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Intolerant Islam – Apartheid against Bahai’s

May 23, 2011

The picture to the right is one of several Bahá’í cemeteries that were desecrated or destroyed in a number of cities and towns in Iran. These tombstones in the Bahá’í cemetery near Najafabad were left in a heap when the entire burial ground was bulldozed in a prior pogrom. © by the Bahá’í International Community. (Note: Use of images and commentary does not imply endorsement of this blog or of this blog post by Bahá’í International Community. Use of image and commentary is without permission by Bahá’í International Community).

On the eve of one of the most-holy days observed by the Bahá’í Faith, the Iranian government once again commenced another pogrom in its decades’-long Apartheid campaign to commit crimes-against-humanity by engaging in atrocities against Iranian Bahá’ís.

All in the mistaken belief, it seems, that if the government/clergy murder, imprison and torture innocent Bahá’ís and deny this peaceful, nonviolent religious minority basic human rights, they will have exterminated from the earth the Bahá’í Faith, which they view as heretical to Islam. Now, I am neither Muslim, nor am I Bahá’í. But I do know several people that are Muslims, and several that are Bahá’ís. While the Muslims I know are not of the ilk that would do such horrific things, Bahá’ís by far epitomize the tenants of peaceful coexistence, political neutrality, and service to their fellow human beings. Islam as a political system, however, apparently fears those who epitomize these tenants, for why else would it wish to forsake that which it claims are the tenants of Islam, even to the point of irresponsibly daring to employ the nomenclature “religion of peace” when rape, murder, false imprisonment, torture, and immorality are nothing like peace, nor the embodiment of God’s messages to mankind.

Nay, Iran’s Islamic intolerance see Bahá’ís as apostates, and deny the Bahá’í Faith as an independent religion, and then denies Bahá’ís basic human rights.

Apparently, their Medieval Apartheid thinking goes something like this:

1) Forbid Bahá’ís from attending elementary, secondary and post-secondary school,
2) withhold government benefits bestowed on all other Iranians,
3) prevent Bahá’ís from even having citizenship,
4) subject a peaceful religious minority, Iran’s largest, to punitive and ungodly measures too numerous to mention here,
5) unjustly convict innocents in show trials reminiscent of the Soviet Union or Maoist China,
6) subject innocents to harsh and horrific imprisonment,
7) withhold medical and dental care, and all basic human dignity, and then execute them when the world turns away.

It would be easy for Islamic apologists to simply say, “Yeah, but that is just Iran”, except that it is not just Iran. Nope, not at all. It seems that other Islamic nations have also worked to systematically attack Bahá’ís. Once again, I am not Bahá’í. But if I had but one choice, and that was to either be Bahá’í or a Muslim, I would chose Bahá’í for they embody God’s messages to mankind. To Islam (the political system) I ask, why are you so intolerant? Why do you lie to your fellow Muslims in order to promote hatred of Bahá’ís so that your atrocities against them can continue with methodical disregard of Prophet Muhammads messages of peace and tolerance that you claim are the tenants of your faith? To Muslims I ask, why do you suppose that Islam fears Bahá’ís so much? What do they embody that grips you with such fear of introspection that you are willing to close your eyes to the atrocities committed by those of your faith?

To the Bahá’ís of the world, you have my utmost respect for the way you conduct yourselves and maintain such high levels of dignity while being of service to God.

— Gonzo

Following is the official Bahá’í News Service account, verbatim, without any editing by me.
© by the Bahá’í International Community. Use does not imply endorsement of this blog or of this blog post.

GENEVA — A coordinated series of raids have been carried out on the homes of several Iranian Baha’is, active in a community initiative to provide a higher education programme for young members who are barred from university.

Reports indicate that raids took place on Saturday 21 May on as many as 30 homes in Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, and Shiraz. It is now understood that some 14 Baha’is have been arrested.

“All of the targets were homes of individuals closely involved with the operations of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education,” said Diane Ala’i, representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva.

The Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) was established in 1987 as a community initiative to meet the educational needs of young Baha’is who have been systematically denied access to higher education by the Iranian government. The BIHE has been described by the New York Times as “an elaborate act of communal self-preservation.”

“The Institute has been a remarkably creative – and entirely non-violent – response to the Iranian government’s on-going effort to stifle the normal human development of the Baha’i community,” said Ms. Ala’i.

“The Iranian authorities – not content with debarring Baha’is from university solely on account of their religious beliefs – are now cruelly seeking to shut down the community’s efforts to provide its youth with higher education through alternative means.

“The government’s actions are utterly unjustifiable,” said Ms. Ala’i.

This is not the first time that the BIHEBIHE’s faculty and staff were arrested, and much of its equipment and records – located in more than 500 homes – was taken. Other actions against the operations of BIHE were carried out in 2001 and 2002.

These attacks – and Iran’s general policy prohibiting young Baha’is from entering higher education – have been met with strong condemnation by governments, academics, UN agencies, civil society organizations and others.

Among the numerous actions taken, university professors and chaplains around the world have sent letters of protest to the UN Secretary-General and the leaders of Iran; in 2006, the president of Princeton university in the United States raised the matter with the Iranian representative to the UN; Spain’s House of Deputies has passed a strongly-worded resolution on the situation; Wolfson College, Oxford, also voted through a resolution in November 2007, as did the University of Winnipeg in Canada.

“These latest raids appear to be another concerted attempt to attack the BIHE, which the authorities have long sought to do,” said Diane Ala’i.

“We are calling upon governments and educational organizations throughout the world to register with the government of Iran their strong disapproval of its systematic, ongoing efforts to deny to young Baha’is their fundamental human right to access higher education.”

(Article updated 23 May 2011. The second and third sentences originally read, “Initial reports indicate that raids took place yesterday on houses in Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, and Shiraz. As many as 30 people may already have been arrested.”)

BBC documentary in Arabic, of persecution of Bahai’s in Iran.

One Comment
  1. Anyone who would like a real in-depth study of the lies and violence inside Islam needs to follow this site. Gonzo does a great job of researching facts and pointing out the violent and intolerant views of Islam. This is a much needed discussion in America, it is time we become unafraid to be bias against this cult. Continued success my friend, Scott

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