While the Iranian Baha’is continue to endure gross human rights abuses, another crisis is deepening for the Baha’is in the Middle East. After the recent victory for the Egyptian Baha’is in reinstating their civil rights through access to legal documents, they now face intensified persecution in the South of their country. The video below shows the burning of Baha’i homes by an incited mob in the village of Showraniyah in the province of Sohag in Upper Egypt. Iranian Baha’is face similar dangers as has been shown in the attempted looting of Baha’i houses in Semnan.
Media report on the looting of Egyptian Baha’i homes at http://www.bahai-egypt.org/2009/04/graphic-details-on-burning-of-bahai.html
Find out more about the Egyptian crisis at http://www.bahai-egypt.org/
April 5, 2009 12:21 am
I am so sad to hear more tragic news about the Bahai. I understand that there are many Shia sects and that most are peaceful except for the “Alavi Ashurai” sect that the ayatollahs in Iran belong to. I cannot fathom how anyone who perpetrates such acts of violence can sleep at night. May God have mercy on their souls.
April 5, 2009 3:21 am
Your information is a little outdated. Imam Ali had many groups following him each having their own agendas. One of these groups in Persia began peddeling Hasshish (dope) and became good at assasinating their enemies. In the 7th century this group helped the Safavids gain the upper hand in Persia and made their brand of Shi’iah the official religion of Iran. This group chose the Alavi/Ashuraie as their facade. Alavi from Imam Ali and Ashuraie for Imam Hussein who was martyred.
From the begining, this group met resistance in Persia. The leaders of this group soon resorted to the attrocities that you see today. During the reign of Qajars, the Mollahs were so corrupt that they became known as Shi’ia Vatan Foroosh (corrupt to the bone. They sold the country). Later they became the Revolutionary Shi’ia and sided with the people when they realized that the Qajar regime was falling apart. After that these Mollahs became Shi’ia Pahlavi (they were on government payroll). When they realized the sentiment was turning against the regime they again became Shi’ia Enghelabi(Revolutionary). Today because Iranians are resisting them, Mollahs have become Shi’ia Terroristi and are resorting to attrocities that you see today.
None of their actions resembles the teachings of Imam Ali or Imam Hossein or any other Imams. These Mullahs use religion as a front. They have no legal basis in Islam although they try to portray themselves as holy men and in charge of Islam.
These Mollahs are only in this for their own pockets and have changed their colors to suit their needs. They began as assassins and today they are terrorists as the world sees them every day. They are beyond reform. Their actions is not in compliance with anything in Islam, never had been and never will be. They are the killiguns of Islam and have no authenticity. That is why all other sects of Shi’iah and Islam are more peaceful than the satanic Shi’iah Mollahs who call themselves Alavi/Ahuraei or 12 Imami or any other name de hour they go by.
It is their actions not their words that describes their true nature as the world witnesses today.
These Mollahs gave Islam a bad name from the begining of Islam. They don’t represent Islam. Never did and never will. This is their last stand in Iran. Soon God will get rid of all of them and people will be able to see the real Islam which has nothing to do with these people. These Mollahs have left nothing but a bad name for Islam and have portrayed Iranians in their own image. The image of assasins and terrorists that they were and still are. Even Imam Ali and Imam Hossein must be ashamed of these Mollahs for using their glorious name to spread terror around the
April 5, 2009 5:02 am
This is so heart-shattering.
April 5, 2009 6:56 am
How ironic and tragic that this kind of thing is happening in this world, which is becoming so small I can see this event happening in Egypt here in California and marvel at the barbarity of people who would perpetrate such acts, all because someone thinks differently, not because of anything the Bahá’ís ever did to anyone else to harm them. I realize that this kind of thing is ultimately good for the Faith in that it helps spread the teachings, but I still feel an incredible agony for those suffering such losses and witnessing such cruelty in their fellow human beings whom they believe to be their brothers. It’s just really hard to believe.
April 5, 2009 8:17 am
I enjoyed the history lesson, Ali. Is Alavi Ashurai the same thing as Ithna’Ashariyyah? Or is Twelver Shiite a totally different denomination? And with the emphasis on Ali and Hussein, what about Jafar al Sadiq or some of the other Shiite Imams of the early Islamic era? Jafar al Sadiq was quite a theologian who made a great contribution to Islam in general, even Sunni Islam.
April 5, 2009 8:58 am
Among Salafi Moslems, is the concern about the Baha’i’ Faith also related to concerns about apostasy, or is also related to the Faith’s Usuli Twelver Shiite origins? So Baha’i’s would be twice apostates? And is the South of Egypt more culturally influenced by the militancy found in northern Sudan? I am just curious about this.
April 5, 2009 11:25 am
Mark, Ithna Ashariyyah is the same as is commonly known as Twelvers or Alavi Ashuraie. There were many groups or sects after each Imam died or was killed that remained loyal to the person and not the order of succession. Imam Sadeq established the Jafari jurisprudence (Ijtihad) which is the same as your doctrine of Independant Investigation of Truth/legal sources. He also introduced Usule Din(principals of religion: Oneness of God (Towhid), Justice (Adl), Prophethood (nubiwat), Leadershi (Imamat) and the Day of Resurrection (Ghiamat). He instructed many scholars in Islamic Theology. But mollhas use all of these as their mask while they terrorize and kill the innocent using the Imams’ name for their own benefit. As most Iranians don’t understand Arabic or the meaning of “Ijtehad” they are mislead. Remember that Mollahs opposed education and they fought tooth and nail to prevent the education of Iranians in sciences and language since they helped the Saffavid’s come to power 700 years ago through terrorism. Mollahs believe in controling of ones mind and soul so they can put a plastic key around his/her neck or strap a bomb and send off to kill their enemies in the name of God. This is their hallmark.
You have to separate Islam from Mollahs. Mollahs were and still are terrorists. Islam is a religion they hide under to conduct their terrorist activities.
There are other sects of Islam also such as Zaidis(they lived in Mazandran and resisted the Mollahs. Also Ismailis who accept Ismail ibn Jafar as the successor to Imam Jafar Sadeq. There are other sects as well. Andnow you have in Iran, the unmasking of Wilayate Faqih or the absolute guardianship of jurists that Khomaini created and is headed by Aya Ali Khamanei.
So as you can see, like the borgs that evolve. Mollahs have evolved too. But it’s their actions that has remained the same and that is terrorism! It doesn’t matter what they call themselves. The MKO are the same. They use Islam as a front and are no different than Mollahs in the back.
Now forget Imam Zaman(12 Imam). Even if God himself appears today in front of these mollahs, they’ll ask him for proof and miracle after miracle and then they’ll stone him or kill him as a socerer or infidel. There is no changing these wolves into
I hope I didn’t politicize your group as I know you avoid politics. If I did my apologies to all.
April 5, 2009 3:03 pm
Your information and insight are priceless. I have a friend who told me that he grew up in a Moslem country and did not truly become a Moslem until he came to the West and had the freedom to investigate his faith for himself. He feels that corrupt mullahs in his country keep people in ignorance. So I have heard this opinion not just from you, but from others. My friend comes from a totally different tradition within Islam. Some of how you feel has parallels in the Protestant Reformation, or at least it reminds me of some the sentiments that precipitated the Protestant Reformation.
Thank you for your concern about politicizing this web-site. I can only speak for myself. I live in a real world where people have strong opinions about different matters, and I try to listen beyond the sarcasm and irony and biting humor and poltical speak. I hear this kind of conversation each and every day, and there is so much is learned when people of different viewpoints express their views.
Abdul Baha’ wrote that “The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinion.” Now I don’t know the whole context of this Writing, and I hope I have not taken it out of context, but I feel it is healthy to listen to differing ideas and opinions because it makes people the better. I can take the good and throw out the bad.
April 5, 2009 3:11 pm
This is so sad.
How can people do that to other people…
April 5, 2009 8:13 pm
Ali- thank you for your perspectives. Baha’is are usually careful to say anything critical about anything except for unjust actions and ignorance.
People who criticize others ad nauseum usually blame them for things that more accurately reflect the mindset of the complainer. So how interesting it is to hear about the background of those who constantly accuse the Baha’is of not being a religion at all but a political agent for foreign governments. Hmmm.
Also interesting to those who know little about Islam and Persia is the difference in languages and your point that many Iranians – just as many of us in the west- do not understand Arabic.
More often than not, I find myself a defender of Islam and His Holiness Muhammad whenever I hear talk like “Islam=terrorism”. Some people find it odd that a Baha’i, whose friends are being so actively persecuted by (some) Moslems , is quick to neutralize “trash talking” about Islam.
Seen with an eye for Oneness, it is easy to embrace all Faiths and see them as they were intended to be – the Cause of Enlightenment, Knowledge and Love.
Mahalo nui loa.
April 5, 2009 10:05 pm
These Ayatollahs and Mollahs are the Gogs and Magogs of the earth. They are the “corrupters of the earth” and are named as such both in Koran and the Old Testament. In the begining they were hashish (drug) dealers. Then they discovered hashish and religion makes for a more powerful mixture for mind control. So they picked the flag of Mohammad Ibn Abitalib and called themselves Shieh (follower) of various Islamic Imams and traded in drugs and religeous killing of those who opposed them and wanted to safe guard their neighborhood from drug dealers. With Fatwas they beheaded thousands of innocent people until now that they have taken over Iran. Now they have discovered that hashish, religion and nuclear bomb could even make them more powerful. So now they are Shieh hashishi with religio and a country at their duspisal along with nuclear bombs in the making. Lord help us all.
Ali, I just wanted to add my Christian two cents to your Islamic two cents. I don’t mean to disrespect your religion at all and respect you because you have been able to see thru mollahs, their words, their actions and their aims. I also have respect for all other religions. I just thought that my Christian belief can also be included in here as to what and who Mollahs Shieh about. Just google Ashura and click on pictures. Imagine what these Shieh (follower) of Hashish and their drug lord Ayatollah Ali Khamanei wants for the world. One huge nuclear blood bath! Just google it and see. My Love to All!
April 5, 2009 10:53 pm
Forgive me Roya, but are you alluding to the Ashura processions and the self flagellation that takes place during these processions during the height of Muharram? I can kind of understand Gog and Magog, and there are many different interpretations for these terms in postmillenial, premillenial, and amillenial eschatological theology. A friend of mine understands that Gog is a country, for example. I profess ignorance that present Shiite oligarchy believing in world destruction or in trying to export that set of beliefs to other countries. I know that Iranian Shiites have been expelled from other Islamic nations for proselytizing the Ithna’Ashariyyah creed (ie, Morocco,) , and that there was a well-known altercations at the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina, but the Saudis haven’t disallowed Shiite pilgrims from visiting the holy sites in Mecca and Medina. I would think if they perceived a terrible threat from Twelver Shiites, the Saudis could ban Ithna’ Ashariyyah Shiites from going on the Hajj. So in my ignorance, I would like to learn more. The self flagellation I don’t find so astounding because certain Catholic monastic orders used to practice self-flagellation as a penance for their sins. I know nothing about Hashish intoxication occurring during processions. Are not Hashish and other intoxicants banned according to shariah law? Sorry for my questions, Roya, but I profess ignorance.
April 6, 2009 1:05 am
Without getting high on hashish no human being can mutilate themselves like these people do during Ashura. Mollahs know the exact dosage too. You have to see their faces. High on hashish.
You have to separate Mollahs from Shias of various denominations. Mollahs use Islam as a cover to incite the masses into violance so they can remain in pose and make money. If tomorrow a Bahai or a Jewish or a Christian becomes ruler of Iran, they’ll change their cloths right away and damn the Shias. They are in this for money. Mullahs have islamitized prostitution and call it sigheh. Why? Because they realized they could make money off of it. The Mollah gets a percentage. In effect
Mollahs have become Pimps!
April 6, 2009 2:22 am
This is a very long tradition of corruption and selfishness to maintain this power. I pray that the Iranian clerical hierarchy has some philosophical shift and some sort of reform results, and this corrupt system of entitlements comes to an end. This is a hard system for Western Europeans and Americans to understand because we haven’t had a system close to Iran’s theocratic system for about six hundred years. I have heard your views from others Roya, but I couldn’t believe such corrupt religious theocracy could exist. I have heard about the Islamic sanctioned prostitution, but I did not realize that the clerics have a kick-back from this practice. Does a system of indulgences exist? Salvation people receive by giving money to a cleric or religious authority. This is a very sad situation.
April 6, 2009 2:28 am
Ali, thank you so much for sharing this history. I would take issue with only one thing you said, that the mullas are incapable of changing from “wolves” to human beings. The first person to accept the Báb was a mulla. In fact, many of the early believers were prominent mullas and scholars of Islam who sacrificed everything, including their lives, for the Faith rather than recant. Sworn enemies of the Bahá’í Faith accepted it once they investigated its teachings (I personally know some people like this). So you see, as Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.” And it just may be that present-day mullas are aware of this history, are scared to death that they could lose even more of their followers to this new Revelation, and will stop at nothing to try to prevent it. A shame they don’t learn from history–persecution fans the flame of faith, it does not destroy it.
April 6, 2009 2:39 am
Roya, I hadn’t heard about what you’re talking about with the mullas, but if this really is the case, it gives us even more justification for Bahá’u’lláh’s prohibiting His followers from developing any form of clergy. It seems to me the main reason is most likely that He wanted us to think for ourselves and for each one minister to each one, but the corruption the clergy has shown since biblical times and still shows today in too many instances would be sufficient reason.
April 6, 2009 4:33 am
I have studied the history of your religion and am well aware that there were many enlightened individuals who were known as “mullah” and or were Islamic scholars that joined your cause. I have no doubt that they were searching for the truth (Ijtihad) and the object of their desire and when they found it, they accepted and their love was so much that they sacrificed their lives for their beliefs. But that was 160 years ago. I doubt in the past 50 years or even 100 years there have been as many. The reason is very simple. The good ones joined your cause and or threw the turban and the cloth away and the bad ones, well they now rule us. But there is a saying that says at the end the meek shall inherit the earth. So hopefully if there are any good Islamic scholars left, they will step forward and throw the turban away.
Roya, I am fine with your post. If I was a Mollah and reading your comment, I sure would have thrown my turban and the cloth away so that I wouldn’t be called a Pimp. That was a great one! It is true but Mollahs that petform the Sigheh usually keep all the money. Without a Sigheh any unmartied couple that gets caught is subject to lashing per Mollah orders. It’s money and power that they want and they don’t care who they hang from construction cranes to die to get it and keep it.
April 6, 2009 12:42 pm
Baha’is avoid PARTISAN politics, i.e., the politics of division.
We will not lobby as an insider group. Baha’is do not have positional groups within the Faith. However, Baha’is do speak up for humanitarian causes that promote the universal well-bring of people and can speak out in the name of justice.
April 6, 2009 8:50 pm
Hi SB, the more I read about your religion, the more I understand how far off we were led by these Mollahs down the wrong path. I mean 2500 after the first declaration of human rights was issued by Cyrus the Great, we still have gender, race, creed, religion, national origin and ancestry discrimination violations being committed on regular basis in Iran. And here you Bahais had solved these long before we even knew. Just to let you know, I’m half way through your Roohi book one. Now my saying this doesn’t mean I’m ready to sign your rolls and become a Bahai. It’s just to tell you that I’m learning more and that by itself is a great thing for me. I want my children to live a better life free from all sorts of discrimination and hatred. May their world be a world of peace and justice.
April 6, 2009 9:43 pm
Dear Ali- Jan;
You have followed one of the first directives of Baha’u’llah to a seeker of truth . . .throw out all you know, all you have heard from others, then search relentlessly for the truth, . . . I have seen individuals begin as you have and develop a deep conviction that this is the one singular thing on the planet that really is what it says it is . . .
Here is part of a letter written in 1948 from a secretary of Shoghi Effendi, paraphrasing to a youth what the purpose of the Baha’i Faith is (we refer to Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith):
‘The whole object of our lives is bound up with the lives of all human beings: not a personal salvation we are seeking, but a universal one. We are not to cast eyes within ourselves and say “Now get busy saving your soul and reserving a comfortable berth in the Next World!”
No, we are to get busy on bringing Heaven to the Planet. That is a very big concept. The Guardian then went on to explain that our aim is to produce a world civilization which will in turn react on the character of the individual. It is, in a way, the inverse of Christianity which started with the individual and through it reached out to the conglomerate life of men. . .’
See how visionary this movement is? Such a statement sounds like it was written on the web a few moments ago! This is what Baha’u’llah forsaw from His prison cell . . .in 19th century Persia, no less. I am so moved that you are taking Ruhi Book 1, it is my favorite Ruhi book. Now you have seen with your own eyes. We need the friendship of Iranians like you, ther ei smuch we can learn form you.
There has never been anything in my life that could state such a coherent and lofty goal: the bringing of “Heaven to the Planet.” Why should anyone settle for less? This is the only thing that I have found that possesses a spiritual framework strong enough, lofty enough, make that goal attainable for me, you, my children, and for yours.
Yes, may our children live in peace and justice. Salaam!
April 7, 2009 2:53 am
sb, you are also teaching Baha’i’s. Thank you because you are also encouraging me.
April 7, 2009 1:40 pm
We all learn from each other. What a terrible Bah’si I would be by myself.
The community of believers (especially my Iranian friends) strengthens me
along with the bright guidance of the Universal House of Justice.
Ali, I want to mention a Baha’i who was born of a great house of Iranain Shi’a scholars, Abu’l-Qásim Faizí (also titled Hand of the Cause by Shoghi Effendi). While a young man he became a devoted Baha’i after attending the Tariyabat School the first coed private school in Iran with modern curricula, run (of course) by Baha’is (Reza Shah later had it closed).
Ali there are most likely even more “Shi’a” waiting to become Baha’is in Iran.
Since the Iranian Baha’is have had to close the Iranaian Baha’i administration and because of the obvious danger to a person becoming Baha’i in Iran . . .we don’t hear directly about them.
Here is a story he told of Baha’u’llah:
“A hundred years ago when Bahá’u’lláh was in Baghdád, one day He was pacing up and down in front of His House and rows of people were standing near Him. Some were Persian princes and some were from Arab noble families.
Bahá’u’lláh asked, `What is the news of the town? What is the news of the martyrs?’ And one of the Persian princes said, `How is it that when you are with your own people, you speak to them of such exalted subjects, but when you are with us, you only ask us of the news of the town and of the martyrs?’
Bahá’u’lláh paced up and down and said, `People who can hear my words are not yet created.’ He again paced up and down and started to tell them something. One of the things He said at that time was this: He said, `If there are pearls beneath seven seas, I will bring them out.’
Ali, Mark, Wendy . . .we are the ones privileged enough to begin hearing His Words.
April 7, 2009 8:48 pm
A quotation I found from from E.G. Browne, eminent 19th century Orientalist, whose speciality was Persia (Iran)and Farsi, and who had the distrinction of being the only Westerner to have met Baha’u’llah. This quote is from an paper read before the Persia Society, dated May 20, 1914, titled “Religious Influence of Persia.”
“Some time ago it was my privilege to hear Mr. G. Bernard Shaw (author) hold forth on Religion at Cambridge. He was very modern, very sceptical, and very European and in the course of his lecture he declared that we should no longer be contented to clothe ourselves in the discarded rags of Oriental creeds.
He then proceeded to sketch in broad outline the brand new Western religion which should take the place of these rags and I was surprised and somewhat amused to find that he had merely restated in somewhat modern terms what is at once the most recent and one of the most ancient Persian heresies; and that his system in its essence merely reiterated in a more explicit form the doctrine of Mirza Husayn `Ali, the Persian, better known as Bahá’u’lláh.
Whatever may be the political future of Persia, I reflected it does not seem probable that, so long as she anticipates the speculations of advanced European thought, she will cease to be what she has so long continued to be, the source and inspiration of the religious and philosophical ideas of the world.”
April 7, 2009 10:25 pm
My guess is that there are easily 10 times as many registered as unregistered. And these unregistered ans unknown ones are the ones the government fears the most. But do you know what. I have learned through studying your writing that these hateful crimes that people have been committing against Baha’is in Iran is the result of the spiritual degradation that exist there. And the perpetrators that commit these attacks are people who realy are seeking help. The darkness of hate and ignorance that they live in every day and night has blinded them and they don’t know what they are doing eventhough they think they know.
While Mollahs admister rape, torture, stoning and murder, you educate yourselves, respond with kindness and forgive. You observe intently the ills of the society, make personal connections, offer modern day practical solutions, establish emotional bond with peoples of all religeous, ethnic and racial backgrounds and encourage the healing of the entire human race. While they believe in controlling what people can see and hear, you let everyone have access to your writings freely to discover the truth for themselves in their language of choice. This is why the forces of darkness and ignorance Boo and you Baha’is WOO, WOW and WIN!
April 8, 2009 1:54 am
Ali, I certainly am fascinated by your perspective. It has sometimes been said that God sends His Messengers to the worst places in the world, perhaps so that the light may be easily distinguished from darkness. Not to make any value judgments about Iran as I’m sure there are many bad places in the world, but if you are right, it would certainly vindicate this idea. I also know some Iranians who came to this country during the last ten years who were born and raised Muslim but as soon as they got here, they declared their faith in Bahá’u’lláh. One woman had been a secret believer for years and had raised her kids in the Faith. She’s been very dedicated and active all these years both before and after she signed her statement of belief. She has told me that she thinks the Faith will have explosive growth when the restrictions on membership are lifted in the country of its birth.
April 8, 2009 6:32 am
Hello Wendy, redouble your efforts, keep spreading the glad tidings and don’t be dismayed. The forces of darkness can only Boo! Soon this whole world will turn into a rose garden. Baha’u’llah had said “The source of courage and power is the promotion of the Word of God, and steadfastness in His love.” Allah’u’Abha
April 8, 2009 12:08 pm
Every morning I open this page up to see what Ali has to say. Ali what a profound statement, ” . . .And the perpetrators that commit these attacks are people who realy are seeking help.” So true!
I read your comments from the Isfahan Billboard thread to my Baha’i associates (Spiritual Assembly) last night. They loved (!) your comments and thought your perspective was fascinating regarding the loss of Baha’i administratition as being helpful instead of harmful. Your words made us laugh and rejoice. Your perspective is amazing.
I know an Iranian woman who entered Turkey as a Muslim refugee with a group of Baha’is from Iran several decades ago. While they were all being detained together she learned about the Faith and finally expressed her belief. She said the Muslims were horrified and wanted nothing more to do with her, while some of the Baha’is who had been so harrassed and terrified were afraid that she was a government “spy.” Nevertheless, she became a success here, raised two beautiful daughters and now a terrific, dedicated Baha’i.
April 8, 2009 6:16 pm
This Youtube Video has been posted:
It is a news channel that goes in-depth regarding the recent torching of homes and talking with Mr. Gamal.
April 8, 2009 9:50 pm
This matter was incited by propaganda. It only proves that one has to be very careful about believing propaganda. The independent investigation of truth applied to propaganda I hope would make me investigate the matter before hurting or killing innocent people. I am not only being harsh on these villagers but I am also being harsh on myself because it is a problem world-wide and good people hurt innocent people because they have bought into biases presented to them by positional groups.