They Arrested Noura in SHIRAZ In The Name Of Islam and The Children Stopped to Drum!!
Little children in Shiraz are drumming for the safe release and return of their beloved music teacher Noura Pourmoradian who was arrested a few days ago while in class teaching them songs. Her arrest was in the name of Islam! Authorities told Noura’s parents that Baha’is couldn’t teach children, according to the Islamic Republic laws. Which means; Receiving and delivering education is a crime in Iran for Baha’is according to Islam and their daughter has crossed the RED line. They looked Noura’s parents in the eyes and said her crime is of a most serious kind while escorting Noura to await her sentence behind bars !!
A few days ago, in the name of Islam, a band of male and female agents of the Islamic Republic Regime in Shiraz raided the school, marched through the school ground, barged into the preschoolers classroom, frightened the children, ordered Noura to get up as children watched in horror and arrested her. They put handcuffs on Noura, yanked and shoved her against the wall. They confiscated Noura’s cell phone, checked her body and, like a criminal, took Noura away to prison!! All in the name of Islam, all in the name of Islam!
Since then the children do not want to come to school. Those who do, cling to their parents and drum with sad faces, their eyes fixed on the door hoping Noura walks in with her radiant usual smile. The children are worried for their teacher’s safety and pray for her safe return. They do not understand why Islam is so scary and unpredictable!! They want their classroom once again filled with songs and music. They want to sing with Noura!! They want to sit on her lap, hear her melodious voice, drumming happy drums!! They want to like Islam too!
Parents and teachers are stunned, saddened, ashamed and angry about what happened in the name of Islam. They say; “We have no problem with any one having a different belief. We respect one another and we are happy as long as we share a common humanity.” Parents and teachers try to comfort the children and wonder where is God, where is Prophet Muhammad? One father cries and says; I wonder if He is watching and weeping from above on what is being committed in the name of Islam!
Who is Noura?
Noura is my young student in Iran. Her cheerful and hopeful spirit lifts my heart. Her determination, zeal and perseverance is amazing to watch in the face of ongoing injustice perpetrated on her family and others by the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran. As an Iranian American psychotherapist living in US for over 40 years, I see the Baha’is of Iran as beacons of love, unity and education for oneness of all mankind.
I remember a Couple of years ago suddenly Noura’s mom disappeared. The family did not know of her where about! Baha’is of Iran are well too familiar with the disappearing of their loved ones only to learn later that they are arrested and imprisoned in the name of Islam. It is all about a systematic plan for decapitating the Baha’i community by making it impossible to be a force for illumination in Iran. Noura’s mother was arrested twice on account of the same supposed crime; teaching parents and children the virtues of human kind through songs and stories in her own home! Noura witnessed the courage and perseverance of her mother and father dealing with Islamic Republic authorities cruelty and injustice all in the name of Islam. The parents of the children were all summoned to testify as witnesses to Noura’s mom’s crime. Almost all refused to betray their loved teacher and respected friend, all stood firm in support of Noura’s mom’s right as people of conscience who should worship as they choose under Islam.
Baha’u’llah, Noura says, has taught us to love our enemies which means to me to wish the best of this world and the next for all. I want to do as Baha’u’llah teaches. Loving humanity is a teaching of God for today. Educating children with the spirit of service is an act of worship according to Baha’i Teachings. Why am I barred from my act of worship in the name of Islam?
How Do I know Noura?
I was teaching Noura child development from a multicultural perspective. Noura has been barred from attending college because of being a Baha’i. Not having the chance to go to university in Iran made her sad inside. She dreamt of being able to study and to learn. She loves music and she loves to teach. “Music has helped me to connect with my spiritual powers and the joy within”; she once shared. Noura has a beautiful voice and when she chants the Baha’i prayers, it feels like angels come around and listen. “As a Baha’i child I have learned that music is the ladder of our soul. I see how children respond to moral education when I combine music and uplifting words. Their humanity comes out they are inspired to serve their fellow man. Children in Iran have so much sadness. As a Baha’i I believe education of their heart is the heart of education.” Noura told me. It is an honor for me to serve as her mentor.
What I Ask?
Would you please join me to speak up in defense of Noura? Would you ask your friends, your government, your representative, your teachers, your students, your neighbors, your family, to join us to shine a global flood light on the darkness that has suffocated Iran for so long? Would you speak up in support of the human rights of teaching all children what it means to be human? Would you please make an effort to include in your conversation the importance of basic human rights for the Baha’is of Iran and specially Noura Pourmoradian and all innocent prisoners in Iran.
The children, their parents and the school want the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran stop demonizing the Baha’is of Iran. They want the authorities to know there is no need for them to be afraid and scared of the influence of the Baha’i teachers in Iran? They want their children to have dedicated teachers such as Noura and her mom. What does the Islamic Republic have to loose by welcoming the Baha’i teachers to teach children about oneness of all humanity, elimination of all prejudice, equality of women and men, independent investigation of truth, world peace, oneness of all religions, oneness of God, harmony of science and religion, and discovery of spiritual solutions to the economic problems of the world? What harm comes to Islamic Republic of Iran if children learn to respect and value humanity in every one?
Parents, and teachers in Iran are praying for the freedom of all Baha’is who wish the betterment of Iran in the eyes of all mankind? People of Iran pray for their Baha’i neighbors and teachers who risk their lives only to elevate education of the next generation. They say; “Noura is like her name, luminous, a point of light and love. Noura is one of our best teachers. Noura is like a happy dream in sad times. Noura belongs to our classroom not in the corner of Islamic Republic dark and dangerous prison!!”
Let Noura go, let Noura go, Let Noura go, the children drum!!
Will you echo their drum? Will you pray for the universal music of love and respect for Basic human rights? Will you raise the question of until when “Receiving education and delivering education is a crime in Iran for Baha’is”? Will you join the children and all people of good will in concert in the name of God, the loving creator of ALL MANKIND announcing that education is never a crime!?
Prayer for Noura’s Safe return
He is God!
O Lord my God! O Thou Helper of the feeble, Succorer of the poor and Deliverer of the helpless who turn unto Thee.
With utmost lowliness I raise my suppliant hands to Thy kingdom of beauty and fervently call upon Thee with my inner tongue, saying:
O Lord! These souls have tasted bitter agony in this earthly life and have, as a sign of their love for the shining beauty of Thy countenance and in their eagerness to attain Thy celestial kingdom, tolerated every gross indignity that the people of tyranny have inflicted upon them.
O Lord! Fill their ears with the verses of divine assistance and of a speedy victory, and deliver them from the oppression of such as wield terrible might. Withhold the hands of the wicked and leave not these souls to be torn by the claws and teeth of fierce beasts, for they are captivated by their love for Thee, entrusted with the mysteries of Thy holiness, stand humbly at Thy door and have attained to Thine exalted precinct.
O Lord! Graciously reinforce them with a new spirit; illumine their eyes by enabling them to behold Thy wondrous evidences in the gloom of night; destine for them all good that aboundeth in Thy Kingdom of eternal mysteries; make them as brilliant stars shining over all regions, luxuriant trees laden with fruit and branches moving in the breezes of dawn.
Verily, Thou art the Bountiful,the Mighty, the Omnipotent, the Unconstrained. There is none other God but Thee, the God of love and tender mercy, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving.
Thank you for lending your voice in defense of the defenseless and the meek.