Seeking Justice

Who is Entitled To Human Rights in Egypt?

The question contained in the title of this post–who is entitled to human rights in Egypt?– seems like it would have a simple answer. That all human beings should be entitled to human rights seems like it would be an axiomatic fact, particularly in a country that is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Yet, to read the December 16, 2006 opinion of the Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt denying members of the Baha’i Faith access to national identification cards, one would be hard pressed to avoid the conclusion that under current Egyptian law, a certain class of Egyptian citizens is not entitled to human rights.

In part of its decision, the Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt relied on a 1975 opinion of the Supreme Court of Egypt upholding a 1960 Presidential decree dissolving all Baha’i Assemblies and Centers in Egypt. It used this precedent as a basis for concluding that “despite [the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’] guarantee in Article 18 to give everyone the right to freedom of thought, expression and religion, ‘this latter right should be understood within the limits of what is recognized i.e. what is meant by religion is one of the three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism.”

The assertion that somehow the freedom of religion provided for by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is limited only to three religious groups is in direct contradiction to the plain text of the Declaration itself. Specifically, Article 2 of the Declaration states

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. (emphasis added)

The words of this Declaration provide a framework for a truly enlightened and advanced civilization, and the baselessness of limiting civil rights to the members of only three religions is clear. Will not Egypt, with such a glorious past, rise to demonstrate these noble, just, and universal principles, and permit members of the Baha’i Faith to obtain identification cards?


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. ME Faith - Middle East Interfaith Blogger Network » Blog Archive » “Seeking Justice” A new Blog on the Baha’is of Egypt pingbacked on 11 years, 5 months ago


  1. * ppedersen says:

    I most definitely agree! I am glad you are making a statement against such abuses as this should be resolved. Check out my blog re Youth for Human Rights:

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  2. * truthseekers9 says:

    Dear Friend,

    Thank you for your comment. It seems that youth will be one of the prime catalysts for the advancement of human rights in the world, and it’s encouraging to learn of organizations like the one described in your blog!


    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  3. * bilo says:

    A very balanced and well argued post. Thank you….

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  4. * Smile Rose says:

    thank u so much for your goal of the blog but as you seeking to speak about Egypt can you make an arabic version of the blog due to the need to your blog’s idea to find a place in new generation of Arab

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  5. * Nabil says:

    Congratulations on your new blog. It is critical to focus on the legal aspects of the human rights of the Baha’is in Egypt. Your effort will not only serve the interests of Egyptian Baha’is, it will also help the Egyptian authorities to improve the condition of all its citizens including the Baha’is.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  6. * truthseekers9 says:

    Dear Bilo,
    Thank you for your kind note and for the link on your blog!

    Dear Smile Rose,
    What a wonderful suggestion regarding an Arabic version of the blog. Unfortunately, we don’t have the Arabic language skills to do this, but if someone is willing to help with translation, then it may be a possibility!

    Dear Nabil,
    Thank you for your kind note! If you have any thoughts on topics or particular areas of exploration you’d like to see on this blog, just let us know.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  7. * نسرين says:

    This blog is wonderful and timely. We are looking forward to your new postings. I will try to highlight the critical issues that you address on my Arabic blog.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  8. * truthseekers9 says:

    Dear Nasreen,

    Thank you for your comment! Please feel free to share any content that you find useful on your Arabic blog.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 6 months ago
  9. * Lua says:

    It is really inspiring to see more and more individulas dedicating their time and effort to defend the oppressed and support the cause of justice…
    Wish you all the success in your new blog.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 5 months ago
  10. * truthseekers9 says:

    Thank you, Lua, for your kind comment.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 5 months ago
  11. * Jones says:

    This is a great tutorial thanks!d

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 2 months ago
  12. * sveta says:

    Thank for making this valuable information available to the public.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 8 months ago

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