Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Religious Freedom in Egypt: Intellectually Honest Analysis

One of the most respected senior editors of Egypt's leading newspaper, Al-Ahram, wrote a clear and well thought-out article about the pressing matter of religious freedom in Egypt. In its English version [Al-Ahram Weekly], the author, Mr. Gamal Nkrumah, calls this critical conflict--rightfully so--a "prickly question".

After a short introduction in which he refers to the work of human rights organizations in Egypt, he expounded on recent top-level seminar and a meeting in which these organizations, as well as other activists and officials, explored solutions to the controversy surrounding freedom of belief in the Egyptian society.

After a seminar held on 4 June 2008 under the auspices of the Middle East Freedom Forum, a meeting of Egypt's National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) dug deeper into finding solutions for the current obstacles to progress in the arena of religious freedom. In reference to this, Mr. Nkrumah stated: "The seminar, which touched a raw nerve in Egypt, was followed by a meeting on 5 June at the Egyptian National Council of Human Rights, headed by former United Nations secretary- general Boutros Ghali. Presided over by Coptic MP Georgette Qellini, it also focussed on the theme of religious freedom, especially the predicament of the Bahaais."

As has always been the case in the past, Mr. Nkrumah's editorial is thought-provoking and intellectually honest. One would be amiss if this recent article of his is not carefully studied and contemplated. Readers of this blog are strongly encouraged to examine it in the attached newspaper clipping or at this link.

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