Translation by Iran Press Watch
16 September 2015
Farid Rastegar’s Letter from the Heart
A Young Baha’i Deprived of Further Education
I, Farid Rastegar, am a Baha’i citizen born in 1997, who has been deprived of further education. I have been denied admission to three entrance exams – math, English and art.
Once again, agents of ignorance and prejudice have tried to nip in the bud the love of education, oblivious to the fact that they can never suppress the hope in the hearts of these beloved youth. The Holy Prophet Mohammad said, “He who seeks knowledge should travel even as far as China to acquire it.” But these youth are children of Iran; their hearts beat for Iran; they want a chance to help in the progress and development of Iran. According to articles 3, 14 and 20 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the government must provide free education for all and extend equal rights to higher education for all, regardless of race, color or language. All citizens must be protected under the law and are entitled to basic human rights – social, cultural, economic and political.
We were under the impression that all Iranian citizens would benefit from these rights, without prejudice.
Is it possible for Iran to prosper and develop by denying higher education to youth, increasing unemployment and poverty, expanding ignorance, prejudice and cynicism, encouraging discrimination and violation of human rights, broadcasting lies, distorting history and misrepresenting facts?
How can they forbid university education and the exercise of their God-given talent to those who seek knowledge and learning, based solely on their religious beliefs?
Today I am witnessing the death of justice, the burial of Moslem charity. Is not the Holy Prophet “The Source of God’s Mercy unto all human beings”*? How can they be answerable to God and the people of the world for their injustice?
They well know and should know that Baha’is believe in the oneness of God; they recognize the prophets of God and their Holy Books; they believe in the progress of the soul after death; and they will not spare any effort to achieve a culture based on unity in diversity, universal peace, love, and the attainment of human virtues and perfections.
I fervently await the day when no one’s human rights are denied and no tears are shed because of injustice.
I hope for the dawn of that joyous day!
*. The Quran 21:107