I can’t believe it has been 3 years since I started writing. I don’t make it a habit to lapse into navel gazing but since we are at a sort of road marker, perhaps you will be so kind as to overlook this weakness.
Yes, really. Its been three whole years (and a fraction more). This is what I wrote as my first foray into this uncharted territory: Introduction.
Since then, I’ve gotten a lot off my chest – as they say. Unfortunately, I’ve been given reason to say things. For example the whole Kalimat Press boycott, I’d rather not be handed such material by the Baha’i powers that be. However, when they do such knuckle-headed things, I can’t help but rant about it.
I’m not sure how much I’ve ranted and how much I’ve been actually coherent. One thing I’d like to do is to be more positive and to see the lighter side of things. The primary reason why I haven’t done more of this is that there are already a plethora of wide eyed and bushy tailed Baha’i bloggers who do nothing but that.
I’d rather be a unique voice and stay true to myself. This doesn’t mean that I don’t see the good or that I don’t celebrate the positive events of my faith along with my fellow believers. But that I see no point in being the 16th blogger to write about Nouruz.
So what some may interpret as being excessively negative, is in reality my attempt to bring some sort of attention to things that I believe need attention desperately.
When I do write about positive things, you can bet it will be something no one else is mentioning
The Song Remains The Same
Sadly, not much has changed within the Baha’i community from three years ago. Oh sure, things have been rearranged but the change is superficial.
None of the really important issues which have made appearances on Baha’i Rants have been addressed. If anything, things have been going the other way.
That’s A Lot of Zeros
Which might explain a surprising fact: people are actually reading my blog.
To be specific, in 2006 Baha’i Rants got more than 200,000 pageviews. And in 2007, 400,000 pageviews. And every month the traffic is growing, even when I don’t write much. Or maybe because I don’t write much.
I certainly never thought this would happen nor that it would be even possible for such a micro-niche blog to get such traffic!
I’m not a competitive person, nor is this a race but my traffic easily trounces the largest and most well known traditional Baha’i blogs. I won’t mention them to protect the innocent – but they know who they are
I don’t think it is a reflection on this blog, or the quality of its content but rather the interest that Baha’is have taken in this medium of communication. The search engine traffic and the keywords that bring people to my blog is astounding.
Baha’is find this blog because they feel the same way I do about things and are out here on the internet — the only open and free platform for exchange of ideas — seeking more information and perhaps like minded peers.
As Shoghi Effendi wrote in 1931:
A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed from national hindrances and restrictions, and functioning with marvellous swiftness and perfect regularity.
They’re still working on the “national hinderances” in places like China and Iran. But as prophecies go, it’s a pretty darned good one. And here we are, you and I, communicating through it. It certainly is marvelous, isn’t it?
And just look at how many different countries you all come from!
All the large English speaking countries, as well as European ones (I guess they know English or use an online translator?) but also there are readers from the Middle East: UAE, Iran, Israel (big smile and wave to the good folks on top of Mount Carmel).
I can understand the curiosity when this humble scribe is anonymous. If you are really curious and want to find out more, read “Who is Baquia?”
I just noticed that a fellow Baha’i blogger has plopped me down into the apostate category. Thanks Moojan! Lovely addition to the Baha’i lexicon and a wonderful legacy for yourself as a theologian.
Believe it or not, I’m a Baha’i. Fully enrolled and in good standing. But since when has that ever stopped a fellow Baha’i from casting stones?
Which brings us full circle because this whole thing, the blog, my thoughts, my anguish at the way the Baha’i Faith is careening outside the path it once travelled… it was all started quite innocuously when a fellow Baha’i by the name of Dr. Susan Maneck viciously attacked me in an online discussion.
I was taken aback by such treatment because online or off, no one had ever twisted my words, perverted my intentions and poured such personal hate on me. It caused me to wonder what was really under it all. The discussion we were engaged in was benign – so why such a harsh reaction?
That’s when I decided to give this more attention and stumbled in short order on such chapters of history as the LA Class in the 1970′s, the Dialogue magazine mess, the Talisman crackdown, the practice of “unenrollment” and others (Karen deals with most of the big ones here). So in essence I owe Dr. Maneck a heartfelt thank you. Her words on that day helped to open my eyes – when they may never have been. Who knows, I may have turned into one of those Ruhi-parroting “good” Baha’is. So thank you Dr. Maneck. THANK YOU !!
Ah, well. Enough navel gazing for now.