Friday, October 16, 2009

On Telling People What We Like ... And Are Like: Facebook public profiles and identifying as Baha'is online

Filiana Mendez (Charlottetown, PE)

Filiana Mendez

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I am a student of Facebook public profile pages. I like to repost them here from time to time. They come up regularly in my Goggle keyword searches for "Baha''i". (Again, I am using the search option of "All results, Anytime" and either "Past hour" or "Past 24 hours.") So if you are Baha'i, and you mention this fact in some way that it shows up on your profile, then the stores, the music, the products, etc., you have linked to also show up on your profile. It's all very ... public, and reminds us that everything we associate ourselves with as Baha'is are a reflection to the world of what Baha'is like ... and are like. Also noteworthy is the fact that the public profiles of our Facebook friends are just a click away.

The Baha'i Faith is not confessional. We are not obligated to tell of our sins to others; it's God we turn to. Still Baha'is do feel moved to acknowledge their shortcomings and sometimes do so online. Case in point is this item below from a thread on "anti-semitism in hip hop" on the forum. -gw
... So now you will know.

I'm a Baha'i. Granted, I'm not a good follower at all (I still have the occasional drink, I do debate politics, I still cuss like a sailor, and I still love nekkid women), but I'm working on it.

We are still being persecuted in Iran. Baha'i's are routinely accused of being spies for Israel (no doubt because our holy shrine is in Israel; Haifa to be exact) even though Iran is the birthplace of the faith. The Iranian government is suspicious of the Iranian Baha'i community and will act against them from time to time. Last year, seven Baha'i leaders were imprisoned and accused of being spies for Israel ( and ) and , in May of 2006, 54 Baha'is, many of whom were youths, were arrested ( for no good reason.

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