Thursday, May 18, 2006

Talking Back Continues

(Egyptian Flag)

Below are some responses from readers to the Al-Ahram article about the "Baha'i Question" in Egypt.Keep speaking truth to power my friends!

Sir-- There is no one named Misson who was ever made leader of the Baha'i faith ('The others' Al-Ahram Weekly 11-17 May). The head of the Baha'i community from 1921-1957 was Shoghi Effendi Rabbani. In 1963, the Baha'is elected, from among all Baha'is in the world, the nine men of the Universal House of Justice, which is the community's governing body. Those nine men come from many places including Iran, Africa, Europe, America and Asia. The Baha'i faith's world centre is in Haifa and Akko because its founder, Baha'ullah, was exiled there by the Iranian and Ottoman authorities in 1868, long before the establishment of the state of Israel. The Mosque of Al-Aqsa is in Jerusalem, now ruled by Israel, yet you do not attack your fellow Muslims as being in league with Zionism because your own holy place is there. Do not Muslims send endowments to the sacred Muslim shrines in Jerusalem? Why constantly call the Baha'is "Zionists" and "spies" because our holy places are there and we send funds for their upkeep? Our funds go only to the Baha'i endowments there just as yours go only to the Islamic endowments.

Baha'is are categorically forbidden to engage in political activity, sedition, and dissension. We are not permitted to interfere with government affairs. We only seek to practice our faith without fear.

William Collins

Sir-- There is no respectable evidence at all that the Baha'is are "Israeli spies", have "strong links with global Zionism in both theory and practice", or "were notorious for being instrumental in helping the British occupation of India". The Baha'i faith is recognised as a world religion and is respected for the contribution that it makes towards inter-faith dialogue, women's rights, and social and economic development.

Behyar Nikravan

Sir-- Baha'i is not a cult and it is not founded in Israel. It comes from Persia. They are not atheists. They believe wholly in God so if you want to call it a cult, then call all religions cults.

The Baha'i faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions. It is based on the teachings of Baha'ullah (1817-1892), who is regarded by Baha'is as the most recent in a line of messengers of God. Baha'ullah taught that there is only one God and one human family, that all religions represent progressive stages in the revelation of God's will, and that humanity is reaching its long-awaited stage of maturity, when a peaceful and just world order can finally be realised.

Jane Meadows
New York