Recent Baha’i Arrests Tied To Shiraz Bomb Blast

According to an article on May 17th, 2008 in the Iranian newspaper the Quds Daily, the reason for the recent arrest of seven Baha’is is suspicion of involvement in last month’s bomb explosion.

You’ll recall that there was an explosion in a Shiraz mosque on April 12th – at the time a part of me hoped that the Islamic Regime in Iranian would not use it as a pretense to crack down on Baha’is there.

Although initial news reports mentioned the blast as a bomb attack, the official response following the event blamed improperly stored ordinance inside the mosque and classify it as an accident.

bomb-blast-shiraz-iran-april-2008However, less than 3 weeks later official sources in Iran changed their tune saying that it was a terrorist act. Interior Minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi blamed the blast on “monarchists” and “enemies of the Iranian people”.

Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie also mentioned that people had already been arrested in connection with the explosion.

The only group to have claimed responsibility is the UK based “Kingdom Assembly of Iran” who issued this press release.

It is very difficult to get a clear sense of anything from the Iran regime and this is mostly by design. The Islamic regime revels in confusing and befuddling everyone, including themselves on occasion. There is such varying and competing agendas within the government that it really depends who you listen to and on which day.

My personal conviction was from the very start that the blast in Shiraz was a terrorist act and that calling it an “accident” was a convenient way for the Iranian regime to appear impregnable until they could calculate a means to extract further means to use it to their advantage.

Similarly the attempt to tie this tragic event with the Baha’i community in Iran is yet another tactic which affords them the convenience of deflecting international pressure regarding the arrest of the national Baha’i administrative group. They no longer have to answer to the world community on charges of religious persecution.

They can now use the smoke screen of national security to hold the 7 Baha’is and who knows, perhaps make further arrests and ratchet up the already alarming level of persecution of Baha’is in Iran.

Of course, the Baha’i Faith does accept and prefer monarchy (as a symbolic station devoid of civil authority) but no one except the most fanatic and ignorant Muslims would believe that the Baha’i Faith would in any way shape or form condone violence. On the contrary, we have clear and repeated guidance to uphold the laws of the country in which we live and to respect civil authority. This is something that the Baha’i community of Iran has been doing since its founding, even when under severe oppression.

I continue to beg my fellow Baha’is inside Iran to leave and start productive lives in the many alternative civilized countries around the world – for themselves and their children.

UPDATE:
Thanks to Bahaisonline.net for pointing out that the Baha’i International Community has now responded to the IRI’s allegations and rejected them completely.

I don’t think they will persuade anyone but fellow fundamentalist Islamic regimes (who would support them in the UN in any case) in arguing that the Baha’is had something to do with the Shiraz explosion last month. In any case, a civilized country that respects basic human rights would swiftly bring on charges and commence a fair and transparent trial. The charges of “Zionism” ring hollow and underscore the Iranian government’s moral as well as creative bankruptcy.

  • anonymouz

    Before we jump to any conclusions, I have record of conflicting stories…

    This article reports it was because of “connections to zionism”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3545749,00.html

    The source is Government Spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham.

  • anonymouz

    Before we jump to any conclusions, I have record of conflicting stories…

    This article reports it was because of “connections to zionism”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3545749,00.html

    The source is Government Spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    this is the old standby, the ever useful fall back position of the IRI, that the Baha’is are “Israeli spies” or “Zionist agents”

    an oldie but not a goodie

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    this is the old standby, the ever useful fall back position of the IRI, that the Baha’is are “Israeli spies” or “Zionist agents”

    an oldie but not a goodie

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Baquia,

    You wrote: “Of course, the Baha’i Faith does accept and prefer monarchy (as a symbolic station devoid of civil authority)”

    This makes no sense to me. Why would such a monarchy be good unless it is a vestige of a former monarchical government as it is in England — in place for reasons of culture and history. To create such a governmental structure out of whole cloth would be somewhat weird, I think. And can you refer me to the place in the Baha’i writings where this precise form of government is recommended? I can’t think of one.

    You continue “but no one except the most fanatic and ignorant Muslims would believe that the Baha’i Faith would in any way shape or form condone violence.” I think this is true of the current Baha’i organization and followers but the origins of the Faith do include violence. The Babi’s fought battles, killed enemies and made assassination attempts. Perhaps this old legacy is more difficult to be rid of than one would have thought.

    Peace,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Baquia,

    You wrote: “Of course, the Baha’i Faith does accept and prefer monarchy (as a symbolic station devoid of civil authority)”

    This makes no sense to me. Why would such a monarchy be good unless it is a vestige of a former monarchical government as it is in England — in place for reasons of culture and history. To create such a governmental structure out of whole cloth would be somewhat weird, I think. And can you refer me to the place in the Baha’i writings where this precise form of government is recommended? I can’t think of one.

    You continue “but no one except the most fanatic and ignorant Muslims would believe that the Baha’i Faith would in any way shape or form condone violence.” I think this is true of the current Baha’i organization and followers but the origins of the Faith do include violence. The Babi’s fought battles, killed enemies and made assassination attempts. Perhaps this old legacy is more difficult to be rid of than one would have thought.

    Peace,
    Frank

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Frank,
    it is true that some Babi fought in battles to defend themselves. But Baha’is have clear and unequivocal texts which forbid them to take up arms, even to defend themselves against an oppressor – which explains their silent suffering in Iran. I’m sure you’ll agree that the Baha’i Faith is different than the Babi Faith.

    As for Baha’i Writings which refer to the station of kings within society, here are just a smattering. For a full treatment of this (and more) I recommend Sen’s excellent book, Church & State:

    By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of Bahá are fastened. To this testifieth the Kingdom of Names, could ye but comprehend it. Whoso followeth his Lord, will renounce the world and all that is therein; how much greater, then, must be the detachment of Him Who holdeth so august a station! Forsake your palaces, and haste ye to gain admittance into His Kingdom. This, indeed, will profit you both in this world and in the next. To this testifieth the Lord of the realm on high, did ye but know it.

    How great is the blessedness that awaiteth the king who will arise to aid My Cause in My Kingdom, who will detach himself from all else but Me! Such a king is numbered with the companions of the Crimson Ark, the Ark which God hath prepared for the people of Bahá. All must glorify his name, must reverence his station, and aid him to unlock the cities with the keys of My Name, the omnipotent Protector of all that inhabit the visible and invisible kingdoms. Such a king is the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on the brow of creation…

    A king who is not deterred by the vainglory of power and authority from observing justice, nor is deprived of the splendours of the day-star of equity by luxury, riches, glory or the marshalling of hosts and legions shall occupy a high rank and a sublime station amongst the Concourse on high. It is incumbent upon everyone to extend aid and to manifest kindness to so noble a soul. Well is it with the king who keepeth a tight hold on the reins of his passion, restraineth his anger and preferreth justice and fairness to injustice and tyranny.

    It behoveth every king to be as bountiful as the sun, which fostereth the growth of all beings, and giveth to each its due, whose benefits are not inherent in itself, but are ordained by Him Who is the Most Powerful, the Almighty. The King should be as generous, as liberal in his mercy as the clouds, the outpourings of whose bounty are showered upon every land, by the behest of Him Who is the Supreme Ordainer, the All-Knowing.

    The online reference library is an excellent resource. Just enter a search term and using the advanced search feature, search within a certain author, text, etc.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Frank,
    it is true that some Babi fought in battles to defend themselves. But Baha’is have clear and unequivocal texts which forbid them to take up arms, even to defend themselves against an oppressor – which explains their silent suffering in Iran. I’m sure you’ll agree that the Baha’i Faith is different than the Babi Faith.

    As for Baha’i Writings which refer to the station of kings within society, here are just a smattering. For a full treatment of this (and more) I recommend Sen’s excellent book, Church & State:

    By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of Bahá are fastened. To this testifieth the Kingdom of Names, could ye but comprehend it. Whoso followeth his Lord, will renounce the world and all that is therein; how much greater, then, must be the detachment of Him Who holdeth so august a station! Forsake your palaces, and haste ye to gain admittance into His Kingdom. This, indeed, will profit you both in this world and in the next. To this testifieth the Lord of the realm on high, did ye but know it.

    How great is the blessedness that awaiteth the king who will arise to aid My Cause in My Kingdom, who will detach himself from all else but Me! Such a king is numbered with the companions of the Crimson Ark, the Ark which God hath prepared for the people of Bahá. All must glorify his name, must reverence his station, and aid him to unlock the cities with the keys of My Name, the omnipotent Protector of all that inhabit the visible and invisible kingdoms. Such a king is the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on the brow of creation…

    A king who is not deterred by the vainglory of power and authority from observing justice, nor is deprived of the splendours of the day-star of equity by luxury, riches, glory or the marshalling of hosts and legions shall occupy a high rank and a sublime station amongst the Concourse on high. It is incumbent upon everyone to extend aid and to manifest kindness to so noble a soul. Well is it with the king who keepeth a tight hold on the reins of his passion, restraineth his anger and preferreth justice and fairness to injustice and tyranny.

    It behoveth every king to be as bountiful as the sun, which fostereth the growth of all beings, and giveth to each its due, whose benefits are not inherent in itself, but are ordained by Him Who is the Most Powerful, the Almighty. The King should be as generous, as liberal in his mercy as the clouds, the outpourings of whose bounty are showered upon every land, by the behest of Him Who is the Supreme Ordainer, the All-Knowing.

    The online reference library is an excellent resource. Just enter a search term and using the advanced search feature, search within a certain author, text, etc.

  • Anonymouz

    There has been a Baha’i King. Perhaps more to come…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malietoa_Tanumafili_II

    Just an interesting bit of information…I too have heard Baha’u’llah preferred a monarchy, with representation and democracy with the people. I would also recommend reading Tablet to The Kings, especially Queen Victoria…Of course it is not something that was that big a deal and He didnt push the matter.

  • Anonymouz

    There has been a Baha’i King. Perhaps more to come…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malietoa_Tanumafili_II

    Just an interesting bit of information…I too have heard Baha’u’llah preferred a monarchy, with representation and democracy with the people. I would also recommend reading Tablet to The Kings, especially Queen Victoria…Of course it is not something that was that big a deal and He didnt push the matter.

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Baquia,

    Remember what you wrote: “Of course, the Baha’i Faith does accept and prefer monarchy (as a symbolic station devoid of civil authority)”

    Nowhere in the quote you provided (thank you) does Baha’ullah mention ‘a symbolic station devoid of civil authority’ for the Kings he is writing about. They are simply Kings. Possibly just like the one we in America rid ourselves of many years ago. Or they could be another kind of king and I suppose they could be the kind you refer to but I don’t read that implication into the quotes you give.

    In fact Baha’ullah enjoins the Kings to be ‘bountiful as the Sun’ — A powerless King can’t be that bountiful, can he?

    It strikes me that your interpretation of Baha’ullah’s love of Kings is wishful thinking. I think that Baha’ullah liked governments ruled by real Kings. For all his protestation to the contrary he admired the pomp and trappings of Kingship. Maybe this is because it put his position as mystic/saint/prophet in stark relief. Or maybe its was his family background that gave him that perspective.

    Of course he rejected such a position for himself. This is a wise choice I think. It is difficult to be both prophet and political leader. Of course we have had prophet kings – Muhammad himself was a kind of king and prophet. King David comes to mind as well.

    In Baha’ullah’s case it is unclear what his intention was. He claimed to be the promised one of all ages and all religions — (a claim not touted very much by Baha’is when they reach out to ‘seekers’ these days — or so it seems to me — do you agree?)

    He made that infinitely grandiose yet on a poetic level plausible claim and also spoke of The World Order of Baha’ullah. I know Sen and others believe he didn’t mean that this world order would be political but it surely is confusing and my proof is that most Baha’is believe that he meant that the Baha’i AO would become the government of the world! (All my Baha’i relatives believe that as far as I can tell as well as most of the Baha’is I’ve spoken to and tried to learn from in recent years.)

    So where does this leave us? I think Baha’ullah was paving the way for a form of Baha’i government that included a kind of monarch — the guardian — who would most likely inherit his position like kings do. Now that there is no guardian, Baha’is must explain away the references to the bounty of kings.

    I would be happy to read a passage by Baha’ullah that explicitly says the kings he has in mind would be devoid of civil authority. Do you know of such a passage?

    Many Thanks,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Dear Baquia,

    Remember what you wrote: “Of course, the Baha’i Faith does accept and prefer monarchy (as a symbolic station devoid of civil authority)”

    Nowhere in the quote you provided (thank you) does Baha’ullah mention ‘a symbolic station devoid of civil authority’ for the Kings he is writing about. They are simply Kings. Possibly just like the one we in America rid ourselves of many years ago. Or they could be another kind of king and I suppose they could be the kind you refer to but I don’t read that implication into the quotes you give.

    In fact Baha’ullah enjoins the Kings to be ‘bountiful as the Sun’ — A powerless King can’t be that bountiful, can he?

    It strikes me that your interpretation of Baha’ullah’s love of Kings is wishful thinking. I think that Baha’ullah liked governments ruled by real Kings. For all his protestation to the contrary he admired the pomp and trappings of Kingship. Maybe this is because it put his position as mystic/saint/prophet in stark relief. Or maybe its was his family background that gave him that perspective.

    Of course he rejected such a position for himself. This is a wise choice I think. It is difficult to be both prophet and political leader. Of course we have had prophet kings – Muhammad himself was a kind of king and prophet. King David comes to mind as well.

    In Baha’ullah’s case it is unclear what his intention was. He claimed to be the promised one of all ages and all religions — (a claim not touted very much by Baha’is when they reach out to ‘seekers’ these days — or so it seems to me — do you agree?)

    He made that infinitely grandiose yet on a poetic level plausible claim and also spoke of The World Order of Baha’ullah. I know Sen and others believe he didn’t mean that this world order would be political but it surely is confusing and my proof is that most Baha’is believe that he meant that the Baha’i AO would become the government of the world! (All my Baha’i relatives believe that as far as I can tell as well as most of the Baha’is I’ve spoken to and tried to learn from in recent years.)

    So where does this leave us? I think Baha’ullah was paving the way for a form of Baha’i government that included a kind of monarch — the guardian — who would most likely inherit his position like kings do. Now that there is no guardian, Baha’is must explain away the references to the bounty of kings.

    I would be happy to read a passage by Baha’ullah that explicitly says the kings he has in mind would be devoid of civil authority. Do you know of such a passage?

    Many Thanks,
    Frank

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:
    “So where does this leave us? I think Baha’u’llah was paving the way for a form of Baha’i government that included a kind of monarch — the guardian — who would most likely inherit his position like kings do. Now that there is no guardian, Baha’is must explain away the references to the bounty of kings.”

    Frank,
    One guess would be that Baha’u’llah at times addressed His contemporaries, and sometimes the generations to come. Hence one could understand that some writings could well refer to the situation at His time, pending the election and legislation of the UHJ.

    In any case, He did say that authority had been drawn fro kings and clerics and this passage is referred to in Shoghi Effendi’s “The Promised Day is Come”.

    Louis Henuzet a counsellor from Belgium once told me that he had interpreted the non-interference of religion in politics as meaning that the UHJ would never take position in a political issue. The UHJ informed him that the passage from Paris Talks he was referring to concerned the clerics and not the UHJ.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote:
    “So where does this leave us? I think Baha’u’llah was paving the way for a form of Baha’i government that included a kind of monarch — the guardian — who would most likely inherit his position like kings do. Now that there is no guardian, Baha’is must explain away the references to the bounty of kings.”

    Frank,
    One guess would be that Baha’u’llah at times addressed His contemporaries, and sometimes the generations to come. Hence one could understand that some writings could well refer to the situation at His time, pending the election and legislation of the UHJ.

    In any case, He did say that authority had been drawn fro kings and clerics and this passage is referred to in Shoghi Effendi’s “The Promised Day is Come”.

    Louis Henuzet a counsellor from Belgium once told me that he had interpreted the non-interference of religion in politics as meaning that the UHJ would never take position in a political issue. The UHJ informed him that the passage from Paris Talks he was referring to concerned the clerics and not the UHJ.

  • farhan

    Baquia wrote:
    “…it is true that some Babi fought in battles to defend themselves. But Baha’is have clear and unequivocal texts which forbid them to take up arms, even to defend themselves against an oppressor”

    I agree, Baquia ; the clear break from Babi laws permitting self-defence is in the Tablet of Rivdan, also called the Tablet of Job revealed In 1863, on the first day of Baha’u’llah’s arrival at the garden of Ridvan, alos known as Suriy-i Sabr (Surih of Patience), or Lawh-i Ayyub (the Tablet of Job), thus named in memory of one of the survivors of the Nayriz-I holocaust, Haji Muhammad Taqiy-i Nayrizi, surnamed Ayyub.

    (see: http://bahai-library.com/provisionals/surih.sabr.html)

    The Fire Tablet also explains in its second part how patience facing trials has a spiritual effect. Had human existence been limited to this physical life, the Manifestations of God who have no ambition for earthly benefit would never have forfeited this life and left it’s riches to their enemies.

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Baquia wrote:
    “…it is true that some Babi fought in battles to defend themselves. But Baha’is have clear and unequivocal texts which forbid them to take up arms, even to defend themselves against an oppressor”

    I agree, Baquia ; the clear break from Babi laws permitting self-defence is in the Tablet of Rivdan, also called the Tablet of Job revealed In 1863, on the first day of Baha’u’llah’s arrival at the garden of Ridvan, alos known as Suriy-i Sabr (Surih of Patience), or Lawh-i Ayyub (the Tablet of Job), thus named in memory of one of the survivors of the Nayriz-I holocaust, Haji Muhammad Taqiy-i Nayrizi, surnamed Ayyub.

    (see: http://bahai-library.com/provisionals/surih.sabr.html)

    The Fire Tablet also explains in its second part how patience facing trials has a spiritual effect. Had human existence been limited to this physical life, the Manifestations of God who have no ambition for earthly benefit would never have forfeited this life and left it’s riches to their enemies.

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:

    I would be happy to read a passage by Baha’ullah that explicitly says the kings he has in mind would be devoid of civil authority. Do you know of such a passage?

    Frank, here is one:

    Small wonder, then, that the Author of the Baha’i Faith, and to a lesser degree its Herald, should have directed at the world’s supreme rulers and religious leaders the full force of Their Messages, and made them the recipients of some of Their most sublime Tablets, and invited them, in a language at once clear and insistent, to heed Their call. Small wonder that They should have taken the pains to unroll before their eyes the truths of Their respective Revelations, and should have expatiated on Their woes and sufferings. Small wonder that They should have stressed the preciousness of the opportunities which it was in the power of these rulers and leaders to seize, and should have warned them in ominous tones of the grave responsibilities which the rejection of God’s Message would entail, and should have predicted, when rebuffed and refused, the dire consequences which such a rejection involved. Small wonder that He Who is the King of kings and Vicegerent of God Himself should, when abandoned, contemned and persecuted, have uttered this epigrammatic and momentous prophecy: “From two ranks amongst men power hath been seized: kings and ecclesiastics.”
    (Shoghi effendi, Promised Day is Come, paragraph 37, see http://bahai-library.com/writings/shoghieffendi/pdc/)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote:

    I would be happy to read a passage by Baha’ullah that explicitly says the kings he has in mind would be devoid of civil authority. Do you know of such a passage?

    Frank, here is one:

    Small wonder, then, that the Author of the Baha’i Faith, and to a lesser degree its Herald, should have directed at the world’s supreme rulers and religious leaders the full force of Their Messages, and made them the recipients of some of Their most sublime Tablets, and invited them, in a language at once clear and insistent, to heed Their call. Small wonder that They should have taken the pains to unroll before their eyes the truths of Their respective Revelations, and should have expatiated on Their woes and sufferings. Small wonder that They should have stressed the preciousness of the opportunities which it was in the power of these rulers and leaders to seize, and should have warned them in ominous tones of the grave responsibilities which the rejection of God’s Message would entail, and should have predicted, when rebuffed and refused, the dire consequences which such a rejection involved. Small wonder that He Who is the King of kings and Vicegerent of God Himself should, when abandoned, contemned and persecuted, have uttered this epigrammatic and momentous prophecy: “From two ranks amongst men power hath been seized: kings and ecclesiastics.”
    (Shoghi effendi, Promised Day is Come, paragraph 37, see http://bahai-library.com/writings/shoghieffendi/pdc/)

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Frank,
    what you suggest, re “the Guardian as king” is so far removed from any actual Baha’i texts that I really don’t know where to start!

    These sort of incorrect notions are why I included the part where Baha’u’llah says:

    “By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of Bahá are fastened.”

    We also have Shoghi Effendi’s many many explanations which go hand in hand with Baha’u’llah’s and directly contradict any assertion of temporal power for the Guardian. The sphere of authority and responsibility for that station was clearly laid out by Abdu’l-Baha. Here is one such text from the Guardian speaking about the Baha’i administration, of which the institution he fulfilled was a part of:

    “Theirs is not the purpose, while endeavoring to conduct and perfect, the administrative affairs of their Faith, to violate under any circumstances, the provisions of their country’s constitution, much less to allow the machinery of their administration to supersede the government of their respective countries.”

    I think that is very clear. That quote by itself should answer the whole question of church and state within Baha’i.

    This is why right now in places where the Baha’i community is so large that the LSA is comprised of the exact same people that comprise the local municipal government, they hold separate meetings and keep both memberships. So they are the same individuals but the institutions they fulfill are distinct and continue to function so.

    Getting back to your question re the station and power of a king as explained by Baha’u’llah, He says that a king is a symbolic representation of God on earth but Baha’u’llah very clearly does not support despotism but democracy – and specifically parliamentary democracy with representative government. If there is a monarch, then fine, but there is no specific injunction.

    Much more important than any of all this is the admonishment against unjust kings and rulers who ignore the needs and wellbeing of their subjects.

    I’m reminded of the example of Norway who, believe it or not, voted for a king!

    “Attempts to persuade the prince to accept the throne on the basis of Parliament’s choice failed; Carl insisted that he would accept the crown only if the Norwegian people expressed their will for monarchy by referendum and if the parliament then elected him king.”

    “The early years of the new Norwegian monarchy were marked by a shortage of funds. The Norwegian state was poor and funds were needed elsewhere than in the upkeep of a large court. In that sense it was a stroke of good fortune that Prince Carl had set as a condition for accepting the throne that he would not be forced to keep a large court. However, the royal travels and the upkeep of the royal residences, after the initial refurbishment in 1905, were to some extent neglected. One example of the negative financial situation is that Prince Carl had been promised a Royal Yacht when he accepted the throne, but this was not fulfilled until 1947.

    One important incident in the early years of the new monarchy was in 1928 when the King appointed the first Labour government. The Norwegian Labour Party was at that time quite radical and even had the abolition of monarchy as part of their programme. It was the custom for the King to rely on the advice of previous Prime Minister in deciding who to give the assignment as new Prime Minister. In this case the previous conservative Prime Minister was opposed to giving power to the radicals and advised the appointment of someone else. But the King adhered to the established practice of parliamentarism and decided to appoint Christopher Hornsrud the first Labour Prime Minister. The Labour party later dropped the abolition of monarchy from their programme.

    During the German occupation of World War II the King was an important symbol of national unity and resistance. His steadfast opposition to the German demands of surrender was important for the fighting spirit of the Norwegian population. The constitutional powers granted to the King in the Norwegian monarchial system made his position very important and enabled the government in exile to continue its work with the utmost legitimacy.

    After the war the Norwegian royal house succeeded in maintaining a balance between regality and approachability. King Olav V was deemed the people’s king and the spontaneous show of mourning from the population upon his death in 1991 demonstrated the high standing he had among the Norwegian people. Even republicans were among the masses lighting candles in front of the Palace.”

    I think this is the sort of king Baha’u’llah had in mind.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    Frank,
    what you suggest, re “the Guardian as king” is so far removed from any actual Baha’i texts that I really don’t know where to start!

    These sort of incorrect notions are why I included the part where Baha’u’llah says:

    “By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of Bahá are fastened.”

    We also have Shoghi Effendi’s many many explanations which go hand in hand with Baha’u’llah’s and directly contradict any assertion of temporal power for the Guardian. The sphere of authority and responsibility for that station was clearly laid out by Abdu’l-Baha. Here is one such text from the Guardian speaking about the Baha’i administration, of which the institution he fulfilled was a part of:

    “Theirs is not the purpose, while endeavoring to conduct and perfect, the administrative affairs of their Faith, to violate under any circumstances, the provisions of their country’s constitution, much less to allow the machinery of their administration to supersede the government of their respective countries.”

    I think that is very clear. That quote by itself should answer the whole question of church and state within Baha’i.

    This is why right now in places where the Baha’i community is so large that the LSA is comprised of the exact same people that comprise the local municipal government, they hold separate meetings and keep both memberships. So they are the same individuals but the institutions they fulfill are distinct and continue to function so.

    Getting back to your question re the station and power of a king as explained by Baha’u’llah, He says that a king is a symbolic representation of God on earth but Baha’u’llah very clearly does not support despotism but democracy – and specifically parliamentary democracy with representative government. If there is a monarch, then fine, but there is no specific injunction.

    Much more important than any of all this is the admonishment against unjust kings and rulers who ignore the needs and wellbeing of their subjects.

    I’m reminded of the example of Norway who, believe it or not, voted for a king!

    “Attempts to persuade the prince to accept the throne on the basis of Parliament’s choice failed; Carl insisted that he would accept the crown only if the Norwegian people expressed their will for monarchy by referendum and if the parliament then elected him king.”

    “The early years of the new Norwegian monarchy were marked by a shortage of funds. The Norwegian state was poor and funds were needed elsewhere than in the upkeep of a large court. In that sense it was a stroke of good fortune that Prince Carl had set as a condition for accepting the throne that he would not be forced to keep a large court. However, the royal travels and the upkeep of the royal residences, after the initial refurbishment in 1905, were to some extent neglected. One example of the negative financial situation is that Prince Carl had been promised a Royal Yacht when he accepted the throne, but this was not fulfilled until 1947.

    One important incident in the early years of the new monarchy was in 1928 when the King appointed the first Labour government. The Norwegian Labour Party was at that time quite radical and even had the abolition of monarchy as part of their programme. It was the custom for the King to rely on the advice of previous Prime Minister in deciding who to give the assignment as new Prime Minister. In this case the previous conservative Prime Minister was opposed to giving power to the radicals and advised the appointment of someone else. But the King adhered to the established practice of parliamentarism and decided to appoint Christopher Hornsrud the first Labour Prime Minister. The Labour party later dropped the abolition of monarchy from their programme.

    During the German occupation of World War II the King was an important symbol of national unity and resistance. His steadfast opposition to the German demands of surrender was important for the fighting spirit of the Norwegian population. The constitutional powers granted to the King in the Norwegian monarchial system made his position very important and enabled the government in exile to continue its work with the utmost legitimacy.

    After the war the Norwegian royal house succeeded in maintaining a balance between regality and approachability. King Olav V was deemed the people’s king and the spontaneous show of mourning from the population upon his death in 1991 demonstrated the high standing he had among the Norwegian people. Even republicans were among the masses lighting candles in front of the Palace.”

    I think this is the sort of king Baha’u’llah had in mind.

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Baquia,

    You wrote:

    “what you suggest, re “the Guardian as king” is so far removed from any actual Baha’i texts that I really don’t know where to start!

    These sort of incorrect notions are why I included the part where Baha’u’llah says:

    “By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of Bahá are fastened.”

    I agree that the Guardian was not to be a king and was not one or like one except in one important respect: he was to pass down his authority, whatever that was to be, to his heir. I don’t believe this was ever a good idea and history is on my side (history of Baha’i that is.)

    King Olav was a descendant of the Norwegian Kings was he not? I believe he was and if so it is an example of a transition from Monarchy to democracy. In some countries this is a good idea but eventually the need for this kind of king will disappear. Would you ever imagine a King of Canada, for example?

    What also appears to be removed from the Baha’i texts is some of the actions of the Baha’i AO today, as well as the belief that the AO itself will replace the government once ‘everyone or almost everyone becomes a Baha’i.’ — a daft notion if I ever heard one. These beliefs are very strong among Baha’is and I think are one of the causes of its slow to nil growth.

    Religion always acts against the texts very early on requiring constant course corrections in the form of reformations and splinter groups which in some cases ‘get it’ more clearly than the orthodoxy. Conversely religion needs more Buddhas to enhance and elaborate on the text.

    But in Baha’i splinter groups and course corrections and some of the potential Buddhas are killed off or discouraged by the white blood cells of the covenant. The result is a religion with all the problems you rant against.

    Cheers,
    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    Baquia,

    You wrote:

    “what you suggest, re “the Guardian as king” is so far removed from any actual Baha’i texts that I really don’t know where to start!

    These sort of incorrect notions are why I included the part where Baha’u’llah says:

    “By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of Bahá are fastened.”

    I agree that the Guardian was not to be a king and was not one or like one except in one important respect: he was to pass down his authority, whatever that was to be, to his heir. I don’t believe this was ever a good idea and history is on my side (history of Baha’i that is.)

    King Olav was a descendant of the Norwegian Kings was he not? I believe he was and if so it is an example of a transition from Monarchy to democracy. In some countries this is a good idea but eventually the need for this kind of king will disappear. Would you ever imagine a King of Canada, for example?

    What also appears to be removed from the Baha’i texts is some of the actions of the Baha’i AO today, as well as the belief that the AO itself will replace the government once ‘everyone or almost everyone becomes a Baha’i.’ — a daft notion if I ever heard one. These beliefs are very strong among Baha’is and I think are one of the causes of its slow to nil growth.

    Religion always acts against the texts very early on requiring constant course corrections in the form of reformations and splinter groups which in some cases ‘get it’ more clearly than the orthodoxy. Conversely religion needs more Buddhas to enhance and elaborate on the text.

    But in Baha’i splinter groups and course corrections and some of the potential Buddhas are killed off or discouraged by the white blood cells of the covenant. The result is a religion with all the problems you rant against.

    Cheers,
    Frank

  • farhan

    Frank,

    In the Lawh-i-Rais Baha’ullah admonishes the Ottoman prime minister, considering the pomp and trappings of this life as a mere show. In reply to your question, there is a letter from the UHJ:

    “In ‘The Promised Day Is Come’ on pages 73 to 76, the Guardian quotes many passages from the Writings of Baha’u’llah lauding the principle of kingship and envisaging an increase of monarchies in the future. The House of Justice suggests that a study of this section of the book will provide you with the understanding you seek.”(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, September 29, 1977)

    This passage of the Aqdas foresees a “just ruler” in Iran but not necessarily a king:

    “Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ta (Teheran), for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind… He shall, if it be His Will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards, and extend his favours unto, the people of Baha. (KA 91)

    For some time the Baha’is in Iran were accused of being republicans, since the Aqdas foresaw a democracy in Iran:
    “Erelong will the state of affairs within thee be changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of the people… The eye of His loving-kindness shall everlastingly be directed towards thee. The day is approaching when thy agitation will have been transmuted into peace and quiet calm.” (KA 93)

    However, in this other quote, Baha’u’llah seems to favour the constitutional monarchy as in the UK (and also Denmark, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc):

    “The system of government which the British people have adopted in London appeareth to be good, for it is adorned with the light of both kingship and of the consultation of the people.(Baha’u’llah: Tablets of Baha’u’llah, page 93)

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank,

    In the Lawh-i-Rais Baha’ullah admonishes the Ottoman prime minister, considering the pomp and trappings of this life as a mere show. In reply to your question, there is a letter from the UHJ:

    “In ‘The Promised Day Is Come’ on pages 73 to 76, the Guardian quotes many passages from the Writings of Baha’u’llah lauding the principle of kingship and envisaging an increase of monarchies in the future. The House of Justice suggests that a study of this section of the book will provide you with the understanding you seek.”(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, September 29, 1977)

    This passage of the Aqdas foresees a “just ruler” in Iran but not necessarily a king:

    “Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ta (Teheran), for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind… He shall, if it be His Will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards, and extend his favours unto, the people of Baha. (KA 91)

    For some time the Baha’is in Iran were accused of being republicans, since the Aqdas foresaw a democracy in Iran:
    “Erelong will the state of affairs within thee be changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of the people… The eye of His loving-kindness shall everlastingly be directed towards thee. The day is approaching when thy agitation will have been transmuted into peace and quiet calm.” (KA 93)

    However, in this other quote, Baha’u’llah seems to favour the constitutional monarchy as in the UK (and also Denmark, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc):

    “The system of government which the British people have adopted in London appeareth to be good, for it is adorned with the light of both kingship and of the consultation of the people.(Baha’u’llah: Tablets of Baha’u’llah, page 93)

  • farhan

    The European Union and media have taken a firm stand in favour of Baha’is:

    Bruxelles – Iran must stop Bahai persecution: EU
    Présidence européenne – 21 May 2008

    A decree dated 14th of May 2008 by the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri declares Iranian Baha’is as rightful citizens. Source

    Hopefully, this decree will improve the situation of Baha’is in Iran and does not imply that any Baha’i arrested is only guilty of civil charges.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    The European Union and media have taken a firm stand in favour of Baha’is:

    Bruxelles – Iran must stop Bahai persecution: EU

    Présidence européenne – 21 May 2008

    A decree dated 14th of May 2008 by the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri declares Iranian Baha’is as rightful citizens. Source

    Hopefully, this decree will improve the situation of Baha’is in Iran and does not imply that any Baha’i arrested is only guilty of civil charges.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]Would you ever imagine a King of Canada, for example?[/quote]

    Frank, Canada is a parliamentary monarchy. The king or rather, queen is Elizabeth II (of England). Similar to New Zealand, Australia, Barbados, etc.

  • http://www.bahairants.com Baquia

    [quote comment=""]Would you ever imagine a King of Canada, for example?[/quote]

    Frank, Canada is a parliamentary monarchy. The king or rather, queen is Elizabeth II (of England). Similar to New Zealand, Australia, Barbados, etc.

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    [quote comment=""][quote comment=""]Would you ever imagine a King of Canada, for example?[/quote]

    Frank, Canada is a parliamentary monarchy. The king or rather, queen is Elizabeth II (of England). Similar to New Zealand, Australia, Barbados, etc.[/quote]

    Yes the Queen is revered and has a kind of honorary place but no power. The ties to the Queen are nostalgic, aren’t they? Going forward Kings and Queens seem to be losing power not gaining it. In order to maintain a semblance of a monarchy the Kings and Queens of the Commonwealth gave up power, correct?

    When Baha’ullah refers to Kings does he mean Kings per say or rulers generally? I think he meant rulers of all sorts at some times. He also expressed a fondness for Kings as God’s representatives on earth — but that’s a worn out concept, isn’t it?

    I always found it contradictory that on one hand Baha’ullah rejected the show and pomp of affairs of state — he compared them to a puppet show — while on the other he elevated the Kings who now are among the worst examples of those puppet shows that turned Baha’ullah off.

    The British common wealth seems to be a form of alliance based on the shared history of the nations involved that are now independent. It is certainly not a true kingdom — can you immagine a real King coming to real power in Canada??

    I can’t.

    Frank

  • http://frankwinters.wordpress.com/ Frank Winters

    [quote comment=""][quote comment=""]Would you ever imagine a King of Canada, for example?[/quote]

    Frank, Canada is a parliamentary monarchy. The king or rather, queen is Elizabeth II (of England). Similar to New Zealand, Australia, Barbados, etc.[/quote]

    Yes the Queen is revered and has a kind of honorary place but no power. The ties to the Queen are nostalgic, aren’t they? Going forward Kings and Queens seem to be losing power not gaining it. In order to maintain a semblance of a monarchy the Kings and Queens of the Commonwealth gave up power, correct?

    When Baha’ullah refers to Kings does he mean Kings per say or rulers generally? I think he meant rulers of all sorts at some times. He also expressed a fondness for Kings as God’s representatives on earth — but that’s a worn out concept, isn’t it?

    I always found it contradictory that on one hand Baha’ullah rejected the show and pomp of affairs of state — he compared them to a puppet show — while on the other he elevated the Kings who now are among the worst examples of those puppet shows that turned Baha’ullah off.

    The British common wealth seems to be a form of alliance based on the shared history of the nations involved that are now independent. It is certainly not a true kingdom — can you immagine a real King coming to real power in Canada??

    I can’t.

    Frank

  • farhan

    Frank wrote:
    The ties to the Queen are nostalgic, aren’t they?

    Frank I agree with your points;

    Baha’u’llah clearly describes a parliamentary monarchy as in the UK. Is “nostalgic” the same as spiritual here? Does monarchy impart the permanence that lacks in the short elective mandates, helping towards long-term decisions? Were Baha’u’llah’s words merely addressing his contemporaries and not future generations?

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Frank wrote:
    The ties to the Queen are nostalgic, aren’t they?

    Frank I agree with your points;

    Baha’u’llah clearly describes a parliamentary monarchy as in the UK. Is “nostalgic” the same as spiritual here? Does monarchy impart the permanence that lacks in the short elective mandates, helping towards long-term decisions? Were Baha’u’llah’s words merely addressing his contemporaries and not future generations?

  • Pingback: We Have Annulled The Rule Of The Sword at Baha’i Rants

  • Sword
  • Sword
  • Farhan Yazdani

    Friends, here is a song by the Baha’is of Iran in the face of persecution:

    http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=vhSrpnpJWaw

  • farhan

    Friends, here is a song by the Baha’is of Iran in the face of persecution:

    http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=vhSrpnpJWaw

  • Andrew Turvey

    Apparantly a radical Sunni group – name sounds like connected to Al-Qaeda – has claimed responsibility saying it is retaliation to the execution of two Sunnis in Baluchistan:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKL1840003220080618

  • Andrew Turvey

    Apparantly a radical Sunni group – name sounds like connected to Al-Qaeda – has claimed responsibility saying it is retaliation to the execution of two Sunnis in Baluchistan:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKL1840003220080618

  • farhan

    Dear Friends,
    “Why Islamists Persecute the Baha’is” by Amil Imani
    is an excellent article from a non-Bahá’í defender of the Faith found at:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/why_islamists_persecute_the_ba.html

    enjoy:

    June 08, 2008

    Why Islamists Persecute the Baha’is

    By Amil Imani

    Ideas and beliefs, including religion, are the software that determines how we behave. And some of the software of the past is no longer working because it is out of phase with the needs of the time as well as infected with destructive viruses.

    Even a cursory look is enough to show that the software of Islam, over time, is so greatly manipulated by numberless sects, sub-sects and schools that it can hardly be considered a unitary belief system. And people are their ideas. Any assault on beliefs and ideas provokes the assailed to action.

    This clash of beliefs, the old versus the new, is the reason for Islamists to unleash their power against the upstart iconoclastic Baha’i faith. In fact, the Baha’is revere Islam and respect all other religions. Baha’i faith has many teachings in common with Islam, so much so that some call it “Islam light,” because, while it retains some of Islam’s principles, it also abrogates a number of outdated and counter-productive Islamic laws and practices. Baha’is say their faith is not a wrecking ball that aims to demolish the schoolhouse of God called religion: a badly divided schoolhouse where everyone claims to worship the same God, yet keep oppressing, fighting and killing each other in the name of the same God.

    Baha’is have a very rosy and possibly unrealistic view of humanity. They say that their goal is for every human being, irrespective of any and all considerations, to be granted all his God-given rights and be allowed to worship his creator the way he sees fit. They have a sort of lovey-dovey vision of the world where everyone will live as a valued member of the larger human family. Apparently they have hit a responsive enough cord with some 6-7 million people of the world from every ethnic, religious and national stratum. This vision may not convert the remaining 6-7 billion people any time soon, but it sure beats hands down the Islamists’ idea to force the world under their so called Ummeh with its stone-age shariah law.

    Baha’is believe that God sends his teachers to his school, from time to time with new lessons, to help advance the people to a higher and higher level of humanness. Trouble is, they believe, that people cling to the old school-work and the old teacher and doggedly resist accepting the new teacher and his teachings. Baha’is think of God’s prophets as renovators who come from time to time to tear down walls of separation and to bring God’s children together in an open-air general classroom out of their own foolishly walled-in dungeons of exclusivity and ignorance.

    Below are some of the Baha’i teachings that clash head on with Islam’s and provoke the Islamists to do all they can to destroy the new religion.

    * The people of God. Muslims believe that they are the chosen people of Allah and recognize no other system of belief as legitimate. Baha’is believe that all people are the chosen people of God: that there is only one God, one religion of God, and one people of God, the entire human race.

    * Pearls on a string. Muslims contend that Muhammad is the seal of the Prophets; that God sent his best and final messenger to mankind, and any other claimant is an imposter worthy of death. Baha’is believe that God has always sent his teachers with new and updated lessons to educate humanity and shall do so in the future. There have been numberless divine teachers in the course of human history who have appeared to various people. They say that these teachers are like pearls on a string and that Baha’u’llah is the latest, but not the last pearl.

    * Independent thinking. Blind imitation is anathema to Baha’is. Baha’is believe that the human mind and the gift of reason should guide the person in making decisions about all matters. To this end, they place a premium on education and independent investigation of truth.

    Baha’is consider the education of women as important as that of men, since women are the early teachers of children and can play their valuable part by being themselves educated. By contrast, Muslims look to religious authorities for guidance and often deprive women of education and independent thinking.

    In recognition of the importance of independent thinking, no one is born Baha’i. Once one is born to a Muslim, he is considered Muslim for life. If he decides to leave Islam, he is labeled apostate and, apostates are automatically condemned to death. By contrast, every child born in a Baha’i family is required to make his own independent decision regarding whether or not he wishes to be a Baha’i. Freedom to choose and independent thinking are cherished values of the Baha’is, in stark contrast to that of the closed-minded Islamists.

    * Religion or science. Baha’is believe that truth transcends all boundaries. Scientific and religious truth emanate from the same universal source. They are like the two sides of the same coin. To Baha’is, science and religion are as two wings of a bird that enable humanity’s flight toward the summit of its potential; that any religious belief that contradicts science is superstition. Muslims believe that their religious scripture and dogma, irrespective of their proven falsehood, are superior to that of science.

    * Gender equality. Muslims hold the view, expressly stated in the Qur’an, that men are rulers over women. Baha’is reject this notion and subscribe to the unconditional equality of rights for the two sexes. This Baha’i principle emancipates one half of humanity from the status of subservient domestic to that of a fully participating and self-actualized human. It aims to put an end to the heartless exploitation of women and demands that women be treated with all due respect under the law.

    * Participatory decision-making. Islam, by its very nature, is patriarchal and authoritarian. Baha’is believe in the value of decision making through the practice of consultation; a process where everyone, irrespective of any and all considerations, has a voice in making decisions. This participatory decision-making principle abrogates a major prerogative of Islamic clergy who have been dictating matters to their liking and advantage. Also, at all levels of society, including the family, all affected members have the opportunity, even the responsibility, to make their views known without fear. Baha’i teachings clearly emphasize this commitment to a democratic decision-making in their scripture, “The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions.”

    * World-embracing outlook. Baha’is love their native countries, yet extend that same love to the entire planet and its people. Baha’is believe that love has no limit and need not have limits. One can love his country and love the world at the same time. This love of the world is frequently used as a pretense by the Islamists to accuse the Baha’is of Iran as traitors to their own homeland. It is for this reason that the present mullahs ruling Iran falsely claim that the Baha’is are agents of the Zionist Israel and its American sponsor.

    * Eradication of prejudice. Prejudice of any type is alien to the Baha’i faith and severely undermines its pivotal principle of the oneness of humanity. Prejudice against others is thoroughly exploited by the Islamists. In contrast, Baha’i scriptures say, “…again, as to religious, racial, national and political bias: all these prejudices strike at the very root of human life; one and all they beget bloodshed, and the ruination of the world. So long as these prejudices survive, there will be continuous and fearsome wars.”

    * Abolition of priesthood. A major point of conflict involves the abolition of the clergy. Baha’is believe that humanity has matured enough that it no longer needs a cast of professional clergy to serve peoples’ religious needs. By one stroke, this Baha’i teaching puts hundreds of thousands of mullahs and imams out of business and arouses the powerful cast of the do-nothing clergy to fight to retain their highly privileged parasitic positions.

    It is imperative for the free people of the world to defend freedom of conscience, including freedom of religion, irrespective of one’s own personal belief. It is for this reason that as a person who is not a Baha’i, I find it my solemn duty to speak up on behalf of a peaceful people, severely-persecuted by the savage Islamists.

  • Farhan Yazdani

    Dear Friends,
    “Why Islamists Persecute the Baha’is” by Amil Imani
    is an excellent article from a non-Bahá’í defender of the Faith found at:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/why_islamists_persecute_the_ba.html

    enjoy:

    June 08, 2008

    Why Islamists Persecute the Baha’is

    By Amil Imani

    Ideas and beliefs, including religion, are the software that determines how we behave. And some of the software of the past is no longer working because it is out of phase with the needs of the time as well as infected with destructive viruses.

    Even a cursory look is enough to show that the software of Islam, over time, is so greatly manipulated by numberless sects, sub-sects and schools that it can hardly be considered a unitary belief system. And people are their ideas. Any assault on beliefs and ideas provokes the assailed to action.

    This clash of beliefs, the old versus the new, is the reason for Islamists to unleash their power against the upstart iconoclastic Baha’i faith. In fact, the Baha’is revere Islam and respect all other religions. Baha’i faith has many teachings in common with Islam, so much so that some call it “Islam light,” because, while it retains some of Islam’s principles, it also abrogates a number of outdated and counter-productive Islamic laws and practices. Baha’is say their faith is not a wrecking ball that aims to demolish the schoolhouse of God called religion: a badly divided schoolhouse where everyone claims to worship the same God, yet keep oppressing, fighting and killing each other in the name of the same God.

    Baha’is have a very rosy and possibly unrealistic view of humanity. They say that their goal is for every human being, irrespective of any and all considerations, to be granted all his God-given rights and be allowed to worship his creator the way he sees fit. They have a sort of lovey-dovey vision of the world where everyone will live as a valued member of the larger human family. Apparently they have hit a responsive enough cord with some 6-7 million people of the world from every ethnic, religious and national stratum. This vision may not convert the remaining 6-7 billion people any time soon, but it sure beats hands down the Islamists’ idea to force the world under their so called Ummeh with its stone-age shariah law.

    Baha’is believe that God sends his teachers to his school, from time to time with new lessons, to help advance the people to a higher and higher level of humanness. Trouble is, they believe, that people cling to the old school-work and the old teacher and doggedly resist accepting the new teacher and his teachings. Baha’is think of God’s prophets as renovators who come from time to time to tear down walls of separation and to bring God’s children together in an open-air general classroom out of their own foolishly walled-in dungeons of exclusivity and ignorance.

    Below are some of the Baha’i teachings that clash head on with Islam’s and provoke the Islamists to do all they can to destroy the new religion.

    * The people of God. Muslims believe that they are the chosen people of Allah and recognize no other system of belief as legitimate. Baha’is believe that all people are the chosen people of God: that there is only one God, one religion of God, and one people of God, the entire human race.

    * Pearls on a string. Muslims contend that Muhammad is the seal of the Prophets; that God sent his best and final messenger to mankind, and any other claimant is an imposter worthy of death. Baha’is believe that God has always sent his teachers with new and updated lessons to educate humanity and shall do so in the future. There have been numberless divine teachers in the course of human history who have appeared to various people. They say that these teachers are like pearls on a string and that Baha’u’llah is the latest, but not the last pearl.

    * Independent thinking. Blind imitation is anathema to Baha’is. Baha’is believe that the human mind and the gift of reason should guide the person in making decisions about all matters. To this end, they place a premium on education and independent investigation of truth.

    Baha’is consider the education of women as important as that of men, since women are the early teachers of children and can play their valuable part by being themselves educated. By contrast, Muslims look to religious authorities for guidance and often deprive women of education and independent thinking.

    In recognition of the importance of independent thinking, no one is born Baha’i. Once one is born to a Muslim, he is considered Muslim for life. If he decides to leave Islam, he is labeled apostate and, apostates are automatically condemned to death. By contrast, every child born in a Baha’i family is required to make his own independent decision regarding whether or not he wishes to be a Baha’i. Freedom to choose and independent thinking are cherished values of the Baha’is, in stark contrast to that of the closed-minded Islamists.

    * Religion or science. Baha’is believe that truth transcends all boundaries. Scientific and religious truth emanate from the same universal source. They are like the two sides of the same coin. To Baha’is, science and religion are as two wings of a bird that enable humanity’s flight toward the summit of its potential; that any religious belief that contradicts science is superstition. Muslims believe that their religious scripture and dogma, irrespective of their proven falsehood, are superior to that of science.

    * Gender equality. Muslims hold the view, expressly stated in the Qur’an, that men are rulers over women. Baha’is reject this notion and subscribe to the unconditional equality of rights for the two sexes. This Baha’i principle emancipates one half of humanity from the status of subservient domestic to that of a fully participating and self-actualized human. It aims to put an end to the heartless exploitation of women and demands that women be treated with all due respect under the law.

    * Participatory decision-making. Islam, by its very nature, is patriarchal and authoritarian. Baha’is believe in the value of decision making through the practice of consultation; a process where everyone, irrespective of any and all considerations, has a voice in making decisions. This participatory decision-making principle abrogates a major prerogative of Islamic clergy who have been dictating matters to their liking and advantage. Also, at all levels of society, including the family, all affected members have the opportunity, even the responsibility, to make their views known without fear. Baha’i teachings clearly emphasize this commitment to a democratic decision-making in their scripture, “The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions.”

    * World-embracing outlook. Baha’is love their native countries, yet extend that same love to the entire planet and its people. Baha’is believe that love has no limit and need not have limits. One can love his country and love the world at the same time. This love of the world is frequently used as a pretense by the Islamists to accuse the Baha’is of Iran as traitors to their own homeland. It is for this reason that the present mullahs ruling Iran falsely claim that the Baha’is are agents of the Zionist Israel and its American sponsor.

    * Eradication of prejudice. Prejudice of any type is alien to the Baha’i faith and severely undermines its pivotal principle of the oneness of humanity. Prejudice against others is thoroughly exploited by the Islamists. In contrast, Baha’i scriptures say, “…again, as to religious, racial, national and political bias: all these prejudices strike at the very root of human life; one and all they beget bloodshed, and the ruination of the world. So long as these prejudices survive, there will be continuous and fearsome wars.”

    * Abolition of priesthood. A major point of conflict involves the abolition of the clergy. Baha’is believe that humanity has matured enough that it no longer needs a cast of professional clergy to serve peoples’ religious needs. By one stroke, this Baha’i teaching puts hundreds of thousands of mullahs and imams out of business and arouses the powerful cast of the do-nothing clergy to fight to retain their highly privileged parasitic positions.

    It is imperative for the free people of the world to defend freedom of conscience, including freedom of religion, irrespective of one’s own personal belief. It is for this reason that as a person who is not a Baha’i, I find it my solemn duty to speak up on behalf of a peaceful people, severely-persecuted by the savage Islamists.

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53093"]

    Farhan wrote:

    Dear Friends,

    “Why Islamists Persecute the Baha’is” by Amil Imani
    is an excellent article from a non-Bahá’í defender of the Faith found at:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/why_islamists_persecute_the_ba.html

    enjoy:

    … It is imperative for the free people of the world to defend freedom of conscience, including freedom of religion, irrespective of one’s own personal belief. It is for this reason that as a person who is not a Baha’i, I find it my solemn duty to speak up on behalf of a peaceful people, severely-persecuted by the savage Islamists.[/quote]

    Farhan, thank you for posting this link and the text of this beautiful, beautiful very well written article. That is certainly the religion that I joined in 1971 and the religion that I fervently hope will exist again some day in the far, far future when the Faith goes back to the Teachings of God for the New World Age as expressed by the MYSTICISM of the Bab and the CONSCIOUSNESS of Baha’u’llah and the GENTLE LOVING KINDNESS of Abdu’l Baha. That religion of both mystical and practical daily Sufi insight amid the flow of the gentle life giving poetry of life could indeed find life and thrive in the world and do great good. It is a religion of a complete and total change in mindset away from fanaticism in human interaction. I once loved the very idea of it so greatly that I dedicated my entire life to it and would have laid down my very life for it.

    I think it may return some day after the current people leading the Baha’i Faith completely into the ground are TO A MAN AND TO A WOMAN all dead and have gone to their Divine Judgments and have taken up their eternal abode in the inner smoky and fuming circles of hell.

    Consultation of ANY KIND no longer exists at ANY level in the shameful top down controlled system of fear and self censorship that the Baha’i Faith has now become. Consultation and independent investigation of truth are no longer core vales of the now top down fiercely suffocating group think Baha’i Faith.

    This wonderful article ends with a stirring appeal in the name of INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM OF HUMAN CONSCIENCE for the thinking and just people of the world to defend the sacred human rights of Baha’is in Muslim countries. I fully agree with this appeal. But someone should inform this excellent writer that THE BAHA’I ORGANIZATION ITSELF now no longer believes in the value and merit of individual human conscience or teaches it’s worth.

    I believe the Central Figures of the Faith DID TEACH THIS. But, sadly, what the Founders of the Faith taught is no longer part of the Baha’i Faith organization any more. That was the former spiritual Baha’i Faith that is now long gone from the Earth.

    “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

    “The experience of the Ruhi Institute has shown that we do not suppress the imagination or the personality of the participants when we refrain from posing questions such as, ‘What does this mean to you?’; on the contrary, we are helping to nurture the development of communities which look first to the Writings as the principal basis of consultation whenever they are faced with a question.

    We believe that the habit of thinking about the implications of the
    Writings with the minimum of personal interpretation would eliminate a great share of the disagreements which afflict consultation in many
    communities, and would make the activities of our communities more
    effective.”

    “TO THE COLLABORATORS” – Ruhi Book One

    Yep. Things are going to get A LITTLE HOT around the clerical collar for some souls in the innermost circles of hell.

    Meanwhile, I believe Keith Moon is now sitting at the Right Hand of Almighty God.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlUlFvkQL0k

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

  • Craig Parke

    [quote comment="53093"]

    Farhan wrote:

    Dear Friends,

    “Why Islamists Persecute the Baha’is” by Amil Imani
    is an excellent article from a non-Bahá’í defender of the Faith found at:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/why_islamists_persecute_the_ba.html

    enjoy:

    … It is imperative for the free people of the world to defend freedom of conscience, including freedom of religion, irrespective of one’s own personal belief. It is for this reason that as a person who is not a Baha’i, I find it my solemn duty to speak up on behalf of a peaceful people, severely-persecuted by the savage Islamists.[/quote]

    Farhan, thank you for posting this link and the text of this beautiful, beautiful very well written article. That is certainly the religion that I joined in 1971 and the religion that I fervently hope will exist again some day in the far, far future when the Faith goes back to the Teachings of God for the New World Age as expressed by the MYSTICISM of the Bab and the CONSCIOUSNESS of Baha’u’llah and the GENTLE LOVING KINDNESS of Abdu’l Baha. That religion of both mystical and practical daily Sufi insight amid the flow of the gentle life giving poetry of life could indeed find life and thrive in the world and do great good. It is a religion of a complete and total change in mindset away from fanaticism in human interaction. I once loved the very idea of it so greatly that I dedicated my entire life to it and would have laid down my very life for it.

    I think it may return some day after the current people leading the Baha’i Faith completely into the ground are TO A MAN AND TO A WOMAN all dead and have gone to their Divine Judgments and have taken up their eternal abode in the inner smoky and fuming circles of hell.

    Consultation of ANY KIND no longer exists at ANY level in the shameful top down controlled system of fear and self censorship that the Baha’i Faith has now become. Consultation and independent investigation of truth are no longer core vales of the now top down fiercely suffocating group think Baha’i Faith.

    This wonderful article ends with a stirring appeal in the name of INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM OF HUMAN CONSCIENCE for the thinking and just people of the world to defend the sacred human rights of Baha’is in Muslim countries. I fully agree with this appeal. But someone should inform this excellent writer that THE BAHA’I ORGANIZATION ITSELF now no longer believes in the value and merit of individual human conscience or teaches it’s worth.

    I believe the Central Figures of the Faith DID TEACH THIS. But, sadly, what the Founders of the Faith taught is no longer part of the Baha’i Faith organization any more. That was the former spiritual Baha’i Faith that is now long gone from the Earth.

    “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

    “The experience of the Ruhi Institute has shown that we do not suppress the imagination or the personality of the participants when we refrain from posing questions such as, ‘What does this mean to you?’; on the contrary, we are helping to nurture the development of communities which look first to the Writings as the principal basis of consultation whenever they are faced with a question.

    We believe that the habit of thinking about the implications of the
    Writings with the minimum of personal interpretation would eliminate a great share of the disagreements which afflict consultation in many
    communities, and would make the activities of our communities more
    effective.”

    “TO THE COLLABORATORS” – Ruhi Book One

    Yep. Things are going to get A LITTLE HOT around the clerical collar for some souls in the innermost circles of hell.

    Meanwhile, I believe Keith Moon is now sitting at the Right Hand of Almighty God.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlUlFvkQL0k

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zydAs5bRW1U

  • Anonymouz
  • Anonymouz
  • farhan

    Dear Friends, here is a moving Jewish support forthe Baha’is:

    Then They Came for the Bahai
    Opinion
    By Roya Hakakian
    Thu. Jun 19, 2008
    If one must master the knowledge that even bigotry is relative and comes in gradations, then I was a premature pupil. I learned this lesson when I was only 10.

    In 1977, in an eclectic neighborhood in Tehran, my Jewish family lived on a narrow, wooded alley in what was then an upscale area, alongside two other Jewish families and many more Muslims. There was also a Bahai family, the Alavis, next door.

    By then, I had already intuited that my relatives, in the presence of Muslim friends and neighbors, were somehow less flamboyant creatures, quieter and more measured. But the Alavis, debonair and highly educated, were mere ghosts.

    Theirs was a corner house on the alley, one of the most beautiful in the neighborhood, and the first to be sold within days in 1979, after the return of the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini. In a neighborhood so closely-knit that even the mailman dispensed pearls of pedagogical wisdom to our parents, the Alavis simply vanished one day.

    No chance for tears, or promises to keep in touch. Not even a forwarding address. My mother insists they said goodbye to her, but my mother considers inventing happy endings a maternal virtue.

    American audiences, their eyes brimming with anxiety, often ask me about the condition of Jews living in Iran today. But the hardships they assume to be the burden of the Iranian Jews is really the daily experience of the Bahais.

    In a 1979 meeting with five of the Iranian Jewish community leaders, Khomeini summarized his position on the local Jews in one of his quintessentially coarse one-liners: “We recognize our Jews as separate from those godless Zionists.” The line has served as the regime’s position on the Jewish minority ever since. So important were these words that they were painted on the walls of nearly every synagogue and Jewish establishment the day after the ayatollah spoke them.

    It did not prevent Jews from being relegated to second-class citizenry, nor did it enable them to thrive in post-revolutionary Iran. But it recognized the legitimacy of the Jewish existence in Iran and allowed the community to live on, albeit extremely restrictedly.

    But it is the Bahai community that has been suffering the bleak fate assumed to be that of the Jews. It is the Bahais who are not recognized by the Iranian constitution. Decades ago, Khomeini branded them, among other unsavory terms, a political sect and not a religion, circuitously defining them as plotters against the regime. Iranian Bahais have been accused of espionage for every major power save the Chinese, and simultaneously so. They are not allowed to worship. Their properties are vandalized. Even their dead know no peace, as their cemeteries are systematically destroyed.

    Their children cannot attend schools, nor can Bahai academics teach. That is why in 1987, unemployed professors, in an act reminiscent of the Middle Ages, established underground universities to educate the Bahai youth.

    Last month, six Bahai leaders were arrested. They had already been accustomed to routine weekly harassments and interrogations, which is why some of their wives have taken up sewing blindfolds to keep the guards from forcing dirty ones onto their husbands’ eyes. What is most alarming about this particular arrest is that they have not returned home and are being kept incommunicado.

    What compels me to write these lines is the eerie similarity between this and another historical parallel to which I have been a witness. When the American embassy was seized in Tehran in November 1979, the world took the ayatollah at his word for the egregious act he vehemently supported — that it was solely against America. But for those living in Iran, the hostage taking turned out to be about everything but America.

    Newspapers were shut down. Political parties were banned. Opposition group members were arrested and their leaders hauled off to stand before firing squads.

    When it was all said and done, the hostages, despite their great suffering during 444 days of captivity, eventually returned home. But the secular opposition of the regime was practically obliterated, and in perfect silence, too, as all attention was focused on the news from the embassy.

    The current Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has taken a page from Khomeini’s book. He rails against Israel. He denies the Holocaust. Through these means he focuses all attention on Jews, and while the world remains perfectly oblivious his men assault the Bahais.

    Though Ahmadinejad’s intentions against Israel are gravely alarming, in immediate terms, the community that is paying the most for his pan-Islamist ambitions is the Bahai. Since Ahmadinejad’s election to presidency, there has been a sharp rise in anti-Bahai literature in government-sponsored journals, which has, in turn, led to a rise in gang attacks against the community.

    That the Bahais shy away, per religious mandate, from advocacy on their own behalf surrounds their predicament with even greater silence. But for those in the West — especially for Jews, who know the lessons of World War II — the plight of the Iranian Bahais is most urgent: It is an act of destruction, not simply promised, but already underway.

    Roya Hakakian, the author of “Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran” (Crown, 2004), is a recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim fellowship.

    http://www.forward.com/articles/13602/

  • Farhan YAZDANI

    Dear Friends, here is a moving Jewish support forthe Baha’is:

    Then They Came for the Bahai
    Opinion
    By Roya Hakakian
    Thu. Jun 19, 2008
    If one must master the knowledge that even bigotry is relative and comes in gradations, then I was a premature pupil. I learned this lesson when I was only 10.

    In 1977, in an eclectic neighborhood in Tehran, my Jewish family lived on a narrow, wooded alley in what was then an upscale area, alongside two other Jewish families and many more Muslims. There was also a Bahai family, the Alavis, next door.

    By then, I had already intuited that my relatives, in the presence of Muslim friends and neighbors, were somehow less flamboyant creatures, quieter and more measured. But the Alavis, debonair and highly educated, were mere ghosts.

    Theirs was a corner house on the alley, one of the most beautiful in the neighborhood, and the first to be sold within days in 1979, after the return of the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini. In a neighborhood so closely-knit that even the mailman dispensed pearls of pedagogical wisdom to our parents, the Alavis simply vanished one day.

    No chance for tears, or promises to keep in touch. Not even a forwarding address. My mother insists they said goodbye to her, but my mother considers inventing happy endings a maternal virtue.

    American audiences, their eyes brimming with anxiety, often ask me about the condition of Jews living in Iran today. But the hardships they assume to be the burden of the Iranian Jews is really the daily experience of the Bahais.

    In a 1979 meeting with five of the Iranian Jewish community leaders, Khomeini summarized his position on the local Jews in one of his quintessentially coarse one-liners: “We recognize our Jews as separate from those godless Zionists.” The line has served as the regime’s position on the Jewish minority ever since. So important were these words that they were painted on the walls of nearly every synagogue and Jewish establishment the day after the ayatollah spoke them.

    It did not prevent Jews from being relegated to second-class citizenry, nor did it enable them to thrive in post-revolutionary Iran. But it recognized the legitimacy of the Jewish existence in Iran and allowed the community to live on, albeit extremely restrictedly.

    But it is the Bahai community that has been suffering the bleak fate assumed to be that of the Jews. It is the Bahais who are not recognized by the Iranian constitution. Decades ago, Khomeini branded them, among other unsavory terms, a political sect and not a religion, circuitously defining them as plotters against the regime. Iranian Bahais have been accused of espionage for every major power save the Chinese, and simultaneously so. They are not allowed to worship. Their properties are vandalized. Even their dead know no peace, as their cemeteries are systematically destroyed.

    Their children cannot attend schools, nor can Bahai academics teach. That is why in 1987, unemployed professors, in an act reminiscent of the Middle Ages, established underground universities to educate the Bahai youth.

    Last month, six Bahai leaders were arrested. They had already been accustomed to routine weekly harassments and interrogations, which is why some of their wives have taken up sewing blindfolds to keep the guards from forcing dirty ones onto their husbands’ eyes. What is most alarming about this particular arrest is that they have not returned home and are being kept incommunicado.

    What compels me to write these lines is the eerie similarity between this and another historical parallel to which I have been a witness. When the American embassy was seized in Tehran in November 1979, the world took the ayatollah at his word for the egregious act he vehemently supported — that it was solely against America. But for those living in Iran, the hostage taking turned out to be about everything but America.

    Newspapers were shut down. Political parties were banned. Opposition group members were arrested and their leaders hauled off to stand before firing squads.

    When it was all said and done, the hostages, despite their great suffering during 444 days of captivity, eventually returned home. But the secular opposition of the regime was practically obliterated, and in perfect silence, too, as all attention was focused on the news from the embassy.

    The current Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has taken a page from Khomeini’s book. He rails against Israel. He denies the Holocaust. Through these means he focuses all attention on Jews, and while the world remains perfectly oblivious his men assault the Bahais.

    Though Ahmadinejad’s intentions against Israel are gravely alarming, in immediate terms, the community that is paying the most for his pan-Islamist ambitions is the Bahai. Since Ahmadinejad’s election to presidency, there has been a sharp rise in anti-Bahai literature in government-sponsored journals, which has, in turn, led to a rise in gang attacks against the community.

    That the Bahais shy away, per religious mandate, from advocacy on their own behalf surrounds their predicament with even greater silence. But for those in the West — especially for Jews, who know the lessons of World War II — the plight of the Iranian Bahais is most urgent: It is an act of destruction, not simply promised, but already underway.

    Roya Hakakian, the author of “Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran” (Crown, 2004), is a recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim fellowship.

    http://www.forward.com/articles/13602/

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