Monday, January 05, 2009

Some Might Be More Fortunate Than Others!

While several thousand Baha'is continue to struggle in Egypt to survive in an oppressive environment that sanctions discrimination against them by depriving them identification (ID) documents, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior and the Foreign Ministry are deputizing emissaries to the United States and Canada to meet with Egyptian expatriates, in these countries, so that they would facilitate and expedite the issue of ID cards to these citizens living abroad.

This information was published in one of Egypt's leading newspapers, Al-Gomhoreyah [the Republic] in its 3 January 2009 edition (attached with this post). It announces that this consular mission, headed by Ambassador Muhammad Al-Dorghamy will travel to the cities of "New York, Washington, and Los Angeles in the US" as well as the "cities of Montreal and Toronto in Canada." This mission will also be accompanied by representatives of other Egyptian government agencies.

One cannot but to wonder at the irony of this precarious situation: government ministries that deprive its Egyptian citizens, living in their homeland, of their basic civil rights merely because of their religion while, at the exact same time, have its representatives travel thousands of miles to faraway lands in search for Egyptians--who are enjoying their full rights in these foreign countries (regardless of their religion)--to facilitate the issue of ID cards to such individuals who do not necessarily feel the urge or the need to acquire these documents!


  1. Baha'is living in these countries may want to meet with these officials and request Ids as well.

  2. I'm just curious why the Egyptian Government is motivated to get these documents to ex-patriots???

    Make me wonder if there is an ulterior motive on their part....

    I hate to sound cynical but fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me....

    I forget who said that but it seems quite appropriate at this juncture

  3. The article mentions another point, that the delegation has made plans to attend celebrations hosted by Copts (Egyptian Christians). Since this community has been continually marginalized in Egyptian society and at times been the target of hate crimes and various forms of discrimination, this may be a measure exploited by the Egyptian government to claim that they in fact do care about minority rights while they simultaneously continue their limitations on Egyptian Baha'is. We recall that in winter of last year, in the midst of the Baha'i ID card ordeal, the Egyptian Supreme Court all of a sudden decided in what was at the time celebrated as "a historic decision" to permit Copts who had converted to Islam to revert to Christianity and register themselves as Christians on their ID cards.

  4. If Egypt truly cares about "minority rights" it must care for all minorities, and must not pick and choose which minorities it will care for. Otherwise its actions become merely a smokescreen.


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