Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bahais In Iran: New Accusations, Old Hatred

Bahais in Iran video

As reported in the Jerusalem Post and many other newspapers around the world, members of the Bahai religious community in Iran have confessed to spying for Israel and attempting to undermine the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iranian Bahais arrested.
It can be assumed that means were used to extract confessions that would be in contravention of international judicial norms. Unlike most of the world, Iran has a list of tolerated faiths that enjoy a subjugated status with a limited list of rights. Those not on the list enjoy no government protection at all. The destruction of Bahaiism is an official Iranian government objective.
Bahaiism was founded in the 19th century by a leader venerated as a prophet in their faith known as Baha u llah. They have suffered persecution of varying intensity since their founding. Even under the regime of the Shah and the Shah's father, the Bahai's were subject to discriminatory legislation made as a concession to religious interests.The Bahai religion is monotheistic, with its own calendar and holidays. Because its founder was born a Muslim, its followers are ruled to be apostates, with a lower Islamic legal status than that of idolaters. This is despite the fact that Iran's Bahais today were born to that faith and not to Islam. Mandaeans, a monotheistic group in Iran and Iraq that once enjoyed "dhimmi" protected status has had their status as a protected minority in Iran revoked. Most Islamic scholars agree that they are one of the monotheistic protected faiths listed in the Koran. Unfortunately, Islamic scholars in Iran today have not found a way to broaden religious liberties in that country. Their legal skills seem to be reserved for legal loopholes that allow one to marry for one hour and divorce, effectively legalising prostitution as well as to appropriate the property of those deemed to be "infidels". ("Halal" prostitution in Iran) Apparently, it is easier in Iran today to be promiscuous and kill infidels than to pray in a manner that differs from the majority. I am sure that many Iranian Muslims would far rather seek religious alllowances for tolerance and peaceful coexistence than for licentiousness and bloodshed as is currently the case.
The Bahais deserve worldwide support in their desire to enjoy peace and tranquility in Iran. There is a malignant aspect to religious intolerance. Today, Bahais and Mandaeans are victims of persecution as are Iranian Arabs. There is no legal protection for Islamic religious factions that might form in the future. Already, there is mutual intolerance in many Muslim countries between Shiites and Sunni Muslims. The world should express its outrage and its concern over the treatment of the Bahais in Iran. The Iranian government should know that their persecution of this and other religious minorities in Iran does not pass unnoticed. The truth is out there. We can not plead ignorance. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Findalis said...

And the only nation in the Middle East that doesn't persecutes the Baha'i is Israel.

Their temple and gardens in Haifa are gorgeous!