Physical assault on two Baha'i students by their Qur'an teacher


Tuesday 29 Day 1388 [19 Jan 2010]
Society for Combating against Educational Discrimination ( P.C.E.D. ): Physical assault on two Baha’i students by their Qur’an teacher

Following a series of governmental activities aimed at the denial of rights to the Baha’is of Iran, a short time ago two Baha’i students at the Sa’adat Guidance School in Shiraz were subjected to severe physical assault by their Qur’an instructor, whose name was Mr Rashidi.

The following account describes the episode, in the words of one of the two 12 year old students:
‘ The end-of-the-period bell had not rung yet, but the Qur’an instruction had finished.
The students were talking together quietly, when suddenly the teacher’s voice made us all silent: ” You two, come here!”. I thought he was addressing the students sitting behind us, but he was probably calling my friend and me. Before rising from our seats, the teacher reached our desk and first attacked my friend, who was sitting on the first spot of the bench. With several harsh blows he threw him off his seat and dragged him to a corner of the room, where he set upon him with fist blows and kicks. Stunned and frightened, I was looking at the teacher, who was walking towards me. I was frozen in my place in terror when his fist blows showered my head and face. The only thing I could do was to cover my neck to avoid the blows hitting my neck — because I had recently had a tonsillectomy, and was worried that the blows might hit the surgery spot. At any rate, he threw me to a corner of the room, as he had done to my friend, and said “sit here on the floor”, as again he kicked us with all his might. As the repeated blows were falling on my head, the only sound I heard were the insults he heaped on the beliefs of my friend and me. Whenever he entered the classroom, addressing us two, he would denigrate the Baha’i Faith before starting his lesson. I don’t know why on that day he displayed such harsh behaviour toward us for our belief. I felt he had always waited for an opportunity for vengeance against us, due to our belief in the Baha’i Faith, and now he had found that chance, carrying out his teaching duties appropriately! Beaten and heart-broken, I went home.

‘The next day, my parents came to school to pursue the matter. The Principal, Mr Shafi’i, categorically denied that the episode had occurred, and promised to my family that if such a thing had in fact happened he would speak to the teacher. Arriving at the school the next day, I expected that we would certainly be consoled. The Principle, addressing the morning assembly from his podium, began with insults and undeserved accusations against the Baha’i Faith, calling it a British and Israeli invention, with followers who held empty and baseless beliefs, and who were spies and enemies of Islam. I was stunned. It seemed that instead of the teacher being chastised, he had been advised to play his part in this breach of rights in the most appropriate way!! ‘

As is stated in the National Charter of Student Rights:

Fundamental Student Rights:

  • Article 1 – A student has the right to free speech and belief, and is to be protected from harm after expressing same.
  • Article 2 – A student is protected against harm to his body, emotional and personal dignity. His supreme human station must be respected.

Society for Combating against Educational Discrimination
Translation by Iran Press Watch


18 Responses

  1. Ziaollah Hashemi

    February 2, 2010 12:36 pm

    “His (God) surpassing mercy has restrained the fury of His warth, and caused most people to imagine that the one true God is unaware of the things they have privily committed.” Baha’u’llah

  2. danny

    February 2, 2010 12:46 pm

    It is incomprehensible to me that adults in positions of responsibility are so blinded by hate and bigotry that they brutalise children for their faith.

  3. sb

    February 2, 2010 6:54 pm

    How great must be the turmoil and confusion of a society that first chooses to
    persecute its largest religious minority by removing their civil rights. How perverse must be the same society when choosing to vaunt its misguided hatred over children. God watches over the helpless and will have the final say. Sot it is that we must pray for God’s will to be merciful. The two brave Baha’i students who endured this senseless treatment at Sa’adat Guidance School are heroes!

  4. Em

    February 2, 2010 7:10 pm

    This is a deplorable situation. Much like the Jewish and Christian retaliations of so long ago. Perhaps people will never learn…God willing, perhaps they will.

  5. Nima

    February 3, 2010 12:00 am

    Let’s see this “dawn” individual who repeatedly attacks the faith on this site, defend the actions of this so called “teacher”…

  6. RevZ

    February 3, 2010 4:52 am

    As a muslim, I have to apologize for this disgusting cowardly behavior. The people that feel the need to commit such violent acts suffer from a severely pathological inferiority complex due in part to their weak faith. And their refuge is the denigration and persecution of other beliefs.

    Keep up the good work with the documentation. When this evil regime falls, all these people will have to answer for their crimes.

  7. Foad

    February 3, 2010 4:29 pm

    Dear RevZ, that in itself says, how many good Muslems there are, coming to the protection of the Bahais. I am sure there are Muslems in that school, who have been shocked by such behavior. Thank you for your caring response, it is what gives hope for the future of a wonderful Iran, the day, when Iranians from all walks of life will live as one, and in harmony, regardless of their roots, having the same rights. God bless.

  8. BB

    February 3, 2010 4:53 pm

    A terrible, but sadly not uncommon story in Iran these days. How much longer will this kind of injustice and mistreatment continue?

    RevZ, as a Bahai I’d like to thank you for your kind and supportive words. If only those repsonsible for such acts had an ounce of your humanity and decency.

  9. sb

    February 3, 2010 6:32 pm

    Bless you and thank you RezZ, for your expression of concern and sympathy.
    Without question, I believe in the expansive humanity of the Iranian people who also suffer under the yoke of injustice in their homeland. My greatest wish is to visit Iran someday as a Baha’i. Inshallah, we will all behold the shining future of a tolerant Iran.

  10. Martin Bebow

    February 3, 2010 10:37 pm

    I pray that God gives strength and patience to the Baha’is of Iran. Their sufferings now will surely be followed by a blissful peace.

  11. Leslie

    February 4, 2010 8:45 pm

    So this is the price that is paid when ignorance is allowed to flourish around the globe. Those deprived of both a true spiritual education as well as an academic one (the teacher and the principal) are left to feed their starving souls with the manipulative propaganda spewed by those in power. Their anger builds as they experience daily their own impotence and is vented in the only place where it is socially permissible to do so — toward the Baha’is and other religious minorities.

    The teacher and the principal, and probably most of the parents and children at this ‘school’ are not even aware of the fundamental tenets of their espoused faith, let alone the history of tyranny in the world. If they were, such behavior as punishing children for the beliefs of their parents would become unimaginable for them, and certainly never tolerated if it did occur.

  12. Chris Miller

    February 5, 2010 9:03 pm

    In 1992 I produced a song where we defended in music these innocents in Iran. It is called, “A Cry from the Heart”, and can be heard at It is hard to imagine that little has changed since then for them in their homeland. I feel like a Jew must have felt in Europe during WWII or someone from Angola must feel now when the world looks on in silence for years…with no one but God (Allah) to be their only comfort and solace. Why must we have such hate for someone who believes and worships differently than we do? Please listen once again to my song offering- my cry from the heart!

  13. Audacity9

    February 7, 2010 7:41 am

    It is shameful that the global community watches these atrocities befall their innocent helpless brothers and sisters and keeps the silence – Are we waiting for these hateful group to eradicate this unprotected community before we come out and say we condemn such behaviour ……….. blah blah blah………? we are worried sick the safety of our families and brethren………..

  14. David Cerpa

    February 8, 2010 8:23 pm

    We need to start doing some efforts, helping the External Affaires Offices in the matter of sending documents or producing materials to defend them, contacting authorities, organizing seminars in the universities, publishing articles in magazines and newspapers. We need that the world leaders know about this subject and declare their concern over the situation of the human rights of the Bahá’ís in Irán. We need to act in one way or another, we cannot continue without action

  15. Stephen Keyes

    February 12, 2010 5:10 pm

    ALL parents in the school should be equally outraged, regardless of the provocation. If a teacher could be so provoked to physical violence against a 12 year old Baha’i student in a Quran class, what prevents such behavior against one of their own children for a forgotten verse or an error in recitation? Savage and uncivilized behavior by an adult against a child should not be condoned for any reason. It is a crime and should be punished as such.


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