Arab Times: Iran slaps 20-year jail terms on 7 Bahai

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Arab Times(Arab Times) PARIS, Aug 9, (AFP): Iran has sentenced seven leading members of its Bahai reli- gious minority to 20-year jail terms, a spokeswoman for the French members of the faith told AFP on Monday.
The United States and the European Union had criticised Iran’s detention of the Bahai members, and their reported jailing will revive calls for Tehran’s Islamic regime to respect religious freedom.
“On Sunday, authorities orally announced 20-year sentences to the defendants’ lawyers,” said Sophie Menard, spokeswoman for the Bahai community in France, adding that the group was awaiting confirmation of the terms.
“The lawyers have begun proceedings to seek an appeal, which ought to allow them access to the written judgements,” she explained.
Iran arrested seven Bahai leaders in May 2008 and this year put them on trial on charges of “spying for foreigners” and of cooperating with Israel.
Followers of the Bahai faith, which was founded in Iran in 1863, are regarded in the Islamic republic as infidels and suffered persecution both before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The Bahais consider Bahaullah, born in 1817, to be the latest prophet sent by God and believe in the spiritual unity of all religions and all mankind.
The group now has seven million fol- lowers, including 300,000 in Iran — where its members are barred from higher education and government posts — and has a large temple in Haifa, in north- ern Israel, a location that has increased Tehran’s suspicions about the group.
“For Muslims, there can’t be another prophet or divine messenger after Mohammed,” explained Bahai follower Foad Saberan.
“So they consider Bahaullah an impos- tor and his followers heretics, whereas the Bahai faith has nothing to do with Islam and is an independent religion.
“And if the headquarters of the religion is in Haifa, it’s because that’s where Bahaullah ended up settling in 1868 after he was exiled to Baghdad then to Constaninople, long before the creation of the state of Israel.”

Source: Arab Times, p. 9, Tuesday, August 10, 2010, see an image of the page 9 here: Arbatimes Bahai

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7 Responses

  1. james19

    September 15, 2010 6:27 pm

    Please tell the Bahais to start propagation of Bahai Faith in Israel, where their head quarter is there.Why preach Bahai Faith to Muslims.The Israel Government is very friendly to Bahais but still propagation of Bahai Faith is banned in Israel.
    The Iranian Government is no doubt Anti Bahais then why they want to preach their religion in Iran. This is not a mystery but the people should know that Bahai Faith is espionage organisation having backing of Israel.Therfore the Late President Nasser banned it in Egypt.Late Mr. Saddam Hussain banned it in Iraq and President Suharto banned it in Indonesia

    Reply
  2. Ali

    September 15, 2010 9:02 pm

    Your comment remind me of the Treason Trials in South Africa. Then government of South Africa didn’t want blacks. Blacks should leave south Africa and it said blacks are low life untouchables. The government said blacks were spies of  Algeria, Angola,Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso,Burundi,Cameroon,
    Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad,Comoros,Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt,Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia,Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Antananarivo, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco,Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Niamey, Nigeria, Rwanda,São Tomé, Senegal,Seychelles Victoria, Sierra Leone, Somalia,Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania Dodoma, Togo, Tunis, El-AaiúnUganda, Beazil, Bahamas, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, England, United States, Canada, Israel, Argentina, Russia and anywhere else blacks reside. 

    I wonder who is running South Africa these days. You or blacks?

    Reply
  3. Ali

    September 15, 2010 9:05 pm

    A bit more of history. The will of people is more important than the will of dictators, their thugs and their guns. The latter always falls because to rule they kill and club people. This has nothing to do with what someone wrote about what someone may have said and how its interpreted in the same Quran that Ayas use to justify butchering Muslims who are not from their sect everyday in Iraq and throughout middle east.   Under the Ayas, Iran is in the same situation as South Africa in 1970s and these registered and nonregistered Baha’is in Iran are “Iran’s Blacks” and Aya K and his white and black turbaned clan are, yes you guessed it. 

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  4. Ali

    September 15, 2010 9:27 pm

    […] I read the history of this religion. Go online and you read it too. Go to http://www.bahaullah.org Their prophet said mankind is one and abolished the clergy. That’s it. He shuttered the Ayas doors and told them to go get an education and learn to read and write and benefit humanity instead of issuing fatwas and terrorizing amd killing people. These Baha’is were holding unity meetings between blacks and whites in South Africa when it was punishable by death and they didn’t care. So yes, they must be spies of Israel and Russia and England and France and all other countries in the world. One wonders then who these Ayas are spies for.  

    [a few opening words were inappropriate according to IPW’s guidelines for comments and were removed, Editor].

    Reply
  5. Concorde

    September 17, 2010 8:43 am

    @James19, the issue is not enrolling Bahá’ís, but sharing the Bahá’í ideals which are a gift to all humanity. Bahá’ís having no priests, those who enrol have the privilege of sharing that gift with those who wish to partake of its benefits, but do not impose them on those not interested. Bahá’ís do not wish all their believers around the world to flock to the Holy Land, so only those who work there can to reside for limited periods of time; Israeli citizens cannot enrol in Israel, but can freely study and apply the teachings in their spiritual lives if they wish.

    These teachings include: equality of men and women, independent search for truth, abandon of priesthood, non involvement of religion in politics, unity of God and of all religions and of races, abandon of prejudice, superstition and of a religious practice that creates conflicts, harmony of science and religion… These ideas contradict those of some governments who try to prevent their dissemination, but cannot prevent people adopting them.

    Reply
  6. mreinschmidt

    September 21, 2010 11:09 am

    The reason that the Baha’i Faith is located in Israel and specifically Haifa is because the exiles of Baha’u’llah by BOTH Persian and Ottoman governments ended their persecution of Baha’u’llah with permanent confinement to the prison at Acre which is just across the bay from Haifa. Baha’u’llah was forced to go there. This is also 80 years before the modern Jewish state was founded. Baha’u’llah died 56 years before the Jewish state was founded. Any argument stating that Baha’is are spytools for Israel is both ignorant of history and guilty of the attempt to “have it both ways” which usually means the person making the argument knows better and is deliberately trying to cause harm.

    Reply

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