Translation by Iran Press Watch
Last week Shokoufeh Ranjbar, a midwifery student in Orumiyeh, was expelled from the University after she had completed eighty credits of education because she is a Baha’i. According to a published report in the media, the college administration summoned Ms. Ranjbar and told her, ” expressing great regret”, that they would have to execute the order from the Security Department. She could not even get an equivalency degree or a transcript of her credits, after about five semesters attending the University. It is interesting to note that if such action were based on the Iranian Constitution, she would have the right to education as a citizen. Moreover, if this rule were to rest on the religious and Shi’a teachings of Imam Ali (PBUH), he addressed Malek-e Ashtar (the ruler of Egypt), and insisted on the equality of rights of people of all religions and beliefs, and states that; “They are either your brethren in religion or your brethren in kind.”1 Is this the basis of the university’s statement that they expressed “great regret” in the execution of the Security Department’s order? So, who or what exactly is this “Security Department”? Moreover, where does it get its orders, and whose laws is it executing?
Are its roots in someone’s cultural policies, so that instead of “leading all the people”, they have taken the leadership of a particular religious and political circuit? Moreover, just yesterday he said: “I support the faithful and revolutionary youth, wherever they may be, and the task of directors, university authorities, and relevant ministries, is to provide the believer and revolutionary youth at the universities with additional support!”
Who then should “support” hundreds of young people in this country who are marked or expelled on religious and political grounds? Everyone who stays silent in the face of these immoral, illegitimate and illegal layoffs is be affected by this injustice, as they have been for years! It is well known that Martin Niemöller, a Protestant clergyman anti-Hitler activist, wrote of his experience against Nazism: ” First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”2 Learn this lesson, and do not be silent.