How Does It Feel to Be A Question?

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I wrote recently that young Baha'is in Iran are denied the experience of graduating from college taken for granted by young Americans this time of year. For a Baha'i in the United States, the denial was not a diploma, but a phone call.

An article recently published in the Washington Post told the story of a graduate from George Mason University. The graduate named Mahtab Mortezaei Farid did not receive a promised call from her father on her graduation day. At first she thought he had forgotten. She later learned he had been arrested and denied the opportunity to call. Her father, Kamran Mortezaei Farid was rounded up with several other Baha'is for their involvement with the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education. The Baha'i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) was founded as a creative and wholly non-violent response to the Iranian regime's policy of excluding Baha'is from higher education. This grim news transformed what should have been a celebration of achievement into a vigil for justice.

{josquote}It reminded me of W.E.B Du Bois' poignant discussion of a similar dynamic in his literary classic, The Souls of Black Folk:{/josquote}

You may wonder why the Islamic Republic would spend its time arresting citizens for trying to educate young people. The reason is that if you are a Baha'i in Iran you are not a person; you are a "question." At least this is the language used in a document of the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council of Iran. According to this document "The government’s dealings with them [Baha'is] must be in such a way that their progress and development are blocked". Towards this end several recommendations are made including the following:

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