Bahais in Iran

Comic: Prison Break in Iran

In recent months, Iran has escalated its campaign of arrests against Baha’is. Dozens of Baha’is currently languish in prisons, with no hope of being accorded a fair trial. Those reportedly arrested weren’t criminals, thieves or murderers but were in fact community leaders, social activists and educators who strove to serve their communities.

The Iranian regime has adopted the mission of preventing the progress of Baha’is, both within and outside Iran, and there is no telling how far it is willing to go to fulfill its mission.

Our CENSEO team has created a comic about the absurdity of this situation:

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Why are they Afraid of the Dead?

Have you read this news?

The Bahai Cemetery at Najafabad

“Last night, at midnight, a number of plain-clothes officers attacked the Baha’i Cemetery in Qa’emshahr with a lorry and a bulldozer; and set out to remove the tombstones and to level the ground,  According to a report from the Human Rights Activists Group in Iran, electricity had been completely cut off in the whole area during this undertaking, and a shot was fired in the air when someone from the neighborhood was caught witnessing the activities.  The witness was then seized, his hands and feet were tied up, and he was left alone in this condition in a remote area of the cemetery

The attack and destruction that took place last night was the third in a series and, in a way, the fiercest of its kind since the destruction on 23 Oct and 22 Nov of this year; and the intent was to erase every trace of the Baha’i cemetery in this area.”  (Quoted from 19 January 2009)

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Some Old Charges for a New Religion

Susan Maneck

As a graduate student I sometimes hired Iranian students to assist me with translating certain Persian Baha'i histories. My preference, of course was to use Iranian Baha'is who would be more familiar with the vocabulary specific to our Faith, but there were occasions when I resorted to non-Baha'is. On one occasion an intelligent, rather secularized young man of Muslim background was reading a Baha'i text in Persian with me when he awkwardly asked me the following question: “Is it true that Baha'is believe that before a man gives away an apple, he should taste it first.”

{josquote}This story, as fantastic as it might appear, is all too typical of the rumors and slander that are spread in Iran about Baha'is...{/josquote}

I knew better than to take his question literally, but I wasn't about to guess at what he meant, so I said, “Farhad if you want an answer to your question you're going to have to be clearer.” After fumbling around a bit he finally asked me if it were true that Baha'is believed that a father should sleep with his daughter before he gave her away in marriage. At that point I said, “Think for a minute, Farhad. If you were going to make up stories to discredit a religion, what sort of things would you say?” He then admitted that he had figured the stories weren't true but he couldn't be sure.

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Bishop raises plight of Iran's Baha'i community

Lord Malloch-Brown

The Anglican Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham has raised the plight of seven leaders of the Baha’i community imprisoned and threatened with execution in Iran.

The British Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch-Brown described the situation as “an extraordinary attack on freedom of religion” in Iran.

Bishop George Cassidy asked at question time in the House of Lords: “What action are the Government taking on the position of the seven leaders of the Baha’i community who have been imprisoned without trial and held in severe conditions and who are now threatened with execution for no other crime than their religious beliefs?”

{josquote}We received reports in December that the group had been sentenced to death and that executions were imminent...{/josquote}

Lord Malloch-Brown said the seven people had remained in detention without charge since their arrest in the first half of last year.

He added: “We received reports in December that the group had been sentenced to death and that executions were imminent, although we have been unable to confirm this and cannot therefore substantiate the reports.

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Thanks to The Muslim Network for Baha'i Rights for the story alert.

Iranian media report Baha'i missionary arrests

Kish Island

Story Highlights

  • News service says women held for work on island in Persian Gulf
  • Media didn't say how many women were held or when
  • Baha'is say they have been targeted in Iran because of their faith
  • Six other group members were arrested this week, Baha'is say

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian authorities have reportedly arrested several women for doing missionary work for the Baha'is, the religious group whose persecution by the Islamic republic has been condemned by human rights activists and governments around the globe.

Tabnak, a semi-official Iranian news service, reported the development but did not specify how many women were arrested or when they were seized.

The arrests took place in Kish Island, Iranian territory in the Persian Gulf, the agency said. Tabnak said some of those arrested came from Tehran and others from abroad.

"For a long time now, those who wanted to recruit young Iranian men to join the Baha'is used attractive women as bait," the site said. "Israel has given sanctuary to the leaders of this perverted group [Baha'is] for many years, and the United States and Britain have provided them with billions of dollars to engage in propaganda."

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