I received an article written on June 9, 2010 in Akhbar-i-Rooz in Farsi by Haman Seyeddi. Marhaba! Obviously Mr. Seyyedi is not a Baha’i and that makes it even more important to applaud him for his integrity and humanity. May God bless his fair mind and others read and take his lead and raise their voices about the beleaguered Baha’is of Iran. You can check it on www.akhbar-rooz.com
The headline says: “The End of Mashrootiat” and then he proceeds explaining his bewilderment about the strange case of the Bahai community in Iran and the ungodly manner the Islamic Republic Regime wants to decapitate or suffocate this peaceful community who insists on education of the youth and children as a matter of principle for the progress of human civilization, oneness of all humanity, global prosperity and peace, despite the Islamic Republic Regime’s orchestrated plan to block every attempt of the Baha’i community to educate its children and youth. The following is my rough translation of his article.
“The Problems of Baha’is of Iran is a strange sort of a problem. On top of all the problems that all other minorities have, it has been over 30 years that the Baha’is of Iran have been deprived of and officially bared by the Islamic government from attending university in Iran. I am not going to address the nature and consequences of this “law”. One reason is because there is nothing to say but feel sorrow and sadness about such an inhuman act. But what is worth contemplating is the manner Islamic Regime of Iran plans, and with all its force and power, continuously tries to block the social, cultural and intellectual progress of the Baha’i community and uses all its force to stop the Baha’i community from accessing higher education not just in Iran but also outside of Iran through internet and online universities.
On Monday June 7, 2010 I read an article in TABNAK site that said: “Recently the leaders of the Iran’s Islamic Republic Regime have made the ban of the education of “the corrupt Baha’i sect, ferqe zalleh” a matter of priority. According to the latest news the followers of the Baha’i sect seek higher education through internet after high school and want to continue their education.
According to most recent reliable sources, the children of this sect, because they are barred from attending university in Iran, try to continue their education on line.
It is said that blocking higher education and barring this corrupt group from social and economic progress is (and has been) one of the priorities of the leaders of Islamic republic Regime and everyone is ordered to do their best to prevent the Baha’is from having access to higher education.”
This news of the TABNAK Site could signal yet another level of persecution for the Baha’i community of Iran and at the same time it is a witness to the defeat of the Islamic Republic Regime to destroy the Baha’i community once and for all. What I must correct hear is that the Baha’i community from the very beginning when the Regime expelled the Baha’i faculty from Iranian universities, the same fired faculty, set up classes in the homes of the citizens with humble means and provided education for the oppressed and peaceful Baha’i children and youth. (Baha’i community historically has been a pioneer in promotion and support of education for all in Iran from the very inception of this Faith in 1844. The first schools established in Iran for the education of girls was initiated by the Baha’is in Iran and was open to everyone. All my female teachers in primary and high school had this privilege of attending schools that was opened by the Baha’i community in Iran. This because education of girls who will become mothers and the first educator of the future generations, is of great importance according to the teachings of Baha’u’llah.)
I also want to share a memory from 10 years ago when I was writing my thesis for engineering. I went to check the Freedom Museum for my thesis. The director of the museum was distraught. The roof of the museum was leaking and part of the electrical and mechanical system of the building was facing problems and out of function. The director said because we do not have the plans for the building, we have not been able to access the location of the pipes and electrical plans. There is only one hope and that is for Mr. Hosain Amamnat to send us a copy of the plans for the building. It is important to know that Hossain Amanat is the brilliant architect who won the competition for the best design of the Shahyad Monument which after Islamic evolution was called Freedom Square. Mr. Amanat also resided on its completion. The Islamic Republic Government burned his office and if they had found him, they would have burned him alive too. This because Mr. Amanat was a Baha’i!!
The Museum curator said they are trying to get hold of Mr. Amanat in America. I am not sure if they have been able to reach him. But the difficulty was not only the leak in museum, I was sensing that the sense of shame was the real source of moisture dripping from all its walls!
(By the way, I was traveling back to America last year from attending a wedding in Dubai, and next to me was a young woman who was a professor of architect in Tehran and when I asked her about The Freedom Monument and its universal appeal due to the Baha’i education of its architect, she did not know who its architect was and that a Baha’i by the name of Hossain Amanat is the brilliant mind that designed the Freedom Monument!!! I was surprised of the veil of ignorance being so thick that even covers the eyes of the educated and entitled in the educational system of Iran. This is while Hossain Amanat is celebrated all over the world for his genius and Iranians should be proud of his unparalleled contribution to lifting the name, the fame and honor of Iran.)
As to the responses to the article in the TABNAK site. People have written the following comments:
- Well what can the Baha’is do. The Iranian Islamic Republic’s constitution has given them no human rights.
- Unfortunately the human rights of all whether they are misguided or not is the responsibility of every government and no sound and sane mind would accept that because of being a Baha’i or having any other belief any government could deprive its citizens from their basic human rights such as having a job or the right to have access to electricity, telephone, property, selling or buying goods, etc. or any other right such as right to education. Especially we cannot punish the children of these people because they are following their parent’s path and believe.!! We hope the government authorities and the religious leaders do not react in an improper way so we do not witness all this false and fabricated propaganda.
- So what! What do you expect? Either let them study inside of the country or if not do not harass them. On one side you deprive them of their basic human rights and then you complain why they take their case and complain to the international community!
- Well, don’t you think every human being has the right to education? Don’t you see that barring people from education is a violation of the human rights of every citizen.
- Everyone regardless of their belief, race and ethnicity have the right to education.
- O.K. They are considered a sect, but what do you want for them? Do you want these people to drop dead, or do you prefer their children to stand on the corner of the streets and commit lewd acts or deal drugs, or commit burglary? Well when these people do not have the right to attend university, what is wrong with occupying their time with learning and education through internet?
- Well, in your opinion they should not study? How do you like it if the Western countries do not allow the Muslim student to attend their universities?
- Tell me, what sort of “corrupt sect” is this Baha’i Faith, that encourages its young to study and seek education?!!”
I like to thank Mr. Seyeddi once again. This is a new chapter in the human rights history of Iran that Iranian citizens are awakening to the tenets of the charter of human rights and not settling for anything less than being human despite the shortsightedness of those who are ruling the country based on the mindset of a 1000 years ago when there was no human rights, no universal education, no rights to freedom of thought and freedom to choose ones belief.
These archaic and already abhorred responses by the civilized world and outlooks that are destructive to the progress of human civilization, demonstrates that the foundation of the Islamic Republic Regime is outdated and is eroding from within.