The Bahaí students in Iran and their on-line volunteer teachers from all over the world recently received a frightening death threat from a Moslem group called; Unknown Soldiers of the Imam Zaman. This Moslem faithful is urging an end to the on line education process or facing execution!!!
I know it is beyond any one’s imagination that any one today from any faith group, Moslem or otherwise can be so vicious, violent, arrogant and ignorant to order people to stop learning and growing. It is painfully sad to see any set of belief in any religion can become the source of such hatred, jealousy, arrogance, ignorance, prejudice, superiority, violence and inhumanity.
This kind of evidenced and on going institutional violation of basic human rights rooted in the fundamentals of any religion whether Shia Islam or others, should warn, alarm and frighten all who care about the human rights and how its flagrant violation effects the future and hopes of all young people. This vicious death threat which has preceded by 30 years of legislated ban of higher education for the Bahaí students in Iran, must convince every one who values universal education, human freedom and dignity that the virulent virus of belief superiority, and contempt towards people of a different belief and no belief in the name and claim of being the rightful representative of God on earth, is a deadly and a most dangerous disease cultivated and exported from the Islamic Republic regime of Iran to all corners of the world. This supremacist ideology is threatening not just the peaceful and forward thinking Bahaí community and its children in Iran, but the values of the civilized world and the very foundation of human rights and freedom.
As we have mentioned before, for the past 30 years, ever since the inception of the Islamic Republic Regime, the Bahaí youth and students of Iran have been banned from attending university in their own country because of being a Bahaí. The Bahaí teachings reveres education for all especially education for girls. The Bahaí community of Iran has produced some of the most educated men and women in the world in its short history of 166 years. The Bahai Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) is a humble humanitarian attempt formally acknoeledged and approved b y the government of Iran, to reach out and reduce the damage caused by 30 years of ban on the Bahaí youth’s higher education in a very limited way. Good people from all over the world have arisen to make up the faculty and staff of this humble on line education program. Only a small fraction of Bahaí students have been able to get the benefit of higher education through the on-line services of BIHE in this 30 years of oppression by the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran. I suppose it is irrelevant what the teachings of Islam says about the importance of the right of all to knowledge and learning, this most basic and important of all human rights. The disgrace from this injustice and oppression brought upon the most progressive and peace loving community in Iran namely the Bahaí community will be remembered for ever as a dark and shame-laden page in the history of that country.
There are a number of universal, social and spiritual violations of human rights in this scary story and of on going human rights violations perpetrated in the name of Islam.
When a government deliberately and outwardly legislates to close the doors of education to a large segment of its citizens, a whole list of thoughts and questions rise in ones mind. What kind of values and teachings are at the root of such inhumanity? How the minds and hearts of the ignorant and gullible masses is permanently poisoned to hate and to hurt in the name of Islam and defense of Islam? What are the role and responsibility of people of conscience, other citizens of Iran that abhor such inhumanity, atrocity and ignorance? What could any of us do with this kind of a vain imagination and ignorance that is guiding the decisions of a whole government wishing to close the nostrils of the humanities’ right to education in an age when the right to knowledge and information is viewed the same as the right to breathe? And finally how much if any humanity is left in a people at large when they go along or keep quiet and watch their leaders suffocating the young minds in its midst in the name of their god while claiming to have the only correct understanding of who God is, what God wants, and what people are allowed to do to worship and live.
To know and to love, Bahaú’llah teaches , is the very reason God has created man. As far as I know the Teachings of the Profit of Islam also confirms that knowing and loving is at the core reason for the divine intention and the creation of man. What ignorance, arrogance and deliberate distortion of truth is guiding the decision of a people to wish to kill teachers and students if they want to teach and to learn? God only knows the answer to many of these questions and God is sufficient unto all and in Him and His will, we as Bahaís are told to trust.
The original death threat e-mail is in Persian language. The English translation is made available by Iran Press watchYou can find the original Persian also on the Iran Press Watch site.
The death threat letter is as follows:
With peace upon all of you followers of the wayward Baha’i sect, who are affiliated with the illegal and immoral BIHE University:
Following the teachings of Muhammadan Islam, the Unknown Soldiers of the Imam Zaman [Lord of the Age] have learned of unlawful and unethical activities of this outwardly-seeming university, which has direct association with foreign governments, including the Zionist [regime] and England. Should students, professors and officials of this so-c alled university wish to preserve their own safety, they must sever their association, whatever it may be, with this university. Otherwise, possible consequences of this association will fall upon yourselves, and you will have to expect the revolutionary hanging of a group affiliated with this university and that of your dear Yaran [friends] presently incarcerated.
Peace and blessings be upon the spirits of Islamic Revolution martyrs,
Unknown soldiers of the Imam Zaman
This death threat letter was e-mailed to all the young students.
We hope the death threat email be shared with various human rights organizations. Unfortunately, other than praying and relying on God’s grace, there seems to be is nothing that any Bahá’í can do from within Iran.
We specially hope the recipients of this death threat can forward it to as many human rights organizations as they can finds. We pray and hope all others will raise their voices in protest and in defense of the rights of the beleaguered Bahaí youth of Iran and their rights to education.
I want to thank those university students in Iran who have raised their voices and have objected to the injustice perpetrated upon their Bahaí friends. May their voices of fairness and humanity be heard. May the ever rising voice of humanity and justice lift the heart of all humanity.