We are Ashamed!


Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter from a group of academics, writers, artists, journalists and Iranian activists throughout the world to the Baha’i community. This letter has been signed by a large number of the most prominent Iranian intellectuals.

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We are ashamed!

A century and a half of oppression and silence is enough!

In the name of goodness and beauty, and in the name of humanity and liberty!

As Iranian human beings, we are ashamed for what has been perpetrated upon the Baha’is in the last century and a half in Iran.

We firmly believe that every Iranian, “without distinction of any kind, such as, race, color, sex, language, religion, politics or other opinions,” and also without regard to ethnic background, “social origin, property, birth or other status,” is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, from the very inception of the Baha’i Faith, the followers of this religion in Iran have been deprived of many provisions of human rights solely on account of their religious convictions.

According to historical documents and evidence, from the commencement of the Babi Movement followed by the appearance of the Baha’i Faith, thousands of our countrymen have been slain by the sword of bigotry and superstition only for their religious beliefs. Just in the first decades of its establishment, some twenty thousand of those who stood identified with this faith community were savagely killed throughout various regions of Iran.

We are ashamed that during that period, no voice of protest against these barbaric murders was registered;

We are ashamed that until today the voice of protest against this heinous crime has been infrequent and muted;

We are ashamed that in addition to the intense suppression of Baha’is during its formative decades, the last century also witnessed periodic episodes of persecution of this group of our countrymen, in which their homes and businesses were set on fire, and their lives, property and families were subjected to brutal persecution – but all the while, the intellectual community of Iran remained silent;

We are ashamed that during the last thirty years, the killing of Baha’is solely on the basis of their religious beliefs has gained legal status and over two-hundred Baha’is have been slain on this account;

We are ashamed that a group of intellectuals have justified coercion against the Baha’i community of Iran;

We are ashamed of our silence that after many decades of service to Iran, Baha’i retired persons have been deprived of their right to a pension;

We are ashamed of our silence that on the account of their fidelity to their religion and truthfulness in stating this conviction, thousands of Baha’i youth have been barred from education in universities and other institutions of higher learning in Iran;

We are ashamed that because of their parents’ religious beliefs, Baha’i children are subjected to denigration in schools and in public.

We are ashamed of our silence over this painful reality that in our nation, Baha’is are systematically oppressed and maligned, a number of them are incarcerated because of their religious convictions, their homes and places of business are attacked and destroyed, and periodically their burial places are desecrated;

We are ashamed of our silence when confronted with the long, dark and atrocious record that our laws and legal system have marginalized and deprived Baha’is of their rights, and the injustice and harassment of both official and unofficial organs of the government towards this group of our countrymen;

We are ashamed for all these transgressions and injustices, and we are ashamed for our silence over these deeds.

We, the undersigned, asked you, the Baha’is, to forgive us for the wrongs committed against the Baha’i community of Iran.

We will no longer be silent when injustice is visited upon you.

We stand by you in achieving all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights.

Let us join hands in replacing hatred and ignorance with love and tolerance.

February 3, 2009

1. Aban Vahid, Human Rights Activist – Sweden
2. Abdolalian Morteza, Journalist, CJFE Board of Directors – Canada, Oakville
3. Abdi Asghar, Physiologist/ Human Righst Activitst
4. Abghari Shahla, Professor, Life University – USA, Atlanta
5. Abghari Siavash, Professor, University of Georgia – USA, Atlanta
6. Aeine Abtin, Poet – Sweden
7. Afshar Mahasti, Reasercher – USA, Los Angeles
8. Afshari Maryam, Activist – Sweden, Gutenberg
9. Afshin-Jam, Human Rights Activist/ Singer/Songwriter/Actor, Canada, Vancouver
10. Aghnam Reza, Writer/Literature Critic – England, London
11. Ahmadi Fereidoon, Political Analyst – Germani Colonia
12. Ahmadi Ramin, Professor, Yale University – USA, Yale
13. Akbari, Mansour, Human Rights Activist – Sweden, Stockholm
14. Akhavan, Asal, Human Rights Supporter – Australia
15. Alavi Reza, Writer/Political Analyst – USA
16. Almasi Nasrin, Managing editor of Shahrvand- Canada, Toronto
17. Amini Bahman, Publisher – France, Paris
18. Amini, Mehdi, Political Activist – USA, Washington DC
19. Amirgholi Amir, Human Rights Activist – Iran, Tehran
20. Amirhosseini Bahman, journalist – USA, Virginia
21. Amirsedghi Nasrin, Writer/Ditrector of Kult DA – Germany, Mainz
22. Amoozgar Mojgan, Medical Doctor – France, Paris
23. Ansari Siamak, Human Rights Activist – Sweden, Gutenberg
24. Arian Nima, Student/Human Roghts Activist – Germany
25. Asadi, Houshang, Writer/ Journalist – France, Paris
26. Assadi Savadkouhi Hooshang, IT specialist – Sweden, Stockholm
27. Assman Mohammad Javad, Poet/ Translator – Iran, Esfahan
28. Attar Mahmood, Pharmacist/ Human Rights Supporter – Italy
29. Avaei Gil, Writer/Bloger – Holand
30. Ayoubzadeh, Hassan, Writer/ Lawyer – Netherlands, Arnhem
31. Azad Azadeh, Sociologist – Canada
32. Azadian Abbas, Psychotrapist – Toronto Canada
33. Azarian Mina, Actress – Sweden, Stockholm
34. Azarkolah Houman, Actor – France, Paris
35. Azarli Katayoun, Writer/Poet – Germany
36. Bagheri- Goldschmied Nahid, Freelance Journalist – Austria, Vienna
37. Bagherpour Danesh, Political Analyst – Germany
38. Bagherpour Khosro, Poet /Journalist – Germany
39. Bakhshizadeh Marziye, Human Rights Activist – Germany
40. Bakhtiyari Sheyda, Human Rights Activist – Denmark
41. Balouch Abdolghader, Writer, Canada Vancouver
42. Baradaran Monireh, Writer/Human rights activist – Germany
43. Barati Mehran, Researcher, Germany, Berlin
44. Batebi Ahmad, Human Rights Activist – USA, Washington
45. Behboodi Reza, Human Rights Activist – Canada
46. Behnia, Kamran, Physicist – France, Paris
47. Beyzaie Niloofar, Play writer/Theatre Director – Germany, Frankfurt
48. Bigdeli Bahram, Human Rights Activist – Germany , Cologne
49. Bishetab Reza, Writer, France, Paris
50. Borghei Mohammad, Professor Strayer University – USA
51. Boroumand Ladan, Researcher, Boroumand Foundation – USA, Washington
52. Boroumand, Roya, Executive Director, Boroumand Foundation – USA, Washington
53. Chehabi Houchang-Esfandiar, Professor – USA, Boston
54. Choubine Bahram, Researcher/Writer – Germany, Köln
55. Corrazo Gabriela, Journalist – Spain
56. Daneshvar Hamid, Actor/Theatre Director – France, Paris
57. Darvishpour Mehrdad, Professor, Stockholm University – Sweden, Stockholm
58. Daryani Hossein, Stage Actor – Germany, Berlin
59. Dashi Ali, Political Activist Danemark
60. Dastmalchi Parviz, Writer/Political Analyst – Germany, Berlin
61. Davani Hossein, Art Critic/Human Rights Activist – Germany Colonia
62. Dehzangi Arash, PHD Candidate- Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
63. Delneshin Shahin, Political Analyst/Blogger -Denmark, Copenhagen
64. Djalali Chimeh Mohammad (M.sahar), Poet – France, Paris
65. Djanati Atai Behi, Actor/ Writer/Theatre Director – France, Paris
66. Doai Babak, Musician/ Music Teacher – Belgium
67. Duschouki Abdolsatar, Political Analyst – England
68. Ebadi Abdolatif, Poet/Translator/Journalist – England
69. Ebrahimi Hadi, Editor-in-chief of Shahrgon, Canada, Vancouver
70. Emami Bahram, Human Rights Activist – Sweden, Stockholm
71. Esfandarmaz Sherin Human Rights Activist, Belgium Bruxelles
72. Eskandari Mohammad Reza, Sociologist / Activist – Holand
73. Fadai Behroz, Political Activist – Holand
74. Fahimi Nima, Chief of Efsha Website – England
75. Fani Yazdi Reza, Political analyst – USA
76. Farahani Fereshteh, Human Rights Activist – Holand
77. Faraji Hossein, TV Moderator – USA ,Los Angeles
78. Farhoudi Vida, Poet/Translator- France, Paris
79. Farid Siamak, Human Rights Activist, Belgium Bruxelles
80. Farrahi Farahnaz, Chief of Iran bbb Website – Germany, Berlin
81. Farshy Ebrahim, Writer/Teacher/Theater Actor – Germany Colonia
82. Fattah Abasali, Political Activist – Australia
83. Fazel Navid, Chief Physician – Germany
84. Ferdosian Payam, writer/ Researche/ Human Rights Activist – USA, Virginia
85. Forouhar Parastou, Artist/Human Rights Activist – Germany, Frankfurt
86. Fouladi Firuzeh Faye, USA, Silver Spring, Maryland
87. Ghadiri Khosro, Professor/ Journalist/Analyst – USA, California
88. Ghaemi Hadi Coordinator Int. Campaign for HR in Iran – USA
89. Ghahari Keivandokht, Deutsche Welle, Section Iran- Germany, Bonn
90. Ghahraman Saghi, Poet /Journalist – Canada, Toronto
91. Ghahraman, Sasan, Publisher/Writer/Journalist – Canada, Toronto
92. Ghasemi – Impertro Akhtar, Free lance Journalist/ Photographer – Germany, Colonia
93. Ghassemi Reza, Writer – France, Paris
94. Ghiaee Abbas, Bookstore Manager – Germany
95. Ghorashi Reza, Professor, USA New Jersey
96. Giahi Fatemeh, Human Rights Activist, USA, Massachusett
97. Goharzad Reza, Journalist, USA
98. Golab- Dej Hooshang, Writer/Poet – Sweden Stockholm
99. Golchin Ali, Lawyer – USA, Massachusett
100. Habibinia Omid, Journalist – Sweden
101. Hajzadeh Fallah Masoud, Design Engineer – Västerås, Sweden
102. Hakim Mohammad Hossein, Professor – USA, Amherst
103. Halford Zhara, Painter/Photograph/Sculptor – France
104. Hamidi Nasrin, Human Rights Activist – Holand
105. Hamidi Hamid, Human Rights Activist – Holand
106. Hamzeloee Mahmoud, Actor/Theatre & Cinema Director – Norway
107. Harandi,Farideh, Lawyer, USA
108. Hashemizadeh Iradj, Architekt/Journalist- Austria, Graz
109. Hassibi Mohammad, Political activist, USA
110. Hatami Parviz, Human Rights Activist – USA
111. Hekmat Bijan, Political Activist – France, Paris
112. Heyrani Aref , general contractor, USA, Beaverton OR
113. Homayounpour Kourosh, , USA, Washington, DC.
114. Homayounpour Shohreh, Teacher- USA, Washington DC
115. Honarmand Manouchehr, Journalist – Holand
116. Hosseini Mirali, Actor/Journalist, France, Paris
117. Hosseinzadeh Jafar, Political Activist – Belgium
118. Houshmand Zara, Writer – Usa Houston
119. Irani Nikki, Human Rights Activist- USA
120. Irani Sholeh, Editor-in-Chief AvayeZan.org –
121. Irvani Arash, (M. Saghi) Poet, Germany Dusseldorf
122. Jabbari Reza, Reasercher – Sweden, Gutenberg
123. Jaddeh Mohsen, Journalist/Translator – Germany
124. Jafari Reza, Theatre Director – Germany
125. Jafari Sedighe, Human Rights Activist – Germany, Hanover
126. Javadi Akram, Director of Ida Bookstore – Germany
127. Javdan Hamidreza, Actor/ Theatre Director – France, Paris
128. Javid Jahanshah, Publisher, Iranian [dot] com – Mexico, Chihuahua
129. Jazani Mihan, Writer/Activist – France, Paris
130. Kakhsaz Naser, Political analyst – Germany, Bochum
131. Kalbasi Sheema, Poet – USA, Washington
132. Kamali Shaghayegh, Singer/ Music Lecturer – Germany, Münster
133. Kamrani Ali, Stage Actor/ Song Writer – Germany, Frankfurt
134. Karami, Nasser, Political Analyst – Germany
135. Karimi Behzad, Political Activist, Netherland
136. Kassraei Farhang, Writer/Actor – Germany, Wiesbaden
137. Kaviany Massoud, Professor University Michigan– USA Michigan
138. Kavir Mahmood, Poet/Writer – England
139. Kazemi Monireh, Women Rights Activist – Germany
140. Keshavarz Mehran, Human Rights Activist – Norway
141. Khabazian Reza, Human Rights Supporter – USA
142. Khayam Zohreh, Women Right Activist – USA
143. Khoi Esmail, Writer/Poet – England, London
144. Khojinian, Hadi, Poet/ Writer – England
145. Khorami Tahere, Human Rights Activist – Holand
146. Khorrami Hossein, Political Activist – Germany, Essen
147. Khorsandi Hadi, Satirist – Great Britain, London
148. Khosroparviz Keikhosro, Political Activist, Sweden
149. Khosrozadeh Behrooz, Journalist/ Political science Reasercher – Germany Göttingen
150. Kiarostami Kia, Film Producer, Germany, Berlin
151. Koohgilani Parvin, Editor Shahrvand – USA, Texas
152. Kowsari Hamid, Director of New Technology Training Institute, USA Los Angeles
153. Laghaeian Shahriar, Medical Doctor – USA, Seattle
154. Lalejini Ali, Translator – Sweden
155. Lavaei Mehrdad, Human Rights Activist – Holand
156. Madadi Shabnam, Physician/ Human Rights Supporter – Germany
157. Madjlessi Darius, Political Activist – Holand
158. Maghssudnia Manochehr, Political Activist – Germany, Berlin
159. Mahbaz Efat, Women rights activist /Journalist– England, London
160. Mahdjoubi Ali, Member of Parliamet – Germany, Berlin
161. Mahjoubi Ebrahim, Human Rights Activist – Germany, Cologne
162. Malakooty Sirus, Classical Guitar Player/ Composer/ Lecturer – England, London
163. Malekzadeh Ali, Human Rights Activist
164. Manoo Missaghi, Social Analyst, Canada, Toronto
165. Masoudi Banafsheh, Reasercher – France, Paris
166. Massoumi Bahram, Writer/Activist – Germany
167. Masumian Nima, Teacher – Spain
168. Mazhar Varya, Writer/ Poet – Finnlands, Helsinki
169. Mehr Bijan, Political Activist – USA, Boston
170. Mirfakhrai Mehran, Architect/ Human Rights Supporter – Italy
171. Miremadi Bijan, Professor University Vancouver – Canada Vancouver
172. Mir Mobini Hossein, Journalist – USA, California
173. Mir Sattari Anwar, President of EuroPers Human Rights – Belgium, Brussel
174. Moghaddas Mehran, Play writer/Theatre Director – Denmark, Copenhagen
175. Mohamadi Majid, Professor/Writer/Reasercher – USA, NY
176. Moheb Robab, Writer/ Poet – Sweden
177. Mohtasham Yashar, Activist – France, Paris
178. Mokhtari Sohrab, Writer, Germany, Berlin
179. Morad Daryoush, Human Rights Activist – Germany, Cologne
180. Moshkin Ghalam Shahrokh, Actor/Dancer – France, Paris
181. Mossaed Jila, Poet/Writer – Sweden, Göteborg.
182. Mossallanejad Ezat, Writer/Human right Activist, CCVT – Canada, Toronto
183. Naghibzadeh Fathiyeh, Germany, Berlin
184. Nakhai Shahbaz, Journalist – Canada
185. Nazarian Arsen, Translator – Holand
186. Nejad Mohsen, Political Activist – USA, California
187. Nejati Ahmad, Human Rights Supporter – Belgium
188. Niroumand Bahman, Writer/Journalist – Germany, Berlin
189. Noghrekar Masoud, Writer – USA Florida
190. Nourmanesh Shirindokht, Writer/ Activist – USA, California
191. Nowzari Hamid, Political Activist – Germany, Berlin
192. Omidmehr Ali Akbar, Researcher/ Professor – Denmark
193. Omidmehr Ashraf Sadat, Teacher/ Human Rights Activist – Denmark
194. Omidnehr Mahraz, professor – Denmark
195. Omid Mahzad, Reasercher/Professor – Denmark
196. Ostovar Yavar, Poet – Sweden
197. Pak Anna Asyeh, Women right activist – France
198. Paki Morteza, Human Right Activist, Canada
199. Parham Babak, Poet – USA
200. Parsa Kourosh, Human Rights Activist – USA
201. Parsa Soheil, Theatre Director – Canada Toronto
202. Parsi Touradj, Researcher/Ex-Professor – Sweden
203. Payandeh Mehrdad, DGB Director, Germany, Hanover
204. Pegahi Mahshid, Women Rights Activist – Germany
205. Pourmandi Ahmad, Political Activist – Germany, Munich
206. Pour-Naghavi Ali, Political Activist, Holand
207. Rafiee Keyvan, Human Rights Activist – Iran
208. Rahbari Alexander, Composer/ Music Professor – Austria Vienna
209. Rahimi Khosro, Radio Producer – Sweden, Gutenberg
210. Rahnamaee M.J., Music Reasercher/ Poet – Holand
211. Ramezani Rahim, Political Activist – Turkey Van
212. Ranjbar Darvish, Former Diplomat of IR of Iran.
213. Ranjbar Kazem, Political Sociology Scientist – France, Paris
214. Rashedan Nima, Political Reasercher/Analyst – Swiss
215. Rashidi Asad, writer/Poet – Germany
216. Rastgar Iraj, Human Rights Activist – USA, Texas
217. Rasti Mahshid, Women/Human Rights Activist- Sweden, Stockholm
218. Razavi Rasoul, Human Rights Activist – Germany Bonn
219. Roshan Mitra, Journalist – Canada, Montreal
220. Saadati Mansoor, Chemist – Canada, Edmonton
221. Sabety Setareh, Writer/Teacher – France, Nice
222. Sadr Hamid, Writer – Germany
223. Sadreddin Zahed, Actor/Teather Director – France, Paris
224. Safaei E., Poet/Political Activist – Germany, Colonia
225. Sahimi, Muhammad Professor, University of Southern California – USA, California
226. Sakhaee Manoucher, Singer/Jurnalist – Germany
227. Salary Babak, Photograph – Canada
228. Samadpouri Ali, Political Activist – Belgium
229. Samadany Faramarz, Chemist – USA
230. Samienejad Mojtaba, Journalist, Iran
231. Sarhaddi Arash, Actor/Teather Director – Germany, Berlin
232. Sarshar Homa, Writer/Journalist – USA, Los Angeles
233. Sedghi Majid, Journalist – Franc, Paris
234. Sehati parisa, Women Rights Activist – Sweden
235. Seihoun Farideh, Professor, Framingham State College- USA
236. Servati Mojgan, Sosiologist/Writer/Reasercher – Germany
237. Setoodeh Behrouz, Political Analyst – USA
238. Shabafrooz Masood, Human Rights Activist – USA California
239. Shafaei Javad, Italia, Roma
240. Shafaei Manuchehr, Artist/Activist, Germany
241. Shafie Minoo, Human Rights Activist – Denmark
242. Shafigh Shahla,(Chahla Chafiq) Writer/Researcher – France, Paris
243. Shamshiri Fariborz, Human Rights Activist – Canada
244. Shemiranie Khosro, Journalist – Canada, Montreal
245. Sheyda Behrooz, Literary Critic/Theorist- Sweden, Stockholm
246. Shirazi Jahangir, Journalist/Activist – Holand
247. Simai Behrouz, Poet/Writer – USA
248. Sina Bijan, Medical Doctor – Germany
249. Sobhani Sohrab, International Affairs Consultant – USA, Washington, DC
250. Sohi Siamak , human Rights Activist – Denmark
251. Soltani Anwar, Reasercher – England
252. Taghipoor Masoomeh, Actor/Theatre Director – Sweden, Göteborg.
253. Tahavori Mohammad, Journalist, USA, MA Cambridge
254. Tavackoli Shahin, Medical Doctor – USA, Huston
255. Torabi Mohammad, Telcom Research Scientist – USA, Dana Point USA, Washington, DC
256. Vahdat Kamran, Professor – USA, Amherst
257. Vahdati Soheila, Human Rights Activist – USA, California
258. Yadegari Shahrokh, Composer/Professor University Of California – USA, California
259. Yousefi Nasser, Teather Director/Radio Producer – Sweden, Stockholm
260. Youssefi Hadi, Human Rights Activist – Denmark
261. Zahed Sadreddin, Stage Actor/ theatre Director – France, Paris
262. Zahedi Mitra, Theatre Director – Germany, Berlin
263. Zandian Mandana, Medical Doctor/Writer/Poet – USA
264. Zarasvand Hossein, Poet – Toronto Canada
265. Zarei Faramarz, Actor – China
266. Zeinali Lohrasb, Political Activist – Germany
267. Zerehi Hassan, Editor-in-chief of Shahrvand, Canada, Toronto

To join the signatories, visit http://www.we-are-ashamed.com


65 Responses

  1. Ahang

    February 4, 2009 3:28 pm

    In response to David’s queries, first the significance of this historic moment must be apprciated. For the first time in 160 years, many highly respected Iranian intellectuals have risked much to append their name to this remarkable document. Never before has such a thing happened in the history of the Baha’i Faith. Furthermore, this is not a complete list of supperters — but only an initial list. More suppertors are adding their names and a complete list will be published in 9 days, on Feb 13.

  2. Ezzat

    February 4, 2009 7:06 pm

    As a member of humankind, I am so blessed to live in such a turbulent time and witness greatness of some, who are selflessly think of others before their own. I am deeply touched…Thank you

  3. Dianne Andrea Mahbou

    February 4, 2009 9:08 pm

    I am so touched that these wonderful people have at last recognized that we Bahais are human beings created by the same creator God as has created all people on earth. My family had very little time with their fatujer my dearest husband Foad because he was kept in Iran and his passport taken away when we went to show our children to their grand parents. for almost 7 years he was unable to join us toill h escaped and now
    Sadly he passed away 3 months ago from Cancer which I feel sure was brought about by his treatment in Iran. His children and I miss him more than we can ever say and now he is taken from us again.

    He was amost caring gentle man and so loved by us all his humour is somthing I also miss.

    I hope whatever comes from this wonderful repoprt it can in some way help people to recognize what is happening to Bahais in Iran

  4. Matthew Reinschmidt

    February 4, 2009 10:38 pm

    I am very glad to see so strong a document published and signed; the Iranian security aparatus conducts assasinations of any and all targets deemed dangerous whether inside or out in the world thousands of miles from Iran. However, I do not believe the world citizenry will tolerate such extreme, heavy-handed arbitrary behavior much longer as billions of people can and do share ideas and happenings which puts the Iranian political body in very salacious company along with Rwanda, Sudan and Serbia. Any government with any wits about it does not want to be any part of that sort of club and this declaration is perfect for screaming the truth.

  5. Armita

    February 4, 2009 11:32 pm

    It is time for all of us as a united human family to stand up against any injustice towards any portion of this human family. The Bahai’s in Iran have been and continue to be (especially recently) persecuted in unspeakable ways solely because of their religious beliefs which include world peace, equality of men and women, elimination of prejudice of all kind, compulsory education, one God, and reverence and respect for all great religions of the world including Islam. The Iranian government continues to practice its ignorance and astounding insecurity in its political and religious existence by its actions of violence and continuous human rights violations towards its most peaceful minority, namely the Bahai’s. With their unforgiveable and shameful actions, the government and its agents commit the worst possible crime which is that of shattering of their own souls and the greatness of our beloved Iran.

  6. Loie M. Mead

    February 5, 2009 12:38 am

    This action causes me to turn to God in unending praise and thanksgiving. The free expression of these gifted individuals and their signatures represent a swelling tide of justice that the world’s people have been longing to realize. I am overjoyed to be a member of the Baha’i Faith as I watch the growing list of supporters. May God bless and hearten every dear one of you! — Loie Mead

  7. David

    February 5, 2009 1:09 am

    It is gratifying to finally see that the people of this world are finally starting to reconize and speak out against injustice. This sort of thing needs to be encouraged and those with the courage to put their names to such documents and make them public desirve praise. It is my sincer hope that this document is acted upon but all the signatres of the UN and it flows over to all injustices in our world.

  8. Foad Farhoumand

    February 5, 2009 2:24 am

    Dear signatory members of this document, as a Bahai, may I embrace you all for your loving gesture, you don’t have to apologize, I am sure all those Baha’is that were wronged, have already forgiven the perpetrators, why should they hold you all in contempt. May I , as an Iranian Baha’i , extend my gratitude to you all, for raising your voices not only for the Iranian Baha’is , but for all other human beings that are being persecuted as well in that land. I truly see now, with my stunned eyes, that all those sacrifices our Baha’i friends in Iran have endured, and are still enduring, have moved this distinguished panel to hoist the banner of Justice and Peace for that land. May your efforts bring about the changes foretold by Abdul’ Baha for Iran:

    ” Erelong will your brethren from Europe and America journey to Persia. There they will promote to an unprecedented degree the interests of art and
    industry. There they will rear the institutions of true civilization, promote the development of husbandry and trade, and assist in the spread of
    education…. Assuredly they will come; assuredly they will contribute in making of the land of Iran the envy and the admiration of the peoples and nations of the world.”

  9. Paul Stern

    February 5, 2009 2:53 am

    As a nonIranian Baha’i I have been privileged to know Iranian Baha’is in many different countries of the world, including Iran. Knowing these wonderful people, and comparing their behavior and demeanor to those that seem to blindly follow their religious leaders in Iran, if I had no other reason, which I have, would be enough to make me declare my adherence to the teachings of Baha’u’llah!

  10. Aaron Smith

    February 5, 2009 4:39 am

    Thank you, your commitment to justice and the establishment of love and fairness will, I am sure, have great effect and please God. I will pray for you to be blessed for making this statement.

  11. Heshmat

    February 5, 2009 8:05 am

    This is a day were upon all of Mankind have to live according to the will of God, no one has any right to hurt or take some ones life. This is God given life and ith has to be safe gurd. and only justice will determaine any wrong doing by any one.

  12. Susan Allen

    February 5, 2009 8:11 am

    I wish there were a place to comment directly to these individuals. This comment is to them:

    Your message was deeply touching–awe-inspiring, and tremendously humbling, and I am sure that it brought tears to the eyes of many Baha’is. I don’t think any of us blame you or those, who for various reasons, did not take action in the face of what was happening. Our judgment is often shaped by our society, and it is difficult to penetrate the masses of misinformation that is generated by those in control of the media and see the truth of what is happening. It is more daunting to figure out what one sympathetic observer can effectively do when living within an oppressive regime, and we can imagine how helpless and inadequate observers might feel to influence events when one is living outside it.

    You can also feel proud that many observers in Iran did not stand idly by, but helped their Baha’i friends in distress in small quiet ways. This expression of shame is too overwhelming for the heart to bear or accept–your clear-sighted understanding and your determination to assist, in whatever small, kind ways you can, is already enough to win our heart-felt gratitude. May God bless you!

  13. John

    February 5, 2009 8:19 am

    Religious leaders throughout history have incited opposition to more recent revelations of God. Although their behavior is understandable but no less condemnable, sooner or later this unfortunate cycle of selfish hostility will have to be broken, and we believe that the Baha’i Faith by the Will of the Almighty will bring this about. The signatories sympathy is highly appreciated by every Baha’i in the world – especially those in Iran.
    May your voices be heard by the authorities in Persia!

  14. Mina

    February 5, 2009 8:43 am

    I don’t want to be sentimental, but what saddened me most of all is that all these injustices associated to poeple of a land known for its’ civilization, most importantly its first “human rights charter”, what happened to the land of beauty, poetry,art,writing, justice, science, learning and more. But one should always be certain that justice will prevail. This poignant letter is the first gleamer of hope for future of our beloved country.

  15. dan

    February 5, 2009 12:29 pm

    I am reading this letter, and feeling deeply moved. Any student of the history of the persection of the Baha’is in Iran knows the huge and historic significance of this noble and courageous letter.

    This letter will give comfort to those Iranian Baha’is facing repression and torment at the hands of the State in the country that they love so deeply. This letter will give encouragement to the growing number of Iranians living in Iran or in the diaspora, who recognise their Baha’i compatriots as their neighbours, their friends and wish to defend them. This letter will help to begin the cleansing of the disgraceful stain on the magnificent and shining history of Iran, that has been smeared with acts of hatred and oppression by those forces of bigotry who have made Baha’is outcasts in their own land.

    God bless every signatory of this letter.

  16. David

    February 5, 2009 6:49 pm

    I didn’t mean for my first comment to be accusatory. I just wish more Iranians in the Middle east and in Iran itself would step up. It would have much more impact.

  17. Dianne Coin

    February 5, 2009 8:22 pm

    As in all the history of this remarkable faith, the more opposition is mounted against it, the stronger and more widespread it becomes. The religious and secular authorities who jailed and executed His Holiness The Bab, and who then persecuted and exiled His Holiness Baha’u’llah and his family through a succession of the most desolate prisons, these authorities unwittingly brought the glad tidings of the Baha’i Faith to millions who might never have known of it otherwise. Similarly, were it not for the suffering, sacrifice and steadfastness of the Iranian Baha’is, standing firm in their faith against this profoundly ignorant regime, the message of His Holiness Baha’u’llah might not have taken root so consistently in nearly every nation on earth since its inception in Iran in the mid-1800s.
    Now we see at last a coalition of ‘the just’ taking shape to support the Baha’is and, we hope, to eventually defeat every similar abomination on this earth.

  18. Becky

    February 6, 2009 1:22 am

    May God bless you all for the writing and signing of this amazing document. I will pray for your safety and for the protection of your friends and relatives in your homeland. May Iran soon become a place where all are safe, where every human is treated with respect, and all are free to worship as they choose.

  19. Richard Poole

    February 6, 2009 9:50 am

    This remarkable document surely represents a a turning point in the history and the fortunes of the Baha’i Faith. Praise and gratitude go to all those who participated in its publication.

  20. Maury Miloff

    February 6, 2009 11:57 am

    I am thunderstruck, as if impacted out of the blue, and moved to tears, by the courage and clarity of this declaration and the sense of solidarity of these representatives of the highest ideals of humanity and of their countrymen in Iran. I ardently hope that this small, brave and clear-sighted group of seers and truth-speakers represent just the most visible part of a much larger mass of Iranian people, and those from elsewhere in the Middle East, with similar thoughts and feelings.

  21. Carlos Moreira

    February 6, 2009 12:01 pm

    I’m very surprising about the courage and humbling of the prominent Iranian intellectuals that have signed the document. Tears cames to my eyes.

  22. Francisco Amenàbar

    February 6, 2009 2:35 pm

    Una emociòn infinita ha invadido todo mi ser y no pude evitar llorar, al leer el documento lleno de valentìa y fuerza en el alma de cada uno de los que suscribe. El mundo Bahà’i se enorgullece de cada uno de uds. y tengan la certeza absoluta que estaràn en el corazòn de cada oraciòn que dirigimos a nuestro Creador para rogar por vuestro bienestar. En verdad son un tesoro en este mundo.
    Con todo mi amor.
    Un Bahà’i de Chile.

  23. Linda Leeb Duper

    February 6, 2009 7:19 pm

    You have the gratitude not just of Baha’is but, I venture to say, of all people who value justice, freedom, and peace. This is a very brave and noble act. Many of us know how much you are risking by stepping forward like this, and we thank you. God bless and protect you.

  24. Sahar

    February 6, 2009 8:21 pm

    Very well said, Linda; thank you to everyone who has signed this letter for standing up in the name of the Baha’is in Iran, but also in the name of the many people from around the world whose voices have been stifled for so long.

  25. Rowshan Mustapha

    February 6, 2009 9:36 pm

    Thank you, dear and honest people who signed this declaration – Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you and yours. I am an Egyptian Baha’i. My first name is Persian.
    God Bless

  26. Juliet

    February 6, 2009 11:57 pm

    Thank you for speaking out! As I’ve listened to the coverage of the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, sometimes I’ve wanted to scream. The Baha’is have faithfully devoted their lives to serving their fellow Iranians, have been cruelly and unjustly tormented, and yet the world has remained silent. Thank you for taking your courage in hand! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  27. Peggy

    February 7, 2009 2:15 am

    What a beautiful and soul-stirring statement! Thank you, each and every one of you, for caring enough to take a stand. Your actions on behalf of our Bahá’í brothers and sisters in Iran is a testament that the coming of age of humankind is drawing near. What happens to one of us affects all of us. God bless and protect you, and may all the oppressed peoples of the world soon find peace and protection.

  28. Arthur H. Stanwood

    February 7, 2009 2:38 am

    Dear friends,

    God bless you all for your bravery and courage. I wish I could meet each one of you and give you a warm embrace.

  29. Flavio

    February 7, 2009 2:48 am

    Thank you all very much.
    Solidarity and compassion are very much apreciated these days.
    Let’s make this letter circle around the globe.
    Best regards from Brazil

  30. Robin C. Rutan

    February 8, 2009 2:58 am

    Thank you for speaking out for our brothers and sisters in Iran. I am not Iranian but they are still my family. Thank you for letting the world know that all Iranians do not follow the national agenda.

  31. Lisa Lucas

    February 8, 2009 9:00 am

    Dear Friends,

    Thank you for taking the courage and humility in preparing such a fine statement. I hope this is just the beginning of our Iranian brethren all around the world to stand up for the protection and care of our beloved Persian Baha’is. May your names be engraved on the stars of understanding.

  32. RonPrice

    February 8, 2009 10:12 am

    A population that had once produced some of the greatest minds in the history of civilization–Cyrus, Darius, Rumi, Hafiz, Avicenna, Rhazes and countless others–has long become the prey of a clerical caste, as ignorant as it has long been corrupt, whose petty privileges could be maintained only by arousing in the helpless masses an unreasoning fear of anything progressive. Protest, even the mildest and most reasonable, has long been smothered by a secret police unconstrained by any constitutional oversight. It is not surprising, therefore, if Iranian intellectuals within the country have not signed their names to this document. The smothering of protest is now centuries old. The international Iranian diaspora, though, is free to raise its voice.

    The new “Islamic Constitution” of the last thirty years ostensibly enshrined solemn guarantees of equality before the law for all citizens of the republic. Government would endeavour conscientiously to combine spiritual values with the principles of democratic choice. From all sides today, though, one hears cries of protest against endemic corruption, political manipulation, the mistreatment of women, a shameless violation of human rights and the suppression of thought. What is the effect on public consciousness, one must further ask, of appeals to the authority of the Holy Qur’an to justify policies that lead to such conditions?

    One of the most appalling afflictions, in terms of its tragic consequences, has been the slander of Bahá’u’lláh’s Cause perpetrated by the privileged caste of religious leaders to whom Persia’s masses had been taught to look for guidance in spiritual matters. For 165 years, every medium of public information– pulpit, press, radio, television and even scholarly publication–has been perverted to create an image of the Bahá’í community and its beliefs that is grossly false and whose sole aim is to arouse popular contempt and antagonism. No calumny has been too vile; no lie too outrageous. At no point during those long years were the Baha’is, the victims of this vilification, given an opportunity, however slight, to defend themselves and to provide the facts that would have exposed such calculated poisoning of the public mind.

    Most recently, since that 1979 revolution, some of the most distinguished Baha’is in Iran have been imprisoned on charges too outlandish to warrant comment, subjected to monstrous tortures and murdered after farcical trials, their property plundered by their persecutors and by the hoodlums who were supposed to serve and protect them. Flower-bordered Bahá’í cemeteries, tenderly cared for over the years, have been maliciously bulldozed and the precious remains of countless loved ones shovelled onto heaps of rubble.

    I was more than a little impressed when I saw this document at Iran Press Watch: “The Baha’is Documenting the Trials of the Baha’i Community in Iran.”
    I have been watching and reading in amazement about the treatment of the Baha’is in Iran since the mid-1950s when my parents joined the Baha’i Faith in Canada. Perhaps the tide is finally turning.-Ron Price, Tasmania

  33. Guita

    February 8, 2009 2:34 pm

    I cannot say I speak for all Baha’is, but I can certainly speak for myself and humbly express my feeling that as far as I am concerned as a Baha’i no apology was required as never in my mind or heart have I held those Iranians who are not directly perpetrating these atrocities responsible for any harm that has come my way or to my brethren in faith. The fact of the matter is that I/we view all humanity with love and with the eyes of equality without blame or prejudice. So in my/our eyes no one, except for those who actually pulled the trigger so to speak, was to feel responsible or sorry for the tragic events in Iran. Therefore no one needed to apologize. In other words the ones, who perpetrate injustice in the name of Islam, are not the same as those Moslems, intellectual or otherwise, who go silently about their lives. Even I cannot truly blame the perpetrators of the cruelties as it is not for me to judge and certainly not for me to forgive or incriminate them. There is only one Judge and He will judge me too (according to my actions and not merely my beliefs). The way I see it, we all face our spiritual tests in life and no one can judge or blame the other for failing theirs. Our quest in life is to concentrate on our own actions and as far as possible try to live a life of service to all humanity. Certainly what each of us can do in the way of service, is not much and not worthy but it would be the best thing that we can do with our short lives and our service would bring meaning and worth to our lives in this plane of existence. So, again on my own behalf, as a Baha’i I thank all the signatories of this letter but bow my head too and say that it was never your fault that these things happened. And let us all be brave and stand for what is true and worthy of our country and the whole world and our station as spiritual beings.

    Humbly and sincerely,

  34. Farid Ghalili

    February 8, 2009 6:50 pm

    As a Bahá’í I am certainly proud and grateful to all those who initiated, wrote and signed and circulated this great letter. As it starts by saying “we are ashamed for what has been perpetrated upon the Baha’is in the last century and a half in Iran.” So they do not just speak for themselves but their forefathers. Hence, their voice represents the voice of all Iranians who lived since the birth of the Bahá’í Faith with its Forerunner, The Bab and His persecution and eventual martyrdom and the persecutions of over 20,000 of His followers to the time of its Funder Baha’u’llah and His persecution and exile until today. Therefore, let this great letter be a start to a voice not only the voices of a group of academics, writers, artists, journalists and Iranian activists throughout the world but the voice of every Iranian and Iranian decent no matter where they reside throughout the world.

    I do not see this as a letter of shame but a start of a Voice that needs to be heard. Let every Iranian who truly believes in the essence and words of this letter from any religion not just Muslims, background, village, city and position, from a simple farmer to those who signed this letter be given the opportunity to sign this letter. I in no way undermine the position of those who have already signed this document but it is time that as a great nation all Iranians and Iranian decent residing in every corner of the world voice what is truly in their heart by signing this letter.

    Let this letter reach Tehran with millions and millions of signatures from every person who ever considers himself or herself a lover of humanity and wish to say “In the name of goodness and beauty, and in the name of humanity and liberty” I sign this letter.

    Let God bless all.

  35. Claudette

    February 9, 2009 1:44 am

    I declared my Faith as a Baha’i in recent months after having been a student of the Faith for more than a year. While reading the sacred writings and historical accounts of the Faith, I have wept profoundly innumerable times.
    I cannot fathom the deep hatred felt toward nor the heinous atrocities perpetrated against these precious souls.
    Much thanks to those who have taken a stand against the perpetrators… My continued prayers are for unity and harmony throughout the world.
    Blessings & Peace

  36. Janet Pound

    February 9, 2009 5:04 am

    What a historic letter. What a beautiful gesture. My heart overflows with love and thanks to all who had the courage to sign this letter.
    “The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”

  37. Guy Marco - Macushi

    February 9, 2009 8:15 am

    Eventually our crime – Oneness of Mankind, Oneness of Religion, Oneness of God, Equality between man & women, among others are coming to fruition.
    Thanks very much for your bold move.
    Guy –
    ( Macushi Indigenous of Guyana)

  38. Foad SABERAN

    February 9, 2009 8:20 am

    Merci ! Enfin ! Enfin, après un siècle et demi l’intelligence des enfants de Cyrus, de Hafez, de Rumi, etc, se manifeste. Enfin les stupides accusations lancées par les mollas et relayées par les staliniens sont jetées dans les poubelles de l’Histoire. Enfin, nous les baha’is iraniens nous pouvons être fiers de nos compatriotes intellectuels et artistes, après avoir été aidé par le petit peuple qui nous protège en silence. FS -psychiatre, France

    qui peu traduire en anglais ?

  39. Kenneth R. Jeffers

    February 9, 2009 11:05 am

    Bravo! For 48 years as an American Bahai I have longed for this outcry. Now it is time for every soul and every nation to learn of BAHA’U’LLAH”s revelation of The Creator”s truth for this age.

  40. S.

    February 9, 2009 1:15 pm

    “These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one family.”
    – Bahá’u’lláh to E. G. Browne

    Please allow me to express my highest regard to these brave Iranians. Their message has indeed brought tears to my eyes this morning.

  41. Rochan MAVADDAT

    February 9, 2009 3:35 pm

    Les signataires de cette “Lettre ouverte” font preuve d’un grand courage, d’un vrai sens d’équité et d’humilité et, par là, d’une incontestable grandeur d’âme !
    Nul doute, que leur nom entrera dans l’histoire des défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme !
    Qu’ils reçoivent ici, mes sincères remerciements, de ma propre part, mais aussi de la part de tous les victimes d’injustice, notamment de la part de mon cousin germain Farhang MAVADDAT, fusillé par le Régime islamique d’Iran, pour le seul chef d’accusation d’appartenance à la Foi Bahà’ie !
    Rochan MAVADDAT
    English :
    The signatories of this “Open Letter” show of a great courage, a true equity and humility and, by there, an undeniable nobility of soul !
    No doubt, that their name will enter in the history of the Defenders of the Human Rights !
    I would like to send them, my sincere thanks, of my own share, but also on behalf of all the victims of injustice, in particular on behalf of my first cousin Farhang MAVADDAT, shot by the Islamic Republic of Iran, only because he was a Bahá’i !
    Rochan MAVADDAT

  42. sb

    February 9, 2009 8:32 pm

    No true Baha’i wishes anyone’s shame. Let’s be proud of our common humanity at this amazing moment.

    This letter clearly expiates years of confusion and silence with one courageous, harmonic note of accord. My profound gratitude to the signatories of this letter; you have helped us breath easier for our common future, which is undoubtedly great, no matter the present darkness. Never have I doubted the capacity, insight and wisdom of the Iranian intelligensia.

    “Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ta, for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind.”
    – Baha’u’llah

  43. Liu Taufa

    February 10, 2009 4:37 am

    O Feet of this Temple! We, verily, have wrought you of iron. Stand firm with such constancy in the Cause of your Lord as to cause the feet of every severed soul to be strengthened in the path of God, the Almighty, the All-Wise.
    Beware lest the storms of enmity and hatred, or the blasts of the workers of iniquity, cause you to stumble. Be immovable in the Faith of God, and waver not.
    We, verily, have called YOU forth by virtue of that Name which is the source of all steadfastness, and by the grace of each one of OUR most excellent Names as revealed unto all who are in heaven and on earth.
    Erelong shall We bring into being THROUGH you other feet, firm and steadfast, which shall walk unwaveringly in Our path, even should they be assailed by hosts as formidable as the combined forces of the former and latter generations.
    In truth, We hold all grace in the hollow of Our hand, and bestow it as We please upon Our favoured servants.
    Time and again have We vouchsafed unto you Our favours, that ye may offer such thanks unto your Lord as to cause the tongues of all created things to speak forth in praise of Me, the All-Merciful, the Most Compassionate. Baha’u’llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts p. 32.

  44. davoud

    February 10, 2009 3:07 pm

    So what happened to the names that you supposed to add to the list?!

    what’s wrong with you guys? is is exclusive list? another form of Iranian just to be me there…attitude!

    WTF is wrong with you?

  45. Ahang

    February 10, 2009 3:23 pm

    Dear Davoud,

    We typically don’t allow such outbursts in our comments, so appreciate it if in the future you phrase your comments more appropriately.

    We have no control over the publication of the list of names as it’s being compiled by the organizers of this effort, who are not associated with the Baha’i community.

    It is our understanding that on Friday, 2/13, they will publish the final list of signatories.

  46. Harold Tichenor

    March 12, 2009 5:17 am

    It was very moving to read this open letter. Let us pray that this is the turning point in the status of the Faith in Iran. Thank you for your courage.

  47. Sepideh Eskandari

    March 13, 2009 2:21 pm

    My heartfelt and deepest gratitude to each and every honored member of this monumental statement! My pray is for all of humanity to reach this heightened level of consciousness on speaking up for all the voiceless oppressed members of our society. As a lawyer, I have often witnessed in many instances, how easy it is for an individual to go with the flow even if deep in our hearts we are troubled by an act of injustice. Your great compassion and love for humanity to contribute your precious time to speak up for these pure innocent Baha’is is beyond commendable! You all serve as an inspiration to all of humanity including the Baha’is of the world not to remain silent and speak up for justice in any instance in our personal lives. Worst than the acts of injustice is for the world to remain silent. As members of one human family, we are all ashamed for all the recorded and unrecorded acts of injustice from the very beginning of history of mankind and mostly our silence! My heartfelt prayers are with you always my dearest friends and God has always protected men of Justice as Baha’u’llah states that the best beloved of all things in the site of God is Justice as we are judged accordingly! For what is the quality and worth of our lives if we are selfishly living in constant fear of the inevitable and what legacy and footprints are we leaving behind. Humbly, Sepideh

  48. Edward K.

    March 18, 2009 11:41 pm

    In response to, “why are there no signatures from Iran itself:
    As Americans look back on McCarthyism, we are gaining an awareness of how the mechanism of persecution does more harm to the society itself than to the persecuted. Unfortunately, anyone within the society who rises to the defense of the victims of inquisition is tarred and feathered with the same brush, regardless of whether or not they share the same core beliefs as the original victims. Let us hope, that the awareness Iranian Muslims are beginning to develop, of how diabolical persecution really is, will help to raise the Iranian nation to the stature prophesied in the Baha’i writings.


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