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Controversy arises when a teacher in the School of Dentistry in Cairo university announces her Bahai faith.
The Islamic research department in The Azhar rejected the Bahai’ thought and assured that it is false and opposed to Islam, Christianity and Judaism. A Muslim who embraces Bahai’ religion is an apostate of Islam since this sect contains teachings that are contradictory to the teachings of Islam and are frowned upon by all religions.
The professors in the School of Dentistry in Cairo University pleaded with The Azhar and sent a joint memo warning that Dr. Bassema G. M. is a Bahai’ and preaches the sect2 that she has acquired through her parents. She claims that the Prophet is not the last messenger of God and that Islam is an old religion, dating from 1400 years and is therefore not fit for our time. Dr. Bassema claims that the Bahai’ religion is the last of all religions.
We researched the story of this professor and found out that she had recently acquired her Ph.D. after having previously failed it because of her Bahai’ faith. As soon as she acquired her Ph.D. she announced her faith and started preaching it. 2 This aroused objections from many professors and teachers in the surgery department of the school of dentistry to the extent that her friends avoid her in order to avoid suspicions. The department has also refused to promote her to the post of teacher.3
Dr. Basema’s request for a promotion was met with wide refusal from the department’s council with the exception of a few who said that faith does not come into academic promotion. The matter was suspended and the decision to be taken was postponed to another meeting that was supposed to be held at the end of last week but the professors and teachers did not attend, thus leaving the matter in suspension. They were also waiting for an opinion from the fatwa council about the danger of the Bahai’ sect to depend on it in refusing to promote Dr. Basema to the post of teacher.
A legal specialist in the faculty said that the decision of the department’s council is advisory and not obligatory to the council of the faculty. The decision of the council of the faculty is in turn advisory to the university council. This means that if the council of the faculty refuses to promote her, the university council may agree to do so. That is why many of the professors demand that the matter be referred to the university council and warn of the danger of the sect that Dr. Bassema belongs to, especially since she did not announce her believes openly except after she passed the Ph.D. exams. This asserts the danger in her appointment since she will preach this thought to the students without censorship from anyone. Therefore the university council has to take firm action against this teacher so that she does not spread her ideas among the students.
It is worth noting that Dr. Basema was dismissed from the student hostel three years ago because of her attempts to preach the Bahai’ sect among the other residents. The Islamic Research Department has warned of the danger of the Bahai’ sect and asked to severely punish those who try to revive it. In 1960 a law was issued closing down the Bahai’ lodges and sequestering its properties and in 1985 a group [of Bahai’s] was caught, headed by the painter and artist Hussein Bikar. They were accused of reviving and embracing the Bahai’ religion and prison sentences were issued against most of them. It is known that the Bahai’ religion entered Egypt through expatriates living in Egypt. The Bahai lodges were established publicly and they were registered in the mixed tribunals and became a recognized sect, holding regular meetings in Abbassia.
Since the start of the Bahai’ religion in Egypt, it has been fought by the scholars of the Azhar who issued several warnings against this religion. It is know that the Bahai religion is a sect that appeared in Iran in 1844 by a man called Hussein Ali Nouri. This sect was announced as a subsidiary of the Shia’ sect. The members of this sect pray and practices rituals and intermarry disregarding their [original] religion. They claim that they have a prophet called Bahaa’ Al-Din who they consider the awaited savior. They have their own calendar with 19 month in a year.