Thursday, April 2, 2009

Members of Baha'i violently evicted from Egyptian village

Dozens of Muslim villagers have attacked the homes of members of the minority Baha'i religion (photo: founder of Baha'i, Baha u'llah) in southern Egypt, hurling firebombs and denouncing them as "enemies of God," human rights groups said Thursday.

The attacks began Saturday after a prominent Egyptian media commentator denounced a Baha'i activist in a television appearance as an "apostate" and called for her to be killed.

In Egypt, where the majority of the country's nearly 80 million people are Sunni Muslim, the Baha'i faith is not recognized as an official religion. The head of Al-Azhar, Egypt's dominant religious authority, has also declared it a "sacrilegious dogma."

After five days of violence, calm returned Wednesday to the village of Shouraniya, located about 215 miles south of Cairo. No one was injured in the attacks.

The village's 15 Baha'i residents were forced to leave, and police have prevented them from returning, rights groups said.

Egypt's Interior Ministry confirmed the attacks and said police have made arrests. But it denied that police stopped the Baha'i residents from returning to their village.

The whole AP story HERE

This is what BBC added.