Comments About Munib Shahid

By Hassan Jalal Shahid

I believe religion should be based on love and understanding. I find expulsion so contrary to the Spirit and principles of Bahaism.

I would like to stress — once again — that the daughters and the grandchildren of Abdul-Baha, the Master, broke no Covenant. They loved and respected the Master and could not possibly do anything against his wishes. It is unfair and wrong to call them Covenant Breakers, putting them on a par with Mirza Yahya Azal, the half-brother of Baha’u’llah and Mirza Muhammad Ali, the half-brother of the Master.

Lastly I want to add that every word that [name deleted] has read regarding my brother Dr Munib Shahid of the American University of Beirut (AUB) is wrong and untrue. His wife Serene Husseini was the daughter of Jamal Husseini. He was a notable of Jerusalem, a prominent and respected Palestinian politician who had been exiled by the British to the Seychel Islands and then to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to put an end to his struggle for an independent Palestine. While there, his daughter Serene wanted to get married to my brother Munib Shahid. She contacted her father, Jamal Husseini, for his consent. He did not know who Munib Shahid was and asked a fellow exile from Haifa, Mr Tanimi, about him. Mr Tamini told him to consider it an honor that the grandson of Abdul-Baha wanted to marry his daughter. On the recommendation, he consented to and blessed the marriage.

Jamal Husseini was a distant relative of of Haj Amin Husseini the Mufti of Jerusalem. I do not know whether Haj Amin had spoken out agaist the Bahai Faith. I know that as the Mufti of Jerusalem he was more of a politician than a Moslem cleric. He had been appointed as Mufti by the first High Comissioner of Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, in the hopes that he would serve the interests of Britain. Instead of doing that, he became a great enemy of Britain and fought for many years for an independent State of Palestine. In the early forties he went to Berlin to join Hitler in the fight against the Allies.

My brother was a sincere and true Bahai and tried many times, until the last years of his life to return to the Cause. In the early fifties he came to Haifa to visit his mother and took the opportunity to contact and meet Mr Abul Ghassem Faizy, one of the Hands of the Cause who was his friend from their student days at the AUB. He was hoping that Mr Faizy could facilitate his return to the community. The meeting made him hopeful that things would eventually work out. That and all the further efforts produced no results. Munib was no Covenant Breaker and died a dissappointed man for having been deprived of something that meant so much to him and in which he sincerely believed.