Friday, August 15, 2008

Video in defense of Baha'i minority rights

Safeguard The Innocent: Video in Defense of the Baha'i Minority

"I will not stand by while my neighbors are denied basic human rights just because they are Baha'is"'s Censeo Productions and announce the release of their new video defending the rights of the Baha'i minority.

How many times have you heard people ask, where are the Muslim voices against discrimination and oppression? Here is your chance to write about a group of Middle Eastern youth who have come together in defense of minorities within their communities and to practice dialogue with one another. Their most recent effort is the creation of a video to bring attention to the rights of the Baha'is: a religious minority that has often found itself persecuted in predominantly Muslim countries.

Nowhere is the persecution worse than in Iran and Egypt where they have been denied basic rights and seen their sacred places destroyed and vandalized. In Iran, where the Baha'i Faith first emerged, Baha'i schools are shut down, leaders of the faith are arrested, executed, or harassed, and Baha'is are denied the right to higher education. In Egypt, Baha'is are not given identity papers, thus preventing them from attaining the basic rights of citizenship.

A group of predominantly Muslim youth have banded together to speak out against the discrimination. They formed a website,, which catalogues abuses against Baha'is and have now released a video which uses images from the film Persepolis to make a powerful statement against the persecution of the Baha'is. Their first video, called "Egyptian Tourism Ad," which edited a popular TV advertisement into an awareness campaign for the condition of Baha'is in Egypt, has been written about in a prominent Egyptian paper, Al Masry Al Yowm.

"When minorities are not given their rights, how can we ever expect to exercise our own?" says Kawthar Muhaib, a member of the Muslim Network for Baha'i Rights.

Watch the video here:English: more information contact:

Esra'a Al Shafei, Director,, director@mideastyouth.comKawthar Muhaib, Project Coordinator,,

More about our efforts to defend the rights of the Baha'i minority:

BBC Persian: Arab Youth Defend Baha'i
Rights: in the