Date published in Arabic August 06-2006
1- At the end of the Nineties, I was working with Ibn Kheldoun Center as an Islamic Consultant and overseer of its publications, including its two annual reports about (1) Civic society and democratic transformation, and(2)Minorities and religious denominations in the Arab World.
The Minorities report editor came to me with a paper written by some researcher about the Baha’i minority in Egypt. It was nothing but slander and accusations of apostasy based on Sheikhs of Al Azher sayings. I said to the editor, this is a cunning complaint and not an impartial research, your friend the author, can take it to State security Investigative units, but not here. I told him, a report about minorities and different denominations, should derive its information from original sources, about a sect’s doctrine, their rituals, how they interact with society at large and the extent of acceptance or oppression they experience from the ruling system or the dominating majority. The researcher should have contacted the Baha’is themselves to describe themselves, then enlist a neutral party’s point of view for comments, not to go to Baha’i’s enemy number one to speak for and about them. The editor said he tried to contact them but they refused to talk to him, I said to myself, may be they felt his prejudice against them and did not trust him quoting them. I said to the editor, try to contact them yourself, and have one of them write an article about their sect, and we will publish it with a neutral comment. Since that was never done, I decided to issue that year’s report without any reference to the Baha’is.
I remembered this incident ten years later, when news came about the alliance between the Egyptian Government and the Brotherhood Opposition against the Baha’is because they, the Baha’is, won a decree from the impartial Egyptian justice system, to have their religious identity posted on their national I.D. cards.
It is rare that the fighting opponents come to terms, The National Party, symbol of oppression and corruption, and the Muslim Brotherhood, symbol of extremism and terrorism. They agree and unite in committing injustice and oppression against those who differ with them in religion and in sect. That is why, Copts, Shiite, Baha’is and Quranists are all victims of the System and the Brotherhood altogether and at the same time. They both exert all their energies in tarnishing and extinguishing any attempt at protest by their victims, and if a positive repose were to take place, the oppressive corrupt System, along with the extreme Brotherhood, would chase that opportunity and nip it in the bud, that is why they will attempt to enact a law banning the impartial Egyptian justice system, to have their religious identity posted on their national I.D. cards.
It is rare that the fighting opponents come to terms, The National Party, symbol of oppression and corruption, and the Muslim Brotherhood, symbol of extremism and terrorism. They agree and unite in committing injustice and oppression against those who differ with them in religion and in sect. That is why, Copts, Shiite, Baha’is and Quranists are all victims of the System and the Brotherhood altogether and at the same time. They both exert all their energies in tarnishing and extinguishing any attempt at protest by their victims, and if a positive repose were to take place, the oppressive corrupt System, along with the extreme Brotherhood, would chase that opportunity and nip it in the bud, that is why they will attempt to enact a law banning Baha’ism as they tried to get a judgment from the State Security Court, to imprison some Quranists under the false fabricated charge of disdaining and scorning religion, to preempt any attempt at reforming Muslims from within Islam by having the Glorious Quran as an arbiter as ordained by Almighty God, glory be to Him.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights declared in the last week of April 2006 (The Ministry of Interior released Mr. Mitwelli Ibraheem Mitwelli after spending close to three years in custody, under Emergency law, because of his religious convictions that he recorded in his studies of Quranic Sciences and Language). State Security Inspectors arrested Mitwelli Ibraheem, who holds Masters Degrees in both Arabic Language and Islamic Sharee’a from Al Azher, on May 18th 2003, after almost two months of illegal incarceration; he was transferred to Higher State Security Prosecution Office, where he was interrogated about his ideas related to issues of reverting out of Islam, and the permissibility for a Muslim women to marry a( people of the book) man. On October 29th 2003, the Prosecution Office ordered his release without any charge directed to him. But the Ministry of Interior, under the Emergency Law, issued a warrant for his arrest the same day, thereby, Mr. Mitwelli Ibraheem, remained a prisoner between Wadi Ennetroon and El Wadi El-Jedeed prisons. Until his release on April 7th 2006)
Those who informed about Sheikh Mitwelli Ibraheem, whom I personally know, and know about his Islam, his righteousness, his fair-mindedness, his knowledge and his religious Ijtihad (legal interpretation of religious issues), were the same ones who gave fatwa to Ministry of Interior to keep him locked up for three more years, for espousing ideas that others have already came up with, inside Al-Azher and outside, Imam Mohammad Abdu would not be the first, and Hasan At-Turabi would not be the last, including the writer of these lines, meaning that my friend Mitwelli Ibraheem , was merely repeating ideas were said before by great Sheikhs and prominent researchers. Sheikh Mitwelli shared his legal interpretations with me in the late nineties and I admired his methodology, his thorough and extensive scrutiny of Hadith, his knowledge in the science of terms and expressions and his expertise in the science of investigating, refuting and setting-right of Hadith. Because of his passion for research, he earned two degrees, from college of Arabic language and Usool Eddine (Roots or principles of religion), to better aid in his research. With the start of his scientific work, the Brotherhood and their cronies from the State Security Office pounced on him and threw him in the dungeons of prison for no other reason than saying; Allah is my only Lord, and nobody else
4- The Sheikhs of Al-Azher who declared Faraj Fouda an apostate are the same ones who are chasing Copts, Quranists, Shiite, Baha’is and all who differ with them in denomination or in religion.
Few days ago, I received an invitation from some noble Egyptians to sign a declaration stressing the rights of citizenry, of religion, of faith and condemning oppression of Copts. The declaration was headlined with a title dear to me (Muslims against discrimination), I readily signed it along with my children. I was taken by surprise when I received an e-mail attacking harshly and severely, all the signees of the declaration as Cross worshipers similar to Satan worshipers, inciting State Security against us. This reminds me of the tight collaboration between the State Security and the extremists since the eighties and until now, and how false deceptive reports used to rain down against me,, from Sheikhs and Muslim Brotherhood, enticing State Security to arrest me, although back then, I was homebound avoiding people. The significance in that e-mail, was the declaration by that Brotherhood affiliate (To hell with citizenry, to hell with its rights, in conformity to what his Sheikh, Mehdi Akef said, to hell with Egypt)
My reply to that low level attack was to call upon my brothers at (Muslims against discrimination) to publicize and popularize their movement, and to widen participation to include all activists from the entire political spectrum in Egypt, and to include within their concerns, other victims of oppression, like Shiite, Quranists and Baha’is.
5- We return to the Baha’is to say that most of what is written about them is by their extremist adversaries. Those writings go to extremes in accusing Baha’is of blasphemy and in enticing for their murder. It is enough for you to write the word (Baha’i) in a search engine to be bombarded with forests of information about the apostasy and the denigration of those peaceful Baha’is who never committed aggression against anyone as those extremist terrorists do.
The Baha’is have their websites on the internet, one of which is
To be continued