Friday, February 17, 2006

On Religious Persecution: The Baha'is in Iran

The blog that inspires me the most is Povo de Baha, "People of Baha," the effort of Marco Oliviera of Lisbon. If you search "Baha'i" much on the Internet you will find Marco's comments on numerous sites, an inspiration in itself, but it is his own blog's content that is the most inspiring. (Yes, Povo de Baha is in Portuguese, but even that is not a barrier with the help of Google's Language Tools.) I have Marco to thank for bringing the following website comments on the persecution of Baha's in Iran to my attention. The excerpt below is not written by a Baha'i. Photo: Baha'i father and son in chains in 19th Century Persia and the Shrine of the Bab in Haifa, Israel

Concerning the treatment of Bahai’s you go on a tirade a) denying them as a religion or faith, and b) justifying their treatment. I’m not going to engage in a discussion concerning the validity of the Bahai faith. Its enough for me to state that no one has the right to tell any group of people that they cannot embrace a faith or deny self-assertion of faith. No one. And any government, person, or even religion which demands active suppression of a group of people for what they peacefully believe in, is a false government, person, or religion. Second, even assuming that the Bahai faith is a political movement, nothing justifies their massacre and treatment. The argument you level, that their religion has its headquarters in Haifa, thus they are a group of traitors, makes no sense. It was the very same argument utilized by the government to massacre thousands of Bahais. How can you categorize an entire peoples as being traitors simply because their place of worship is in another country? There’s no logic in that now, nor was there any then, which is precisely what the massacre of Bahai’s will forever go down as one of the tragedies in Iranian history.

Nima Milaninia, "Iranian Truth"

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