Statement from the Church of Scientology International 'Human Rights Department'

The charge of "contempt of religion" against two Scientologists, Wafaa Hassan Ahemd and Mahmoud Mufid Masarwa, is false and devoid of facts. Their prolonged detention, based solely on suspicion and rumor, is a gross violation of human rights. The Church of Scientology International calls for their immediate release.

The Scientologists were in Egypt to establish an office for the promotion of two books authored by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Scientology religion. Both books were approved by the Egyptian censorship authorities and one was published by Egypt's largest publisher of government authorized books.

The basis of their detention is the unfounded claim by the propaganda agency MENA (Middle East News Agency) that Scientology is somehow opposed to the beliefs of Islam and Christianity. This is utterly false.

In his writings L. Ron Hubbard has always embraced the validity of all religions and promoted religious tolerance.

Islamic leaders have spoken on this subject:

"It is our personal experience that there is nothing but respect for the Prophet and the Islamic faith from the Church of Scientology and its officials."

- Amir Gillani, President of the American Institute of Islamic Studies, Ontario, Canada, January 2002

"...We have found Scientology to be a religion that is not in conflict with any religion and their actions reflect a desire to bring understanding without trying to change a person's religion or politics."

- Shaykh Abd'Allah Latif Ali, Chairman of the Imams Council of New York, January 2002

"I can tell you that I have worked side by side with Scientologists in activities to promote religious understanding of Muslims, and indeed, all faiths, here in the United States.

- Imam Luqman Abdush-Shahid, Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, January 2002

We appeal to the Egyptian authorities to immediately rectify this violation of human rights.