The Bahai faith was founded in mid-nineteenth century Persia. Its central figure, the Baha’ullah (“Glory of God”), is designated a successor to Muhammad in a series of divine messengers. (More background information at the Encyclopaedia of the Orient.) Clearly, this poses problems for mainstream Muslim clerics, and the predictable persecutions often follow.
Islamic Tolerance Alert. “Egypt Bahais Lose Battle for Recognition,” by Jano Charbel for Arab News:
CAIRO, 17 December 2006 “” An Egyptian court denied Bahais yesterday the right to state their religion on official documents and described them as pro-Israeli apostates. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled against the right of Hossam Ezzat Mussa and his wife, Rania Enayat, to state their religion on official documents.
Judge Sayed Nofal, speaking after reading out the verdict, said “the constitution promotes freedom of belief for the three recognized heavenly religions and they are Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
“As for the Bahais, Islamic jurists have all agreed that the Bahai faith is not one of the three recognized religions,” he said. “Those who belong to this religion are apostates of Islam, because the faith’s principles contradict the Islamic religion and all other religions.” The couple had filed the case in 2004. In April this year a lower court ruled in their favor.