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?


what happened to us? We never learned tolerance

by Seagull (not verified) on

Anonymous Observer,

You insult various Iranian people in your less than 3 lines comment.
Are your comments any better than the axe of those who express their hate and intolerance by assaulting the trees.
Your axe of intolerance is hitting the tree of Iran.
It is a set back for anyone who is concerned with anything Iranian, to deal with hateful rhetoric and blows such as yours.
If you love the land of Cyrus, you need to learn his ways. Tolerance, peace and truth.
We need comments that bring us to our senses not the kinds that make us HATE more.

Speak like these trees not like an axe.

The real definition of insanity is to want things change for the better, and yet refuse to change our ways.
The root cause of problem in Iran is not the diversity of religion or ethnicity as you imply.
Its simply lack of respect for others, there will always be differences we need to get used to it.


Mr. Rashidian - Rationalization, Sentiments and Conflicts

by alborz on

Mr. Rashidian, in response to these images, which have evoked sentiments of disgust and dismay amongst the readership of this site, you provided a very carefully crafted commentary on the basis of the hatred that Shiites have towards Baha'is.

In reading your comment several times, I had to sadly conclude that it only served to rationalize this hatred and how it manifests itself in cutting of trees at their cemetery, lack of access to education, and whole host of other acts which have included imprisonments, and executions.

While I cannot conclude from your comment whether you condone these acts, I cannot equally conclude whether you abhor them. You have provided a basis for a Shiite believer and government to take an axe to the body of the Baha'i Community in Iran.  Was this the only purpose in your comment in response to this posting?

Mr. Rashidian, perhaps you have done this to console the conflict you sense.  If so, you are not alone in this regard.  While many expat Iranians feel dismay and disgust with Shiite Islam; like you, they continue to remain neutrally factual in order to avoid the conflict that they sense between what they are associated with and how it truly manifests itself in this day and age.  Intellectually resolving these internal conflicts has been shown not to work.  The person that takes an axe against a  tree feels that they are performing a dutiful act based on faith.  When a Baha'i is chained to a tree and is set on fire, the person committing the act also feels that they are fulfilling a divine obligation.  Action is the essence of faith.

Since the government cannot commit the same acts in an official capacity, they contrive other charges that are political in nature.  In this case,  the government acts in an international arena, and it has to rationalize its acts not by referencing faith or scripture but rather national security.  Even the IRI has learned to be sophisticated in its persecutions in order to be able to propagate its agenda and improve its image amongst a family of nations that lives by different standards.  Here lies another conflict. 

As you can see that whether it is an expat or a government we are conflicted.   The only person that is at peace and fulfilled, and has no internal conflict, is the devout Shiite living in Iran, that wields the axe.

We, as expats, should get off the fence, and take a position that aligns our hearts and minds.


Anonymous Observer

Amen Red Wine Jaan

by Anonymous Observer on

The land of Cyrus and Ardeshir has become the battleground of various forms of Arab ideologies, Sunni, Shia, Bahaii, Ismaili, etc...

What happened to us? 

Persia is Eternal.

Darius Kadivar

Some Things ARE SACRED

by Darius Kadivar on

When a  regime does not even respect even the Dead then ...



WE ARE ALL JEWS, GAY,ADULTERS, BAHA'I or whatever you want.




‫ ‫ظلم پایدار نخواهد ماند


جمله حيوانات وحشی ز آدمی
باشد از حيوان انسی در كمی


People who did this are so courageous!!!

by Tahirih on

to be able to defeat trees and dead people !!

All this to me is a sign of fear , and ignorance. Fear that they can not refute bahai faith in a rational and civilized debate, and a sign of ignorance, since you can not empty pacific ocean with a small tea cup. A tea cup, that they are!!!!



والله بالله آنها بهائی نیستند


من یادم می آید كه مرحوم مادر بزرگم تعریف میكرد كه حدود ۵۵ سال پیش زمانی كه فلسفی در رادیو مردم را علیه بهائیها تحریك میكرد وبالطبع در گوشه و كنار ایران به آنها حمله میشد به باغ و مزرعه آنها هم در یكی از دهات حمله كردند.این جماعت فقط به ضرب و شتم باغبان و زنش و قطع اشجار قانع نشده و حتی به چند گاو و گوسفند و یك الاغ هم كه منبع درآمد و تغذیه باغبان بیچاره و خانواده اش بود رحم نكردند و با چوب و چماق به جان آن حیوانات زبان بسته افتادند و هر قدر باغبان بدبخت و كتك خورده فریاد میزد و التماس میكرد كه تورا به خدا به این زبان بسته ها رحم كنید والله بالله آنها بهائی نیستند كسی گوش نمیداد.


Where is Hooman Majd

by Anonymous^2 (not verified) on

and the likes of him to condemn this barbaric act...!?
These problems will not be resolved until and unless the next president of the US of A, John McCain, bombs the life out of the barbaric Islamic Republic of Iran!?

Khak Bar Sar'e Iran and Irani for allowing a bunch of barbaric Muslims to do this.


This is vicious and vile act

by artery (not verified) on

This is vicious and vile act of desecration and hatred against Bahai.

The callous wave of destruction against bahai cemetries is nothing new. Last year, The bulldozing of a Baha'i cemetery was the start of this series of incidents in a government-led campaign of hatred against Baha'is.


The list of anti-Baha'i incidents is growing, as are human rights violations against other groups in Iran.

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

زده به سر ايرونيا!!!

خير سرمون مملكت با فرهنگي هستيم و ادعا ميكنيم كه خدا شناس هم تشريف داريم ،غافل از اينكه هيچ پخي نيستيم،نياكان ما ناموس كشور را به اعراب فروختند و حالا چهار تا ماتحت شور ولدزنا از شيعه و سني و چرت و پرتهاي ديگر حرف ميزنند.

اي واي بر ما كه مملكت از دست رفت و ما هنوز سر مذهب داريم يخه همديگر را پاره ميكنيم.

بيچاره اناني كه بعد از ما بيايند.



by Hassan Danesh (not verified) on

Is the emperor
Who has not forgotten
His dark empire that must grow
In the rooted underworld
When ascending to heaven
To expand his empire to embrace the light
O Tree you are indeed the king!
The king of both worlds
And that who mishandles you
Will have the last name of "Treason"
For his offsprings
Messiah was crucified on your body
When he used his saw and hammer and nail from the wrong angle
How many birds have you let them nest on your soul
How long of a shadow you cast
For the comfort of mankind in the heat of summer
How many lovers made love under your your blossom
How many lush green fruits you brought to this world
Sweeter and sexier than the juicy engorged lips of woman
How many more son emperors you generated from within
To be sacrificed for the comfort of man to build his shelters
And how many gallons of pure oxygen you generated for the lungs man
Oh even your dead body is the source of life in warmth in fire
But o you tree know one thing for sure
There is only one nation on the face of earth
Who has respected your soul better all the other one


For in this nation when one tree is chopped down
Automaticly a baby is put right back in the soil
To remember its humanity en route eternity

Paymaneh Amiri

An Ode To A Tree

by Paymaneh Amiri on

  An Ode To A Tree

    You are the tall figure of desire, O' tree

The sky embraces you at all times
You are tall, O' tree

Your hands are full of stars and your soul full of spring
You are beautiful, O' tree

When winds make a nest in your tangled leaves,
When winds comb your green hair,
You are fantastic, O' tree

When the wild fingers of rain grasp you,
In its cold feast
You are the sad, sweet-singing musician, O' tree

Under your feet,
Here is night and night-struck people whose eyes
Have not seen the day
How is it that you have seen the day?
How is it that you have seen the sun?
And you are amazingly gazing at them, O' tree!

As you bound the earthly people by a thousand strings,
Don't be scared of thunder,
Don't be scared of lightning.
You will prevail, O' tree

Don't rebel, O'scared tree that like our hope,
You are with us, but still lonely, O' tree.

By Siavash Kasrai

Jahanshah Rashidian

تضاد شيعه با بهائيت

Jahanshah Rashidian

پايه گذار جمهوری اسلامی, خمينی, در کتاب معروف خود, توضيح المسائل, نجاسات را يازده چيز مينامد:
اول: بول. دوم: غائط. سوم منى. چهارم: مردار.پنجم: خون. ششم و هفتم: سگ و خوك. هشتم: كافر. نهم: شراب. دهم: فقاع. يازدهم عرق شتر نجاست‏خوار.
در بخش ديگر "کافر" را کسی ميداند که " منكر خدا است، يا براى خدا شريك قرار مى‏دهد، يا پيغمبرى حضرت خاتم الانبيا محمد ابن عبدالله صلى الله عليه و آله و سلم را قبول ندارد، چنين فردي نجس است، تمام بدن كافر، حتى مو و ناخن و رطوبت هاى او نجس است."

کماکان بر خلاف ديگر مذاهب اهل کتاب, بهاهيت معتقد به نبوت محمد است. انچه دشمنی خاص ملاهای شيعه را بر عليه بهائيت باعث ميشود اعتقاد در ظهور امام غائب مهدی است که از نظر بهائيت قبلا ظاهر شده و مذهب جديد بهائيت در ارتباط با ان ميسرگرديده است حال انکه شيعه او را غائب ميداند و ظهور او را انتظار ميکشد. طبيعی است اين اختلاف فرا تر از تضاد اسلام با بهائيت و بيشترتضاد بين شيعه و بهائيت است. شکی نيست که حکومتی که مشروعيت خود را ازمهدی احاده ميکند و تمام هدفش هموار کردن ظهور اوست بهاهيت را دشمن هستی خود دانسته و خواستار نابودی فوری انست.


love is the ultimate winner

by hedyeh a (not verified) on

it's so pittyful that some people can do such cruel deeds, just because of their hatred towards other people. today more and more people of different nations, cultures, religions and social classes are learning to love each other and live in peace and harmony, and soon love and peace would be the winner. i hope that one day those people who cut trees, burn houses and kill people learn to love and tolerate, too.



by Irandokhte19 (not verified) on

کی به انداختن سنگ پیاپی در آب
می شود ماه را ار حافظه ی آب گرفت...



by Ayatoilet (not verified) on

They don't only have problems with people they also hate trees. Is there ever going to be one ex-revolutionary who will sincerely apologize or show any regret for all the crimes, caused by their impulsive support of Khomeini's sack of Iran? No, us Iranians are too proud to ever think we make mistakes too, we do not make small mistakes, we only make huge mistakes.



by Bahar (not verified) on

استیصال در گفتمان مذهبی و سست بودن بنیاد اعتقادی، منجر به خشونت می گردد. وقتی نتوان در مقابل زندگان ایستاد باید سراغ قبرستانها و آن هم درختانش رفت!


If only "the trees" could talk!!

by Goli (not verified) on

I wonder how grevious would be their lamentations if these tress could speak of the atrocity committed against them...

How bitterly ignorant the soul...how incredibly cruel the heart and how severely distorted the mind that would take axe to such beautifully innocent trees.... UNBLIEVABLE INDEED!!


قبر پدر بزرگ و

مهران (not verified)

قبر پدر بزرگ و مادر بزرگ ما را که چندتا آدم نادان ( به دستور یا بی دستور دولت و شهرداری و ... ) خراب کردند ...عیبی نداره، این درختها هم روش. خدا ببخشه


So sad, so pathetic to take

by jamh on

So sad, so pathetic to take revenge on the dead.  The soul of the ancestors ought to be cherished.  Why does it matter which god or person you run to in time of need?  Must that hidden part of your psyche be controlled as well?

Unfortunately, and certainly, these are the end days.  Defend what you can, run when you can, and leave behind what you can't carry...



Don't stop here

by Majid on

Nothing was more effective than the pictures and videos of the stoning of women in Iran which were posted in the media and on youtube.  "Deutche Zeitung"

What are you waiting for? 



by Khar on


If only "the trees" could talk!!

by Goli (not verified) on

I wonder how grevious would be their lamentations, if these innocent trees could be heard...and how they would endevour to describe the atrocity committed against them???

How bitterly weak the mind...how incredibly cruel the heart...how enormously twisted the mind that would rise against innocently beautiful trees!!! UNBELIEVABLE INDEED!!


What did the trees do wrong?

by Parvaneh Farid (not verified) on

These trees were spying for the Israel. You should not underestimate the undercover activities of these Baha'is. Their trees have connection with "gen". They use oxy"gen" and water which is made of oxy"gen" and hydro"gen". What more do you want? I think all Baha'i trees should be identified and be put into prison.

Mona 19


by Mona 19 on

این اشخاص از هر چیزی که سنبل انسانیت، زندگی‌، سرسبزی، خرمی، شادی، محبت، عشق، لطافت، مهر،دوستی‌،...نفرت دارند

به امید روزی که پرچم مساوات،عدالت، و انصاف در ایران عزیزمان بر افراز شود و نام نامی‌ این کشور در سراسر جهان پهناور بلند آوازه گردد.

به امید آن روز.

مونا :)

" محبت نور است در هر خانه بتابد و عداوت، ظلمت است در هر کاشانه لانه نماید."




by Amazed (not verified) on

I really don't know how much we can blame the regime for this mindlessness, I know that humans are capable of horrific acts regardless of nationality but anybody who goes and desecrates graves and cuts down trees at a grave site must have had a sick up-bringing in every sense. Yes, we are the Iranian nation and proud of it, just make sure you don’t display what we are capable of(once again) at this juncture in history.


Common sense and decency

by Fred on

The ruling messianic Islamists have an apocalyptic agenda which mandates the annihilation of even traces of all the nonconformists. All those who think common sense and decency can ever come to terms with these Islamists have another think coming.