"Mommy, why you?"


Susan Tebyanian(Iranian.Com, 5-Nov-1010, by Mona) — Susan Tebyanian, a Baha’i, commenced serving her 18 month prison sentence on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 [see http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/6167]. She is in Evin Prison along with two other Baha’i women, Sahba Rezvani [see http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/2651] and Manijeh Monzavian [see http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/5768]. She has two children, ages 3 and 9. This letter was written by her nine-year old son to his mother in prison.

I want to tell the world that if being a Baha’i is a crime, then I am guilty of the same crime. So why not imprison me too?

I want to ask: if being a teacher (coach) is a crime in this world, then why does everyone try to be a teacher?

I want to ask: if being a moral character development teacher is a crime, then why is it that at school we learn and repeat “To teach and to learn is worship”?

Have you ever opened your eyes in the morning and noticed that your mother has been taken away?

Have you ever experienced leaving school, only to discover that no one has come to pick you up?

Have you ever entered a home in which you know that the sweet fragrance of motherly love is no longer wafted in its air?

Have you ever witnessed the crying of your little sister who has followed her mother to the door, only to see her let go of her hand to be taken away by guards to prison?

Have you ever hidden under the blanket so that your cries of anguish may not be heard at night?

Have you heard the little voice of the young one who, with cracking voice, asks her mother over the phone, “Mommy, why were you not at my Birthday?” or who when visiting her mother in prison, peering at her through the glass with one hand clutching the handset, begs her, “Mommy, why don’t you come out from behind the glass?”… all the while, you can hear her heartbeat as she waits to see the face of her mother!

Is there anyone who can answer me?

Why is it that in the middle of the night, we are awakened by the horrible sound of fire burning down our home, a fire so loud that it wakes up the whole neighborhood?

Why are we prevented from going to my Mother’s store? Why should we endure graffiti and insults written all over her store? Why did they burn my Dad’s store?

Is there anyone who can answer me?

In every corner of our town, all around my country and in the entire world, I am looking for justice. Where can I find this “justice”?

Can anyone hear me?

Why is it that this society, rather than immersing us in kindliness, love, affection and honesty, has chosen to immerse us in a sea of oppression, injustice, and prejudice?

Dearest Mommy, if they have imprisoned you because you are a Baha’i, then I am a Baha’i too. So come, O ye oppressors, and take me away too.

Translation by Iran Press Watch
Iranian.comSource: http://www.iranian.com/main/member/mona-19


8 Responses

  1. anonymous

    November 23, 2010 8:31 am

    Here are some earlier stories about Baha’i children in Iran. Maybe iranpresswatch should consider doing a special article about them:

    Baha’i schoolchildren in Iran increasingly harassed and abused by school authorities

    Baha’i schoolchildren in Iran increasingly harassed and abused by school authorities (same article, different source)

    Summary Report on Attacks Against Bahá’í School Children in Iran – June 2007–January 2008

    A dress for Mona web site:


    “Mona replied, ‘Mother, If I knew that during each year I spend in prison only a few people become Baha’is, I would wish that I could spend a hundred thousand years in prison.’

    “And if I knew that because of my execution, all the youth of the world would arise, join hands in service to humanity, become selfless, teach the world about Baha’i ideals and try to move the world, I would beg Baha’u’llah to give me 100,000 lives to sacrifice in his path.’

    Her mother wrote: “I felt so small before the greatness of her soul, as if she were the mother and I the child.

    Mona’s school essay about freedom is here:

    Something more light-hearted:

    Baha’i Children in Egypt & Iran: A Comic That Depicts Their Dilemma

    Baha’i children in Egypt comic(in English):

    The same comic in Arabic, Farsi and French:

  2. anonymous

    November 23, 2010 8:40 am

    In this youtube video, an Iranian cleric, Sheykh Daneshmand, gives a sermon trying to warn his audience of the grave threat that Bahai’s pose to them and society at large. He describes Baha’i school children as being superior in their upright character, clean dress, honesty etc. It is rather comical how in his hate speech he actually portrays a very correct image of the goodness of the Baha’is.


    TRANSLATION of the Sermon:

    Open your eyes!
    The bahais are causing a stir
    Can you see what they have done?
    Do you know this?

    Can you see how their actions coincide with their teachings and this is their BEST way of teaching their faith
    Are you aware of this? Are you?

    A Bahai girl, in a school of 800 girls, has studied herself to such a degree and carries herself in such a way that everyone is amazed.
    Are you aware of this?!

    She is so dignified that anyone who doesn’t know her, thinks that she is probably the daughter of an Ayatollah… but shes a Bahai!

    Look at how a Bahai girl walks, and look at how a Shia muslim girl walks!
    Oh oh oh! If I go on and on, you guys will lose hope! I should just say, “hey guys, I will see you in hell tomorrow”. Honestly.

    Look at what they are doing. I don’t want to make you hopeless — I want to wake you up!
    Either you (Mullahs) know how to do something or not. If not, then get lost and let other [muslims] do their job. As soon as one of the Mullahs finally manage to do something positive, another one of you do something again.

    I will say this and if anyone doesn’t like what im saying, they don’t have to come here tomorrow evening

    The bahais faith is like a wolf to us and our efforts.
    I will give a prize to the first person who shows me a bahai or jew who is a drug addict
    You don’t see a single bahai who is a drug addict
    You don’t see a single bahai whose behaviour is bad, who grabs someone by the collar to swear at them

    When tested on the Quran at school, a Bahai would receive 20/20 and a Shiah Muslim would get 2/20
    (Mind you, we only gave them a score of 2 because we know the student’s dad). I mean, the dad wouldnt be satisfied otherwise and would get angry.

    I myself had a Bahai student, a Jewish student, a Christian student. I swear to that I would give 20/20 to a bahai for their personality and behaviour …because I cant give them 30!

    In class, a Bahai student wouldnt have any quarrels with anyone, would never swear at anyone, never did he ever stir up the class, (shouts) VERY TIDY APPEARANCE!
    SHOUTS EVEN LOUDER: But what about a Shiah?! Nothing. Search the school, you would find 2kg of substance

  3. sb

    November 23, 2010 9:20 pm

    Dear son of Susan Tebyanian,

    Your letter brings tears to my eyes! They are flowing like rivers not from pity, but because you are so brave, so just, so full of truth. Justice is where you are standing, brave son of Susan Tebyanian. It is living in your heart. It is teaching the world about our future which will be glorious because there are young men like you! Your mother is blessed by God to have a son like you are! You make me feel so proud, so humble, so grateful to say freely, from across the world . . . “I am a Baha’i, too!” My Baha’i community is praying for your mother, for you, your sister and father. He is the prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God!

  4. Editor

    November 24, 2010 4:52 pm

    Dear Friends,
    Thank you for the references to earlier stories about Baha’i children in Iran. IPW will consider a special posting per your suggestion.
    Loving greetings,
    the Editor
    Iran Press Watch.

  5. thomas helai

    November 25, 2010 10:30 pm

    hello,my name is thomas helai and i want to give tolerare to you if se my word god bless you if see this comments.

  6. Alak Biswas

    November 26, 2010 12:54 am

    I am a born hindu and stopped following any religion. I consider myself a spiritual humanist and in this madness of such blinding darkness I see light in Baha’i faith where they believe in every ones faith in the supreme power. The same supreme power who, if you believe in, created all you see around you. It is the mankind who created religions for various reasons whereas all were created by the same power. The faiths are manipulated and misused by most of the blind hardcore followers of most faiths. It is not what you call him by and it is not the dictats of these so called preserver of faiths that matter. It is the faith in that power who created all that we see that matters. The inhumanity in the name of religion that we witness now cannot be the will of the creator. Because by that cruel action you are destroying that very creation, betraying your own faith and own belief in that power. I sincerely believe that one day teachings of Baha’ullah will show the way to true humanity.

  7. Claudia MCDermott

    December 2, 2010 11:08 pm

    I’ve read”Call To Rememberance” recently and have at lease a better understanding of the attitude Baha’u’llah had while in prison. He portrayed such love and obedience to God and taught mankind anyway no matter what his situation was. Prayers for the Baha’is in prison are a must for me each day. Baha’u’llah tells us to be detatched from all things while saying these prayers. Now I can say my prayers with even more feeling after reading the letters to the mother in prison by her 9 year old son. They will be in my mind and heart when there is opportunity to teach the faith.


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