Lessons of unrelenting steadfastness
Proclamation of the Constitutional Party of Iran
We cannot pass over, merely with sympathy and condemnation, the sentence of the seven leaders of the Baha’i community of Iran. The Islamic regime has condemned these two women and five men, all of whom are distinguished servants of Iran, to a total of one hundred and forty years of imprisonment simply for being Baha’is. In continuing the regime’s policy of cutting off the head of the Baha’i community of Iran, once again a group of Baha’is have been sacrificed for their religious-social beliefs.
The sentence against this group is the continuation of a long and shameful story that began with horrible bloodshed in the early nineteenth century under Qajar rule and is being pursued by the Islamic Republic’s policy of uprooting [religious minorities]. But this long and shameful story has another facet that, especially dyring the current heated struggle of people against the regime, should be focused upon: Baha’is stay aloof from politics; but Iranian politics can take valuable lessons from them.
The first lesson that Baha’is could give to Iranians is an unrelenting steadfastness under the harshest of pressures. Baha’i homes have been set on fire, businesses have been shut down, possessions have been stolen, people have been thrown out of work and universities, they have been condemned to being executed or to face long term imprisonment, but they do not flinch, moan or give up. They do not speak of being broken or useless. Those who talk daily of the Green Movement’s failure need only look at their Baha’i fellow citizens. Who has a better right to sound defeated?
The second lesson, equally important, is gathering together meager individual energies and turning them into a powerful social network. The Baha’is’ defensive strategies during the Islamic Republic will be recorded in the exalted pages of Iranian history. When university doors were closed to Baha’i students, Baha’is took the university to their homes. Distinguished Baha’is provided free lessons to small groups of students in homes so that they could be admitted to reputable universities in Europe and America.
Baha’is do not have mullas or priests, so local administrators of Baha’i groups everywhere attend to their “personal affairs”, such as weddings, births and other religious observances. Since such administrators have always been the primary targets of repression, now everywhere in small Baha’i groups individuals take on the task after taking the necessary training. “Leadership” has been dispersed to the extreme. The heads have become so many that even the Islamic Republic cannot remove them all.
The Green Movement that has taken political and religious compromise as one of its major specialties in its liberal democratic dialogue should look closer at its Baha’i fellow citizens. Relentless under attack, its leadership dispersed into the smallest units in order to withstand any attack, cooperation and pooling together resources however insignificant would help the Green Movement as much as it does the Baha’i community of Iran.
Long live Iran! Long live the Iranian people!
-by the Constitutional Party of Iran (Liberal Democrat)
September 5, 2010 12:25 pm
In the midst of gloom, it is so heartening to witness kindly lights beginning to shine on the suffering but courageous community of Bahá’ís of Iran.
September 5, 2010 1:52 pm
moreover, the writer makes a terrific argument for how others might learn to adapt their community/social practices, if not their perceptions, regarding Baha’i!
September 5, 2010 3:44 pm
A heartwarming factual observation of the functional reality of the Baha’i community of Iran as indicated in this proclamation providing lessons to the rest of the world as well.
September 6, 2010 5:40 am
Heartfelt appreciation for such a true and open write up.
Soon will TRUTH be replaced by the misinformation and distortion of the facts that the Iranian nation has been fed by their government and the Bahais will take their rightful place among their fellow citizens and their true worth will be recognised and valued.
May God show His mercy to all of humanity.
September 6, 2010 5:43 am
I am sorry. The second line was meant to read: Soon TRUTH will replace the misinformation and distortion of the facts.
September 6, 2010 9:28 am
While feelings of helplessness regarding the Iranian situation are overwhelming at times, there is no doubt that the Divine Hand is at work and great victories for the Faith are being won right now which any discerning eye will be able to see, the above proclamation being one of those victories, bringing to light the steadfastness and obedience of the friends in Iran.
September 6, 2010 10:41 am
The welcome heart-warming and generous views expressed here also remind us that if the Baha’is have totally supported religious and ethnic reconciliation in Iran and all over the world for more than a 160 years, including the fair name of Islam in the West, their line of action is exclusively directed towards educating hearts and minds. They are hence forbidden to “pool” their efforts with any political movement, however well oriented and in harmony with their own ideals as it might seem.
Their spiritual action and steadfastness is an indirect support for all political movements which support love and reconciliation amongst the peoples of the world.
September 11, 2010 12:59 am
this is awesome man
September 23, 2010 9:48 pm
My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!
October 1, 2010 11:41 pm
A lesson to be learned by everyone … a few with a like mindset can have a powerful impact.