Bahais in Iran

The tale of such outrageous conduct …

Sometimes the news is so outrageous, I am tempted to a little rhetorical highlighting. The sober version of this report appears as usual on the News page

Bahais caught teaching literacy in Isfahan province

RAHANA, August 9

Faraz Rouhi, Zhinous Jushanyan and Nasim Rouhi are reported to have been arrested today by security agents following an early morning raid on their house in the village of Quleh-ye Musa Khan. The village is 50 kilometres from Isfahan. The three are known purveyors of literacy and are said to have been teaching literacy and computer skills to women and even children in the village for the past 16 months, using books approved by the Ministry of Culture. They had also smuggled more than 200 factual and scientific books for children and youth into the village. There is no doctor or health care in the village, and the three have also been implicated in transporting villagers to the city for medical treatment. It is said that the villagers had no idea that the three were Bahais. They have been detained in Isfahan prison for these crimes. No spokesman for the Taliban was available to comment.

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Baha’i students in Iran still denied right to education

Note: The below article and photo associated is a satirical piece mocking the absurdity of Iran’s continued harassment and discrimination against the Baha’i minority. A quick visit here will verify the amount of violence and crimes that Baha’is in Iran have been suffering through for decades.

System Error:

As millions of young Iranians continue their academic year, Baha’i students were met with yet another disappointing result.

As one young Baha’i student from Shiraz notes, “I logged into a University computer in order to take the eligibility test. Instead of being asked about my academic record, I was met with a question about my religious affiliation. Even though officials claim I can be accepted into university despite the Baha’i Faith not being recognized, I kept receiving a strange error message,” said the distraught teen.

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From Mocumentary to Black Market Documentary

I was surprised to see our film "Bahais in my Backyard" pirated and streamed on the internet after it was broadcast by SBS Australia, but it didn’t look like pure theft, but rather a compliment to the film's humour and lightness.

{josquote}What a pity the Iranians didn't quite get the point of the film, a mockumentary, in which we make fun of ourselves and our theories.{/josquote}

The next step, several months later, turned to be much more serious. The film was dubbed and streamed by an Iranian website. The dubbing, I am told by friends who know Persian, is very professional. At first, I was honoured by the effort and investment of the Iranian website and only regretted that we were cheated of our royalties. But when one of my friends translated the four-minute introduction the site added to “explain” the film and showed me serious and hefty attacks on the Bahais using excerpts from our film on another Iranian website called Alef, I was much less amused. Taken out of context, everything can be used to serve anything. To use a film which was done with such a light touch, making fun of the serious investigation we set out to undertake, to prove anything about the Bahais, is more than ridiculous.

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Forgiving The Past

There’s a very tender exchange of comments about guilt and forgiveness, following an article on Iranian.com on the persecution of the Baha’i Community in Iran.

The first comment on the article by ‘Reader1′ is headed ‘I am Sorry’:

{josquote}Later, there is a response headed ‘Thank You – Reader1’{/josquote}

I was truly touched and became uncharacteristically emotional while reading this piece by Randolph Dobbs. For a long time I have been looking for an opportunity  to apologize to my Bahai ex-classmates and ex-neighbours for allowing myself to be brain washed by the men of religious pretensions to treat them with suspicion and mistrust. I have been waiting for a long time, nearly 35 years,  for an opportunity to let off the guilt bottled inside me on a public forum such as this. Thank you “Iranian.com”.

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