Intellectual and Psychological Attacks against the Baha’is

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BooksDuring recent years, there has been a systematic and organized effort in Iran to publish many polemics and attacks against the Baha’i community of that country.  Much of this effort is funded lavishly by the central administration in Tehran and approved by the national parliament, which has a specific budget line for “combating the Baha’is”, and devotes millions of dollars each year to fund this work.  Many seminars, public talks and conferences are held throughout the country to acquaint the population with ways to confront the Baha’is, and, under the guise of “scholarship”, to maliciously undermine, belittle and completely misrepresent the Baha’i teachings.  During the same period, over 80 books, hundreds of monographs and at least an equal number of articles in high-circulation newspapers and journals have been published against the Baha’i Faith, always completely twisting or simply falsifying Baha’i history, origins, teachings, aims, administration, community life, and every other aspect of the Baha’i movement. 

Well-funded research groups with access to significant -resources are devoted to this work, and advanced degrees are offered to those who contribute to this body of polemical literature. Actually, the sheer extent of this polemical literature which has no basis in reality, the cost of producing it and the time and money involved in training people to transmit it are in themselves considerable testimony to the extent to which the clerical class of Iran feels threatened by the Baha’i Faith, which has no clergy.  (Iran Press Watch has previously reported on many of these attacks.)

In an atmosphere poisoned by this massive intellectual and psychological warfare against the Baha’i community of Iran, the Baha’is are absolutely banned from responding ‑ the slightest attempt to publish a response is met with a harsh response by the central authorities, often involving a prison sentence, beating, expropriation of property and sometimes much worse. 

Against this backdrop, Iran Press Watch notes the following significant anti-Baha’i publication, as reported by the Shabestan site, which appears below in translation:

A compact CD by the name of Besuy-e Haqiqat [Towards the Truth] and under the title “Rejecting the Wayward Sect of Baha’ism” has been published and disseminated by the Endowment and Humanitarian Organization of Isfahan’s Seminary.

According to the Shabestan news outlet, this compact CD contains 313 books and articles in Persian and Arabic.  The Persian library of this CD has 285 books and articles in Persian under five sections:  (1) Beliefs includes 47 books and articles; Stories includes 13 books and articles; Deduction includes 51 books and articles; and Rejection and Critique includes 63 books and articles.

Among the features of this software are the following:  index to all books and articles, advanced search in the body of published texts or footnotes, attractive pictures and beautiful posters, a utility to print individual pages and copy materials to Notepad, and diverse setup environments.

From the above report, it is evident that such a massive effort to produce materials against the Baha’i community is only intended to turn public opinion against the Baha’is and to provoke national sentiment against this minority community.

[Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009, at Shabestan News. Translation by Iran Press Watch.]

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6 Responses

  1. tooba

    September 2, 2009 10:14 pm

    Thank you IPW for this concise and informative piece. The non-Baha’i Iranians outside Iran have no idea how the machinery of IRI is working against Baha’is. Our non-Baha’i friends should know this, and I hope .they read it

    Reply
  2. FE

    September 3, 2009 9:52 am

    How great a Cause must be that its enemies mut produce 313 books to fight against it and need a government to forbid to answer the junk that has been produced in the name of Islam and Scholarship.
    The listeners will become mad after this brainwashing and the 313 books are the proof that no intelligent people will read them . If the arguments are sound 1 refutal book would be suffecient. If the arguments are junk and lies a million books would not make them true. The fear of the mullahs is that someone would ask questions.
    This is why nobody is permitted to answer.

    Reply
  3. Badi Galinkin

    September 3, 2009 10:42 am

    What is fascinating is that so much money is being thrown and throwing dirt in the light of Baha. If Baha’u’llah is not the truth than there would be no need to throw so much money and effort into distoring the truth. This effort that is meant to destroy the faith can only serve to show the truth that Baha’u’llah is the promised one of all religions. We as Baha’i’s are united in our cause and no amount threats or outright killings can change this it can only strengthen it if the government of Iran could perceive this they would fall to their knees and pledge their love to Baha’u’llah.

    Reply
  4. Cesar

    September 3, 2009 6:21 pm

    It is a pity that the authorities in Iran don’t see that it is not possible to eliminate what God has willed. Anyone learning a bit about the history of the Faith can see it is very real. There are now Bahá’ís all over the world, in many cities, towns and villages, from many different backgrounds, cultures and religions that are willing to sacrifice their lives for the ancient and golden vision that there is only one God, one religion and one mankind.

    The time has come. The advancements in science and technology point to that realization. There is a new awareness of that vision emerging everywhere. It can not be stopped.

    The Bahá’í Faith has spread the importance of Islam and the culture of Iran everywhere. They could take advantage of that if they were perceptive.

    Reply
  5. sb

    September 3, 2009 6:41 pm

    Despite the Isfahan’s Seminary’s propaganda machine, many of the free, august governmental bodies and human rights organizations across the world have spoken out against the persecution and mistreatment of Iranian Bahá’ís. Some well-known Iranians have also courageously spoken against religious persecution in Iran. So I ask whom does this propaganda convince? Perhaps it persuades those who author it. In which case on wonders why they need such self-persuasion? Though the Bahá’í Faith has no clergy, service to humanity in the Name of God is a universal imperative. The Iranian clergy will eventually realize the extent to which their fear is unjustified.

    Reply
  6. colorado

    September 3, 2009 7:24 pm

    It is sad that some people will become tired of the subject of religion after reading negative materials. On the positive side, perhaps this academic priority will mean that seminaries in Qom will not filter web sites with links to the beautiful materials such as the photographic presentation on the Life of Baha’u’llah, and the thought-provoking statements of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations. Also good is the employment of artists and technicians, which might influence some of the clerics toward a more dignified approach to real or perceived social problems.

    Reply

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