Editor’s Note: The following essay was contributed by one of the readers of Iran Press Watch and is published as an original piece. Iran Press Watch greatly welcomes such contributions by our informed readers on issues that impact the Baha’i community of Iran and their 160-year old struggle to achieve civil rights in that country and to be given a voice to freely express their views and convictions as they work to create a better society. It should be noted that views expressed in such essays are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Iran Press Watch.
Unfounded Accusations Against the Baha’is!
I’ve been told by Baha’is encountered in the Middle East and elsewhere that Muslims have been telling the same stories, over and over again, about Baha’is, stories which are, most of them, completely without foundation. In other words, the Muslims who believe this nonsense are freiers. I say, if they want to be ignorant, who can stop them?
The first story they tell about Baha’is is that the members of this religion are Israeli spies. How ridiculous that is, and how ignorant you’d have to be to believe such a thing! Anyone who has had any dealings with Mossad knows it would not have any operatives who are pacifists, and globalists to boot. No, Mossad agents are hawks and Zionists. Whereas Baha’is believe in and practice non-violence, while Mossad agents do whatever they have to for Israel, provided the order comes from their superiors. So don’t confuse Mossad with Baha’is, because there is no way that Mossad would tolerate for a minute what Baha’is have been made to endure for a century and a half. Those cowardly Muslims who target Baha’is are blaming the victims when they called Baha’is Israeli spies….if they had any honor they would take on Mossad directly — but they know better than that, don’t they?
The second story they tell about Baha’is is that Baha’is are in Israel because they are Zionists. Anyone who makes this claim is simply ignorant of history. The Baha’is arrived from Persia via Anatolia in what is today known as Israel when it was under Ottoman Turkish rule, nearly 80 years before Israel became an independent state and when the Zionist movement was only just beginning, in central Europe. They came here as prisoners of the Ottoman Empire, and they were kept under the watchful eye of the government until it was overthrown by the British during the First World War. They stayed when they were free to go because meanwhile the founder of their religion had died, and they made the place of his death one of their major sites for pilgrimage. And because his son, who was the leader of the Baha’i community at that time, had spent most of his adult life in Acco and Haifa, he continued to live there even after he was free to go. In any case, where would you have had him go? He and his fellow Baha’is had been exiled from Iran, and they were not welcome back in Iran. If they were to have any home it would be in Haifa, Israel. There is a long history of people migrating to this region, putting down roots and then being visited by their friends and their families. Haven’t Jews, Christians and Muslims all had their representatives who came, who stayed, and whose families come to visit them and the shrines they built to honor their faith? Why shouldn’t Baha’is do the same? But these ignorant Muslims don’t even know that the only Baha’is allowed to live in Israel are the few hundred who are employed at the global headquarters of the Baha’i community. And this restriction isn’t imposed by the Israeli government — it is imposed by the Baha’is themselves! If they were Zionists, why wouldn’t there be thousands of Baha’is living in Israel? The answer is simple—because they aren’t Zionists. Zionists fight for the side of Israeli Jews and the State of Israel, and after the Holocaust and the wars waged against Israel, they say “never again” and they fight for their liberty and to protect Jews everywhere. Baha’is do not take sides in this fight — they don’t support either Zionists or anti-Zionists. They don’t even fight for themselves!
The third story they tell about Baha’is is that they are sending money to Israel. No they don’t! Now millions of Jews send money to Israel, to support the state, to support education and health care and the arts, to contribute to the viability, the sustainability of the Land of Israel, nearly two millennia after it was wrested away from Jewish sovereignty. But Baha’is don’t send money to Israel…they send money to the Baha’i World Center in Haifa to support this center of pilgrimage and many of the activities of their less wealthy fellow Baha’is around the world. The money doesn’t just go to take care of the beautiful Baha’i gardens that have created in Haifa one of the wonders of the world. They send it to support schools and health clinics and other service projects in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America. None of the Baha’i money supports the State of Israel, or even Jews. It would be like saying that money sent by Shi’ite Muslims around the world to the Shine of Karbala is actually sent to support the government of Iraq — it’s just not true!
The fourth story they tell is that the Baha’is are, from the start, an imperialist conspiracy of certain Western governments which want to take over the planet. All I can say to that idiotic idea is that if that were their wish then they have been an abject failure and show no signs of ever emerging from that failure. It is even more stupid than the similar claim about Jews — the ridiculous forged “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” — about a people who just barely manage to keep a tiny country alive, and who have no real power in any other country, except in this: that they will defend the right of that tiny country to exist with their lives and all their possessions.
To these so-called Muslims I say: Why don’t you leave the Baha’is alone? If you want to fight with Zionists, with Mossad, with Jewish money, with an imaginary imperialist conspiracy, then why don’t you take on the Israelis? It’s because you are cowards, a stain on the honor of your Prophet. Muhammad did not attack defenseless innocents who never picked a fight with him. When his survival and the survival of his people depended on it, he defended himself against some Jewish tribes. And actually, when Muhammad fought those Jewish tribes — not defenseless proxies but real enemies — he won. If you feel that your survival is being jeopardized by the Israelis then act like men and wage your jihad directly against that nation – not against Baha’i who won’t even fight back.
But before you lose and take more lives in such a war, isn’t it time you took a good look in the mirror and saw your own brutality, your own injustice, your own betrayal of Allah’s commandments? Maybe you should clean up your own act rather than continue to hold everyone else, including Israel, responsible for all that is wrong in the world. Is Allah pleased with the way Muslims live in Saudi Arabia, in Iran, in Palestine? Is He happy with how you treat other Muslims, much less defenseless people who depend on you? I’ve read the Qur’an and I don’t think so. If Allah isn’t pleased with you then you have nobody to blame but yourselves.
January 5, 2009 8:29 am
This was a lucid, daring and insightful paper. It is a frank expression of a simple truth that has been concealed by the unholy alliance of prejudice, silence and refusal to think in the culture of hate. thank you