Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Burning of Baha'i Homes in an Egyptian Village Again!

An Egyptian newspaper named Youm Sabeh [7] published an article yesterday reporting on the burning of two Baha'i homes in the Egyptian village of Shawraniyah, located in the southern province of Sohag. These homes, along with three others, were also previously attacked and burned in March 2009, forcing their occupants to flee their village in the middle of the night to save their children's lives. The 2009 incident was previously reported here and here in this blog.

This disturbing news outraged human rights organizations as well as many of those who have been defending the civil rights of the Baha'is, such as the Muslim Network for Baha'i Rights, whose webpage is posted here. Their post states the following:
The Egyptian paper Youm 7 reported yesterday that two homes of Baha’is were set on fire in Shuraniya village, in the Sohag governorate. The group of people responsible for the arson also stole property of the Baha’is.
The arson did not result in human casualties because the owners of the homes had fled Shuraniya and have been living in Cairo since their homes were previously torched in March 2009, fearing additional attacks. 40 Baha’i families from the village fled it following the attacks and are still unable to return to them. While several people were arrested after the previous arson attack, they were later released and no charges were brought against anyone. The March 2009 attack targeted five homes of Baha’is following anti-Baha’i incitement on Egyptian TV.

Clearly, even with the recent revolutionary events in Egypt, promoting an open society that is looking towards a future that will foster adherence to the standards of human rights, equality, tolerance and understanding, Egypt has a long way to go in order for it to achieve a pluralistic society. These hoped-for changes do not happen overnight, but they rather require hard work, determination, tenacity and persistence in order for the Egyptian society to learn how to provide peaceful and respectful environment for all its minorities. Mahatma Gandhi once said: "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." Egypt's hope is in its youth, those heroic figures that risked everything in order to be able to love and enjoy living in their own homeland. Let us all learn from Egypt's youth and let us be inspired by their vision and aspirations. It is unfortunate, however, that those who would benefit most from these words never get to read them, and if they do, they simply dismiss them out of hand because of their blind hatred that has no basis but for their pure ignorance.

One is left with the conclusion that such rumblings expose the deep-rooted intolerance that can only be attributed to disinformation that has been systemically infused by extremists for several decades. It is unfortunate that those who commit such criminal acts have been driven by blind ignorance, oblivious to reality. Baha'is have always been peaceful, loyal and law abiding citizens of Egypt. They have never harmed anyone, never robbed anyone, never killed anyone, never burned anyone's home, never discriminated against anyone, on the contrary, they have always served their fellow citizens with absolute dedication and devotion. To name a few of their services, they have contributed to the arts, sciences, health care, education and social welfare of their country. It is time for them to live safely and to enjoy their God-given rights and freedoms.


  1. According to this new piece of news, the mob in Shawraniyah destroyed the burning house with farm equipment and prevented fire trucks from getting to the burning building:

  2. As I said before I see the treacherous hand of FANATICS at the bottom of this!!!!!

    The Islamic brotherhood wants the USA and others to believe that they have renounced violence...


  3. We really don't know who exactly is behind this. Let us not jump to conclusions.

  4. Here is the latest on this: the Daily News Egypt reported that State security is suspected of inciting this one!

  5. This is condemnable. This is an example of a culture filled with impunity.


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