Basically they go over the recent developments and give a few examples of what has occurred on the ground in Iran. By no means does the letter cover everything (nor can it) that has happened. Instead it seems that the intent is to let the wider Baha’i community know of the intensification of attacks on Iranian believers.
This is something that I tried to do when I wrote about the Hojatieh Society more three months ago and outlined why this was a growing and grave danger for the Baha’i community in Iran.
Of note is this section of the letter where they cite…
…efforts undertaken by the Association of Chambers of Commerce (Ettehadieh Asnaf) to compile a list of Baha’is in every type of trade and employment…
Its probably safe to bet they aren’t troubling themselves with this sort of list building for benevolent reasons (like for example, creating a Baha’i yellow pages directory).
If you recall, the Hojatieh Society’s core is made up of extreme right wing merchants (bazaaris) and Mullas. Therefore, this action taken by the Association of Chambers of Commerce confirms that there is a wider plan afoot against the Baha’is. And that such a plan is systematic and is being driven forward by a newly emerged and organized group – the Hojatieh.
In light of all this, the letter of the UHJ is very short on answers or solutions. Of course, there is nothing that Baha’is can do to truly remedy the situation. We are being faced with a dogmatic fanaticism that is wholly unyielding. Pressure brought to bear through international political agencies like the United Nations are futile. The whole world has witnessed how for such an important issue such as nuclear armament, the political powers in Iran risk economic isolation and even military action from the West.
Do you really believe for a second that for such a relatively unfamiliar issue (in comparison), they would curb their plans of persecuting Baha’is? that they would allow any influence to change their methods? that they would begin to actually adhere to international codes and laws to which they are signatory?
This is why I’m baffled why the UHJ continues to give the same pablum of hold’n’pray. That’s not good enough. If indeed the Baha’is are facing a renewed wave of persecution, alternatives must be sought. Why should a community be harried, persecuted, hounded and suffer innumerably when they can simply leave?
What’s more, the Iranian government would like nothing better than that. So why not give it to them, tied with a red bow? What is wrong with a mass exodus? What is wrong with getting the heck out of Dodge and raising your children where they can grow up and live in freedom?
Iran won’t stay under the opression and tyranny of the current regime for ever. So why not get out and return when the time is right?
Or is that too simple an answer?
Universal House of Justice message of March 22, 2006 (English)
Universal House of Justice message of March 22, 2006 (Persian)
The Return of the Hojatieh
Statement from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights