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Archive for the ‘Baha’i Persecution in Iran’ Category

From IranWatch we learn that a courageous ayatollah sent a section of his artwork to each of eight of Iran’s persecuted minorities. His vision of a civilized, integrated & compassionate Iran is deeply moving.

This is the whole of his art-piece;

courageous-cleric-divides-painting-for-bahais-other-persecuted-minorities-promotes-unity

To the Baha’is he sent this section;

fragment-of-his-painting-sent-by-ayatollah-to-the-bahais

IranWatch  give us the following report;

The Artwork by Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, … he has divided into eight parts corresponding with eight religious groups in the country. He has dedicated parts of the painting to Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Mandaeans, Yarsanians, Baha’is, and Sunni and Shia Muslims in the country, all of whom he considers “essential aspects of Iran’s national culture as well as the entire region’s spiritual and religious reservoir.”

In recent years, individuals and groups from within and outside of Iran have raised the call for justice, human rights, and a culture of inclusion in the country. Though more and more voices are joining this chorus, it is still rare to see any vocal support from among Iran’s ecclesiastical class. On occasions when a clerical figure in Iran does speak out in support of the rights of citizens and minorities, it can inspire hope in countless hearts.

Against this backdrop, Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, a high-ranking religious cleric in Iran who is also a calligrapher and artist, has stood out for his public dedication to unity. His contributions to social harmony in Iran have drawn attention and acclaim in many parts of the world.

Recently Ayatollah Tehrani has painted a new work which he has divided into eight parts corresponding with eight religious groups in the country. He has dedicated parts of the painting to Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Mandaeans, Yarsanians, Baha’is, and Sunni and Shia Muslims in the country, all of whom he considers “essential aspects of Iran’s national culture as well as the entire region’s spiritual and religious reservoir.”

A group of Iranian Baha’is received the fragment of artwork on behalf of the Baha’is of Iran.

“Our national identity would be incomplete without each one of them,” he writes in a statement on his website.

The dividing of his painting symbolizes the fragmentation of the diverse populations that constitute Iran’s citizenry-a fragmentation he attributes to religious fanaticism and claims of privileged access to truth.

Explaining the symbolism of dividing his painting, he states: “As the body politic of human society would suffer because of estrangements and separations, likewise each section of this piece would be incomplete if it remains unaccompanied by the other sections. This piece is only complete when all the parts are put together.”

A section of artwork by Ayatollah Tehrani, which he has dedicated to the Baha’i community of Iran.

In the past, Ayatollah Tehrani has made other gestures of reconciliation and brotherhood toward religious minorities. In April 2014, for example, he gifted a calligraphic rendering of a sacred verse from the Baha’i writings to the Baha’is of the world. His action at once acknowledged the persecution of Iran’s largest religious minority and expressed a wish that the Baha’is of Iran should be allowed their rightful place beside their fellow citizens, working for the prosperity and happiness of their country.

His courageous actions as a member of Iran’s religious clergy have resonated with many inside and outside of the borders of that country and inspired a number of his counterparts from other Muslim denominations as well as other religions around the world to voice their support for his actions towards peaceful religious coexistence. 

With this latest action, Ayatollah Tehrani captures the yearning of many of his fellow citizens for “a future where this land does not only belong to a certain religion, class, ethnicity, or ideology but belongs, without discrimination, to all Iranians, regardless of religion, attitude, or gender”.

-0- Go to IranWatch for more pictures and the full story -0-

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An extraordinary open letter concerning Iran’s persecution of its Baha’i minority has been published at IRANIAN.COM 

We are ashamed!

We are ashamed!

Century and a half of silence towards oppression against Bahais is enough

by Open Letter
04-Feb-2009 
 

An Open Letter from a group of academics, writers, artists, journalists and Iranian activists throughout the world to the Baha’i community

In the name of goodness and beauty, and in the name of humanity and liberty!

As Iranian human beings, we are ashamed for what has been perpetrated upon the Baha’is in the last century and a half in Iran.

We firmly believe that every Iranian, “without distinction of any kind, such as, race, color, sex, language, religion, politics or other opinions,” and also without regard to ethnic background, “social origin, property, birth or other status,” is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, from the very inception of the Baha’i Faith, the followers of this religion in Iran have been deprived of many provisions of human rights solely on account of their religious convictions.

According to historical documents and evidence, from the commencement of the Babi Movement followed by the appearance of the Baha’i Faith, thousands of our countrymen have been slain by the sword of bigotry and superstition only for their religious beliefs. Just in the first decades of its establishment, some twenty thousand of those who stood identified with this faith community were savagely killed throughout various regions of Iran.

We are ashamed that during that period, no voice of protest against these barbaric murders was registered;

We are ashamed that until today the voice of protest against this heinous crime has been infrequent and muted;

We are ashamed that in addition to the intense suppression of Baha’is during its formative decades, the last century also witnessed periodic episodes of persecution of this group of our countrymen, in which their homes and businesses were set on fire, and their lives, property and families were subjected to brutal persecution – but all the while, the intellectual community of Iran remained silent;

We are ashamed that during the last thirty years, the killing of Baha’is solely on the basis of their religious beliefs has gained legal status and over two-hundred Baha’is have been slain on this account;

We are ashamed that a group of intellectuals have justified coercion against the Baha’i community of Iran;

We are ashamed of our silence that after many decades of service to Iran, Baha’i retired persons have been deprived of their right to a pension;

We are ashamed of our silence that on the account of their fidelity to their religion and truthfulness in stating this conviction, thousands of Baha’i youth have been barred from education in universities and other institutions of higher learning in Iran;

We are ashamed that because of their parents’ religious beliefs, Baha’i children are subjected to denigration in schools and in public.

We are ashamed of our silence over this painful reality that in our nation, Baha’is are systematically oppressed and maligned, a number of them are incarcerated because of their religious convictions, their homes and places of business are attacked and destroyed, and periodically their burial places are desecrated;

We are ashamed of our silence when confronted with the long, dark and atrocious record that our laws and legal system have marginalized and deprived Baha’is of their rights, and the injustice and harassment of both official and unofficial organs of the government towards this group of our countrymen;

We are ashamed for all these transgressions and injustices, and we are ashamed for our silence over these deeds.

We, the undersigned, asked you, the Baha’is, to forgive us for the wrongs committed against the Baha’i community of Iran.

We will no longer be silent when injustice is visited upon you.

We stand by you in achieving all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights.

Let us join hands in replacing hatred and ignorance with love and tolerance.

February 3, 2009

To read the full article and list of names go HERE

 

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The persecution of the Baha’is in Iran continues, but protests are mounting;

The EU Presidency has issued a welcome and strongstatement of concern about the situation of the seven Baha’i leaders in Iran.

The EU expresses its deep concern at the grave charges raised against seven Baha’i leaders in Iran. They have been detained by the Iranian authorities for eight months without charge, during which time they have had not had access to legal representation.

The EU is concerned that, after being held for so long without due process, the Baha’i leaders may not receive a fair trial. The EU therefore requests the Islamic Republic of Iran to allow independent observation of the judicial proceedings and to reconsider the charges brought against these individuals.

The EU wishes to express its firm opposition to all forms of discrimination and oppression, in particular on the basis of religious practice. In this context, the EU urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect and protect religious minorities in Iran and free all prisoners held due of [sic] their faith or religious practice.

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The UK government has said;

The Government remain very concerned by the situation of the Baha’i community in Iran. The Baha’i faith is not recognised as an official minority religion under the Iranian Constitution and Iranian Baha’is face systematic discrimination and persecution. We regularly raise our concerns about the treatment of Baha’is with the Iranian authorities, bilaterally and through the EU. On 22 January, the EU presidency, with strong UK support, raised specific concerns about the treatment of the Baha’i community in Iran during a meeting with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this meeting the EU expressed opposition to all forms of discrimination, in particular regarding freedom of religion. Most recently, on 7 February, the EU presidency issued a public statement expressing concern about the deteriorating situation of the Baha’i minority. We have also taken action at the UN; in December 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution about the human rights situation in Iran. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by the UK and all other EU member states, expressed very serious concern about increasing discrimination against religious minorities in Iran and the situation of the Baha’is in particular. We will continue to urge the Iranian authorities to uphold the right to freedom of religion and belief as described in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party.

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Iran continues to persecute its largest minority the Baha’is. A summary is to be found here;

There is a great deal of material both other videos and written material just GOOGLE ‘Baha’i persecution in Iran’

Please add your protest wherever and whenever you can for these and other such minorities.

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