Last night a large crowd of citizens of all forms and shapes came together to pray for the deliverance of the Baha’is of Iran especially the seven former Baha’i Leaders who have been held in prison based on unsubstantiated, fabricated and malicious charges that no sane mind can fathom. The seven innocent and radiant souls are about to go on trial by a cruel and inhumane Islamic Republic Regime in Iran that believes these birds of the love of humanity they have arrested and kept hostages in the dark cage of Evin prison for two years by are enemies of God or spies for another government!!! The rest of the world is wondering what in the world the Islamic Republic Regime means by the word “God”? What idols they have propped up in their minds and call it “God’ to claim salvation for themselves and hell and damnation for the rest of humanity?!
There were people in the crowd raising their hands in prayer who had until then not heard about the word Baha’i. There were students, professors, musicians, activists, teachers, physicians, and most of all children. children drawing circles of unity for the frightened Baha’i children in Iran. Children praying for the protection of their own humanity and for the rest of humanity, for the rule of law and justice, for unity and peace, for themselves becoming shining lamps and brilliant stars in the midst of these dark hours of human history. “ O\’ God guide me, make of me a shiny lamp and brilliant star” , a 4 year old child would beg praying. What a beautiful silver-lining to behold. please God, hear the children.
As I was watching, the following thoughts flooded my mind and heart:
Clearly the Declaration of Human Rights is about what the International Laws and covenants as well as societal norms understands and agrees to be the human rights of each person and dictate to us the humane treatment of other human beings. The civil society also makes sure the violators of human rights are identified and justly punished. As a result this wing of human rights is about how much each one of us are willing and capable to afford other humans their human rights. Naturally we cannot expect recognition and respect for human rights from the ignorant and malicious, from the prejudiced and the tyrant, from the ungodly and the power hungry. It would be naive and unrealistic. This wing of human rights is reinforced by International law from outside.
The issue of the other wing of human rights, however, is about what comes from within and how education, especially an integrated education takes the lead and frees the future generations from the bondage of looking like human, walking on the two feet and acting quite ignorant of what makes us really human. this wing of the human rights I like to call our spiritual birthright. Each one of us alone can protect this spiritual birthright. The beauty and justice of it is that no other force in the universe can violate this spiritual birth right, this other wing of our human right.
The difference between the human rights we afford others and the human rights we claim and aspire for ourselves is most fascinating to me especially as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and clinician who appreciates the power of spiritual identity in the way human beings choose to think, feel and act.
Obviously regards for my human rights, is in the hand of others and therefore subject to their thoughts, views and actions. This is where the whole world can feel like a hostage of the acts of ignorance and malice of one power hungry tyrant. This is where the Persian proverb says, a mad man can throw a stone into the well while one hundred wise men cannot get it out!
Yes, in today’s small world where all humanity is physically crammed in one global village but mentally and spiritually divided by every one’s vain imagination of superiority over the rest, there is a lot to worry when it comes to the question of human rights. Much to our freight in this global village, neither governments nor the conflicting religions are capable of delivering the citizens of the world from eminent dangers of violations of human rights. Humanity is tired and is desperately looking for a new refuge, a new guide and a new map. The old lessons and instructions has failed to produce human beings who are invested in protecting their own human rights the kind that helps us claim our own humanity and protect it with all our might despite the inhumanity of others.
The miracle of the seven former Baha’i leaders and prisoners in the Evin Prison and the nobility of their wronged yet staunch families in is in their absolute and unquestionable loyalty to what is to be really human, their success despite all the injustice inflicted upon them, in protecting and safeguarding their own humanity. They see this other wing of the human rights, their birth right and they are delighted that this wing of their human rights can only be claimed by each individual in solidarity and love for what is good and godly.
That is why much to many people’s surprise, their spirit is at peace, joyous, happy, radiant, free, fulfilled, grateful, compassionate and graceful throughout their cruel ordeal.
Our share, however, in this equation is to speak up in protection of the first wing, the wing of justice and regards for the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights.