Don’t you love looking at Roxana Saberi’s smile of freedom and wish the same would be possible for all the innocent souls who are kept captive in Iran and elsewhere?
In her interview with Terry Gross of NPR she talked about her new book Between Two Worlds which is an account of her tests and ordeals in captivity and what she thinks and how she feels about the Islamic Republic Regime and their version of human rights and justice!
Her conversation with Terry Gross on NPR was both bitter and sweet for me.
Hearing her talk about her frightening arrest, the intimidating and rootless nature of her interrogators and interrogations, the false and fabricated accusations, the threats to her safety and the safety of her family if she did not “cooperate” with her captors and finally her feelings of fear and isolation, and, and, gave me a semi close up of what other innocent and defenseless victims go through. My thoughts and heart turned to the innocent Yaran who are still in Evin prison awaiting “trial” on April 10, 2010! My heart also went to the Baha’i youth of Shiraz who took the teachings of their Faith about service to humanity serious and spent their precious time teaching and educating the poor and the disadvantaged kids in the ghettos of Shiraz. Isn’t service to humanity the highlight of the teachings of all the religions of God including Islam? The Baha’i children and youth are brought up and educated about this very noble honor of attending to the welfare of others. Abdu’l-Baha who spent all of His precious life in prison and excile teaches about the unique honor of tending to the common good:
“… is there any deed in the world that would be nobler than service to the common good? Is there any greater blessing conceivable for a man, than that he should become the cause of the education, the development, the prosperity and honor of his fellow-creatures? No, by the Lord God! The highest righteousness of all is for blessed souls to take hold of the hands of the helpless and deliver them out of their ignorance and abasement and poverty, and with pure motives, and only for the sake of God, to arise and energetically devote themselves to the service of the masses, forgetting their own worldly advantage and working only to serve the general good. “They prefer them before themselves, though poverty be their own lot.” “The best of men are those who serve the people; the worst of men are those who harm the people.” [1 Qur’an 59:9.] (Abdu’l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 103)
As I was hearing Roxana talk about how frightened and helpless she felt that she initially chose to lie and say she was a spy so she can go free, I thought about the Baha’i children and youth living in fear and suspense of what can happen to their families any moment because of being Baha’is, made my heart bleed and cry. I wept for what the Baha’i youth who were arrested in Shiraz and elsewhere must have endured. The seven former Baha’i leaders are still suffering what Roxana suffered for a short while.
Roxana talked about her new appreciation for simple liberties and basic human rights such as being able to floss her teeth because they did not let her have a floss in Evin prison. She talked about her appreciation of being able to make a phone call whenever she wants and without someone standing guard over her, turning the light off when she goes to sleep, having a pen or a piece of paper whenever she wants, being able to go out and see the sunshine or go for a walk whenever she desires it, etc. How sad and disappointing for the rest of us to witness injustice and inhumanity by those who claim they are people of God towards the helpless defenders of humanity and those who have dedicated their lives to the well being of all.
Just so goodness and light may conquer the forces of evil and darkness, that humanity and godliness may win over inhumanity and injustice, we hope and pray that the Baha’is of Iran are able to persevere and to endure, to be firm in their covenant with the forces of light and goodness and ultimately deliver all of us from this dark and desperate night of inhumanity, violations of human rights and injustice.
I invite you to join me in this prayer I have chanted for justice and fairness for all the lovers of common good by Abdu’l-Baha.