The other day I met an Iranian in the drug store near my house. We talked for a minute and right away he said “by the way I am of Bahai faith.” This is not the first time that this situation happened to me when I met an Iranian of Bahai background. It seems this is part of Bahai culture that must to mention “I am Bahai” especially, at that early stage of conversation. That bothers me a lot. I never met anyone of other faiths that introduced himself/herself through their religion affiliation.
I have many Iranian and non-Iranian friends that are Christian, Jews, Moslems, Hindu and never talked about what they believe when a conversation strikes between us. When I was attending university back in 70’s, they were these two Bahais couples that constantly promoting their religion like they had nothing to do in their daily life. The thing that was agitating to me was their perseverance in converting Muslims, Christians, and Jews to their faith which they thought is a noble thing to do. Later when I met my wife coming from other State, she told me exactly the same thing that she experienced similar situation while she was attending university. That type of method of approach will reflect negatively on Bahai people.
Hope our Iranian Bahais as well as others would put their priority on first being a good Iranian and less on their religious believe (this should be true for Muslims and Jews of Iranian background as well). To do it otherwise, will create division among Iranians and will harm us much more than helping us for building a better Iran.
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