Thursday, May 04, 2006

Attacks on Egyptian Baha'is Continue

Seems the government of Eqypt is using the same play book as the Iranian government. It is appealing the recent ruling that would have allowed Egyptian Baha'is to call themselves "Baha'is" on national identity cards. A few choice excerpts from and article on this new development are below:

Religious Endowments Minister Mahmoud Hamdi Zakzouk told parliament the government would base its appeal on the opinion of the country’s leading Muslim cleric, the Sheikh of al-Azhar, that Baha’ism is not a “revealed religion” recognised by Muslims.

Members of parliament attacked Baha’is as deviants and extremists and noted that the group’s international headquarters is in the Israeli city of Haifa.

One member of parliament, Gamal Akl of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, said the Baha’is were infidels who should be killed on the grounds that they had changed their religion.

“The problem with the Baha’is is they are moved by Israeli fingers. We wish the Ministry of the Interior would not yield to the cheap blackmail of this deviant group,” added another Muslim Brotherhood member, Mustafa Awadallah.

Zainab Radwan of the ruling National Democratic Party, however, said she favoured recognising the Baha’is on identity cards issued by the state.

”There is an interest in them being known rather than unknown so that they do not succeed in infiltrating the ranks of society and spreading their extremist and deviant ideology,” she said. (Read the whole thing here)

Let me see if I get this straight. The Baha'i Faith is not a "revealed religion", the Baha'is are infidels who should be "killed", they are "deviant", they are trying to spread an "extremist and deviant ideology". Interesting. First of all, there are many that claim Islam is likewise not a "revealed religion". The Baha'i Faith is the only other world religion that recognizes the Prophethood of Muhammad and the Quran as the Word of God. As for Baha'is needing to be killed as infidels, Islam teaches emphatically that "there is no compulsion in religion". And can someone explain to me what is deviant and extreme about teaching that humanity is a single family created by God, that religion is one, that men and women are equal, that world peace should be established, that extremes of wealth and poverty should be eliminated, that all children should be educated and that the establishment of a world language secondary to our native languages would faciliate greater communication between peoples and nations?
Who is more extreme and deviant, those whose are sacrificing their lives for a religion whose mission is the unity of humanity or political and religious leaders whose sole concern seems to be maintaining control over the conscience of their fellow human beings?

Unlike the government of Egypt and the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, I'll allow my readers to decide for themselves.