The Islamic Regime of Iran Explains Why the Baha’is Are Not Entitled to Human Rights!!

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 7.44.23 PMHow about that!!!

On Monday March 30, the official website of Ayatollah Khamenei published an interview by former Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Velayati, a pediatrician and the Supreme Leader’s advisor for international affair. In the interview, he expressed anxiety that the Islamic Republic could be held to account for violations against human rights.

“If they think they have been successful in forcing us to retreat when it comes to the nuclear issues, they will then use the same pressures when it comes to missiles,” said Velayati. “Little by little, they will introduce the issue of human rights. They asked, for example, ‘why don’t you give freedoms to the Baha’is?’ Giving Baha’is freedom means giving them the right to spy for the Zionist Regime. The connection between Baha’ism and the Zionist Regime is not a secret to anybody. Baha’ism has its headquarters in the occupied territories. Or they ask: why do we exercise sharia law? And so on.”

No one should ever doubt that what has been perpetrated and continues to be perpetrated, by the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran, against its Baha’i community citizens, is intentional, deliberate, orchestrated and malicious. At the  one hundredth anniversary of the genocide of the Armenians, Turkish authorities were hoping to convince the civilized world that what they did to the Arminians was NOT intentional!!

A Century After Armenian Genocide, Turkey’s Denial Only Deepens

Nearly 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, during World War I. Turks by and large do not believe mass killings were planned.

On Wednesday 01 April 2015 in an interview  Mehrangiz Kar sheds a flood light on the dark corners the Islamic Regime human rights violations.

Iran’s Human Rights Trap and the Nuclear Deal

Distorting the Present by Distorting History

“The pediatrician-turned-demagogue offers an example that lacks any historical credibility. By narrowing down all human rights violations to the violation of the rights of the Baha’is, he avoids saying anything about the sufferings of the Shi’a majority, or about the systematic and widespread violation of the rights of the country’s Sunnis. He falsifies history without fear of being exposed. He knows very well that the violation of human rights in Iran is so horrible that no Iranian professors of history, law or religion would dare to stand up to him and ask him on what historical evidence he bases his claims. Did the Baha’is build their places of worship after the formation of Israel or before it? History is an honest witness. Baha’i holy places were built long before Israel came into being. Who in Iran can offer a truthful historical narrative in response to the demagoguery of Velayati, and the words published on the Supreme Leader’s website? Who will dare to tell him that the pervasive violations of human rights plagues all Iranians, from every class and with all kinds of beliefs — save his own of course? The Baha’is are not alone. It is the whole nation that burns in the wrathful fire lit by these ignorant, self-important members of the elite.”

It is flattering to hear that Baha’is are associated with so much clout and power by their enemies. I specially like the part about the Islamic Regime’s fear that the Baha’is will question Shahria law. The zionist alliance attributed to the Baha’is by the Islamic Regime holds no water amongst the historians. But on the other hand, who in the civilized world, does not question the Sharia Law? It belongs to the time when there was no human rights and women and children were possessions of men to be treated like cattle!! I should think that gene is out of the bottle in the civilized parts of the world and there is no going back in the bottle!! Too bad for those who remain stuck and cannot let go of the outdated laws of the past.

In the age of Tweeter and Facebook, all that was hidden is now manifest and history is written, documented by every single witness that has access to the media. The civilized world is putting it out there and for the Iranian Regime, there will be no place to hide.

Let us continue and Speak up.


Posted in human rights, Questions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Education is Not a Crime”, Campaign at Claremont School of Theology



The evening of March 26, 2015 was an evening dedicated to the global campaign of Education is NOT a Crime in defense of the human rights of the Baha’is of Iran to education. The campaign wants to make sure that the students and faculty of the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education; (BIHE) in Iran are released from prison and not only recognized for their dedication and sacrifices to the cause of education for all but celebrated for taking the noble courage of educating the Baha’i youth of Iran despite the violence and imprisonment by Islamic Republic Regime of Iran.

The event was initiated by Professor Roland Faber and supported by The president and faculty of Claremont School of Theology.

Every seat at the Haddon Hall of the Claremont school of Theology was occupied to view the documentary film called To Light A Candle produced by Maziar Bahari. A diverse audience of all ages, backgrounds and occupations united in their commitment to stand up and raise their voices in protest to injustice against the Baha’i students in Iran.

Samantha, an eight year old viewing the film with her parents and siblings attending the Empowerment Program at Palomares Academy of Health Sciences, wept as she watched the documentary.  Children know when governments leaders have failed to live up to their responsibilities of governing and serving the welfare of their people.

The evening program with the presentation and discussion of the panel of witnesses, was recorded and be released later.

It takes many candles such as this one to dispel the darkness of ignorance and injustice casted upon the birth place of Baha’i Faith, by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In the picture above, happy to stand in solidarity, you see a good number of Palomares Empowerment Program students and parents attending the evening. Everyone knows and appreciates the fact that their beloved program is the Baha’i response to the injustice inflicted upon the Baha’i students in Iran. They learn that to dispel the darkness, we must become the light. The right to education is a basic human right and the quality of this education must be equal for all disregard of their class and status.

My heartfelt gratitude to my wonderful Palomares Empowerment Program families.





Posted in Education, human rights, Interview, News, Questions, videos | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Humanity Must Be our highest

Posted in Questions | Leave a comment

The Streets of Iran Tell of a New Story, و «خیابان» حرف‌هایی دارد

Center for Democratic Iran shares an article by a brilliant reporter; Asghar Zare Kahnamooi who refers to an unexpected happening throughout Iran on a Friday night a little while ago. In this eloquent article Mr. Zareh explains how social consciousness amongst the young generation in Iran is drastically shifting to a vision of oneness of all humanity, a dream of love for all humanity away from traditional religion and destructive politics.

یادداشت وارده؛ اصغر زارع کهنمویی– روزنامه‌نگار؛

He writes:

مرتضی پاشایی چهره این هفته نبود؛ چهره هفته دختران و پسران گریانی بودند که جمعه ‌شب گذشته در اوج بهت و حیرت کنشگران اجتماعی، به خیابان آمدند تا برای اویی که «دیگر نیست» اشک بریزند. آن شب نقطه آغاز یک نگرش جدید بود. همخوانی دسته‌جمعی ترانه‌ای سوزناک که مال زمان دلتنگی است، نشان داد که این نسل چقدر دلتنگ است و چقدر غمناک رفتن. آنها آن ترانه سخت و تلخ پاشایی را حفظ بودند و بدون کمترین هماهنگی قبلی، دست‌ها را به آسمان ساییدند و رنج تمام‌شدن را سرودند.

آنان چنان برای او اشک ریختند که انگار سالیان بسیار، او محرم یواشکی‌ترین احساسات و لحظه‌های یواشکی آنها بوده است. آن شب، رخ‌نمایی نسل جدید انسان ایرانی بود، نسلی به ‌غایت عاطفی، مهربان، ساده و دلتنگ. خیابان‌های شیک ایران این‌بار مارش رفتن می‌زد سرودی با حنجره تازه کسانی که شاید بیش از هر چیزی با دلتنگی آشنا هستند.

جمعه‌شب گذشته جامعه‌شناسی ایران، مبهوت کنش نسل جدیدی شد که انگار تقریبا هیچ جا حضور نداشته و یک باره از «عدم» به «خیابان» آمده بود. تحلیل‌گرهای اجتماعی، هرگز پیش‌بینی نمی‌کردند نسل جدید اینچنین خودجوش و متراکم، «خیابان» را در کلانشهرهای کشور برای وداع با خواننده جوانِ نه‌چندان معروف و موفق اما محبوب خود تصرف کند.

به‌راستی زیرپوست این جامعه چه می‌گذرد؟ آیا جامعه ایران در آستانه ورود به یکی از مهمترین پیچ‌های تاریخی خود است؟ آیا انسان ایرانی که دهه پنجاه برای خرید کتابچه‌های سخنرانی‌ شریعتی صف می‌کشید(کنش انقلابی) و دهه شصت که برای دیدن روح‌الله سرسپرده جماران می‌شد(کنش مذهبی) و دهه هفتاد که برای شنیدن سخنان سروش بی‌تابی می‌کرد(کنش روشنفکری) و دهه هشتاد که … (کنش سیاسی)؛ اکنون دارد وارد عصر جدیدِ حیات خود یعنی «کنش اجتماعی» می‌شود؟ او اینک نه برای سیاست و نه برای انقلاب، که برای «زیبا زیستن» مدام به خیابان می‌آید؛ یک روز برای مقابله با اعتراض به اسیدپاشی و روزی دیگر برای وداع با اسطوره‌ای که اسطوره نبود.


انسان ایرانی دیگر نه انقلابی و نه سیاسی که اجتماعی و مدنی است. زیستن نقطه پرگار این جامعه است. هر آنچه زیستن را به «تعویق» یا به «رنج» یا به «زوال» بکشاند برای او قابل تحمل نیست. برای نسل جدید این جامعه، آرای متضاربِ زندگی‌سوز چندان اهمیتی ندارد. این نسل، خیلی علاقمند به شناخت گفتمان‌های کلان و صاحبان آن نیست. او به مرگ و محنت اسطوره‌ها اهمیت نمی‌دهد چه، مفهوم اسطوره در ذهن او فروریخته است.

اسطوره‌های کلاسیک دیگر برای او اسطوره نیستند. نسل جدید گویا نیازی به این اسطوره‌ها ندارد. اگر هم نیازی هم به اسطوره می‌بیند، خودش اسطوره را از متن گفتمان خود می‌سازد.

مرتضی پاشایی دقیقا مثل همه نوجوانان و جوانانی است که شب گذشته به خیابان آمدند. اگر می‌خواهیم بدانیم نسل جدید جامعه ما از حاکمیت چه انتظاری دارد، باید به پیام ‌جمعه‌شب آنان گوش دهیم. آنان زندگی می‌خواهند و از مرگ و محنت هراس دارند. آنان عاطفی‌اند، هیجانی‌اند و تمام‌قد و تمام‌وقت، «دوست داشتن» را در تمام صیغه‌ها صرف می‌کنند. می‌خواهند بگویند، برایشان «رفتن» تلخ و غیرقابل تحمل است. نسل جدید، نسلی دل‌رحم و نازک‌دل است.

مرتضی پاشایی نه اندیشمند یک نحله فکری است، نه رهبر یک جریان سیاسی، نه لژیونر میلیاردی فوتبال و نه نویسنده پرطمطراق رسانه‌های رسمی. او در هیچ مصدر رسمی حضور ندارد. او برآمده از زیرزمین است و دقیقا از چیزی سخن که زیرپوست شهر جاری است. حتی لحن و محتوای سخن او نیز هرگز مشابه با الحان عرصه رسمی کشور نیست. او دقیقا با زبان دختران و پسرانی سخن می‌گوید که آنان حتی در خانه و مدرسه هم(که محرم‌ترین محل زندگی آنان است) مجوز به‌کارگرفتنش را نداشتند. این زبان و آن سخنان، تنها در نهان‌ترین لایه حیات آن‌ها یعنی در کوچه‌‌های باریک و ناامن زیستِ محرمانه و یواشکی این نسل قرار دارد. آنان جایی سخن مرتضی‌پاشایی‌گونه را زمزمه می‌کردند که هیچ گوش رسمی یارای شنیدن و قدرت تحمل و امکان تایید آن را نداشت. آن صدا، صدای لحظات خلوت جوانانی بود که خلوت‌کردن برای آنان اگر نه گناه که غیرعادی است و جامعه‌شناسی ما از این «وضعیت» زیستی نسل جدید ناآگاه است.

ما نه نگران که باید مشعوف وضعیت پویای جامعه خود باشیم. این نسل به ما می‌گوید، کمی قطار فقه را سبک و مقداری قد سیاست را کوتاه کنید. می‌گوید از آنهمه اندیشه‌ورزیِ بی‌فرجام و بدفرجام بکاهید و به «سمفونی» روی آورید. جدل‌های درازنای تاریخی را رها کنید، هم را لعن نکنید، برای هم پرونده نسازید، قلمبه‌سلمبه سخن نگویید، دوئل‌های احمقانه را کنار بگذارید، در شط رنج، شطرنج بازی نکنید، دن‌کیشوت‌وار زندگی نکنید؛ اینهمه را رها کنید و بیایید کمی بخندید کمی دوست بدارید.

پیام دیگر شب گذشته به صاحبان عرصه رسمی این است؛ نسل حاضر به رسانه‌های رسمی شما نیازی ندارد و اساسا این تریبون‌ها را به رسمیت نمی‌شناسد. قطعا بخش بزرگی از کسانی که جمعه شب گذشته به خیابان آمدند از رویداد ملیِ (!) نمایشگاه مطبوعات خبری نداشتند. این نسل رسانه خود را دارد رسانه‌ای که البته اکثریت سخنوران و نویسندگان عرصه های رسمی از آن بیگانه‌اند. شبکه‌های اجتماعی ابزار ویژه‌ای است در اختیار نسلی که کمترین نسبتی با رسانه‌های رسمی ندارد.

آنان که شب گذشته بهت کردند و شوکه شدند، بازندگان اصلی جامعه ایران هستند. این بهت نشان از وجود فاصله بزرگ تحلیل‌گرهای اجتماعی ما از واقعیت جامعه است. جامعه ایرانی دقیقا در حال دور زدن یک پیچ بسیار تند تاریخی است. نسل جدید اتفاقا در نخستین واگن و شاید در لوکوموتیو نشسته است. آنان چیزهایی را می‌ببینند که کنشگران رسمی نشسته در واگن واپسین قطار، هرگز تصورش را هم نمی‌کنند. این پیچ اینقدر تند است که اگر درست اندیشه نشود، ممکن است واگن‌ها بخصوص واگن‌های واپسین از لوکوموتیو جدا شوند و مسافران آن که اتفاقا خود را پرچمدار تحول و توسعه و رهبری فکری و کانون تعالی می‌دانند، برای همیشه در گذشته جابمانند. شاید اگر تصویر دقیق‌تری از واقعیت داشته باشیم، باید دردمندانه بگوییم این تراژدی اکنون اتفاق افتاده است چه، مگر کسی پیش‌بینی می‌کرد که خیابان‌های تهران و تبریز و شیراز و اصفهان و… برای وداع با یک خواننده سی‌ساله ناشناخته اینقدر شلوغ شود؟ مگر بخش بزرگی از کنشگران جامعه ما حیرت نکردند؟ آری «خیابان» حرف‌هایی دارد برای کسانی که تامل کنند.

In relation to Iran and specially Tehran, Baha’u’llah writes;

“Erelong will the state of affairs within thee be changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of the people. Verily, thy Lord is the All-Knowing. His authority embraceth all things. Rest thou assured in the gracious favour of thy Lord. The eye of His loving-kindness shall everlastingly be directed towards thee. The day is approaching when thy agitation will have been transmuted into peace and quiet calm. Thus hath it been decreed in the wondrous Book.”
Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, pp. 53-54

May we see more of this silver lining unfold in the days and years to come. I do trust that the future of Iran is brilliant.


Posted in Farsi, human rights, News, Questions | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Universal House of Justice Letter to the Baha’is of Iran (1 October, 2014)

placeit Letter to Bahai Iran 1 OCT 2014

On October 1st, 2014, the Universal House of Justice published a letter to the Baha’is of Iran and the authorised English translation is now available as well.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution took place in Iran, the Baha’is there continue to face systematic and institutionalised persecution, which includes execution, imprisonment, harassment and the denial of education. You can read more about the background to the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran here, and you can also read a previous letter from the Universal House of Justice to the Baha’is of Iran dated 2 March, 2013, and some of their other letters and statements here.

For your convenience, we’ve included a copy of the authorized English translation of the 1st October 2014 letter to the Baha’is of Iran in the body of this post below.


1 October 2014

To the Bahá’ís of Iran

Papua New Guinea comprises a group of islands in the vast expanse of the waters of the Pacific, far, far away from the Cradle of the Faith. We recently learned that your sacrifices have so inspired the believers in that vibrant Bahá’í community in their highly energetic response to the exigencies of the Five Year Plan that a group of them are working to make a television programme to bring to the attention of their compatriots the suffering that their deeply cherished fellow believers in Iran endure because of their adherence to the Cause. In so many ways that extraordinary region, Australasia—where, before long, four Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs will shine out as beacons of the light of divine guidance and as testaments to the magnificent response of its population to Bahá’u’lláh’s call for unity and peace—is the embodiment of this emphatic promise by the Abhá Beauty regarding His Cause: “Should they attempt to conceal its light on the continent, it will assuredly rear its head in the midmost heart of the ocean, and, raising its voice, proclaim: ‘I am the life-giver of the world!’”

To be sure, there are those who wish to conceal this light—indeed to snuff it out—in the land where it was first kindled and shrink at nothing to this end. In recent months, there has been a marked increase in calumnies and lies, misinformation and untruths about the Cause. How utterly futile are their efforts! For the expenditure of energy and fortune on systematic campaigns to propagate falsehoods about your beliefs has, as you know, led to an upsurge in interest to study the Bahá’í teachings and its history.

Consider for a moment the reason for the rise in this interest. It is, of course, a well-known fact that when searching for the truth of a matter, one cannot limit oneself to the study of the statements of its detractors; for an unbiased judgement, the original source must be investigated. Consider what lies and calumnies have for 1,400 years been propagated by the enemies of Islam. Is the truth of the Faith of the Prophet Muhammad to be judged by the protestations of His enemies or by immersion in and reflection on the ocean of the sacred Word revealed to Him by God?

Regrettably, in your land, truth has become a flexible plaything in the hands of those who are drunk on worldly power. So institutionalized has lying become in official circles that statements made by the authorities increasingly lack any credibility. This is in sharp contrast to the way in which your compatriots are able, with growing clarity, to see and understand your posture. For the sake of upholding the truth and not uttering a simple false statement about your belief that would open up to you every social and economic opportunity, you maintain your integrity and refuse to deny or dissimulate your faith. Among your fellow citizens and on the international stage, this commitment to truthfulness has won for you high standing and immeasurable praise. Little wonder, then, that some of those who attack the Faith in the virtual space now pretend to speak in the voice of the Bahá’ís. Knowing that the words of your avowed adversaries are devoid of any credibility, these hapless antagonists attempt to sow dissension in your midst by commandeering your voice so as to use its moral authority, won by your honesty, to undermine your unity. This effort is so transparent that none take it seriously, but it is an indication of the desperation and frustration of those who oppose you.

This same deceitful attitude is in evidence in the manner in which Bahá’í youth are denied higher education. Every year a new ruse is used to deceive; this year was no exception. But the diligence with which the Bahá’í youth in Iran, despite every obstacle, continue to pursue justice and seek knowledge has again won the admiration of the people of the world and their governments. Whether in the determination and integrity of the young student who, having passed the entrance exam, demands evidence to know why she is being denied her right to higher education; whether in the heart-rending lines written by a child in defence of her sister against manifest injustice; whether in the fearless audacity and resolve evinced by the concerned father who travels hundreds of miles to set forth the truth to those in seats of power; or whether in the gestures of support and solidarity from your compatriots—in all your countless other unmarked acts of fidelity and steadfastness, as well as in acts of nobility and valour on the part of the people of Iran, a unique and instructive account is being written in deeds.

Yet your actions are not confined to efforts to seek justice. Your unrelenting pursuit of knowledge is perhaps one of the most outstanding examples of constructive resilience in the modern age. In a world where education is not immune from the forces that promote a materialistic conception of human life, and where, for some, university degrees have become commoditized, your admirable pursuit of learning for its own sake, for the sake of the powers of the human mind that it enhances and the capacities for service that it develops, stands in sharp contrast. But what is all the more remarkable is that this attitude, this understanding, this value you rightfully attach to learning is not confined to a certain small section of your community. The imperative to educate is a central concern for your young and old alike; for the students, certainly, but also for those who risk their all to teach and impart knowledge, for those who organize educational endeavours, for those parents who sacrificially ensure their children are able to continue their education, for those who generously offer hospitality, for those who pray for this effort and wish it well, and for countless others who in a myriad other ways make this collective act possible. This resolute spirit and these selfless deeds deserve the highest praise.

Reflect upon the destructive forces at work that are destabilizing equilibrium across the face of the globe, including the situation that prevails in your own land. Power is seized and exercised in a manner that twists or obscures the truth to serve the special interests of the few at the expense of the many. Fanaticism is unleashed in the name of religion, such that it distorts human behaviour and promotes social strife in a manner that stands in stark contrast to the spiritual qualities and social well-being which the Messengers of God sacrificed themselves to foster. Materialism dulls the human spirit, trapping that bird, which should soar in the heavens, in the mire of self-indulgence and animalistic tendencies. As human beings are buffeted by these forces, they long for truth and that which is right and become impelled to discover a way out of this morass. Inspired by the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, you stand against such negative forces, you respond to this search for truth, and together with others of like mind you serve the process of the construction of a just and peaceful world. Praised be God that you are engaged in carrying out the admonitions of your Beloved. Continue then with confidence on your path. Challenged by self-serving power, pursue the acquisition of knowledge; in the face of fanaticism, build unity, and combat prejudices of all kinds; in response to enmity and hatred, offer love and show mercy and compassion; rather than surrendering to consumerism, live a selfless life of service and use your resources for the betterment of the world. Consort in fellowship and work with all who strive for these noble aims.

This prayer of the Master describes well your state and expresses the sentiments of our hearts:

O Divine Providence! This assemblage is composed of Thy friends who are attracted to Thy beauty and are set ablaze by the fire of Thy love. Turn these souls into heavenly angels, resuscitate them through the breath of Thy Holy Spirit, grant them eloquent tongues and resolute hearts, bestow upon them heavenly power and merciful susceptibilities, cause them to become the promulgators of the oneness of mankind and the cause of love and concord in the world of humanity, so that the perilous darkness of ignorant prejudice may vanish through the light of the Sun of Truth, this dreary world may become illumined, this material realm may absorb the rays of the world of spirit, these different colours may merge into one colour and the melody of praise may rise to the kingdom of Thy sanctity.

Verily, Thou art the Omnipotent and the Almighty!

[signed: The Universal House of Justice]

With my thanks to Naysan of the Baha’i Blog


Posted in Education, human rights, letters, News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment