You Mean Baha’i, Right?

If you live in a large enough city, you eventually will run into this sort of placard (unfortunately attached to a loony person). Right there, between “DRUNKARD’S” and “CATHOLIC’S”… I think the misspelled word is meant to be Baha’i. Misspelling is of course, the least of this person’s problems.

I had no idea I ♥ the devil. Including Baha’i, little ol’ me fits into six of the categories. Can you beat that? Do you ♥ the devil more?

jeebuz lovin nutjobJeebus-speak.

Oh and before I forget… McCain ’08!!

😉

Significance of the Financial Crisis for Iran

How will the recent financial banking crisis effect Iran? what, if any, significance does it hold for the Baha’is of Iran? To answer that we first have to look at the economy of the country.

The Iranian economy is primarily based on its fossil fuels. According to the Iranian Central Bank, oil and gas exports accounted for $82 billion in the first quarter of this year. Non energy related exports accounted for only $15.6 billion which comes from mostly pistachios and woven carpets. The energy revenue is about to shrink considerably as oil prices have fallen in international markets from $147 a barrel to $65 a barrel.

iran-oil-prices-crisisA perfect storm is headed towards this teetering economy. Not only will a lower crude oil and natural gas price mean lower revenues for the IRI but a retrenching world economy will mean that Iran’s already thinly stretched trade relationship with the outside world will be strained even more, leaving the economy even more precariously dependent on diminishing petrodollars. As well, the lack of refining capacity means that Iran will have to continue to pay for refined fuel to be imported from Turkey at relatively stable prices. This will further squeeze the economy as their own raw material expenses will be relatively unchanged. Iranians have lived with extremely cheap fuel for their whole lives, paying 3-4 cents a liter. If the government tries to end the subsidies and pass on the real expense of the fuel, there will be an overnight riot engulfing the whole country.
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Visualizing the Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah

I’m not sure what to call this, an exercise in artistic meditation?

Here are the 99 most prominent words within Baha’u’llah’s Hidden Words (both Arabic and Persian):

hidden-words-of-bahaullah-visualization

The Hidden Words are the essence of Baha’u’llah’s teachings. The distillation of God’s commandments, eternal. Unchanging.

Lovely words. Wouldn’t mind having that on my wall as a reminder. Hmmm… it seems to be mostly about you (me… you know what I mean!). Not the other guy, or the gal walking down the street.

How does it make you feel?

Homosexuality: Blueprint or Recipe?

a-mans-jobWhile reading Richard Dawkins’ collection of essays in “The Devil’s Chaplain” I chanced on his essay about the potential for genes to determine homosexuality in humans and what implications that might have.

Since we had discussed this point before in The Challenge of Homosexuality, Dawkins take on things was rather surprising:

Imagine the following newspaper headline: ‘Scientists discover that homosexuality is caused.’ Obviously this is not news at all; it is trivial. Everything is caused. To say that homosexuality is caused by genes is more interesting, and it has the aesthetic merit of discomforting politically-inspired bores, but it doesn’t say more than my trivial headline does about the irrevocability of homosexuality.

You can read the whole essay here (it is only 3 pages).

Farewell To Iran

Here is the story of the bittersweet goodbyes of Iranian Baha’is leaving Iran by train, travelling through Turkey to escape the stifling and oppressive Islamic regime.

Every Thursday at dusk, members of one of Iran’s most beleaguered religious minorities gather at Tehran’s railway station. With anxious, teary eyes, they are there to see off relatives and fellow Baha’is who have decided to pull up stakes forever and take the 8 p.m. train to a new life in Turkey and beyond.

Click on any picture to launch gallery view (then click right/left edge for next/previous):

Travellers at Tehran railway station Boarding the train to Turkey Tehrans train station sees dozens of Bahais leave each week in search of a better life abroad. Some Bahai travelers are carrying all they own and have no plans to return to Iran, where they face persecution. Others make the three-day journey just to visit relatives who emigrated before them, often bringing food or money. The train is bound for Istanbul, but many stop at Kayseri, a city with a growing emigre Bahai community. The decision to emigrate divides some families. "Even now all my heart and soul belongs to Iran," says one woman.

One of the travelers says:

For the next five or six months I kept trying to talk her out of it, but in the end it was I who gave up, because I realized she was right in coming to this decision. But believe me, even now all my heart and soul belongs to Iran.

While I do not mean to diminish the sadness that is understandable for anyone who leaves their homeland, family and friends behind, I find such extreme sentiments a little bit surprising from a fellow Baha’i.

After all, didn’t Baha’u’llah say:

Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.

From the account of Professor Edward G. Browne, of the University of Cambridge.

With thanks to Sen McGlinn for the article.