April 7, 2009

Bahai in Egypt

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April 4, 2009
Along with Coptic Christians, Egyptian Bahai have been attacked. Bahai were attacked this week in the Egyptian province of Sohag.

From the above LA Times article (see link):
Muslim residents gathered outside the homes of some Bahais and chanted, “There is no god but God" and "Bahais are the enemies of God.”

Shortly afterward, they threw rocks at the homes, breaking windows. Violence escalated when Muslim residents threw firebombs and Molotov cocktails at the house of five Bahai families, according to a statement released by human rights groups.

There are about 2,000 Bahai in Egypt. They came to the country in the 1860s. Here is the Wikipedia entry on the Bahai.

April 15, 2009 (Human Rights Watch)
The Egyptian government has recognized the right of adherents of "non-recognized" religions to obtain identification documents. The decree ends an official policy of coercing Egyptian Baha'is into misidentifying themselves as Muslims or Christians.
Identification documents, especially identity cards and birth certificates, are mandatory for all Egyptians and necessary to obtain access to education, employment, family life, registration and immunization of children, as well as most basic daily activities such as opening a bank account, obtaining a driver's license, receiving pension or inheritance, or engaging in business transactions.

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