Editor’s Note: Ayatollah Siyyid Husayn Kazemeyni Boroujerdi is an Iranian cleric who advocates separation of religion and government. He first expressed his opposition to the Islamic government of Iran in 1994, and opposed the theocratic concept of rule or “guardianship” by Islamic clerics/jurists. Boroujerdi and many of his followers were arrested in Tehran in October 2006 following a clash between police and hundreds of his followers. On Monday, May 25, 2009, supporters of the imprisoned Ayatollah Boroujerdi condemned the ongoing suppression and violation of the rights of the Baha’i community in Iran. The following is a translation of a statement posted on their website:
With escalation in detentions, arrests, and threats of execution towards our Iranian Baha’i countrymen in recent times, supporters of Mr. Boroujerdi demand an investigation and greater attention by the international community to the ongoing violation of the basic rights of the Baha’is in Iran.
However, supporters of Mr. Boroujerdi believe that unfortunately, in dealings and the behind-the-scenes relations between nations, the issue of human rights is often sacrificed for temporary interests and political pragmatism. As such, raising awareness of this important issue falls on the shoulders of opposition groups, who, faced with great tyranny, have reechoed the suffocated cries of the shattered Iranian community.
Since the beginning of Ahmadinejad’s administration, the systematic suppression of civil movements, heterodox intellectuals, and members of other religions has accelerated. Among these groups, the suppression of our Baha’i countrymen has been especially intense and malicious. The denial of the right to education for Baha’i students, the denial of basic civil rights, the repeated violation of their rights as citizens in the guise of “legal encounters,” and the issuance of excessively harsh sentences and baseless allegations such as bombings or engaging in terrorist acts in an environment of opacity devoid of proper legal recourse have all painted a bleak picture for the future of our fellow Baha’i countrymen in Iran.
In addition to believing in freedom of religious expression and the freedom of worship by other religions, the supporters of Mr. Boroujerdi express their sympathy for the Baha’i community, and urge full implementation of the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and full observance of those provisions in Iran.
[Source: http://bameazadi19.blogspot.com/2009/05/blog-post_25.html. Translation by Iran Press Watch.]
June 3, 2009 2:29 am
I really am surprised to see that supporters of some prominet Muslim clerics in Iran are now recognizing and addressing the plight of the Baha’is. I thought Ayatollah Montazeri was the only cleric, perhaps there are yet those clerics who are brave enough to condemn the injustices committed towards the Baha’is. Maybe this is a sign that change within Iran is coming…
June 3, 2009 11:31 am
Today I have learned of Ayatollah Siyyid Husayn Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, a man of honor. I am deeply moved and grateful for the excellent statement made by his supporters. Your Baha’i countrymen from all over the world thank you.
June 3, 2009 7:30 pm
As an American, I applaud. As a Baha’i, I feel the need to be careful, lest any comment here endanger the members of the community currently under fire.
June 3, 2009 9:55 pm
Thank you for this post.
I will publish a Portuguese translation.
June 3, 2009 11:59 pm
Baha’i Faith offers unlimited potential for individual growth and unlimited prayers in all languages. In the past Mollahs considered this freedom and democracy a threat to their positions of power and the wealth they had amased. Today however Mollahs themselves are realizing that without freedom and democracy they too are poor and powerless.
That said I still can’t find anywhere in Quran that the Prophet had said to Mollahs that they are His successors and that they must prevent people from changing their religion from Islam of Ayatollahi or Mollahi or Sayyedi or Akhundi or even Islam itself by killing them. If anyone finds these Sura’s please let me know. Thank you very much.
June 4, 2009 5:33 am
It is nice to read that there are some deepen clerics who believe each to his own belief according to the Quran. Creativity which is a quality of the human soul a unique creation of God has no meaning if His sacred religion does not practice the Teachings according to sacred Writings from time immemorial. “This is the Changeless Faith of God eternal in the past eternal in the future”. This concept is found even in the Quran as I understood coming from a Hindu background.
June 4, 2009 4:31 pm
It is very comforting to witness that prominent Muslim in Iran is defending the persecuted Baha’is. Hope that these Baha’i leaders will be free soon
June 5, 2009 11:11 am
Ayatollah Boroujerdi has shown courage, and obedience to God through his
opposition to justice,i pray for more people, like the ayatollah in Iran, God promises in all the holy scriptures that justice will prevail.
June 5, 2009 11:17 am
Ayatollah Boroujerdi has shown courage, and obedience to God in his
opposition to injustice, i pray for more people like the ayatollah in Iran.
God promises in all the holy scriptures that justice will prevail.
April 15, 2016 12:12 am
As important as this appeal may be, calling the government to account under the United Nations International Declaration of Human Rights will fall on deaf ears as Iran, along with many Islamic nations is not a signatory to this.
Greater effect may be derived by reference to the Cairo Declaration of Islamic Human Rights to which Iran is a signatory, as well as its own civil code.
Ask the government of Iran to point out where in either of those documents are the Baha’i and other minorities specifically excluded from the rights, priviledges and protections that they afford.
June 7, 2016 5:17 am
While the situation in Iran, with regard to the Baha’is, seems to be improving I think we can expect an increase in persecution as a last ditch attempt by the clerics to cling to power.
June 8, 2016 3:12 am
I am praying daily that God will open the eyes of more Moslem people in Iran to witness the innocence of the Baha’i’s there! When silent majority raise their voices in support of the Baha’i’s, no one can object. In the mean time I am honored to see these people are defending the Baha’i’s!