Egypt: Bahai Minority Group Under Attack

April 8, 2009

Author: Noha El-Hennawy

Source: The Los Angeles Times

The homes of some members of Egypt's Bahai minority came under violent attack by Muslims this week in a rural area in southern Egypt.

The attacks erupted in the village of al-Shuraniya in the upper Egyptian province of Sohag where 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.

"The heinous and unprecedented attacks on Baha'i Egyptians are a crime against all Egyptians,“ said a statement issued on April 2 by six human rights groups. “We shall never allow the perpetrators of these crimes to benefit from the same climate of impunity that has marred the government's response to sectarian violence against Egyptians Copts over the last four decades.”

The attacks have forced the Bahais to flee their village. Seven people had been reportedly arrested.