What did the trees do wrong?

Photo essay: Trees chopped down at Bahai cemetery in Isfahan

by Ahang Rabbani
During the early hours of Saturday, 27 September 2008, the custodians and grounds-keepers of the Baha’i cemetery in Isfahan visited the cemetery (on the road leading to Nain in Yazd Province) and found all the trees cut to pieces. It appears that in Iran, even for trees that are close to Baha’is – even deceased Baha’is – is a crime punishable by death.  While we know that the current regime believes the Baha’i community has no right to live or even exist or even to die and be buried in this land, why should trees be deprived of the right to live and flourish?  What crime, other than being close to Baha’is, did these trees commit?


A faith Denied!

by Anonymous... (not verified) on

A Faith Denied: The Persecutions of the Bahai in Iran




Mr. Rashidian - Thank you...

by alborz on

...for stating your "repeated position" here once again, for my sake.  While this is appreciated, it is precisely the comments that you assert that are problematic to my sensibility.  You state repeatedly that there is a conflict between the two faiths in the following excerpts.

"conflicts between Shiite clergy and Baha'i faith",

"open conflict between Shiism and Bahism",

 "ongoing conflict between the two faiths".

Mr. Rashidian, I am again surprised that despite your apparent knowledge of the Baha'i Faith you hold such a view.  Conflicts require active engagement by two parties.  The Baha'is have no conflict with the Shiites, because they don't renunciate Shiism. How can they?  Siyyid Ali Muhammad (The Bab) and Mirza Husayn Ali (Baha'u'llah) were both Shiites.  

The persecutions that the Baha'is are experiencing is just that and any other characterization is problematic and unfounded. How can there be a conflict if one party is not engaged?  So I ask you, why do you call this an "ongoing conflict between the two faiths"?  If this was done to fit the balance of your hypothesis that the IRI needs conflict for survival, then substance and truth has been sacrificed for the sake of form.  I would like to think that this was not your intent.

I agree with much of the balance of your hypothesis and acknowledge that the existence of an enemy does serve the survival of the regime.  However, as I stated in my earlier comment to you, this blog was related to taking an axe to trees in a Baha'i cemetry.  Transgressions such as this, are dutiful acts by individual Shiites that are assured of not only not facing any reprecussions but belief that they will be rewarded in the next world. Those individuals that commit such acts know that "the essence of faith is action" and that these acts demonstrate their faith.

The conflict on which both of your entries are founded, is not.  Iran's pogrom against Baha'is has many dimensions and in no instance, and again I repeat, in no instance has it been met with a retaliation of any form.  The Baha'i response has remained focused on human and civil rights. 

If the threshold for defining a conflict in this case, is that there is a basis on which the Baha'is are being persecuted, then I believe you have added a new dimension to the word "conflict". Once again, I hope that this is not the case.

Your thoughts are appreciated.



Take this racist crap off this thread

by Anonymous-today (not verified) on

Gert Wilders is a paranoid racist. Demonizing Muslems is no different from what you're all rightfully condemning here.


An Excellent Case Against the Practice of Hanging in Iran

by A. Hassan Danesh, Ph.D. (not verified) on

This picture should be put in the wallet of every Iranian lawyer practing law to make sure that Execution death penalty by the achaic method of hanging now is the thing of past for good.

Case opened!
Case Discussed!
Case CLosed!

Darius Kadivar

Someday We Will Find a Way ...

by Darius Kadivar on



I suggest an Iranian.com Concert getting ALL Great Iranian Artists together sponsored by cultural organizations like Beyond Persia, medias like Persian, etc For HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN AND SUPPORT FOR CIVIL SOCIETY, FREEDOM FOR ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS AND SECULAR DEMOCRACY :

Someday Nazanin Afshin Jam

Googoosh and Mehrdad Shenasname Man





Jahanshah Rashidian

Mr. Alborz

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

It goes without saying that I condemn such IRI-led acts of hatred against any ethnic or minority group. If I did not initially started repeating this position in my Persian comment, because I would have thought that this assumption is obvious for many readers. 

Quoting a passage of Khomeini's fanatical guidance evokes in fact a close and subtle scrutiny at the basically rooted problem which is deeply established in the mindset of grassroots and may be led to  surface any time against any minority group as long as the cause is not consciously treated.

Asserting of anti-Baha'i prejudices by Shiite grassroots has strong roots in conflicts between Shiite clergy and Baha'i faith which are  updated by a sect called Hojjatyeh for both religious and political reasons--this sect protects and monitors Ahmadinejad's government.

Religiously, because of an open conflict between Shiism and Bahism over the statut of Mahdi--if this Hidden Imam has already reappeared, as asserted by Baha'i and then this event paved the way for their religion.

Politically, The IRI needs this religious conflict like many other conflicts as a trampoline to political power. The ongoing conflict between the two faiths is now extremely used or abused by The IRI not only to oppress, discredit, and even uproot the Baha'i community in Iran, but mainly to fool our grassroots.

Hopefully, my not routinely repeated position is now clear.



100% pathetic

by javaneh29 on

The persecution of any minority group is an abhorance. I dont know much about islam so I cant comment on its preachings, except that of what I see myself,  but I thought that most religions advocated love to their neighbour? I guess not.

This gesture, the cutting of the tree's in the bahai cemetry is a pathetic reminder of the majority about who's in control. When individuals or groups resort to such low levels, the message tells us that they small minded, ignorant and pathetic, not powerful It also stinks of coward and losers.... they did this in the night hours? Unbelievable.



Watch it...No BS here

by Omar (not verified) on


I am outraged and the silence of so called IRANIAN Community...

by sassan (not verified) on

This is a systematic destruction of NON MUSLIM IRANIAN minority by bunch of Islamothugs attached to the IRI to wipe the religious monority from the land that they have lived for centuries...



Can't wait....

by Hamed (not verified) on

to hang every akhoond and their thugs on every lamppost in Iran


Private Pilot

How was Europe Lost

by Private Pilot on

  In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe?" Here is the speech of Geert Wilders, chairman Party for Freedom, the Netherlands, at the Four Seasons, New York, introducing an Alliance of Patriots and announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem (which I hope to be attending). The speech was sponsored by the Hudson Institute on September 25. Dear friends, Thank you very much for inviting me. Great to be at the Four Seasons. I come from a country that has one season only: a rainy season that starts January 1st and ends December 31st. When we have three sunny days in a row, the government declares a national emergency. So Four Seasons, that’s new to me. FULL TEXT: //theblackcordelias.wordpress.com/2008/09/28/...


Religion of tolerance and peace....

by babak747 (not verified) on

This is Islam at its best...


ذبح اسلامی سر سبزی ، طراوت، خرمی، سایه افکنی،


گل دوست عزیز

شما که گل دوستی‌ چرا این فرمایش رو میفرمایید؟

تو اون گورستان که هر حرکت هر جنبنده‌ای زیر نظر هست، سگ پدر هایی که " وابسته" نبودند، چه اره‌های تیزی داشتند که ظرف دو سه ثانیه قبل از اینکه ماموران سر برسند ببین چند تا درخت رو ذبح اسلامی کردند؟

قلع و قمع شده تو اون مملکت کم بود ؟ نوبت به درختا رسیده؟

خدایا....آنکه را که عقل دادی، چه ندادی؟

و آنکه را که عقل ندادی چه دادی؟



Majid, that is exactly what the problem is!!

by Tahirih on

not investigating , and following blindly the leaders, who are also blind, or thirsty for power.





by Majid on

"How many of these tugs who did cut the trees do you think have read Quran from beginning to the end , understood and comprehend" ?


Now you're asking for too much !!

 I don't think if you can find ONE in that regim who "read Quran from the beginning to the end, understood and comprehend" and you're asking how many?

"Zamin e shooreh sonbol bar niaarad

dar oo tokhm e amal zaaye' nagardaan" 


it's a shame

by IRANdokht on

What a stupid display of ignorance and hate. 

it's disgusting!



Ahmdinejad in one his

by Anonymous... (not verified) on

Ahmdinejad in one his speeches right after he got elected he promised that , I'm paraphrasing, he will rid Iran out of Baha'is and Christians. Google it.


Susan M

by John the Baptist (not the real one) (not verified) on

Thanks for the explanation.


uprooting the trees

by Anonymous iranian (not verified) on

During the revolution some uneducated people in Iran thought that because they were were told they should uproot the Shah's regime they have to uproot the trees too ,so they started cutting down the trees to symbolize the uprooting of the Shah's regime.Education or lack of it determines how long a government can last.


Dear Goldust, Of course Ahmadinejad did not personally ....

by Tahirih on

cut the trees, but the ignorance and fanaticism did this. So , why do you think lots of commentators are saying IRI did it? Because ruling clergy are keeping uneducated masses in the darkness of ignorance and fanaticism. that's why people are accusing IRI.

Also remember the innocent "Yaraneh Iran "(administrative body of bahais of Iran) , who have been in the prison for so many months. Who do you think is responsible for it? This one is as obvious as the ray of sun in the morning.

As far as your comment about  putting down all religious people, including Bahais, I have to say that I do not hold any religion responsible for all this cruelty . The culprit is ignorance, lack of education and blind acceptance of whatever clergy is feeding the people.

How many of these tugs who did cut the trees do you think have read Quran from beginning to the end , understood and comprehend ?



Have 2 Cousins in this cemetery

by Anonymous123 (not verified) on

I have 2 cousin buried in this cemetery, I zoomed in on the plaque and there are their names. What a bunch of cowards. Instead of facing Bahais of Iran face-to-face to discuss their problem of the Promised One of Islam having already come back, like adults, they go and cut down living breathing blameless trees.


reason for this

by MRX1 (not verified) on

The regime found out that these trees have been working quietly and silently with jews and zionists to bring down the regime, thus they had no choice but to chop them. Sean pen will have a press conferance explaining IRI's reaction.


Re: I have a question

by SusanM (not verified) on

Dear John,

Baha'is believe that in some sense every Messenger is the return of the previous one just as Jesus said John the Baptist (the real one) was the return of Elijah. As for the 12 Imam, Baha'is see Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi al-Bab as the Promised Mahdi or Qa'im, not Baha'u'llah.

warmest, Susan


This is a Zionist Crime!

by Looti (not verified) on

The Zionists did this to make the IRI look bad. This is an old trick. The IRI is not responsible. This is part of the Zionist war against the IRI. This is the work of the bloodsucker land grabbers of Palestine. No Iranian Muslim or IRI supporter would commit such act.


persecution of Baha'is of Iran!

by Persian Empire (not verified) on

ایا به علت هست که متجاوز از صد و شصت سال هست که از هر ستمی به بهاییان فرو گذار نیستید

اگر نفسی موفق بر ان گردد که خدمتی نمایان بعالم انسانی"
علی الخصوص به ایران نماید سرور سروران است و عزیزترین بزرگان.اینست غنای عظیم و اینست گنج روان و اینست ثروت بی پایان والا ننگ عالم انسانی است.چقدر انسان باید که غافل و نادان باشد و پست فطرت و پست طینت که خویش را وساخ ارتکاب و خیانت دولت بیالاید والله حشرات ارض از او ترجیح دارند

حضرت عبدالبهاء


Atefeh Golnia


by Atefeh Golnia on

This sounds redundant, but Jumhuri Islami strikes again!!!! Just another cost to overthrowing the government. Expect to see more from Mossadeq, Khomeini, or Rajavi's followers.


I have a question

by John the Baptist (not verified) on

I am curious to know if in Bahai faith there is such a thing as a returning Messiah or an equivalent and what is his name?

The next question I have is someone wrote here a months ago that in Bahai faith the belief is that Baha-o-llah was indeed the 12 Imam of Muslims that reappeared as Baha, is that a true explanation of the belief?

Thanks for any accurate respond. No guessing please.


Axes of Evil

by Ax (not verified) on


I hate the sight of a tree
They are so unworthy
Trees, I can not stand them
Or better said
if they stand, I condemn
I particularly hate trees in some cemeteries
Not all cemeteries,
but the ones that have shown braveries
Their roots extract life from the dead
And this malignity I dread
So I cut them down those trees
Those trees that may shed shadow on graves
with their leaves that are filled with the spirit of the dead
I hate those trees

My wooden handle
made of trees that once wanted to be free
that once my brethrens
cut down indiscriminately
So now, I cut trees
in Bahai cemeteries


Did the regime do this? A group did it? Why?

by goldust (not verified) on

No proof is provided as who did it! We are all assuming either the regime did it, or they let it happen! There is no solid evidence provided as who did it. However, one thing is for sure that I would not be surprised if the regime did this! Actually, if the regime did it, it represents the fact that they have become more moderate!! I expect much more from them, such as digging out the graves! In fact, in the past they may have done that! I don't know, and wouldn't be surprised. They put graves on top of the MEK, and possibly removed some bodies!

As you can see i still see this stupid act as glass half full! Ignorance is the mother of all hates. This is not only against bahaii, it could be against moslems too. I remeber when we as a family would travel along the Army guards with my dad to Ab Ali near Damavand mountanin, we would stay in a small village by renting a room and using a tent next to to a joob. My dad loved music and always would take his radio with him and blasting it. My older sister who has a beautiful voice would go to the hills snging "Delkesh" songs. The property owner complainted saying that singing and listening to music was against islam, asking us to stop or vacate the building! My dad refused (We were 7 males & 4 females)!
My dad preached him about the beauty of music and why it is not against islam. He couldn't change the old man's mind! We stayed anyway!

The point is, there are many ignorant religious people in all the religions islam and bahai included, that are so fanatic that they can see the world only in black and white. The problem today is that those ignorants have a complete control of the government!


I am surprised

by Mehran-001 (not verified) on

usually when an article about Bahai's published on Iranian.com there is a wave of IRI apologists that write hateful articles. It is interesting to see in this case even them caught by surprise and have nothing to say to defend this barbaric and low life act.