Baha’i Administrative Body of Iran Arrested

Breaking News
Morning Wednesday May 14th, 2008 – Tehran, Iran

Report from the Universal House of Justice

… the members of the Friends in Iran – the group that coordinates the activities of the Baha’i community in the absence of a National Spiritual Assembly in the Cradle of the Faith – have been summarily and unjustly arrested by the Iranian authorities in raids conducted in the early hours of this morning, 14 May 2008. Details are as follows.

Officers of the Intelligence Ministry in Tehran entered the homes of six of the seven members of the Friends in Iran, whereupon they conducted extensive searches, following which all six were arrested and brought to the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. These individuals – Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi [Fariba Kamalabadi], Mr. Jamalu’d-Din Khanjani [Jamaloddin Khanjani], Mr. ‘Afif Na’imi [Afif Naeimi], Mr. Sa’id Rida’i [Saeid Rezaie], Mr. Bihruz Tavakkuli [Behrouz Tavakkoli], and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm [Vahid Tizfahm] – now join the seventh member of the group, Mrs. Mahvash Thabit [Mahvash Sabet], resident of Tehran and Secretary of the Friends in Iran, who has been held in custody since 5 March 2008 when she was summoned to Mashhad by the Ministry of Intelligence, ostensibly on the grounds that she was required to answer questions related to the burial of an individual in the Baha’i cemetery in that city. Contrary to recent indications that Mrs. Thabit would be released some time soon, the events that have transpired today are yet another indication of the government’s determination to extinguish the Baha’i community in the land of its birth.

… such dire action on the part of the government has not been witnessed since the heartrending events in 1980 and 1981, when all nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran were abducted on 21 August 1980 and disappeared without a trace, following which the reconstituted National Assembly was again ravaged by the execution of eight of its members on 27 December 1981.

yaran bahai group iran

Related from Baha’i Rants:

Three Baha’is jailed in Iran
Intensifying persecutions in Iran
Return of the Hojjatieh Society
Those “devious” Baha’is
Iran steps up monitoring of Baha’is
Persecution of Baha’is linked to Hojjatieh Society

* * * * * * * * *

I wrote this more than 2 years ago:

With the arrival of the new president, everyone has noted that Iran’s political situation has taken a very bad turn. Unfortunately most people don’t have even a clue as to the extent nor the underlying reasons. I hope to shed some light in the next paragraphs and once again, show why I believe the UHJ’s policy of encouraging Baha’is to remain in Iran is completely wrong and extremely dangerous.

The recent arrests and persecution of Baha’is in Iran are, I’m afraid, only the beginning of a renewed campaign of persecution. Unlike previous administrations in Iran which were reluctantly influenced by international pressure, the perverse ideology to which this one subscribes to allows them to be immune to such forces. Any and all actions taken by the civilized world against the Iranian regime as a consequence of the persecution of Baha’is, will only reinforce the belief system of the Hojatieh and result in their redoubled efforts to sow the seeds of chaos.

I pray that I am completely wrong in my understanding of the situation and wholly ignorant of the real political cross currents in Iran. I pray so because if I am right, many Baha’is are in extreme and imminent danger.

I beg them to get out, for if I am wrong, the consequence is acceptable. They and their families can build a life in one of many civilized countries in the world and simply go back when Iran’s future changes for the better. But if I’m correct, then the consequences of staying in Iran will be tragic.

If a lowly blogger with limited resources can put the pieces together a few years in advance, it is safe to require the UHJ/ITC to have done so years ahead and with a much deeper understanding. Which is why I’m utterly puzzled why this time around the highest administrative bodies are choosing to do nothing when in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution they were not only encouraging Baha’is to leave Iran but actively involved with helping them re-establish a life outside of Iran.

As Baha’is we have faced many waves of persecution and violence. But it is not within the precepts of our Faith to seek out martyrdom when there is a clear alternative.

Related External Links:

Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center – Press Release
LA TIMES: Blog Post – Babylon & Beyond
US State Department – Press Release
United States on International Religious Freedom – Press Release
United Nations Special Rapporteur: Report on Baha’is in Iran – March 2006

  • Lili

    Can you point me to the source of this …so I can refer there? Please. Not doubting you..just want to know more!

  • Lili

    Can you point me to the source of this …so I can refer there? Please. Not doubting you..just want to know more!

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Barney Leith may have more information on the breaking story.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Barney Leith may have more information on the breaking story.

  • Lili

    Barney Leith didn’t have anything…anyone else have an idea?

  • Lili

    Barney Leith didn’t have anything…anyone else have an idea?

  • Lili

    Barney didn’t have anything! Baquia why do you always now everything first!

  • Lili

    Barney didn’t have anything! Baquia why do you always now everything first!

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Barney’s now-removed blog post is being reported on the Bahai-Community discussion list – ad-hoc Baha’i governance group arrested in Iran today. It’s a little unclear which parts of the copied text are Barney’s words and which are from the House.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Barney’s now-removed blog post is being reported on the Bahai-Community discussion list – ad-hoc Baha’i governance group arrested in Iran today. It’s a little unclear which parts of the copied text are Barney’s words and which are from the House.

  • beweildered

    These people have names, right?
    They persumably spell their names a certain way which they are entitled to, right?
    So what gives the UHJ the right to recast their names in a different spelling?
    Well I figured if they can rename people, why can’t we say:

    A’adolff Heetla’r (Adolf Hitler)
    Th’adam Huth’ayn (Saddam Hussein)
    Je’orj Boosh (George Bush)
    J’erie Th’inefelt (Gerry Sienfelt)

  • beweildered

    These people have names, right?
    They persumably spell their names a certain way which they are entitled to, right?
    So what gives the UHJ the right to recast their names in a different spelling?
    Well I figured if they can rename people, why can’t we say:

    A’adolff Heetla’r (Adolf Hitler)
    Th’adam Huth’ayn (Saddam Hussein)
    Je’orj Boosh (George Bush)
    J’erie Th’inefelt (Gerry Sienfelt)

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    These people have Persian (فارسی) names. Normally, their names are spelled using a Persian alphabet. What you’re seeing is their Persian names written (or transliterated) with the Latin alphabet. There are several different transliteration methods. Hence, the two different ways of spelling their names in the Latin script.

    Esteve
    (just to make it easier to say for Persian-speakers)

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    These people have Persian (فارسی) names. Normally, their names are spelled using a Persian alphabet. What you’re seeing is their Persian names written (or transliterated) with the Latin alphabet. There are several different transliteration methods. Hence, the two different ways of spelling their names in the Latin script.

    Esteve
    (just to make it easier to say for Persian-speakers)

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Baha’i World News Service has just picked up the story:

    Six Bahá’í leaders arrested in Iran; pattern matches deadly sweeps of early 1980s

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Baha’i World News Service has just picked up the story:

    Six Bahá’í leaders arrested in Iran; pattern matches deadly sweeps of early 1980s

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="50493"]Barney didn’t have anything! Baquia why do you always now everything first![/quote]

    I don’t know Lili, perhaps someone up there likes me. I’ve broken several stories online and am glad that by now I have established a reputation for honesty. When I first started to break stories I would be attacked and called a liar by fellow Baha’is. Now they seem to not know whether to believe me or not. Maybe at some point in the future they will understand that my motives are pure.

    I would like to request that you join me in keeping the Baha’is of Iran and especially those now in custody, in your thoughts and prayers.

    Some previous stories broken here first:

    Baha’is in Vietnam
    Baha’is of Italy financial scandal
    Closing of Maxwell School

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="50493"]Barney didn’t have anything! Baquia why do you always now everything first![/quote]

    I don’t know Lili, perhaps someone up there likes me. I’ve broken several stories online and am glad that by now I have established a reputation for honesty. When I first started to break stories I would be attacked and called a liar by fellow Baha’is. Now they seem to not know whether to believe me or not. Maybe at some point in the future they will understand that my motives are pure.

    I would like to request that you join me in keeping the Baha’is of Iran and especially those now in custody, in your thoughts and prayers.

    Some previous stories broken here first:

    Baha’is in Vietnam
    Baha’is of Italy financial scandal
    Closing of Maxwell School

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    [quote comment=""]I would like to request that you join me in keeping the Baha’is of Iran and especially those now in custody, in your thoughts and prayers.[/quote]

    I hate to even imagine what their loved ones might be going through.

  • http://kaweah.com/blog Dan Jensen

    [quote comment=""]I would like to request that you join me in keeping the Baha’is of Iran and especially those now in custody, in your thoughts and prayers.[/quote]

    I hate to even imagine what their loved ones might be going through.

  • farhan

    Bewildered wrote:
    “These people have names, right?
    They persumably spell their names a certain way which they are entitled to, right? So what gives the UHJ the right to recast their names in a different spelling?

    Bewildered, when a name is transcribed from Farsi or Arabic into a European language, the phonetic transcription is spelled differently by a German, French, English or Spanish. In order to keep the same spelling in whichever language, international transliteration schemes have been proposed and Shoghi Effendi chose the one based on a standard adopted by the Tenth International Congress of Orientalists which took place in Geneva in September 1894.

    To make things easier, Shoghi effendi suggested putting the international translitteration side by side with the one customary to users of each language. Hence the names have been transcribed with the international and English spellings. More on this

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Bewildered wrote:
    “These people have names, right?
    They persumably spell their names a certain way which they are entitled to, right? So what gives the UHJ the right to recast their names in a different spelling?

    Bewildered, when a name is transcribed from Farsi or Arabic into a European language, the phonetic transcription is spelled differently by a German, French, English or Spanish. In order to keep the same spelling in whichever language, international transliteration schemes have been proposed and Shoghi Effendi chose the one based on a standard adopted by the Tenth International Congress of Orientalists which took place in Geneva in September 1894.

    To make things easier, Shoghi effendi suggested putting the international translitteration side by side with the one customary to users of each language. Hence the names have been transcribed with the international and English spellings. More on this

  • Carm-again

    Baha’i World News Service has just picked up the story

    This is heart-wrenching. So soon after Ridvan. They patiently endure the suffering that has been the lot of so many of their fellow believers – sharing infitesimally in the anguish of their Lord. My heart is drawn too to the suffering of our brothers and sisters since His advent.

    “FROM THE CORPSE WOODPILES, FROM THE ASHES”
    —Robert Hayden

    From the corpse woodpiles, from the ashes
    and staring pits of Dachau,
    Buchenwald they come—

    O David, Hirschel, Eva,
    cops and robbers with me once,
    their faces are like yours—

    From Johannesburg, from Seoul.
    Their struggles are all horizons.
    Their deaths encircle me.

    Through target streets I run,
    in light part nightmare
    and part vision fleeing

    What I cannot flee, and reach
    that cold cloacal cell
    where He, who is man beatified

    And Godly mystery,
    lies chained, His pain
    our anguish and our anodyne.”

    Robert Hayden

    Bahá’u’lláh in the Garden of Ridwan ]
    —Robert Hayden

    “Agonies confirm His hour,
    and swords like compass-needles turn
    toward His heart.

    The midnight air is forested
    with presences that shelter Him
    and sheltering praise

    The auroral darkness which is God
    and sing the word made flesh again
    in Him,

    Eternal exile whose return
    epiphanies repeatedly
    foretell.

    He watches in a borrowed garden,
    prays. And sleepers toss upon
    their armored beds,

    Half-roused by golden knocking at
    the doors of consciousness. Energies
    like angels dance

    Glorias of recognition.
    Within the rock the undiscovered suns
    release their light.”

  • Carm-again

    Baha’i World News Service has just picked up the story

    This is heart-wrenching. So soon after Ridvan. They patiently endure the suffering that has been the lot of so many of their fellow believers – sharing infitesimally in the anguish of their Lord. My heart is drawn too to the suffering of our brothers and sisters since His advent.

    “FROM THE CORPSE WOODPILES, FROM THE ASHES”
    —Robert Hayden

    From the corpse woodpiles, from the ashes
    and staring pits of Dachau,
    Buchenwald they come—

    O David, Hirschel, Eva,
    cops and robbers with me once,
    their faces are like yours—

    From Johannesburg, from Seoul.
    Their struggles are all horizons.
    Their deaths encircle me.

    Through target streets I run,
    in light part nightmare
    and part vision fleeing

    What I cannot flee, and reach
    that cold cloacal cell
    where He, who is man beatified

    And Godly mystery,
    lies chained, His pain
    our anguish and our anodyne.”

    Robert Hayden

    Bahá’u’lláh in the Garden of Ridwan ]
    —Robert Hayden

    “Agonies confirm His hour,
    and swords like compass-needles turn
    toward His heart.

    The midnight air is forested
    with presences that shelter Him
    and sheltering praise

    The auroral darkness which is God
    and sing the word made flesh again
    in Him,

    Eternal exile whose return
    epiphanies repeatedly
    foretell.

    He watches in a borrowed garden,
    prays. And sleepers toss upon
    their armored beds,

    Half-roused by golden knocking at
    the doors of consciousness. Energies
    like angels dance

    Glorias of recognition.
    Within the rock the undiscovered suns
    release their light.”

  • Lili

    Baquia,
    You you have broken many stories first…so are you a member of an NSA or do you work in the Holy Land? I know from what Barney wrote that NSAs heard about this first. Either of these two possibilities would be SHOCKING, not that I doubt your motives, but for obvious reasons though!
    LILI

  • Lili

    Baquia,
    You you have broken many stories first…so are you a member of an NSA or do you work in the Holy Land? I know from what Barney wrote that NSAs heard about this first. Either of these two possibilities would be SHOCKING, not that I doubt your motives, but for obvious reasons though!
    LILI

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Lili, no comment.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Lili, no comment.

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""]Lili, no comment.[/quote]

    Baquia being a member of the administrative order doesn’t seem to fit. Im guessing hes an american, probably living somewhere in the midwest, maybe california. age, 30-45, probably born a Baha’i.

    Lets take some bets.

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""]Lili, no comment.[/quote]

    Baquia being a member of the administrative order doesn’t seem to fit. Im guessing hes an american, probably living somewhere in the midwest, maybe california. age, 30-45, probably born a Baha’i.

    Lets take some bets.

  • Lili

    If Baquia isn’t an administrative order member how did he know about this so in advance? Barney said the NSAs received new. Baquai is a NSA member! And NOT living in the the United States….he might be Canadian.

  • Lili

    If Baquia isn’t an administrative order member how did he know about this so in advance? Barney said the NSAs received new. Baquai is a NSA member! And NOT living in the the United States….he might be Canadian.

  • T. Loftman

    URGENT APPEAL REQUESTED re. the Arrest of the Baha’i leaders in Iran:

    The facts as known currently:
    Six leaders of a group managing the Baha’i community’s religious and administrative affairs in Iran were arrested at their homes by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence on 14 May and are now detained in Evin Prison in Tehran. A seventh person, acting secretary for the group, Mahvash Sabet, has been in detention since 5 March. They may all be prisoners of conscience, detained solely because of their religious beliefs or their peaceful activities on behalf of the Baha’i community.

    The six Baha’i leaders, Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm, were arrested following raids on their homes by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence in the early hours of 14 May, 2008. Their homes were extensively searched for about five hours.

    Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Jamaloddin Khanjani have previously been arrested for their activities on behalf of the Baha’i community. Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi and Behrouz Tavakkoli were arrested in Mashhad in Khorasan Province, north-eastern Iran, on 26 July 2005 after they arrived at the city’s bus station from Tehran in order to meet some other Baha’is and discuss community affairs. Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, who was released on bail on 19 September 2005, is a member of a coordinating group that supervises course work for Baha’is in Iran who wish to study their religion. She had previously been arrested on 25 May 2005 and released on bail on 28 June. Behrouz Tavakkoli was released on bail on 15 November 2005.

    Mahvash Sabet, who lives in Tehran, was summoned to Mashhad by the Ministry of Intelligence as part of its investigation into the burial of an individual in the city’s Baha’i cemetery. She was arrested on 5 March and later transferred to Evin Prison, where she remains.

    RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send your appeal to the Iranian authorities listed below as soon as possible in English, Arabic or Persian languages:

    - asking why the seven individuals (please name them) have been detained by the Ministry of Intelligence;

    - stating that Amnesty International would consider them to be prisoners of conscience if they are detained because of their Baha’i faith or their peaceful activities managing the religious or administrative affairs of the Baha’i community in Iran;

    - calling for their release if they are not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offense and brought to trial promptly and fairly;

    - calling on the authorities not to torture or ill-treat them;

    - urging the authorities to ensure that they are given immediate and regular access to their relatives and lawyers of their choice.

    Leader of the Islamic Republic
    His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
    The Office of the Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email: info@leader.ir
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Minister of Intelligence
    Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
    Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Head of the Judiciary
    Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
    Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
    Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    COPIES TO:
    President
    His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    The Presidency
    Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Fax: + 98 21 6 649 5880
    Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir, via website: http://www.president.ir/email/

    Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
    His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
    c/o Office of the Deputy for International Affairs
    Ministry of Justice,
    Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad (Ark) Square,
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827 (please keep trying)

  • T. Loftman

    URGENT APPEAL REQUESTED re. the Arrest of the Baha’i leaders in Iran:

    The facts as known currently:
    Six leaders of a group managing the Baha’i community’s religious and administrative affairs in Iran were arrested at their homes by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence on 14 May and are now detained in Evin Prison in Tehran. A seventh person, acting secretary for the group, Mahvash Sabet, has been in detention since 5 March. They may all be prisoners of conscience, detained solely because of their religious beliefs or their peaceful activities on behalf of the Baha’i community.

    The six Baha’i leaders, Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm, were arrested following raids on their homes by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence in the early hours of 14 May, 2008. Their homes were extensively searched for about five hours.

    Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Jamaloddin Khanjani have previously been arrested for their activities on behalf of the Baha’i community. Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi and Behrouz Tavakkoli were arrested in Mashhad in Khorasan Province, north-eastern Iran, on 26 July 2005 after they arrived at the city’s bus station from Tehran in order to meet some other Baha’is and discuss community affairs. Fariba Kamalabadi Taefi, who was released on bail on 19 September 2005, is a member of a coordinating group that supervises course work for Baha’is in Iran who wish to study their religion. She had previously been arrested on 25 May 2005 and released on bail on 28 June. Behrouz Tavakkoli was released on bail on 15 November 2005.

    Mahvash Sabet, who lives in Tehran, was summoned to Mashhad by the Ministry of Intelligence as part of its investigation into the burial of an individual in the city’s Baha’i cemetery. She was arrested on 5 March and later transferred to Evin Prison, where she remains.

    RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send your appeal to the Iranian authorities listed below as soon as possible in English, Arabic or Persian languages:

    - asking why the seven individuals (please name them) have been detained by the Ministry of Intelligence;

    - stating that Amnesty International would consider them to be prisoners of conscience if they are detained because of their Baha’i faith or their peaceful activities managing the religious or administrative affairs of the Baha’i community in Iran;

    - calling for their release if they are not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offense and brought to trial promptly and fairly;

    - calling on the authorities not to torture or ill-treat them;

    - urging the authorities to ensure that they are given immediate and regular access to their relatives and lawyers of their choice.

    Leader of the Islamic Republic
    His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
    The Office of the Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email: info@leader.ir
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Minister of Intelligence
    Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
    Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Head of the Judiciary
    Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
    Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
    Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    COPIES TO:
    President
    His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    The Presidency
    Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Fax: + 98 21 6 649 5880
    Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir, via website: http://www.president.ir/email/

    Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
    His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
    c/o Office of the Deputy for International Affairs
    Ministry of Justice,
    Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad (Ark) Square,
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827 (please keep trying)

  • Leon M

    Bacquia has already talked about this:
    http://bahairants.com/who-is-baquia-118.html
    instead of dwelling on who the messenger I rather talk about actual ideas and things brought up for discussion

  • Leon M

    Bacquia has already talked about this:
    http://bahairants.com/who-is-baquia-118.html
    instead of dwelling on who the messenger I rather talk about actual ideas and things brought up for discussion

  • Craig Parke

    Here is the latest link from CNN

    T. Loftman,

    Very nice list of information for people to take action. Very well done.

    You listed this point:

    “- stating that Amnesty International would consider them to be prisoners of conscience if they are detained because of their Baha’i faith or their peaceful activities managing the religious or administrative affairs of the Baha’i community in Iran;”

    It is ironic that you list this point because Baha’is are FORBIDDEN by the UHJ to support Amnesty International because it is “too political.” But I guess it is only “too political” when it involves other people’s human rights. When it involves Baha’i human rights then it isn’t.

    It is also ironic that you use the term “prisoners of conscience” because the LATEST NEW THINK in the Baha’i Faith is that Baha’is are NOT permitted to have a personal conscience about anything. Maybe you didn’t get the memo:

    “We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our
    individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha’i belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to ‘taking partners with God’ which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith.”
    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    I myself do deeply believe in the supremacy of sacred personal conscience as I believe Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi taught in their Writings and public speeches and, therefore, prisoners of conscience are truly the concern of EVERY spiritual person on Earth. My thoughts and prayers are surely with these 7 souls held in the hands of fanatics in the name of THEIR “God”. May these 7 be strong and feel the support of every fair and just person of conscience on this planet.

    But to put some perspective on this in the context of the last 7 years, 18 U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are now killing themselves EVERY DAY.

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/051208C.shtml

    With leadership like this in the Baha’i Faith, no one seems very concerned about THAT.

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet and let God do His work!’”
    - Glenford Mitchell
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    I say that every free thinking, moral, and spiritual person should be deeply concerned with both prisoners of conscience and people who have been destroyed emotionally and psychologically by their experiences in war.

    I once thought the Baha’is cared. But they don’t in the NEW THINK Baha’i Faith.

    Everyone should just keep doing the Group Think Ruhi books and step over the bodies of the dead to go on “Full Pilgrimage in Iraq” some day as the UHJ Ridvan 2003 Message so thoughtlessly mentioned as one of the great benefits to the Baha’is of the coming war.

    So it goes.

    Both as a Baha’i and a person of conscience I WILL take action from your list to see what I can do. I may even join Amnesty International in honor of these 7 souls.

    Thank your for posting it here.

  • Craig Parke

    Here is the latest link from CNN

    T. Loftman,

    Very nice list of information for people to take action. Very well done.

    You listed this point:

    “- stating that Amnesty International would consider them to be prisoners of conscience if they are detained because of their Baha’i faith or their peaceful activities managing the religious or administrative affairs of the Baha’i community in Iran;”

    It is ironic that you list this point because Baha’is are FORBIDDEN by the UHJ to support Amnesty International because it is “too political.” But I guess it is only “too political” when it involves other people’s human rights. When it involves Baha’i human rights then it isn’t.

    It is also ironic that you use the term “prisoners of conscience” because the LATEST NEW THINK in the Baha’i Faith is that Baha’is are NOT permitted to have a personal conscience about anything. Maybe you didn’t get the memo:

    “We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our
    individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha’i belief. In the end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to ‘taking partners with God’ which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith.”
    - Douglas Martin
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    I myself do deeply believe in the supremacy of sacred personal conscience as I believe Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi taught in their Writings and public speeches and, therefore, prisoners of conscience are truly the concern of EVERY spiritual person on Earth. My thoughts and prayers are surely with these 7 souls held in the hands of fanatics in the name of THEIR “God”. May these 7 be strong and feel the support of every fair and just person of conscience on this planet.

    But to put some perspective on this in the context of the last 7 years, 18 U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are now killing themselves EVERY DAY.

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/051208C.shtml

    With leadership like this in the Baha’i Faith, no one seems very concerned about THAT.

    “You’ll recall that the U.S. was ‘dragged’ into WWII with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Our boys were sleeping off Saturday night while the enemy schemed — but America soon woke up. So when you see the U.S. in Cambodia or in Vietnam — or when you see America’s young men in
    Lebanon, or knocking around in the Balkans — ‘please, will you be quiet and let God do His work!’”
    - Glenford Mitchell
    Former Member of the Universal House of Justice
    Baha’i Faith

    I say that every free thinking, moral, and spiritual person should be deeply concerned with both prisoners of conscience and people who have been destroyed emotionally and psychologically by their experiences in war.

    I once thought the Baha’is cared. But they don’t in the NEW THINK Baha’i Faith.

    Everyone should just keep doing the Group Think Ruhi books and step over the bodies of the dead to go on “Full Pilgrimage in Iraq” some day as the UHJ Ridvan 2003 Message so thoughtlessly mentioned as one of the great benefits to the Baha’is of the coming war.

    So it goes.

    Both as a Baha’i and a person of conscience I WILL take action from your list to see what I can do. I may even join Amnesty International in honor of these 7 souls.

    Thank your for posting it here.

  • Anonymouz

    Craig I do understand why you appear so frustrated by the Baha’i views of not speaking out against conflict. But you also keep quoting individual members of the House of Justice. There words are just like yours or mine, inconsequential opinions. Do not hang your arguments on that. I too wondered why there was no speaking up about the wars. But you keep ranting about men and women in uniform like they are the only ones having a hard time. They volunteered to be there, they signed up and if it was that bad, they could go AWOL. Frankly the servicemen is a non-issue.

    Let me ask you this…And keep in mind I am playing devils advocate.

    What about the Palestinians? They are right there in the holy land, much closer to home so to speak, they have been in a perpetual state of conflict or the last century. Thier suffering does not compare to what you try to advocate–a kudos to the military??

    I have really roasted on that one for a while. Because I do have faith in the House of Justice and Baha’u’llah, their must be a reason for all of this suffering and perhaps seemingly indifference by the part of Baha’i point of view. This is what I think you having trouble with…”Why dont they say something?”

    This is my own point of view mind you so please take it with a grain of salt. We are witnessing a wise and ultimately apolitical approach to dealing with the world. As soon as the Baha’i Faith comes out for one side or another, despite the apparent moral strength, we become involved politically, and ergo have made a division and contributed to disunity.

    What do you think it means when the writings talk about “suffering” and “tribulation”? People getting their knees skinned and being called names? No, man. Genocides, famines, disasters, wars, mass poverty etc…The world is in a state of spasm now and will probably be this way, in conflict, for the next few hundreds years in my opinion. Then, in the future, when the Baha’i Faith is ready to handle it, we will begin to see the involvement of the Faith in World affairs. Its a process.

    But, sadly we have people within the Faith and those who have left who have lost their perspective and whine about what they think it should be doing. Its like they never got it to begin with…

  • Anonymouz

    Craig I do understand why you appear so frustrated by the Baha’i views of not speaking out against conflict. But you also keep quoting individual members of the House of Justice. There words are just like yours or mine, inconsequential opinions. Do not hang your arguments on that. I too wondered why there was no speaking up about the wars. But you keep ranting about men and women in uniform like they are the only ones having a hard time. They volunteered to be there, they signed up and if it was that bad, they could go AWOL. Frankly the servicemen is a non-issue.

    Let me ask you this…And keep in mind I am playing devils advocate.

    What about the Palestinians? They are right there in the holy land, much closer to home so to speak, they have been in a perpetual state of conflict or the last century. Thier suffering does not compare to what you try to advocate–a kudos to the military??

    I have really roasted on that one for a while. Because I do have faith in the House of Justice and Baha’u’llah, their must be a reason for all of this suffering and perhaps seemingly indifference by the part of Baha’i point of view. This is what I think you having trouble with…”Why dont they say something?”

    This is my own point of view mind you so please take it with a grain of salt. We are witnessing a wise and ultimately apolitical approach to dealing with the world. As soon as the Baha’i Faith comes out for one side or another, despite the apparent moral strength, we become involved politically, and ergo have made a division and contributed to disunity.

    What do you think it means when the writings talk about “suffering” and “tribulation”? People getting their knees skinned and being called names? No, man. Genocides, famines, disasters, wars, mass poverty etc…The world is in a state of spasm now and will probably be this way, in conflict, for the next few hundreds years in my opinion. Then, in the future, when the Baha’i Faith is ready to handle it, we will begin to see the involvement of the Faith in World affairs. Its a process.

    But, sadly we have people within the Faith and those who have left who have lost their perspective and whine about what they think it should be doing. Its like they never got it to begin with…

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]apolitical approach to dealing with the world. As soon as the Baha’i Faith comes out for one side or another, despite the apparent moral strength, we become involved politically, and ergo have made a division and contributed to disunity[/quote]

    This makes no sense. The Baha’i Faith has values. These values sometimes align with a certain political ideology and at other times they conflict with another. Simply because our values may make some politicians happy and others upset is no reason to not “choose a side”.

    Take for example apartheid. Baha’i is and clearly against it. If you have any doubts about that, well, then you really need to get your head examined. But to then say that we shouldn’t say anything because well, that would be involvement in politics is just bullocks.

    Or how about the current situation in Iran? Are we getting politically involved by condemning it? Sure we are. Are we getting politically involved by lobbying the US state department, and other governmental agencies to speak out against it on our behalf? Sure we are!

    Are we getting politically involved by going to the UN and lobbying to make sure that the Iranian regime is firmly rebuked and punished for their flagrant disregard for human rights? Sure we are!

    The Baha’i Faith is right now involved with the world affairs as you put it! We have an office at the UN in New York an in Geneva. Or didn’t you know that?

    Look at the example of Baha’u’llah and the Master who spoke out against rulers and governments who oppressed their people and were unjust. They did NOT keep silent. Were they “political”? Well, if by “politics” you mean the sphere of life which relates to how a society functions, YES!! they were “political”. There are myriad writings which explicitly or implicitly talk about how a society should be organized and governed. Baha’u’llah was not a politician. He did not come to bring a political agenda. He came to bring a new message from God. But to say that somehow excludes politics, when political concepts touch very facet of life is childish at best and ignorant at worst.

    The problem is, as Craig points out, that we are self serving. We are only interested if our interests are involved. We don’t lobby for the rights of others. Just our own. We don’t lift a finger for the betterment of the many oppressed communities, around the world. Just the Iranian Baha’i community. This is hypocritical. We are involved politically. But just when it suits us. Go back to the example of apartheid. Did we condemn it? No. We were silent. Why? How is the suffering of blacks different under apartheid than the suffering of Baha’is under the current Iranian regime?

    I was talking with a Baha’i friend recently and she said she was so taken aback when she received an email from a Baha’i email list to pray for the small group of Thai Baha’is who had perished or were injured because of the recent natural disasters in that region. She said, “Ssoooo… aren’t we supposed to care about everyone? why send out an email to request prayers for 10 Baha’is when hundreds and thousands of people were affected? That isn’t right.” I agree. This is not in keeping with the Baha’i spirit. It isn’t the exemplary life that Abdu’l-Baha lived.

    And please, pleaaaase. Don’t give me “its a process”. Just don’t. Don’t. You don’t want to go there. Trust me.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]apolitical approach to dealing with the world. As soon as the Baha’i Faith comes out for one side or another, despite the apparent moral strength, we become involved politically, and ergo have made a division and contributed to disunity[/quote]

    This makes no sense. The Baha’i Faith has values. These values sometimes align with a certain political ideology and at other times they conflict with another. Simply because our values may make some politicians happy and others upset is no reason to not “choose a side”.

    Take for example apartheid. Baha’i is and clearly against it. If you have any doubts about that, well, then you really need to get your head examined. But to then say that we shouldn’t say anything because well, that would be involvement in politics is just bullocks.

    Or how about the current situation in Iran? Are we getting politically involved by condemning it? Sure we are. Are we getting politically involved by lobbying the US state department, and other governmental agencies to speak out against it on our behalf? Sure we are!

    Are we getting politically involved by going to the UN and lobbying to make sure that the Iranian regime is firmly rebuked and punished for their flagrant disregard for human rights? Sure we are!

    The Baha’i Faith is right now involved with the world affairs as you put it! We have an office at the UN in New York an in Geneva. Or didn’t you know that?

    Look at the example of Baha’u’llah and the Master who spoke out against rulers and governments who oppressed their people and were unjust. They did NOT keep silent. Were they “political”? Well, if by “politics” you mean the sphere of life which relates to how a society functions, YES!! they were “political”. There are myriad writings which explicitly or implicitly talk about how a society should be organized and governed. Baha’u’llah was not a politician. He did not come to bring a political agenda. He came to bring a new message from God. But to say that somehow excludes politics, when political concepts touch very facet of life is childish at best and ignorant at worst.

    The problem is, as Craig points out, that we are self serving. We are only interested if our interests are involved. We don’t lobby for the rights of others. Just our own. We don’t lift a finger for the betterment of the many oppressed communities, around the world. Just the Iranian Baha’i community. This is hypocritical. We are involved politically. But just when it suits us. Go back to the example of apartheid. Did we condemn it? No. We were silent. Why? How is the suffering of blacks different under apartheid than the suffering of Baha’is under the current Iranian regime?

    I was talking with a Baha’i friend recently and she said she was so taken aback when she received an email from a Baha’i email list to pray for the small group of Thai Baha’is who had perished or were injured because of the recent natural disasters in that region. She said, “Ssoooo… aren’t we supposed to care about everyone? why send out an email to request prayers for 10 Baha’is when hundreds and thousands of people were affected? That isn’t right.” I agree. This is not in keeping with the Baha’i spirit. It isn’t the exemplary life that Abdu’l-Baha lived.

    And please, pleaaaase. Don’t give me “its a process”. Just don’t. Don’t. You don’t want to go there. Trust me.

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote:” I once thought the Baha’is cared. But they don’t in the NEW THINK Baha’i Faith…Everyone should just keep doing the Group Think Ruhi books and step over the bodies of the dead…so it goes.”

    Craig, I was really surprised to see a post from you repeating what you’ve stated so often in the past so soon after your last post about taking a break. What happened to those Sufi books you were going to read? You really have to try to be kind to yourself. You clearly have a brilliant mind but it’s working overtime and you need to try to slow it down and chill out. Your family and those 400 employees need a relaxed and happy man. Getting worked up an dposting again despite your very recent explicitly stated intentions to the contrary will not help you chill out not will it change the situations, perspective, policies, etc you repeatedly write about.

    I only mention this out of concern. Perhaps your need to post is stronger than your will power. The subconscious often rules and overrides our conscious goals. If that’s the case with you then nothing Frank or I say will help.

    Carmen

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Craig wrote:” I once thought the Baha’is cared. But they don’t in the NEW THINK Baha’i Faith…Everyone should just keep doing the Group Think Ruhi books and step over the bodies of the dead…so it goes.”

    Craig, I was really surprised to see a post from you repeating what you’ve stated so often in the past so soon after your last post about taking a break. What happened to those Sufi books you were going to read? You really have to try to be kind to yourself. You clearly have a brilliant mind but it’s working overtime and you need to try to slow it down and chill out. Your family and those 400 employees need a relaxed and happy man. Getting worked up an dposting again despite your very recent explicitly stated intentions to the contrary will not help you chill out not will it change the situations, perspective, policies, etc you repeatedly write about.

    I only mention this out of concern. Perhaps your need to post is stronger than your will power. The subconscious often rules and overrides our conscious goals. If that’s the case with you then nothing Frank or I say will help.

    Carmen

    Carmen

  • Anonymouz

    “A world, torn with conflicting passions, and perilously disintegrating from within, finds itself confronted, at so crucial an epoch in its history, by the rising fortunes of an infant Faith, a Faith that, at times, seems to be drawn into its controversies, entangled by its conflicts, eclipsed by its gathering shadows, and overpowered by the mounting tide of its passions. In its very heart, within its cradle, at the seat of its first and venerable Temple, in one of its hitherto flourishing and potentially powerful centers, the as-yet unemancipated Faith of Bahá’u’lláh seems indeed to have retreated before the onrushing forces of violence and disorder to which humanity is steadily falling a victim. The strongholds of such a Faith, one by one and day after day, are to outward seeming being successively isolated, assaulted and captured. As the lights of liberty flicker and go out, as the din of discord grows louder and louder every day, as the fires of fanaticism flame with increasing fierceness in the breasts of men, as the chill of irreligion creeps relentlessly over the soul of mankind, the limbs and organs that constitute the body of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh appear, in varying measure, to have become afflicted with the crippling influences that now hold in their grip the whole of the civilized world.”

    Its unfortunate that you don’t even acknowledge the Baha’i initiatives that are being taken, would you like me to list them for you? Moreover, its not fair to say it is political. Its bringing attention to a tiny community that has little voice. Are we not supposed to speak for our families in Iran? It is naive to think the Baha’i faith is supposed to speak out against ever injustice. We do in the writings, putting a talking head on TV and blasting the Iraq war or Sudan will do nothing. Sending out some kind of statement about how we condemn this or that is pointless too. How often we hear it from the State department…It doesnt move me at all.

    The work that needs to be done, to be done in the most beneficial, strategic and longest lasting way is being done right now. It seems that many of you completely overlook the capacities and resources of the Faith. It is a small organization, with monies in the millions, not billions. What do you expect? it is a process. ;-)

  • Anonymouz

    “A world, torn with conflicting passions, and perilously disintegrating from within, finds itself confronted, at so crucial an epoch in its history, by the rising fortunes of an infant Faith, a Faith that, at times, seems to be drawn into its controversies, entangled by its conflicts, eclipsed by its gathering shadows, and overpowered by the mounting tide of its passions. In its very heart, within its cradle, at the seat of its first and venerable Temple, in one of its hitherto flourishing and potentially powerful centers, the as-yet unemancipated Faith of Bahá’u’lláh seems indeed to have retreated before the onrushing forces of violence and disorder to which humanity is steadily falling a victim. The strongholds of such a Faith, one by one and day after day, are to outward seeming being successively isolated, assaulted and captured. As the lights of liberty flicker and go out, as the din of discord grows louder and louder every day, as the fires of fanaticism flame with increasing fierceness in the breasts of men, as the chill of irreligion creeps relentlessly over the soul of mankind, the limbs and organs that constitute the body of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh appear, in varying measure, to have become afflicted with the crippling influences that now hold in their grip the whole of the civilized world.”

    Its unfortunate that you don’t even acknowledge the Baha’i initiatives that are being taken, would you like me to list them for you? Moreover, its not fair to say it is political. Its bringing attention to a tiny community that has little voice. Are we not supposed to speak for our families in Iran? It is naive to think the Baha’i faith is supposed to speak out against ever injustice. We do in the writings, putting a talking head on TV and blasting the Iraq war or Sudan will do nothing. Sending out some kind of statement about how we condemn this or that is pointless too. How often we hear it from the State department…It doesnt move me at all.

    The work that needs to be done, to be done in the most beneficial, strategic and longest lasting way is being done right now. It seems that many of you completely overlook the capacities and resources of the Faith. It is a small organization, with monies in the millions, not billions. What do you expect? it is a process. ;-)

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]

    Anonymouz wrote:

    What do you think it means when the writings talk about “suffering” and “tribulation”? People getting their knees skinned and being called names? No, man. Genocides, famines, disasters, wars, mass poverty etc…The world is in a state of spasm now and will probably be this way, in conflict, for the next few hundreds years in my opinion. Then, in the future, when the Baha’i Faith is ready to handle it, we will begin to see the involvement of the Faith in World affairs. Its a process.

    But, sadly we have people within the Faith and those who have left who have lost their perspective and whine about what they think it should be doing. Its like they never got it to begin with…
    [/quote]

    This was a Holy Manifestation speaking in this quote. I say His words are upon all of us as a Divine Judgment upon all of our spiritual states of being in the passage of this World Age:

    “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

    And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

    And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
    Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not
    in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

    Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

    - Matthew 25:29-46

    As to your comment “They volunteered to be there, they signed up and if it was that bad, they could go AWOL. Frankly the servicemen is a non-issue.”

    Wow! Looks like you and Vice-President Dick Cheney are on the SAME PAGE on this one. Glenford Mitchell too! Can you feel the love for fellow human beings sent into harms way for the sins of the world? Share the love, brother.

    BTW, if someone has to invade Iran so the Baha’is can hold their endless meetings in peace, it will be the volunteers of the poverty draft in the Armed Forces of the United States, not you or any Baha’is anywhere on Earth. At least maybe buy them some salad dressing with alcohol in it to tip your hat as a Baha’i as they are sent to their death. It’s the least you could do.

    Man, the NEW THINK Baha’i Faith as you express it is really something! Everything exists with no connection to anything else in the entire world. Just a phantasm. The Nine Pol Pots or Nine Stalins or Nine Hitlers or Nine Chairman Mao’s or Nine Big Brothers or Nine Emmanuel Goldstein’s on the UHJ will save you! To my mind ideas that are not connected with anything real on a daily dawn to disk cycle basis are a kind of spiritual pornography. THAT is where the amazing top down psychological water color apparatchik Faith is today. Just get on the crack pipe of taking the Ruhi books over and over with the same people. Nobody ever really getting out of their neurotic eternally passive aggressive comfort zone in their societies and getting out into the world and engage people with what is going on with THEM. The Baha’is are ONLY interested in people as predatory “marks” if THEY will come into our cult bubble of top down emotional need and take the books with us. It is an absolute delusion to think this is a new “outward orientation.”

    The Palestinians are in the situation they are in because they are captive psychological pawns in the hands of their leaders. They will be eternally trapped in the pathetic martyr culture of the Middle East until they start to think differently. They must get out of the cycle of violence by thinking bigger with the birthing powers of the Cosmos. They need to read more Shirley MacLaine and less of their home grown Islamic fare.

    I do believe, however, that Nine Rumi’s really just might save us. I still believe it is possible. One can always hope.

    But it ain’t happening.

    I’m going out to dinner and a movie tonight while there is still electricity in the world. I will also look at the stars tonight as I move about.

    Have a nice weekend whereever you are in the world.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]

    Anonymouz wrote:

    What do you think it means when the writings talk about “suffering” and “tribulation”? People getting their knees skinned and being called names? No, man. Genocides, famines, disasters, wars, mass poverty etc…The world is in a state of spasm now and will probably be this way, in conflict, for the next few hundreds years in my opinion. Then, in the future, when the Baha’i Faith is ready to handle it, we will begin to see the involvement of the Faith in World affairs. Its a process.

    But, sadly we have people within the Faith and those who have left who have lost their perspective and whine about what they think it should be doing. Its like they never got it to begin with…
    [/quote]

    This was a Holy Manifestation speaking in this quote. I say His words are upon all of us as a Divine Judgment upon all of our spiritual states of being in the passage of this World Age:

    “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

    And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

    And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
    Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not
    in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

    Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

    - Matthew 25:29-46

    As to your comment “They volunteered to be there, they signed up and if it was that bad, they could go AWOL. Frankly the servicemen is a non-issue.”

    Wow! Looks like you and Vice-President Dick Cheney are on the SAME PAGE on this one. Glenford Mitchell too! Can you feel the love for fellow human beings sent into harms way for the sins of the world? Share the love, brother.

    BTW, if someone has to invade Iran so the Baha’is can hold their endless meetings in peace, it will be the volunteers of the poverty draft in the Armed Forces of the United States, not you or any Baha’is anywhere on Earth. At least maybe buy them some salad dressing with alcohol in it to tip your hat as a Baha’i as they are sent to their death. It’s the least you could do.

    Man, the NEW THINK Baha’i Faith as you express it is really something! Everything exists with no connection to anything else in the entire world. Just a phantasm. The Nine Pol Pots or Nine Stalins or Nine Hitlers or Nine Chairman Mao’s or Nine Big Brothers or Nine Emmanuel Goldstein’s on the UHJ will save you! To my mind ideas that are not connected with anything real on a daily dawn to disk cycle basis are a kind of spiritual pornography. THAT is where the amazing top down psychological water color apparatchik Faith is today. Just get on the crack pipe of taking the Ruhi books over and over with the same people. Nobody ever really getting out of their neurotic eternally passive aggressive comfort zone in their societies and getting out into the world and engage people with what is going on with THEM. The Baha’is are ONLY interested in people as predatory “marks” if THEY will come into our cult bubble of top down emotional need and take the books with us. It is an absolute delusion to think this is a new “outward orientation.”

    The Palestinians are in the situation they are in because they are captive psychological pawns in the hands of their leaders. They will be eternally trapped in the pathetic martyr culture of the Middle East until they start to think differently. They must get out of the cycle of violence by thinking bigger with the birthing powers of the Cosmos. They need to read more Shirley MacLaine and less of their home grown Islamic fare.

    I do believe, however, that Nine Rumi’s really just might save us. I still believe it is possible. One can always hope.

    But it ain’t happening.

    I’m going out to dinner and a movie tonight while there is still electricity in the world. I will also look at the stars tonight as I move about.

    Have a nice weekend whereever you are in the world.

  • Anonymouz

    Dear Craig,

    You are flagrantly miss-characterizing the service undertaken by thousands of Baha’is across the globe. It is really upsetting that you have such a problem with Ruhi. Let me let you in on a little secret. I have only done book 1. The whole point is to arise to serve. I, like you, prefer to get into the field and service of my fellow human being. My co-workers, unlike you, are doing this. So stop using you ignorant and angry generalizations. Would you like me to name the hundreds of Baha’i run schools, orphanages, charities, womens rights centers, inter faith dialog groups, MLK coordinators, feeding centers, disaster response initiatives, economic development projects, and on and on…

    Your statements have confirmed my belief that you have been for the most part unaware of the initiatives of the Faith in general and abroad. If it bothers you so much, get out and go on service.

    You must be the change you wish to see in the World.

  • Anonymouz

    Dear Craig,

    You are flagrantly miss-characterizing the service undertaken by thousands of Baha’is across the globe. It is really upsetting that you have such a problem with Ruhi. Let me let you in on a little secret. I have only done book 1. The whole point is to arise to serve. I, like you, prefer to get into the field and service of my fellow human being. My co-workers, unlike you, are doing this. So stop using you ignorant and angry generalizations. Would you like me to name the hundreds of Baha’i run schools, orphanages, charities, womens rights centers, inter faith dialog groups, MLK coordinators, feeding centers, disaster response initiatives, economic development projects, and on and on…

    Your statements have confirmed my belief that you have been for the most part unaware of the initiatives of the Faith in general and abroad. If it bothers you so much, get out and go on service.

    You must be the change you wish to see in the World.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “Go back to the example of apartheid. Did we condemn it? We were silent. Why?

    Baquia, the Baha’is did condemn racial prejudice, and much more, gave the example of interracial harmony in the US, SA and elsewhere in Africa at a time when such relations were unheard of and even unlawful.

    You write:
    “How is the suffering of blacks different under apartheid than the suffering of Baha’is under the current Iranian regime?”

    It is different in that the Baha’is are engaged in building bridges, whereas so many others are engaged in tearing down walls.

    Anyone revolted and angry enough can tear down walls; it is an entirely different matter picking up the pieces and making them into bridges: you need plans, collaboration, harmony, systematic action, and most of all patience and faith in what you are undertaking so that your efforts do not create new walls.

    Only those who believe in miracles in fact can engage in bridge building.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia wrote:
    “Go back to the example of apartheid. Did we condemn it? We were silent. Why?

    Baquia, the Baha’is did condemn racial prejudice, and much more, gave the example of interracial harmony in the US, SA and elsewhere in Africa at a time when such relations were unheard of and even unlawful.

    You write:
    “How is the suffering of blacks different under apartheid than the suffering of Baha’is under the current Iranian regime?”

    It is different in that the Baha’is are engaged in building bridges, whereas so many others are engaged in tearing down walls.

    Anyone revolted and angry enough can tear down walls; it is an entirely different matter picking up the pieces and making them into bridges: you need plans, collaboration, harmony, systematic action, and most of all patience and faith in what you are undertaking so that your efforts do not create new walls.

    Only those who believe in miracles in fact can engage in bridge building.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Farhan,
    please don’t play word games. Obviously the Baha’i Faith condemns racial prejudice. What I was referring to was the Baha’i Faith, as in the Baha’i administration condemning and taking action against apartheid. I’m comparing their action regarding the situation of Baha’is in Iran to the inaction on their part to the suffering of blacks in South Africa’s apartheid era. The Baha’i Faith was silent. In fact, when the editors of Dialogue magazine wanted to write an article condemning apartheid in the US, their were stopped by the NSA.

    And regarding building bridges… what proof do you offer of this assertion? what have the Baha’is done to build bridges when their self interest is not involved? what have we done to help those that have no relevance to us?

    For example, Iran routinely kills homosexuals. Where is the outrage against this? Where are the letters from the UHJ condemning this? where are the lobbying efforts against this?

    We have become self-absorbed. We only venture out to seek the world’s help when our own self-interest is in play.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Farhan,
    please don’t play word games. Obviously the Baha’i Faith condemns racial prejudice. What I was referring to was the Baha’i Faith, as in the Baha’i administration condemning and taking action against apartheid. I’m comparing their action regarding the situation of Baha’is in Iran to the inaction on their part to the suffering of blacks in South Africa’s apartheid era. The Baha’i Faith was silent. In fact, when the editors of Dialogue magazine wanted to write an article condemning apartheid in the US, their were stopped by the NSA.

    And regarding building bridges… what proof do you offer of this assertion? what have the Baha’is done to build bridges when their self interest is not involved? what have we done to help those that have no relevance to us?

    For example, Iran routinely kills homosexuals. Where is the outrage against this? Where are the letters from the UHJ condemning this? where are the lobbying efforts against this?

    We have become self-absorbed. We only venture out to seek the world’s help when our own self-interest is in play.

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “Go back to the example of apartheid. Did we condemn it? We were silent. Why?…How is the suffering of blacks different under apartheid than the suffering of Baha’is under the current Iranian regime?”

    Farhan wrote: “It is different in that the Baha’is are engaged in building bridges, whereas so many others are engaged in tearing down walls.”

    One of many examples of Baha’is BUILDING BRIDGES re aparthied and race relations: http://news.bahai.org/story/356 Baquia, please note the comments of non-Baha’is and the effect of white Baha’is on their attitudes to race. The same work continues today – for example in the Black Men’s Gathering (BMG) founded by Baha’i Dr. William Roberts ( http://www.bahai.us/node/185 )and The Institutes for the Healing of Racism (IHR) co-founded by Baha’i Nathan Rutstein who passed awy in 2006(http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/60200052005/) which has been established on over 300 centers and college campuses in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. A non-Baha’i African American friend of mine friend was so impressed by the IHR that she made it the subject of her Doctoral thesis.

    Regarding The Black Men’s Gathering (several of my black friends from Jamaica now living in the USA have participated regularly): “the Gathering is a distinctive activity with a different agenda. It does not concern itself chiefly with race unity in the Bahá’í community as such. It addresses itself to a special situation faced by a minority that has suffered severe social and spiritual afflictions imposed upon it by the majority. The program of the Black Men’s Gatherings is unique and exemplary as an avenue for transcending the legacy of anguish, frustration and social pathology that is peculiar to black men in the United states; it urges them towards a fullness of life within the spirit and principles of the Bahá’í Revelation.”
    (The Universal House of Justice, 2000 Mar 14)

    As has been previously noted, despite very limited manpower resources Baha’is are working hard in many areas of the world to actually make a difference in the lives of people. Anyone who thinks Baha’s are only engaged in Ruhi activities has a very narrow understanding and perspective of Baha’i activities. Perhaps those who like to sit at their PC keyboard and focus only on the negatives should also get out in the real world and do something constructve following the example of people like Roberst, Rutstein and so many others.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “Go back to the example of apartheid. Did we condemn it? We were silent. Why?…How is the suffering of blacks different under apartheid than the suffering of Baha’is under the current Iranian regime?”

    Farhan wrote: “It is different in that the Baha’is are engaged in building bridges, whereas so many others are engaged in tearing down walls.”

    One of many examples of Baha’is BUILDING BRIDGES re aparthied and race relations: http://news.bahai.org/story/356 Baquia, please note the comments of non-Baha’is and the effect of white Baha’is on their attitudes to race. The same work continues today – for example in the Black Men’s Gathering (BMG) founded by Baha’i Dr. William Roberts ( http://www.bahai.us/node/185 )and The Institutes for the Healing of Racism (IHR) co-founded by Baha’i Nathan Rutstein who passed awy in 2006(http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/60200052005/) which has been established on over 300 centers and college campuses in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. A non-Baha’i African American friend of mine friend was so impressed by the IHR that she made it the subject of her Doctoral thesis.

    Regarding The Black Men’s Gathering (several of my black friends from Jamaica now living in the USA have participated regularly): “the Gathering is a distinctive activity with a different agenda. It does not concern itself chiefly with race unity in the Bahá’í community as such. It addresses itself to a special situation faced by a minority that has suffered severe social and spiritual afflictions imposed upon it by the majority. The program of the Black Men’s Gatherings is unique and exemplary as an avenue for transcending the legacy of anguish, frustration and social pathology that is peculiar to black men in the United states; it urges them towards a fullness of life within the spirit and principles of the Bahá’í Revelation.”
    (The Universal House of Justice, 2000 Mar 14)

    As has been previously noted, despite very limited manpower resources Baha’is are working hard in many areas of the world to actually make a difference in the lives of people. Anyone who thinks Baha’s are only engaged in Ruhi activities has a very narrow understanding and perspective of Baha’i activities. Perhaps those who like to sit at their PC keyboard and focus only on the negatives should also get out in the real world and do something constructve following the example of people like Roberst, Rutstein and so many others.

    Carmen

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    It seems you just don’t get it. Or perhaps I have failed to express my point clearly.

    I’m simply pointing out the fact that the Baha’is did not lift a finger to fight against apartheid, or even condemn it! the way that they are fighting against the oppression of the Iranian minority.

    This is a fact. You can bring up all sorts of niceties but unless you show me documents that the Baha’i office at the UN worked to condemn SA apartheid, that they lobbied as they are doing now to bring attention to the Iranian Baha’is situation, to the situation back then of apartheid, it is hypocrisy.

    Pure and simple. Hypocrisy. I do not say this to present the Faith in a bad light. The very fact that this happened, that there was inaction then and action now, presents the Faith in a bad light. I am merely pointing this out. Others are not blind. They see our self-serving manner and it serves to hollow out any influence we may have. It serves to stain the values for which we stand.

    If the Baha’i Faith stands for religious freedom, for unity, for the elimination of prejudice, then we should not be selective in taking action only when our own interests are involved.

    Is this simple concept too complex for some to grasp? I am at a loss on how to express it in simpler and clearer terms.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    It seems you just don’t get it. Or perhaps I have failed to express my point clearly.

    I’m simply pointing out the fact that the Baha’is did not lift a finger to fight against apartheid, or even condemn it! the way that they are fighting against the oppression of the Iranian minority.

    This is a fact. You can bring up all sorts of niceties but unless you show me documents that the Baha’i office at the UN worked to condemn SA apartheid, that they lobbied as they are doing now to bring attention to the Iranian Baha’is situation, to the situation back then of apartheid, it is hypocrisy.

    Pure and simple. Hypocrisy. I do not say this to present the Faith in a bad light. The very fact that this happened, that there was inaction then and action now, presents the Faith in a bad light. I am merely pointing this out. Others are not blind. They see our self-serving manner and it serves to hollow out any influence we may have. It serves to stain the values for which we stand.

    If the Baha’i Faith stands for religious freedom, for unity, for the elimination of prejudice, then we should not be selective in taking action only when our own interests are involved.

    Is this simple concept too complex for some to grasp? I am at a loss on how to express it in simpler and clearer terms.

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “We have become self-absorbed. We only venture out to seek the world’s help when our own self-interest is in play.”

    This remark is blatantly untrue but entirely consistent with your negative attitude to the House of Justice and your tendency to ignore sBaha’i humanitarian activities throughout the world.

    The URL re Nathan Rutstein is inactive so I am pasting it in below. Baquia, he is one of many examples that answers very well your question: “what have the Baha’is done to build bridges when their self interest is not involved? What have we done to help those that have no relevance to us?” I have been very inspired by his books on on pressing social issues (e.g. “Racism – Unravelling the Fear” and Healing racism in America: A Prescription for the Disease” which was acclaimed an “outstanding bok on human rights” by the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Human Rights).

    Carmen

    Published on June 02, 2006
    Nathan Rutstein, media educator at UMass, STCC

    AMHERST – Nathan Rutstein, of 34 High Point Drive, Amherst, passed away May 22, after a brief stay at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. He was 75.

    Born in New York City, Dec. 5, 1930, Nathan was the son of Louis and Lillian (Wilson) Rutstein of the Bronx, N.Y.

    He grew up in Mount Vernon, N.Y., and graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., in 1953 with a degree in history.

    Following college he was drafted into the armed forces and served in Okinawa, where he became a member of the Baha’i faith. He went on to devote himself to the promotion of Baha’i principles of unity and peace for the remainder of his life.

    He married Carol Kelsey, of Teaneck, N.J., in 1955.

    He began a career in journalism working for local newspapers and radio stations. He later moved on to television news reporting in Minneapolis and Philadelphia, then to New York, where he worked with ABC and NBC television networks as producer and editor of international news.

    He coordinated coverage of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement and other major events of the 1960s.

    Nathan and his family moved to Amherst in 1970 when he joined the University of Massachusetts School of Education as chairman of its education media department.

    Several years later he moved to Springfield Technical Community College, where he was founder and chairman of the telecommunications department.

    Nathan soon began writing and publishing on a variety of topics. For over 30 years he wrote numerous articles and authored more than 20 volumes, including biographies and other books on media, racism, spirituality, educational reform and many other pressing social and humanitarian themes. His published works have been distributed in dozens of countries and translated into several languages.

    In later years Nathan co-founded Institutes for the Healing of Racism, which became active in 200 centers and college campuses in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    Increasingly active work in the area of race relations saw him take on an intensive schedule of speaking and workshop engagements across North America.

    He worked with police forces, school systems, business establishments and prisons to help heal the wounds of racism afflicting American society.

    Nathan served as a consultant to the White House Conference on Children, the Harlem Preparatory School and Brazil’s Institute for Space Research’s educational division.

    He was a Kellogg Foundation lecturer in residence on racism, and produced 10 TV documentaries, including ‘Finding a Solution’ and ‘Black and White in Springfield.’

    Nathan Rutstein is survived by his devoted wife, Carol, and children, David Rutstein, of Silver Spring, Md., Dale Rutstein, of Manila, Philippines, Tod Rutstein, of Baltimore, and Valerie Rutstein Kreitzer, of New York; 10 grandchildren; a sister, Elaine Reiss, of Crossville, Tenn.; and a brother, Mark Rutstein of Rhinebeck, N.Y.

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “We have become self-absorbed. We only venture out to seek the world’s help when our own self-interest is in play.”

    This remark is blatantly untrue but entirely consistent with your negative attitude to the House of Justice and your tendency to ignore sBaha’i humanitarian activities throughout the world.

    The URL re Nathan Rutstein is inactive so I am pasting it in below. Baquia, he is one of many examples that answers very well your question: “what have the Baha’is done to build bridges when their self interest is not involved? What have we done to help those that have no relevance to us?” I have been very inspired by his books on on pressing social issues (e.g. “Racism – Unravelling the Fear” and Healing racism in America: A Prescription for the Disease” which was acclaimed an “outstanding bok on human rights” by the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Human Rights).

    Carmen

    Published on June 02, 2006
    Nathan Rutstein, media educator at UMass, STCC

    AMHERST – Nathan Rutstein, of 34 High Point Drive, Amherst, passed away May 22, after a brief stay at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. He was 75.

    Born in New York City, Dec. 5, 1930, Nathan was the son of Louis and Lillian (Wilson) Rutstein of the Bronx, N.Y.

    He grew up in Mount Vernon, N.Y., and graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., in 1953 with a degree in history.

    Following college he was drafted into the armed forces and served in Okinawa, where he became a member of the Baha’i faith. He went on to devote himself to the promotion of Baha’i principles of unity and peace for the remainder of his life.

    He married Carol Kelsey, of Teaneck, N.J., in 1955.

    He began a career in journalism working for local newspapers and radio stations. He later moved on to television news reporting in Minneapolis and Philadelphia, then to New York, where he worked with ABC and NBC television networks as producer and editor of international news.

    He coordinated coverage of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement and other major events of the 1960s.

    Nathan and his family moved to Amherst in 1970 when he joined the University of Massachusetts School of Education as chairman of its education media department.

    Several years later he moved to Springfield Technical Community College, where he was founder and chairman of the telecommunications department.

    Nathan soon began writing and publishing on a variety of topics. For over 30 years he wrote numerous articles and authored more than 20 volumes, including biographies and other books on media, racism, spirituality, educational reform and many other pressing social and humanitarian themes. His published works have been distributed in dozens of countries and translated into several languages.

    In later years Nathan co-founded Institutes for the Healing of Racism, which became active in 200 centers and college campuses in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    Increasingly active work in the area of race relations saw him take on an intensive schedule of speaking and workshop engagements across North America.

    He worked with police forces, school systems, business establishments and prisons to help heal the wounds of racism afflicting American society.

    Nathan served as a consultant to the White House Conference on Children, the Harlem Preparatory School and Brazil’s Institute for Space Research’s educational division.

    He was a Kellogg Foundation lecturer in residence on racism, and produced 10 TV documentaries, including ‘Finding a Solution’ and ‘Black and White in Springfield.’

    Nathan Rutstein is survived by his devoted wife, Carol, and children, David Rutstein, of Silver Spring, Md., Dale Rutstein, of Manila, Philippines, Tod Rutstein, of Baltimore, and Valerie Rutstein Kreitzer, of New York; 10 grandchildren; a sister, Elaine Reiss, of Crossville, Tenn.; and a brother, Mark Rutstein of Rhinebeck, N.Y.

  • Carm-again

    I just remembered another example of a Baha’i (there are many more I could cite) who is actively involved in a pressing social issue not in a “self-serving manner” but in a way that is genuinely attempting to help fight a long-standing and very deep-rooted problem. She first came to my attention when I read a book she co-authored: “Do They Hear You When You Cry?”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layli_Miller-Muro

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    I just remembered another example of a Baha’i (there are many more I could cite) who is actively involved in a pressing social issue not in a “self-serving manner” but in a way that is genuinely attempting to help fight a long-standing and very deep-rooted problem. She first came to my attention when I read a book she co-authored: “Do They Hear You When You Cry?”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layli_Miller-Muro

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “Pure and simple. Hypocrisy.”

    This is a Baha’i rants blog. Perhaps people could come on here and post about the hundreds of problems in the world including the alarming rise in sexually transmitted diseases, famine, organized crime, drug addiction, sexual and spousal abuse, etc so that 99% of the posts would be related to these problems and only 1% to Baha’i issues. This could be done but it would cease to be a Baha’i rants blog. Would you agree to a change in the focus of this blog and begin posting about these issues to avoid being considerd guilty of hypocrisy for not paying enough attention to problems people are suffering from all over the world? It could be done. However, we could no longer consider it to be a valid Baha’i rants blog.

    Someone could accuse you of hypocrisy for spending so much time on rants that you are not sufficiently engaged in protesting against all the myriad injustices in the world or in taking CONCRETE ACTION to help address them. I do not think this citicism would be fair as your activities have a PRIMARY FOCUS but neither are your criticisms fair as the Baha’i Faith has a PRIMARY FOCUS and that is that all of these ills require the recognition of Baha’u’llah and the spritual transformation and unification of humanity for their ultimate resolution. The achievement of this objective would be impossible if the Faith were to be diverted into criticism of every problem and it would be ultimately self-defeating.

    This is particulary so because the Faith has a number of principles which include non-involvement in divisive partisan politics. Your categorization of Baha’u’llah’s messages to the rulers of the world as being political is highly misleading as he was summoning them to recognize their Lord. This is by no means comparable to letters people write to their politicians! The UN activities of the Faith are also not political in the sense that they are not bound up with partisan political fighting and criticism. For that there are many sources including numerous liberal and conservative blogs. The UN activities are to represent the Faith and also present its position and to work constructively as an NGO on various issues without becoming involved in partisan politics.

    You can easily accuse the Baha’i Faith of hypocrisy, not only with regard to Aparthied, but with regard to hundreds of other ills which have afflicted and continue to afflict humanity. Why focus only on Aparthied? Someone who is passionate about victims of Western imperialism could just as easily accuse us of hypocrisy also and the list would go on and on (global warming, child slavery, you name it …..)

    If you want to suggest that the Baha’i Faith is hypocritical for not speaking out on Aparthied you will also have to apply the same logic to all the other problems people are suffering from. The Faith and people who are active in it have to focus their time and energies primarily on the goals and objectives related to the Faith otherwise it will become hopelessly bogged down in ranting against every ill that afflicts humanity.

    All Farhan is trying to say is that our primary responsibility is to raise issues which relate to us as we cannot put our finger in every leaking hole in the dam. We are tring to slowly and laboriously build one that will provide water for a thirsty humanity for centuries to come.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “Pure and simple. Hypocrisy.”

    This is a Baha’i rants blog. Perhaps people could come on here and post about the hundreds of problems in the world including the alarming rise in sexually transmitted diseases, famine, organized crime, drug addiction, sexual and spousal abuse, etc so that 99% of the posts would be related to these problems and only 1% to Baha’i issues. This could be done but it would cease to be a Baha’i rants blog. Would you agree to a change in the focus of this blog and begin posting about these issues to avoid being considerd guilty of hypocrisy for not paying enough attention to problems people are suffering from all over the world? It could be done. However, we could no longer consider it to be a valid Baha’i rants blog.

    Someone could accuse you of hypocrisy for spending so much time on rants that you are not sufficiently engaged in protesting against all the myriad injustices in the world or in taking CONCRETE ACTION to help address them. I do not think this citicism would be fair as your activities have a PRIMARY FOCUS but neither are your criticisms fair as the Baha’i Faith has a PRIMARY FOCUS and that is that all of these ills require the recognition of Baha’u’llah and the spritual transformation and unification of humanity for their ultimate resolution. The achievement of this objective would be impossible if the Faith were to be diverted into criticism of every problem and it would be ultimately self-defeating.

    This is particulary so because the Faith has a number of principles which include non-involvement in divisive partisan politics. Your categorization of Baha’u’llah’s messages to the rulers of the world as being political is highly misleading as he was summoning them to recognize their Lord. This is by no means comparable to letters people write to their politicians! The UN activities of the Faith are also not political in the sense that they are not bound up with partisan political fighting and criticism. For that there are many sources including numerous liberal and conservative blogs. The UN activities are to represent the Faith and also present its position and to work constructively as an NGO on various issues without becoming involved in partisan politics.

    You can easily accuse the Baha’i Faith of hypocrisy, not only with regard to Aparthied, but with regard to hundreds of other ills which have afflicted and continue to afflict humanity. Why focus only on Aparthied? Someone who is passionate about victims of Western imperialism could just as easily accuse us of hypocrisy also and the list would go on and on (global warming, child slavery, you name it …..)

    If you want to suggest that the Baha’i Faith is hypocritical for not speaking out on Aparthied you will also have to apply the same logic to all the other problems people are suffering from. The Faith and people who are active in it have to focus their time and energies primarily on the goals and objectives related to the Faith otherwise it will become hopelessly bogged down in ranting against every ill that afflicts humanity.

    All Farhan is trying to say is that our primary responsibility is to raise issues which relate to us as we cannot put our finger in every leaking hole in the dam. We are tring to slowly and laboriously build one that will provide water for a thirsty humanity for centuries to come.

    Carmen

  • anonymouz

    Baquia,

    I understand your point perfectly. You would like to know why the Baha’i administration only concerns itself with Baha’i matters and problems facing the Baha’i community. Why doesn’t it speak out against issues that are concerning the greater population, and why it doesn’t respond to news, events, incidents or catastrophes that happen in the World today.

    Two things.

    Firstly, I think that you do not want to acknowledge the truth, and whatever answer we can come up, either that of the official Baha’i position or our own opinions is not good enough. You simply believe we don’t care.

    Secondly, the fact of the matter is this: The Baha’i administration, as its primary duty and its sole role is to promote the interests of the Baha’i Faith. No one else is doing that and its this essential objective that I think drive many of the decisions you see today.

    Regarding a non-responsive attitude toward other social ills and your apparent observance of not doing enough…Let me break it down in a matter of fact, logisitcal, priority driven and practical way. There are other people doing it and if individual Baha’is or their inspired NGOs or non-profits feel a need to respond then God bless. It is insulting for you to say the Baha’i Faith and those in the administration do not care. I seriously resent that. This is not some liberal hyper-activist organization that is supposed to comment or come to the aid at every minor event or social problem.

    Our mission is of a different kind and those legions of non-profit workers like the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Peace Corps etc are already doing what you so desperately wish the Baha’i Faith was doing.

    I too wondered this same thing and I had to ask a member of the NSA directly to get a good answer. I tried to convey this answer above, obviously in my own words. The NSA member was much more accomodating in his tone.

    I hope you can understand the decisions facing the Baha’i administration and where the priorities are. Its a matter of priorities. Why do something, say like bringing attention to homosexual rights in Iran, when there are dozens of organizations out there already doing it?! Dont you see? Its about focusing on the interests of the Baha’i Faith that the Baha’i administration is primarily focused with. Its that simple. If you want to see contributions to fields of service like feeding the hungry, or sewing cleft pallets, there are literally thousands of other NGOs out there doing it. God speed! But do not accuse the Baha’i administration of indifference, when they routinely and regularly give their support to such initiatives taken up by Baha’is. If they didn’t, who would?

    I hope this makes sense.

  • anonymouz

    Baquia,

    I understand your point perfectly. You would like to know why the Baha’i administration only concerns itself with Baha’i matters and problems facing the Baha’i community. Why doesn’t it speak out against issues that are concerning the greater population, and why it doesn’t respond to news, events, incidents or catastrophes that happen in the World today.

    Two things.

    Firstly, I think that you do not want to acknowledge the truth, and whatever answer we can come up, either that of the official Baha’i position or our own opinions is not good enough. You simply believe we don’t care.

    Secondly, the fact of the matter is this: The Baha’i administration, as its primary duty and its sole role is to promote the interests of the Baha’i Faith. No one else is doing that and its this essential objective that I think drive many of the decisions you see today.

    Regarding a non-responsive attitude toward other social ills and your apparent observance of not doing enough…Let me break it down in a matter of fact, logisitcal, priority driven and practical way. There are other people doing it and if individual Baha’is or their inspired NGOs or non-profits feel a need to respond then God bless. It is insulting for you to say the Baha’i Faith and those in the administration do not care. I seriously resent that. This is not some liberal hyper-activist organization that is supposed to comment or come to the aid at every minor event or social problem.

    Our mission is of a different kind and those legions of non-profit workers like the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Peace Corps etc are already doing what you so desperately wish the Baha’i Faith was doing.

    I too wondered this same thing and I had to ask a member of the NSA directly to get a good answer. I tried to convey this answer above, obviously in my own words. The NSA member was much more accomodating in his tone.

    I hope you can understand the decisions facing the Baha’i administration and where the priorities are. Its a matter of priorities. Why do something, say like bringing attention to homosexual rights in Iran, when there are dozens of organizations out there already doing it?! Dont you see? Its about focusing on the interests of the Baha’i Faith that the Baha’i administration is primarily focused with. Its that simple. If you want to see contributions to fields of service like feeding the hungry, or sewing cleft pallets, there are literally thousands of other NGOs out there doing it. God speed! But do not accuse the Baha’i administration of indifference, when they routinely and regularly give their support to such initiatives taken up by Baha’is. If they didn’t, who would?

    I hope this makes sense.

  • Concourse_on_Low

    Carmen,

    Bahais proclaim racial equality as one their PRINCIPAL values, and insist that Baha’u’llah’s chief mission is the elimination of RACIAL PREJUDICE and the establishment of the unity of humankind. So when they fail to condemn systemic racial discrimination as the basis of a nation-state (apartheid SA), it’s understandable that people will see it as gross hypocrisy. It’s like the World Wildlife Federation failing to take a stance on the destruction and extinction of animal species around the world.

    And, Carmen, can you please stop bringing up the url of this blog? You’ve done it at least five-times now. Your criticism is not nearly as witty or discerning as you think it is. That’s the name of the blog. Get over it.

    The only ranting I’ve seen on this blog is from you and Farhan, long meandering comments riddled with Bahai platitudes that fail to actually address the premises and points of your interlocutors.

    Moreover, stop making the flawed claim that Baquia or Craig are somehow not constructively “involved” in the world because they are active participants on this forum. By that reasoning, you should stop tapping your keyboard and get “involved” seeing as you’re a regular contributor.

  • Concourse_on_Low

    Carmen,

    Bahais proclaim racial equality as one their PRINCIPAL values, and insist that Baha’u’llah’s chief mission is the elimination of RACIAL PREJUDICE and the establishment of the unity of humankind. So when they fail to condemn systemic racial discrimination as the basis of a nation-state (apartheid SA), it’s understandable that people will see it as gross hypocrisy. It’s like the World Wildlife Federation failing to take a stance on the destruction and extinction of animal species around the world.

    And, Carmen, can you please stop bringing up the url of this blog? You’ve done it at least five-times now. Your criticism is not nearly as witty or discerning as you think it is. That’s the name of the blog. Get over it.

    The only ranting I’ve seen on this blog is from you and Farhan, long meandering comments riddled with Bahai platitudes that fail to actually address the premises and points of your interlocutors.

    Moreover, stop making the flawed claim that Baquia or Craig are somehow not constructively “involved” in the world because they are active participants on this forum. By that reasoning, you should stop tapping your keyboard and get “involved” seeing as you’re a regular contributor.

  • anonymouz

    I just thought I might add…I just received an email from my LSA about the situation in Burma and how we as Baha’is can help…I also received some pictures on the Burmese Baha’i Center, not sure if it is the national center or just a Baha’i center. I am trying to figure out how to upload them…

    On another note.

    Concourse on low you too seem to be afflicted with this lack of perspective. Read my post and perhaps you will understand the challenges at hand.

  • anonymouz

    I just thought I might add…I just received an email from my LSA about the situation in Burma and how we as Baha’is can help…I also received some pictures on the Burmese Baha’i Center, not sure if it is the national center or just a Baha’i center. I am trying to figure out how to upload them…

    On another note.

    Concourse on low you too seem to be afflicted with this lack of perspective. Read my post and perhaps you will understand the challenges at hand.

  • anonymouz

    I couldn’t help it.

    These accusations of indifference and non-involvment are seriously making me wonder who you all are. Its like you really have no idea about what is going on with the World today and how the Baha’i faith is involved. I find it quite ignorant that you make such statements and claim that the administration does not care or is hypocritical. That is just flat wrong and smacks of such an arrogance and lack of understanding that I am beginning to question the authenticity and motives of this blog.

    Let me give you some examples of Baha’i involvement…

    Panama
    Badi School & Univ

    Tanzania
    Ruaha School

    Panama
    Ngobe-Bugle

    Swaziland
    Setsembiso HS

    Brazil
    ADCAM, Amazonas

    Badi School
    Tanzania

    Brazil
    ADCAM, Amazonas

    Swaziland
    Setsembiso HS

    Panama
    SOLOY CTLC

    Cambodia
    CORDE Schools

    USA
    Full Circle Learning

    Haiti
    Anis Zunuzi School

    India
    Digital Study Hall

    Honduras
    Tierra Santa Home

    USA
    Books for Africa

    Vietnam
    Sunflower Mission

    These are just part of the Mona Foundation…

    Here are some more.

    UNIDA
    Argentina

    Tahirih Justice Center
    USA

    BASED
    UK

    Women for International Peace and Arbitration
    Bahá’í Association of Mental Health Professionals
    Unravel the Mysteries Young Adult Forum
    Baha’i Network on AIDS. Sexuality. Addictions and Abuse
    Baha’i Justice Society
    Institute for the Healing of Racism
    New Era Children’s Fund
    Philant

    Shall I go on???

  • anonymouz

    I couldn’t help it.

    These accusations of indifference and non-involvment are seriously making me wonder who you all are. Its like you really have no idea about what is going on with the World today and how the Baha’i faith is involved. I find it quite ignorant that you make such statements and claim that the administration does not care or is hypocritical. That is just flat wrong and smacks of such an arrogance and lack of understanding that I am beginning to question the authenticity and motives of this blog.

    Let me give you some examples of Baha’i involvement…

    Panama
    Badi School & Univ

    Tanzania
    Ruaha School

    Panama
    Ngobe-Bugle

    Swaziland
    Setsembiso HS

    Brazil
    ADCAM, Amazonas

    Badi School
    Tanzania

    Brazil
    ADCAM, Amazonas

    Swaziland
    Setsembiso HS

    Panama
    SOLOY CTLC

    Cambodia
    CORDE Schools

    USA
    Full Circle Learning

    Haiti
    Anis Zunuzi School

    India
    Digital Study Hall

    Honduras
    Tierra Santa Home

    USA
    Books for Africa

    Vietnam
    Sunflower Mission

    These are just part of the Mona Foundation…

    Here are some more.

    UNIDA
    Argentina

    Tahirih Justice Center
    USA

    BASED
    UK

    Women for International Peace and Arbitration
    Bahá’í Association of Mental Health Professionals
    Unravel the Mysteries Young Adult Forum
    Baha’i Network on AIDS. Sexuality. Addictions and Abuse
    Baha’i Justice Society
    Institute for the Healing of Racism
    New Era Children’s Fund
    Philant

    Shall I go on???

  • Grover

    Thanks Anonymouz for listing all those activies that various Baha’i groups are up to. The thing to keep in mind about all this is that we don’t know a lot about what different Baha’i communities are up to so it is difficult to draw conclusions about what Baha’is are contributing to various issues.

    Ideally we could stand for every cause under the sun, and no doubt there are some important issues that we are or have been negligent in promoting, but I think it boils down to:

    Time
    Manpower
    Organisational ability
    Personal ability
    Individual motivation

    These all influence what communities are able to do or contribute to a cause. We’re all busy people with work, families and social lives and that limits how much we can put into something, unless its an issue that we particularly care about. Also we are the sum of our up-bringing, environment and education, and that will influence what issues we are concerned about.

    The issue of the treatment of the Persian Baha’is in Iran is important because a goodly proportion of Baha’is are Persian and are refugees or are descended from refugees so the motivation is strong to do something about it.

    Baquia is quite right in saying that the apartheid in South Africa should have been just as important, but it will only be important to those who it directly affects, i.e. blacks in SA and America, and those who think enough about it to care (this includes the UHJ members).

    Unfortunately, there is very little that Baha’is collectively can do, other than what is being done now, given the manpower available, the current preoccupation with Ruhi and conflicting ideas about what constitutes political involvement. This is understandly frustrating, given that the Faith is supposed to be revolutionising the world, etc, etc, when there are high profile agencies such as Amnesty International that are really getting stuck in and doing something. The best we could probably hope to achieve is on the local level. What needs to happen is that the current activities Baha’i groups do should be publicised more.

  • Grover

    Thanks Anonymouz for listing all those activies that various Baha’i groups are up to. The thing to keep in mind about all this is that we don’t know a lot about what different Baha’i communities are up to so it is difficult to draw conclusions about what Baha’is are contributing to various issues.

    Ideally we could stand for every cause under the sun, and no doubt there are some important issues that we are or have been negligent in promoting, but I think it boils down to:

    Time
    Manpower
    Organisational ability
    Personal ability
    Individual motivation

    These all influence what communities are able to do or contribute to a cause. We’re all busy people with work, families and social lives and that limits how much we can put into something, unless its an issue that we particularly care about. Also we are the sum of our up-bringing, environment and education, and that will influence what issues we are concerned about.

    The issue of the treatment of the Persian Baha’is in Iran is important because a goodly proportion of Baha’is are Persian and are refugees or are descended from refugees so the motivation is strong to do something about it.

    Baquia is quite right in saying that the apartheid in South Africa should have been just as important, but it will only be important to those who it directly affects, i.e. blacks in SA and America, and those who think enough about it to care (this includes the UHJ members).

    Unfortunately, there is very little that Baha’is collectively can do, other than what is being done now, given the manpower available, the current preoccupation with Ruhi and conflicting ideas about what constitutes political involvement. This is understandly frustrating, given that the Faith is supposed to be revolutionising the world, etc, etc, when there are high profile agencies such as Amnesty International that are really getting stuck in and doing something. The best we could probably hope to achieve is on the local level. What needs to happen is that the current activities Baha’i groups do should be publicised more.

  • Concourse_on_Low

    Anonymuz,

    Perhaps I do lack perspective, but I doubt your blinkered perspective will remedy that.

    Re: your comment to Baquia.

    Interesting approach. Tell Baquia that the fault lies with him, that he’s unjustifiably stubborn, that no explanation will appease him, and then offer an explanation.

    Your honesty, however, is refreshing. As you say, the Bahai Faith’s sole interest is to promote its own interests. And what are those interests? Well, according to your comment they’re certainly not to make contributions to “…fields of service like feeding the hungry, or sewing cleft pallets, there are literally thousands of other NGOs out there doing it.” Let’s let others risk life and limb to bring about appreciable, tangible change to the world, the numbers of whom you grossly exaggerate.

    But of course they’re just treating the symptoms, providing silly band-aid solutions while Bahais build marble monstrosities in the Levant and create committees to keep track of committees, laying the groundwork for the future World Order by staying mum on issues and problems that don’t directly affect their interests, problems and issues that only they can remedy by, paradoxically, not actually engaging them in the real world, under the pretext of abstaining from partisan politics.

    So essentially what you’ve said is – other people are doing the real work, why should we bother? And as you say, “Its about focusing on the interests of the Baha’i Faith that the Baha’i administration is primarily focused with. Its that simple.”

    You’re right. It’s blindingly simple. The Bahai Faith isn’t interested in engaging real global issues; it’s simply concerned with its organizational interests, namely, conversion and expansion, lobbying states to protect their co-religionists and peripheral support of Bahais who engage in NGO work solely because they are Bahais.

    Congratulations. The New Jerusalem has arrived.

    Most of the groups you’ve listed are Bahai schools, and I’m sure they do good work – for Bahais. Some of the others, and I’m speaking from personal experience, are no different than Christian missionary groups. In fact, they’re more insidious in that they sugarcoat their real intention of winning conversions through material inducements – such as building wells, schools and homes, all intrinsically noble and praiseworthy less the ulterior motives – whereas the Christians are more transparent about their real conversion goals.

    And to preemptively address your inevitable criticism that I should stop talking and go out into the world and do something positive – I do, every day, through my occupation, my personal relations, my charitable donations and my volunteering. I’ve made more real and rewarding contributions through these avenues than any of the pathological, self-interested Bahai utopia-building activities that I’ve participated in.

    I continue to dedicate myself to Baha’u’llah’s admonishment to help carry on an ever advancing civilization. Sadly, the Bahai Faith has made itself an irrelevant vehicle for that goal.

  • Concourse_on_Low

    Anonymuz,

    Perhaps I do lack perspective, but I doubt your blinkered perspective will remedy that.

    Re: your comment to Baquia.

    Interesting approach. Tell Baquia that the fault lies with him, that he’s unjustifiably stubborn, that no explanation will appease him, and then offer an explanation.

    Your honesty, however, is refreshing. As you say, the Bahai Faith’s sole interest is to promote its own interests. And what are those interests? Well, according to your comment they’re certainly not to make contributions to “…fields of service like feeding the hungry, or sewing cleft pallets, there are literally thousands of other NGOs out there doing it.” Let’s let others risk life and limb to bring about appreciable, tangible change to the world, the numbers of whom you grossly exaggerate.

    But of course they’re just treating the symptoms, providing silly band-aid solutions while Bahais build marble monstrosities in the Levant and create committees to keep track of committees, laying the groundwork for the future World Order by staying mum on issues and problems that don’t directly affect their interests, problems and issues that only they can remedy by, paradoxically, not actually engaging them in the real world, under the pretext of abstaining from partisan politics.

    So essentially what you’ve said is – other people are doing the real work, why should we bother? And as you say, “Its about focusing on the interests of the Baha’i Faith that the Baha’i administration is primarily focused with. Its that simple.”

    You’re right. It’s blindingly simple. The Bahai Faith isn’t interested in engaging real global issues; it’s simply concerned with its organizational interests, namely, conversion and expansion, lobbying states to protect their co-religionists and peripheral support of Bahais who engage in NGO work solely because they are Bahais.

    Congratulations. The New Jerusalem has arrived.

    Most of the groups you’ve listed are Bahai schools, and I’m sure they do good work – for Bahais. Some of the others, and I’m speaking from personal experience, are no different than Christian missionary groups. In fact, they’re more insidious in that they sugarcoat their real intention of winning conversions through material inducements – such as building wells, schools and homes, all intrinsically noble and praiseworthy less the ulterior motives – whereas the Christians are more transparent about their real conversion goals.

    And to preemptively address your inevitable criticism that I should stop talking and go out into the world and do something positive – I do, every day, through my occupation, my personal relations, my charitable donations and my volunteering. I’ve made more real and rewarding contributions through these avenues than any of the pathological, self-interested Bahai utopia-building activities that I’ve participated in.

    I continue to dedicate myself to Baha’u’llah’s admonishment to help carry on an ever advancing civilization. Sadly, the Bahai Faith has made itself an irrelevant vehicle for that goal.

  • anonymouz

    I knew that someone kind of response like yours would come up. The perspective i’m afraid is still lacking and I will do my best to counter your claim of indifference.

    I sincerely recommend reflection on these passages…

    “Purpose of Bahá’í Administration” As the administrative work of the Cause steadily expands, as its various branches grow in importance and number, it is absolutely necessary that we bear in mind this fundamental fact that all these administrative activities, however harmoniously and efficiently conducted, are but means to an end, and should be regarded as direct instruments for the propagation of the Bahá’í Faith. Let us take heed lest in our great concern for the perfection of the administrative machinery of the Cause, we lose sight of the Divine Purpose for which it has been created. Let us be on our guard lest the growing demand for specialization in the administrative functions of the Cause detain us from joining the ranks of those who in the forefront of battle are gloriously engaged in summoning the multitude to this New Day of God. This indeed should be our primary concern; this is our sacred obligation, our vital and urgent need. Let this cardinal principle be ever borne in mind, for it is the mainspring of all future activities, the remover of every embarrassing obstacle, the fulfillment of our Master’s dearest wish. (Shoghi Effendi)

    “Bahá’í Work and Service to Humanity” He (The Guardian) feels that, although your desire to partake actively of the dangers and miseries afflicting so many millions of people today, is natural, and a noble impulse, there can be no comparison between the value of Bahá’í work and any other form of service to humanity. If the Bahá’ís could evaluate their work properly they would see that whereas other forms of relief work are superficial in character, alleviating the sufferings and ills of men for a short time at best, the work they are doing is to lay the foundation of a new Spiritual Order in the world founded on the Word of God, operating according to the Laws He has laid down for this age. No one else can do this work except those who have fully realized the meaning of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, whereas almost any courageous, sincere person can engage in relief work, etc. The believers are building a refuge for mankind. This is their supreme, sacred task, and they should devote every moment they can to this task. (Shoghi Effendi)

    “Contacts with Social Movements-Association and Affiliation”. It is surely very necessary that the Friends should keep in touch with the modern social movements, but their main objective should be to draw more people to the spirit and teachings of the Cause. They should learn from the experience of others and not permit themselves to go [off] at a tangent, and finally be so absorbed in other movements as to forget the Cause of God. Fully aware of the repeated statements of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that universality is of God, Bahá’ís in every land are ready, nay anxious, to associate themselves by word and deed with any association of men which, after careful scrutiny, they feel satisfied is free from every tinge of partisanship and politics and is wholly devoted to the interests of all mankind. In their collaboration with such associations they would extend any moral and material assistance they can afford, after having fulfilled their share of support to those institutions that affect directly the interests of the Cause. They should always bear in mind, however, the dominating purpose of such a collaboration, which is to secure in time the recognition by those with whom they are associated of the paramount necessity and the true significance of the Bahá’í Revelation in this day. We should welcome and seize every opportunity that presents itself, however modest it may be, to give a wider publicity to the Cause, to demonstrate its all-inclusiveness and liberal attitude, its independence and purity, without committing ourselves, whether by word or deed, to programmess or politics that are not in strict conformity with the tenets of the Faith. (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi by his Secretary)

  • anonymouz

    I knew that someone kind of response like yours would come up. The perspective i’m afraid is still lacking and I will do my best to counter your claim of indifference.

    I sincerely recommend reflection on these passages…

    “Purpose of Bahá’í Administration” As the administrative work of the Cause steadily expands, as its various branches grow in importance and number, it is absolutely necessary that we bear in mind this fundamental fact that all these administrative activities, however harmoniously and efficiently conducted, are but means to an end, and should be regarded as direct instruments for the propagation of the Bahá’í Faith. Let us take heed lest in our great concern for the perfection of the administrative machinery of the Cause, we lose sight of the Divine Purpose for which it has been created. Let us be on our guard lest the growing demand for specialization in the administrative functions of the Cause detain us from joining the ranks of those who in the forefront of battle are gloriously engaged in summoning the multitude to this New Day of God. This indeed should be our primary concern; this is our sacred obligation, our vital and urgent need. Let this cardinal principle be ever borne in mind, for it is the mainspring of all future activities, the remover of every embarrassing obstacle, the fulfillment of our Master’s dearest wish. (Shoghi Effendi)

    “Bahá’í Work and Service to Humanity” He (The Guardian) feels that, although your desire to partake actively of the dangers and miseries afflicting so many millions of people today, is natural, and a noble impulse, there can be no comparison between the value of Bahá’í work and any other form of service to humanity. If the Bahá’ís could evaluate their work properly they would see that whereas other forms of relief work are superficial in character, alleviating the sufferings and ills of men for a short time at best, the work they are doing is to lay the foundation of a new Spiritual Order in the world founded on the Word of God, operating according to the Laws He has laid down for this age. No one else can do this work except those who have fully realized the meaning of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, whereas almost any courageous, sincere person can engage in relief work, etc. The believers are building a refuge for mankind. This is their supreme, sacred task, and they should devote every moment they can to this task. (Shoghi Effendi)

    “Contacts with Social Movements-Association and Affiliation”. It is surely very necessary that the Friends should keep in touch with the modern social movements, but their main objective should be to draw more people to the spirit and teachings of the Cause. They should learn from the experience of others and not permit themselves to go [off] at a tangent, and finally be so absorbed in other movements as to forget the Cause of God. Fully aware of the repeated statements of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that universality is of God, Bahá’ís in every land are ready, nay anxious, to associate themselves by word and deed with any association of men which, after careful scrutiny, they feel satisfied is free from every tinge of partisanship and politics and is wholly devoted to the interests of all mankind. In their collaboration with such associations they would extend any moral and material assistance they can afford, after having fulfilled their share of support to those institutions that affect directly the interests of the Cause. They should always bear in mind, however, the dominating purpose of such a collaboration, which is to secure in time the recognition by those with whom they are associated of the paramount necessity and the true significance of the Bahá’í Revelation in this day. We should welcome and seize every opportunity that presents itself, however modest it may be, to give a wider publicity to the Cause, to demonstrate its all-inclusiveness and liberal attitude, its independence and purity, without committing ourselves, whether by word or deed, to programmess or politics that are not in strict conformity with the tenets of the Faith. (Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi by his Secretary)

  • Carm-again

    Concourse_on_Low wrote: “Bahais proclaim racial equality as one their PRINCIPAL values, and insist that Baha’u’llah’s chief mission is the elimination of RACIAL PREJUDICE and the establishment of the unity of humankind. So when they fail to condemn systemic racial discrimination as the basis of a nation-state (apartheid SA), it’s understandable that people will see it as gross hypocrisy. It’s like the World Wildlife Federation failing to take a stance on the destruction and extinction of animal species around the world.”

    Which is precisely why I posted one of the the URLs re the Baha’i Faith actually doing something PRACTICAL to address the fundamental racism problem underlying Apartheid. Did you bother to read it? This practical work is much more effective than a public statement which anyone or any organizaton can make: http://news.bahai.org/story/356 I am not at all worried that this will be seen as hypocritical as the work of the Baha’i Faith in fostering harmonious race relations is well known. It’s position on non-participation in partisan politics is also well known.

    Concourse_on_Low wrote: “And, Carmen, can you please stop bringing up the url of this blog? You’ve done it at least five-times now. Your criticism is not nearly as witty or discerning as you think it is. That’s the name of the blog. Get over it.”

    I mentioned the url of the blog in order to point out that it has a focus which is to rant against the Faith – that’s what ranting is for. My point was that if the blog lost that focus and became a focal point for ranting against all the ills of the world it could not be considered a Baha’i rants blog any longer. This point was made, as a matter of comparison, to respond to those who insist the Baha’i Faith must take a public stance against a wide range of social ills. By comparison with the blog, if the Faith got bogged down in this there would never be any time for its real work which only the Faith can do. It would just become one of many other organizations making public statements condemning various ills. Re Apartheid, the Faith has done and continues to do major work in healing racism but it has a range of teachings which include non-involvement in partisan politics.

    You argue that you “continue to dedicate myself to Baha’u’llah’s admonishment to help carry on an ever advancing civilization. Sadly, the Bahai Faith has made itself an irrelevant vehicle for that goal.” This is rather odd since the Baha’i Faith is the vehicle Baha’u’llah established for the achievement of the objective of an ever-advancing civilization. The House of Justice was ordained by Baha’u’llah in His Most Holy Book. Under its leadership the Faith has made and will continue to make significant strides in the achievement of this objective.

    Of course, it depends on your view of civilization as much as it depends on your view of Baha’u’llah! Materialistic civilization has made great advancements in science etc but as we type there are nuclear warheads pointed at us and many other products of civilization including global warming which threaten the planet with extinction. The goal of an ever advancing civilization as outlined by Baha’u’llah endeavors to remove the blight of prejudices and lack of global coordination and action which contribute to WMDs, global warming and other ills.

    I am not sure precisely what you or others mean when you refer to Baha’u’llah or to carrying on His exhortations and admonitions. Some believe that He was merely an enlightened reformer who was heavily influenced by western liberal ideas. The divinely ordained Order he established to implement His vision for humanity is diminsihed in this view and is “an irrelevant vehicle.” This viewpoint reflects a completely different perspective from those who accept Baha’u’llah’s divine mission and His appointed successors and believe that the system He established will ultimately prevail in carrying forward an ever advancing civilization.

    I am not at all surprized that you see my and Farhan’s comments as the “only” ranting on this site. This is not at all surprising but I take it as a compliment.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Concourse_on_Low wrote: “Bahais proclaim racial equality as one their PRINCIPAL values, and insist that Baha’u’llah’s chief mission is the elimination of RACIAL PREJUDICE and the establishment of the unity of humankind. So when they fail to condemn systemic racial discrimination as the basis of a nation-state (apartheid SA), it’s understandable that people will see it as gross hypocrisy. It’s like the World Wildlife Federation failing to take a stance on the destruction and extinction of animal species around the world.”

    Which is precisely why I posted one of the the URLs re the Baha’i Faith actually doing something PRACTICAL to address the fundamental racism problem underlying Apartheid. Did you bother to read it? This practical work is much more effective than a public statement which anyone or any organizaton can make: http://news.bahai.org/story/356 I am not at all worried that this will be seen as hypocritical as the work of the Baha’i Faith in fostering harmonious race relations is well known. It’s position on non-participation in partisan politics is also well known.

    Concourse_on_Low wrote: “And, Carmen, can you please stop bringing up the url of this blog? You’ve done it at least five-times now. Your criticism is not nearly as witty or discerning as you think it is. That’s the name of the blog. Get over it.”

    I mentioned the url of the blog in order to point out that it has a focus which is to rant against the Faith – that’s what ranting is for. My point was that if the blog lost that focus and became a focal point for ranting against all the ills of the world it could not be considered a Baha’i rants blog any longer. This point was made, as a matter of comparison, to respond to those who insist the Baha’i Faith must take a public stance against a wide range of social ills. By comparison with the blog, if the Faith got bogged down in this there would never be any time for its real work which only the Faith can do. It would just become one of many other organizations making public statements condemning various ills. Re Apartheid, the Faith has done and continues to do major work in healing racism but it has a range of teachings which include non-involvement in partisan politics.

    You argue that you “continue to dedicate myself to Baha’u’llah’s admonishment to help carry on an ever advancing civilization. Sadly, the Bahai Faith has made itself an irrelevant vehicle for that goal.” This is rather odd since the Baha’i Faith is the vehicle Baha’u’llah established for the achievement of the objective of an ever-advancing civilization. The House of Justice was ordained by Baha’u’llah in His Most Holy Book. Under its leadership the Faith has made and will continue to make significant strides in the achievement of this objective.

    Of course, it depends on your view of civilization as much as it depends on your view of Baha’u’llah! Materialistic civilization has made great advancements in science etc but as we type there are nuclear warheads pointed at us and many other products of civilization including global warming which threaten the planet with extinction. The goal of an ever advancing civilization as outlined by Baha’u’llah endeavors to remove the blight of prejudices and lack of global coordination and action which contribute to WMDs, global warming and other ills.

    I am not sure precisely what you or others mean when you refer to Baha’u’llah or to carrying on His exhortations and admonitions. Some believe that He was merely an enlightened reformer who was heavily influenced by western liberal ideas. The divinely ordained Order he established to implement His vision for humanity is diminsihed in this view and is “an irrelevant vehicle.” This viewpoint reflects a completely different perspective from those who accept Baha’u’llah’s divine mission and His appointed successors and believe that the system He established will ultimately prevail in carrying forward an ever advancing civilization.

    I am not at all surprized that you see my and Farhan’s comments as the “only” ranting on this site. This is not at all surprising but I take it as a compliment.

    Carmen

  • anonymouz

    On that note, I would just like to re-iterate something that I have been reflecting on since last night when I last commented. I feel the need to repost this because we do have a tendency to ignore a lot of the official quotes and vent with our own views, despite the presence of clear guidance…

    He (The Guardian) feels that, although your desire to partake actively of the dangers and miseries afflicting so many millions of people today, is natural, and a noble impulse, there can be no comparison between the value of Bahá’í work and any other form of service to humanity. If the Bahá’ís could evaluate their work properly they would see that whereas other forms of relief work are superficial in character, alleviating the sufferings and ills of men for a short time at best, the work they are doing is to lay the foundation of a new Spiritual Order in the world founded on the Word of God, operating according to the Laws He has laid down for this age. No one else can do this work except those who have fully realized the meaning of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, whereas almost any courageous, sincere person can engage in relief work, etc. The believers are building a refuge for mankind. This is their supreme, sacred task, and they should devote every moment they can to this task. (Shoghi Effendi)

  • anonymouz

    On that note, I would just like to re-iterate something that I have been reflecting on since last night when I last commented. I feel the need to repost this because we do have a tendency to ignore a lot of the official quotes and vent with our own views, despite the presence of clear guidance…

    He (The Guardian) feels that, although your desire to partake actively of the dangers and miseries afflicting so many millions of people today, is natural, and a noble impulse, there can be no comparison between the value of Bahá’í work and any other form of service to humanity. If the Bahá’ís could evaluate their work properly they would see that whereas other forms of relief work are superficial in character, alleviating the sufferings and ills of men for a short time at best, the work they are doing is to lay the foundation of a new Spiritual Order in the world founded on the Word of God, operating according to the Laws He has laid down for this age. No one else can do this work except those who have fully realized the meaning of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, whereas almost any courageous, sincere person can engage in relief work, etc. The believers are building a refuge for mankind. This is their supreme, sacred task, and they should devote every moment they can to this task. (Shoghi Effendi)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="50777"]Secondly, the fact of the matter is this: The Baha’i administration, as its primary duty and its sole role is to promote the interests of the Baha’i Faith.[/quote]

    This is false. Their duties and responsibilities go way beyond that. But I can understand how you would assume this from the pattern of decisions and behavior.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="50777"]Secondly, the fact of the matter is this: The Baha’i administration, as its primary duty and its sole role is to promote the interests of the Baha’i Faith.[/quote]

    This is false. Their duties and responsibilities go way beyond that. But I can understand how you would assume this from the pattern of decisions and behavior.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Thanks for the list. I never said the Baha’is are not doing anything. Yes there are quite a few projects around the world. What I was referring to was something quite different.

    However, as you’ve brought up these SED projects, would you care to guesstimate how many millions the Baha’i Faith is spending on them? and compare it to the $300 Million that was spent on Mt. Carmel? How many similar projects do you think we could have funded with just oh, say, a tenth of that money. In other words, $30 Million. Hmmm? care to take a wild guess? Or if you are feeling adventurous, how many if all $300 Million were devoted to similar projects? How many children could it have educated? saved from malnutrition? disease?

    Finally, the Tahirih Justice Centre is not affiliated with the Baha’i Faith. It was founded by a Baha’i but that’s about it. They do great work, mind you. Just wanted to set the record straight.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Thanks for the list. I never said the Baha’is are not doing anything. Yes there are quite a few projects around the world. What I was referring to was something quite different.

    However, as you’ve brought up these SED projects, would you care to guesstimate how many millions the Baha’i Faith is spending on them? and compare it to the $300 Million that was spent on Mt. Carmel? How many similar projects do you think we could have funded with just oh, say, a tenth of that money. In other words, $30 Million. Hmmm? care to take a wild guess? Or if you are feeling adventurous, how many if all $300 Million were devoted to similar projects? How many children could it have educated? saved from malnutrition? disease?

    Finally, the Tahirih Justice Centre is not affiliated with the Baha’i Faith. It was founded by a Baha’i but that’s about it. They do great work, mind you. Just wanted to set the record straight.

  • anonymouz

    Im still a little surprised at the lack of attention paid to what the writings say. Its like no one is reading what the Guardian said.

    Let me set the record strait. All you see in the Faith today is a continuation of the wishes of the Guardian and the central figures. Let me remind you all that there is a trove of guidance available to Baha’i administrators and they have done a fantastic job of staying on course.

    I do not know how many times I should reiterate this…But here we go again…The primary function of the Baha’i administration is managing the well being, promotion, and protection of the Faith. It is not a vehicle for non-profit work like you all so wish it was. That is not its job. Make no mistake that sort of work will and is being taken up by Baha’i institutions and motivated individuals and organizations. But, this is an organized religion if you haven’t notice dear friends.

    All the work you see being done on Mt. Carmel, the Chile temple, the Houses of Worship, the Offices at the UN, the acquisition of property associated by the Baha’i Faith, the funding and research of promulgating the Baha’i Faith and on and on are part of the guidance given by Abdul’Baha and Shoghi Effendi. When you criticize these functions and process, you are criticizing the very essence of its guiding principles articulated by the central figures.

    You all, like me, feel for the world and witness its ills and wonder what we as Baha’is can do, what should the Baha’i administration do. For these answers, I find consolation in the writings and guidance of the Faith and moreover, my OWN ability to take action.

    Finally, what difference does it make if the Tahirih Justice Center is affiliated with the Baha’i Faith or not. It is doing the work that needs to be done, and it is the principles of the Faith that motivated its founder to take action. Much like the rest of the NGOs who operate and are animated by Baha’i principles they are not, nor should they be run by Baha’i Institutions. They service the public, the poor, the needy and desperate through thier own inspired ways with the blessing of the Baha’is.

    What it appears you are advocating is an excessive centralization of initiatives and resources. This is would be counter-productive and I am deeply moved by the position of the Baha’i administration to not let this happen. Its so wise, don’t you see?! Let the friends and believers rise up organically and follow their calling, do not let them be hindered by bureaucracy and needless oversight. If they feel motivated to service to humanity through different avenues, God spead and we will pray for your success.

    The functions of the Baha’i administration deserve a well observed and historic study, not pointless and counterproductive criticism grounded in un-informed emotional opinions. I encourage all of you to take this up, so you will realize they are doing exactly what they were summoned to do.

  • anonymouz

    Im still a little surprised at the lack of attention paid to what the writings say. Its like no one is reading what the Guardian said.

    Let me set the record strait. All you see in the Faith today is a continuation of the wishes of the Guardian and the central figures. Let me remind you all that there is a trove of guidance available to Baha’i administrators and they have done a fantastic job of staying on course.

    I do not know how many times I should reiterate this…But here we go again…The primary function of the Baha’i administration is managing the well being, promotion, and protection of the Faith. It is not a vehicle for non-profit work like you all so wish it was. That is not its job. Make no mistake that sort of work will and is being taken up by Baha’i institutions and motivated individuals and organizations. But, this is an organized religion if you haven’t notice dear friends.

    All the work you see being done on Mt. Carmel, the Chile temple, the Houses of Worship, the Offices at the UN, the acquisition of property associated by the Baha’i Faith, the funding and research of promulgating the Baha’i Faith and on and on are part of the guidance given by Abdul’Baha and Shoghi Effendi. When you criticize these functions and process, you are criticizing the very essence of its guiding principles articulated by the central figures.

    You all, like me, feel for the world and witness its ills and wonder what we as Baha’is can do, what should the Baha’i administration do. For these answers, I find consolation in the writings and guidance of the Faith and moreover, my OWN ability to take action.

    Finally, what difference does it make if the Tahirih Justice Center is affiliated with the Baha’i Faith or not. It is doing the work that needs to be done, and it is the principles of the Faith that motivated its founder to take action. Much like the rest of the NGOs who operate and are animated by Baha’i principles they are not, nor should they be run by Baha’i Institutions. They service the public, the poor, the needy and desperate through thier own inspired ways with the blessing of the Baha’is.

    What it appears you are advocating is an excessive centralization of initiatives and resources. This is would be counter-productive and I am deeply moved by the position of the Baha’i administration to not let this happen. Its so wise, don’t you see?! Let the friends and believers rise up organically and follow their calling, do not let them be hindered by bureaucracy and needless oversight. If they feel motivated to service to humanity through different avenues, God spead and we will pray for your success.

    The functions of the Baha’i administration deserve a well observed and historic study, not pointless and counterproductive criticism grounded in un-informed emotional opinions. I encourage all of you to take this up, so you will realize they are doing exactly what they were summoned to do.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]What it appears you are advocating is an excessive centralization of initiatives and resources. [/quote]

    Somehow you always succeed in talking over me or through me but never with me. Do you even read what I write? I doubt it since I’ve clearly and repeatedly took a stance against the sort of centralization and systematization that you mention. That would in fact, be the sort of thing the current administration is standing for with the ill aimed Ruhi courses. What I’m referring to is taking a stand behind our values and proving to the world that we aren’t just talk and we aren’t just talk when it comes to our own welfare. That we care about the world.

    For example, yes, Baha’is in Iran are suffering. They are mistreated, oppressed, their rights are violated and this must stop. What about the same thing that is happening to homosexuals in Iran? what about the trampling on their basic human rights? what about the fact that Iran executes homosexuals? even if they are minors? where is our concern? where is our outrage? where is our active attempt to raise attention?

    As long as the Baha’i administration continues to not concern itself with the wider world, it will continue to be seen as irrelevant.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]What it appears you are advocating is an excessive centralization of initiatives and resources. [/quote]

    Somehow you always succeed in talking over me or through me but never with me. Do you even read what I write? I doubt it since I’ve clearly and repeatedly took a stance against the sort of centralization and systematization that you mention. That would in fact, be the sort of thing the current administration is standing for with the ill aimed Ruhi courses. What I’m referring to is taking a stand behind our values and proving to the world that we aren’t just talk and we aren’t just talk when it comes to our own welfare. That we care about the world.

    For example, yes, Baha’is in Iran are suffering. They are mistreated, oppressed, their rights are violated and this must stop. What about the same thing that is happening to homosexuals in Iran? what about the trampling on their basic human rights? what about the fact that Iran executes homosexuals? even if they are minors? where is our concern? where is our outrage? where is our active attempt to raise attention?

    As long as the Baha’i administration continues to not concern itself with the wider world, it will continue to be seen as irrelevant.

  • anonymouz

    Do you even read what I write?

    I read every post at least twice and I see the same things being said over and over again but you seem to take no solace in the guidance provided by the writings. The centralization that you appear to have an issue with, Ruhi, is in my opinion an un-warranted critique at an attempt to unify, educate, motivate and galvanize the Baha’is. This particular action and initiative is directly related to the role that the institutions are instructed and guided to initiate. Therefore, they are doing their job.

    What I’m referring to is taking a stand behind our values and proving to the world that we aren’t just talk and we aren’t just talk when it comes to our own welfare. That we care about the world.

    So you are saying that by educating and following the guidance of the central figures, we are not being Baha’is? Im afraid you are incorrectly assuming there is no guidance or initiative to address the issues you speak of. As mentioned before, Baha’is all over the world are doing exactly what you are advocating, with the encouragement of the institutions. Must I list again the NGOs, individuals, organizations and initiatives again who are actively engaged in advocacy all the while guided and motivated by the principles of the Baha’i Faith?

    What about the same thing that is happening to homosexuals in Iran? what about the trampling on their basic human rights? what about the fact that Iran executes homosexuals? even if they are minors? where is our concern? where is our outrage? where is our active attempt to raise attention?

    Taking into consideration the precedent and guidance already out there, this type of advocacy who be categorized as an individual initiative. If you feel so strongly by it, who don’t you do something?

    This is from the Bahá’í Internet Agency

    Internet initiatives should of course be carried out in light of Bahá’í principles such as moderation, courtesy, probity, fairness, dignity, accuracy and wisdom. Promoting mutual understanding, fellowship and a spirit of cooperation among diverse individuals and groups is an essential characteristic of all Bahá’í activity. In this respect, the Internet is yet one more domain in which Bahá’ís should demonstrate “an etiquette of expression worthy of the approaching maturity of the human race”—a maturity founded on the “oneness and wholeness of human relationships.”

    But to think that the Baha’i Institutions should come to the symbolic aid, by speaking out, of every cause known to man is naive and un-reasonable. That would require an unimaginable amount of resources and not to mention the alienation and I would say cause more problems then solve. Keep in mind what I mentioned earlier. ITS ABOUT PRIORITIES. The Baha’i institutions have theirs, just like any other organization, it has its guiding mission and organizes its responses and programs based on this.

    Moreover, the statements, writings, official stances and publications already published clearly outline and annunciate the Baha’i views on human rights and dignity. The answers you seek are there and the Faith has spoken out about these things. Homosexuality specifically.

    http://www.bahai-library.org

    As long as the Baha’i administration continues to not concern itself with the wider world, it will continue to be seen as irrelevant.

    This is categorically incorrect.

    Young Baha’is address UK parliamentarians on human rights
    http://news.bahai.org/story/623

    New Zealand Police support race unity initiative
    http://news.bahai.org/story/621

    Finnish TV talk show host finds success in unconventional approachhttp://news.bahai.org/story/593

    Ugandans study approaches to development
    http://news.bahai.org/story/590

    Rebirth can follow breakdown, says best-selling author
    http://news.bahai.org/story/576

    Hip-hop hits spiritual chords
    http://news.bahai.org/story/572

    In Brazil, positive spin spells TV success
    http://news.bahai.org/story/553

    These are just a few examples of what Baha’is are doing to do what you speak of. This is how it is supposed to be, individuals initiatives animated and motivated by Baha’i institutions and teachings. How many times must I re-iterate it? if you are looking for direct involvement by Baha’i institution in creating and running these initiatives it ain’t gonna happen. Its not supposed to, nor should it, at least not yet.

    Think of it this way…would you like the federal government running education, the economy, the health care system, the entertainment industry etc from the top down? Sounds a bit like communism.

    The administration of the Faith wisely sticks to its guiding principles and quietly is positioning itself and consolidating its resources to meet the demands of a maturing community (we are still very young in this process). To demand they speak out on behalf of human rights violations the world over is incredible. Frankly every government in the World, even Iran and Saudi Arabia know the Baha’is are surprisingly restrained and not needlessly belligerent about issues that already are known and being called out by a number of other international agencies and organizations. I can plainly see that if this was the case it would cause many more problems that it would solve. Anybody with a bit of curiosity would already know the Baha’i Faith is a global advocate of human rights, not just Baha’i rights.

  • anonymouz

    Do you even read what I write?

    I read every post at least twice and I see the same things being said over and over again but you seem to take no solace in the guidance provided by the writings. The centralization that you appear to have an issue with, Ruhi, is in my opinion an un-warranted critique at an attempt to unify, educate, motivate and galvanize the Baha’is. This particular action and initiative is directly related to the role that the institutions are instructed and guided to initiate. Therefore, they are doing their job.

    What I’m referring to is taking a stand behind our values and proving to the world that we aren’t just talk and we aren’t just talk when it comes to our own welfare. That we care about the world.

    So you are saying that by educating and following the guidance of the central figures, we are not being Baha’is? Im afraid you are incorrectly assuming there is no guidance or initiative to address the issues you speak of. As mentioned before, Baha’is all over the world are doing exactly what you are advocating, with the encouragement of the institutions. Must I list again the NGOs, individuals, organizations and initiatives again who are actively engaged in advocacy all the while guided and motivated by the principles of the Baha’i Faith?

    What about the same thing that is happening to homosexuals in Iran? what about the trampling on their basic human rights? what about the fact that Iran executes homosexuals? even if they are minors? where is our concern? where is our outrage? where is our active attempt to raise attention?

    Taking into consideration the precedent and guidance already out there, this type of advocacy who be categorized as an individual initiative. If you feel so strongly by it, who don’t you do something?

    This is from the Bahá’í Internet Agency

    Internet initiatives should of course be carried out in light of Bahá’í principles such as moderation, courtesy, probity, fairness, dignity, accuracy and wisdom. Promoting mutual understanding, fellowship and a spirit of cooperation among diverse individuals and groups is an essential characteristic of all Bahá’í activity. In this respect, the Internet is yet one more domain in which Bahá’ís should demonstrate “an etiquette of expression worthy of the approaching maturity of the human race”—a maturity founded on the “oneness and wholeness of human relationships.”

    But to think that the Baha’i Institutions should come to the symbolic aid, by speaking out, of every cause known to man is naive and un-reasonable. That would require an unimaginable amount of resources and not to mention the alienation and I would say cause more problems then solve. Keep in mind what I mentioned earlier. ITS ABOUT PRIORITIES. The Baha’i institutions have theirs, just like any other organization, it has its guiding mission and organizes its responses and programs based on this.

    Moreover, the statements, writings, official stances and publications already published clearly outline and annunciate the Baha’i views on human rights and dignity. The answers you seek are there and the Faith has spoken out about these things. Homosexuality specifically.

    http://www.bahai-library.org

    As long as the Baha’i administration continues to not concern itself with the wider world, it will continue to be seen as irrelevant.

    This is categorically incorrect.

    Young Baha’is address UK parliamentarians on human rights
    http://news.bahai.org/story/623

    New Zealand Police support race unity initiative
    http://news.bahai.org/story/621

    Finnish TV talk show host finds success in unconventional approachhttp://news.bahai.org/story/593

    Ugandans study approaches to development
    http://news.bahai.org/story/590

    Rebirth can follow breakdown, says best-selling author
    http://news.bahai.org/story/576

    Hip-hop hits spiritual chords
    http://news.bahai.org/story/572

    In Brazil, positive spin spells TV success
    http://news.bahai.org/story/553

    These are just a few examples of what Baha’is are doing to do what you speak of. This is how it is supposed to be, individuals initiatives animated and motivated by Baha’i institutions and teachings. How many times must I re-iterate it? if you are looking for direct involvement by Baha’i institution in creating and running these initiatives it ain’t gonna happen. Its not supposed to, nor should it, at least not yet.

    Think of it this way…would you like the federal government running education, the economy, the health care system, the entertainment industry etc from the top down? Sounds a bit like communism.

    The administration of the Faith wisely sticks to its guiding principles and quietly is positioning itself and consolidating its resources to meet the demands of a maturing community (we are still very young in this process). To demand they speak out on behalf of human rights violations the world over is incredible. Frankly every government in the World, even Iran and Saudi Arabia know the Baha’is are surprisingly restrained and not needlessly belligerent about issues that already are known and being called out by a number of other international agencies and organizations. I can plainly see that if this was the case it would cause many more problems that it would solve. Anybody with a bit of curiosity would already know the Baha’i Faith is a global advocate of human rights, not just Baha’i rights.

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “As long as the Baha’i administration continues to not concern itself with the wider world, it will continue to be seen as irrelevant.” Perhaps by you and a few others.

    Also, you mention how much has been spent on the Mount Carmel building projects and estimate $300 million. As has been pointed out by anonymouz, this expenditure is a continuation of the initiatives of the central figures. You have previously stated that this expenditure is contrary to the example of Abdu’l-Baha’s exemplary life of concern for the poor. Is it?

    Baha’u’llah pointed out to Abdu’l-Baha the spot where the Bab’s remains should be interred. Let’s look at expenditures during Abdu’l-Baha’s lifetime. He built the mausoleum in which he interred the remains of the Bab. This building was so big at the time that the covenent breakers were able to create some alarm among the authorities that Abdu’l-Baha was building a fortress. Do you think this expenditure was not substantial by the standards of the time? What about the two Houses of Worship in Ishqabad and Wilmette? Do you think Abdu’l-Baha’s encouragement of these construction (he laid the foundation stone for the temple in Wilmette in 1912) projects and the expenditure on them was not similar in many ways at the time in cost to the current building projects your criticize? Anyone alive during the time of Abdu’l-Baha’s ministry could have used your argument and said the money should have been spent on the poor and for “education” malnutrition” and “disease.” Yet Abdu’l-Baha was known and acknowledged for his charitable work just as the House and Baha’i international community is becoming more and more known in mnay countries for charitable projects.

    You could just as easily have criticized Abdu’l-Baha for not spending all of that money on the poor and needy. Why not ask why He chose to encourage the building of two temples and personally supervized the construction of the mausoleum which is now the core structure of the Shrine of the Bab? In constructing the Archives building the Guardian continued these policies and the House has almost completed them.

    So if you are going to criticize the expenditures of the House in the manner you do you will have to also criticize the central figures. I know you are already critical of the Guardian and House. What the House has been doing is completely consistent with what is required of it by previous policies. You also do not take into account that the projects on Mount Carmel have been for a BWC that is intended to serve and guide humanity for many centuries.

    The administrations serving the needs of the Faith is not at all mutually exclusive of its services to humanity but it cannot be expected to take up every cause you would like to see it champion.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “As long as the Baha’i administration continues to not concern itself with the wider world, it will continue to be seen as irrelevant.” Perhaps by you and a few others.

    Also, you mention how much has been spent on the Mount Carmel building projects and estimate $300 million. As has been pointed out by anonymouz, this expenditure is a continuation of the initiatives of the central figures. You have previously stated that this expenditure is contrary to the example of Abdu’l-Baha’s exemplary life of concern for the poor. Is it?

    Baha’u’llah pointed out to Abdu’l-Baha the spot where the Bab’s remains should be interred. Let’s look at expenditures during Abdu’l-Baha’s lifetime. He built the mausoleum in which he interred the remains of the Bab. This building was so big at the time that the covenent breakers were able to create some alarm among the authorities that Abdu’l-Baha was building a fortress. Do you think this expenditure was not substantial by the standards of the time? What about the two Houses of Worship in Ishqabad and Wilmette? Do you think Abdu’l-Baha’s encouragement of these construction (he laid the foundation stone for the temple in Wilmette in 1912) projects and the expenditure on them was not similar in many ways at the time in cost to the current building projects your criticize? Anyone alive during the time of Abdu’l-Baha’s ministry could have used your argument and said the money should have been spent on the poor and for “education” malnutrition” and “disease.” Yet Abdu’l-Baha was known and acknowledged for his charitable work just as the House and Baha’i international community is becoming more and more known in mnay countries for charitable projects.

    You could just as easily have criticized Abdu’l-Baha for not spending all of that money on the poor and needy. Why not ask why He chose to encourage the building of two temples and personally supervized the construction of the mausoleum which is now the core structure of the Shrine of the Bab? In constructing the Archives building the Guardian continued these policies and the House has almost completed them.

    So if you are going to criticize the expenditures of the House in the manner you do you will have to also criticize the central figures. I know you are already critical of the Guardian and House. What the House has been doing is completely consistent with what is required of it by previous policies. You also do not take into account that the projects on Mount Carmel have been for a BWC that is intended to serve and guide humanity for many centuries.

    The administrations serving the needs of the Faith is not at all mutually exclusive of its services to humanity but it cannot be expected to take up every cause you would like to see it champion.

    Carmen

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Carmen, the magnitude of the expenditures you cite do not even approach the same universe. In any case, I don’t want to argue over this with you or anyone else. I only brought it up to offer some perspective.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Carmen, the magnitude of the expenditures you cite do not even approach the same universe. In any case, I don’t want to argue over this with you or anyone else. I only brought it up to offer some perspective.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    anonymouz,
    well, it is official. You just don’t get it. For old time’s sake here is one last attempt:

    The UHJ/ITC is brining attention to the problem in Iran. Never mind that they have totally ignored the mounting danger and encouraged Baha’is to remain there! No, lets ignore that for now. Lets ignore that they could have encouraged Baha’is to get out of Iran, out of danger as they did during and after the 1979 Iranian revolution. Lets ignore how they set up offices at the UN and lobbied countries like Canada, Norway, Spain, Italy, France, etc. to allow Baha’is from Iran to find refuge. OK? with me on that? Lets totally ignore that right now they are sitting on their hands in this regard.

    So here they are going to the State Dept, the UN and everyone who will listen to them about the situation in Iran. Yet when others are suffering from the same thugs in Iran, they are silent. When others are oppressing a group which isn’t Baha’i, they don’t care.

    This is what I’m referring to. Not that Baha’is are not involved in SED projects. Not that individual Baha’is are not good people helping their fellow man around the world. Not anything else.

    Well, that’s it. If you can’t understand that or refuse to acknowledge it, that’s fine. There’s not much I can do for you. As you’ve seen other people do understand what I’m saying.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    anonymouz,
    well, it is official. You just don’t get it. For old time’s sake here is one last attempt:

    The UHJ/ITC is brining attention to the problem in Iran. Never mind that they have totally ignored the mounting danger and encouraged Baha’is to remain there! No, lets ignore that for now. Lets ignore that they could have encouraged Baha’is to get out of Iran, out of danger as they did during and after the 1979 Iranian revolution. Lets ignore how they set up offices at the UN and lobbied countries like Canada, Norway, Spain, Italy, France, etc. to allow Baha’is from Iran to find refuge. OK? with me on that? Lets totally ignore that right now they are sitting on their hands in this regard.

    So here they are going to the State Dept, the UN and everyone who will listen to them about the situation in Iran. Yet when others are suffering from the same thugs in Iran, they are silent. When others are oppressing a group which isn’t Baha’i, they don’t care.

    This is what I’m referring to. Not that Baha’is are not involved in SED projects. Not that individual Baha’is are not good people helping their fellow man around the world. Not anything else.

    Well, that’s it. If you can’t understand that or refuse to acknowledge it, that’s fine. There’s not much I can do for you. As you’ve seen other people do understand what I’m saying.

  • anonymouz

    Baquia,

    I will try to be understanding but im afraid you didn’t at all read what I wrote. Here we go again…

    So here they are going to the State Dept, the UN and everyone who will listen to them about the situation in Iran. Yet when others are suffering from the same thugs in Iran, they are silent. When others are oppressing a group which isn’t Baha’i, they don’t care.

    You are again calling the Baha’i administration to a duty which is not associated with their mission. If the Baha’i administration did not raise awareness about the Baha’is in they way they do, who else would? Amnesty International and the Sate Department and all the other outlets get thier information from Baha’i sources. Unlike the other groups you so passionately care about, you seem to forget that your Baha’i brethren have no other official outlet accept that of the administration.

    Where are your priorities? This is something I keep repeating and make no mistake, I get you. But it is unfortunate that you refuse to aknowledge the reality of a real life situation.

    Moreover it is completely unfair for you to assume that Baha’is do not care. Any rational person cares. But it then comes to what can we do with the tools and resources we are provided, moreover, how should we prioritize and allocate these resources?

    You are picking and choosing the points I am making and ignoring the facts laid out before you and making unfair accusations of indifference.

    Again, I ask, where are your priorities?

    I would venture to say that there are more resources available to the other down trodden parties in Iran than are available to the Baha’is.

  • anonymouz

    Baquia,

    I will try to be understanding but im afraid you didn’t at all read what I wrote. Here we go again…

    So here they are going to the State Dept, the UN and everyone who will listen to them about the situation in Iran. Yet when others are suffering from the same thugs in Iran, they are silent. When others are oppressing a group which isn’t Baha’i, they don’t care.

    You are again calling the Baha’i administration to a duty which is not associated with their mission. If the Baha’i administration did not raise awareness about the Baha’is in they way they do, who else would? Amnesty International and the Sate Department and all the other outlets get thier information from Baha’i sources. Unlike the other groups you so passionately care about, you seem to forget that your Baha’i brethren have no other official outlet accept that of the administration.

    Where are your priorities? This is something I keep repeating and make no mistake, I get you. But it is unfortunate that you refuse to aknowledge the reality of a real life situation.

    Moreover it is completely unfair for you to assume that Baha’is do not care. Any rational person cares. But it then comes to what can we do with the tools and resources we are provided, moreover, how should we prioritize and allocate these resources?

    You are picking and choosing the points I am making and ignoring the facts laid out before you and making unfair accusations of indifference.

    Again, I ask, where are your priorities?

    I would venture to say that there are more resources available to the other down trodden parties in Iran than are available to the Baha’is.

  • anonymouz

    One last thing…

    The UHJ/ITC is brining attention to the problem in Iran. Never mind that they have totally ignored the mounting danger and encouraged Baha’is to remain there! No, lets ignore that for now. Lets ignore that they could have encouraged Baha’is to get out of Iran, out of danger as they did during and after the 1979 Iranian revolution. Lets ignore how they set up offices at the UN and lobbied countries like Canada, Norway, Spain, Italy, France, etc. to allow Baha’is from Iran to find refuge. OK? with me on that? Lets totally ignore that right now they are sitting on their hands in this regard.

    This is a highly dangerous thing to say because in order for me to prove my point I would have to disclose sensitive programs and initiatives in place that are not public. I will remain cautious and simply let you in on a a little secret. We are doing things that you so adamantly state we are not. Maybe its good you keep up the accusations for deflection purposes. ;-)

  • anonymouz

    One last thing…

    The UHJ/ITC is brining attention to the problem in Iran. Never mind that they have totally ignored the mounting danger and encouraged Baha’is to remain there! No, lets ignore that for now. Lets ignore that they could have encouraged Baha’is to get out of Iran, out of danger as they did during and after the 1979 Iranian revolution. Lets ignore how they set up offices at the UN and lobbied countries like Canada, Norway, Spain, Italy, France, etc. to allow Baha’is from Iran to find refuge. OK? with me on that? Lets totally ignore that right now they are sitting on their hands in this regard.

    This is a highly dangerous thing to say because in order for me to prove my point I would have to disclose sensitive programs and initiatives in place that are not public. I will remain cautious and simply let you in on a a little secret. We are doing things that you so adamantly state we are not. Maybe its good you keep up the accusations for deflection purposes. ;-)

  • Grover

    Anonymous wrote:

    [quote post="497"]He (The Guardian) feels that, although your desire to partake actively of the dangers and miseries afflicting so many millions of people today, is natural, and a noble impulse, there can be no comparison between the value of Bahá’í work and any other form of service to humanity. If the Bahá’ís could evaluate their work properly they would see that whereas other forms of relief work are superficial in character, alleviating the sufferings and ills of men for a short time at best, the work they are doing is to lay the foundation of a new Spiritual Order in the world founded on the Word of God, operating according to the Laws He has laid down for this age. No one else can do this work except those who have fully realized the meaning of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, whereas almost any courageous, sincere person can engage in relief work, etc. The believers are building a refuge for mankind. This is their supreme, sacred task, and they should devote every moment they can to this task. (Shoghi Effendi)[/quote]

    That quote was given in the context of the 1950s, the Baha’i Faith was completely different back then, the UHJ was not in existence, most of the administration was not in place. I would argue that the foundation of the Baha’i Faith has been laid, and for better or worse the administration (which everyone loves ;P ) is in place, so I don’t quite see how that quote could be considered relevant now.

    Also, you must keep in mind that ‘Abdu’l-Baha engaged in various sorts of charity work. If I remember correctly, he got a knighthood for organising grain for Haifa during World War 1 to prevent the populace from starving. Its this kind of work that people see, respect, and like to be involved in. Thats why there were the massive enrolments from the 60′s to 80′s, it was just after World War II and Vietnam and the Baha’i Faith appeared to stand for certain ideals that were attractive. From personal experience, people like to be involved if you are doing something that helps socially, e.g. environmental issues, its concrete, leaves a lasting impact, and emotionally satisfying.

    Whereas to be caught up in the Baha’i administration is a world of pain, it is not satisfying, people get angry and bitter, and in the end it doesn’t achieve anything. All we’re expected to do at the moment is be bored to tears in endless Baha’i meetings, groan our way through Ruhi and listen to people prattle on endlessly about their spiritual insights, and go out and bash people with the “healing message of Baha’u’llah”. Very exciting.

    Given a choice between the Baha’i Faith and Amnesty International, people would probably choose AI (AI probably has a truckload of problems as well). People are distrustful of religious people running round giving all and sundry an earful of the “pure word”. They’re also distrustful of getting roped into religious groups activities because of the inevitable question “would you like to join” and the awkward discussion afterwards where the poor person is ducking for cover.

    If the focus had been on social issues (not lets convert everyone to the Faith and we’ll all have a wonderful time being unified and thinking the same Ruhi thoughts type approach) and rallying people to work on those issues (without the inevitable question), there would have been far greater enrolments in the Faith, far greater activity amongst the Baha’is because they’re actually working on concrete social issues rather than the ephemeral “building a new world order” and there wouldn’t be all the bitterness.

  • Grover

    Anonymous wrote:

    [quote post="497"]He (The Guardian) feels that, although your desire to partake actively of the dangers and miseries afflicting so many millions of people today, is natural, and a noble impulse, there can be no comparison between the value of Bahá’í work and any other form of service to humanity. If the Bahá’ís could evaluate their work properly they would see that whereas other forms of relief work are superficial in character, alleviating the sufferings and ills of men for a short time at best, the work they are doing is to lay the foundation of a new Spiritual Order in the world founded on the Word of God, operating according to the Laws He has laid down for this age. No one else can do this work except those who have fully realized the meaning of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh, whereas almost any courageous, sincere person can engage in relief work, etc. The believers are building a refuge for mankind. This is their supreme, sacred task, and they should devote every moment they can to this task. (Shoghi Effendi)[/quote]

    That quote was given in the context of the 1950s, the Baha’i Faith was completely different back then, the UHJ was not in existence, most of the administration was not in place. I would argue that the foundation of the Baha’i Faith has been laid, and for better or worse the administration (which everyone loves ;P ) is in place, so I don’t quite see how that quote could be considered relevant now.

    Also, you must keep in mind that ‘Abdu’l-Baha engaged in various sorts of charity work. If I remember correctly, he got a knighthood for organising grain for Haifa during World War 1 to prevent the populace from starving. Its this kind of work that people see, respect, and like to be involved in. Thats why there were the massive enrolments from the 60′s to 80′s, it was just after World War II and Vietnam and the Baha’i Faith appeared to stand for certain ideals that were attractive. From personal experience, people like to be involved if you are doing something that helps socially, e.g. environmental issues, its concrete, leaves a lasting impact, and emotionally satisfying.

    Whereas to be caught up in the Baha’i administration is a world of pain, it is not satisfying, people get angry and bitter, and in the end it doesn’t achieve anything. All we’re expected to do at the moment is be bored to tears in endless Baha’i meetings, groan our way through Ruhi and listen to people prattle on endlessly about their spiritual insights, and go out and bash people with the “healing message of Baha’u’llah”. Very exciting.

    Given a choice between the Baha’i Faith and Amnesty International, people would probably choose AI (AI probably has a truckload of problems as well). People are distrustful of religious people running round giving all and sundry an earful of the “pure word”. They’re also distrustful of getting roped into religious groups activities because of the inevitable question “would you like to join” and the awkward discussion afterwards where the poor person is ducking for cover.

    If the focus had been on social issues (not lets convert everyone to the Faith and we’ll all have a wonderful time being unified and thinking the same Ruhi thoughts type approach) and rallying people to work on those issues (without the inevitable question), there would have been far greater enrolments in the Faith, far greater activity amongst the Baha’is because they’re actually working on concrete social issues rather than the ephemeral “building a new world order” and there wouldn’t be all the bitterness.

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:

    “That quote was given in the context of the 1950s, the Baha’i Faith was completely different back then, the UHJ was not in existence, most of the administration was not in place. I would argue that the foundation of the Baha’i Faith has been laid, and for better or worse the administration (which everyone loves ;P ) is in place, so I don’t quite see how that quote could be considered relevant now.”

    But Grover although I agree the Faith has grown it is still incredibly small in relation to the world’s population which is currently 6.6 billion people. If Baha’is abandon teaching the Faith to do the work of the Red Cross and other organization who will proclaim the message of Baha’u’llah?

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that Abdu’l-Baha did wonderful work for the poor but every time the Faith’s hundreds of economic and social development projects are mentioned they are dismissed as if the Faith is doing nothing to help the poor or illiterate or other needy people.

    I agree also that there needs to be a focus on social issues which is exactly what these projects are for and what many Baha’is are involved in doing in the examples that have been given. The area of difference between us is that you would like to see an exclusive focus on social issues whereas the Faith is trying to develop people’s awareness that without spiritual transformation through recognition of Baha’u’llah social issues will not be fundamentally resolved. One key question is have most people become Baha’is throughout the Faith’s history as you suggest because of social issues or because their hearts are attracted to Baha’u’llah? I doubt social issues are a strong enough reason for so many people to be willing to lay down their lives and suffer imprisonment in Iran. The suffering has been endured for over 150 years because of their belief in Baha’u’llah and unwillingness to repudiate their faith in Him.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:

    “That quote was given in the context of the 1950s, the Baha’i Faith was completely different back then, the UHJ was not in existence, most of the administration was not in place. I would argue that the foundation of the Baha’i Faith has been laid, and for better or worse the administration (which everyone loves ;P ) is in place, so I don’t quite see how that quote could be considered relevant now.”

    But Grover although I agree the Faith has grown it is still incredibly small in relation to the world’s population which is currently 6.6 billion people. If Baha’is abandon teaching the Faith to do the work of the Red Cross and other organization who will proclaim the message of Baha’u’llah?

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that Abdu’l-Baha did wonderful work for the poor but every time the Faith’s hundreds of economic and social development projects are mentioned they are dismissed as if the Faith is doing nothing to help the poor or illiterate or other needy people.

    I agree also that there needs to be a focus on social issues which is exactly what these projects are for and what many Baha’is are involved in doing in the examples that have been given. The area of difference between us is that you would like to see an exclusive focus on social issues whereas the Faith is trying to develop people’s awareness that without spiritual transformation through recognition of Baha’u’llah social issues will not be fundamentally resolved. One key question is have most people become Baha’is throughout the Faith’s history as you suggest because of social issues or because their hearts are attracted to Baha’u’llah? I doubt social issues are a strong enough reason for so many people to be willing to lay down their lives and suffer imprisonment in Iran. The suffering has been endured for over 150 years because of their belief in Baha’u’llah and unwillingness to repudiate their faith in Him.

    Carmen

  • anonymouz

    Grover I understand your sentiments and I sympathies with your interpretations. But, as I see it, the quote still applies today, just like many of the writings written a long time ago. All the central figures wrote and revealed for their time and place, and for the future.

    I think it is important to note, that as everything in the Faith Ruhi is simply guidance. If souls are moved in other directions to further the interests of the Faith, then by all means. You see this all over the place.

    Whereas to be caught up in the Baha’i administration is a world of pain, it is not satisfying, people get angry and bitter, and in the end it doesn’t achieve anything.

    I agree that being a part of the administration is tedious, stressful and hard work. But I think the people who get “caught up in the Baha’i administration” are people with issues regarding Baha’i laws and the Covenant. Also, the apparent knee jerk reaction to trying to bring everyone to a common grounding has caused needless debate initiated by people who miss-interpret the initiative as intrusive or dictatorial. I don’t see it that way at all.

    If the focus had been on social issues (not lets convert everyone to the Faith and we’ll all have a wonderful time being unified and thinking the same Ruhi thoughts type approach) and rallying people to work on those issues (without the inevitable question), there would have been far greater enrollments in the Faith, far greater activity amongst the Baha’is because they’re actually working on concrete social issues rather than the ephemeral “building a new world order” and there wouldn’t be all the bitterness.

    These social issues are being addressed. Im still disheartened that some here don’t seem to pay attention to that. Please look over the amazing things done by Baha’i organizations around the world. For us to cry out about why the Baha’i Faith isn’t doing more social work is a serious miss-representation and I am not going to let that slide. The World Order you speak so dismissively of falls on the shoulders of the Baha’i administration, which it is slowly building, as it was called to do by the central figures of the Faith.

    Also, you must keep in mind that ‘Abdu’l-Baha engaged in various sorts of charity work. If I remember correctly, he got a knighthood for organizing grain for Haifa during World War 1 to prevent the populace from starving. Its this kind of work that people see, respect, and like to be involved in. Thats why there were the massive enrollments from the 60’s to 80’s, it was just after World War II and Vietnam and the Baha’i Faith appeared to stand for certain ideals that were attractive. From personal experience, people like to be involved if you are doing something that helps socially, e.g. environmental issues, its concrete, leaves a lasting impact, and emotionally satisfying.

    Indeed, and Baha’is are doing it. Although I feel the need to remind those the mass-enrollments of the 60′s to 80′s resulted in luke warm results. There was no infrastructure in place to handle all that and boxes of enrollment cards sat in at the National Center because the resources to consolidate and organize the new believers simply were not present. I would venture to say that has changed. I often wonder what the next 20 years will bring. Perhaps when the institute process is firmly establish and communities are ready to handle entry by troops you will some some very amazing things happen on a big scale.

  • anonymouz

    Grover I understand your sentiments and I sympathies with your interpretations. But, as I see it, the quote still applies today, just like many of the writings written a long time ago. All the central figures wrote and revealed for their time and place, and for the future.

    I think it is important to note, that as everything in the Faith Ruhi is simply guidance. If souls are moved in other directions to further the interests of the Faith, then by all means. You see this all over the place.

    Whereas to be caught up in the Baha’i administration is a world of pain, it is not satisfying, people get angry and bitter, and in the end it doesn’t achieve anything.

    I agree that being a part of the administration is tedious, stressful and hard work. But I think the people who get “caught up in the Baha’i administration” are people with issues regarding Baha’i laws and the Covenant. Also, the apparent knee jerk reaction to trying to bring everyone to a common grounding has caused needless debate initiated by people who miss-interpret the initiative as intrusive or dictatorial. I don’t see it that way at all.

    If the focus had been on social issues (not lets convert everyone to the Faith and we’ll all have a wonderful time being unified and thinking the same Ruhi thoughts type approach) and rallying people to work on those issues (without the inevitable question), there would have been far greater enrollments in the Faith, far greater activity amongst the Baha’is because they’re actually working on concrete social issues rather than the ephemeral “building a new world order” and there wouldn’t be all the bitterness.

    These social issues are being addressed. Im still disheartened that some here don’t seem to pay attention to that. Please look over the amazing things done by Baha’i organizations around the world. For us to cry out about why the Baha’i Faith isn’t doing more social work is a serious miss-representation and I am not going to let that slide. The World Order you speak so dismissively of falls on the shoulders of the Baha’i administration, which it is slowly building, as it was called to do by the central figures of the Faith.

    Also, you must keep in mind that ‘Abdu’l-Baha engaged in various sorts of charity work. If I remember correctly, he got a knighthood for organizing grain for Haifa during World War 1 to prevent the populace from starving. Its this kind of work that people see, respect, and like to be involved in. Thats why there were the massive enrollments from the 60’s to 80’s, it was just after World War II and Vietnam and the Baha’i Faith appeared to stand for certain ideals that were attractive. From personal experience, people like to be involved if you are doing something that helps socially, e.g. environmental issues, its concrete, leaves a lasting impact, and emotionally satisfying.

    Indeed, and Baha’is are doing it. Although I feel the need to remind those the mass-enrollments of the 60′s to 80′s resulted in luke warm results. There was no infrastructure in place to handle all that and boxes of enrollment cards sat in at the National Center because the resources to consolidate and organize the new believers simply were not present. I would venture to say that has changed. I often wonder what the next 20 years will bring. Perhaps when the institute process is firmly establish and communities are ready to handle entry by troops you will some some very amazing things happen on a big scale.

  • Andrew Turvey

    Getting back to the subject if that’s ok…

    I was interested to hear this group of people described by the UHJ as “the Friends in Iran – _the_ group that coordinates the activities of the Baha’i community in the absence of a National Spiritual Assembly in the Cradle of the Faith”

    Calling it “THE” group makes me wonder what status this group has. Were they by any chance appointed by anyone? Barney seems sure it’s an “informal” group but it doesn’t seem very typical to me for
    Baha’is to just do this kind of thing off their own back.

    Has anyone got any information on this?

  • Andrew Turvey

    Getting back to the subject if that’s ok…

    I was interested to hear this group of people described by the UHJ as “the Friends in Iran – _the_ group that coordinates the activities of the Baha’i community in the absence of a National Spiritual Assembly in the Cradle of the Faith”

    Calling it “THE” group makes me wonder what status this group has. Were they by any chance appointed by anyone? Barney seems sure it’s an “informal” group but it doesn’t seem very typical to me for
    Baha’is to just do this kind of thing off their own back.

    Has anyone got any information on this?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Andrew, they are known as “Yaran”, literally translated from Persion, Friends. It is capitalized to denote a group, like for example, Anonymous vs. just anonymous.

    So the Friends are the de facto administrative body of the Baha’i Faith in Iran. Since 1982 the Baha’is have been unable to elect an NSA because of restrictions placed upon them by the IRI which make such institutions “illegal”.

    It is tough to administer a large community, somewhere between a quarter million to 300,000 believers without the usual Baha’i administrative institutions. Something obviously must be in place. What the Baha’is have opted to do is to administer the internal affairs through the Friends and to work with another body stationed in London UK for any external communications as well as decisions involving the outside world, if you know what I mean.

    This is a sensitive issue and although I may know more about it I don’t feel comfortable talking as openly as I can. People’s lives are at stake. This is not a TV show. My concern is for my fellow Baha’is in Iran. I pray for them and as I’ve written for many years I hope they can leave Iran. I hope that the UHJ changes its policy and encourages Baha’is to leave, rather than stay and endure suffering and oppression.

    Some time around 5 years ago there was a subtle change within the IRI’s tactics and they suddenly allowed Baha’is to exit the country. This was in direct contrast to the previous policy of closing off borders and dealing ruthlessly with those who attempted to escape – akin to North Korea. However the UHJ in response directed the Baha’is of Iran to remain inside and instructed Baha’is of Iranian origin who were visiting relatives on trips to refrain from encouraging them to leave.

    I find this totally baffling.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Andrew, they are known as “Yaran”, literally translated from Persion, Friends. It is capitalized to denote a group, like for example, Anonymous vs. just anonymous.

    So the Friends are the de facto administrative body of the Baha’i Faith in Iran. Since 1982 the Baha’is have been unable to elect an NSA because of restrictions placed upon them by the IRI which make such institutions “illegal”.

    It is tough to administer a large community, somewhere between a quarter million to 300,000 believers without the usual Baha’i administrative institutions. Something obviously must be in place. What the Baha’is have opted to do is to administer the internal affairs through the Friends and to work with another body stationed in London UK for any external communications as well as decisions involving the outside world, if you know what I mean.

    This is a sensitive issue and although I may know more about it I don’t feel comfortable talking as openly as I can. People’s lives are at stake. This is not a TV show. My concern is for my fellow Baha’is in Iran. I pray for them and as I’ve written for many years I hope they can leave Iran. I hope that the UHJ changes its policy and encourages Baha’is to leave, rather than stay and endure suffering and oppression.

    Some time around 5 years ago there was a subtle change within the IRI’s tactics and they suddenly allowed Baha’is to exit the country. This was in direct contrast to the previous policy of closing off borders and dealing ruthlessly with those who attempted to escape – akin to North Korea. However the UHJ in response directed the Baha’is of Iran to remain inside and instructed Baha’is of Iranian origin who were visiting relatives on trips to refrain from encouraging them to leave.

    I find this totally baffling.

  • anonymouz

    Dear Baquia,

    Do not be baffled. What information you have is part of a general body of guidance that is in the public domain. Rest assured that those who need to get out do.

    The fact is that the yaran were known to the government and un-officially accepted as part of the Baha’i leadership. This is not baffling at all. Thier MI, ministry of intelligence knows exactly who they important people are. The routinely bug and tap. What is scary is that despite back channel communications and openess with the Iranian government, the all of a sudden pull this stunt. What made them do it? That my dear friend is baffling.

  • anonymouz

    Dear Baquia,

    Do not be baffled. What information you have is part of a general body of guidance that is in the public domain. Rest assured that those who need to get out do.

    The fact is that the yaran were known to the government and un-officially accepted as part of the Baha’i leadership. This is not baffling at all. Thier MI, ministry of intelligence knows exactly who they important people are. The routinely bug and tap. What is scary is that despite back channel communications and openess with the Iranian government, the all of a sudden pull this stunt. What made them do it? That my dear friend is baffling.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    do you work hard at injecting your words with condescension or are you just a natural?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    do you work hard at injecting your words with condescension or are you just a natural?

  • Anonymouz

    Forgive me for coming to the defense of the faith and administration I owe my life to.

    Condescension is my bad quality and I will work on it. I admit I feel little in common with the attitudes so present today on blogs like this.

    I went through something that I will never forget and it all started by innocent thoughts and sincere questions like the ones posed here. It then escalated to whispers of doubt and anger, kinda like a fella on here that will remain un-named. Mind you this was all self generated and it was my perception and understanding that was flawed. I accepted that and in the end it was what lead to my coming around. Sadly some individuals refuse categorically to do this. I feel for thier pain and needless suffering at their own hands.

    Anyway, I then began sending angry letters, here and there, doing strange things at feast. Once I started infecting or at least exposing others to my erroneous ideas it escalated more. The next thing I knew I was being lectured by my auxiliary board member. Then letters from the NSA and UHJ. This is why I choose to remain anonymouz. Needless to say in the end the problem was with me and my pre-conceived misconceptions, the ones I see so oftenly expressed here and there. They are the problem, not the beloved faith.

    My experience has taught me that if one is to have peace within and be one with the Faith, you have to surrender your ideas which you hold so dearly. These ideas, conceived by a mix of political theory, cultural norms, and untrained interpretations of the Baha’i writings lead to the dangerous mix that is our “views”. I learned from my experience that these views are essentially manifestations of self–the arch enemy of God.

    My journey is full of rest stops and detours while ironically I have GPS to guide me strait there. If only it was that easy…

  • Anonymouz

    Forgive me for coming to the defense of the faith and administration I owe my life to.

    Condescension is my bad quality and I will work on it. I admit I feel little in common with the attitudes so present today on blogs like this.

    I went through something that I will never forget and it all started by innocent thoughts and sincere questions like the ones posed here. It then escalated to whispers of doubt and anger, kinda like a fella on here that will remain un-named. Mind you this was all self generated and it was my perception and understanding that was flawed. I accepted that and in the end it was what lead to my coming around. Sadly some individuals refuse categorically to do this. I feel for thier pain and needless suffering at their own hands.

    Anyway, I then began sending angry letters, here and there, doing strange things at feast. Once I started infecting or at least exposing others to my erroneous ideas it escalated more. The next thing I knew I was being lectured by my auxiliary board member. Then letters from the NSA and UHJ. This is why I choose to remain anonymouz. Needless to say in the end the problem was with me and my pre-conceived misconceptions, the ones I see so oftenly expressed here and there. They are the problem, not the beloved faith.

    My experience has taught me that if one is to have peace within and be one with the Faith, you have to surrender your ideas which you hold so dearly. These ideas, conceived by a mix of political theory, cultural norms, and untrained interpretations of the Baha’i writings lead to the dangerous mix that is our “views”. I learned from my experience that these views are essentially manifestations of self–the arch enemy of God.

    My journey is full of rest stops and detours while ironically I have GPS to guide me strait there. If only it was that easy…

  • Grover

    Hi Carmen and Anonymouz

    [quote post="497"]If Baha’is abandon teaching the Faith to do the work of the Red Cross and other organization who will proclaim the message of Baha’u’llah?[/quote]

    What greater example would there be? “Let deeds not words be your adorning.”

    [quote post="497"]The area of difference between us is that you would like to see an exclusive focus on social issues whereas the Faith is trying to develop people’s awareness that without spiritual transformation through recognition of Baha’u’llah social issues will not be fundamentally resolved. [/quote]

    Would you say that there are any significant differences in spirituality between Baha’is in general and your non-Baha’i friends? I would argue that there are no differences between my non-Baha’i friends and the Baha’is I know, save for not believing in Baha’u’llah. My non-Baha’i friends are fundamentally good people, and in some cases more spiritual than the Baha’is I know. So I question the need to convert people for the reason that it will make them more spiritual so the “new world order” can be built. The only reason I can see for converting people is to bring them under the control of a single adminstrative entity, hence the emphasis on “obedience” and “The Covenant”.

    [quote post="497"]I doubt social issues are a strong enough reason for so many people to be willing to lay down their lives and suffer imprisonment in Iran. The suffering has been endured for over 150 years because of their belief in Baha’u’llah and unwillingness to repudiate their faith in Him.[/quote]

    I would argue that Persian Baha’is are a different kettle of fish to those in the Western world. For a start, Baha’u’llah turned up in Persia, and the Persian Baha’is ancestors were intimately involved in the events surrounding the Bab, Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha. You can’t easily deny that kind of family history. For people like me, who never met Baha’u’llah and are not descended from Persians who did or will somehow involved, but are converts, we’ll never have that kind of association. So I need something else to reinforce the belief, e.g. seeing that it is actually working and achieving results.

    [quote post="497"]I think it is important to note, that as everything in the Faith Ruhi is simply guidance. If souls are moved in other directions to further the interests of the Faith, then by all means. You see this all over the place.[/quote]

    From personal experience and from what has been shown on Bahairants and other blogs, I would argue otherwise. Ruhi has become an article of faith. It is all-pervasive and the pressure to do it is intense from all quarters.

  • Grover

    Hi Carmen and Anonymouz

    [quote post="497"]If Baha’is abandon teaching the Faith to do the work of the Red Cross and other organization who will proclaim the message of Baha’u’llah?[/quote]

    What greater example would there be? “Let deeds not words be your adorning.”

    [quote post="497"]The area of difference between us is that you would like to see an exclusive focus on social issues whereas the Faith is trying to develop people’s awareness that without spiritual transformation through recognition of Baha’u’llah social issues will not be fundamentally resolved. [/quote]

    Would you say that there are any significant differences in spirituality between Baha’is in general and your non-Baha’i friends? I would argue that there are no differences between my non-Baha’i friends and the Baha’is I know, save for not believing in Baha’u’llah. My non-Baha’i friends are fundamentally good people, and in some cases more spiritual than the Baha’is I know. So I question the need to convert people for the reason that it will make them more spiritual so the “new world order” can be built. The only reason I can see for converting people is to bring them under the control of a single adminstrative entity, hence the emphasis on “obedience” and “The Covenant”.

    [quote post="497"]I doubt social issues are a strong enough reason for so many people to be willing to lay down their lives and suffer imprisonment in Iran. The suffering has been endured for over 150 years because of their belief in Baha’u’llah and unwillingness to repudiate their faith in Him.[/quote]

    I would argue that Persian Baha’is are a different kettle of fish to those in the Western world. For a start, Baha’u’llah turned up in Persia, and the Persian Baha’is ancestors were intimately involved in the events surrounding the Bab, Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha. You can’t easily deny that kind of family history. For people like me, who never met Baha’u’llah and are not descended from Persians who did or will somehow involved, but are converts, we’ll never have that kind of association. So I need something else to reinforce the belief, e.g. seeing that it is actually working and achieving results.

    [quote post="497"]I think it is important to note, that as everything in the Faith Ruhi is simply guidance. If souls are moved in other directions to further the interests of the Faith, then by all means. You see this all over the place.[/quote]

    From personal experience and from what has been shown on Bahairants and other blogs, I would argue otherwise. Ruhi has become an article of faith. It is all-pervasive and the pressure to do it is intense from all quarters.

  • anonymouz

    grover,

    From personal experience and from what has been shown on Bahairants and other blogs, I would argue otherwise. Ruhi has become an article of faith. It is all-pervasive and the pressure to do it is intense from all quarters.

    Its unfortunate that we make so many assessments based on peoples simple opinions. Its unwise to judge the Faith as a whole based on the opinions of a few very vocal critics. The majority of Baha’is are satisfied with the process. I promise you that Ruhi, at least in my community, although encouraged is not beaten into us. I remember once within the last 6 mo that it came up at Feast. Surprisingly we have a wonderful Sunday devotions that attracts lots of seekers due to the inspirational quotes we put on our sign that faces 30,000 passer-bys a day. Our secretary pleads with people to wake up on Sunday mornings to come and show our support.

    My mom is the secretary if her assembly in another town nearby and she said that everything in the Ruhi books they learned in Iran 50 years ago. IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL IF YOU DONT FEEL IMPELLED TO DO RUHI. I DONT.

    Moreover, Ruhi bashing to simply counterproductive. It does help those who it helps. Fair enough?

  • anonymouz

    grover,

    From personal experience and from what has been shown on Bahairants and other blogs, I would argue otherwise. Ruhi has become an article of faith. It is all-pervasive and the pressure to do it is intense from all quarters.

    Its unfortunate that we make so many assessments based on peoples simple opinions. Its unwise to judge the Faith as a whole based on the opinions of a few very vocal critics. The majority of Baha’is are satisfied with the process. I promise you that Ruhi, at least in my community, although encouraged is not beaten into us. I remember once within the last 6 mo that it came up at Feast. Surprisingly we have a wonderful Sunday devotions that attracts lots of seekers due to the inspirational quotes we put on our sign that faces 30,000 passer-bys a day. Our secretary pleads with people to wake up on Sunday mornings to come and show our support.

    My mom is the secretary if her assembly in another town nearby and she said that everything in the Ruhi books they learned in Iran 50 years ago. IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL IF YOU DONT FEEL IMPELLED TO DO RUHI. I DONT.

    Moreover, Ruhi bashing to simply counterproductive. It does help those who it helps. Fair enough?

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:” What greater example would there be? “Let deeds not words be your adorning.”

    Interesting point since perhaps through serendipity I was reading this morning Baha’u’llah’s and Abdu’l-Baha’s emphasis on teaching the Faith as highly meritorious. Teaching through speech and writing is intimately related to teaching through good deeds and a good character. So the deeds of teaching and good behavior should definitely be one’s adorning.

    Grover wrote: “Would you say that there are any significant differences in spirituality between Baha’is in general and your non-Baha’i friends? I would argue that there are no differences between my non-Baha’i friends and the Baha’is I know, save for not believing in Baha’u’llah.”

    I have met many people since I became a Baha’i who I believe are more spiritual than I am or even some of my fellow Baha’is. The importance of the message of Baha’u’llah is that global unity is an essential need of this age. Even if you are not a spiritual person you need global harmony if humanity and the planet are to survive. This is why Baha’u’llah offered the rulers of the world the Lesser Peace. Even if you do not accept Baha’u’llah or the Baha’i teachings humanity will be much better off if it can find a way to implement a unified global community (which is already emerging in global organizations, however imperfect, like the UN, World bank, etc). The point is that many people are spiritual but they do not see the need for world unity and some are even nationalistic or have other beliefs which would prevent global cooperation and harmony. Of course, some non-Baha’is who are spiritual see the need for global unity as well. The need to awaken humanity to a global resolution of its problems is a very Baha’i ‘thing.’

    Grover wrote:” I would argue that Persian Baha’is are a different kettle of fish to those in the Western world.”

    I have a different perspective and experience. I have met many Persian Baha’is who are first or second generation just like Baha’is in the West. In fact, the Persian who taught me the Faith (his family pioneered to Jamaica) was a first generation Baha’i of Jewish background.

    Grover wrote: “From personal experience and from what has been shown on Bahairants and other blogs, I would argue otherwise. Ruhi has become an article of faith. It is all-pervasive and the pressure to do it is intense from all quarters.”

    Again I have a completely different experience and perspective. many Baha’is including myself are involved in activities other than Ruhi. It’s an important focus but many are primarily involved in other activities (e.g. http://www.ebbf.org )and there is certainly no pressure to do it among the Baha’is in my community or the others I am familiar with based on contacts with friends in those communities in several countries. it is a voluntray exercise for those who want to participate.

    Websites cannot give you an accurate impression of what is happening in the Faith in over 150 countries. Websites that criticize the faith will attract critics with particular viewpoints. Websites whioh praise the Faith can be just as misleading as they will attract only positive feedback.

    I like tennis so I frequent some tennis websites. If you were to read those posts you would get an entirely different impression of some tennis players than is actually the case! There can be quite a difference betwen the virtual online world where you can develop a virtual mind loop and the real world.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:” What greater example would there be? “Let deeds not words be your adorning.”

    Interesting point since perhaps through serendipity I was reading this morning Baha’u’llah’s and Abdu’l-Baha’s emphasis on teaching the Faith as highly meritorious. Teaching through speech and writing is intimately related to teaching through good deeds and a good character. So the deeds of teaching and good behavior should definitely be one’s adorning.

    Grover wrote: “Would you say that there are any significant differences in spirituality between Baha’is in general and your non-Baha’i friends? I would argue that there are no differences between my non-Baha’i friends and the Baha’is I know, save for not believing in Baha’u’llah.”

    I have met many people since I became a Baha’i who I believe are more spiritual than I am or even some of my fellow Baha’is. The importance of the message of Baha’u’llah is that global unity is an essential need of this age. Even if you are not a spiritual person you need global harmony if humanity and the planet are to survive. This is why Baha’u’llah offered the rulers of the world the Lesser Peace. Even if you do not accept Baha’u’llah or the Baha’i teachings humanity will be much better off if it can find a way to implement a unified global community (which is already emerging in global organizations, however imperfect, like the UN, World bank, etc). The point is that many people are spiritual but they do not see the need for world unity and some are even nationalistic or have other beliefs which would prevent global cooperation and harmony. Of course, some non-Baha’is who are spiritual see the need for global unity as well. The need to awaken humanity to a global resolution of its problems is a very Baha’i ‘thing.’

    Grover wrote:” I would argue that Persian Baha’is are a different kettle of fish to those in the Western world.”

    I have a different perspective and experience. I have met many Persian Baha’is who are first or second generation just like Baha’is in the West. In fact, the Persian who taught me the Faith (his family pioneered to Jamaica) was a first generation Baha’i of Jewish background.

    Grover wrote: “From personal experience and from what has been shown on Bahairants and other blogs, I would argue otherwise. Ruhi has become an article of faith. It is all-pervasive and the pressure to do it is intense from all quarters.”

    Again I have a completely different experience and perspective. many Baha’is including myself are involved in activities other than Ruhi. It’s an important focus but many are primarily involved in other activities (e.g. http://www.ebbf.org )and there is certainly no pressure to do it among the Baha’is in my community or the others I am familiar with based on contacts with friends in those communities in several countries. it is a voluntray exercise for those who want to participate.

    Websites cannot give you an accurate impression of what is happening in the Faith in over 150 countries. Websites that criticize the faith will attract critics with particular viewpoints. Websites whioh praise the Faith can be just as misleading as they will attract only positive feedback.

    I like tennis so I frequent some tennis websites. If you were to read those posts you would get an entirely different impression of some tennis players than is actually the case! There can be quite a difference betwen the virtual online world where you can develop a virtual mind loop and the real world.

    Carmen

  • http://iranian.com Barry

    Ayatollah Montazeri Decrees Baha’is Rightful Citizens of Iran

  • http://iranian.com Barry

    Ayatollah Montazeri Decrees Baha’is Rightful Citizens of Iran

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:

    “The UHJ/ITC is brining attention to the problem in Iran. Never mind that they have totally ignored the mounting danger and encouraged Baha’is to remain there! No, lets ignore that for now.”

    Baquia, we come over and over again to the same idea that those who accept to call themselves Baha’is, are generally those who expect to get something out of the Faith, but those who believe that their priority in life is to give whatever time an energy they have to a cause which they believe as being the last refuge of a tottering world. Overcome with the educational situation of our brethren in Iran, I once consulted friends on how these kid could be welcomed into Baha’i Families in the West for education; then I realised that they were now pioneers in their native land that would not want to abandon their posts.

    When my parents left a comfortable life in Iran to pioneer to Tanganyika in 1952, as so many US citizens left for remote areas of the world, they were going in for a great and hazardous adventure.

    The advice Baha’is seek from the UHJ/ITC is not for safety, but for how the Faith can best be served. Each one of us is responsible for his own safety; No one is obliged to seek advise as how to better serve the Faith.

    When I grew up and read the terms in which Shoghi effendi had exhorted the pioneers for the 10 year Crusade, I fully understood what had set these people on fire:

    « No matter how long the period that separates them from ultimate victory; however arduous the task; however formidable the exertions demanded of them; however dark the days which mankind, perplexed and sorely-tried, must, in its hour of travail, traverse; however severe the tests with which they who are to redeem its fortunes will be confronted; however afflictive the darts which their present enemies, as well as those whom Providence, will, through His mysterious dispensations raise up from within or from without, may rain upon them, however grievous the ordeal of temporary separation from the heart and nerve-center of their Faith which future unforeseeable disturbances may impose upon them, I adjure them, by the precious blood that flowed in such great profusion, by the lives of the unnumbered saints and heroes who were immolated, by the supreme, the glorious sacrifice of the Prophet-Herald of our Faith, by the tribulations which its Founder, Himself, willingly underwent, so that His Cause might live, His Order might redeem a shattered world and its glory might suffuse the entire planet—I adjure them, as this solemn hour draws nigh, to resolve never to flinch, never to hesitate, never to relax, until each and every objective in the Plans to be proclaimed, at a later date, has been fully consummated. » (Messages to Baha’i World 21:13, page: 39])

    This is how Baha’u’llah describes them :

    « This is not a Cause which may be made a plaything for your idle fancies, nor is it a field for the foolish and faint of heart. By God, this is the arena of insight and detachment, of vision and upliftment, where none may spur on their chargers save the valiant horsemen of the Merciful, who have severed all attachment to the world of being. » (Aqdas K178)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia wrote:

    “The UHJ/ITC is brining attention to the problem in Iran. Never mind that they have totally ignored the mounting danger and encouraged Baha’is to remain there! No, lets ignore that for now.”

    Baquia, we come over and over again to the same idea that those who accept to call themselves Baha’is, are generally those who expect to get something out of the Faith, but those who believe that their priority in life is to give whatever time an energy they have to a cause which they believe as being the last refuge of a tottering world. Overcome with the educational situation of our brethren in Iran, I once consulted friends on how these kid could be welcomed into Baha’i Families in the West for education; then I realised that they were now pioneers in their native land that would not want to abandon their posts.

    When my parents left a comfortable life in Iran to pioneer to Tanganyika in 1952, as so many US citizens left for remote areas of the world, they were going in for a great and hazardous adventure.

    The advice Baha’is seek from the UHJ/ITC is not for safety, but for how the Faith can best be served. Each one of us is responsible for his own safety; No one is obliged to seek advise as how to better serve the Faith.

    When I grew up and read the terms in which Shoghi effendi had exhorted the pioneers for the 10 year Crusade, I fully understood what had set these people on fire:

    « No matter how long the period that separates them from ultimate victory; however arduous the task; however formidable the exertions demanded of them; however dark the days which mankind, perplexed and sorely-tried, must, in its hour of travail, traverse; however severe the tests with which they who are to redeem its fortunes will be confronted; however afflictive the darts which their present enemies, as well as those whom Providence, will, through His mysterious dispensations raise up from within or from without, may rain upon them, however grievous the ordeal of temporary separation from the heart and nerve-center of their Faith which future unforeseeable disturbances may impose upon them, I adjure them, by the precious blood that flowed in such great profusion, by the lives of the unnumbered saints and heroes who were immolated, by the supreme, the glorious sacrifice of the Prophet-Herald of our Faith, by the tribulations which its Founder, Himself, willingly underwent, so that His Cause might live, His Order might redeem a shattered world and its glory might suffuse the entire planet—I adjure them, as this solemn hour draws nigh, to resolve never to flinch, never to hesitate, never to relax, until each and every objective in the Plans to be proclaimed, at a later date, has been fully consummated. » (Messages to Baha’i World 21:13, page: 39])

    This is how Baha’u’llah describes them :

    « This is not a Cause which may be made a plaything for your idle fancies, nor is it a field for the foolish and faint of heart. By God, this is the arena of insight and detachment, of vision and upliftment, where none may spur on their chargers save the valiant horsemen of the Merciful, who have severed all attachment to the world of being. » (Aqdas K178)

  • farhan

    Apparently Ayatollah Montazari has been a supporter of human rights and at 86 would now be under house arrest in Qom after having opposed Khomeiny and Ahmadinejad.

    He has been described by his allies as brilliant, down-to-earth, unpretentious, plain spoken, and as one who “lives plainly, and equates Islam with social justice” and stays above political infighting. His detractors have portrayed him as stubborn and naive in his insistence that the Islamic republic find reconciliation with the “Hypocrites and Liberals” who are its “internal enemies.” More on:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Ayatollah_Hossein-Ali_Montazeri

    There is a document on his views on « Translations of Shaykhi, Babi and Baha’i Texts, vol. 6, no. 4 (July, 2002) Questions from Ayatollah Muntaziri concerning “Hypotheses of the Final Imam and Finality (Khatamiyyat)” where he concludes :

    “Therefore human kind will not need a new prophet and a new religion. Naturally the existing religion shall be the final religion of God and its prophet considered the final one. In essence, Islam is the final class in the divinely graded educational system.” Source:
    http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/trans/vol6/muntazir.htm

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Apparently Ayatollah Montazari has been a supporter of human rights and at 86 would now be under house arrest in Qom after having opposed Khomeiny and Ahmadinejad.

    He has been described by his allies as brilliant, down-to-earth, unpretentious, plain spoken, and as one who “lives plainly, and equates Islam with social justice” and stays above political infighting. His detractors have portrayed him as stubborn and naive in his insistence that the Islamic republic find reconciliation with the “Hypocrites and Liberals” who are its “internal enemies.” More on:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Ayatollah_Hossein-Ali_Montazeri

    There is a document on his views on « Translations of Shaykhi, Babi and Baha’i Texts, vol. 6, no. 4 (July, 2002) Questions from Ayatollah Muntaziri concerning “Hypotheses of the Final Imam and Finality (Khatamiyyat)” where he concludes :

    “Therefore human kind will not need a new prophet and a new religion. Naturally the existing religion shall be the final religion of God and its prophet considered the final one. In essence, Islam is the final class in the divinely graded educational system.” Source:
    http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/trans/vol6/muntazir.htm

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “The UHJ/ITC is bringing attention to the problem in Iran. Never mind that they have totally ignored the mounting danger and encouraged Baha’is to remain there! No, lets ignore that for now.”

    Farhan wrote: “Baquia…those who accept to call themselves Baha’is, are…those who believe that their priority in life is to give whatever time and energy they have to a cause which they believe as being the last refuge of a tottering world.”

    Thanks for pointing this out Farhan. If all the Baha’is had left Iran because of persecution going way back to the 19th century there would be no Baha’is there today and the various regimes would have been delighted. If all the Baha’is had left since 1979 it would be a wonderful victory for the IRI. People do not seem to realize that Baha’is have also remained in other countries where they have been severely persecuted for decades. They have also stayed in countries during conditions of extreme danger. Hand of the Cause Enoch Olinga, his wife and three children were gunned down in Kampala, Uganda. He could have left and avoided the rign of terror under Idi Amin. Today there is a thriving Baha’i community in Uganda. The dialectic in the Faith is that it grows more because of internal and external opposition as the Central Figures, Guardian and UHJ have repeatedly stated and historical facts have confirmed.

    The latest news from Iran is an indication of this: http://news.bahai.org/story/634

    “Indeed, the attacks and the obstructiveness of the ignorant but cause the Word of God to be exalted, and spread His signs and tokens far and wide. Were it not for this opposition by the disdainful, this obduracy of the slanderers, this shouting from the pulpits, this crying and wailing of great and small alike, these accusations of unbelief levelled by the ignorant, this uproar from the foolish—how could news of the advent of the Primal Point and the bright dawning of the Day-Star of Bahá ever have reached to east and west? How else could the planet have been rocked from pole to pole?…All these blessings and bestowals, the very means of proclaiming the Faith, have come about through the scorn of the ignorant, the opposition of the foolish, the stubbornness of the dull-witted, the violence of the aggressor. Had it not been for these things, the news of the Báb’s advent would not, to this day, have reached even into lands hard by. Wherefore we should never grieve over the blindness of the unwitting, the attacks of the foolish, the hostility of the low and base, the heedlessness of the divines, the charges of infidelity brought against us by the empty of mind.”
    ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

    Indeed! The continued persecutions in Iran have brought the Faith an international attention and exposure it might not otherwise have received as well as an increasing degree of interest and sympathetic interest from the populace within Iran.

    Today is the Anniversay of the Declaration of the Bab. It is fitting to recall his supreme sacrifice and the thouands who sacrificed their lives that this Faith might flourish.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “The UHJ/ITC is bringing attention to the problem in Iran. Never mind that they have totally ignored the mounting danger and encouraged Baha’is to remain there! No, lets ignore that for now.”

    Farhan wrote: “Baquia…those who accept to call themselves Baha’is, are…those who believe that their priority in life is to give whatever time and energy they have to a cause which they believe as being the last refuge of a tottering world.”

    Thanks for pointing this out Farhan. If all the Baha’is had left Iran because of persecution going way back to the 19th century there would be no Baha’is there today and the various regimes would have been delighted. If all the Baha’is had left since 1979 it would be a wonderful victory for the IRI. People do not seem to realize that Baha’is have also remained in other countries where they have been severely persecuted for decades. They have also stayed in countries during conditions of extreme danger. Hand of the Cause Enoch Olinga, his wife and three children were gunned down in Kampala, Uganda. He could have left and avoided the rign of terror under Idi Amin. Today there is a thriving Baha’i community in Uganda. The dialectic in the Faith is that it grows more because of internal and external opposition as the Central Figures, Guardian and UHJ have repeatedly stated and historical facts have confirmed.

    The latest news from Iran is an indication of this: http://news.bahai.org/story/634

    “Indeed, the attacks and the obstructiveness of the ignorant but cause the Word of God to be exalted, and spread His signs and tokens far and wide. Were it not for this opposition by the disdainful, this obduracy of the slanderers, this shouting from the pulpits, this crying and wailing of great and small alike, these accusations of unbelief levelled by the ignorant, this uproar from the foolish—how could news of the advent of the Primal Point and the bright dawning of the Day-Star of Bahá ever have reached to east and west? How else could the planet have been rocked from pole to pole?…All these blessings and bestowals, the very means of proclaiming the Faith, have come about through the scorn of the ignorant, the opposition of the foolish, the stubbornness of the dull-witted, the violence of the aggressor. Had it not been for these things, the news of the Báb’s advent would not, to this day, have reached even into lands hard by. Wherefore we should never grieve over the blindness of the unwitting, the attacks of the foolish, the hostility of the low and base, the heedlessness of the divines, the charges of infidelity brought against us by the empty of mind.”
    ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

    Indeed! The continued persecutions in Iran have brought the Faith an international attention and exposure it might not otherwise have received as well as an increasing degree of interest and sympathetic interest from the populace within Iran.

    Today is the Anniversay of the Declaration of the Bab. It is fitting to recall his supreme sacrifice and the thouands who sacrificed their lives that this Faith might flourish.

    Carmen

  • Concourse on Low

    Farhan and Carmen,

    You frigging jerks. This has to be the most repugnant thing I’ve seen come out of your mouths.

    For the sake of your moronic religious expansionist wet dreams you’re justifying the suffering of Bahai families in Iran because of its expedient marketing value for your religious brand. How convenient for you to express such thoughts in the comfort of whichever Western nation you’re writing from.

    I wonder if you’d say these same things to the face of a Bahai child or parent who faces persecution and wants nothing more to escape and live in peace and freedom and has no interest in being an Iranian living martyr poster boy for Bahais living in the developed world.

    I have a proposal for you Carmen. Since you’re so adamant about grand sacrifices for your religion, and insist that your Iranian co-religionists forsake emigrating so they can “testify” on behalf of Baha’u’llah by enduring truncated lives of diminished quality with dim prospects of enjoying the sort of quality of life and rights that you enjoy in the West, why don’t YOU exchange places with Bahais in Iran.

    None of you, or any of the Bahai instiutions, have the right to guilt trip Bahais into staying in Iran. Foul, absolutely fucking, foul!

  • Concourse on Low

    Farhan and Carmen,

    You frigging jerks. This has to be the most repugnant thing I’ve seen come out of your mouths.

    For the sake of your moronic religious expansionist wet dreams you’re justifying the suffering of Bahai families in Iran because of its expedient marketing value for your religious brand. How convenient for you to express such thoughts in the comfort of whichever Western nation you’re writing from.

    I wonder if you’d say these same things to the face of a Bahai child or parent who faces persecution and wants nothing more to escape and live in peace and freedom and has no interest in being an Iranian living martyr poster boy for Bahais living in the developed world.

    I have a proposal for you Carmen. Since you’re so adamant about grand sacrifices for your religion, and insist that your Iranian co-religionists forsake emigrating so they can “testify” on behalf of Baha’u’llah by enduring truncated lives of diminished quality with dim prospects of enjoying the sort of quality of life and rights that you enjoy in the West, why don’t YOU exchange places with Bahais in Iran.

    None of you, or any of the Bahai instiutions, have the right to guilt trip Bahais into staying in Iran. Foul, absolutely fucking, foul!

  • Andrew

    Concourse on Low wrote:

    “None of you, or any of the Bahai instiutions, have the right to guilt trip Bahais into staying in Iran. Foul, absolutely fucking, foul!”

    This seems a bit harsh. I think it would be far more productive (and a testament to the real integrity of the Baha’i Faith) to encourage all Baha’is who do not currently reside in Iran to take up residence there forthwith and to offer themselves as willing sacrifices for the Faith. If the hundreds of thousands – I mean millions – of Baha’is in the world were to follow such a course of action, it could only serve to further the spiritual well-being of the entire human community. Let us all hope and pray that this comes to pass as quickly and expeditiously as possible, that the Cause of God may finally be revealed for what it truly is.

  • Andrew

    Concourse on Low wrote:

    “None of you, or any of the Bahai instiutions, have the right to guilt trip Bahais into staying in Iran. Foul, absolutely fucking, foul!”

    This seems a bit harsh. I think it would be far more productive (and a testament to the real integrity of the Baha’i Faith) to encourage all Baha’is who do not currently reside in Iran to take up residence there forthwith and to offer themselves as willing sacrifices for the Faith. If the hundreds of thousands – I mean millions – of Baha’is in the world were to follow such a course of action, it could only serve to further the spiritual well-being of the entire human community. Let us all hope and pray that this comes to pass as quickly and expeditiously as possible, that the Cause of God may finally be revealed for what it truly is.

  • Carm-again

    Concourse on Low wrote:” For the sake of your moronic religious expansionist wet dreams you’re justifying the suffering of Bahai families in Iran because of its expedient marketing value for your religious brand. How convenient for you to express such thoughts in the comfort of whichever Western nation you’re writing from.”

    You seem to forget one very important point. The Baha’is in Iran have chosen to endure and suffer on behalf of the Faith they believe in for over 150 years…not just since 1979. It is well known that being a Baha’i in Iran has always involved danger and yet they have stayed during all this time. It has nothing to do with me or Farhan. If the majority of Iranian Baha’is wanted to escape suffereing they could and would have done so from the very beginning of the Faith in the 19th century. I know Iranian Baha’is in my community who were pelted with rocks as children and abused in many, many other ways. They are here because they chose to pioneer. However, some of their relatives STILL live in Iran.

    You do not seem to understand that it has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with faith – the same faith the early Christian martyrs who were fed to the lions had. The same faith that has caused thousands and thousands of Baha’is living comfortably in Western countries to go and live in villages in Africa, Asia and Latin America (it’s not just Iranians!) as pioneers to teach and establish the Faith. These same pioneers have suffered all sorts of diseases and problems that the local people suffer from.

    You can curse me as much as you want. I have risked my life to teach the Faith in dangerous areas of Kingston, Jamaica which are controlled by rival drug gangs. The murdder rate is one of the highest in the world. Your invective is pure honey compared to that.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Concourse on Low wrote:” For the sake of your moronic religious expansionist wet dreams you’re justifying the suffering of Bahai families in Iran because of its expedient marketing value for your religious brand. How convenient for you to express such thoughts in the comfort of whichever Western nation you’re writing from.”

    You seem to forget one very important point. The Baha’is in Iran have chosen to endure and suffer on behalf of the Faith they believe in for over 150 years…not just since 1979. It is well known that being a Baha’i in Iran has always involved danger and yet they have stayed during all this time. It has nothing to do with me or Farhan. If the majority of Iranian Baha’is wanted to escape suffereing they could and would have done so from the very beginning of the Faith in the 19th century. I know Iranian Baha’is in my community who were pelted with rocks as children and abused in many, many other ways. They are here because they chose to pioneer. However, some of their relatives STILL live in Iran.

    You do not seem to understand that it has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with faith – the same faith the early Christian martyrs who were fed to the lions had. The same faith that has caused thousands and thousands of Baha’is living comfortably in Western countries to go and live in villages in Africa, Asia and Latin America (it’s not just Iranians!) as pioneers to teach and establish the Faith. These same pioneers have suffered all sorts of diseases and problems that the local people suffer from.

    You can curse me as much as you want. I have risked my life to teach the Faith in dangerous areas of Kingston, Jamaica which are controlled by rival drug gangs. The murdder rate is one of the highest in the world. Your invective is pure honey compared to that.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Andrew and Concourse on Low:

    Concourse on Low: Before hurling your venom did you even bother to read the article in the link I provided? Here is an excerpt:

    ” the Bahá’í community of Iran has great love for their country and they are deeply committed to its development. This is evidenced, for example, by the fact that the vast majority of Bahá’ís have REMAINED (my emphasis)in Iran despite intense persecution, the fact that students denied access to education in Iran and forced to study abroad have RETURNED (my emphasis) to assist in the development of their country, and the recent effort by Bahá’ís in Shiraz to provide schooling for underprivileged children – an effort the government responded to by arresting some 54 Bahá’í participants in May 2006…”

    I know you canot understand why people would prefer to remain in a country and willingly submit to persecution. I also know you cannot undertstand why they would return to Iran with all the risks that entails. Try reading some Baha’i history such as the Dawnbreakers. Perhaps it will give you a better insight. Also, try to read aome examples from the international Baha’i community. You might learn about people like the first African Baha’i Martyr, Eduardo Duarte Vieira, who refused to recant his faith under severe pressure and was therefore tortured and killed in Portuguese new Guinea in 1966. You can read about him in the In Memoriam section of Volume 14 of The Baha’i World.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Andrew and Concourse on Low:

    Concourse on Low: Before hurling your venom did you even bother to read the article in the link I provided? Here is an excerpt:

    ” the Bahá’í community of Iran has great love for their country and they are deeply committed to its development. This is evidenced, for example, by the fact that the vast majority of Bahá’ís have REMAINED (my emphasis)in Iran despite intense persecution, the fact that students denied access to education in Iran and forced to study abroad have RETURNED (my emphasis) to assist in the development of their country, and the recent effort by Bahá’ís in Shiraz to provide schooling for underprivileged children – an effort the government responded to by arresting some 54 Bahá’í participants in May 2006…”

    I know you canot understand why people would prefer to remain in a country and willingly submit to persecution. I also know you cannot undertstand why they would return to Iran with all the risks that entails. Try reading some Baha’i history such as the Dawnbreakers. Perhaps it will give you a better insight. Also, try to read aome examples from the international Baha’i community. You might learn about people like the first African Baha’i Martyr, Eduardo Duarte Vieira, who refused to recant his faith under severe pressure and was therefore tortured and killed in Portuguese new Guinea in 1966. You can read about him in the In Memoriam section of Volume 14 of The Baha’i World.

    Carmen

  • Concourse on Low

    You seem to forget one very important point. The Baha’is in Iran have chosen to endure and suffer on behalf of the Faith they believe in for over 150 years…not just since 1979.

    It’s amazing how you’re privy to the reasoning, deliberations and choices of individuals you’ve never met or communicated with.

    It is well known that being a Baha’i in Iran has always involved danger and yet they have stayed during all this time. It has nothing to do with me or Farhan. If the majority of Iranian Baha’is wanted to escape suffereing they could and would have done so from the very beginning of the Faith in the 19th century.

    Your ignorance is astounding. There have been thousands of Bahais who have attempted to flee Iran as refugees, particularly after the 1979 revolution. A Bahai who wants to leave Iran has two options: self-identify as Muslim when departing from Iran at the visa office, grease an official with several thousand dollars and pray to God that these measures will suffice to prevent being detained at the departure terminal; or, risk a perilous clandestine journey, usually with the help of paid smugglers, through the Zagros mountains into Turkey, or through the southeast into Pakistan, and from there apply for refugee status in a Western nation. Bahais who leave Iran are looked down on by the UHJ, especially those who self-identify as Muslim in order to leave. In fact, the latter are banned from attending the administrative portion of feasts in their new communities.

    So when you tell me that you know Iranian Bahais who claim that they left Iran to pioneer (preposterously laughable), I venture that you’re either lying, or being lied to. If you’re being lied to, I don’t blame their deception, because they want to avoid the smug derision that many expatriate Iranian Bahais face by those who live in the lap of Western luxury, driving their kids in SUVs to Bahai dance workshops, enjoying life in their little suburban bubble, never having to have face the difficulties of those to whom they show haughty condescension. Unfortunately, most of this mistreatment is metted about by Iranians.

    You do not seem to understand that it has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with faith – the same faith the early Christian martyrs who were fed to the lions had. The same faith that has caused thousands and thousands of Baha’is living comfortably in Western countries to go and live in villages in Africa, Asia and Latin America (it’s not just Iranians!) as pioneers to teach and establish the Faith. These same pioneers have suffered all sorts of diseases and problems that the local people suffer from.

    Now you’re just being disingenuous. You, like many Bahais of your ilk, including your Central Figures, have said, countless times, how the persecution of Bahais is a godsend for raising the profile of the religion, how suffering and persecution offer opportunities for individual testimony and religious witnessing to others. Same millennial religious toxic mind sludge, over and over again. And don’t be a twerp and conflate Western Bahais who CHOOSE to travel to difficult parts of the world with Bahais in Iran who, having no choice, are forced to suffer hardship.

    You can curse me as much as you want. I have risked my life to teach the Faith in dangerous areas of Kingston, Jamaica which are controlled by rival drug gangs.

    That’s your prerogative. Don’t impose it on others through the elliptical opprobrium of your martyr speak.

    Concourse on Low: Before hurling your venom did you even bother to read the article in the link I provided? Here is an excerpt:

    And your point is what? I look at the facts, not Bahai public relations spin.

    I know you canot understand why people would prefer to remain in a country and willingly submit to persecution. I also know you cannot undertstand why they would return to Iran with all the risks that entails.

    No, what I cannot understand is how you have any right to tell Bahais in Iran what to do, while you live comfortably in the West, surfing your tennis websites and whatnot. I know you’d like to think Bahais WANT to stay in Iran, but you know what, most of them don’t! They don’t want to watch their kids be denied an education, a career, prospects for marriage and raising a family, so that they can satisfy your wank off sado-masochistic fantasies of self-flagellation and martyrdom.

    Try reading some Baha’i history such as the Dawnbreakers. Perhaps it will give you a better insight. Also, try to read aome examples from the international Baha’i community. You might learn about people like the first African Baha’i Martyr, Eduardo Duarte Vieira, who refused to recant his faith under severe pressure and was therefore tortured and killed in Portuguese new Guinea in 1966. You can read about him in the In Memoriam section of Volume 14 of The Baha’i World.

    Blah blah blah. Martyrdom. Martyrdom. Martyrdom. Your preoccupation with martyrdom is quite telling of your mental health, and the Shiite roots of your religion.

  • Concourse on Low

    You seem to forget one very important point. The Baha’is in Iran have chosen to endure and suffer on behalf of the Faith they believe in for over 150 years…not just since 1979.

    It’s amazing how you’re privy to the reasoning, deliberations and choices of individuals you’ve never met or communicated with.

    It is well known that being a Baha’i in Iran has always involved danger and yet they have stayed during all this time. It has nothing to do with me or Farhan. If the majority of Iranian Baha’is wanted to escape suffereing they could and would have done so from the very beginning of the Faith in the 19th century.

    Your ignorance is astounding. There have been thousands of Bahais who have attempted to flee Iran as refugees, particularly after the 1979 revolution. A Bahai who wants to leave Iran has two options: self-identify as Muslim when departing from Iran at the visa office, grease an official with several thousand dollars and pray to God that these measures will suffice to prevent being detained at the departure terminal; or, risk a perilous clandestine journey, usually with the help of paid smugglers, through the Zagros mountains into Turkey, or through the southeast into Pakistan, and from there apply for refugee status in a Western nation. Bahais who leave Iran are looked down on by the UHJ, especially those who self-identify as Muslim in order to leave. In fact, the latter are banned from attending the administrative portion of feasts in their new communities.

    So when you tell me that you know Iranian Bahais who claim that they left Iran to pioneer (preposterously laughable), I venture that you’re either lying, or being lied to. If you’re being lied to, I don’t blame their deception, because they want to avoid the smug derision that many expatriate Iranian Bahais face by those who live in the lap of Western luxury, driving their kids in SUVs to Bahai dance workshops, enjoying life in their little suburban bubble, never having to have face the difficulties of those to whom they show haughty condescension. Unfortunately, most of this mistreatment is metted about by Iranians.

    You do not seem to understand that it has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with faith – the same faith the early Christian martyrs who were fed to the lions had. The same faith that has caused thousands and thousands of Baha’is living comfortably in Western countries to go and live in villages in Africa, Asia and Latin America (it’s not just Iranians!) as pioneers to teach and establish the Faith. These same pioneers have suffered all sorts of diseases and problems that the local people suffer from.

    Now you’re just being disingenuous. You, like many Bahais of your ilk, including your Central Figures, have said, countless times, how the persecution of Bahais is a godsend for raising the profile of the religion, how suffering and persecution offer opportunities for individual testimony and religious witnessing to others. Same millennial religious toxic mind sludge, over and over again. And don’t be a twerp and conflate Western Bahais who CHOOSE to travel to difficult parts of the world with Bahais in Iran who, having no choice, are forced to suffer hardship.

    You can curse me as much as you want. I have risked my life to teach the Faith in dangerous areas of Kingston, Jamaica which are controlled by rival drug gangs.

    That’s your prerogative. Don’t impose it on others through the elliptical opprobrium of your martyr speak.

    Concourse on Low: Before hurling your venom did you even bother to read the article in the link I provided? Here is an excerpt:

    And your point is what? I look at the facts, not Bahai public relations spin.

    I know you canot understand why people would prefer to remain in a country and willingly submit to persecution. I also know you cannot undertstand why they would return to Iran with all the risks that entails.

    No, what I cannot understand is how you have any right to tell Bahais in Iran what to do, while you live comfortably in the West, surfing your tennis websites and whatnot. I know you’d like to think Bahais WANT to stay in Iran, but you know what, most of them don’t! They don’t want to watch their kids be denied an education, a career, prospects for marriage and raising a family, so that they can satisfy your wank off sado-masochistic fantasies of self-flagellation and martyrdom.

    Try reading some Baha’i history such as the Dawnbreakers. Perhaps it will give you a better insight. Also, try to read aome examples from the international Baha’i community. You might learn about people like the first African Baha’i Martyr, Eduardo Duarte Vieira, who refused to recant his faith under severe pressure and was therefore tortured and killed in Portuguese new Guinea in 1966. You can read about him in the In Memoriam section of Volume 14 of The Baha’i World.

    Blah blah blah. Martyrdom. Martyrdom. Martyrdom. Your preoccupation with martyrdom is quite telling of your mental health, and the Shiite roots of your religion.

  • Grover

    I’d like to add to what Concourse on Low has written (which I heartily agree with).

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote post="497"]It is well known that being a Baha’i in Iran has always involved danger and yet they have stayed during all this time. It has nothing to do with me or Farhan. If the majority of Iranian Baha’is wanted to escape suffereing they could and would have done so from the very beginning of the Faith in the 19th century.[/quote]

    Not only are there the difficulties of escaping Iran, but also that Iran is their home, their family and friends are there. Its not easy just to pack your bags, leave everything you know and some semblance of income, put yourself through some horrible experience getting out of the country, hoping you’ll be granted refugee status in some neighbouring country, and face some uncertain future, God knows where. I’d be scared shitless. Talking to several Persian families who escaped from Iran, the experiences they had were horrific to say the least. They left so they and their children would have a decent chance at getting an education. Pioneering or the Faith didn’t come into it.

    If I may be cheeky, martyrdom may be the only chance Carmen has for the redemption of her sins, either that or going on pilgrimage and counting 40 waves at Akka while reciting the greatest name (see the end of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf by Baha’u’llah). I’d definitely prefer the latter.

  • Grover

    I’d like to add to what Concourse on Low has written (which I heartily agree with).

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote post="497"]It is well known that being a Baha’i in Iran has always involved danger and yet they have stayed during all this time. It has nothing to do with me or Farhan. If the majority of Iranian Baha’is wanted to escape suffereing they could and would have done so from the very beginning of the Faith in the 19th century.[/quote]

    Not only are there the difficulties of escaping Iran, but also that Iran is their home, their family and friends are there. Its not easy just to pack your bags, leave everything you know and some semblance of income, put yourself through some horrible experience getting out of the country, hoping you’ll be granted refugee status in some neighbouring country, and face some uncertain future, God knows where. I’d be scared shitless. Talking to several Persian families who escaped from Iran, the experiences they had were horrific to say the least. They left so they and their children would have a decent chance at getting an education. Pioneering or the Faith didn’t come into it.

    If I may be cheeky, martyrdom may be the only chance Carmen has for the redemption of her sins, either that or going on pilgrimage and counting 40 waves at Akka while reciting the greatest name (see the end of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf by Baha’u’llah). I’d definitely prefer the latter.

  • Carm-again

    Concourse on Low wrote:”So when you tell me that you know Iranian Bahais who claim that they left Iran to pioneer (preposterously laughable), I venture that you’re either lying, or being lied to.”

    Let me ask you a question. Do you know anything at all about the history of the Baha’i Faith in Iran over the past 150 years? Of course many Baha’is have had to flee Iran due to persecution! No one is denying that. But the waves of persecution in Iran have been more severe during certain periods than in others. Certainly the past 30 years have been more difficult than under the previous regime although even that entailed suffering.

    But you seem to base all your comments on post-1979 and appear to have no knowledge of the tens of thousands of Iranians who gave up lucrative careers and wealth to pioneer in different parts of the world. Mr.Banani was very wealthy in Iran yet he gave up all of that and pioneered to Uganda in the early 1950s. Dr. Muhajir could have led a comfortable life as a doctor in Iran but he pioneered to the Mentawi Islands and was covered in lice on many occasions when travelling to remote villages to there in the 1950s. The Baha’i family who introduced me to the Faith in Jamaica did the same thing. They could have contined living comfortably in Iran but chose to come to Jamaica in 1967 to spread the message of Baha’u’llah. When they returned on a visit in the mid 70s many of their friends were millionaires as they could have been had they chosen to stay. It is these Iranians and so many others like them that you negatively categorize and dismiss as claiming falsely that they were/are pioneering yet you know nothing about them and assume this is all “preposterouly laughable”!

    I suggest you try to find out more about Iranian Baha’i pioneer activities before jumping into criticize. Moreover their sacrifices are no different than those of the many Western Baha’is who have given up comfortable careers and luxuies to live in the Amazon and many other inhospitable places to teach the Faith. This is one of the reasons it now exists in so many countries throughout the world though I suppose you believe that’s a preposterous lie too. How do you think the people in remote Indian, African and Asian villages learned about the Faith and embraced it? On the Internet? It is clear you have no clue about what you are commenting on.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Concourse on Low wrote:”So when you tell me that you know Iranian Bahais who claim that they left Iran to pioneer (preposterously laughable), I venture that you’re either lying, or being lied to.”

    Let me ask you a question. Do you know anything at all about the history of the Baha’i Faith in Iran over the past 150 years? Of course many Baha’is have had to flee Iran due to persecution! No one is denying that. But the waves of persecution in Iran have been more severe during certain periods than in others. Certainly the past 30 years have been more difficult than under the previous regime although even that entailed suffering.

    But you seem to base all your comments on post-1979 and appear to have no knowledge of the tens of thousands of Iranians who gave up lucrative careers and wealth to pioneer in different parts of the world. Mr.Banani was very wealthy in Iran yet he gave up all of that and pioneered to Uganda in the early 1950s. Dr. Muhajir could have led a comfortable life as a doctor in Iran but he pioneered to the Mentawi Islands and was covered in lice on many occasions when travelling to remote villages to there in the 1950s. The Baha’i family who introduced me to the Faith in Jamaica did the same thing. They could have contined living comfortably in Iran but chose to come to Jamaica in 1967 to spread the message of Baha’u’llah. When they returned on a visit in the mid 70s many of their friends were millionaires as they could have been had they chosen to stay. It is these Iranians and so many others like them that you negatively categorize and dismiss as claiming falsely that they were/are pioneering yet you know nothing about them and assume this is all “preposterouly laughable”!

    I suggest you try to find out more about Iranian Baha’i pioneer activities before jumping into criticize. Moreover their sacrifices are no different than those of the many Western Baha’is who have given up comfortable careers and luxuies to live in the Amazon and many other inhospitable places to teach the Faith. This is one of the reasons it now exists in so many countries throughout the world though I suppose you believe that’s a preposterous lie too. How do you think the people in remote Indian, African and Asian villages learned about the Faith and embraced it? On the Internet? It is clear you have no clue about what you are commenting on.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    grover wrote:”If I may be cheeky, martyrdom may be the only chance Carmen has for the redemption of her sins, either that or going on pilgrimage and counting 40 waves at Akka while reciting the greatest name”

    I did count 40 waves in Akka among other things mentioned at the end of ESW. Hopefully that will be enough :)

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    grover wrote:”If I may be cheeky, martyrdom may be the only chance Carmen has for the redemption of her sins, either that or going on pilgrimage and counting 40 waves at Akka while reciting the greatest name”

    I did count 40 waves in Akka among other things mentioned at the end of ESW. Hopefully that will be enough :)

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    It just occurred to me that cynics will never understand what could motivate someone to forego a life of comfort and pioneer and endure hardships for a cause they believe in.

    Baha’i pioneers have not been unique in this regard. People of other religious faiths have done the same thing as missionaries or fighting for causes they believe in. Martin Luther King and many lesser known figures have endured lives of intense hardship and paid th ultimate price for the sake of their religiously motivated convictions.

    But such faith based actions are hard to understand for those who see religion and faith as irrelevant. When a Baha’i, like the daughter I know of a prominent Jamaican family, goes pioneering in Zambia she is, like her Iranian brethren, somehow lying when she accepts a life of relative hardship as a pioneer. Believe that all you want Concourse on Low and Grover – it will not change the reality that there are people who genuinely give up a life of comfort because of their relgious convictions in order to serve humanity.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    It just occurred to me that cynics will never understand what could motivate someone to forego a life of comfort and pioneer and endure hardships for a cause they believe in.

    Baha’i pioneers have not been unique in this regard. People of other religious faiths have done the same thing as missionaries or fighting for causes they believe in. Martin Luther King and many lesser known figures have endured lives of intense hardship and paid th ultimate price for the sake of their religiously motivated convictions.

    But such faith based actions are hard to understand for those who see religion and faith as irrelevant. When a Baha’i, like the daughter I know of a prominent Jamaican family, goes pioneering in Zambia she is, like her Iranian brethren, somehow lying when she accepts a life of relative hardship as a pioneer. Believe that all you want Concourse on Low and Grover – it will not change the reality that there are people who genuinely give up a life of comfort because of their relgious convictions in order to serve humanity.

    Carmen

  • Concourse on Low

    Let me ask you a question. Do you know anything at all about the history of the Baha’i Faith in Iran over the past 150 years?

    If you mean the sanitized, biased, pietistic version of Bahai history peddled by Shoghi Effendi, Taherzadeh and Balyuzi, yes I’m very well-versed in it.

    Now may I ask you a question? Are you an imbecile, or just a skillful Bahai obscurantist, adept in such standard fallacies as the straw man, red herring, smokescreen, begging the question, and shifting the issue?

    Your reply is directed at no less than a deformed caricature of my actual comments. It sure is a lot easier wrestling a stuffed teddy bear than a flesh and blood grizzly.

    Of course many Baha’is have had to flee Iran due to persecution! No one is denying that. But the waves of persecution in Iran have been more severe during certain periods than in others. Certainly the past 30 years have been more difficult than under the previous regime although even that entailed suffering.

    My comments are centered on the Bahai adminstration’s attitude towards Bahais in post-revolutionary Iran, namely, the explicit and implicit expectation – and active encouragement – that they remain inside the country, in spite of persecution, so that they witness through patient suffering, for the benefit of their compatriots and others, to the veracity of the Bahai Faith, thereby furthering the adminstration’s public marketing and conversion goals; and the adminstration’s hope that when the undergarment-moistening fantasy of American boots landing on Iranian soil materializes, there will be a significant Bahai presence to re-build the Iranian Bahai community.

    Moreover, I commented on the despicable attitude of many Western Bahais towards those who decide to flee Iran for the sake of their children and families, and situated this sinister attitude within the Bahai martyr mentality, of which you are an avid exponent. Equally awful is the adminstration’s practice of depriving Bahais of certain administrative rights if they flee Iran by self-identifying as Muslim.

    I also addressed your mischaracterization of how easy it would be for Bahais to flee persecution in contemporary Iran, as well as your contention that most contemproary Iranians Bahais are willing to stay in Iran.

    It is these Iranians and so many others like them that you negatively categorize and dismiss as claiming falsely that they were/are pioneering yet you know nothing about them and assume this is all “preposterouly laughable”

    Bahais in pre-revolutionary mid-20th century Iran did not experience the same difficulties in exiting the country as current Iranian Bahais, so I never challenged the existence of pre-revolutionary Iranian pioneers. Rather, I pointed out that given the current circumstances it is highly implausible that an Iranian Bahai can simply depart from Iran to pioneer elsewhere in the world. Your contention that you know of a post-revolutionary Iranian who left Iran to pioneer is what I labeled as preposterously laughable, not the existence of pre-revolutionary pioneers from Iran or the current Iranian Diaspora.

    Nor did I, as you deceptively claim, label the existence of dedicated Bahais, Iranian and otherwise, who make serious sacrifices for their religion, as preposterously laughable.

    Illiteracy is a terrible thing.

    Baha’i pioneers have not been unique in this regard. People of other religious faiths have done the same thing as missionaries or fighting for causes they believe in. Martin Luther King and many lesser known figures have endured lives of intense hardship and paid th ultimate price for the sake of their religiously motivated convictions… Believe that all you want Concourse on Low and Grover – it will not change the reality that there are people who genuinely give up a life of comfort because of their relgious convictions in order to serve humanity.

    Once again, you mischevious hyena, I haven’t expressed befuddlement at the religionists’ proclivity for commitment to, and material sacrifice for, his or her religion, or skepticism about the existence of such individuals, or the inability to comprehend their motivations.

  • Concourse on Low

    Let me ask you a question. Do you know anything at all about the history of the Baha’i Faith in Iran over the past 150 years?

    If you mean the sanitized, biased, pietistic version of Bahai history peddled by Shoghi Effendi, Taherzadeh and Balyuzi, yes I’m very well-versed in it.

    Now may I ask you a question? Are you an imbecile, or just a skillful Bahai obscurantist, adept in such standard fallacies as the straw man, red herring, smokescreen, begging the question, and shifting the issue?

    Your reply is directed at no less than a deformed caricature of my actual comments. It sure is a lot easier wrestling a stuffed teddy bear than a flesh and blood grizzly.

    Of course many Baha’is have had to flee Iran due to persecution! No one is denying that. But the waves of persecution in Iran have been more severe during certain periods than in others. Certainly the past 30 years have been more difficult than under the previous regime although even that entailed suffering.

    My comments are centered on the Bahai adminstration’s attitude towards Bahais in post-revolutionary Iran, namely, the explicit and implicit expectation – and active encouragement – that they remain inside the country, in spite of persecution, so that they witness through patient suffering, for the benefit of their compatriots and others, to the veracity of the Bahai Faith, thereby furthering the adminstration’s public marketing and conversion goals; and the adminstration’s hope that when the undergarment-moistening fantasy of American boots landing on Iranian soil materializes, there will be a significant Bahai presence to re-build the Iranian Bahai community.

    Moreover, I commented on the despicable attitude of many Western Bahais towards those who decide to flee Iran for the sake of their children and families, and situated this sinister attitude within the Bahai martyr mentality, of which you are an avid exponent. Equally awful is the adminstration’s practice of depriving Bahais of certain administrative rights if they flee Iran by self-identifying as Muslim.

    I also addressed your mischaracterization of how easy it would be for Bahais to flee persecution in contemporary Iran, as well as your contention that most contemproary Iranians Bahais are willing to stay in Iran.

    It is these Iranians and so many others like them that you negatively categorize and dismiss as claiming falsely that they were/are pioneering yet you know nothing about them and assume this is all “preposterouly laughable”

    Bahais in pre-revolutionary mid-20th century Iran did not experience the same difficulties in exiting the country as current Iranian Bahais, so I never challenged the existence of pre-revolutionary Iranian pioneers. Rather, I pointed out that given the current circumstances it is highly implausible that an Iranian Bahai can simply depart from Iran to pioneer elsewhere in the world. Your contention that you know of a post-revolutionary Iranian who left Iran to pioneer is what I labeled as preposterously laughable, not the existence of pre-revolutionary pioneers from Iran or the current Iranian Diaspora.

    Nor did I, as you deceptively claim, label the existence of dedicated Bahais, Iranian and otherwise, who make serious sacrifices for their religion, as preposterously laughable.

    Illiteracy is a terrible thing.

    Baha’i pioneers have not been unique in this regard. People of other religious faiths have done the same thing as missionaries or fighting for causes they believe in. Martin Luther King and many lesser known figures have endured lives of intense hardship and paid th ultimate price for the sake of their religiously motivated convictions… Believe that all you want Concourse on Low and Grover – it will not change the reality that there are people who genuinely give up a life of comfort because of their relgious convictions in order to serve humanity.

    Once again, you mischevious hyena, I haven’t expressed befuddlement at the religionists’ proclivity for commitment to, and material sacrifice for, his or her religion, or skepticism about the existence of such individuals, or the inability to comprehend their motivations.

  • Concourse on Low

    It just occurred to me that cynics will never understand what could motivate someone to forego a life of comfort and pioneer and endure hardships for a cause they believe in.

    Encouraging Bahais to stay in Iran so that their suffering can get better PR for your religion is the height of cynicism.

  • Concourse on Low

    It just occurred to me that cynics will never understand what could motivate someone to forego a life of comfort and pioneer and endure hardships for a cause they believe in.

    Encouraging Bahais to stay in Iran so that their suffering can get better PR for your religion is the height of cynicism.

  • Carm-again

    Concourse on Low: “Now may I ask you a question? Are you an imbecile, or just a skillful Bahai obscurantist…?”

    I was only replying to your comments which you have only now belatedly tried to clarify. If you are going to attack the administration (code for UHJ) you might as well attack the Central Figures for also allowing Baha’is to remain in Iran during periods of even more severe persecution. However, since you are are incapable of engaging in a dialogue without hurling epithets such as “imbecile” and “mischevious hyena” I am not going to lower myself to your level by responding in kind.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Concourse on Low: “Now may I ask you a question? Are you an imbecile, or just a skillful Bahai obscurantist…?”

    I was only replying to your comments which you have only now belatedly tried to clarify. If you are going to attack the administration (code for UHJ) you might as well attack the Central Figures for also allowing Baha’is to remain in Iran during periods of even more severe persecution. However, since you are are incapable of engaging in a dialogue without hurling epithets such as “imbecile” and “mischevious hyena” I am not going to lower myself to your level by responding in kind.

    Carmen

  • Grover

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote post="497"]It just occurred to me that cynics will never understand what could motivate someone to forego a life of comfort and pioneer and endure hardships for a cause they believe in.[/quote]

    Well Carmen, if you’re labelling me a cynic, I’m quite happy to accept. From our holy gospel, the infallible Wikipedia, did you know that

    [quote post="497"]The Cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici) were an influential group of philosophers from the ancient school of Cynicism. Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in way which was natural for humans. They believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society. Many of these thoughts were later absorbed into Stoicism.[/quote]

  • Grover

    Carmen wrote:

    [quote post="497"]It just occurred to me that cynics will never understand what could motivate someone to forego a life of comfort and pioneer and endure hardships for a cause they believe in.[/quote]

    Well Carmen, if you’re labelling me a cynic, I’m quite happy to accept. From our holy gospel, the infallible Wikipedia, did you know that

    [quote post="497"]The Cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici) were an influential group of philosophers from the ancient school of Cynicism. Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in way which was natural for humans. They believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society. Many of these thoughts were later absorbed into Stoicism.[/quote]

  • Concourse on Low

    I was only replying to your comments which you have only now belatedly tried to clarify. If you are going to attack the administration (code for UHJ) you might as well attack the Central Figures for also allowing Baha’is to remain in Iran during periods of even more severe persecution. However, since you are are incapable of engaging in a dialogue without hurling epithets such as “imbecile” and “mischevious hyena” I am not going to lower myself to your level by responding in kind.
    Carmen[/quote]

    There would be no need for me to “belatedly clarify” anything if you didn’t read at a grade 3 level.

    My use of adminstration is not “code” for anything, seeing as in my previous comments I explicity referred to the UHJ. Is it fun to try and see things that aren’t there?

    You’re right about the Central Figures. This is a point I’ve repeatedly made on this blog: the pathologies of Bahai behavior and thought are not aberrations or deviations, instead they’re all rooted in the writings of the central figures.

    By the way, it’s not about the adminstration “allowing” Bahais to remain in Iran; it’s about the adminstration guilt tripping Bahais who want to escape for the betterment of their children and families.

    Carmen, let’s be frank, you’ve demonstrated the common Bahai inability to engage in real dialogue, by relying on evasion, mischaracterization and canards, not just with me but with many of your other interlocutours.

    Please, respond in kind. It’ll make you feel better. Trust me. It’s not like your current conversational methods are any more constructive. The Bahai-bot script puts the kibosh on any genuine exchange.

    But maybe “imbecile” and “mischevious hyena” were too harsh. I’ll try and be less…colorful.

  • Concourse on Low

    I was only replying to your comments which you have only now belatedly tried to clarify. If you are going to attack the administration (code for UHJ) you might as well attack the Central Figures for also allowing Baha’is to remain in Iran during periods of even more severe persecution. However, since you are are incapable of engaging in a dialogue without hurling epithets such as “imbecile” and “mischevious hyena” I am not going to lower myself to your level by responding in kind.
    Carmen[/quote]

    There would be no need for me to “belatedly clarify” anything if you didn’t read at a grade 3 level.

    My use of adminstration is not “code” for anything, seeing as in my previous comments I explicity referred to the UHJ. Is it fun to try and see things that aren’t there?

    You’re right about the Central Figures. This is a point I’ve repeatedly made on this blog: the pathologies of Bahai behavior and thought are not aberrations or deviations, instead they’re all rooted in the writings of the central figures.

    By the way, it’s not about the adminstration “allowing” Bahais to remain in Iran; it’s about the adminstration guilt tripping Bahais who want to escape for the betterment of their children and families.

    Carmen, let’s be frank, you’ve demonstrated the common Bahai inability to engage in real dialogue, by relying on evasion, mischaracterization and canards, not just with me but with many of your other interlocutours.

    Please, respond in kind. It’ll make you feel better. Trust me. It’s not like your current conversational methods are any more constructive. The Bahai-bot script puts the kibosh on any genuine exchange.

    But maybe “imbecile” and “mischevious hyena” were too harsh. I’ll try and be less…colorful.

  • Craig Parke

    I feel there seem to be ever growing new heights of down right frightful arrogance and cynicism with many of the comments here of late.

    [quote comment=""]

    Anonymouz Wrote:

    Craig I do understand why you appear so frustrated by the Baha’i views of not speaking out against conflict. But you also keep quoting individual members of the House of Justice. There words are just like yours or mine, inconsequential opinions. Do not hang your arguments on that.

    [/quote]

    Wrong.

    People elected to the Universal House of Justice must be EXTREMELY RESPONSIBLE about what they say in their talks to captive Baha’i audiences. Their personal opinions become Holy Writ among many of the weaker psyches in the Baha’i Faith. Every thinking person here has observed this at one time or another. But these people do not even have the self awareness, common sense, or decency to be sensitive to this because they have lived their ENTIRE ADULT LIVES in a cult bubble of group think. Again, they have no self awareness outside of their psychological system of addictive self definition implemented over and over across decades in the Administrative Order. The record of every one of them speaks volumes. They should ALL have the decency to never give their personal opinion on anything whatsoever under the sun in public.

    I too wondered why there was no speaking up about the wars.

    Good. You impressed me with this comment. You showed signs of having a soul, Anonymouz. Excellent.

    But you keep ranting about men and women in uniform like they are the only ones having a hard time. They volunteered to be there, they signed up and if it was that bad, they could go AWOL. Frankly the servicemen is a non-issue.

    There are now 4,563 dead American soldiers in Iraq in what you call a “non-issue”. Over 36,000 wounded. Many so severely that they would not have survived in any previous war. Human beings destroyed. There are at least 150 blinded for life. There are now suicides from PTSD and ever growing personal, family, and social carnage. But to you as a Baha’i it is a “non-issue”.

    But the arrest of several Baha’i persons in Iran is apparently the main issue of all of human existence. I don’t follow the math here? Maybe it’s just that since the death of U.S. soldiers cannot advance the Core Activities and Full Sequence of Courses, they are useless expendables just sent to “do God’s work” and be thrown into their graves.

    I just don’t see the equation here. Iranians who seek safety and individual and personal freedom as Baha’is in the West do so under the soldiers of the West who defended our freedoms in two World Wars. The love child of Hitler and Eva Braun is not the permanent Guardian of the Baha’i Faith because people fought for our freedoms. Yet those of us here as free thinking Baha’is are denounced as “Western intellectuals”. You can’t have it both ways. If you are typing at your keyboard enjoying the freedoms of the West, then you are protected by the West. So your complaints and denunciations here about people not being Party line Baha’is seems a bit unfair. And saying the death of soldiers is a “non-issue” doesn’t speak well for the kind of cult bubble souls now in the ranks of the Baha’i Faith.

    The Baha’i Faith now exists in complete psychological isolation from what is going on in the world. And because of this it is dying.

    So weep for your martyrs in Iran in the Middle Eastern endless martyr orgy culture. I, for one, have had enough of it.

    I know all good Baha’is now are to “just be quiet and let God do His work” in complete passivity.

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/dates/2008/apr/24/shaun–j-whitehead/
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/dates/2008/apr/23/timothy–w-cunningham/
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/dates/2008/apr/23/john–t-bishop/

    Do they count? Or do only the martyr “Baha’is” count?

    I have counted the 40 waves in Acca too. It was a lovely experience.

    But I no longer walk with the kind of people currently calling themselves “Baha’is” in 2008.

  • Craig Parke

    I feel there seem to be ever growing new heights of down right frightful arrogance and cynicism with many of the comments here of late.

    [quote comment=""]

    Anonymouz Wrote:

    Craig I do understand why you appear so frustrated by the Baha’i views of not speaking out against conflict. But you also keep quoting individual members of the House of Justice. There words are just like yours or mine, inconsequential opinions. Do not hang your arguments on that.

    [/quote]

    Wrong.

    People elected to the Universal House of Justice must be EXTREMELY RESPONSIBLE about what they say in their talks to captive Baha’i audiences. Their personal opinions become Holy Writ among many of the weaker psyches in the Baha’i Faith. Every thinking person here has observed this at one time or another. But these people do not even have the self awareness, common sense, or decency to be sensitive to this because they have lived their ENTIRE ADULT LIVES in a cult bubble of group think. Again, they have no self awareness outside of their psychological system of addictive self definition implemented over and over across decades in the Administrative Order. The record of every one of them speaks volumes. They should ALL have the decency to never give their personal opinion on anything whatsoever under the sun in public.

    I too wondered why there was no speaking up about the wars.

    Good. You impressed me with this comment. You showed signs of having a soul, Anonymouz. Excellent.

    But you keep ranting about men and women in uniform like they are the only ones having a hard time. They volunteered to be there, they signed up and if it was that bad, they could go AWOL. Frankly the servicemen is a non-issue.

    There are now 4,563 dead American soldiers in Iraq in what you call a “non-issue”. Over 36,000 wounded. Many so severely that they would not have survived in any previous war. Human beings destroyed. There are at least 150 blinded for life. There are now suicides from PTSD and ever growing personal, family, and social carnage. But to you as a Baha’i it is a “non-issue”.

    But the arrest of several Baha’i persons in Iran is apparently the main issue of all of human existence. I don’t follow the math here? Maybe it’s just that since the death of U.S. soldiers cannot advance the Core Activities and Full Sequence of Courses, they are useless expendables just sent to “do God’s work” and be thrown into their graves.

    I just don’t see the equation here. Iranians who seek safety and individual and personal freedom as Baha’is in the West do so under the soldiers of the West who defended our freedoms in two World Wars. The love child of Hitler and Eva Braun is not the permanent Guardian of the Baha’i Faith because people fought for our freedoms. Yet those of us here as free thinking Baha’is are denounced as “Western intellectuals”. You can’t have it both ways. If you are typing at your keyboard enjoying the freedoms of the West, then you are protected by the West. So your complaints and denunciations here about people not being Party line Baha’is seems a bit unfair. And saying the death of soldiers is a “non-issue” doesn’t speak well for the kind of cult bubble souls now in the ranks of the Baha’i Faith.

    The Baha’i Faith now exists in complete psychological isolation from what is going on in the world. And because of this it is dying.

    So weep for your martyrs in Iran in the Middle Eastern endless martyr orgy culture. I, for one, have had enough of it.

    I know all good Baha’is now are to “just be quiet and let God do His work” in complete passivity.

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/dates/2008/apr/24/shaun–j-whitehead/
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/dates/2008/apr/23/timothy–w-cunningham/
    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/dates/2008/apr/23/john–t-bishop/

    Do they count? Or do only the martyr “Baha’is” count?

    I have counted the 40 waves in Acca too. It was a lovely experience.

    But I no longer walk with the kind of people currently calling themselves “Baha’is” in 2008.

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:”Well Carmen, if you’re labelling me a cynic, I’m quite happy to accept. From our holy gospel, the infallible Wikipedia, did you know that..”

    Actually Grover, I had in mind the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition:”a faultfinding captious critic; especially: one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest.”
    So according to this definition the official Baha’i attitude including the Central Figures, Guardian and UHJ to the suffering of the Iranian Baha’is is solely to get “better PR”. This is one of the myths that has become sacred among cynics.

    We can always agree to disagree but this can be done without seeing each other as a “hyena”. In this spirit, as you are civil in dialogue I am very willing to also apply to you the more generous definition of cynic which you have quoted.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Grover wrote:”Well Carmen, if you’re labelling me a cynic, I’m quite happy to accept. From our holy gospel, the infallible Wikipedia, did you know that..”

    Actually Grover, I had in mind the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition:”a faultfinding captious critic; especially: one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest.”
    So according to this definition the official Baha’i attitude including the Central Figures, Guardian and UHJ to the suffering of the Iranian Baha’is is solely to get “better PR”. This is one of the myths that has become sacred among cynics.

    We can always agree to disagree but this can be done without seeing each other as a “hyena”. In this spirit, as you are civil in dialogue I am very willing to also apply to you the more generous definition of cynic which you have quoted.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    “The infallible Wikipedia” Grover? It does have flaws you know. Don’t believe everything you read! Just teasing you :) I know that’s not what you think about wiki.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    “The infallible Wikipedia” Grover? It does have flaws you know. Don’t believe everything you read! Just teasing you :) I know that’s not what you think about wiki.

    Carmen

  • Concourse on Low

    So according to this definition the official Baha’i attitude including the Central Figures, Guardian and UHJ to the suffering of the Iranian Baha’is is solely to get “better PR”. This is one of the myths that has become sacred among cynics.

    Carmen, earlier you remarked, “The continued persecutions in Iran have brought the Faith an international attention and exposure it might not otherwise have received as well as an increasing degree of interest and sympathetic interest from the populace within Iran.”

    You use the very parlance and jargon of public relations here, a faithful echo of the adminstration’s sentiments.

  • Concourse on Low

    So according to this definition the official Baha’i attitude including the Central Figures, Guardian and UHJ to the suffering of the Iranian Baha’is is solely to get “better PR”. This is one of the myths that has become sacred among cynics.

    Carmen, earlier you remarked, “The continued persecutions in Iran have brought the Faith an international attention and exposure it might not otherwise have received as well as an increasing degree of interest and sympathetic interest from the populace within Iran.”

    You use the very parlance and jargon of public relations here, a faithful echo of the adminstration’s sentiments.

  • Carm-again

    grover: I had also intended to include just one of many descriptions of reactions of the Central Figures to the suffering of the Iranian Babis and subsequently the Baha’is. It is impossible to include all of these account or the accounts of Their reaction to the persecution of various communities, groups and individuals. The same holds true for the Guardian and successive House’s of Justice. Nonetheless, here is one account (re the Bab) which belies the alleged callous indifference and self serving utilization of this suffering.

    “The waves of dire tribulation that violently battered at the Faith,
    and eventually engulfed, in rapid succession, the ablest, the dearest and most trusted disciples of the Bab, plunged Him, as already observed, into unutterable sorrow. For no less than six months the Prisoner of Chihriq, His chronicler has recorded, was unable to either write or dictate. Crushed with grief by the evil tidings that came so fast upon Him, of the endless trials that beset His ablest lieutenants, by the agonies suffered by the besieged and the shameless betrayal of the survivors, by the woeful afflictions endured by the captives and the abominable butchery of men, women and children, as well as the foul indignities heaped on their corpses, He, for nine days, His amanuensis has affirmed, refused to meet any of His friends, and was reluctant to touch the meat and drink that was offered Him. Tears rained continually from His eyes, and profuse expressions of anguish poured forth from His wounded heart, as He languished, for no less than five months, solitary and disconsolate, in His prison.” Shoghi Effendi, GBP, pp.49.

    As I stated before, this persecution has by a mysterious dialectic, contributed greatly to the growth of the Faith throughout its history. However, to confuse statements made by the UHJ (or by any Baha’i such as myself) which simply attests to this consequence of all of this persecution, with a lack of tender empathy for and extreme sorrow at this continued suffering, is either deliberatley misleading or a complete failure to understand the sprit and context of these statements. Such an attitude sees verything in secular tersm so that a statement of fact about the consequences of persecution in increasin exposure to the Faith is simply a cynical PR coment devoid of any heartfelt sentiment. Such perceptions, including those which see me and other sof my ilk an imbeciles and hyenas, are beyond my control.

    Ismael Velasco expresses this alleged callous attitude in a post on his blog about one incident more eloquently than I could ever hope to do:
    http://bahai-epistolary.blogspot.com/2007/06/prayer-to-ten-shirazi-women.html

    My heart feels his pain and theirs but what heartfelt sincerity are hyenas capable of?

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    grover: I had also intended to include just one of many descriptions of reactions of the Central Figures to the suffering of the Iranian Babis and subsequently the Baha’is. It is impossible to include all of these account or the accounts of Their reaction to the persecution of various communities, groups and individuals. The same holds true for the Guardian and successive House’s of Justice. Nonetheless, here is one account (re the Bab) which belies the alleged callous indifference and self serving utilization of this suffering.

    “The waves of dire tribulation that violently battered at the Faith,
    and eventually engulfed, in rapid succession, the ablest, the dearest and most trusted disciples of the Bab, plunged Him, as already observed, into unutterable sorrow. For no less than six months the Prisoner of Chihriq, His chronicler has recorded, was unable to either write or dictate. Crushed with grief by the evil tidings that came so fast upon Him, of the endless trials that beset His ablest lieutenants, by the agonies suffered by the besieged and the shameless betrayal of the survivors, by the woeful afflictions endured by the captives and the abominable butchery of men, women and children, as well as the foul indignities heaped on their corpses, He, for nine days, His amanuensis has affirmed, refused to meet any of His friends, and was reluctant to touch the meat and drink that was offered Him. Tears rained continually from His eyes, and profuse expressions of anguish poured forth from His wounded heart, as He languished, for no less than five months, solitary and disconsolate, in His prison.” Shoghi Effendi, GBP, pp.49.

    As I stated before, this persecution has by a mysterious dialectic, contributed greatly to the growth of the Faith throughout its history. However, to confuse statements made by the UHJ (or by any Baha’i such as myself) which simply attests to this consequence of all of this persecution, with a lack of tender empathy for and extreme sorrow at this continued suffering, is either deliberatley misleading or a complete failure to understand the sprit and context of these statements. Such an attitude sees verything in secular tersm so that a statement of fact about the consequences of persecution in increasin exposure to the Faith is simply a cynical PR coment devoid of any heartfelt sentiment. Such perceptions, including those which see me and other sof my ilk an imbeciles and hyenas, are beyond my control.

    Ismael Velasco expresses this alleged callous attitude in a post on his blog about one incident more eloquently than I could ever hope to do:
    http://bahai-epistolary.blogspot.com/2007/06/prayer-to-ten-shirazi-women.html

    My heart feels his pain and theirs but what heartfelt sincerity are hyenas capable of?

    Carmen

  • Grover

    Hi Carmen, I thought you might appreciate the irony in the quotation. I’m sorry Concourse on Low called you a hyena.

    I don’t believe anyone on the UHJ or within the Baha’i community would be callous enough to use the Iranian situation for publicity without some genuine concern for the Baha’is in Iran and the hope that they may be able to use it to do some good.

    But I can’t see how they can think any pressure from the UN will change anything, because this is all being bought about by people who are firmly convinced they are right and who have more than their fair share of antipathy towards the Baha’is because of the Babi’s violent history. The last thing they want to see is the Baha’i Faith growing and challenging the current power structures in Iran. Also, Muslims seem to not appreciate anyone sniffing around their flock looking for converts. Muslims have a fierce devotion towards Mohamed and the Koran and they’ll do what they can to protect it. They look upon the Iranian Baha’is as being traitors because they turned away from Mohamed, whom they regard as being as being the last of the prophets.

    So why stay in Iran? Isn’t it futile?

    Hence the worry from the others in this blog that while the UHJ etc is concerned about the Baha’is in Iran, they’re using the situation, not in the hope of alleviating the situation in Iran, but to generate sympathy and interest in the Faith.

    My guess is that the UHJ mindset is that the only way the situation in Iran will be remedied is when the majority of the world is Baha’i, large enough to challenge and moderate the regime in Iran. Using the Iranian situation is one of the ways to help promote the Faith.

    The other alternative is completely destroy the current regime by sending in US forces on some dubious premise, but we saw how that panned out in Iraq and what a mess that was.

  • Grover

    Hi Carmen, I thought you might appreciate the irony in the quotation. I’m sorry Concourse on Low called you a hyena.

    I don’t believe anyone on the UHJ or within the Baha’i community would be callous enough to use the Iranian situation for publicity without some genuine concern for the Baha’is in Iran and the hope that they may be able to use it to do some good.

    But I can’t see how they can think any pressure from the UN will change anything, because this is all being bought about by people who are firmly convinced they are right and who have more than their fair share of antipathy towards the Baha’is because of the Babi’s violent history. The last thing they want to see is the Baha’i Faith growing and challenging the current power structures in Iran. Also, Muslims seem to not appreciate anyone sniffing around their flock looking for converts. Muslims have a fierce devotion towards Mohamed and the Koran and they’ll do what they can to protect it. They look upon the Iranian Baha’is as being traitors because they turned away from Mohamed, whom they regard as being as being the last of the prophets.

    So why stay in Iran? Isn’t it futile?

    Hence the worry from the others in this blog that while the UHJ etc is concerned about the Baha’is in Iran, they’re using the situation, not in the hope of alleviating the situation in Iran, but to generate sympathy and interest in the Faith.

    My guess is that the UHJ mindset is that the only way the situation in Iran will be remedied is when the majority of the world is Baha’i, large enough to challenge and moderate the regime in Iran. Using the Iranian situation is one of the ways to help promote the Faith.

    The other alternative is completely destroy the current regime by sending in US forces on some dubious premise, but we saw how that panned out in Iraq and what a mess that was.

  • Andrew

    Concourse on Low wrote:

    “Carmen, let’s be frank, you’ve demonstrated the common Bahai inability to engage in real dialogue, by relying on evasion, mischaracterization and canards, not just with me but with many of your other interlocutours.”

    I find that Carmen is easily peeved when she is challenged by non-Baha’i critics. She makes comments and expects them to be accepted without a critical response.

    One should not lower oneself to her level by responding in kind, or indeed at all. ;-)

  • Andrew

    Concourse on Low wrote:

    “Carmen, let’s be frank, you’ve demonstrated the common Bahai inability to engage in real dialogue, by relying on evasion, mischaracterization and canards, not just with me but with many of your other interlocutours.”

    I find that Carmen is easily peeved when she is challenged by non-Baha’i critics. She makes comments and expects them to be accepted without a critical response.

    One should not lower oneself to her level by responding in kind, or indeed at all. ;-)

  • farhan

    Carmen wrote:

    “If all the Baha’is had left Iran because of persecution going way back to the 19th century there would be no Baha’is there today and the various regimes would have been delighted.”

    Carmen,
    Thanks for understanding; as you must also be aware, the aim of the Baha’is is neither marketing their Faith by “winning” converts, nor seeking their own security;

    Why run away when all they need to do is to recant or simly dissimulate their faith?

    Those persecuted are those who open their mouths and say that humanity will not survive without spiritual education, and unless religious activity is bent upon creating love and unity, and not conflict. And where else is it more useful to humanity to bear witness to such truths at this time than in Iran?

    Talking of fleeing would be like a doctor to fleeing an earthquake site to do practice in more comfortable environment. Shoghi Effendi does say tht if a spot on the planet was spiritually more corrupt than Iran, the manifestation of God would have arisen there, where He is the most needed.

    And where can we flee to when the fairest fruits of civilisation are menaced by extinction? Who would imagine that the wave of destruction sweeping the planet will spare anyone unless and untill all humanity will clasp hands in unity?

    We will all eventually leave this mortal enveloppe and loose all our earthly treasures; I fully agree with those who want to shed their earthly possessions in this path.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Carmen wrote:

    “If all the Baha’is had left Iran because of persecution going way back to the 19th century there would be no Baha’is there today and the various regimes would have been delighted.”

    Carmen,
    Thanks for understanding; as you must also be aware, the aim of the Baha’is is neither marketing their Faith by “winning” converts, nor seeking their own security;

    Why run away when all they need to do is to recant or simly dissimulate their faith?

    Those persecuted are those who open their mouths and say that humanity will not survive without spiritual education, and unless religious activity is bent upon creating love and unity, and not conflict. And where else is it more useful to humanity to bear witness to such truths at this time than in Iran?

    Talking of fleeing would be like a doctor to fleeing an earthquake site to do practice in more comfortable environment. Shoghi Effendi does say tht if a spot on the planet was spiritually more corrupt than Iran, the manifestation of God would have arisen there, where He is the most needed.

    And where can we flee to when the fairest fruits of civilisation are menaced by extinction? Who would imagine that the wave of destruction sweeping the planet will spare anyone unless and untill all humanity will clasp hands in unity?

    We will all eventually leave this mortal enveloppe and loose all our earthly treasures; I fully agree with those who want to shed their earthly possessions in this path.

  • farhan

    Grover wrote:

    “My guess is that the UHJ mindset is that the only way the situation in Iran will be remedied is when the majority of the world is Baha’i, large enough to challenge and moderate the regime in Iran. Using the Iranian situation is one of the ways to help promote the Faith.”

    Grover,from what the UHJ has written for the last 45 years, I understand that the situation of Baha’is, Jews, Muslims, Blacks and Whites, the ecosystem, children and women, and all living beingsin this planet will only improve when humanity will be spiritualised, and this can only take place when unity of religion is established.

    My grand father was missioned to take the Tablet of Abdu’l-Baha to The Hague. He questionned Abdu’l-Baha on the future of the world and got the reply that to start with, humanity would abandon religion as being a cause of conflict. Then it would be realised that without spiritual values human society could not survive; then humanity would seek spirituality and adopt the Baha’i ideals.

    There is no point in taking power into our hands, since power will not enable us to change people’s hearts. Overthrowing a tyran or even all tyrans is not sufficient for establishing peace. Only God can change hearts.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Grover wrote:

    “My guess is that the UHJ mindset is that the only way the situation in Iran will be remedied is when the majority of the world is Baha’i, large enough to challenge and moderate the regime in Iran. Using the Iranian situation is one of the ways to help promote the Faith.”

    Grover,from what the UHJ has written for the last 45 years, I understand that the situation of Baha’is, Jews, Muslims, Blacks and Whites, the ecosystem, children and women, and all living beingsin this planet will only improve when humanity will be spiritualised, and this can only take place when unity of religion is established.

    My grand father was missioned to take the Tablet of Abdu’l-Baha to The Hague. He questionned Abdu’l-Baha on the future of the world and got the reply that to start with, humanity would abandon religion as being a cause of conflict. Then it would be realised that without spiritual values human society could not survive; then humanity would seek spirituality and adopt the Baha’i ideals.

    There is no point in taking power into our hands, since power will not enable us to change people’s hearts. Overthrowing a tyran or even all tyrans is not sufficient for establishing peace. Only God can change hearts.

  • farhan

    Concourse wrote:
    “…it’s about the adminstration guilt tripping Bahais who want to escape for the betterment of their children and families.”

    Concourse, it is not “guilt tripping” but it is about love. A mother who sits up by her sick child is not guilt tripped, but acts through love. Baha’is are love tripped for humanity and at this time Iran is where this love is most needed. Those who dont want to be love tripped can simply dissimulate their belifs instead of fleeing.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Concourse wrote:
    “…it’s about the adminstration guilt tripping Bahais who want to escape for the betterment of their children and families.”

    Concourse, it is not “guilt tripping” but it is about love. A mother who sits up by her sick child is not guilt tripped, but acts through love. Baha’is are love tripped for humanity and at this time Iran is where this love is most needed. Those who dont want to be love tripped can simply dissimulate their belifs instead of fleeing.

  • farhan

    Carm wrote:
    “..this persecution has by a mysterious dialectic, contributed greatly to the growth of the Faith throughout its history.”

    Carm, this point about martyrology, exaltation of pain and auto-mutilation that has been rightly brought up here has been of interest to me;

    My undesrtanding of the “mystery” is that when you want to advance, you toil and pain, but all toil and pain is not conducive to pogress. During His passion, Christ asked that were it the will of God, this cup might pass him, but in order to give His message, he was led to sacrificing His wholelife (see Abdu’l-Baha’s explanation in SAQ).

    The word “shahid” in Farsi/Arabic and “martyr” in it’s Greek etymology both mean witness. Those in love bear witness that this life and it’s commodities are worthless compared to our spiritual reality.

    The baby sacrifices the life in the womb to come to this world; the crisalys sacrifices it’s form to become a butterfly. It does not sacrifice it’s form by disgust or ambition to be to be anihilated, but for the love of becoming a butterfly. A student sacrifices his holidays to _study_ so that he gets his diploma; sacrificing his holidays without studying will not give him his diploma. A philosper might nelect his appearance in order to work; the mere fact of neglecting our appearance will not make us philosophers, even thogh we look like one. US soldiers died to liberate France; it is the fact that they faught to liberate France and not the fact that they died that makes them heroes.

    The Baha’is teach their ideals and accept martyrdom if needed to bear testimony to their faith; the mere fact of dying or suffering does not bestow the station of a martyr. This subject is explained by Abdu’l-Baha to Lua Getsinger in memories of 9 years by Youness Afroukhteh.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Carm wrote:
    “..this persecution has by a mysterious dialectic, contributed greatly to the growth of the Faith throughout its history.”

    Carm, this point about martyrology, exaltation of pain and auto-mutilation that has been rightly brought up here has been of interest to me;

    My undesrtanding of the “mystery” is that when you want to advance, you toil and pain, but all toil and pain is not conducive to pogress. During His passion, Christ asked that were it the will of God, this cup might pass him, but in order to give His message, he was led to sacrificing His wholelife (see Abdu’l-Baha’s explanation in SAQ).

    The word “shahid” in Farsi/Arabic and “martyr” in it’s Greek etymology both mean witness. Those in love bear witness that this life and it’s commodities are worthless compared to our spiritual reality.

    The baby sacrifices the life in the womb to come to this world; the crisalys sacrifices it’s form to become a butterfly. It does not sacrifice it’s form by disgust or ambition to be to be anihilated, but for the love of becoming a butterfly. A student sacrifices his holidays to _study_ so that he gets his diploma; sacrificing his holidays without studying will not give him his diploma. A philosper might nelect his appearance in order to work; the mere fact of neglecting our appearance will not make us philosophers, even thogh we look like one. US soldiers died to liberate France; it is the fact that they faught to liberate France and not the fact that they died that makes them heroes.

    The Baha’is teach their ideals and accept martyrdom if needed to bear testimony to their faith; the mere fact of dying or suffering does not bestow the station of a martyr. This subject is explained by Abdu’l-Baha to Lua Getsinger in memories of 9 years by Youness Afroukhteh.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="51508"]…accept martyrdom if needed[/quote]

    If a hurricane is headed your way and you stand your ground when you can leave… is that correct? is it wise? is it the best option? are you then a victim of the hurricane? a “martyr”?

    I do not want to denigrate in any way those who have been killed or persecuted for their beliefs. I also do not want to glorify behavior which makes no sense!

    There is no honor in dying for what you believe when you have a choice! When or if one is trapped that is another matter. But when you have freedom to leave, to find refuge, to continue to live…

    ugh, I can’t go on. This whole conversation is just draining. I feel like I’m talking to a bar of lead and trying to reason it to grow neurons.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="51508"]…accept martyrdom if needed[/quote]

    If a hurricane is headed your way and you stand your ground when you can leave… is that correct? is it wise? is it the best option? are you then a victim of the hurricane? a “martyr”?

    I do not want to denigrate in any way those who have been killed or persecuted for their beliefs. I also do not want to glorify behavior which makes no sense!

    There is no honor in dying for what you believe when you have a choice! When or if one is trapped that is another matter. But when you have freedom to leave, to find refuge, to continue to live…

    ugh, I can’t go on. This whole conversation is just draining. I feel like I’m talking to a bar of lead and trying to reason it to grow neurons.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “I do not want to denigrate in any way those who have been killed or persecuted for their beliefs. I also do not want to glorify behavior which makes no sense!”

    I entirely agree with you, Baquia, there is a morbid self glorification in martyrology that should obviously be rejected as an arrogant ambition to easy celebrity. I have too much to say on the subject for this blog.

    I have seen Baha’i institutions forbid Baha’is to take unnecessary risks.

    The explanations of Abdu’l-baha telling Lua Gestinger who craved for martyrdom that the true martyrdom was living the life of service cover the subject.

    I remain on my example of a doctor facing danger refusing to leave his patients, a capitain going down with his ship _but only if he needs to help passengers_, firemen going into a 911 scenario…

    These people are not deliberately seeking to become heros. They are acting out of love, otherwise their sacrifice is to me a show-off.

    Baha’is who dare to speak up in Iran or in Egypt at this time, are not seeking personnal glory, but offering their country the only way out.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    “I do not want to denigrate in any way those who have been killed or persecuted for their beliefs. I also do not want to glorify behavior which makes no sense!”

    I entirely agree with you, Baquia, there is a morbid self glorification in martyrology that should obviously be rejected as an arrogant ambition to easy celebrity. I have too much to say on the subject for this blog.

    I have seen Baha’i institutions forbid Baha’is to take unnecessary risks.

    The explanations of Abdu’l-baha telling Lua Gestinger who craved for martyrdom that the true martyrdom was living the life of service cover the subject.

    I remain on my example of a doctor facing danger refusing to leave his patients, a capitain going down with his ship _but only if he needs to help passengers_, firemen going into a 911 scenario…

    These people are not deliberately seeking to become heros. They are acting out of love, otherwise their sacrifice is to me a show-off.

    Baha’is who dare to speak up in Iran or in Egypt at this time, are not seeking personnal glory, but offering their country the only way out.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]I entirely agree with you, Baquia, there is a morbid self glorification in martyrology that should obviously be rejected as an arrogant ambition to easy celebrity. I have too much to say on the subject for this blog.
    [/quote]

    Spot on comment, Farhan. At least you, Baquia, and myself agree on this. The “devout Muslims” who flew those planes into the World Trade Center completely disgraced their religion for all time. Suicide bombers are the ultimate self deluded egotists.

    People all over the world are now completely sick of this mentality even existing on this planet. People are sick of the mentally ill martyr cultures of the Middle East.

    Regarding your earlier quote post of:

    My grand father was missioned to take the Tablet of Abdu’l-Baha to The Hague. He questionned Abdu’l-Baha on the future of the world and got the reply that to start with, humanity would abandon religion as being a cause of conflict. Then it would be realised that without spiritual values human society could not survive; then humanity would seek spirituality and adopt the Baha’i ideals.

    I myself personally knew several elderly Persian Baha’is in the 1970′s who told some interesting stories along these same lines from that period about their relatives. I believed this quite plausible scenario you mention here for many years.

    My Russian friends since 1986 certainly have nothing good to say about the experiment of communism and would agree with the general gist of this sentiment along these same lines. Without a teaching about spiritual right and wrong society becomes a jungle. But the Baha’is are most definitely NOT the SOLE keepers of spiritual values although the theorist class of the AO certainly seem to think so! That belief is not real life experience. Every community that depends on each other face to face in life develops some kind of morality.

    A very interesting study of this is the 1930′s thoughtful German film “M”. It is community, even a community of thieves in the underground of society, that drives the development of some kind of moral system. It is worth finding a video of it to watch.

    Abdu’l-Baha’s statement to your grand father is a quite plausible viewpoint.

    The problem in 2008 is that the Baha’is have not lived up to that once quite possible destiny. How can a system this spiritually corrupt, monstrously uncreative, and down right brain dead oppressive to individual initiative, creativity, and responsibility ever be left standing to save civilization or anything else for that matter?

    A Theocracy of Dunces is not going to save anyone.

    Why do you think the Baha’i Faith now even represents advanced morality or ethics of any kind as an organization? I see no evidence whatsoever for this. There are other spiritual movements out there that are doing in a much better and more thoughtful and talented way what the Baha’is were supposed to be doing for the last 86 years. The actual record is not good. The actual record of incredible lost opportunities and outright mind numbing failure decade after decade is there for all to see.

    The Faith did not remain a high energy spiritual movement of individuals. It became an instrument of mediocre top down group think. The rest is history. It now all exists in a vacuum COMPLETELY distant and cut off from the affairs of mankind. How moral is THAT? As a consequence, we will not be the ones to fulfill what Abdu’l-Baha said to your grand father unless their is vital reform of the Faith.

    The people on this site after years of experience in the Faith trying very hard to carry out the Teachings are people that just do not see morality and fairness of any kind as ever being possible now in the present mentality of the people that top down rule the Baha’i Faith. I wish I could see a way for some kind of change and free flow of energy and creativity. I think about it every morning and evening, but I don’t.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]I entirely agree with you, Baquia, there is a morbid self glorification in martyrology that should obviously be rejected as an arrogant ambition to easy celebrity. I have too much to say on the subject for this blog.
    [/quote]

    Spot on comment, Farhan. At least you, Baquia, and myself agree on this. The “devout Muslims” who flew those planes into the World Trade Center completely disgraced their religion for all time. Suicide bombers are the ultimate self deluded egotists.

    People all over the world are now completely sick of this mentality even existing on this planet. People are sick of the mentally ill martyr cultures of the Middle East.

    Regarding your earlier quote post of:

    My grand father was missioned to take the Tablet of Abdu’l-Baha to The Hague. He questionned Abdu’l-Baha on the future of the world and got the reply that to start with, humanity would abandon religion as being a cause of conflict. Then it would be realised that without spiritual values human society could not survive; then humanity would seek spirituality and adopt the Baha’i ideals.

    I myself personally knew several elderly Persian Baha’is in the 1970′s who told some interesting stories along these same lines from that period about their relatives. I believed this quite plausible scenario you mention here for many years.

    My Russian friends since 1986 certainly have nothing good to say about the experiment of communism and would agree with the general gist of this sentiment along these same lines. Without a teaching about spiritual right and wrong society becomes a jungle. But the Baha’is are most definitely NOT the SOLE keepers of spiritual values although the theorist class of the AO certainly seem to think so! That belief is not real life experience. Every community that depends on each other face to face in life develops some kind of morality.

    A very interesting study of this is the 1930′s thoughtful German film “M”. It is community, even a community of thieves in the underground of society, that drives the development of some kind of moral system. It is worth finding a video of it to watch.

    Abdu’l-Baha’s statement to your grand father is a quite plausible viewpoint.

    The problem in 2008 is that the Baha’is have not lived up to that once quite possible destiny. How can a system this spiritually corrupt, monstrously uncreative, and down right brain dead oppressive to individual initiative, creativity, and responsibility ever be left standing to save civilization or anything else for that matter?

    A Theocracy of Dunces is not going to save anyone.

    Why do you think the Baha’i Faith now even represents advanced morality or ethics of any kind as an organization? I see no evidence whatsoever for this. There are other spiritual movements out there that are doing in a much better and more thoughtful and talented way what the Baha’is were supposed to be doing for the last 86 years. The actual record is not good. The actual record of incredible lost opportunities and outright mind numbing failure decade after decade is there for all to see.

    The Faith did not remain a high energy spiritual movement of individuals. It became an instrument of mediocre top down group think. The rest is history. It now all exists in a vacuum COMPLETELY distant and cut off from the affairs of mankind. How moral is THAT? As a consequence, we will not be the ones to fulfill what Abdu’l-Baha said to your grand father unless their is vital reform of the Faith.

    The people on this site after years of experience in the Faith trying very hard to carry out the Teachings are people that just do not see morality and fairness of any kind as ever being possible now in the present mentality of the people that top down rule the Baha’i Faith. I wish I could see a way for some kind of change and free flow of energy and creativity. I think about it every morning and evening, but I don’t.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=""]Farhan wrote:
    Shoghi Effendi does say that if a spot on the planet was spiritually more corrupt than Iran, the manifestation of God would have arisen there, where He is the most needed.[/quote]

    Hi Farhan,

    Are you sure? Could you quote the passages that support what you say?

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=""]Farhan wrote:
    Shoghi Effendi does say that if a spot on the planet was spiritually more corrupt than Iran, the manifestation of God would have arisen there, where He is the most needed.[/quote]

    Hi Farhan,

    Are you sure? Could you quote the passages that support what you say?

  • Bird

    After the Persian Gulf war in the early 90’s I had the occasion come to meet and know Don Sharer, one of the 52 hostages in 1979 who endured 444 days in captivity in Iran. I would have no doubt in his claim, none what so ever.

    In 2005 Don spoke up about the new Iran’s president’s involvement in the 1979 hostage taking and eye witnessed him: http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/06/30/news/iran.php but the story remains buried for the best interest of our country. http://rescueattempt.tripod.com/id28.html

    I find it difficult to ignore the facts and who the players really are. I find it difficult for the Bahà’í’s living in Iran to have stayed there and subjected themselves and families to be tortured and die a martyr’s life. To center the whole Bahà’í world to fear with them verses getting out. I agree with Dan that the families must be very scared but it’s not over not as long as they stay. This is history repeating itself and what’s worse, by players with experience. But I, like you Baquia, am but a small voice and have no control over choices made by those who stay or those who instruct them to remain. I pray for mercy for us all.

  • Bird

    After the Persian Gulf war in the early 90’s I had the occasion come to meet and know Don Sharer, one of the 52 hostages in 1979 who endured 444 days in captivity in Iran. I would have no doubt in his claim, none what so ever.

    In 2005 Don spoke up about the new Iran’s president’s involvement in the 1979 hostage taking and eye witnessed him: http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/06/30/news/iran.php but the story remains buried for the best interest of our country. http://rescueattempt.tripod.com/id28.html

    I find it difficult to ignore the facts and who the players really are. I find it difficult for the Bahà’í’s living in Iran to have stayed there and subjected themselves and families to be tortured and die a martyr’s life. To center the whole Bahà’í world to fear with them verses getting out. I agree with Dan that the families must be very scared but it’s not over not as long as they stay. This is history repeating itself and what’s worse, by players with experience. But I, like you Baquia, am but a small voice and have no control over choices made by those who stay or those who instruct them to remain. I pray for mercy for us all.

  • Carm-again

    Carm wrote:”..this persecution has by a mysterious dialectic, contributed greatly to the growth of the Faith throughout its history.”
    Farhan wrote: “Carm, this point about martyrology, exaltation of pain and auto-mutilation that has been rightly brought up here has been of interest to me; My undesrtanding of the “mystery” is that when you want to advance, you toil and pain, but all toil and pain is not conducive to pogress.”

    I agree Farhan. The mystery I referred to should by no means be construed as a glorification of martyrdom or suffering or pain. I would have preferred to see Martin Luther King’s dream come true without him having to have paid the ultimate price of his life! I think most people would agree with me. I would also prefer to see people live their lives without being persecuted for their beliefs.

    The only point I was making is that it is a mystery that the Faith has suffered so much persecution since its inception and yet all of this persecution and suffering has only increased its growth all over the planet. The dialectic seems to be that the more opposition it encounters the more it grows and the more it grows the more opposition it encounters and so on. That is all I was commenting on.

    I wasn’t thinking of martyrdom or suffering necessarily as this dialectic has been demonstrated in countries other than Iran where the Baha’is have been persecuted and there have been no martyrdoms or physical suffering but only deprivations such as not being recognized as full citizens, etc. but the Faith has still grown.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Carm wrote:”..this persecution has by a mysterious dialectic, contributed greatly to the growth of the Faith throughout its history.”
    Farhan wrote: “Carm, this point about martyrology, exaltation of pain and auto-mutilation that has been rightly brought up here has been of interest to me; My undesrtanding of the “mystery” is that when you want to advance, you toil and pain, but all toil and pain is not conducive to pogress.”

    I agree Farhan. The mystery I referred to should by no means be construed as a glorification of martyrdom or suffering or pain. I would have preferred to see Martin Luther King’s dream come true without him having to have paid the ultimate price of his life! I think most people would agree with me. I would also prefer to see people live their lives without being persecuted for their beliefs.

    The only point I was making is that it is a mystery that the Faith has suffered so much persecution since its inception and yet all of this persecution and suffering has only increased its growth all over the planet. The dialectic seems to be that the more opposition it encounters the more it grows and the more it grows the more opposition it encounters and so on. That is all I was commenting on.

    I wasn’t thinking of martyrdom or suffering necessarily as this dialectic has been demonstrated in countries other than Iran where the Baha’is have been persecuted and there have been no martyrdoms or physical suffering but only deprivations such as not being recognized as full citizens, etc. but the Faith has still grown.

    Carmen

  • farhan

    Dear Craig,

    The Baha’is are only the unworthy bearers of this explosion of Divine love for all humanity. The message itself has the potentiality of transforming hearts and minds. What we believe in is an oncoming miracle. We are no better than others, having become aware of this message, we should at least recognise our failings and accept to strive towards correcting them.

    A Baha’i is only better than what he or she would have been without the knowledge of this message, but by no means better than others; as Abdu’l-Baha said:

    …..The sublimity of man is his attainment of
    the knowledge of God.

    The bliss of man is the acquiring of heavenly
    bestowals, which descend upon him in the outflow
    of the bounty of God.

    The happiness of man is in the fragrance of the
    love of God.

    This is the highest pinnacle of attainment in the
    human world.

    ~ Abdu’l-Baha
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace
    p. 185

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dear Craig,

    The Baha’is are only the unworthy bearers of this explosion of Divine love for all humanity. The message itself has the potentiality of transforming hearts and minds. What we believe in is an oncoming miracle. We are no better than others, having become aware of this message, we should at least recognise our failings and accept to strive towards correcting them.

    A Baha’i is only better than what he or she would have been without the knowledge of this message, but by no means better than others; as Abdu’l-Baha said:

    …..The sublimity of man is his attainment of
    the knowledge of God.

    The bliss of man is the acquiring of heavenly
    bestowals, which descend upon him in the outflow
    of the bounty of God.

    The happiness of man is in the fragrance of the
    love of God.

    This is the highest pinnacle of attainment in the
    human world.

    ~ Abdu’l-Baha
    The Promulgation of Universal Peace
    p. 185

  • Carm-again

    Steve wrote: “Hi Farhan,Are you sure? Could you quote the passages that support what you say?
    Farhan wrote:Shoghi Effendi does say that if a spot on the planet was spiritually more corrupt than Iran, the manifestation of God would have arisen there, where He is the most needed.”

    Hi Steve,

    Here is the passage:

    “How often have the Prophets of God, not excepting Bahá’u’lláh Himself, chosen to appear, and deliver their Message in countries and amidst peoples and races, at a time when they were either fast declining, or had already touched the lowest depths of moral and spiritual degradation. The appalling misery and wretchedness to which the Israelites had sunk, under the debasing and tyrannical rule of the Pharaohs, in the days preceding their exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses; the decline that had set in in the religious, the spiritual, the cultural, and the moral life of the Jewish people, at the time of the appearance of Jesus Christ; the barbarous cruelty, the gross idolatry and immorality, which had for so long been the most distressing features of the tribes of Arabia and brought such shame upon them when Muhammad arose to proclaim His Message in their midst; the indescribable state of decadence, with its attendant corruption, confusion, intolerance, and oppression, in both the civil and religious life of Persia, so graphically portrayed by the pen of a considerable number of scholars, diplomats, and travelers, at the hour of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh–all demonstrate this basic and inescapable fact. To contend that the innate worthiness, the high moral standard, the political aptitude, and social attainments of any race or nation is the reason for the appearance in its midst of any of these Divine Luminaries would be an absolute perversion of historical facts, and would amount to a complete repudiation of the undoubted interpretation placed upon them, so clearly and emphatically, by both Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá.

    How great, then, must be the challenge to those who, belonging to such races and nations, and having responded to the call which these Prophets have raised, to unreservedly recognize and courageously testify to this indubitable truth, that not by reason of any racial superiority, political capacity, or spiritual virtue which a race or nation might possess, but rather as a direct consequence of its crying needs, its lamentable degeneracy, and irremediable perversity, has the Prophet of God chosen to appear in its midst, and with it as a lever has lifted the entire human race to a higher and nobler plane of life and conduct. For it is precisely under such circumstances, and by such means that the Prophets have, from time immemorial, chosen and were able to demonstrate their redemptive power to raise from the depths of abasement and of misery, the people of their own race and nation, empowering them to transmit in turn to other races and nations the saving grace and the energizing influence of their Revelation.

    In the light of this fundamental principle it should always be borne in mind, nor can it be sufficiently emphasized, that the primary reason why the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh chose to appear in Persia, and to make it the first repository of their Revelation, was because, of all the peoples and nations of the civilized world, that race and nation had, as so often depicted by `Abdu’l-Bahá, sunk to such ignominious depths, and manifested so great a perversity, as to find no parallel among its contemporaries. For no more convincing proof could be adduced demonstrating the regenerating spirit animating the Revelations proclaimed by the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh than their power to transform what can be truly regarded as one of the most backward, the most cowardly, and perverse of peoples into a race of heroes, fit to effect in turn a similar revolution in the life of mankind. To have appeared among a race or nation which by its intrinsic worth and high attainments seemed to warrant the inestimable privilege of being made the receptacle of such a Revelation would in the eyes of an unbelieving world greatly reduce the efficacy of that Message, and detract from the self-sufficiency of its omnipotent power. The contrast so strikingly presented in the pages of Nabíl’s Narrative between the heroism that immortalized the life and deeds of the Dawn-Breakers and the degeneracy and cowardice of their defamers and persecutors is in itself a most impressive testimony to the truth of the Message of Him Who had instilled such a spirit into the breasts of His disciples. For any believer of that race to maintain that the excellence of his country and the innate nobility of its people were the fundamental reasons for its being singled out as the primary receptacle of the Revelations of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh would be untenable in the face of the overwhelming evidence afforded so convincingly by that Narrative.”

    Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, pp.14-15

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Steve wrote: “Hi Farhan,Are you sure? Could you quote the passages that support what you say?
    Farhan wrote:Shoghi Effendi does say that if a spot on the planet was spiritually more corrupt than Iran, the manifestation of God would have arisen there, where He is the most needed.”

    Hi Steve,

    Here is the passage:

    “How often have the Prophets of God, not excepting Bahá’u’lláh Himself, chosen to appear, and deliver their Message in countries and amidst peoples and races, at a time when they were either fast declining, or had already touched the lowest depths of moral and spiritual degradation. The appalling misery and wretchedness to which the Israelites had sunk, under the debasing and tyrannical rule of the Pharaohs, in the days preceding their exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses; the decline that had set in in the religious, the spiritual, the cultural, and the moral life of the Jewish people, at the time of the appearance of Jesus Christ; the barbarous cruelty, the gross idolatry and immorality, which had for so long been the most distressing features of the tribes of Arabia and brought such shame upon them when Muhammad arose to proclaim His Message in their midst; the indescribable state of decadence, with its attendant corruption, confusion, intolerance, and oppression, in both the civil and religious life of Persia, so graphically portrayed by the pen of a considerable number of scholars, diplomats, and travelers, at the hour of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh–all demonstrate this basic and inescapable fact. To contend that the innate worthiness, the high moral standard, the political aptitude, and social attainments of any race or nation is the reason for the appearance in its midst of any of these Divine Luminaries would be an absolute perversion of historical facts, and would amount to a complete repudiation of the undoubted interpretation placed upon them, so clearly and emphatically, by both Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá.

    How great, then, must be the challenge to those who, belonging to such races and nations, and having responded to the call which these Prophets have raised, to unreservedly recognize and courageously testify to this indubitable truth, that not by reason of any racial superiority, political capacity, or spiritual virtue which a race or nation might possess, but rather as a direct consequence of its crying needs, its lamentable degeneracy, and irremediable perversity, has the Prophet of God chosen to appear in its midst, and with it as a lever has lifted the entire human race to a higher and nobler plane of life and conduct. For it is precisely under such circumstances, and by such means that the Prophets have, from time immemorial, chosen and were able to demonstrate their redemptive power to raise from the depths of abasement and of misery, the people of their own race and nation, empowering them to transmit in turn to other races and nations the saving grace and the energizing influence of their Revelation.

    In the light of this fundamental principle it should always be borne in mind, nor can it be sufficiently emphasized, that the primary reason why the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh chose to appear in Persia, and to make it the first repository of their Revelation, was because, of all the peoples and nations of the civilized world, that race and nation had, as so often depicted by `Abdu’l-Bahá, sunk to such ignominious depths, and manifested so great a perversity, as to find no parallel among its contemporaries. For no more convincing proof could be adduced demonstrating the regenerating spirit animating the Revelations proclaimed by the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh than their power to transform what can be truly regarded as one of the most backward, the most cowardly, and perverse of peoples into a race of heroes, fit to effect in turn a similar revolution in the life of mankind. To have appeared among a race or nation which by its intrinsic worth and high attainments seemed to warrant the inestimable privilege of being made the receptacle of such a Revelation would in the eyes of an unbelieving world greatly reduce the efficacy of that Message, and detract from the self-sufficiency of its omnipotent power. The contrast so strikingly presented in the pages of Nabíl’s Narrative between the heroism that immortalized the life and deeds of the Dawn-Breakers and the degeneracy and cowardice of their defamers and persecutors is in itself a most impressive testimony to the truth of the Message of Him Who had instilled such a spirit into the breasts of His disciples. For any believer of that race to maintain that the excellence of his country and the innate nobility of its people were the fundamental reasons for its being singled out as the primary receptacle of the Revelations of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh would be untenable in the face of the overwhelming evidence afforded so convincingly by that Narrative.”

    Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, pp.14-15

    Carmen

  • farhan

    Steve wrote:
    Are you sure? Could you quote the passages that support what you say

    Dear Steve,

    I have read this somewhere and I will search for it. The passage must be somewhere in the Priceless Pearl; Meanwhile, as a youngster I listened to Shoghi Effendi’s wife, Ruhiyyih Khanum speaking how one day He said that Iran was to become the spiritual leader of the world as it now was the most spiritually corrupt, and tha US the administrative leader as it was administratively the most corrupt. She had looked at Him with surprise and an he looked back and said “Yes, now lump it “

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Steve wrote:
    Are you sure? Could you quote the passages that support what you say

    Dear Steve,

    I have read this somewhere and I will search for it. The passage must be somewhere in the Priceless Pearl; Meanwhile, as a youngster I listened to Shoghi Effendi’s wife, Ruhiyyih Khanum speaking how one day He said that Iran was to become the spiritual leader of the world as it now was the most spiritually corrupt, and tha US the administrative leader as it was administratively the most corrupt. She had looked at Him with surprise and an he looked back and said “Yes, now lump it “

  • farhan

    Bird wrote:

    “I find it difficult for the Bahà’í’s living in Iran to have stayed there and subjected themselves and families to be tortured and die a martyr’s life.”

    Dear Bird,

    Iran is a beautiful and God-blessed contry; no Iranian would want to leave his beloved home-land and become a refugee elsewhere;

    The situation has nothing to do with people fleeing hurricanes and ethnic cleansing; the only reason why the Baha’is are persecuted is that they persist to openly claim the ideas they uphold such as religious unity, universal peace equality of man and women, complementarity of science and religion, etc. which contradict the current state philosophy.

    If they as much as gave lip denial and kept their mouths shut, they would live in peace without having to go through persecution. If a student just put a cross in the application form next to “muslim” instead of giving an unfilled religious affiliation form, he would not be bothered in the least.

    It is not the fact that they live in Iran which is causing the trials, but the fact that living in Iran, they openly uphold their principles.

    The fact that the Baha’is stay in Iran and say they are Baha’is makes them a non-violent testimony to a universal cause which is abhorred in Iran. Beyond the some 300 000 who claim to be Baha’is, perhaps some millions feel themselves Baha’is and do not openly claim it.

    Bird, I know you are brave in giving your opinions; if you lived in Iran right now, would you shut up and not give your opinion or flee Iran? I would clearly see you climbing up a minaret to shout out your disapproval.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Bird wrote:

    “I find it difficult for the Bahà’í’s living in Iran to have stayed there and subjected themselves and families to be tortured and die a martyr’s life.”

    Dear Bird,

    Iran is a beautiful and God-blessed contry; no Iranian would want to leave his beloved home-land and become a refugee elsewhere;

    The situation has nothing to do with people fleeing hurricanes and ethnic cleansing; the only reason why the Baha’is are persecuted is that they persist to openly claim the ideas they uphold such as religious unity, universal peace equality of man and women, complementarity of science and religion, etc. which contradict the current state philosophy.

    If they as much as gave lip denial and kept their mouths shut, they would live in peace without having to go through persecution. If a student just put a cross in the application form next to “muslim” instead of giving an unfilled religious affiliation form, he would not be bothered in the least.

    It is not the fact that they live in Iran which is causing the trials, but the fact that living in Iran, they openly uphold their principles.

    The fact that the Baha’is stay in Iran and say they are Baha’is makes them a non-violent testimony to a universal cause which is abhorred in Iran. Beyond the some 300 000 who claim to be Baha’is, perhaps some millions feel themselves Baha’is and do not openly claim it.

    Bird, I know you are brave in giving your opinions; if you lived in Iran right now, would you shut up and not give your opinion or flee Iran? I would clearly see you climbing up a minaret to shout out your disapproval.

  • farhan

    Carm wrote:

    “The only point I was making is that it is a mystery that the Faith has suffered so much persecution since its inception and yet all of this persecution and suffering has only increased its growth all over the planet.”

    Carm,

    I agree with your point of course; as a child in a pioneer family in Tanganyika, we had little entertainments and my mother, God bless her noble soul, would spend hours reading Nabil’s Narrative to me. The passage where Manuchehr Khan, the governor of Isphahan, offered to interced with the Shah and to make the Bab’s faith a state religion, to which the Bab replied that it was through the sacrifice of the humble that God’s plan was to be established, always troubled me and disappointed me;

    I would ask her to read it again hoping that in the next reading God would change His mind accept this easier solution that would save so many innocent lives.

    This to me is the mystery you are referring to. The mystery of the “great reversal” where the first will be the last, the haughty will be abased and the humble exhalted. This will be the ultimate proof that the Kingdom is God’s and not ours, just humble servants.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Carm wrote:

    “The only point I was making is that it is a mystery that the Faith has suffered so much persecution since its inception and yet all of this persecution and suffering has only increased its growth all over the planet.”

    Carm,

    I agree with your point of course; as a child in a pioneer family in Tanganyika, we had little entertainments and my mother, God bless her noble soul, would spend hours reading Nabil’s Narrative to me. The passage where Manuchehr Khan, the governor of Isphahan, offered to interced with the Shah and to make the Bab’s faith a state religion, to which the Bab replied that it was through the sacrifice of the humble that God’s plan was to be established, always troubled me and disappointed me;

    I would ask her to read it again hoping that in the next reading God would change His mind accept this easier solution that would save so many innocent lives.

    This to me is the mystery you are referring to. The mystery of the “great reversal” where the first will be the last, the haughty will be abased and the humble exhalted. This will be the ultimate proof that the Kingdom is God’s and not ours, just humble servants.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="51536"]Iran is a beautiful and God-blessed contry; no Iranian would want to leave his beloved home-land and become a refugee elsewhere[/quote]

    Yes, Iran is a beautiful country, and it is “God-blessed”. As are other countries beautiful and “God-blessed”. In fact millions of Iranians have left and are leaving their home land and starting productive, free lives in civilized societies elsewhere.

    One of Baha’u’llah’s paramount teachings is:

    It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.

    Insisting to stay in a place where you know you and your children will suffer when you have the freedom to leave is STUPID.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="51536"]Iran is a beautiful and God-blessed contry; no Iranian would want to leave his beloved home-land and become a refugee elsewhere[/quote]

    Yes, Iran is a beautiful country, and it is “God-blessed”. As are other countries beautiful and “God-blessed”. In fact millions of Iranians have left and are leaving their home land and starting productive, free lives in civilized societies elsewhere.

    One of Baha’u’llah’s paramount teachings is:

    It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.

    Insisting to stay in a place where you know you and your children will suffer when you have the freedom to leave is STUPID.

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote:”Insisting to stay in a place where you know you and your children will suffer when you have the freedom to leave is STUPID.”

    When I read this comment I immediately remembered this famous quote:
    “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.” – Blaise Pascal

    A purely intellectual perpective makes it difficult to understand such matters. I suppose to some the lives of people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa would be considered STUPID. After all, why choose all that hardship when you could live a life of ease and comfort instead of getting involved with struggles that cause you and your family personal pain? Mandela and many of his peers could easily, by Baquia’s line of reasoning, have left South Africa and lived comfortable lives as educated professionals in countries that would have recognized their worth. However, their hearts had another reason for living and enduring hardships. It was the hope that their beliefs would one day overcome a seemingly impreganable system of hatred and oppression.

    It is true that the earth is one country and mankind its citizens. However, some choose not to live only in the God-blessed countries which offer them comfortable lives. Some prefer to remain in countries where life is difficult because of their beliefs just as Mandela, King and their peers did. Some choose to go to other countries where their lives are very hard, like Mother Theresa in India, to serve a cause they believe in. Still many others move to countries or remain in countries to live better lives and improve the lives of their children and families. This is also highly commendable!

    It might be useful to recognize that we are all very different and make descions for different reasons. It seems to me that the blanket label of STUPIDITY for those who choose a different path than we do is much too simplistic when we look at the lives of numerous individuals and peoples in our own time and throughout history.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote:”Insisting to stay in a place where you know you and your children will suffer when you have the freedom to leave is STUPID.”

    When I read this comment I immediately remembered this famous quote:
    “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.” – Blaise Pascal

    A purely intellectual perpective makes it difficult to understand such matters. I suppose to some the lives of people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa would be considered STUPID. After all, why choose all that hardship when you could live a life of ease and comfort instead of getting involved with struggles that cause you and your family personal pain? Mandela and many of his peers could easily, by Baquia’s line of reasoning, have left South Africa and lived comfortable lives as educated professionals in countries that would have recognized their worth. However, their hearts had another reason for living and enduring hardships. It was the hope that their beliefs would one day overcome a seemingly impreganable system of hatred and oppression.

    It is true that the earth is one country and mankind its citizens. However, some choose not to live only in the God-blessed countries which offer them comfortable lives. Some prefer to remain in countries where life is difficult because of their beliefs just as Mandela, King and their peers did. Some choose to go to other countries where their lives are very hard, like Mother Theresa in India, to serve a cause they believe in. Still many others move to countries or remain in countries to live better lives and improve the lives of their children and families. This is also highly commendable!

    It might be useful to recognize that we are all very different and make descions for different reasons. It seems to me that the blanket label of STUPIDITY for those who choose a different path than we do is much too simplistic when we look at the lives of numerous individuals and peoples in our own time and throughout history.

    Carmen

  • Bird

    Farhan

    I would be more inclined to act like Peter and deny Jesus faced with such circumstances as life & death. I believe the parable is an important message of instruction, of forgiveness to saves one’s life and the pure selfless humility one will bare in a society of survival of the fittest. What was Peter’s reward in the end… a rock and the ability to live and spread the message, build a church…

    I remember the story of Mona, a young girl killed and thinking to my self why was she not like Peter? But her heritage and culture teaches her to be a martyr. I personally do not understand the culture whatsoever as I am a born and raised under 8 generations of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. My family tree in the US goes back on all sides, all wars, since the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Since I have always had these inalienable rights architected and protected by my forefathers, I am unable to really grasp not having them, especially a society with out the first Amendment right:
    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
    You or your father probably adopted this Constitution of my forefathers becoming attracted to it’s principles and liberties allowing you the physiologic point of views of both cultures. But which culture have you chosen to remain in, the west or east? Has the move to the west westernized you? Is it that your mind once stretched never regains it’s original dimension? Why are you not in Iran, the lands of your forefathers assisting with the medical needs of the country? Is it that you choose to live in the US because of your inalienable rights as a citizen? Do you not choose to live in Iran, your forefather’s beautiful home lands, out of fear for your life, persecutions for your religion or lack of opportunity? Are you a refugee to the US or an immigrant?

    The best bit is that none of my questions to you are any of my business… LOL That’s all in beauty of the 5th Amendment, your right to not have to be a witness to yourself…

    Amendment V
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Would I ever deny being an 8th generation American? You bet! I’ve speculated even becoming a dual citizen of Canada after the enactment of the Patriot Act which is as far from patriotism there is. Given the circumstance I would say anything at a critical moment to stay alive and I know my forefathers who formed and fought for this country would understand, they insured it for me with that 1st Amendment stuff, freedom of speech, even if they are lies to save my life or burning a US flag to protest an unjust government or actions of one…

    The irony it in all is someone, a precious human life, a father, mother, spouse, sibling, or child is going to die in Iran because they call themselves Bahà’í knowing that their president of the country is an identified terrorist. The sadness is the generations of Bahà’í’s in Iran are being raised in oppression, being taught it is righteous to stand up for rights that are clearly not there for them, at least on an executive and legislative branch level of their government. If they want to stay and fight for rights more power to them but why not choose to go where you are welcome and live in tranquility as you are?

    It makes no sense to me.

  • Bird

    Farhan

    I would be more inclined to act like Peter and deny Jesus faced with such circumstances as life & death. I believe the parable is an important message of instruction, of forgiveness to saves one’s life and the pure selfless humility one will bare in a society of survival of the fittest. What was Peter’s reward in the end… a rock and the ability to live and spread the message, build a church…

    I remember the story of Mona, a young girl killed and thinking to my self why was she not like Peter? But her heritage and culture teaches her to be a martyr. I personally do not understand the culture whatsoever as I am a born and raised under 8 generations of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. My family tree in the US goes back on all sides, all wars, since the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Since I have always had these inalienable rights architected and protected by my forefathers, I am unable to really grasp not having them, especially a society with out the first Amendment right:
    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
    You or your father probably adopted this Constitution of my forefathers becoming attracted to it’s principles and liberties allowing you the physiologic point of views of both cultures. But which culture have you chosen to remain in, the west or east? Has the move to the west westernized you? Is it that your mind once stretched never regains it’s original dimension? Why are you not in Iran, the lands of your forefathers assisting with the medical needs of the country? Is it that you choose to live in the US because of your inalienable rights as a citizen? Do you not choose to live in Iran, your forefather’s beautiful home lands, out of fear for your life, persecutions for your religion or lack of opportunity? Are you a refugee to the US or an immigrant?

    The best bit is that none of my questions to you are any of my business… LOL That’s all in beauty of the 5th Amendment, your right to not have to be a witness to yourself…

    Amendment V
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Would I ever deny being an 8th generation American? You bet! I’ve speculated even becoming a dual citizen of Canada after the enactment of the Patriot Act which is as far from patriotism there is. Given the circumstance I would say anything at a critical moment to stay alive and I know my forefathers who formed and fought for this country would understand, they insured it for me with that 1st Amendment stuff, freedom of speech, even if they are lies to save my life or burning a US flag to protest an unjust government or actions of one…

    The irony it in all is someone, a precious human life, a father, mother, spouse, sibling, or child is going to die in Iran because they call themselves Bahà’í knowing that their president of the country is an identified terrorist. The sadness is the generations of Bahà’í’s in Iran are being raised in oppression, being taught it is righteous to stand up for rights that are clearly not there for them, at least on an executive and legislative branch level of their government. If they want to stay and fight for rights more power to them but why not choose to go where you are welcome and live in tranquility as you are?

    It makes no sense to me.

  • Carm-again

    Bird wrote: “I would be more inclined to act like Peter and deny Jesus faced with such circumstances as life & death. I believe the parable is an important message of instruction, of forgiveness to saves one’s life and the pure selfless humility one will bare in a society of survival of the fittest. What was Peter’s reward in the end… a rock and the ability to live and spread the message, build a church…”

    Bird, the only problem with this example is that Peter’s life ended in martyrdom and the reward you mention did not come from his initial act of denial but from his subsequent steadfastness in faith which led to his death. If in denying Christ he had not had a change of heart and had continued, like Juda, to deny him then your example would make perfect sense. Once he denied Christ he deeply regretted his action and chose to suffer for Christ like other early Christians.

    he was not unique of course which is why I mentione dmartin Luther King and the many people like him who felt so strongly about their beliefs that they paid the ultimate price. This is one reason why I do not think the Baha’i Faith is in any way unique in having people who are willing to suffer and die for their belief.

    On the other hand, I can perfectly understand the many millions who, like you, would prefer to live a life of safety and comfort and there is nothing at all wrong with that.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Bird wrote: “I would be more inclined to act like Peter and deny Jesus faced with such circumstances as life & death. I believe the parable is an important message of instruction, of forgiveness to saves one’s life and the pure selfless humility one will bare in a society of survival of the fittest. What was Peter’s reward in the end… a rock and the ability to live and spread the message, build a church…”

    Bird, the only problem with this example is that Peter’s life ended in martyrdom and the reward you mention did not come from his initial act of denial but from his subsequent steadfastness in faith which led to his death. If in denying Christ he had not had a change of heart and had continued, like Juda, to deny him then your example would make perfect sense. Once he denied Christ he deeply regretted his action and chose to suffer for Christ like other early Christians.

    he was not unique of course which is why I mentione dmartin Luther King and the many people like him who felt so strongly about their beliefs that they paid the ultimate price. This is one reason why I do not think the Baha’i Faith is in any way unique in having people who are willing to suffer and die for their belief.

    On the other hand, I can perfectly understand the many millions who, like you, would prefer to live a life of safety and comfort and there is nothing at all wrong with that.

    Carmen

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Carmen,
    first of all, Nelson Mandela was a political activist, therefore such comparison is a non sequitur. Second of all, “a life of ease”? are you kidding me? no life is easy, it is all challenges and hardships. Think growing up in a western democracy is a cake walk? think that growing a family in such freedom is somehow “easy”? Ha!

    All I’m saying is it is stupid to choose to put oneself and one’s children in harms way (as in DEATH) when there are better options.

    It seems some foolish Baha’is unfortunately believe that they are automatically “spiritual” if they don’t use their God given intellectual capabilities. This is both fallacious and childish. Reason is one of the gifts of God. And reason says that deciding to put oneself at risk when one has a choice is STUPID. You can call it “spirituality” but you can no more make a peach become a chair by simply changing its name. Living a Baha’i life does not require one to put one’s life and one’s loved ones’ lives at risk.

    Would you walk into oncoming traffic? stand while a hurricane approached? surf into a tsunami? then how is it different to stay in a country which has declared openly and explicitly their goal and desire is to exterminate you?

    And don’t confuse this with mere opinion. The fact that thousands and thousands of Baha’is fled Iran after the 1979 revolution attest to what I’m saying. I don’t wish to argue with you. This isn’t really an argument. Why else would all of those Baha’is have left? if you are correct, then they should have and would have stayed.

    All I am saying is, the UHJ/ITC should help and encourage Baha’is to leave Iran. There are many who are as we speak trying to do so. They would be well served to have in place support systems. Rather than being told to stay in Iran and have Ruhi classes.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Carmen,
    first of all, Nelson Mandela was a political activist, therefore such comparison is a non sequitur. Second of all, “a life of ease”? are you kidding me? no life is easy, it is all challenges and hardships. Think growing up in a western democracy is a cake walk? think that growing a family in such freedom is somehow “easy”? Ha!

    All I’m saying is it is stupid to choose to put oneself and one’s children in harms way (as in DEATH) when there are better options.

    It seems some foolish Baha’is unfortunately believe that they are automatically “spiritual” if they don’t use their God given intellectual capabilities. This is both fallacious and childish. Reason is one of the gifts of God. And reason says that deciding to put oneself at risk when one has a choice is STUPID. You can call it “spirituality” but you can no more make a peach become a chair by simply changing its name. Living a Baha’i life does not require one to put one’s life and one’s loved ones’ lives at risk.

    Would you walk into oncoming traffic? stand while a hurricane approached? surf into a tsunami? then how is it different to stay in a country which has declared openly and explicitly their goal and desire is to exterminate you?

    And don’t confuse this with mere opinion. The fact that thousands and thousands of Baha’is fled Iran after the 1979 revolution attest to what I’m saying. I don’t wish to argue with you. This isn’t really an argument. Why else would all of those Baha’is have left? if you are correct, then they should have and would have stayed.

    All I am saying is, the UHJ/ITC should help and encourage Baha’is to leave Iran. There are many who are as we speak trying to do so. They would be well served to have in place support systems. Rather than being told to stay in Iran and have Ruhi classes.

  • Craig Parke

    The sacrifice of the Baha’is at the hands of their fellow countrymen’s brutal and violent exoteric kinder garden understanding of Islam in Iran is itself a barbaric embarrassment upon the very concept of “religion”. Why do so called “religious people” have to murder other people in the name of their “Prophet” or their concept of “God”? Why? Why has this been the VERY HISTORY of “organized” religion down through the Ages? Why? Martyrdom of “religious” people by other so called “religious” people in the name of their martyrdom is all a meaningless zero sum game. It has to be brain chemistry. The same pattern was in all the monstrous murderous political ideologies of the 20th Century. It is a disgrace to humanity and it must end now.

    I say everyone in the Middle East that wants to get out of their own profoundly f**ked up country should be given the opportunity to go to another country. Let ten million families in the West adopt a family from the fundamentalist Kool aid drinker Mental East to move in with them. It certainly would be a lot cheaper than endless war and killing and the resulting tax burden and dis-economies on everyone else on Earth. War and killing is very, very expensive.

    If the Baha’i Faith had not been run into the ground by pathetic mentally ill control freaks for 87 years and counting, there would be ten million Baha’i families in the West by now (U.S., Canada, and European countries for starters) who could perform this service for the entire world as part of their own inner motivated spiritual service on Earth as real and practical peacemakers. Now THAT would really be something. We as Baha’is could have been that free thinking community to shelter political refugees of conscience in our homes to protect people to gain time for the world to change in systems of thought so they could eventually go back to their homelands with new talents and awareness.

    What a shame no one put such a path together on a truly massive scale. But I guess some countries are doing what they can. I think Sweden has taken 40,000 refugees from Iraq.

    But the Baha’i Faith turned out to be a flat footed, weak, Theocracy of Dunces who completely and utterly failed to live up to the sacrifices of tens of millions of human beings in the warfare and mind bending carnage of the 20th Century.

    The hapless and inept record of the completely ineffective Baha’i Faith hiding in their cult bubble through this incredible period of bloodshed is disgraceful.

    Now they smoke their Ruhi books taking the classes over and over themselves, while little Armageddons happen daily in the world:

    U.S. MEMORIAL DAY 2008

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/magazine/25injuries-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&oref=slogin

    http://www.juancole.com/

    “Doing God’s work” is terrible, terrible work.

    But the Baha’is will most assuredly “be quiet.”

    They always have been decade after decade of human slaughter.

    As long as, they themselves, do not have to be the soldiers who have to do the actual killing.

    I say Judgment Day is upon all of us everywhere on this planet.

  • Craig Parke

    The sacrifice of the Baha’is at the hands of their fellow countrymen’s brutal and violent exoteric kinder garden understanding of Islam in Iran is itself a barbaric embarrassment upon the very concept of “religion”. Why do so called “religious people” have to murder other people in the name of their “Prophet” or their concept of “God”? Why? Why has this been the VERY HISTORY of “organized” religion down through the Ages? Why? Martyrdom of “religious” people by other so called “religious” people in the name of their martyrdom is all a meaningless zero sum game. It has to be brain chemistry. The same pattern was in all the monstrous murderous political ideologies of the 20th Century. It is a disgrace to humanity and it must end now.

    I say everyone in the Middle East that wants to get out of their own profoundly f**ked up country should be given the opportunity to go to another country. Let ten million families in the West adopt a family from the fundamentalist Kool aid drinker Mental East to move in with them. It certainly would be a lot cheaper than endless war and killing and the resulting tax burden and dis-economies on everyone else on Earth. War and killing is very, very expensive.

    If the Baha’i Faith had not been run into the ground by pathetic mentally ill control freaks for 87 years and counting, there would be ten million Baha’i families in the West by now (U.S., Canada, and European countries for starters) who could perform this service for the entire world as part of their own inner motivated spiritual service on Earth as real and practical peacemakers. Now THAT would really be something. We as Baha’is could have been that free thinking community to shelter political refugees of conscience in our homes to protect people to gain time for the world to change in systems of thought so they could eventually go back to their homelands with new talents and awareness.

    What a shame no one put such a path together on a truly massive scale. But I guess some countries are doing what they can. I think Sweden has taken 40,000 refugees from Iraq.

    But the Baha’i Faith turned out to be a flat footed, weak, Theocracy of Dunces who completely and utterly failed to live up to the sacrifices of tens of millions of human beings in the warfare and mind bending carnage of the 20th Century.

    The hapless and inept record of the completely ineffective Baha’i Faith hiding in their cult bubble through this incredible period of bloodshed is disgraceful.

    Now they smoke their Ruhi books taking the classes over and over themselves, while little Armageddons happen daily in the world:

    U.S. MEMORIAL DAY 2008

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/magazine/25injuries-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&oref=slogin

    http://www.juancole.com/

    “Doing God’s work” is terrible, terrible work.

    But the Baha’is will most assuredly “be quiet.”

    They always have been decade after decade of human slaughter.

    As long as, they themselves, do not have to be the soldiers who have to do the actual killing.

    I say Judgment Day is upon all of us everywhere on this planet.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:

    “Insisting to stay in a place where you know you and your children will suffer when you have the freedom to leave is STUPID.”

    Baquia,
    it is very generous of you to be prepared to welcome all humanity wherever you are; unfortunately xenophobia is present every where and when we see how South Africans are rejecting Zambians, I am not sure that your fellow citizens wold be ready to welcome 300 000 Baha’is from Iran, and many millions more from China, Tibet, Birmany, Irak, Bengladesh, Somalia, Sudan etc .

    If the French had all left France in 1940, and none were left to say “we will not say Heil Hitler”, I doubt if the US citizens would have given their lives to free France;

    Those Iranian baha’is who wished and who could, have left Iran, and will continue to do so. Some brave people will have to stand firm and persist in saying that we have other beliefs and other hopes for their home-land than the governing authorities.

    What the world centre is saying is that there is a need for these people who are brave enough to hold a stand, just as there is a need for some people who can and who wish to go pioneering to distant lands, and people to do Ruhi so as to serve their fellow citizens as tutors.

    We only live once, and everyone can choose how to use this life; some want to burn away as candles giving their lives as light, others want to conserve their candle of life for other purposes.

    Making a different choice, if it is for love and not for the ambition of celebrity, is not necessarily a stupid choice: it is a different choice.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:

    “Insisting to stay in a place where you know you and your children will suffer when you have the freedom to leave is STUPID.”

    Baquia,
    it is very generous of you to be prepared to welcome all humanity wherever you are; unfortunately xenophobia is present every where and when we see how South Africans are rejecting Zambians, I am not sure that your fellow citizens wold be ready to welcome 300 000 Baha’is from Iran, and many millions more from China, Tibet, Birmany, Irak, Bengladesh, Somalia, Sudan etc .

    If the French had all left France in 1940, and none were left to say “we will not say Heil Hitler”, I doubt if the US citizens would have given their lives to free France;

    Those Iranian baha’is who wished and who could, have left Iran, and will continue to do so. Some brave people will have to stand firm and persist in saying that we have other beliefs and other hopes for their home-land than the governing authorities.

    What the world centre is saying is that there is a need for these people who are brave enough to hold a stand, just as there is a need for some people who can and who wish to go pioneering to distant lands, and people to do Ruhi so as to serve their fellow citizens as tutors.

    We only live once, and everyone can choose how to use this life; some want to burn away as candles giving their lives as light, others want to conserve their candle of life for other purposes.

    Making a different choice, if it is for love and not for the ambition of celebrity, is not necessarily a stupid choice: it is a different choice.

  • farhan

    Bird wrote:
    “I would be more inclined to act like Peter and deny Jesus faced with such circumstances as life & death. ”

    Bird,
    I am deeply and sincerely moved by the wave of generosity and open arms I see on this blog towards our suffering bretheren. As I said, I was prepared to organise a welcoming committee for the students who wished to study in the West and my friends in the US seemed very enthousiastic.

    I see no reason why such an enterprise should not be suggested to the BWC;

    This having been said, the Golden Rule prompts me to do to others as I would have done to myself.

    Had I been in Iran right now, I would be grateful to those encouraging me to hold my stand. I know some Baha’is around me who have to be dissuaded from going back to Iran to participate in this spiritual battle;

    I would not want one instant of a life of security and comfort, knowing that I had missed an opportunity to give some of my substance for the good of humanity and for the cause of justice.

    God bless you Carm, for understanding the depts of my heart.

    Craig, do you understand the wish of these people to do “God’s work”? Would you approve of them fleeing the battle field?

    Craig, are you by our side in this stand?

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Bird wrote:
    “I would be more inclined to act like Peter and deny Jesus faced with such circumstances as life & death. ”

    Bird,
    I am deeply and sincerely moved by the wave of generosity and open arms I see on this blog towards our suffering bretheren. As I said, I was prepared to organise a welcoming committee for the students who wished to study in the West and my friends in the US seemed very enthousiastic.

    I see no reason why such an enterprise should not be suggested to the BWC;

    This having been said, the Golden Rule prompts me to do to others as I would have done to myself.

    Had I been in Iran right now, I would be grateful to those encouraging me to hold my stand. I know some Baha’is around me who have to be dissuaded from going back to Iran to participate in this spiritual battle;

    I would not want one instant of a life of security and comfort, knowing that I had missed an opportunity to give some of my substance for the good of humanity and for the cause of justice.

    God bless you Carm, for understanding the depts of my heart.

    Craig, do you understand the wish of these people to do “God’s work”? Would you approve of them fleeing the battle field?

    Craig, are you by our side in this stand?

  • farhan

    “Thou seest, O my God, how the wrongs committed by such of Thy creatures as have turned their backs to Thee have come in between Him in Whom Thy Godhead is manifest and Thy servants.

    Send down upon them, O my Lord, what will cause them to be busied with each others’ concerns. Let, then, their violence be confined to their own selves, that the land and they that dwell therein may find peace.”
    (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations, CXV)

  • Farhan Yazdani

    “Thou seest, O my God, how the wrongs committed by such of Thy creatures as have turned their backs to Thee have come in between Him in Whom Thy Godhead is manifest and Thy servants.

    Send down upon them, O my Lord, what will cause them to be busied with each others’ concerns. Let, then, their violence be confined to their own selves, that the land and they that dwell therein may find peace.”
    (Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations, CXV)

  • Concourse on Low

    Baquia wrote: Second of all, “a life of ease”? are you kidding me? no life is easy, it is all challenges and hardships. Think growing up in a western democracy is a cake walk? think that growing a family in such freedom is somehow “easy”? Ha!

    Excellent point, Baquia. Carmen seems to think that Bahais who escape Iran, usually by risky escape routes through perilous terrain, come to enjoy a life of comfort and decadence in the West, swimming in pools of money, reposing on golden couches while being fanned and fed skinned grapes.

    Carmen, do you KNOW what life is like for a refugee in the West, not least of all a Middle Eastern refugee, regardless of religious background?

    It must be duly noted that virtually all Bahais who escape Iran do so for the sake of their children. When bringing life into this world you are responsible for securing the best possible quality of life for that child, and when you have a choice of staying in Iran and denying them a quality life, or escaping and hoping they benefit from the opportunities that the West affords, well, then, it’s your moral obligation to do so! The interests of one’s child trump any others, including the interests of a religions organization.

  • Concourse on Low

    Baquia wrote: Second of all, “a life of ease”? are you kidding me? no life is easy, it is all challenges and hardships. Think growing up in a western democracy is a cake walk? think that growing a family in such freedom is somehow “easy”? Ha!

    Excellent point, Baquia. Carmen seems to think that Bahais who escape Iran, usually by risky escape routes through perilous terrain, come to enjoy a life of comfort and decadence in the West, swimming in pools of money, reposing on golden couches while being fanned and fed skinned grapes.

    Carmen, do you KNOW what life is like for a refugee in the West, not least of all a Middle Eastern refugee, regardless of religious background?

    It must be duly noted that virtually all Bahais who escape Iran do so for the sake of their children. When bringing life into this world you are responsible for securing the best possible quality of life for that child, and when you have a choice of staying in Iran and denying them a quality life, or escaping and hoping they benefit from the opportunities that the West affords, well, then, it’s your moral obligation to do so! The interests of one’s child trump any others, including the interests of a religions organization.

  • anonymouz

    I say Judgment Day is upon all of us everywhere on this planet.

    So it comes out.

    I feel sick…

  • anonymouz

    I say Judgment Day is upon all of us everywhere on this planet.

    So it comes out.

    I feel sick…

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]I say Judgment Day is upon all of us everywhere on this planet.

    So it comes out.

    I feel sick…[/quote]

    anonymouz,

    Always good to hear from you! I have written several posts to you of late that you have NOT answered! Please search the BR database and answer. I want to hear your answers. Also, what exactly do you mean by the above comment? Please explain.

    I DO very much believe Judgment Day is upon us. The Faith actually teaches this and I believe it. Furthermore, I believe the Judgment of the Tablet of the Holy Mariner is upon the Baha’is. Everywhere. All across the world. Makes me feel sick too sometimes.

    Your little confession here a few posts back of your psychological history with the AO sounds interesting. In cyber space you come across as just another hot blooded person of the “Baha’u’llah came to the most blood thirsty decadent society on Earth” Iranian gene pool who if your family had not become Baha’i you would be lopping people’s heads off in the name of Shira law back in the ancient hood and posting the video on the Internet. Different religion now but the exact same genetically disposed mindset. You come across as young. Hot blooded. Self centered. A bit haughty. Just another karma receptacle for the first world empire of “we invented crucifixion as state punishment and don’t ever forget it” slaughter in world history a couple of thousand years later. You come across as very inexperienced in life and maybe lacking in social skills. But maybe I am wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    But, anyway, let’s hear some further cogent commentary on all things Baha’i right from the DNA gene pool of the Motherland. I’m your number one fan here.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment=""]I say Judgment Day is upon all of us everywhere on this planet.

    So it comes out.

    I feel sick…[/quote]

    anonymouz,

    Always good to hear from you! I have written several posts to you of late that you have NOT answered! Please search the BR database and answer. I want to hear your answers. Also, what exactly do you mean by the above comment? Please explain.

    I DO very much believe Judgment Day is upon us. The Faith actually teaches this and I believe it. Furthermore, I believe the Judgment of the Tablet of the Holy Mariner is upon the Baha’is. Everywhere. All across the world. Makes me feel sick too sometimes.

    Your little confession here a few posts back of your psychological history with the AO sounds interesting. In cyber space you come across as just another hot blooded person of the “Baha’u’llah came to the most blood thirsty decadent society on Earth” Iranian gene pool who if your family had not become Baha’i you would be lopping people’s heads off in the name of Shira law back in the ancient hood and posting the video on the Internet. Different religion now but the exact same genetically disposed mindset. You come across as young. Hot blooded. Self centered. A bit haughty. Just another karma receptacle for the first world empire of “we invented crucifixion as state punishment and don’t ever forget it” slaughter in world history a couple of thousand years later. You come across as very inexperienced in life and maybe lacking in social skills. But maybe I am wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    But, anyway, let’s hear some further cogent commentary on all things Baha’i right from the DNA gene pool of the Motherland. I’m your number one fan here.

  • Concourse on Low

    Just to add to my previous comment, I don’t understand what’s being accomplished by encouraging Bahais to remain in Iran given Bahais are supposed to fully conform to the laws of the state in which they live, which in the case of Iran would mean that they are not to initiate, or participate in any Bahai-related activity, whether formally or informally.

  • Concourse on Low

    Just to add to my previous comment, I don’t understand what’s being accomplished by encouraging Bahais to remain in Iran given Bahais are supposed to fully conform to the laws of the state in which they live, which in the case of Iran would mean that they are not to initiate, or participate in any Bahai-related activity, whether formally or informally.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="51569"]If the French had all left France in 1940, and none were left to say “we will not say Heil Hitler”, I doubt if the US citizens would have given their lives to free France[/quote]

    This comparison is a non sequitur since Germany, a sovereign nation, invaded and declared war on France, another sovereign nation. Baha’is are living in Iran by choice. They are free to leave. They are in danger. Their children are in danger. Iran has an explicit policy of not tolerating Baha’i activities. If Baha’is abide by civil law, they will be unable to be active as Baha’is.

    What Iran is doing is not right. It is in conflict with human rights, it is immoral. But it is what it is. So why not leave? why not go to countries which will welcome the Baha’is and provide a safer environment?

    Again, those who attempt to argue against such a position are not arguing against me, they are arguing against thousands and thousands of Baha’is who have and are leaving Iran as we speak! All I’m doing is addressing th UHJ/ITC and asking them to provide support systems and encouragement for these Baha’is, rather than encouraging Baha’is to stay in a stifling, violent, and hostile environment.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="51569"]If the French had all left France in 1940, and none were left to say “we will not say Heil Hitler”, I doubt if the US citizens would have given their lives to free France[/quote]

    This comparison is a non sequitur since Germany, a sovereign nation, invaded and declared war on France, another sovereign nation. Baha’is are living in Iran by choice. They are free to leave. They are in danger. Their children are in danger. Iran has an explicit policy of not tolerating Baha’i activities. If Baha’is abide by civil law, they will be unable to be active as Baha’is.

    What Iran is doing is not right. It is in conflict with human rights, it is immoral. But it is what it is. So why not leave? why not go to countries which will welcome the Baha’is and provide a safer environment?

    Again, those who attempt to argue against such a position are not arguing against me, they are arguing against thousands and thousands of Baha’is who have and are leaving Iran as we speak! All I’m doing is addressing th UHJ/ITC and asking them to provide support systems and encouragement for these Baha’is, rather than encouraging Baha’is to stay in a stifling, violent, and hostile environment.

  • Anonymouz

    All I’m doing is addressing th UHJ/ITC and asking them to provide support systems and encouragement for these Baha’is, rather than encouraging Baha’is to stay in a stifling, violent, and hostile environment.

    Baquia, why don’t you write to the House of Justice or even National and just ask? Please don’t respond by saying that they won’t respond…

    Moreover, I can assure, that there is mechanisms in place and protocols that provide outlets for those who are in dire need of leaving. On that note, I would like to also assure you that the situation in Iran, while sad, could be a lot worse. Think about it, on the day to day scheme of things if one minds their own business they are relatively free and left alone. They can go out, travel within their own country, have freinds over and visit them too, and do all the things you and I do. Although, recently things are getting a little intensified, my sources in Iran say that they do not want to leave Iran.

    It is naive to think they should leave. Imagine if they all just left…first of all, they wouldn’t, the Baha’is would stay, even if the House of Justice asked them to (which they never would), can you imagine the mass exodus?? Keeping a critical mass of Baha’is in Iran is actually a form of protection. Their are friends of the Baha’is within the Muslim population, and even some quite advocates within the government. The civil servants who have to carry out the directives of the leading fundamentalist mullahs do so reluctantly.

    I found it was rather short sighted to advocate Baha’is leaving Iran. Rather it is more fruitful to bring light to the idiocy and hypocrisies of the regime. Eventually, the forces that be will oust it, or at least make it more tolerable. When that day comes, the Baha’is of Iran will have such an enormous honor bestowed upon them that the community has yet to witness.

    I am speaking to you as a fellow Baha’i and I am sincerely reaching out to all of you who have such issues with what is currently going on; be patient and reserved, try to see the monumental things that are being set in motion throughout the World.

  • Anonymouz

    All I’m doing is addressing th UHJ/ITC and asking them to provide support systems and encouragement for these Baha’is, rather than encouraging Baha’is to stay in a stifling, violent, and hostile environment.

    Baquia, why don’t you write to the House of Justice or even National and just ask? Please don’t respond by saying that they won’t respond…

    Moreover, I can assure, that there is mechanisms in place and protocols that provide outlets for those who are in dire need of leaving. On that note, I would like to also assure you that the situation in Iran, while sad, could be a lot worse. Think about it, on the day to day scheme of things if one minds their own business they are relatively free and left alone. They can go out, travel within their own country, have freinds over and visit them too, and do all the things you and I do. Although, recently things are getting a little intensified, my sources in Iran say that they do not want to leave Iran.

    It is naive to think they should leave. Imagine if they all just left…first of all, they wouldn’t, the Baha’is would stay, even if the House of Justice asked them to (which they never would), can you imagine the mass exodus?? Keeping a critical mass of Baha’is in Iran is actually a form of protection. Their are friends of the Baha’is within the Muslim population, and even some quite advocates within the government. The civil servants who have to carry out the directives of the leading fundamentalist mullahs do so reluctantly.

    I found it was rather short sighted to advocate Baha’is leaving Iran. Rather it is more fruitful to bring light to the idiocy and hypocrisies of the regime. Eventually, the forces that be will oust it, or at least make it more tolerable. When that day comes, the Baha’is of Iran will have such an enormous honor bestowed upon them that the community has yet to witness.

    I am speaking to you as a fellow Baha’i and I am sincerely reaching out to all of you who have such issues with what is currently going on; be patient and reserved, try to see the monumental things that are being set in motion throughout the World.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]Rather it is more fruitful to bring light to the idiocy and hypocrisies of the regime.[/quote]

    At what price? is the life of a person worth that? would you be able to look into the face of a mother who lost her son or daughter and say that with honor? would you be able to say that to a Baha’i who is tortured and imprisoned? would you?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]Rather it is more fruitful to bring light to the idiocy and hypocrisies of the regime.[/quote]

    At what price? is the life of a person worth that? would you be able to look into the face of a mother who lost her son or daughter and say that with honor? would you be able to say that to a Baha’i who is tortured and imprisoned? would you?

  • Bird

    Happy Veterans Day Craig and thank you and those who fight for my rights and in general make me proud to be an American where at least I know I am free. (Just about :)

  • Bird

    Happy Veterans Day Craig and thank you and those who fight for my rights and in general make me proud to be an American where at least I know I am free. (Just about :)

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “Baha’is are living in Iran by choice. They are free to leave. They are in danger. Their children are in danger. Iran has an explicit policy of not tolerating Baha’i activities. If Baha’is abide by civil law, they will be unable to be active as Baha’is.”

    Agreed to all that, Baquia, except for the last sentence: what do we consider as “active Baha’i”? NSA, LSA, 19 day feasts? Fire sides? Can any one prevent them from praying? studying the writings? helping each other and any one interested understanding the teachings? Did you see a single sentence from the BWC telling Baha’is in iran or in Egypt that they were obliged to fill in forms saying they were Baha’is? Is there one word telling thelm that they had to sacrifice their families or forbidding them to flee?

    Here is precicely what in, the Sept 2007 letter the UHJ is advising Baha’is who have _chosen_ to identify themselves overtly as Baha’is and _decided_ to stay in iran to do:

    “With an illumined conscience, with a world-embracing vision, with no partisan political agenda, and with due regard for law and order, strive for the regeneration of your country. By your deeds and services, attract the hearts of those around you, even win the esteem of your avowed enemies,..”…

    You say:
    “What Iran is doing is not right. It is in conflict with human rights, it is immoral. But it is what it is. So why not leave? why not go to countries which will welcome the Baha’is and provide a safer environment?”

    Baquia, there is nowhere to flee from facing your own conscience: you either leave or give lip denial and dissimulate your beliefs (and in both cases enter into complicity with the regime), or you politely say I have other beliefs and stand the consequences. This is a matter of personnal choice. The Sept 2007 letter of the UHJ invites those who choose to stay to adopt the following attitude:

    “Service to others is the way. … Strive to work hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder, with your fellow citizens in your efforts to promote the common good.”

    You write: “…thousands and thousands of Baha’is who have and are leaving Iran as we speak! All I’m doing is addressing th UHJ/ITC and asking them to provide support systems and encouragement for these Baha’is,..”

    This has been done for the last 30 years, and is still being done, with our deepest gratitude to Baha’is like yourself in the West. Those who choose to stay also need moral support.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    “Baha’is are living in Iran by choice. They are free to leave. They are in danger. Their children are in danger. Iran has an explicit policy of not tolerating Baha’i activities. If Baha’is abide by civil law, they will be unable to be active as Baha’is.”

    Agreed to all that, Baquia, except for the last sentence: what do we consider as “active Baha’i”? NSA, LSA, 19 day feasts? Fire sides? Can any one prevent them from praying? studying the writings? helping each other and any one interested understanding the teachings? Did you see a single sentence from the BWC telling Baha’is in iran or in Egypt that they were obliged to fill in forms saying they were Baha’is? Is there one word telling thelm that they had to sacrifice their families or forbidding them to flee?

    Here is precicely what in, the Sept 2007 letter the UHJ is advising Baha’is who have _chosen_ to identify themselves overtly as Baha’is and _decided_ to stay in iran to do:

    “With an illumined conscience, with a world-embracing vision, with no partisan political agenda, and with due regard for law and order, strive for the regeneration of your country. By your deeds and services, attract the hearts of those around you, even win the esteem of your avowed enemies,..”…

    You say:
    “What Iran is doing is not right. It is in conflict with human rights, it is immoral. But it is what it is. So why not leave? why not go to countries which will welcome the Baha’is and provide a safer environment?”

    Baquia, there is nowhere to flee from facing your own conscience: you either leave or give lip denial and dissimulate your beliefs (and in both cases enter into complicity with the regime), or you politely say I have other beliefs and stand the consequences. This is a matter of personnal choice. The Sept 2007 letter of the UHJ invites those who choose to stay to adopt the following attitude:

    “Service to others is the way. … Strive to work hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder, with your fellow citizens in your efforts to promote the common good.”

    You write: “…thousands and thousands of Baha’is who have and are leaving Iran as we speak! All I’m doing is addressing th UHJ/ITC and asking them to provide support systems and encouragement for these Baha’is,..”

    This has been done for the last 30 years, and is still being done, with our deepest gratitude to Baha’is like yourself in the West. Those who choose to stay also need moral support.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “At what price? is the life of a person worth that? would you be able to look into the face of a mother who lost her son or daughter and say that with honor? would you be able to say that to a Baha’i who is tortured and imprisoned? would you?”

    Baquia, you can’t say this to a “French doctor” What is the price of human life? Can I look into the eyes of an Iranian whose daughter has been stoned to death, or a Christian or a Jew in Iran, or an African whose baby is dying of hunger and say I have the solution for subduing religious strife that causes all this suffering but I cannot share it with others because I am afraid for my own life or that of my off-spring?

    An outstanding Muslim scholar comes to our baha’i meetings in France, holding moderate Muslim views. He has been recieving messages that menace his life; I praised his courage; He replied that he had chosen to live his own life, albeit a short one, rather than live a life that was not his own for a long time.

    Let’s live our own lives, and share our views openly, so that generations to come will judge and learn who was right and take example on our lives.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    “At what price? is the life of a person worth that? would you be able to look into the face of a mother who lost her son or daughter and say that with honor? would you be able to say that to a Baha’i who is tortured and imprisoned? would you?”

    Baquia, you can’t say this to a “French doctor” What is the price of human life? Can I look into the eyes of an Iranian whose daughter has been stoned to death, or a Christian or a Jew in Iran, or an African whose baby is dying of hunger and say I have the solution for subduing religious strife that causes all this suffering but I cannot share it with others because I am afraid for my own life or that of my off-spring?

    An outstanding Muslim scholar comes to our baha’i meetings in France, holding moderate Muslim views. He has been recieving messages that menace his life; I praised his courage; He replied that he had chosen to live his own life, albeit a short one, rather than live a life that was not his own for a long time.

    Let’s live our own lives, and share our views openly, so that generations to come will judge and learn who was right and take example on our lives.

  • anonymouz

    Before I answer your question I would like you to read this letter. If you don’t cry like I did then we are on different pages. Then see what I have to say at the bottom.

    Below is a translation of a letter from the family of one of the Baha’i youth imprisoned in Shiraz, voluntarily translated by Omid G (a muslim):

    letter from Sasan’s family [Ed. originally published here Feb 1 2008]

    I will use only the timeless words of Baha’u’llah himself to respond…

    Were it not for the cold, how would the heat of Thy words prevail, O Expounder of the worlds?

    Were it not for calamity, how would the sun of Thy patience shine, O Light of the worlds?

    Lament not because of the wicked. Thou wert created to bear and endure, O Patience of the worlds.

    How sweet was Thy dawning on the horizon of the Covenant among the stirrers of sedition, and Thy yearning after God, O Love of the worlds.

    By Thee the banner of independence was planted on the highest peaks, and the sea of bounty surged, O Rapture of the worlds.

    By Thine aloneness the Sun of Oneness shone, and by Thy banishment the land of Unity was adorned. Be patient, O Thou Exile of the worlds.

    We have made abasement the garment of glory, and affliction the adornment of Thy temple, O Pride of the worlds.

    Thou seest the hearts are filled with hate, and to overlook is Thine, O Thou Concealer of the sins of the worlds.

    When the swords flash, go forward! When the shafts fly, press onward! O Thou Sacrifice of the worlds.

    Dost Thou wail, or shall I wail? Rather shall I weep at the fewness of Thy champions, O Thou Who hast caused the wailing of the worlds.

    Verily, I have heard Thy call, O All-Glorious Beloved; and now is the face of Bahá flaming with the heat of tribulation and with the fire of Thy shining word, and He hath risen up in faithfulness at the place of sacrifice, looking toward Thy pleasure, O Ordainer of the worlds.

  • anonymouz

    Before I answer your question I would like you to read this letter. If you don’t cry like I did then we are on different pages. Then see what I have to say at the bottom.

    Below is a translation of a letter from the family of one of the Baha’i youth imprisoned in Shiraz, voluntarily translated by Omid G (a muslim):

    letter from Sasan’s family [Ed. originally published here Feb 1 2008]

    I will use only the timeless words of Baha’u’llah himself to respond…

    Were it not for the cold, how would the heat of Thy words prevail, O Expounder of the worlds?

    Were it not for calamity, how would the sun of Thy patience shine, O Light of the worlds?

    Lament not because of the wicked. Thou wert created to bear and endure, O Patience of the worlds.

    How sweet was Thy dawning on the horizon of the Covenant among the stirrers of sedition, and Thy yearning after God, O Love of the worlds.

    By Thee the banner of independence was planted on the highest peaks, and the sea of bounty surged, O Rapture of the worlds.

    By Thine aloneness the Sun of Oneness shone, and by Thy banishment the land of Unity was adorned. Be patient, O Thou Exile of the worlds.

    We have made abasement the garment of glory, and affliction the adornment of Thy temple, O Pride of the worlds.

    Thou seest the hearts are filled with hate, and to overlook is Thine, O Thou Concealer of the sins of the worlds.

    When the swords flash, go forward! When the shafts fly, press onward! O Thou Sacrifice of the worlds.

    Dost Thou wail, or shall I wail? Rather shall I weep at the fewness of Thy champions, O Thou Who hast caused the wailing of the worlds.

    Verily, I have heard Thy call, O All-Glorious Beloved; and now is the face of Bahá flaming with the heat of tribulation and with the fire of Thy shining word, and He hath risen up in faithfulness at the place of sacrifice, looking toward Thy pleasure, O Ordainer of the worlds.

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “At what price? is the life of a person worth that? would you be able to look into the face of a mother who lost her son or daughter and say that with honor? would you be able to say that to a Baha’i who is tortured and imprisoned? would you?”

    Baquia, you rightly pointed out that my example of Mandela was a non sequitur. I simply included him in my list because he was willing to endure hardship for the sake of his convictions. But what about my other examples including Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King? His house was bombed (his children could have died), was almost killed before his actual death, received numerous death threats, was imprisoned several times, etc. His wife stood by him even with the grave risks to him, her and their children.

    I use such non-Baha’i examples because not everyone chooses to walk away when their convictions entail hardships. Would you have preferred MLK and others who suffered along with him never to have had the courage of their beliefs and to have let the situation continue today as it was in the 1960s? Where would the US racial landscape be today had it not been for these people?

    If you follow your argument to its logical conclusion you must accept that no one should ever have become a Babi or a Baha’i so there would be no Iranian believers existing today to flee the country. All the Babis and Baha’is from the 19th century onwards knew that the very act of accepting the new Revelation put their lives at risk. Were they not supposed to affirm their belief because it put them and their families in danger? If this is what you are suggesting I do not see how the Faith would have grown or how we would have Baha’is all over the world today.

    Apart from this one cannot flee to a new country whenever conditions become hard because of one’s beliefs. Iran is not the only country which has severely persecuted Baha’is. I am currently reading Years of Silence – Baha’is in the USSR 1938-1946 by Asadu’llah Alizad. The persecution was just as severe as in Iran today. And there are many other countries I could cite as examples.

    Moreover, Farhan has already pointed out the very practical limitations which severely limit the ability of refugees to obtain asylum. With the millions of people needing to flee different countries because of famine, civil war, and many other reasons, it is very impractical to think several hundred thousand Baha’is will obtain refuge status in the US, European and other contries. The US has refused to give asylum even to many Iraqis who have been helping as translators etc in Iraq! Current economic conditions (housing crisis, recession, etc) etc make this a highly sensitive political issue as citizens of many countries see immigarnts as competitors for their jobs and benefits. Farhan pointed out the current violence against Africans in South Afrcia as one of several examples.

    It seems to me that if you want to insist that the UHJ encourage all Baha’is to leave Iran you need to take a long hard look not only at the history of the Faith but at the history of faith inspired leaders like MLK and the movements they launched which, while entailing immense personal sacrifice, have greatly contributed to the betterment of the lives of many people. You should also consider the very obvious practical limitations of national and global political and economic factors which severely limit the viablity of the kind of massive exodus you advocate.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “At what price? is the life of a person worth that? would you be able to look into the face of a mother who lost her son or daughter and say that with honor? would you be able to say that to a Baha’i who is tortured and imprisoned? would you?”

    Baquia, you rightly pointed out that my example of Mandela was a non sequitur. I simply included him in my list because he was willing to endure hardship for the sake of his convictions. But what about my other examples including Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King? His house was bombed (his children could have died), was almost killed before his actual death, received numerous death threats, was imprisoned several times, etc. His wife stood by him even with the grave risks to him, her and their children.

    I use such non-Baha’i examples because not everyone chooses to walk away when their convictions entail hardships. Would you have preferred MLK and others who suffered along with him never to have had the courage of their beliefs and to have let the situation continue today as it was in the 1960s? Where would the US racial landscape be today had it not been for these people?

    If you follow your argument to its logical conclusion you must accept that no one should ever have become a Babi or a Baha’i so there would be no Iranian believers existing today to flee the country. All the Babis and Baha’is from the 19th century onwards knew that the very act of accepting the new Revelation put their lives at risk. Were they not supposed to affirm their belief because it put them and their families in danger? If this is what you are suggesting I do not see how the Faith would have grown or how we would have Baha’is all over the world today.

    Apart from this one cannot flee to a new country whenever conditions become hard because of one’s beliefs. Iran is not the only country which has severely persecuted Baha’is. I am currently reading Years of Silence – Baha’is in the USSR 1938-1946 by Asadu’llah Alizad. The persecution was just as severe as in Iran today. And there are many other countries I could cite as examples.

    Moreover, Farhan has already pointed out the very practical limitations which severely limit the ability of refugees to obtain asylum. With the millions of people needing to flee different countries because of famine, civil war, and many other reasons, it is very impractical to think several hundred thousand Baha’is will obtain refuge status in the US, European and other contries. The US has refused to give asylum even to many Iraqis who have been helping as translators etc in Iraq! Current economic conditions (housing crisis, recession, etc) etc make this a highly sensitive political issue as citizens of many countries see immigarnts as competitors for their jobs and benefits. Farhan pointed out the current violence against Africans in South Afrcia as one of several examples.

    It seems to me that if you want to insist that the UHJ encourage all Baha’is to leave Iran you need to take a long hard look not only at the history of the Faith but at the history of faith inspired leaders like MLK and the movements they launched which, while entailing immense personal sacrifice, have greatly contributed to the betterment of the lives of many people. You should also consider the very obvious practical limitations of national and global political and economic factors which severely limit the viablity of the kind of massive exodus you advocate.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Ayatollah Montazeri Decrees Baha’is ‘Rightful Citizens of Iran‘.
    Another vindication of the wisdom of the UHJ’s policy and the power of the moral bravery of the steadfast Iranian believers:

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Ayatollah Montazeri Decrees Baha’is ‘Rightful Citizens of Iran‘.
    Another vindication of the wisdom of the UHJ’s policy and the power of the moral bravery of the steadfast Iranian believers:

    Carmen

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Carm,
    A moderate Mullah says that Baha’is are people too. Well, ladida! Many Mullahs have said so. Add another one to the list. how is this “vindication”? we have youth in jail, the administrative body of Baha’is in Iran in jail and an intensification of persecution. If this is “vindication” I’d hate to see complete and total “victory”. As I’ve said over and over again, your argument is not with me. Please go to the millions of Bahais who left Iran for safer homes. Go to them and argue with them. ok? Sometimes I wonder if I cohabit the same universe, no the same reality as others.

    I think the problem is that I see these people… as p e o p l e. Not statistics. Not pawns to be used for the glorification of any ideology. Not a means to any end. Just people. And I feel for them. I want them to be safe. I want them to have better lives. Baha’u’llah didn’t come to bring suffering. In fact He said if religion be the cause of pain and suffering, it would be best to not have it! And now we have people glorifying the pain of others while pointing to an insignificant morsel of non-news as somehow “vindication” of a failed policy?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Carm,
    A moderate Mullah says that Baha’is are people too. Well, ladida! Many Mullahs have said so. Add another one to the list. how is this “vindication”? we have youth in jail, the administrative body of Baha’is in Iran in jail and an intensification of persecution. If this is “vindication” I’d hate to see complete and total “victory”. As I’ve said over and over again, your argument is not with me. Please go to the millions of Bahais who left Iran for safer homes. Go to them and argue with them. ok? Sometimes I wonder if I cohabit the same universe, no the same reality as others.

    I think the problem is that I see these people… as p e o p l e. Not statistics. Not pawns to be used for the glorification of any ideology. Not a means to any end. Just people. And I feel for them. I want them to be safe. I want them to have better lives. Baha’u’llah didn’t come to bring suffering. In fact He said if religion be the cause of pain and suffering, it would be best to not have it! And now we have people glorifying the pain of others while pointing to an insignificant morsel of non-news as somehow “vindication” of a failed policy?

  • Carm-again

    Baquia,

    I have no argument with you. There are no pawns here. As I’ve previously stated those who have left are fine too.

    But do you also have an argument with Martin Luther King? Would you, to paraphrase an earlier statement of yours, be able to look into the eyes of his children and tell them their father was wrong to have lived the way he did? Could you tell them it would have been better if he had chosen to stay out of harms way and let racism thrive in the South? I do think we are in different universes.

    There are no pawns here. You owe your faith to people who lived long before you did. Their actions were freely chosen just as yours and mine are. If they had not been firm in their faith and accepted the risks there would, by your own logic, be no Baha’is today in Iran! No one would dared to have become a Babi or Baha’i so there would not have been any as they would all have refused to accept the danger and hardship associated with affirming their faith.

    It is very difficult to understand your position moreso because it is simply impossible for several hundred thousand Baha’is to gain asylum when there are tens of millions unable to obtain refugee satus for the obvious reasond I have already stated. You also seem bent on framing the perception of anyone who does not agree with you into a statistical cold manipulative view of others and juxtaposing that with your supposedly more empathetic and humanitarian viewpoint.

    Your use of Baha’u’lla’s quotes is also highly selective and misleading. Baha’u’llah’s own life and His acceptance of the hardships of His followers belies your misunderstanding of this passage. Perhaps these misunderstanding, including your insistence that the policies of the UHJ are misguided, is part of the problem. If Mullahs and Ayatollahs can chage their views, just as racists in the segregationist South gradually began to do, it is an indication that people can change. The power structure in Iran is not monolithic in its views. The hardliners are currently dominant but there are also reformists.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia,

    I have no argument with you. There are no pawns here. As I’ve previously stated those who have left are fine too.

    But do you also have an argument with Martin Luther King? Would you, to paraphrase an earlier statement of yours, be able to look into the eyes of his children and tell them their father was wrong to have lived the way he did? Could you tell them it would have been better if he had chosen to stay out of harms way and let racism thrive in the South? I do think we are in different universes.

    There are no pawns here. You owe your faith to people who lived long before you did. Their actions were freely chosen just as yours and mine are. If they had not been firm in their faith and accepted the risks there would, by your own logic, be no Baha’is today in Iran! No one would dared to have become a Babi or Baha’i so there would not have been any as they would all have refused to accept the danger and hardship associated with affirming their faith.

    It is very difficult to understand your position moreso because it is simply impossible for several hundred thousand Baha’is to gain asylum when there are tens of millions unable to obtain refugee satus for the obvious reasond I have already stated. You also seem bent on framing the perception of anyone who does not agree with you into a statistical cold manipulative view of others and juxtaposing that with your supposedly more empathetic and humanitarian viewpoint.

    Your use of Baha’u’lla’s quotes is also highly selective and misleading. Baha’u’llah’s own life and His acceptance of the hardships of His followers belies your misunderstanding of this passage. Perhaps these misunderstanding, including your insistence that the policies of the UHJ are misguided, is part of the problem. If Mullahs and Ayatollahs can chage their views, just as racists in the segregationist South gradually began to do, it is an indication that people can change. The power structure in Iran is not monolithic in its views. The hardliners are currently dominant but there are also reformists.

    Carmen

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “Please go to the millions of Bahais who left Iran for safer homes. Go to them and argue with them. ok? Sometimes I wonder if I cohabit the same universe, no the same reality as others.”

    Baquia, I can only agree with you that the thousands – and not millions :-) – of Iranians who left Iran, some of them Baha’is, are doing well in the US, some 500 000 of them around LA.

    An agnostic Iranian friend of mine having fleed Iran just explained how pornographic material was introduced and filmed by the TV in his clinic which was then destroyed because they had refused to put up pictures required by the authorities in the waiting room; he resisted for some time, but he finally ended up in France, going through all his studies again.

    Many cannot or would not leave Iran for whatever reason, and their choice is to be respected. Some of those who stay in Iran are favorable to the Baha’i teachings; some speak up and say they are Baha’is, others choose to keep quiet and are not disturbed.
    What the BWC has said to my knowledge, is that those who choose to stay can consider themselves having a spiritual mission in helping Iran towards religious tolerance. If you have seen other messages, please share.

    Your idea that they are being used as “pawns” for the “glorification of an ideology” does not stand. Those who wish stay to are given a mission of love towards their needy fellow cittizens in a country totally disillusioned and heavilly afflicted by drug abuse.

    The numerous NGO members and generations of missionnaries (God bless their noble souls and forgive some mistakes…) are not “pawns” used for the “glorification of an ideology” but people taking intense pleasure in what they are doing.

    Are you running this blog as a “pawn for the glorification of an ideology” or as a dedicated person?

    You write:
    “Baha’u’llah didn’t come to bring suffering. In fact He said if religion be the cause of pain and suffering, it would be best to not have it! ”

    He in fact said that if religion becomes a cause of _conflict_ it should be set aside, but He did say that the path towards the Golden Age ” of humanity would be paved by the joys of self-sacrifice, and He and the other central figures of the Faith did give the example in their own lives.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    “Please go to the millions of Bahais who left Iran for safer homes. Go to them and argue with them. ok? Sometimes I wonder if I cohabit the same universe, no the same reality as others.”

    Baquia, I can only agree with you that the thousands – and not millions :-) – of Iranians who left Iran, some of them Baha’is, are doing well in the US, some 500 000 of them around LA.

    An agnostic Iranian friend of mine having fleed Iran just explained how pornographic material was introduced and filmed by the TV in his clinic which was then destroyed because they had refused to put up pictures required by the authorities in the waiting room; he resisted for some time, but he finally ended up in France, going through all his studies again.

    Many cannot or would not leave Iran for whatever reason, and their choice is to be respected. Some of those who stay in Iran are favorable to the Baha’i teachings; some speak up and say they are Baha’is, others choose to keep quiet and are not disturbed.
    What the BWC has said to my knowledge, is that those who choose to stay can consider themselves having a spiritual mission in helping Iran towards religious tolerance. If you have seen other messages, please share.

    Your idea that they are being used as “pawns” for the “glorification of an ideology” does not stand. Those who wish stay to are given a mission of love towards their needy fellow cittizens in a country totally disillusioned and heavilly afflicted by drug abuse.

    The numerous NGO members and generations of missionnaries (God bless their noble souls and forgive some mistakes…) are not “pawns” used for the “glorification of an ideology” but people taking intense pleasure in what they are doing.

    Are you running this blog as a “pawn for the glorification of an ideology” or as a dedicated person?

    You write:
    “Baha’u’llah didn’t come to bring suffering. In fact He said if religion be the cause of pain and suffering, it would be best to not have it! ”

    He in fact said that if religion becomes a cause of _conflict_ it should be set aside, but He did say that the path towards the Golden Age ” of humanity would be paved by the joys of self-sacrifice, and He and the other central figures of the Faith did give the example in their own lives.

  • farhan

    Carm wrote:
    “If Mullahs and Ayatollahs can chage their views, just as racists in the segregationist South gradually began to do, it is an indication that people can change.”

    Carm,
    this is the very crux of the matter; a gardener looks at a plot of desert land, and in his inner eyes sees a garden, and then he creates it. Baha’u’llah saw a desertic Mt Carmel and in His inner eye saw a garden and then He did it. One objective and rationnal reality is the one we see, the other objective and rationnal reality is the one we can create if we have faith.

    The farmer who “throws away” his grains in the fields has faith that the rain will pour down, that the sun will shine and that he will harvest many times more than what he is sacrificing. This is what St John is speaking about when he says that the word of God is creative.

    As Alexander Dumas, Churchill and many others have said: “Every one knew that it was impossible, and then came along this idiot who didn’t know it was impossible, and believe it or not HE DID IT! ”

    So we Baha’is are just stupid idiots who do not know that “human hearts cannot be changed and human societies never reformed…”, we have faith in the impossible, in miracles, … and so we will do it!

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Carm wrote:
    “If Mullahs and Ayatollahs can chage their views, just as racists in the segregationist South gradually began to do, it is an indication that people can change.”

    Carm,
    this is the very crux of the matter; a gardener looks at a plot of desert land, and in his inner eyes sees a garden, and then he creates it. Baha’u’llah saw a desertic Mt Carmel and in His inner eye saw a garden and then He did it. One objective and rationnal reality is the one we see, the other objective and rationnal reality is the one we can create if we have faith.

    The farmer who “throws away” his grains in the fields has faith that the rain will pour down, that the sun will shine and that he will harvest many times more than what he is sacrificing. This is what St John is speaking about when he says that the word of God is creative.

    As Alexander Dumas, Churchill and many others have said: “Every one knew that it was impossible, and then came along this idiot who didn’t know it was impossible, and believe it or not HE DID IT! ”

    So we Baha’is are just stupid idiots who do not know that “human hearts cannot be changed and human societies never reformed…”, we have faith in the impossible, in miracles, … and so we will do it!

  • anonymouz

    Dear Baquia,

    Your compassion and practical thinking is not out of line nor surprising. It is only natural to find a quick fix to the problems.

    If they are being persecuted, leave.
    If they are hungry, feed them.
    If they are un-educated, school them.
    If they are poor, donate.

    However, if you want to come to peace with the situation a new perspective is needed, and not until we all realize the enormous efforts being laid down in Iran right now could we fully appreciate the need for the Baha’is to remain there.

    The fact of the matter is that a large Baha’i population in Iran is the foundation for a future mega community. There is no doubt in my mind, and in the minds of my friends and contacts, that if they were free to openly teach in Iran, the population of Baha’is would quadruple…at least. Another truth is that the Iranian population in general, has little idea about the Baha’i faith. The government does a good job of just ignoring it and when they vilify it they do so in passing and in a manner that does not ironically do what they intend to do. I am actually jealous that I too cannot partake in the experiences being had by the Iranian community. Do you know how in love with Baha’u’llah they are? Do you talk to anyone over there? Are you aware of their special position and status in the eyes of Baha’u’llah?

    There are direct references in the writings to the future of Iran and all of this shortsightedness does little to help solidarity and unity.

  • anonymouz

    Dear Baquia,

    Your compassion and practical thinking is not out of line nor surprising. It is only natural to find a quick fix to the problems.

    If they are being persecuted, leave.
    If they are hungry, feed them.
    If they are un-educated, school them.
    If they are poor, donate.

    However, if you want to come to peace with the situation a new perspective is needed, and not until we all realize the enormous efforts being laid down in Iran right now could we fully appreciate the need for the Baha’is to remain there.

    The fact of the matter is that a large Baha’i population in Iran is the foundation for a future mega community. There is no doubt in my mind, and in the minds of my friends and contacts, that if they were free to openly teach in Iran, the population of Baha’is would quadruple…at least. Another truth is that the Iranian population in general, has little idea about the Baha’i faith. The government does a good job of just ignoring it and when they vilify it they do so in passing and in a manner that does not ironically do what they intend to do. I am actually jealous that I too cannot partake in the experiences being had by the Iranian community. Do you know how in love with Baha’u’llah they are? Do you talk to anyone over there? Are you aware of their special position and status in the eyes of Baha’u’llah?

    There are direct references in the writings to the future of Iran and all of this shortsightedness does little to help solidarity and unity.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    anonymouz,
    your unfamiliarity with the true state of the Iranian Baha’i community should be and is forgiven. Unlike your romanticized version of a heroic community you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth. Corruption, prostitution, drug-use, etc. are rampant on a scale that you can not imagine. And yes, I’m talking about the Baha’i community. Not just the Iranian community in general. This is part and parcel of living in such a deplorable society.
    And with regards to the illusion that Iranians are ready to embrace the Baha’i Faith, they are in fact sick of religion and want nothing to do with it. Were a miracle to occur and the IRI be dismantled today, Iran would be mostly secular, agnostic at best, militantly atheistic at worst.

    I guess I’m “shortsighted” for wanting people to have better lives. When did ignorance become a point of view?

    Carm,
    you keep bringing up examples of such notables as MLK. Such examples do not apply because MLK followed the dictates of his own conscience, he was not instructed to, goaded, strongly advised, etc. to live the life he did. If a Baha’i wants to stay in Iran that’s fine with me. What isn’t is the UHJ/ITC using moral suasion to keep them there.

    As for the “impossibility” of getting the Baha’i community out, it is interesting that you consider something as practical as that “impossible” especially since it was already done once in 1979-1983 and then you swallow wholesale the truly improbable: a change of heart by the fundamentalist regime in Iran. Again, this shows a lack of unfamiliarity with what is truly going on in Iran. The fundamentalists only use religion as a tool. They only care about power and what helps them maintain it. Right now their main tool is religion.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    anonymouz,
    your unfamiliarity with the true state of the Iranian Baha’i community should be and is forgiven. Unlike your romanticized version of a heroic community you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth. Corruption, prostitution, drug-use, etc. are rampant on a scale that you can not imagine. And yes, I’m talking about the Baha’i community. Not just the Iranian community in general. This is part and parcel of living in such a deplorable society.
    And with regards to the illusion that Iranians are ready to embrace the Baha’i Faith, they are in fact sick of religion and want nothing to do with it. Were a miracle to occur and the IRI be dismantled today, Iran would be mostly secular, agnostic at best, militantly atheistic at worst.

    I guess I’m “shortsighted” for wanting people to have better lives. When did ignorance become a point of view?

    Carm,
    you keep bringing up examples of such notables as MLK. Such examples do not apply because MLK followed the dictates of his own conscience, he was not instructed to, goaded, strongly advised, etc. to live the life he did. If a Baha’i wants to stay in Iran that’s fine with me. What isn’t is the UHJ/ITC using moral suasion to keep them there.

    As for the “impossibility” of getting the Baha’i community out, it is interesting that you consider something as practical as that “impossible” especially since it was already done once in 1979-1983 and then you swallow wholesale the truly improbable: a change of heart by the fundamentalist regime in Iran. Again, this shows a lack of unfamiliarity with what is truly going on in Iran. The fundamentalists only use religion as a tool. They only care about power and what helps them maintain it. Right now their main tool is religion.

  • anonymouz

    Dear Baquia,

    My opinions and views are based on person interviews and graduate level research into the country and im sorry if you do not agree with them but they are grounded in sound historic fact and the writings of the Baha’i faith. Where are your sources? Can you quote someone ver batim? Do you have any source on Iran besides western media outlets?

    Your slanderous miss-statements generalizing Iranian Baha’i youth are something I will not let go. Granted there are imperfect people everywhere but for you to view the situation as such is simply jaded and unjustly biased and does little to argue your point. Can you give me sources, articles, instances, or documented cases of such? I know where they are and I know who to ask to find them. Yes its a fact that some ISOLATED cases are heard about. However, I am becoming more and more convinced that the hidden identity you profess is not to remain annoymous for its own sake. Your “rantings” are more and more critical and undermining in tone than what would be typical of someone who is simply question or wondering about policy. You categorically refuse on an on going basis to accept the official positions of the Faith and continuously question what the actual guidance of the central figures state. This is simply arrogant and a clear display of contempt. I may be condescending, but this is baffling from someone who says they are a Baha’i!

  • anonymouz

    Dear Baquia,

    My opinions and views are based on person interviews and graduate level research into the country and im sorry if you do not agree with them but they are grounded in sound historic fact and the writings of the Baha’i faith. Where are your sources? Can you quote someone ver batim? Do you have any source on Iran besides western media outlets?

    Your slanderous miss-statements generalizing Iranian Baha’i youth are something I will not let go. Granted there are imperfect people everywhere but for you to view the situation as such is simply jaded and unjustly biased and does little to argue your point. Can you give me sources, articles, instances, or documented cases of such? I know where they are and I know who to ask to find them. Yes its a fact that some ISOLATED cases are heard about. However, I am becoming more and more convinced that the hidden identity you profess is not to remain annoymous for its own sake. Your “rantings” are more and more critical and undermining in tone than what would be typical of someone who is simply question or wondering about policy. You categorically refuse on an on going basis to accept the official positions of the Faith and continuously question what the actual guidance of the central figures state. This is simply arrogant and a clear display of contempt. I may be condescending, but this is baffling from someone who says they are a Baha’i!

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    I’m not surprised to see you react this way. Very few are aware of the true state of the Baha’i community. Lashing out at the messenger and questioning their integrity is a normal response when one is shocked and unwilling to believe what is undesirable. But things are as they are. Simply wishing them to be different is a fool’s errand.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    I’m not surprised to see you react this way. Very few are aware of the true state of the Baha’i community. Lashing out at the messenger and questioning their integrity is a normal response when one is shocked and unwilling to believe what is undesirable. But things are as they are. Simply wishing them to be different is a fool’s errand.

  • Grover

    Baquia said:

    [quote post="497"]Unlike your romanticized version of a heroic community you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth.[/quote]

    And Anonymouz said:

    [quote post="497"]Your slanderous miss-statements generalizing Iranian Baha’i youth are something I will not let go.[/quote]

    I find it interesting that Anonymouz finds it difficult to accept that Baha’i youth in Iran will be just as affected by pop-culture as Baha’i youth anywhere else. Haven’t you seen it in your own community and country? Sex before marriage, teenage pregnancy, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, fighting. Its really bad in the larger Baha’i communities in my country, particularly with Baha’i youth on the fringe and even those who have been associated with the popular dance workshops. There is very little that can be done because these youth don’t particularly care, they’re really just Baha’is in name only. Those who do care are still just as victim to hormonal urges with the opposite sex (or same sex if they’re so inclined) as anyone else.

    Anonymouz, the ideal Baha’i community can’t be found anywhere. I’m sure the Iran Baha’i youth have similar problems to Baha’i youth anywhere else, although teenage pregancy is probably not so much of an issue in Iran. Don’t get angry about it, its reality. It won’t change until society changes.

  • Grover

    Baquia said:

    [quote post="497"]Unlike your romanticized version of a heroic community you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth.[/quote]

    And Anonymouz said:

    [quote post="497"]Your slanderous miss-statements generalizing Iranian Baha’i youth are something I will not let go.[/quote]

    I find it interesting that Anonymouz finds it difficult to accept that Baha’i youth in Iran will be just as affected by pop-culture as Baha’i youth anywhere else. Haven’t you seen it in your own community and country? Sex before marriage, teenage pregnancy, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, fighting. Its really bad in the larger Baha’i communities in my country, particularly with Baha’i youth on the fringe and even those who have been associated with the popular dance workshops. There is very little that can be done because these youth don’t particularly care, they’re really just Baha’is in name only. Those who do care are still just as victim to hormonal urges with the opposite sex (or same sex if they’re so inclined) as anyone else.

    Anonymouz, the ideal Baha’i community can’t be found anywhere. I’m sure the Iran Baha’i youth have similar problems to Baha’i youth anywhere else, although teenage pregancy is probably not so much of an issue in Iran. Don’t get angry about it, its reality. It won’t change until society changes.

  • anonymouz

    Not so fast. You still haven’t provide any citation or proof nor have you proven your true intentions. I would be naive to think that vice doesn’t occur, but I can promise you its not as you describe. Questioning the messenger in the name of accuracy is not the same as putting our heads in the sand.

    This whole exchange I feel does little to sway opinions and im afraid no matter how much evidence and proof we provide you and the other critics your grounded in negativity and an un-healthy amount of skepticism.

    I am waiting to be proven wrong.

  • anonymouz

    Not so fast. You still haven’t provide any citation or proof nor have you proven your true intentions. I would be naive to think that vice doesn’t occur, but I can promise you its not as you describe. Questioning the messenger in the name of accuracy is not the same as putting our heads in the sand.

    This whole exchange I feel does little to sway opinions and im afraid no matter how much evidence and proof we provide you and the other critics your grounded in negativity and an un-healthy amount of skepticism.

    I am waiting to be proven wrong.

  • anonymouz

    Grover,

    You are preaching to the choir. I am all too aware of the imperfections in the community. But I dont dwell on it nor do I bring it the focus of a contentious and unfruitful debate. Some choose to judge the religion based on the behavior of the individuals.

  • anonymouz

    Grover,

    You are preaching to the choir. I am all too aware of the imperfections in the community. But I dont dwell on it nor do I bring it the focus of a contentious and unfruitful debate. Some choose to judge the religion based on the behavior of the individuals.

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “I’m not surprised to see you react this way. Very few are aware of the true state of the Baha’i community.”

    Baquia, And you know the true state of the Bah’i community in Iran through your extensive empirical field studies there carried out on the ground through surveys and other means in various communities throughout the country over the past how many years? The fact is that they are simply your opinions and you cannot back them up with facts. Your generalized allegations are just that – allegations.

    Baquia wrote:”Carm,you keep bringing up examples of such notables as MLK. Such examples do not apply because MLK followed the dictates of his own conscience, he was not instructed to, goaded, strongly advised, etc. ”

    So the Babis and Baha’is I cited who risked suffering by accepting a new religion from the 19th century onward were not following the dictates of their individual conscience? There was no UHJ then. As you are well aware, it only came into existence in 1963. So you also are of the view that these pre-UHJ (Guardian?) era believers were all goaded, instructed to and strongly advised by the Bab, Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha? This would logically, using your own reasoning, be the motivating reason for their actions and make these central figures just as bad by implication as the UHJ. And none of the believers in Iran are at present able to act according to the dictates of their conscience because they are goaded and directed by the UHJ? Aha! I see said the blind man!

    Baquia wrote:”As for the “impossibility” of getting the Baha’i community out, it is interesting that you consider something as practical as that “impossible” especially since it was already done once in 1979-1983…”

    Was it really done in 1979-83? I beg to differ. There is no evidence to suggest that all the Baha’s were able to leave then. Moreoever, we are discussing the situation as it exists today and over the past several years and the reality is that countries are simply not allowing an influx of millions of refugees across their borders as even the most developed countries have severe problems of their own. Those days of largesse are gone. Just ask the thousands who have and are being forced to go back home by some of the most liberal Western countries such as Holland where Sen lives.

    Do you think the suffering of losing your home and job during the current home foreclosure crisis (many economists concur the US is in a recession) is any less severe? What do you do when you have to live on the street?

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote: “I’m not surprised to see you react this way. Very few are aware of the true state of the Baha’i community.”

    Baquia, And you know the true state of the Bah’i community in Iran through your extensive empirical field studies there carried out on the ground through surveys and other means in various communities throughout the country over the past how many years? The fact is that they are simply your opinions and you cannot back them up with facts. Your generalized allegations are just that – allegations.

    Baquia wrote:”Carm,you keep bringing up examples of such notables as MLK. Such examples do not apply because MLK followed the dictates of his own conscience, he was not instructed to, goaded, strongly advised, etc. ”

    So the Babis and Baha’is I cited who risked suffering by accepting a new religion from the 19th century onward were not following the dictates of their individual conscience? There was no UHJ then. As you are well aware, it only came into existence in 1963. So you also are of the view that these pre-UHJ (Guardian?) era believers were all goaded, instructed to and strongly advised by the Bab, Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha? This would logically, using your own reasoning, be the motivating reason for their actions and make these central figures just as bad by implication as the UHJ. And none of the believers in Iran are at present able to act according to the dictates of their conscience because they are goaded and directed by the UHJ? Aha! I see said the blind man!

    Baquia wrote:”As for the “impossibility” of getting the Baha’i community out, it is interesting that you consider something as practical as that “impossible” especially since it was already done once in 1979-1983…”

    Was it really done in 1979-83? I beg to differ. There is no evidence to suggest that all the Baha’s were able to leave then. Moreoever, we are discussing the situation as it exists today and over the past several years and the reality is that countries are simply not allowing an influx of millions of refugees across their borders as even the most developed countries have severe problems of their own. Those days of largesse are gone. Just ask the thousands who have and are being forced to go back home by some of the most liberal Western countries such as Holland where Sen lives.

    Do you think the suffering of losing your home and job during the current home foreclosure crisis (many economists concur the US is in a recession) is any less severe? What do you do when you have to live on the street?

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Anonymouz wrote: “Your “rantings” are more and more critical and undermining in tone than what would be typical of someone who is simply question or wondering about policy. You categorically refuse on an on going basis to accept the official positions of the Faith and continuously question what the actual guidance of the central figures state. This is simply arrogant and a clear display of contempt. I may be condescending, but this is baffling from someone who says they are a Baha’i!”

    Anonymouz, actually, once you understand that Baquia does not accept the UHJ’s position as head of the Faith and also has very serious reservations about many of Shoghi Effendi’s policies andactions, you will not be baffled. Baquia aligns himself with and praises critics such as Frederick Glaysher, Juan Cole, et al. Juan Cole, for example, does not think of Baha’u’llah in the way you would. He argues that Baha’u’llah was influenced by the liberal ideas of His time and somehow incorporated these into his teachings. He is not the Baha’u’llah you or I would recognize but “merely a particularly enlightened moral philosopher, one whose primary concern was to reform existing society”. Once you understand such viewpoints it makes their positions on many issues much less baffling.

    Carmen
    p.s. Study the message carefully and all will become clear.

  • Carm-again

    Anonymouz wrote: “Your “rantings” are more and more critical and undermining in tone than what would be typical of someone who is simply question or wondering about policy. You categorically refuse on an on going basis to accept the official positions of the Faith and continuously question what the actual guidance of the central figures state. This is simply arrogant and a clear display of contempt. I may be condescending, but this is baffling from someone who says they are a Baha’i!”

    Anonymouz, actually, once you understand that Baquia does not accept the UHJ’s position as head of the Faith and also has very serious reservations about many of Shoghi Effendi’s policies andactions, you will not be baffled. Baquia aligns himself with and praises critics such as Frederick Glaysher, Juan Cole, et al. Juan Cole, for example, does not think of Baha’u’llah in the way you would. He argues that Baha’u’llah was influenced by the liberal ideas of His time and somehow incorporated these into his teachings. He is not the Baha’u’llah you or I would recognize but “merely a particularly enlightened moral philosopher, one whose primary concern was to reform existing society”. Once you understand such viewpoints it makes their positions on many issues much less baffling.

    Carmen
    p.s. Study the message carefully and all will become clear.

  • anonymouz

    Anonymouz, actually, once you understand that Baquia does not accept the UHJ’s position as head of the Faith and also has very serious reservations about many of Shoghi Effendi’s policies andactions, you will not be baffled. Baquia aligns himself with and praises critics such as Frederick Glaysher, Juan Cole, et al. Juan Cole, for example, does not think of Baha’u’llah in the way you would. He argues that Baha’u’llah was influenced by the liberal ideas of His time and somehow incorporated these into his teachings. He is not the Baha’u’llah you or I would recognize but “merely a particularly enlightened moral philosopher, one whose primary concern was to reform existing society”. Once you understand such viewpoints it makes their positions on many issues much less baffling.

    I was not aware of this. If its true then my perception of Baquia, who I am almost positive is a woman on the east coast, has changed.

    Birds of a feather flock together.

  • anonymouz

    Anonymouz, actually, once you understand that Baquia does not accept the UHJ’s position as head of the Faith and also has very serious reservations about many of Shoghi Effendi’s policies andactions, you will not be baffled. Baquia aligns himself with and praises critics such as Frederick Glaysher, Juan Cole, et al. Juan Cole, for example, does not think of Baha’u’llah in the way you would. He argues that Baha’u’llah was influenced by the liberal ideas of His time and somehow incorporated these into his teachings. He is not the Baha’u’llah you or I would recognize but “merely a particularly enlightened moral philosopher, one whose primary concern was to reform existing society”. Once you understand such viewpoints it makes their positions on many issues much less baffling.

    I was not aware of this. If its true then my perception of Baquia, who I am almost positive is a woman on the east coast, has changed.

    Birds of a feather flock together.

  • Concourse on Low

    And there we have it, a nice bubbly broth of ad hominems, slander, diversion and mischaracterization, served to perfection by Anonymuz and Carm, and nine infallible men. Eat up folks.

    Oh, it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside that these people aspire to global domination.

  • Concourse on Low

    And there we have it, a nice bubbly broth of ad hominems, slander, diversion and mischaracterization, served to perfection by Anonymuz and Carm, and nine infallible men. Eat up folks.

    Oh, it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside that these people aspire to global domination.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Isn’t it nice of Baquia to allow you to say such outrageous and baseless things about him/her on his/her own blog?

    p.s. Thanks Carmen, for extract from ADJ that answered my question.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Isn’t it nice of Baquia to allow you to say such outrageous and baseless things about him/her on his/her own blog?

    p.s. Thanks Carmen, for extract from ADJ that answered my question.

  • Bird

    “Birds of a feather flock together.”

    I guess we all must share something in common to hang out here. If Baquia is a woman I would be surprised because I “feel” a male in the tone but gender means nothing more them body parts to me, that is unless you are a Bahai and then it only means you are not “invited” to be on the UHJ. (Highest level) Too bad!

    Honestly if it were not for the efforts of this website I would have already completely thrown the whole towel in on Bahai.

    and BTW- Baquia I am still not getting the follow ups on the convo. Checked my span filter and your not in it…so…could you please check on for me… Much thanks…. Bird

  • Bird

    “Birds of a feather flock together.”

    I guess we all must share something in common to hang out here. If Baquia is a woman I would be surprised because I “feel” a male in the tone but gender means nothing more them body parts to me, that is unless you are a Bahai and then it only means you are not “invited” to be on the UHJ. (Highest level) Too bad!

    Honestly if it were not for the efforts of this website I would have already completely thrown the whole towel in on Bahai.

    and BTW- Baquia I am still not getting the follow ups on the convo. Checked my span filter and your not in it…so…could you please check on for me… Much thanks…. Bird

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]actually, once you understand that Baquia does not accept the UHJ’s position as head of the Faith and also has very serious reservations about many of Shoghi Effendi’s policies andactions, you will not be baffled.[/quote]

    This is really nothing new. I have no higher expectations from fellow Baha’is. At times I’m pleasantly surprised when one behaves with civility but most of the time I don’t bat an eyelash at this sort of insult, innuendo and libel. I used to be quite shocked. But now? Par for the course, as they say.

    I wrote this as my introductory message and it outlines where I stood then as well as where I stand now. Others can spread all sorts of lies about me but that doesn’t really change anything. Well, except their own standing and spiritual well-being I suppose.

    Carm,
    is this further “vindication“?

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]actually, once you understand that Baquia does not accept the UHJ’s position as head of the Faith and also has very serious reservations about many of Shoghi Effendi’s policies andactions, you will not be baffled.[/quote]

    This is really nothing new. I have no higher expectations from fellow Baha’is. At times I’m pleasantly surprised when one behaves with civility but most of the time I don’t bat an eyelash at this sort of insult, innuendo and libel. I used to be quite shocked. But now? Par for the course, as they say.

    I wrote this as my introductory message and it outlines where I stood then as well as where I stand now. Others can spread all sorts of lies about me but that doesn’t really change anything. Well, except their own standing and spiritual well-being I suppose.

    Carm,
    is this further “vindication“?

  • Anonymouz

    Baquia,

    Not that it matters but your “about page”, I dont buy it. The things that you say on an on-going basis are what made me make my conclusions. Clearly, you don’t have to prove me wrong, but I have seen little toward the administration and the official stances of the faith accept contempt and dissatisfaction.

    Again, I wish someone would prove me wrong.

    And dont try to accuse me of slander. I dont tell anyone about what I read here. I am attacking the concepts, not the person. Although it is something of a relief to read that to be associated with Fredrick Glaysher’s ideas is considered an insult by you.

  • Anonymouz

    Baquia,

    Not that it matters but your “about page”, I dont buy it. The things that you say on an on-going basis are what made me make my conclusions. Clearly, you don’t have to prove me wrong, but I have seen little toward the administration and the official stances of the faith accept contempt and dissatisfaction.

    Again, I wish someone would prove me wrong.

    And dont try to accuse me of slander. I dont tell anyone about what I read here. I am attacking the concepts, not the person. Although it is something of a relief to read that to be associated with Fredrick Glaysher’s ideas is considered an insult by you.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="51770"]

    anonymouz wrote:

    Before I answer your question I would like you to read this letter. If you don’t cry like I did then we are on different pages. Then see what I have to say at the bottom.

    Below is a translation of a letter from the family of one of the Baha’i youth imprisoned in Shiraz, voluntarily translated by Omid G (a muslim):[/quote]

    Although it is is not clear, I think you are addressing me (Craig) as I had asked you in a post to answer my questions.

    Of course, I am sad by reading what this person is going through. I am sad and very concerned about any person of conscience anywhere in the civilized world who is innocently persecuted for their beliefs. What thinking and aware person wouldn’t be? I am also sad when I read the letters my Father wrote to my Mother from the Pacific in WWII which we recently found in the attic when we moved her. I am sad when I read the letters the boys on her street wrote to my Great Aunt during WWII. Some landed at Anzio. We recently found those too.

    But your tone in the above referenced post is once again typically arrogant, self-serving, and limited in scope. You seem to imply that the suffering of the Baha’is is the absolute center of the known and unknown Universe/Multi-verse and the suffering of anyone else on Earth does not count. Ever. There are 160,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq right now and their families that are suffering. There are people being killed and maimed and suffering the horrors and carnage of war daily. There are 1.5 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan now silently dealing with things you, yourself, will never have to face in your life. There are two million Iraqi refugees. There are perhaps up to a million Iraqi dead on all sides in this terrible situation. Your previous ice cold condescending comment was that the situation of military veterans is a “non-issue”. Your Great Leader, former UHJ member, Glenford “Kim Jong-il” Mitchell (didn’t you just love the wonderful puppets in the film “Team America World Police” ?) says that when U.S. military force is used anywhere in the world everyone should just “be quiet and let God do His work” with no thought whatsoever as to what that means in human terms. This is the mentality of the Baha’i Faith of today. Only the suffering of the Baha’is counts. Not anyone else. Period. Ever. Anywhere. Only the Baha’is killed in the recent cyclone counts. No one else there killed in it counts. They, after all, were NOT Baha’is so they simply aren’t on anyone’s psychological or emotional radar in the Faith. I say this mentality represents EXACTLY what is wrong with the Baha’i Faith of today and why the Baha’i Faith is going to ever increasing catastrophic failure. It is a mentality that is no longer human. It is a very strange deranged brain chemistry.

    In your post to me you are implying that I do not feel for the situation of the Baha’is as a person since I dare to question many things and many mentalities that are going on in the Baha’i Faith. Only you, anonymouz, can truly feel and truly know and truly comprehend the suffering of the 56 Baha’is in Iran in custody while millions of people all over the world in dire situations simply do not count. Only you, as a true believer (by your own personal acclaim here), can feel the sorrow. No one else can measure up. So you had to make your condescending statement on me.

    For what it is worth, I used to know the Fire Tablet by heart. But you would never think that of me because I am an untermensch and you are an ubermensch in all things Baha’i.

    You have people here speaking about MLK. Unless any of you were alive back then and in the streets in the U.S., you can’t even spell MLK so don’t even bring it up. Unless you were there, what you have to say means nothing.

    Anonymouz, a few weeks back you gave me an idea for a film script. I had you as a Iranian Baha’i in L.A. as an owner of a chain of hair salons pontificating on everything and everyone. Lots of gold chain. Persian girlfriends. The whole nine yards. There is plenty of room for comedy in people who take themselves so seriously. But I only just found out (as often happens with film ideas) that Adam Sandler just made this movie!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmMXk0bA8gk

    So I’ll just have to keep thinking. Maybe I can make it a buddy movie with you and Carmen traveling cross country in a post apocalyptic landscape trying to warn people in the smoking ruins of the Coming Calamity. That should make for some black comedy. But I only just realized Carmen is apparently a female. Carmen is a male name where I live (many Italians here), so I thought of Carmen as a guy only until a few posts ago. So maybe the two of you being male and female will make for a much more interesting buddy road movie. Maybe I could make you the new Adam and Eve in that post apocalyptic journey. Kind of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker (I actually always liked her) meet the fourth Road Warrior movie. That should be fun.

    But this new Adam Sandler “Zohan” character might just cover the over-the-top-center-of-the-universe Middle Eastern archetype for millions – Jews, Muslims, and Baha’is all included in cinematic one-stop-shopping.

    There are apparently many of you out there. You have the same vibe of Keyvan from L.A. that used to post on Talisman9 like a vintage Marconi battery radio blowing out all other AM bandwidth on the psychological electromagnetic spectrum. There are a lot with your frantic Iranian diaspora mindset out there.

    I used to think Baquia was a she. Now I think Baquia is a he. Baquia’s tone has taken a more warrior like tone recently. Either way I respect she/he very much. The only reality is Spirit. And Spirit is gender neutral when the chips are down and tight in the clutch. Street fighter mode up close and personal. Unity comes from justice. And Justice comes from conflict when truth is at stake.

    But I ask you all this question: Isn’t there something wrong to be in a religion supposedly trying to unite the world where people have to hide their identities including both you, Anonymouz, and Carmen when they say something?

    I put my real name up here because I don’t give a s**t anymore. The thought police in the Baha’i Faith can come and knock on my door anytime. I dare them. I hold these people in absolute contempt for what they have done to my once beautiful religion.

    Good night all.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="51770"]

    anonymouz wrote:

    Before I answer your question I would like you to read this letter. If you don’t cry like I did then we are on different pages. Then see what I have to say at the bottom.

    Below is a translation of a letter from the family of one of the Baha’i youth imprisoned in Shiraz, voluntarily translated by Omid G (a muslim):[/quote]

    Although it is is not clear, I think you are addressing me (Craig) as I had asked you in a post to answer my questions.

    Of course, I am sad by reading what this person is going through. I am sad and very concerned about any person of conscience anywhere in the civilized world who is innocently persecuted for their beliefs. What thinking and aware person wouldn’t be? I am also sad when I read the letters my Father wrote to my Mother from the Pacific in WWII which we recently found in the attic when we moved her. I am sad when I read the letters the boys on her street wrote to my Great Aunt during WWII. Some landed at Anzio. We recently found those too.

    But your tone in the above referenced post is once again typically arrogant, self-serving, and limited in scope. You seem to imply that the suffering of the Baha’is is the absolute center of the known and unknown Universe/Multi-verse and the suffering of anyone else on Earth does not count. Ever. There are 160,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq right now and their families that are suffering. There are people being killed and maimed and suffering the horrors and carnage of war daily. There are 1.5 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan now silently dealing with things you, yourself, will never have to face in your life. There are two million Iraqi refugees. There are perhaps up to a million Iraqi dead on all sides in this terrible situation. Your previous ice cold condescending comment was that the situation of military veterans is a “non-issue”. Your Great Leader, former UHJ member, Glenford “Kim Jong-il” Mitchell (didn’t you just love the wonderful puppets in the film “Team America World Police” ?) says that when U.S. military force is used anywhere in the world everyone should just “be quiet and let God do His work” with no thought whatsoever as to what that means in human terms. This is the mentality of the Baha’i Faith of today. Only the suffering of the Baha’is counts. Not anyone else. Period. Ever. Anywhere. Only the Baha’is killed in the recent cyclone counts. No one else there killed in it counts. They, after all, were NOT Baha’is so they simply aren’t on anyone’s psychological or emotional radar in the Faith. I say this mentality represents EXACTLY what is wrong with the Baha’i Faith of today and why the Baha’i Faith is going to ever increasing catastrophic failure. It is a mentality that is no longer human. It is a very strange deranged brain chemistry.

    In your post to me you are implying that I do not feel for the situation of the Baha’is as a person since I dare to question many things and many mentalities that are going on in the Baha’i Faith. Only you, anonymouz, can truly feel and truly know and truly comprehend the suffering of the 56 Baha’is in Iran in custody while millions of people all over the world in dire situations simply do not count. Only you, as a true believer (by your own personal acclaim here), can feel the sorrow. No one else can measure up. So you had to make your condescending statement on me.

    For what it is worth, I used to know the Fire Tablet by heart. But you would never think that of me because I am an untermensch and you are an ubermensch in all things Baha’i.

    You have people here speaking about MLK. Unless any of you were alive back then and in the streets in the U.S., you can’t even spell MLK so don’t even bring it up. Unless you were there, what you have to say means nothing.

    Anonymouz, a few weeks back you gave me an idea for a film script. I had you as a Iranian Baha’i in L.A. as an owner of a chain of hair salons pontificating on everything and everyone. Lots of gold chain. Persian girlfriends. The whole nine yards. There is plenty of room for comedy in people who take themselves so seriously. But I only just found out (as often happens with film ideas) that Adam Sandler just made this movie!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmMXk0bA8gk

    So I’ll just have to keep thinking. Maybe I can make it a buddy movie with you and Carmen traveling cross country in a post apocalyptic landscape trying to warn people in the smoking ruins of the Coming Calamity. That should make for some black comedy. But I only just realized Carmen is apparently a female. Carmen is a male name where I live (many Italians here), so I thought of Carmen as a guy only until a few posts ago. So maybe the two of you being male and female will make for a much more interesting buddy road movie. Maybe I could make you the new Adam and Eve in that post apocalyptic journey. Kind of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker (I actually always liked her) meet the fourth Road Warrior movie. That should be fun.

    But this new Adam Sandler “Zohan” character might just cover the over-the-top-center-of-the-universe Middle Eastern archetype for millions – Jews, Muslims, and Baha’is all included in cinematic one-stop-shopping.

    There are apparently many of you out there. You have the same vibe of Keyvan from L.A. that used to post on Talisman9 like a vintage Marconi battery radio blowing out all other AM bandwidth on the psychological electromagnetic spectrum. There are a lot with your frantic Iranian diaspora mindset out there.

    I used to think Baquia was a she. Now I think Baquia is a he. Baquia’s tone has taken a more warrior like tone recently. Either way I respect she/he very much. The only reality is Spirit. And Spirit is gender neutral when the chips are down and tight in the clutch. Street fighter mode up close and personal. Unity comes from justice. And Justice comes from conflict when truth is at stake.

    But I ask you all this question: Isn’t there something wrong to be in a religion supposedly trying to unite the world where people have to hide their identities including both you, Anonymouz, and Carmen when they say something?

    I put my real name up here because I don’t give a s**t anymore. The thought police in the Baha’i Faith can come and knock on my door anytime. I dare them. I hold these people in absolute contempt for what they have done to my once beautiful religion.

    Good night all.

  • Carm-again

    Anonymouz,

    Actually it doesn’t matter what Baquia’s identity is. The crux of the matter is Baquia’s anti-UHJ/ITC position. Once you understand this, which is very clear from his posts, you can easily grasp the reason for his highly consistent rejection of many past and current policies including the UHJ’s position on the Baha’is in Iran.

    As the UHJ has noted in that message and elsewhere, despite this very clear opposition, whenever it is pointed out those involved accuse one of everything ranging from abuse of civil rights to innuendo, libel, slander, etc. Baquia’s own statements clearly place him in opposition to the UHJ and in favor of anti-UHJ official policy. One of many examples: he supports Sen McGlinn’s argument re the separation of Church and State despite the UHJ’s very clear contrary position. However, as soon as such obvious examples are pointed out one is suddenly accused of libel etc when Baquia’s own statements clearly support his anti-UHJ perpective despite whatever he may have written in his “introductory message.”

    Of course, birds of a feather will immediately chime in supportively as you will note from the posts subsequent to mine. Steve Marshall, for example, is the husband of Alison Marshall who was expelled from the Faith by the UHJ. Steve is just as anti-UHJ as his wife Alison. Once you understand this, as I previously stated, you will no longer find certain comments baffling.

    When I post I am not really expecting to change Baquia’s mind or the several of his ilk who post here. In their more lively moments (e.g. Concourse on Low) they will label pro UHJ Baha’is such as myself as “hyenas” and use other pejoratives while immediately going on the attack as soon as their own rejection of the appointed Center and Head of Bah’u’llah’s Faith is merely duly noted. I have not written anything or accused anyone of what they have not themselves very clearly and consistently demonstrated in their posts. Pointing out Cole’s position and Baquia’s supposrt for Cole vis-a-vis the UHJ, for example, is simply noting the facts. Yet you have observed how quickly one is attacked for doing so.

    The great thing about their activities is that, as the UHJ notes, it is a testimony to the increasing strength of the Faith. Indeed, it is instructive to consider their activities in the light of the current persecution of the Baha’is in Iran. If you are familiar with the many passages in the sacred texts and from the Guardian and UHJ re opposition you will have concluded that opposition to the Faith will eventually be as severe in the West as it has been in Iran but it will primarily be a moral/intellectual persecution. This will, as in Iran, bring further attention and opportunities for growth for the Faith which will engender more growth followed by more opposition and so on.

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Anonymouz,

    Actually it doesn’t matter what Baquia’s identity is. The crux of the matter is Baquia’s anti-UHJ/ITC position. Once you understand this, which is very clear from his posts, you can easily grasp the reason for his highly consistent rejection of many past and current policies including the UHJ’s position on the Baha’is in Iran.

    As the UHJ has noted in that message and elsewhere, despite this very clear opposition, whenever it is pointed out those involved accuse one of everything ranging from abuse of civil rights to innuendo, libel, slander, etc. Baquia’s own statements clearly place him in opposition to the UHJ and in favor of anti-UHJ official policy. One of many examples: he supports Sen McGlinn’s argument re the separation of Church and State despite the UHJ’s very clear contrary position. However, as soon as such obvious examples are pointed out one is suddenly accused of libel etc when Baquia’s own statements clearly support his anti-UHJ perpective despite whatever he may have written in his “introductory message.”

    Of course, birds of a feather will immediately chime in supportively as you will note from the posts subsequent to mine. Steve Marshall, for example, is the husband of Alison Marshall who was expelled from the Faith by the UHJ. Steve is just as anti-UHJ as his wife Alison. Once you understand this, as I previously stated, you will no longer find certain comments baffling.

    When I post I am not really expecting to change Baquia’s mind or the several of his ilk who post here. In their more lively moments (e.g. Concourse on Low) they will label pro UHJ Baha’is such as myself as “hyenas” and use other pejoratives while immediately going on the attack as soon as their own rejection of the appointed Center and Head of Bah’u’llah’s Faith is merely duly noted. I have not written anything or accused anyone of what they have not themselves very clearly and consistently demonstrated in their posts. Pointing out Cole’s position and Baquia’s supposrt for Cole vis-a-vis the UHJ, for example, is simply noting the facts. Yet you have observed how quickly one is attacked for doing so.

    The great thing about their activities is that, as the UHJ notes, it is a testimony to the increasing strength of the Faith. Indeed, it is instructive to consider their activities in the light of the current persecution of the Baha’is in Iran. If you are familiar with the many passages in the sacred texts and from the Guardian and UHJ re opposition you will have concluded that opposition to the Faith will eventually be as severe in the West as it has been in Iran but it will primarily be a moral/intellectual persecution. This will, as in Iran, bring further attention and opportunities for growth for the Faith which will engender more growth followed by more opposition and so on.

    Carmen

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Small minds can not distinguish between disagreeing with a decision or policy of an institution and being “anti” or against the institution itself. Again, not surprised at all to see the conflation of these two disparate points of view by fellow Baha’is. I’ve seen it again and again over time. Ignorance is becoming far too often a point of view these days.

    This sort of fallacious and small-minded argument is reminiscent of the current ultra-right wing conservative movement in the US where any questioning of the government is considered “treason” or being “anti”-US. As Bush might say, “You’re doin’ a heck of a job!”

    If you wish to argue for theocracy being a part of the Baha’i Faith, you have pitted yourself not against me or Sen but against the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi. All of them. I prefer to side with them. You are responsible for your own decisions. Oh and the UHJ has never clarified where they stand on the matter. If you have in your possession a secret lucid exposition of the matter in detail from the UHJ, then I would be in your debt if you would share it with us.

    But I do find it amusing that you continue to disparage the work of Juan Cole, by referring to his book “Modernity and the Millenium”, and Sen McGlinn’s “Church and State” – both meticulously researched academic works which continuously reference both Baha’i texts and historical documents… while you have not read them. The reason I know this is because you have no personal opinion on them nor are you able to discuss anything from them specifically, relying instead on what others have said.

    Again, this is the height of ignorance and taqlid or imitation. To hold an opinion because you are told to do so or because others hold it, rather than investigating the matter for yourself. A paramount teaching of Baha’u’llah.

    But when you are playing lip service to one teaching, it is easy to find oneself diving headfirst and only outwardly “playing” at being a Baha’i by for example judging others and seeing yourself above them.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Small minds can not distinguish between disagreeing with a decision or policy of an institution and being “anti” or against the institution itself. Again, not surprised at all to see the conflation of these two disparate points of view by fellow Baha’is. I’ve seen it again and again over time. Ignorance is becoming far too often a point of view these days.

    This sort of fallacious and small-minded argument is reminiscent of the current ultra-right wing conservative movement in the US where any questioning of the government is considered “treason” or being “anti”-US. As Bush might say, “You’re doin’ a heck of a job!”

    If you wish to argue for theocracy being a part of the Baha’i Faith, you have pitted yourself not against me or Sen but against the Bab, Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi. All of them. I prefer to side with them. You are responsible for your own decisions. Oh and the UHJ has never clarified where they stand on the matter. If you have in your possession a secret lucid exposition of the matter in detail from the UHJ, then I would be in your debt if you would share it with us.

    But I do find it amusing that you continue to disparage the work of Juan Cole, by referring to his book “Modernity and the Millenium”, and Sen McGlinn’s “Church and State” – both meticulously researched academic works which continuously reference both Baha’i texts and historical documents… while you have not read them. The reason I know this is because you have no personal opinion on them nor are you able to discuss anything from them specifically, relying instead on what others have said.

    Again, this is the height of ignorance and taqlid or imitation. To hold an opinion because you are told to do so or because others hold it, rather than investigating the matter for yourself. A paramount teaching of Baha’u’llah.

    But when you are playing lip service to one teaching, it is easy to find oneself diving headfirst and only outwardly “playing” at being a Baha’i by for example judging others and seeing yourself above them.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="52006"]Not that it matters but your “about page”, I dont buy it. The things that you say on an on-going basis are what made me make my conclusions. Clearly, you don’t have to prove me wrong, but I have seen little toward the administration and the official stances of the faith accept contempt and dissatisfaction.[/quote]

    If you choose to not believe certain things I say but some other things I say, this is an artificial distinction which you yourself have constructed. Let me ignore the fact that it is insulting because it implies a lack of honesty on my part. But in reality, it has no bearing on me nor does it reflect at all on me. I am comfortable to let my words speak for me. If you on the other hand wish to stress certain few words I have said and ignore the rest, that is your mistake, not mine.

    Yes, there are some things I disagree with. I vent about them. This is true. Some are incapable of differentiating between disagreement with a decision and being “against” an institution that makes it or not recognizing the validity of said institution.

    I do have contempt for disastrously wrong decisions and policies. And so should everyone else. Otherwise we start to regress into cavemen! What is wrong with standing for what is right? and point out injustice? error? I’ve seen a lot of these from institutions. A whole lot. Much more than I thought possible. The reason it continues and the reason the institutions do not mature is because we don’t talk about them. We don’t have a platform for such transparencies. Well, we do now. But it has ossified the majority of the Baha’is into believing that talking about such things is somehow “wrong” or “bad”.

    [quote comment="52006"]Again, I wish someone would prove me wrong.[/quote]

    This is a job for only one person. You. Only you can investigate the matter and decide for yourself. Can’t contract this one out. At least this is my understanding of what Baha’u’llah teaches.

    [quote comment="52006"]And dont try to accuse me of slander. I dont tell anyone about what I read here. I am attacking the concepts, not the person. Although it is something of a relief to read that to be associated with Fredrick Glaysher’s ideas is considered an insult by you.[/quote]

    I think I referred to Carm and you’re right I should have said libel. But then again who’s keeping score? So many insults and lies have been thrown my way that I’m used to them by now. The Baha’i enfant ingénue for libel is Dr. Maneck. Fortunately after exposure to such strong doses of “Baha’i love” I am now for the most part inoculated. Hopefully our paths will cross one day and I will be able to repay her poison with honey.

    Here you claim to make a distinction between the person and the ideas. Interesting. Then perhaps you are able to make the same distinction when I discuss ideas and not conflate them with the institutions.

    I am insulted that someone would suggest I hold the Baha’i Faith or its institutions in low regard. They are dear to me. If I did not care, why would I spend so much time and energy learning about them, discussing them, thinking about them and attempting, in my own very imperfect ways, to improve it?

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say I’m insulted to be associated with Glaysher’s ideas. He has many ideas. A person is a complex being and is completely capable of having multiple ideas. So I’m sure that I disagree with many of his ideas just as I may agree with many others.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment="52006"]Not that it matters but your “about page”, I dont buy it. The things that you say on an on-going basis are what made me make my conclusions. Clearly, you don’t have to prove me wrong, but I have seen little toward the administration and the official stances of the faith accept contempt and dissatisfaction.[/quote]

    If you choose to not believe certain things I say but some other things I say, this is an artificial distinction which you yourself have constructed. Let me ignore the fact that it is insulting because it implies a lack of honesty on my part. But in reality, it has no bearing on me nor does it reflect at all on me. I am comfortable to let my words speak for me. If you on the other hand wish to stress certain few words I have said and ignore the rest, that is your mistake, not mine.

    Yes, there are some things I disagree with. I vent about them. This is true. Some are incapable of differentiating between disagreement with a decision and being “against” an institution that makes it or not recognizing the validity of said institution.

    I do have contempt for disastrously wrong decisions and policies. And so should everyone else. Otherwise we start to regress into cavemen! What is wrong with standing for what is right? and point out injustice? error? I’ve seen a lot of these from institutions. A whole lot. Much more than I thought possible. The reason it continues and the reason the institutions do not mature is because we don’t talk about them. We don’t have a platform for such transparencies. Well, we do now. But it has ossified the majority of the Baha’is into believing that talking about such things is somehow “wrong” or “bad”.

    [quote comment="52006"]Again, I wish someone would prove me wrong.[/quote]

    This is a job for only one person. You. Only you can investigate the matter and decide for yourself. Can’t contract this one out. At least this is my understanding of what Baha’u’llah teaches.

    [quote comment="52006"]And dont try to accuse me of slander. I dont tell anyone about what I read here. I am attacking the concepts, not the person. Although it is something of a relief to read that to be associated with Fredrick Glaysher’s ideas is considered an insult by you.[/quote]

    I think I referred to Carm and you’re right I should have said libel. But then again who’s keeping score? So many insults and lies have been thrown my way that I’m used to them by now. The Baha’i enfant ingénue for libel is Dr. Maneck. Fortunately after exposure to such strong doses of “Baha’i love” I am now for the most part inoculated. Hopefully our paths will cross one day and I will be able to repay her poison with honey.

    Here you claim to make a distinction between the person and the ideas. Interesting. Then perhaps you are able to make the same distinction when I discuss ideas and not conflate them with the institutions.

    I am insulted that someone would suggest I hold the Baha’i Faith or its institutions in low regard. They are dear to me. If I did not care, why would I spend so much time and energy learning about them, discussing them, thinking about them and attempting, in my own very imperfect ways, to improve it?

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say I’m insulted to be associated with Glaysher’s ideas. He has many ideas. A person is a complex being and is completely capable of having multiple ideas. So I’m sure that I disagree with many of his ideas just as I may agree with many others.

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=""]In their more lively moments (e.g. Concourse on Low) they will label pro UHJ Baha’is such as myself as “hyenas” and use other pejoratives while immediately going on the attack as soon as their own rejection of the appointed Center and Head of Bah’u’llah’s (sic) Faith is merely duly noted.[/quote]

    Hi Carmel,

    You’ve labelled me as a rejector “of the appointed Center and Head of Bah’u’llah’s Faith”. Where’s my “more lively moment”? At what point did I label you, or some other “pro UHJ Baha’i”, a “hyena”? Have I “immediately gone on the attack”? I take your point about Concourse on Low, but please show how I’m an example of the behaviour you describe.

    I tend lurk here these days because the debate has become decidedly uncivil.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    [quote comment=""]In their more lively moments (e.g. Concourse on Low) they will label pro UHJ Baha’is such as myself as “hyenas” and use other pejoratives while immediately going on the attack as soon as their own rejection of the appointed Center and Head of Bah’u’llah’s (sic) Faith is merely duly noted.[/quote]

    Hi Carmel,

    You’ve labelled me as a rejector “of the appointed Center and Head of Bah’u’llah’s Faith”. Where’s my “more lively moment”? At what point did I label you, or some other “pro UHJ Baha’i”, a “hyena”? Have I “immediately gone on the attack”? I take your point about Concourse on Low, but please show how I’m an example of the behaviour you describe.

    I tend lurk here these days because the debate has become decidedly uncivil.

    ka kite
    Steve

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “Unlike your romanticized version of a heroic community you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth. Corruption, prostitution, drug-use, etc. are rampant on a scale that you can not imagine. And yes, I’m talking about the Baha’i community. Not just the Iranian community in general.”

    Baquia,

    I would be happy to have some objective support for this claim. I cant see where you could have obtained this data.

    There is a well known speech in Farsi by an Ayatollah regretting the “hypocritical” spotless behaviour of Baha’i kids in school that discredits Islam.

    We hardly know who is and who is not a Baha’i in Iran at this time; even in Europe, hardly half the kids born into Baha’i families enroll, which shows how little they are “indoctrinated”; I guess that in Iran those with other forms of misbehaviour would carefully avoid having the Baha’i label, the worst of all, added on to their “crimes”;

    If you have no support for this statement, I would be interested to see on what purpose you have made such a painfull declaration to Baha’is at this critical time.

    If it was just concieved as a provocation, you have partly attained your purpose by harvesting a few screams of pain.

    If you believe that by making such a declaration you are helping Baha’is into a better understanding of their Faith, please explain.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Baquia wrote:
    “Unlike your romanticized version of a heroic community you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth. Corruption, prostitution, drug-use, etc. are rampant on a scale that you can not imagine. And yes, I’m talking about the Baha’i community. Not just the Iranian community in general.”

    Baquia,

    I would be happy to have some objective support for this claim. I cant see where you could have obtained this data.

    There is a well known speech in Farsi by an Ayatollah regretting the “hypocritical” spotless behaviour of Baha’i kids in school that discredits Islam.

    We hardly know who is and who is not a Baha’i in Iran at this time; even in Europe, hardly half the kids born into Baha’i families enroll, which shows how little they are “indoctrinated”; I guess that in Iran those with other forms of misbehaviour would carefully avoid having the Baha’i label, the worst of all, added on to their “crimes”;

    If you have no support for this statement, I would be interested to see on what purpose you have made such a painfull declaration to Baha’is at this critical time.

    If it was just concieved as a provocation, you have partly attained your purpose by harvesting a few screams of pain.

    If you believe that by making such a declaration you are helping Baha’is into a better understanding of their Faith, please explain.

  • anonymouz

    Baquia et al,

    I spent a lot of time thinking last night if I wanted to continue this debate. Without diving into the whole mud slinging, I do not think this is compatible with spirit of the Covenant when we criticize the House of Justice. NSAs are a different matter, but doubting or question the House of Justice is unacceptable and incompatible with what I have learned and experienced. If they decide something, through extensive and drawn out discussion and prayer, with the help of the counselors and staff, it was not reached lightly. Moreover, Baha’u’llah has clearly said what is from them is incoruptible and infallibly inspired by Baha’u’llah Himself.

    Craig: You keep making references to individuals House members which means nothing to me, nor should it to you. You would be well served to travel to Haifa and speak with the volunteers that can testify to the varying perspectives and personalities in that Institution. Only when they come together does that “spark of truth” come forth. The result of their guidance as an Institution, not as individuals is where I put my Faith and where I draw the line. Unquestioned devotion and acceptance. Do I always understand it? No. `God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth’. But that means I should grow in trying to understand it. What I do not have faith in is my own opinion. Which is exactly what we see hear happening. All of this is a matter of perception. You perceive something and you call it out and you and others rant about it and 99% of the time refuse to accept that its a matter of Faith. Hardly ever do I see any give when it comes to personal perceptions.

    These opinions and efforts to use independent investigation of truth, if done in the spirit they were intended and with a solid foundation grounded in spiritual understandings, would eventually lead back to the realization that one can never completely understand the reasons or nature of perceived realities. It always comes back to personal interpretation, backed up with more human reasoning or understanding. this is where we enter Faith. My philosophy is to learn and read all I can, but never have the gall to think that I am right or correct. Only then do I start to see the divine in all things, even in those sufferings you speak of, and more importantly in triumphs taking place.

    Questioning or complaining about the UHJ decisions in counterproductive and runs against the grain of the very nature and essence of what it means to have Faith. Often times this leads to individuals experiencing an enormous amount of pain and spiritual upheaval. This happens only when we refuse to give up our own inclinations and ideas. They take a misplaced sense of refuge in going back to saying they believe in Baha’u’llah or whatever. That doesn’t cut in in this dispensation. This whole religion is about unity and yielding the individual perception to that of the actions of the group. It doesn’t if you are a PhD with years of field research and “meticulous research” to back you up. In the end, admitting that there is a possibility that the conclusions we draw as individuals despite our most ardent and disciplined efforts to fine tune them are still susceptible to flaws remains the precondition to faith. Only then do we have a chance to grow.

    Baquia, I regret often when I reply with my head here because it so often is corrupted by my personality and its flaws. I have a sharp tounge and I am sorry. If I seem combative, its for good reason. I will continue to practice my honey dispensing.

    When I read these clearly politically motivated and influenced opinions seated in liberal ideology I understand the consequences of such routes and where they will eventually lead…Rarely is it toward Faith in God.

    Craig: Suffering that you see today are the results of political decisions. How sad indeed and I too get teary when I see it all. But what we must do, is not vilify efforts to bring attention to the Baha’is in Iran, which will get more intense in the near future, but see the light at the end of this dark tunnel we perceive when we see the state of the World. What is the only real solution here? Sending in peacekeepers? I dont think so. Its a spiritual problem that lies within the old world order and the only solution, as Baha’is I venture to say we should believe, is developing a new one!

    In any case, i’ll try to keep my responses in line with the guidance of Faith and tone down my posts to a more tolerable level.

  • anonymouz

    Baquia et al,

    I spent a lot of time thinking last night if I wanted to continue this debate. Without diving into the whole mud slinging, I do not think this is compatible with spirit of the Covenant when we criticize the House of Justice. NSAs are a different matter, but doubting or question the House of Justice is unacceptable and incompatible with what I have learned and experienced. If they decide something, through extensive and drawn out discussion and prayer, with the help of the counselors and staff, it was not reached lightly. Moreover, Baha’u’llah has clearly said what is from them is incoruptible and infallibly inspired by Baha’u’llah Himself.

    Craig: You keep making references to individuals House members which means nothing to me, nor should it to you. You would be well served to travel to Haifa and speak with the volunteers that can testify to the varying perspectives and personalities in that Institution. Only when they come together does that “spark of truth” come forth. The result of their guidance as an Institution, not as individuals is where I put my Faith and where I draw the line. Unquestioned devotion and acceptance. Do I always understand it? No. `God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth’. But that means I should grow in trying to understand it. What I do not have faith in is my own opinion. Which is exactly what we see hear happening. All of this is a matter of perception. You perceive something and you call it out and you and others rant about it and 99% of the time refuse to accept that its a matter of Faith. Hardly ever do I see any give when it comes to personal perceptions.

    These opinions and efforts to use independent investigation of truth, if done in the spirit they were intended and with a solid foundation grounded in spiritual understandings, would eventually lead back to the realization that one can never completely understand the reasons or nature of perceived realities. It always comes back to personal interpretation, backed up with more human reasoning or understanding. this is where we enter Faith. My philosophy is to learn and read all I can, but never have the gall to think that I am right or correct. Only then do I start to see the divine in all things, even in those sufferings you speak of, and more importantly in triumphs taking place.

    Questioning or complaining about the UHJ decisions in counterproductive and runs against the grain of the very nature and essence of what it means to have Faith. Often times this leads to individuals experiencing an enormous amount of pain and spiritual upheaval. This happens only when we refuse to give up our own inclinations and ideas. They take a misplaced sense of refuge in going back to saying they believe in Baha’u’llah or whatever. That doesn’t cut in in this dispensation. This whole religion is about unity and yielding the individual perception to that of the actions of the group. It doesn’t if you are a PhD with years of field research and “meticulous research” to back you up. In the end, admitting that there is a possibility that the conclusions we draw as individuals despite our most ardent and disciplined efforts to fine tune them are still susceptible to flaws remains the precondition to faith. Only then do we have a chance to grow.

    Baquia, I regret often when I reply with my head here because it so often is corrupted by my personality and its flaws. I have a sharp tounge and I am sorry. If I seem combative, its for good reason. I will continue to practice my honey dispensing.

    When I read these clearly politically motivated and influenced opinions seated in liberal ideology I understand the consequences of such routes and where they will eventually lead…Rarely is it toward Faith in God.

    Craig: Suffering that you see today are the results of political decisions. How sad indeed and I too get teary when I see it all. But what we must do, is not vilify efforts to bring attention to the Baha’is in Iran, which will get more intense in the near future, but see the light at the end of this dark tunnel we perceive when we see the state of the World. What is the only real solution here? Sending in peacekeepers? I dont think so. Its a spiritual problem that lies within the old world order and the only solution, as Baha’is I venture to say we should believe, is developing a new one!

    In any case, i’ll try to keep my responses in line with the guidance of Faith and tone down my posts to a more tolerable level.

  • Concourse on Low

    Carmen,

    If you’re going to refer to my use of hynea to describe you, then don’t misquote me to serve your own ends. I used that term in anger because of you constant inexcusable distortions of my comments regarding Bahais in Iran, and your repeated non-sequiturs.

    I find you dishonest, manipulative and shallow. Please don’t refer to me again, and I will return the favor.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Farhan, I realize that describing the Baha’i community in Iran without varnish does cause some pain. Of course I do not mean to disparage all Baha’is in Iran but to point out the effect of living in the cesspool that is now Iran. The reason why I wrote that was to counter the romanticized version of the community that most have outside Iran. They have no idea how the Baha’is in Iran, especially the youth, suffer and to what depths of adaptation they have to sink to. This is a direct consequence of not being encouraged and helped to leave Iran’s negative influence. Since you have stated before that you have family in Iran you can easily ascertain the truth of what I say. But if you are asking me to reveal my sources and methods, I’m afraid I can not do that.

    I have written and broken many news and each time it is something undesirable – for example, the corruption case in Italy – I am called names, my motivations questioned, etc. This is nothing new to me. It speaks of the immaturity of the Baha’i community and its lack of a free press. Let fellow Baha’is level charges and innuendo at me. In the end it is they who will melt away. They don’t even have the decency of coming back and apologizing (as in Marco’s case in the link above).

  • Concourse on Low

    Carmen,

    If you’re going to refer to my use of hynea to describe you, then don’t misquote me to serve your own ends. I used that term in anger because of you constant inexcusable distortions of my comments regarding Bahais in Iran, and your repeated non-sequiturs.

    I find you dishonest, manipulative and shallow. Please don’t refer to me again, and I will return the favor.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Farhan, I realize that describing the Baha’i community in Iran without varnish does cause some pain. Of course I do not mean to disparage all Baha’is in Iran but to point out the effect of living in the cesspool that is now Iran. The reason why I wrote that was to counter the romanticized version of the community that most have outside Iran. They have no idea how the Baha’is in Iran, especially the youth, suffer and to what depths of adaptation they have to sink to. This is a direct consequence of not being encouraged and helped to leave Iran’s negative influence. Since you have stated before that you have family in Iran you can easily ascertain the truth of what I say. But if you are asking me to reveal my sources and methods, I’m afraid I can not do that.

    I have written and broken many news and each time it is something undesirable – for example, the corruption case in Italy – I am called names, my motivations questioned, etc. This is nothing new to me. It speaks of the immaturity of the Baha’i community and its lack of a free press. Let fellow Baha’is level charges and innuendo at me. In the end it is they who will melt away. They don’t even have the decency of coming back and apologizing (as in Marco’s case in the link above).

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote:”Unlike your romanticized version of a heroic community you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth. Corruption, prostitution, drug-use, etc. are rampant on a scale that you can not imagine. And yes, I’m talking about the Baha’i community. Not just the Iranian community in general.”

    Farhan wrote: “I would be happy to have some objective support for this claim. I cant see where you could have obtained this data.”

    It was this wholesale characterization of the Baha’i youth in Iran, for which Baquia cannot possibly have any empirical proof (and if he does he must provide the details as is only fitting), which made me suddenly remember not only the UHJ’s message re internal opposition which I posted for Anonymouz but made me also fully realize what Baquia is REALLY about. As I stated in a previous post, unless he has visited the various communities throughout Iran and collected empirical evidence including police arrest reports for coruption, drug use and prostition (which must be EASILY obtainable since it is “RAMPANT ON A SCALE YOU CANNOT IMAGINE”) one would be hard pressed to understand how he could have come to such a conclusion.

    He is clearly very subtle and crafty in the pursuit of his agenda but every now and again such statements give the game away re his real aims. This statement is not just a rant nor is it just just an accusation. It speaks volumes for those who want to hear. It very much reminds me of the type of statements I have read by Frederick Glaysher (e.g. the allegation that the US NSA murdered fellow NSA member Dan Jordan despite the fact that the police thoroughly investigated the crime and such an accusation is entirely baseless).

    Carmen

  • Carm-again

    Baquia wrote:”Unlike your romanticized version of a heroic community you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth. Corruption, prostitution, drug-use, etc. are rampant on a scale that you can not imagine. And yes, I’m talking about the Baha’i community. Not just the Iranian community in general.”

    Farhan wrote: “I would be happy to have some objective support for this claim. I cant see where you could have obtained this data.”

    It was this wholesale characterization of the Baha’i youth in Iran, for which Baquia cannot possibly have any empirical proof (and if he does he must provide the details as is only fitting), which made me suddenly remember not only the UHJ’s message re internal opposition which I posted for Anonymouz but made me also fully realize what Baquia is REALLY about. As I stated in a previous post, unless he has visited the various communities throughout Iran and collected empirical evidence including police arrest reports for coruption, drug use and prostition (which must be EASILY obtainable since it is “RAMPANT ON A SCALE YOU CANNOT IMAGINE”) one would be hard pressed to understand how he could have come to such a conclusion.

    He is clearly very subtle and crafty in the pursuit of his agenda but every now and again such statements give the game away re his real aims. This statement is not just a rant nor is it just just an accusation. It speaks volumes for those who want to hear. It very much reminds me of the type of statements I have read by Frederick Glaysher (e.g. the allegation that the US NSA murdered fellow NSA member Dan Jordan despite the fact that the police thoroughly investigated the crime and such an accusation is entirely baseless).

    Carmen

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Allah’u’Abha and thank you for stopping by again Carmen. And thank you for the basket of poisoned words. Please do not forget to take your share of honey on the way out.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Allah’u’Abha and thank you for stopping by again Carmen. And thank you for the basket of poisoned words. Please do not forget to take your share of honey on the way out.

  • anonymouz

    Im done here. I am starting my own blog.

    Anyone who would like to participate in healthy, spiritual and real world project planning, email me at pchampions at gmail dot com

    I may chime in from time to time, only with quotes though.

  • anonymouz

    Im done here. I am starting my own blog.

    Anyone who would like to participate in healthy, spiritual and real world project planning, email me at pchampions at gmail dot com

    I may chime in from time to time, only with quotes though.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “The reason why I wrote that was to counter the romanticized version of the community that most have outside Iran. ”

    Thanks for the explanation, Baquia. I have no direct source in Iran, I can well understand the pains of child education in Iran, and the urge to flee, but I do have doubts about who at this moment can be considered as a Baha’i in Iran; obviously those who feel they have a mission to respond to the call of the UHJ for spiritualising their fellow citisens are not those afflicted by the ills you are describing.

    Also, after some decades on internet I have learned that trying to analyse people on the net is counter productive; we can only analyse ideas; so trying to guess if you are a man, a woman, black or white, young or old, or even a group of persons does not make sense. The names we might call each other are like projections on a Rorchach plate.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia wrote:
    “The reason why I wrote that was to counter the romanticized version of the community that most have outside Iran. ”

    Thanks for the explanation, Baquia. I have no direct source in Iran, I can well understand the pains of child education in Iran, and the urge to flee, but I do have doubts about who at this moment can be considered as a Baha’i in Iran; obviously those who feel they have a mission to respond to the call of the UHJ for spiritualising their fellow citisens are not those afflicted by the ills you are describing.

    Also, after some decades on internet I have learned that trying to analyse people on the net is counter productive; we can only analyse ideas; so trying to guess if you are a man, a woman, black or white, young or old, or even a group of persons does not make sense. The names we might call each other are like projections on a Rorchach plate.

  • Concourse on Low

    Anonymuz, in your comment prior to the last one, you take a very dim view of your reasoning powers and their ability to lead to sound conclusions, disparaging human understanding as mere “personal perception.” How is it, then, that you are so confident about your belief in Baha’u’llah?

    Faith? But surely you had to at some point reason your way to selecting Baha’u’llah from among inumberable other candidates for faith-based belief. But if human reasoning is so unreliable, as you say, how can you defend your convictions about Baha’u’llah?

    You also state that, “This whole religion is about unity and yielding the individual perception to that of the actions of the group.”

    I certainly hope not, inasmuch as such reasoning has been used to justify everything from the Spanish inquisitions to the gas chambers of the Holocaust. You can find those exact same sentiments in the speeches of the medieval Catholic popes, Hitler and Lenin.

  • Concourse on Low

    Anonymuz, in your comment prior to the last one, you take a very dim view of your reasoning powers and their ability to lead to sound conclusions, disparaging human understanding as mere “personal perception.” How is it, then, that you are so confident about your belief in Baha’u’llah?

    Faith? But surely you had to at some point reason your way to selecting Baha’u’llah from among inumberable other candidates for faith-based belief. But if human reasoning is so unreliable, as you say, how can you defend your convictions about Baha’u’llah?

    You also state that, “This whole religion is about unity and yielding the individual perception to that of the actions of the group.”

    I certainly hope not, inasmuch as such reasoning has been used to justify everything from the Spanish inquisitions to the gas chambers of the Holocaust. You can find those exact same sentiments in the speeches of the medieval Catholic popes, Hitler and Lenin.

  • Grover

    This is absolutely typical of religious debates. There was a time when an academic in history criticised the Mormon version of the history of the Latter Day Saints and Joseph Smith. The Mormons in the class were offended and complained to department chairman and a couple of other academics. They responded by offering a debating evening where both sides could present their views. So in front of a largely hostile audience (mostly Mormon) the academic presented his evidence which was pretty compelling. The Mormon side didn’t even bother refuting the evidence, they attacked the character of the academic instead.

    Why does this occur? Because devout religious people can never step back and objectively look at the evidence if it conflicts with their world view. They get angry, go into denial, and become aggressive. This is exactly what is happening here, and from people who profess to be Baha’is, and who should know that to be a true Baha’i, one must be detached from all things.

  • Grover

    This is absolutely typical of religious debates. There was a time when an academic in history criticised the Mormon version of the history of the Latter Day Saints and Joseph Smith. The Mormons in the class were offended and complained to department chairman and a couple of other academics. They responded by offering a debating evening where both sides could present their views. So in front of a largely hostile audience (mostly Mormon) the academic presented his evidence which was pretty compelling. The Mormon side didn’t even bother refuting the evidence, they attacked the character of the academic instead.

    Why does this occur? Because devout religious people can never step back and objectively look at the evidence if it conflicts with their world view. They get angry, go into denial, and become aggressive. This is exactly what is happening here, and from people who profess to be Baha’is, and who should know that to be a true Baha’i, one must be detached from all things.

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""]Anonymuz, in your comment prior to the last one, you take a very dim view of your reasoning powers and their ability to lead to sound conclusions, disparaging human understanding as mere “personal perception.” How is it, then, that you are so confident about your belief in Baha’u’llah?

    Faith? But surely you had to at some point reason your way to selecting Baha’u’llah from among inumberable other candidates for faith-based belief. But if human reasoning is so unreliable, as you say, how can you defend your convictions about Baha’u’llah?

    You also state that, “This whole religion is about unity and yielding the individual perception to that of the actions of the group.”

    I certainly hope not, inasmuch as such reasoning has been used to justify everything from the Spanish inquisitions to the gas chambers of the Holocaust. You can find those exact same sentiments in the speeches of the medieval Catholic popes, Hitler and Lenin.[/quote]

    Concourse on Low,

    That last comment about comparing the Baha’i Faith to those tyrants is not even worth the time to respond. Article from Baha’i Library.

  • anonymouz

    [quote comment=""]Anonymuz, in your comment prior to the last one, you take a very dim view of your reasoning powers and their ability to lead to sound conclusions, disparaging human understanding as mere “personal perception.” How is it, then, that you are so confident about your belief in Baha’u’llah?

    Faith? But surely you had to at some point reason your way to selecting Baha’u’llah from among inumberable other candidates for faith-based belief. But if human reasoning is so unreliable, as you say, how can you defend your convictions about Baha’u’llah?

    You also state that, “This whole religion is about unity and yielding the individual perception to that of the actions of the group.”

    I certainly hope not, inasmuch as such reasoning has been used to justify everything from the Spanish inquisitions to the gas chambers of the Holocaust. You can find those exact same sentiments in the speeches of the medieval Catholic popes, Hitler and Lenin.[/quote]

    Concourse on Low,

    That last comment about comparing the Baha’i Faith to those tyrants is not even worth the time to respond. Article from Baha’i Library.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    CoL didn’t compare the Baha’i Faith to anything but it seems you have interpreted it that way yourself. CoL was pointing out that in the past humanity has seen such reasoning or logic lead to disastrous ends. Of course the Baha’i Faith lauds the individual and their conscience. It elevates people out of such limitations by abolishing taqlid and in its stead instituting individual and independent investigation of truth.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    CoL didn’t compare the Baha’i Faith to anything but it seems you have interpreted it that way yourself. CoL was pointing out that in the past humanity has seen such reasoning or logic lead to disastrous ends. Of course the Baha’i Faith lauds the individual and their conscience. It elevates people out of such limitations by abolishing taqlid and in its stead instituting individual and independent investigation of truth.

  • farhan

    Grover writes:

    “Why does this occur? Because devout religious people can never step back and objectively look at the evidence if it conflicts with their world view. They get angry, go into denial, and become aggressive.”

    Grover, this is the subject treated by FAIR Charles, in “The New Nonsense, The End of the Rational Consensus”, New York ; Simon and Schuster, 1974.

    My answer to your question is that it is difficult for us all to harmonise our left and right brains, and when discrepancies arise, we feel insecure. This is the whole point in meditation where you confront and harmonise the rational and emotional data. It is also more reassuring to exchange with those who help you harmonise your rational and emotional faculties than with those who foster conflict.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Grover writes:

    “Why does this occur? Because devout religious people can never step back and objectively look at the evidence if it conflicts with their world view. They get angry, go into denial, and become aggressive.”

    Grover, this is the subject treated by FAIR Charles, in “The New Nonsense, The End of the Rational Consensus”, New York ; Simon and Schuster, 1974.

    My answer to your question is that it is difficult for us all to harmonise our left and right brains, and when discrepancies arise, we feel insecure. This is the whole point in meditation where you confront and harmonise the rational and emotional data. It is also more reassuring to exchange with those who help you harmonise your rational and emotional faculties than with those who foster conflict.

  • Carmen

    Baquia wrote: “Allah’u’Abha and thank you for stopping by again Carmen. And thank you for the basket of poisoned words. Please do not forget to take your share of honey on the way out”

    I am still waiting for you to back up your highly poisonous and extremely prejudicial categorization of tens of thousands of Baha’i youth in Iran as being rampantly engaged in drug-use, prostitution and corruption. Where are your facts? You do not have any. You are deliberately carrying on a smear campaign against these youths based solely on your own prejudiced perceptions.

    Carmen

  • Carmen

    Baquia wrote: “Allah’u’Abha and thank you for stopping by again Carmen. And thank you for the basket of poisoned words. Please do not forget to take your share of honey on the way out”

    I am still waiting for you to back up your highly poisonous and extremely prejudicial categorization of tens of thousands of Baha’i youth in Iran as being rampantly engaged in drug-use, prostitution and corruption. Where are your facts? You do not have any. You are deliberately carrying on a smear campaign against these youths based solely on your own prejudiced perceptions.

    Carmen

  • Concourse on Low

    Grover,

    I agree with you. Religious fanaticism, which is one form of broader dogmatic thinking, is inextricably linked with psychopathology. The psychology of religion has produced a lot of good literature on the subject.

    Anonymouz,

    Your unfortunate but predictable misconstrual of my remark has been sufficiently addressed by Baquia.

    Instead of actually addressing my comment, you’ve once again succumbed to a sudden onset of quoteitis. Uh-oh, I think it might be contagious!

    Furthermore, know ye that God has created in man the power of reason whereby man is enabled to investigate reality. God has not intended man to blindly imitate his fathers and ancestors. He has endowed him with mind or the faculty of reasoning by the exercise of which he is to investigate and discover the truth; and that which he finds real and true, he must accept. He must not be an imitator or blind follower of any soul. He must not rely implicitly upon the opinion of any man without investigation; nay, each soul must seek intelligently and independently, arriving at a real conclusion and bound only by that reality.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 73)

  • Pingback: We Have Annulled The Rule Of The Sword at Baha’i Rants

  • Concourse on Low

    Grover,

    I agree with you. Religious fanaticism, which is one form of broader dogmatic thinking, is inextricably linked with psychopathology. The psychology of religion has produced a lot of good literature on the subject.

    Anonymouz,

    Your unfortunate but predictable misconstrual of my remark has been sufficiently addressed by Baquia.

    Instead of actually addressing my comment, you’ve once again succumbed to a sudden onset of quoteitis. Uh-oh, I think it might be contagious!

    Furthermore, know ye that God has created in man the power of reason whereby man is enabled to investigate reality. God has not intended man to blindly imitate his fathers and ancestors. He has endowed him with mind or the faculty of reasoning by the exercise of which he is to investigate and discover the truth; and that which he finds real and true, he must accept. He must not be an imitator or blind follower of any soul. He must not rely implicitly upon the opinion of any man without investigation; nay, each soul must seek intelligently and independently, arriving at a real conclusion and bound only by that reality.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 73)

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Hi Carmen,

    You wrote to Baquia:
    [quote comment="52194"]I am still waiting for you to back up your highly poisonous and extremely prejudicial categorization of tens of thousands of Baha’i youth in Iran as being rampantly engaged in drug-use, prostitution and corruption.[/quote]

    Here’s what Baquia actually wrote:

    [quote]…you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth. Corruption, prostitution, drug-use, etc. are rampant on a scale that you can not imagine.[/quote]

    Baquia made no mention of tens of thousands of Baha’i youth. What Baquia said, if I can paraphrase it, is that Baha’i youth in Iran are getting up to the same things Muslim and other youth in Iran are getting up to, and that it’s wild/depraved. Has Baquia offered any evidence? No, but that’s par for the course around here.

    Here’s some evidence supporting Baquia’s statement. It’s from Jared Cohen, a young and evidently very talented Westerner, who infiltrated the Middle East youth culture amd lived to tell the tale:

    [quote]You said there was a sort of wild social scene in all of these countries.
    Cohen: They’re all wild in their own way. Lebanon has the most open party scene. Lebanon has the most sort of free culture in terms of young people being able to do what they want. Iran is the most closed, but has the craziest underground.

    What do you mean by underground?

    Young people will find ways to rebel and put aside their political, ethnic, national, and religious identities and just behave as young people. On the sort of more superficial side, they had these wild and crazy parties in alleyways and private homes, where they make alcohol in bathtubs and sinks.[/quote]

    I hear you saying that Baha’i youth are different, and they wouldn’t be included in the Iranian underground party scene, anyway, due to religious prejudice on the part of other youth in Iran. I think Jared Cohen would disagree:

    [quote]There’s a chapter in my book called “Democracy After Dark.” I argue that the darker it is outside, the less names, religion, and politics matter. All of that is overshadowed by a common desire to act like a young person. Depending on where you are and what community you’re in, people rebel in different kinds of ways. Every now and then I’d catch Hezbollah guys out in Christian nightclubs pretending they were something else. Even though they’re Hezbollah and would never want to get caught doing this, they’re still just young men.[/quote]

    ka kite
    Steve

  • http://bahaisonline.net Steve Marshall

    Hi Carmen,

    You wrote to Baquia:
    [quote comment="52194"]I am still waiting for you to back up your highly poisonous and extremely prejudicial categorization of tens of thousands of Baha’i youth in Iran as being rampantly engaged in drug-use, prostitution and corruption.[/quote]

    Here’s what Baquia actually wrote:

    [quote]…you should know that the Baha’i youth in Iran are as much polluted with the filth of the society they inhabit as other youth. Corruption, prostitution, drug-use, etc. are rampant on a scale that you can not imagine.[/quote]

    Baquia made no mention of tens of thousands of Baha’i youth. What Baquia said, if I can paraphrase it, is that Baha’i youth in Iran are getting up to the same things Muslim and other youth in Iran are getting up to, and that it’s wild/depraved. Has Baquia offered any evidence? No, but that’s par for the course around here.

    Here’s some evidence supporting Baquia’s statement. It’s from Jared Cohen, a young and evidently very talented Westerner, who infiltrated the Middle East youth culture amd lived to tell the tale:

    [quote]You said there was a sort of wild social scene in all of these countries.

    Cohen: They’re all wild in their own way. Lebanon has the most open party scene. Lebanon has the most sort of free culture in terms of young people being able to do what they want. Iran is the most closed, but has the craziest underground.

    What do you mean by underground?

    Young people will find ways to rebel and put aside their political, ethnic, national, and religious identities and just behave as young people. On the sort of more superficial side, they had these wild and crazy parties in alleyways and private homes, where they make alcohol in bathtubs and sinks.[/quote]

    I hear you saying that Baha’i youth are different, and they wouldn’t be included in the Iranian underground party scene, anyway, due to religious prejudice on the part of other youth in Iran. I think Jared Cohen would disagree:

    [quote]There’s a chapter in my book called “Democracy After Dark.” I argue that the darker it is outside, the less names, religion, and politics matter. All of that is overshadowed by a common desire to act like a young person. Depending on where you are and what community you’re in, people rebel in different kinds of ways. Every now and then I’d catch Hezbollah guys out in Christian nightclubs pretending they were something else. Even though they’re Hezbollah and would never want to get caught doing this, they’re still just young men.[/quote]

    ka kite
    Steve

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="52125"]

    anonymouz wrote:

    Craig: You keep making references to individuals House members which means nothing to me, nor should it to you.

    [/quote]

    Sorry. I disagree. I hold these people personally responsible for what comes out of their hapless mouths. Especially when a thoughtless public comment of a major figure in the AO destroys a very successful 12 year teaching project I had going.

    Unquestioned devotion and acceptance. Do I always understand it? No. `God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth’.

    God has apparently inspired these men to COMPLETELY DESTROY the Baha’i Faith. And they are doing a damn good job of it!

    These opinions and efforts to use independent investigation of truth, if done in the spirit they were intended and with a solid foundation grounded in spiritual understandings, would eventually lead back to the realization that one can never completely understand the reasons or nature of perceived realities. It always comes back to personal interpretation, backed up with more human reasoning or understanding. this is where we enter Faith…

    Questioning or complaining about the UHJ decisions in counterproductive and runs against the grain of the very nature and essence of what it means to have Faith. Often times this leads to individuals experiencing an enormous amount of pain and spiritual upheaval. This happens only when we refuse to give up our own inclinations and ideas. They take a misplaced sense of refuge in going back to saying they believe in Baha’u’llah or whatever. That doesn’t cut in in this dispensation. This whole religion is about unity and yielding the individual perception to that of the actions of the group.

    If we are just supposed to passively accept everything that these people say to do ON BLIND FAITH, then why did Baha’u’llah give the rank and file of His system THE VOTE? If we are not supposed to ever use prayerful critical thinking in the Baha’i Faith then why do we have THE VOTE?

    Baquia, I regret often when I reply with my head here because it so often is corrupted by my personality and its flaws. I have a sharp tounge and I am sorry. If I seem combative, its for good reason. I will continue to practice my honey dispensing.

    When I read these clearly politically motivated and influenced opinions seated in liberal ideology I understand the consequences of such routes and where they will eventually lead…Rarely is it toward Faith in God.

    If you leave here, I will follow you and join your blog so I can keep getting some good film ideas. The Middle Eastern “I am the center of the Universe” mindset may just be the NEXT BIG THING in comedy. “Religious” discussion groups could well be gold mines for some new script ideas.

    Here are some more trailers on “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan” – In Theaters June 6th!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijTgHhJC5k0&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rQiEUHOmYc&feature=related

    Everyone keep posting. This place is a gold mine for the new Middle Eastern mentality comedy stylings.

    You people may get me to Hollywood and Vine yet!

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="52125"]

    anonymouz wrote:

    Craig: You keep making references to individuals House members which means nothing to me, nor should it to you.

    [/quote]

    Sorry. I disagree. I hold these people personally responsible for what comes out of their hapless mouths. Especially when a thoughtless public comment of a major figure in the AO destroys a very successful 12 year teaching project I had going.

    Unquestioned devotion and acceptance. Do I always understand it? No. `God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth’.

    God has apparently inspired these men to COMPLETELY DESTROY the Baha’i Faith. And they are doing a damn good job of it!

    These opinions and efforts to use independent investigation of truth, if done in the spirit they were intended and with a solid foundation grounded in spiritual understandings, would eventually lead back to the realization that one can never completely understand the reasons or nature of perceived realities. It always comes back to personal interpretation, backed up with more human reasoning or understanding. this is where we enter Faith…

    Questioning or complaining about the UHJ decisions in counterproductive and runs against the grain of the very nature and essence of what it means to have Faith. Often times this leads to individuals experiencing an enormous amount of pain and spiritual upheaval. This happens only when we refuse to give up our own inclinations and ideas. They take a misplaced sense of refuge in going back to saying they believe in Baha’u’llah or whatever. That doesn’t cut in in this dispensation. This whole religion is about unity and yielding the individual perception to that of the actions of the group.

    If we are just supposed to passively accept everything that these people say to do ON BLIND FAITH, then why did Baha’u’llah give the rank and file of His system THE VOTE? If we are not supposed to ever use prayerful critical thinking in the Baha’i Faith then why do we have THE VOTE?

    Baquia, I regret often when I reply with my head here because it so often is corrupted by my personality and its flaws. I have a sharp tounge and I am sorry. If I seem combative, its for good reason. I will continue to practice my honey dispensing.

    When I read these clearly politically motivated and influenced opinions seated in liberal ideology I understand the consequences of such routes and where they will eventually lead…Rarely is it toward Faith in God.

    If you leave here, I will follow you and join your blog so I can keep getting some good film ideas. The Middle Eastern “I am the center of the Universe” mindset may just be the NEXT BIG THING in comedy. “Religious” discussion groups could well be gold mines for some new script ideas.

    Here are some more trailers on “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan” – In Theaters June 6th!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijTgHhJC5k0&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rQiEUHOmYc&feature=related

    Everyone keep posting. This place is a gold mine for the new Middle Eastern mentality comedy stylings.

    You people may get me to Hollywood and Vine yet!

  • Bird

    Such Bahai love in here… This forum is a mirco example of the whole Bahai world… trust me you all got plenty of challenges starting with the name – Bahai… while looking through some of your writings yesterday, again thanks Baquia for the lingering interest in the BF, I came across this passage, from the source, as you say…

    Bahá’u’lláh especially emphasized international peace. He declared that all mankind is the one progeny of Adam and members of one great universal family. If the various races and distinct types of mankind had each proceeded from a different original paternity—in other words, if we had two or more Adams for our human fathers—there might be reasonable ground for difference and divergence in humanity today; but inasmuch as we belong to one progeny and one family, all names which seek to differentiate and distinguish mankind as Italian, German, French, Russian and so on are without significance and sanction. We are all human, all servants of God and all come from Mr. Adam’s family. Why, then, all these fallacious national and racial distinctions? These boundary lines and artificial barriers have been created by despots and conquerors who sought to attain dominion over mankind, thereby engendering patriotic feeling and rousing selfish devotion to merely local standards of government. As a rule they themselves enjoyed luxuries in palaces, surrounded by conditions of ease and affluence, while armies of soldiers, civilians and tillers of the soil fought and died at their command upon the field of battle, shedding their innocent blood for a delusion such as “we are Germans,” “our enemies are French,” etc., when, in reality, all are humankind, all belong to the one family and posterity of Adam, the original father. This prejudice or limited patriotism is prevalent throughout the world, while man is blind to patriotism in the larger sense which includes all races and native lands. From every real standpoint there must and should be peace among all nations. Paris Talks

    ….Pretty interesting on how the stuff backfires on the BF seeing that the Bahai’s are shedding thier innocent blood for the delusion that are “Bahai”…. while the leaders pick out marble for the palace… such irony for sure…

  • Bird

    Such Bahai love in here… This forum is a mirco example of the whole Bahai world… trust me you all got plenty of challenges starting with the name – Bahai… while looking through some of your writings yesterday, again thanks Baquia for the lingering interest in the BF, I came across this passage, from the source, as you say…

    Bahá’u’lláh especially emphasized international peace. He declared that all mankind is the one progeny of Adam and members of one great universal family. If the various races and distinct types of mankind had each proceeded from a different original paternity—in other words, if we had two or more Adams for our human fathers—there might be reasonable ground for difference and divergence in humanity today; but inasmuch as we belong to one progeny and one family, all names which seek to differentiate and distinguish mankind as Italian, German, French, Russian and so on are without significance and sanction. We are all human, all servants of God and all come from Mr. Adam’s family. Why, then, all these fallacious national and racial distinctions? These boundary lines and artificial barriers have been created by despots and conquerors who sought to attain dominion over mankind, thereby engendering patriotic feeling and rousing selfish devotion to merely local standards of government. As a rule they themselves enjoyed luxuries in palaces, surrounded by conditions of ease and affluence, while armies of soldiers, civilians and tillers of the soil fought and died at their command upon the field of battle, shedding their innocent blood for a delusion such as “we are Germans,” “our enemies are French,” etc., when, in reality, all are humankind, all belong to the one family and posterity of Adam, the original father. This prejudice or limited patriotism is prevalent throughout the world, while man is blind to patriotism in the larger sense which includes all races and native lands. From every real standpoint there must and should be peace among all nations. Paris Talks

    ….Pretty interesting on how the stuff backfires on the BF seeing that the Bahai’s are shedding thier innocent blood for the delusion that are “Bahai”…. while the leaders pick out marble for the palace… such irony for sure…

  • Grover

    [quote post="497"]….Pretty interesting on how the stuff backfires on the BF seeing that the Bahai’s are shedding thier innocent blood for the delusion that are “Bahai”…. while the leaders pick out marble for the palace… such irony for sure…[/quote]

    Bird! You cut right to the bone :)

  • Grover

    [quote post="497"]….Pretty interesting on how the stuff backfires on the BF seeing that the Bahai’s are shedding thier innocent blood for the delusion that are “Bahai”…. while the leaders pick out marble for the palace… such irony for sure…[/quote]

    Bird! You cut right to the bone :)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Wow. I just noticed that this post has almost 170 comments. That has to be some sort of record. No wonder the php code was starting to creak. Hopefully no one will mind closing further comments for performance sake. I assume that we’ve hashed out things fairly well, or at least as well as we can in a dialogue that spans 170 comments or so. Please feel free to visit other posts and add your comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Allah’u’Abha everyone.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Wow. I just noticed that this post has almost 170 comments. That has to be some sort of record. No wonder the php code was starting to creak. Hopefully no one will mind closing further comments for performance sake. I assume that we’ve hashed out things fairly well, or at least as well as we can in a dialogue that spans 170 comments or so. Please feel free to visit other posts and add your comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Allah’u’Abha everyone.