Less than a year after the UPA government declared Jains as a minority community, the Bahai community has reignited its demand for the status. The community much like the Jains is affluent, but it asserts that the status is a matter of recognition rather than plea for help.
We had asked for more information from the community and they did submit some… But, that was not enough for the commission
Bahai representatives had met Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla in this regard and she, it was learnt, referred the matter to the National Commission for Minorities. The matter was also taken up by the NCM in more than one meeting, but the commission felt that it did not have enough data on the socio-economic condition of the community to make a concrete recommendation. It is now for the Ministry of Minority Affairs to take a call. There are around two million Bahais in India and the community is perhaps best known for the Lotus Temple. The religion traces its roots to Iran — the birthplace of Bahaullah, its prophet.
Many Baha'is from the global South have grown up in dictatorships or their parents did, and they think about the institutions of the faith as like the governmental dictatorship they experienced. Dictatorships typically severely restrict freedom of speech, jail academics, denounce them for undue "pride," practice censorship, and allow no public questioning of announced government policy. Many Baha'is think of the Universal House of Justice as such a dictatorial body, and believe that when they speak all must be silent.
I don't believe, however, that Baha'u'llah much cared for dictatorships, and he strove mightily to challenge the absolute monarchies of his own day, which he consigned to the dust heap of history with the advent of universal reason among the people.
Last I checked, this system does not produce chaos, and everyone seems to know what the actual law is.
There is another model, which is that of the Supreme Court in democracies. The Supreme Court's decisions stand as the law of the land. But in democracies, professors in law schools can write journal articles in law reviews that examine the reasoning of the decisions, re-examine the law, and come to a different conclusion. As long as the Supreme Court does not find these arguments persuasive, they remain nothing more than obscure journal articles. The Supreme Court's decisions define the law. Sometime the court will take up a law review article and incorporate its reasoning into their new decision. But they don't have to. It is the decision of the Court. Nevertheless, they do not seek to prevent the law professors from writing their articles. Last I checked, this system does not produce chaos, and everyone seems to know what the actual law is.
I think this is a much better model than that of the supreme dictator (like the Shah or Khomeini) for the Baha'i community. So, my answer to your question is very simple. The Universal House of Justice has the authority to decide such issues as whether women are admitted to that body, and as long as they stick to their decision that is Baha'i law. But they do not have the authority to prevent the free and conscientious expression of other views, as long as these are advertised merely as personal and non-authoritative opinion. Thus, historians may examine the evolution of the gender issue in Baha'i institutions, and freely publish their results, but these results do not have to be adopted by the House of Justice.
Nothing. For Baha’is, Baha’i Scripture is everything penned by The Bab and Baha’u’llah, and the interpretations by Baha’u’llah’s son ‘Abdul-Baha, and where Shoghi Effendi (‘Abdul-Baha’s grandson) wrote in his capacity as official interpreter of Baha’i Scripture. It is a source of pride for many Baha’is to be able to state that we have authoritative scripture. That is to have access to the actual texts (or accurate translations of texts) as the sources for Baha’i Scripture.
“Unity of doctrine is maintained by the existence of the authentic texts of Scripture and the voluminous interpretations of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, together with the absolute prohibition against anyone propounding “authoritative” or “inspired” interpretations or usurping the function of Guardian. Unity of administration is assured by the authority of the Universal House of Justice.”
John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador under George W. Bush, is playing an unexpectedly prominent role in an Iranian cyberspying campaign.
In Iran’s intelligence war against America, the regime has a new weapon: “John R. Bolton.”
This is what happened to Kit Bigelow, one of Washington’s leading advocates for the Baha’i...
No, Iran has not turned President Bush’s former ambassador to the United Nations into a sleeper agent. Instead, hackers believed to be connected to the Tehran government are posing as Bolton on social media platforms in a scheme to get human rights activists and national security wonks to hand over their passwords and user names.