We are ashamed!

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


We are ashamed!
by Open Letter

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According to historical documents and evidence, from the commencement of the Babi Movement followed by the appearance of the Baha’i Faith, thousands of our countrymen have been slain by the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

1. Aban, Vahid, Human Rights Activist – Sweden
2. Abdolalian, Morteza, Journalist, CJFE Board of Directors - Canada, Oakville
3. Abdi, Asghar, Physiologist/ Human Righst Activitst
4. Abghari, Shahla, Professor, Life University – USA, Atlanta
5. Abghari, Siavash, Professor, University of Georgia – USA, Atlanta
6. Aeine, Abtin, Poet - Sweden
7. Afshar, Mahasti, Reasercher – USA, Los Angeles
8. Afshari, Maryam, Activist – Sweden, Gutenberg
9. Afshin-Jam, Nazanin, Human Rights Activist/ Singer Canada, Vancouver
10. Aghnam, Reza, Writer/Literature Critic – England, London
11. Ahmadi, Fereidoon, Political Analyst – Germani Colonia
12. Ahmadi, Ramin, Professor, Yale University – USA, Yale
13. Akbari, Mansour, Human Rights Activist – Sweden, Stockholm
14. Akhavan, Asal, Human Rights Supporter - Australia
15. Alavi, Reza, Writer/Political Analyst - USA
16. Almasi, Nasrin, Managing editor of Shahrvand- Canada, Toronto
17. Amini, Bahman, Publisher – France, Paris
18. Amini, Mehdi, Political Activist – USA, Washington DC
19. Amirgholi, Amir, Human Rights Activist – Iran, Tehran
20. Amirhosseini, Bahman, journalist – USA, Virginia
21. Amirsedghi, Nasrin, Writer/Ditrector of Kult DA – Germany, Mainz
22. Amoozgar, Mojgan, Medical Doctor – France, Paris
23. Ansari, Siamak, Human Rights Activist - Sweden, Gutenberg
24. Arian, Nima, Student/Human Roghts Activist - Germany
25. Asadi, Houshang, Writer/ Journalist – France, Paris
26. Assadi Savadkouhi, Hooshang, IT specialist – Sweden, Stockholm
27. Assman Mohammad, Javad, Poet/ Translator – Iran, Esfahan
28. Attar, Mahmood, Pharmacist/ Human Rights Supporter - Italy
29. Avaei, Gil, Writer/Bloger – Holand
30. Ayoubzadeh, Hassan, Writer/ Lawyer – Netherlands, Arnhem
31. Azad, Azadeh, Sociologist - Canada
32. Azadian, Abbas, Psychotrapist – Toronto Canada
33. Azarian, Mina, Actress – Sweden, Stockholm
34. Azarkolah, Houman, Actor – France, Paris
35. Azarli, Katayoun, Writer/Poet - Germany
36. Bagheri Goldschmied, Nahid, Freelance Journalist – Austria, Vienna
37. Bagherpour, Danesh, Political Analyst - Germany
38. Bagherpour, Khosro, Poet /Journalist – Germany
39. Bakhshizadeh, Marziye, Human Rights Activist – Germany
40. Bakhtiyari, Sheyda, Human Rights Activist - Denmark
41. Balouch, Abdolghader, Writer, Canada Vancouver
42. Baradaran, Monireh, Writer/Human rights activist - Germany
43. Barati, Mehran, Researcher, Germany, Berlin
44. Batebi, Ahmad, Human Rights Activist - USA, Washington
45. Behboodi, Reza, Human Rights Activist – Canada
46. Behnia, Kamran, Physicist – France, Paris
47. Beyzaie, Niloofar, Play writer/Theatre Director – Germany, Frankfurt
48. Bigdeli, Bahram, Human Rights Activist - Germany , Cologne
49. Bishetab, Reza, Writer, France, Paris
50. Borghei, Mohammad, Professor Strayer University - USA
51. Boroumand, Ladan, Researcher, Boroumand Foundation - USA, Washington
52. Boroumand, Roya, Executive Director, Boroumand Foundation – USA, Washington
53. Chehabi, Houchang-Esfandiar, Professor – USA, Boston
54. Choubine, Bahram, Researcher/Writer – Germany, Köln
55. Corrazo, Gabriela, Journalist - Spain
56. Daneshvar, Hamid, Actor/Theatre Director – France, Paris
57. Darvishpour, Mehrdad, Professor, Stockholm University - Sweden, Stockholm
58. Daryani, Hossein, Stage Actor – Germany, Berlin
59. Dashi, Ali, Political Activist Danemark
60. Dastmalchi, Parviz, Writer/Political Analyst – Germany, Berlin
61. Davani, Hossein, Art Critic/Human Rights Activist – Germany Colonia
62. Dehzangi, Arash, PHD Candidate- Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
63. Delneshin, Shahin, Political Analyst/Blogger -Denmark, Copenhagen
64. Djalali Chimeh, Mohammad (M. Sahar), Poet - France, Paris
65. Djanati Atai, Behi, Actor/ Writer/Theatre Director – France, Paris
66. Doai, Babak, Musician/ Music Teacher - Belgium
67. Duschouki, Abdolsatar, Political Analyst - England
68. Ebadi, Abdolatif, Poet/Translator/Journalist - England
69. Ebrahimi, Hadi, Editor-in-chief of Shahrgon, Canada, Vancouver
70. Emami, Bahram, Human Rights Activist - Sweden, Stockholm
71. Esfandarmaz, Sherin, Human Rights Activist, Belgium Bruxelles
72. Eskandari, Mohammad Reza, Sociologist / Activist - Holand
73. Fadai, Behroz, Political Activist – Holand
74. Fahimi, Nima, Chief of Efsha Website - England
75. Fani Yazdi, Reza, Political analyst - USA
76. Farahani, Fereshteh, Human Rights Activist – Holand
77. Faraji, Hossein, TV Moderator – USA ,Los Angeles
78. Farhoudi, Vida, Poet/Translator- France, Paris
79. Farid, Siamak, Human Rights Activist, Belgium Bruxelles
80. Farrahi, Farahnaz, Chief of Iran bbb Website – Germany, Berlin
81. Farshy, Ebrahim, Writer/Teacher/Theater Actor – Germany Colonia
82. Fattah, Abasali, Political Activist – Australia
83. Fazel, Navid, Chief Physician - Germany
84. Ferdosian, Payam, writer/ Researche/ Human Rights Activist – USA, Virginia
85. Forouhar, Parastou, Artist/Human Rights Activist – Germany, Frankfurt
86. Fouladi, Firuzeh Faye, USA, Silver Spring, Maryland
87. Ghadiri, Khosro, Professor/ Journalist/Analyst – USA, California
88. Ghaemi, Hadi Coordinator Int. Campaign for HR in Iran - USA
89. Ghahari, Keivandokht, Deutsche Welle, Section Iran- Germany, Bonn
90. Ghahraman, Saghi, Poet /Journalist – Canada, Toronto
91. Ghahraman, Sasan, Publisher/Writer/Journalist – Canada, Toronto
92. Ghasemi Impertro, Akhtar, Free lance Journalist/ Photographer – Germany, Colonia
93. Ghassemi, Reza, Writer – France, Paris
94. Ghiaee, Abbas, Bookstore Manager – Germany
95. Ghorashi, Reza, Professor, USA New Jersey
96. Giahi, Fatemeh, Human Rights Activist, USA, Massachusett
97. Goharzad, Reza, Journalist, USA
98. Golab Dej, Hooshang, Writer/Poet – Sweden Stockholm
99. Golchin, Ali, Lawyer – USA, Massachusett
100. Habibinia, Omid, Journalist - Sweden
101. Hajzadeh, Fallah Masoud, Design Engineer - Västerås, Sweden
102. Hakim, Mohammad Hossein, Professor – USA, Amherst
103. Halford, Zhara, Painter/Photograph/Sculptor - France
104. Hamidi, Nasrin, Human Rights Activist - Holand
105. Hamidi, Hamid, Human Rights Activist - Holand
106. Hamzeloee, Mahmoud, Actor/Theatre & Cinema Director – Norway
107. Harandi, Farideh, Lawyer, USA
108. Hashemizadeh, Iradj, Architekt/Journalist- Austria, Graz
109. Hassibi, Mohammad, Political activist, USA
110. Hatami, Parviz, Human Rights Activist - USA
111. Hekmat, Bijan, Political Activist – France, Paris
112. Heyrani, Aref , general contractor, USA, Beaverton OR
113. Homayounpour, Kourosh, , USA, Washington, DC.
114. Homayounpour, Shohreh, Teacher- USA, Washington DC
115. Honarmand, Manouchehr, Journalist - Holand
116. Hosseini, Mirali, Actor/Journalist, France, Paris
117. Hosseinzadeh, Jafar, Political Activist – Belgium
118. Houshmand, Zara, Writer – USA, Houston
119. Irani, Nikki, Human Rights Activist- USA
120. Irani, Sholeh, Editor-in-Chief AvayeZan.org –
121. Irvani, Arash, (M. Saghi) Poet, Germany Dusseldorf
122. Jabbari, Reza, Reasercher - Sweden, Gutenberg
123. Jaddeh, Mohsen, Journalist/Translator - Germany
124. Jafari, Reza, Theatre Director - Germany
125. Jafari, Sedighe, Human Rights Activist - Germany, Hanover
126. Javadi, Akram, Director of Ida Bookstore - Germany
127. Javdan, Hamidreza, Actor/ Theatre Director - France, Paris
128. Javid, Jahanshah, Publisher, Iranian.com – Mexico, Chihuahua
129. Jazani, Mihan, Writer/Activist – France, Paris
130. Kakhsaz, Naser, Political analyst – Germany, Bochum
131. Kalbasi, Sheema, Poet – USA, Washington
132. Kamali, Shaghayegh, Singer/ Music Lecturer – Germany, Münster
133. Kamrani, Ali, Stage Actor/ Song Writer – Germany, Frankfurt
134. Karami, Nasser, Political Analyst - Germany
135. Karimi, Behzad, Political Activist, Netherland
136. Kassraei, Farhang, Writer/Actor – Germany, Wiesbaden
137. Kaviany, Massoud, Professor University Michigan– USA Michigan
138. Kavir, Mahmood, Poet/Writer - England
139. Kazemi, Monireh, Women Rights Activist - Germany
140. Keshavarz, Mehran, Human Rights Activist - Norway
141. Khabazian, Reza, Human Rights Supporter - USA
142. Khayam, Zohreh, Women Right Activist - USA
143. Khoi, Esmail, Writer/Poet – England, London
144. Khojinian, Hadi, Poet/ Writer – England
145. Khorami, Tahere, Human Rights Activist – Holand
146. Khorrami, Hossein, Political Activist – Germany, Essen
147. Khorsandi, Hadi, Satirist – Great Britain, London
148. Khosroparviz, Keikhosro, Political Activist, Sweden
149. Khosrozadeh, Behrooz, Journalist/ Political science Reasercher – Germany
150. Kiarostami, Kia, Film Producer, Germany, Berlin
151. Koohgilani, Parvin, Editor Shahrvand - USA, Texas
152. Kowsari, Hamid, Director of New Technology Training Institute, USA Los Angeles
153. Laghaeian, Shahriar, Medical Doctor – USA, Seattle
154. Lalejini, Ali, Translator - Sweden
155. Lavaei, Mehrdad, Human Rights Activist – Holand
156. Madadi, Shabnam, Physician/ Human Rights Supporter - Germany
157. Madjlessi, Darius, Political Activist – Holand
158. Maghssudnia, Manochehr, Political Activist – Germany, Berlin
159. Mahbaz, Efat, Women rights activist /Journalist– England, London
160. Mahdjoubi, Ali, Member of Parliamet - Germany, Berlin
161. Mahjoubi, Ebrahim, Human Rights Activist – Germany, Cologne
162. Malakooty, Sirus, Classical Guitar Player/ Composer/ Lecturer - England, London
163. Malekzadeh, Ali, Human Rights Activist
164. Manoo, Missaghi, Social Analyst, Canada, Toronto
165. Masoudi, Banafsheh, Reasercher – France, Paris
166. Massoumi, Bahram, Writer/Activist - Germany
167. Masumian, Nima, Teacher – Spain
168. Mazhar, Varya, Writer/ Poet – Finnlands, Helsinki
169. Mehr, Bijan, Political Activist – USA, Boston
170. Mirfakhrai, Mehran, Architect/ Human Rights Supporter – Italy
171. Miremadi, Bijan, Professor University Vancouver – Canada Vancouver
172. Mir Mobini, Hossein, Journalist – USA, California
173. Mir Sattari, Anwar, President of EuroPers Human Rights – Belgium, Brussel
174. Moghaddas, Mehran, Play writer/Theatre Director – Denmark, Copenhagen
175. Mohamadi, Majid, Professor/Writer/Reasercher – USA, NY
176. Moheb, Robab, Writer/ Poet - Sweden
177. Mohtasham, Yashar, Activist – France, Paris
178. Mokhtari, Sohrab, Writer, Germany, Berlin
179. Morad, Daryoush, Human Rights Activist - Germany, Cologne
180. Moshkin Ghalam, Shahrokh, Actor/Dancer – France, Paris
181. Mossaed, Jila, Poet/Writer - Sweden, Göteborg.
182. Mossallanejad, Ezat, Writer/Human right Activist, CCVT – Canada, Toronto
183. Naghibzadeh, Fathiyeh, Germany, Berlin
184. Nakhai, Shahbaz, Journalist – Canada
185. Nazarian, Arsen, Translator - Holand
186. Nejad, Mohsen, Political Activist – USA, California
187. Nejati, Ahmad, Human Rights Supporter - Belgium
188. Niroumand, Bahman, Writer/Journalist – Germany, Berlin
189. Noghrekar, Masoud, Writer – USA Florida
190. Nourmanesh, Shirindokht, Writer/ Activist – USA, California
191. Nowzari, Hamid, Political Activist - Germany, Berlin
192. Omidmehr, Ali Akbar, Researcher/ Professor - Denmark
193. Omidmehr, Ashraf Sadat, Teacher/ Human Rights Activist – Denmark
194. Omidnehr, Mahraz, professor - Denmark
195. Omid, Mahzad, Reasercher/Professor - Denmark
196. Ostovar, Yavar, Poet - Sweden
197. Pak Anna, Asyeh, Women right activist – France
198. Paki, Morteza, Human Right Activist, Canada
199. Parham, Babak, Poet - USA
200. Parsa, Kourosh, Human Rights Activist - USA
201. Parsa, Soheil, Theatre Director - Canada Toronto
202. Parsi, Touradj, Researcher/Ex-Professor - Sweden
203. Payandeh, Mehrdad, DGB Director, Germany, Hanover
204. Pegahi, Mahshid, Women Rights Activist - Germany
205. Pourmandi, Ahmad, Political Activist – Germany, Munich
206. Pour-Naghavi, Ali, Political Activist, Holand
207. Rafiee, Keyvan, Human Rights Activist – Iran
208. Rahbari, Alexander, Composer/ Music Professor – Austria Vienna
209. Rahimi, Khosro, Radio Producer - Sweden, Gutenberg
210. Rahnamaee, M.J., Music Reasercher/ Poet - Holand
211. Ramezani, Rahim, Political Activist – Turkey Van
212. Ranjbar, Darvish, Former Diplomat of IR of Iran.
213. Ranjbar, Kazem, Political Sociology Scientist – France, Paris
214. Rashedan, Nima, Political Reasercher/Analyst – Swiss
215. Rashidi, Asad, writer/Poet - Germany
216. Rastgar, Iraj, Human Rights Activist – USA, Texas
217. Rasti, Mahshid, Women/Human Rights Activist- Sweden, Stockholm
218. Razavi, Rasoul, Human Rights Activist – Germany Bonn
219. Roshan, Mitra, Journalist – Canada, Montreal
220. Saadati, Mansoor, Chemist – Canada, Edmonton
221. Sabety, Setareh, Writer/Teacher – France, Nice
222. Sadr, Hamid, Writer – Germany
223. Sadreddin, Zahed, Actor/Teather Director – France, Paris
224. Safaei, E., Poet/Political Activist – Germany, Colonia
225. Sahimi, Muhammad Professor, University of Southern California – USA, California
226. Sakhaee, Manoucher, Singer/Jurnalist – Germany
227. Salary, Babak, Photograph - Canada
228. Samadpouri, Ali, Political Activist – Belgium
229. Samadany, Faramarz, Chemist - USA
230. Samienejad, Mojtaba, Journalist, Iran
231. Sarhaddi, Arash, Actor/Teather Director - Germany, Berlin
232. Sarshar, Homa, Writer/Journalist – USA, Los Angeles
233. Sedghi, Majid, Journalist – Franc, Paris
234. Sehati, Parisa, Women Rights Activist - Sweden
235. Seihoun, Farideh, Professor, Framingham State College- USA
236. Servati, Mojgan, Sosiologist/Writer/Reasercher - Germany
237. Setoodeh, Behrouz, Political Analyst - USA
238. Shabafrooz, Masood, Human Rights Activist – USA California
239. Shafaei, Javad, Italia, Roma
240. Shafaei, Manuchehr, Artist/Activist, Germany
241. Shafie, Minoo, Human Rights Activist - Denmark
242. Shafigh, Shahla,( Chahla Chafiq) Writer/Researcher – France, Paris
243. Shamshiri, Fariborz, Human Rights Activist - Canada
244. Shemiranie, Khosro, Journalist - Canada, Montreal
245. Sheyda. Behrooz, Literary Critic/Theorist- Sweden, Stockholm
246. Shirazi, Jahangir, Journalist/Activist – Holand
247. Simai, Behrouz, Poet/Writer - USA
248. Sina, Bijan, Medical Doctor - Germany
249. Sobhani, Sohrab, International Affairs Consultant - USA, Washington, DC
250. Sohi, Siamak , human Rights Activist - Denmark
251. Soltani, Anwar, Reasercher - England
252. Taghipoor, Masoomeh, Actor/Theatre Director - Sweden, Göteborg.
253. Tahavori, Mohammad, Journalist, USA, MA Cambridge
254. Tavackoli, Shahin, Medical Doctor – USA, Huston
255. Torabi, Mohammad, Telcom Research Scientist - USA, Dana Point
256. Vahdat, Kamran, Professor – USA, Amherst
257. Vahdati, Soheila, Human Rights Activist – USA, California
258. Yadegari, Shahrokh, Composer/Professor University Of California - USA, California
259. Yousefi, Nasser, Teather Director/Radio Producer – Sweden, Stockholm
260. Youssefi, Hadi, Human Rights Activist – Denmark
261. Zahed, Sadreddin, Stage Actor/ theatre Director – France, Paris
262. Zahedi, Mitra, Theatre Director – Germany, Berlin
263. Zandian, Mandana, Medical Doctor/Writer/Poet – USA
264. Zarasvand, Hossein, Poet – Toronto Canada
265. Zarei, Faramarz, Actor – China
266. Zeinali, Lohrasb, Political Activist – Germany
267. Zerehi, Hassan, Editor-in-chief of Shahrvand, Canada, Toronto

If you want to join us, go to www.we-are-ashamed.com



Dear professor:

by Tahirih on

I read your initial comment many times to make sure  that I am not misunderstanding your intentions. To me your  objection to JJ signing the petition is due to  the name of Qajar dynasty being tainted?

I sense a relation between you and this bygone dynasty. Is this self defense that you are talking about? or clearly lack of knowledge about historical events of that time?

Your rationalisation of the persecution of bahais does not stand a chance , it would be as if the   second generation Germans saying" but they started it first!!". 



Shame it is

by capt_ayhab on

Oppression and injustice, in any form or shape, against any group or sub-group,  is a shame not only to one country, but to entire human race.

Thanks for the thread.




Bahá’u’lláh’s Principle of Collective Security is not "Jihad"

by faryarm on

With all due respect to Umm Yasmin.

If Bahais believed in violence as the answer, and practiced "jihad", our Iranian friends would not today be signing petitions in support of a historically defenseless community.

Please read further about Baha'u'llah's teachings with regards to how peace will be attained in two stages of the Lesser and the Most Great Peace, about the principle of collective security, and how nations in the future as truly united family of nations, WILL in the future have to deal with war, aggression and Global issues.

Kindly read more about Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings with regard to

The Bahai Principle of Collective Security


The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá’u’lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded. This commonwealth must, as far as we can visualize it, consist of a world legislature, whose members will, as the trustees of the whole of mankind, ultimately control the entire resources of all the component nations, and will enact such laws as shall be required to regulate the life, satisfy the needs and adjust the relationships of all races and peoples. A world executive, backed by an international Force, will carry out the decisions arrived at, and apply the laws enacted by, this world legislature, and will safeguard the organic unity of the whole commonwealth. A world tribunal will adjudicate and deliver its compulsory and final verdict in all and any disputes that may arise between the various elements constituting this universal system. A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed from national hindrances and restrictions, and functioning with marvellous swiftness and perfect regularity.”



by ganselmi on



Umm Yasin, The Jihad you

by Omid95 (not verified) on

Umm Yasin,

The Jihad you speak of that Baha'u'llah abrogated refers to jihading for the sake of spreading religion. This particular, physical jihad is not present in the Baha'i Faith as it is in Islam.

Self defense of a state or against ones own person is not jihad. Muslim countries and quasi-nation states i.e., Hezbollah, Hamas etc, IRI Iran, consider what they do and what they respond with as Jihad although they have high jacked its original meaning.

Somehow I think you know this but are simply stirring the pot. =-)


Mistaken about abrogation of jihad

by Umm Yasmin (not verified) on


As Imam ash-Shafi'i once said: "I believe that my opinion is right, but with the possibility of my being wrong; and that the opinion of my opponent is wrong, but with the possibility of his being right."

I find it hard to imagine how Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri would call for the abrogation of jihad in one breath, and establish the right for states to keep forces for the purposes of defense on the other, unless he had an incomplete understanding of what jihad is.

Our scholars have long discussed the different types of jihad, including the type of defensive jihad that a state may undertake if threatened by an aggressor. Surely if he meant to forbid harb, then he should have said as such. Jihad, on the other hand, is a noble undertaking!


Iran Press Watch: Valuable Presence.

by faryarm on

Dear Dr Rabbani,

//iranpresswatch.org/ is a valuable and welcome presence in these turbulent days for the Bahais of Iran.  

Your coverage and quality translations of news and articles in the Iranian press has given access to many and highlighted the daily assault faced by Iranian Bahais in the IRI mass media. 

Thank You




by Landanneshin (not verified) on

Follow them, loath them or ignor them if you wish,but the fact of the matter is that ancient religions,throughout millenna,have gained such a mythological status that atrocious acts committed under the banner of all religons were made to look as a matter of course. However,the more recent religons' problem is that they can never gain or claim such a status, therefore they appear, and are treated, more like a heretic cult.And no prizes for guessing how religous zealots treat heresy. If you were of the belief that Messiah or Mahdi,depending on your faith, shall one day descend from heaven,then you would not be very kind to a person, a being like yourself, who claims to be Him or His follower.Be it a divine faith or an Earthy one, for the Bahai faith the added dichotomy has been the 'political' tag attached to it from the very begining; a stigma that has taken the argument beyond the boundries of divinty and made it a political topic, particularly in its birth place. And as old as history itself,in politices,as they say everything goes!Shame.


The Bab

by smile rose (not verified) on

dear delldaar
please open this clip to see how much iranin bahais suffer


Aziz Samandari

by Patrick Nicollier (not verified) on


Thanks for this initiative. Eventhough I am not a Baha'i myslef, I am coming from a Baha'i family. My cousin Aziz is currently in Evin prison.

Please join us to help us free Aziz and his codetainees:


Thank you,


The whole silent majority of Iran should be ashamed.

by Jamshed Fozdar (not verified) on

As the hadith goes, "man plots and God plots and God is the greatest plotter"(xvi.45;xl,36-38;xxix,39-40). So,Iranians should not be surprised that the destiny they have been carving out for themselves by their own free choice through their mindless persecution of the new truths revealed by His Holiness Baha'u'llah, when they find their long directed base "plotings" are negated by the verdict of history and finally invite upon them and their progeny the wrath of God.They have so soon forgotten that "the tree of religion is ever watered by the blood of martyrs".For,"little are you told"(xxxii,5),
but,"your appointed time shall be neither too soon or too late" (xxiii,43).


Another possibility

by ke (not verified) on

Dear Umm:

You sound pretty convinced; however, I recommend you leave open the possibility that the contradiction maybe in your understanding rather that the teachings of the Baha'i faith.



Violence of early Babis

by Umm Yasmin (not verified) on

I just wanted to add to my previous comment, that actually there is an early history of violence among some of the Bab's followers. The most authoritative academic historians such as Denis MacEoin note this, and you may be interested to read Abbas Amanat's _Resurrection and Renewal_ as well, HOWEVER, Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri (Baha'u'llah) who was the successful claimant as successor after the Bab was executed, totally repudiated any type of militaristic interpretation of the messianic Babi faith, and transformed it into the Baha'i religion. Although he misunderstood the Qur'anic concept of jihad (equating it entirely with jihad bi-sayf), he specifically 'abrogated' jihad and thus his followers have since been pacifists.

There is some contradiction with this abrogation of jihad, and Husayn 'Ali Nuri's statements about future police and armed forces within a Baha'i commonwealth Obviously, theoretically these forces would pursue jihad in the sense of just war in defence of the state - which, as we understand it, is part of jihad. It cannot therefore be abrogated, and is an internal inconsistency within Baha'i teachings, but that is all hypothetical as there is no Baha'i state in existence, and the largest percentage of Baha'is (5%) in any one place is Kirabas - a tiny island in the Pacific that is about to be subsumed through global warming. So, this is not a problem they are going to have to resolve any time soon. But anyhow, I'm off topic.


Video about it: Quenching

by Ehsaan (not verified) on

Video about it:

Quenching The Light


A long time coming

by Umm Yasmin (not verified) on

Assalamu 'alaykum,

I'm a Muslim who was raised by Baha'i parents (I reverted to Islam a decade ago, walhamdulillah). My family are still Baha'i, I am the only one who has reverted, but everything is from qadr Allah.

I have long maintained that Islam and Muslims do not have anything to fear from the Baha'is and their religion because Allah, subhana wa t'ala, tells us in the Holy Qur'an that truth will ever prevail over falsehood. Even if the Baha'i religion was the darkest of lies (which it is not, it is simply a heterodox offshoot containing many of the same beliefs and practices of Islam, albeit one that incorporated and developed non-Islamic beliefs and ideas and emerged in the twentieth century with an independent religious character) then we do not have to fear Baha'is or oppress them.

Allah, subhana wa t'ala also tells us there is no compulsion in matters of religion, and religious freedom is an essential teaching of Islam. For as long as the Iranian state oppresses Baha'is and forbids them their religious freedom, they are darkening the beautiful light of truth in Islam.

If Baha'is did not experience oppression from their Iranian brothers and sisters, then perhaps they would be free to discover the truth of what Islam really teaches, rather than accuse Muslims of being stuck in the dark ages.

Da'wah to Baha'is will never work so long as the Iranian government and the Iranian religious elites systematically oppress Baha'is. How can we share Islam with them, if Muslims are the ones telling lies about them and their religion??

Subhanallah, I am very glad to see this letter, may Allah guide us all.

Ali P.

Great Start!

by Ali P. on

And so glad, and proud, to see the name of our very own JJ on it as well.

 I hope the trend continues, not necessarily in the form of an apology, but in the shape of reexamining the way we, Iranians, have treated - and continue to treat - several other minorities in our country.


This translation is without appropriate attribution

by Ahang Rabbani (not verified) on

This translation is mine and was lifted from //iranpresswatch.org/

I have no problem with folks using it, but it is ethical to give proper attribution to the source.

Ahang Rabbani, PhD


Perhaps the most important period in our modern history...

by faryarm on


It is indeed heartening to see a movement towards recognition of perhaps the most important period in our modern history unknown to the average Iranian. 

Perhaps the most trusted and authoritative text about the Babi Perod 1844-1850 is by Nabil Zarandi called Tarikh Nabil or its english translation The Dawn Breakers


as well as The Book "GOD Passes By" covering major event of both the Bab's period as well the beginning of Bahai Dispensation, with the story of Baha'u'llahs arrest as a Babi and his subsequent exile and declaration as promised by the Bab, as He whom God shall make Manifest.



The Distinguished Scholar Bahram Choubineh (not a Bahai) has given the most unbiased account of the Babi movement , well worth a listen in two parts.










by Hugh J Church (not verified) on

I applaud the action of these Iranians in signing their names to an apology to the Baha'is of Iran. I'm sure that literally millions of other Iranians in the so-called Islamic Republic would sign their names as well if it did not mean that they would thereby become targets of the regime, of the medieval mullahs controlling the regime, and/or the misguided and poorly-educated minions of the regime.
The Iranian Baha'is that I know have always mentioned the kindnesses of their Moslem neighbours; it seems that it is usually people who don't know them or their Faith who are foremost in hounding and persecuting them - not the Iranians who live near them and who DO know them.
I know no Baha'i people who hold their fellow citizens responsible or who have ill-feelings in their hearts toward the Iranian people as a whole, and, frankly, I find this quite extraordinary.


nice piece of information, about bahai,s of Iran

by delldaar on



by delldaar on

Please give some specefic referrence about violent nature of Babi movement.thanks


A proud moment

by Babak SD (not verified) on

As a human being, a Baha'i' and an Iranian, I am proud that for the first time, Iranians around the globe have publically taken up the cause to demand justice.

Justice for a group which has been denied its rights for 168+ years.

There is no doubt that during this time, individual Iranians and their families whether Muslim, Jewish or Zorasterian, have indeed helped Baha'i' families who where in danger of losing life by providing shelter etc. Selfless acts of help shall and will not be forgotten.

I hope that responders to the original post would use a civil tone for discourse and also stay within the spirit of its intent.

Hamid Y. Javanbakht

United We Fall...Tesseraic Holism Shall Prevail

by Hamid Y. Javanbakht on

The Bahais themselves are not a threat, and should not be treated as such, their way of thinking will actually prevail in the end, although their particular religion may not. The idea has been echoed in many other religions, such as gnosticism, sufism, etc...but the idea of unity as a preferred outcome is misguided, designed by those who have rigged the system into a monopoly game which eventually works against the interests of the many for the sake of a few elite families who don't actually believe what they are preaching in the first place.

Islamic facism is no different actually, by denying more diverse orientations, they ultimately weaken their pool of loyal followers.

While the principles of Bahais are quite noble, the idea that "unity" is an ideal has come and gone, "holism" is the future...every religion/political/scientific/humanitarian paradigm needs to internalize this fact, globalization to create a one world government is not only undesirable, it wouldn't actually work, and would merely be a farce show for general audiences to be distracted from the real important matters.

What the four major religions need to do is retain their individual differences, but maintain a sense of solidarity with certain values which apply to all, there should be fifth, scientifically oriented faith to guide the way into the future, like the prime directive on star trek. All those who want to believe in something other than these five main philosophies should be welcome to form their own societies, as long as the follow basic rules of human rights.

Panarchich Libertarianism is what I call it.

Yes, the IRI will eventually collapse from its own inefficiency, but the idea of a higher ethical standard to uphold the citizens of a culture to isn't wrong, merely the idea that only a strict interpretation of an outdated book will tell them how to solve the problem of the human race over 1000 years later...in that sense, the Bahais have it covered, suggesting like the Zoroastrians that every great periodic cycle a new spiritual leader will be introduced with great insight relevant to problems they face...in that sense the four major religions could work together in determining who and what such a mythical figure would be like.

I've got some distant family who are Bahais, I think what the way they've been treated will only add fuel to the flames of the demise of the current incarnation of Islamic Iran, they will trip over their own arrogance like the dictators before them.



Dear Mr. Fateh, I agree

by Hamid 1348 (not verified) on

Dear Mr. Fateh,

I agree completly with your analysis on the history of babis in Iran, but let's please stay civilized in our discussion. The man may only be ignorant and therefore there is no need to use labels.




Professor, you shouldn't be called a man

by Faramarz_Fateh on

Professor, please pass some of what you have been smoking.  You seem to have become separated from reality while writing your statements about Babis in Iran.

I am not a Bahai but am married to one.  I have read numerous books, written by Bahai scholars as well as western (non biased) historians.  None has mentioned anything about Babis being proactively violent nor ever in charge of any province(s) in Iran.  The Babis did participated in self defence while being attacked by your great grandfather and his friends.

Like the other poster, I recommend that you revisit your history books. Do it when you are sober and not under influence of drugs.

Also make sure they are not written by anti Bahai elements of IRI and organizations the Muslim clergy have cropped up to fight and oppress Bahais since 1880s.

Instead of commenting like you have and trying to marginalize Bahais by lies, have some guts.  Just say you dislike them.

Or, if you genuinely are concerned for their well being, and well being of other innocents groups in Iran, have the guts to demand from the IRI to give Bahais their human and civil rights.

Jahanshah Javid

Good to know

by Jahanshah Javid on

Thank you professor. I did not know that.

I have virtually no knowledge of the history of the Bahai faith, or its tenents for that matter.

My concern is basically this: It is unacceptable to persecute any individual/group for purely ideological reasons. It amazes me that in this day and age a person's existence and citizenship can be questioned/denied only and only because he or she believes in a certain religion.

There are lots of reasons why Bahais are treated the way they are, but NONE can legitimately be used as justification for systematic persecution and denial of basic rights. It's wrong, terribly unjust and shameful.


Babi movement

by Ali Najafi (not verified) on

Hi Professor,

I would reread Babi history. There is a lot of inaccurate information that has been published, which you may unfortunately have come across, unknowingly.

The Bab never incited violence nor did he make reference to non-Babis as heathens. You have to understand, that during a period of 6 years, hundreds of thousands became followers of the Bab. The Bab needed to educate his followers on His new teachings and the purpose underlying His religion. Transformation of that many people takes time, since everyone is bringing to the table their own baggage and notions. For example, imagine during that period of time trying to educate a sincere multitude on the equality of women and men, which is counter to the popular notion and where there is no Internet or radio to assist in educating the masses. It takes time.

There were events where Babis were attacked by religious fanatics and forces of the Shah. In these cases, the Babis protected themselves (i.e. Shaykh Tabarsi, Nayriz, Zanjan, etc).

In fact, on the one occasion when a Babi attempted to attack the Shah, because this Babi had seen the slaughter of so many Babis, Baha'u'llah stated that this attempted attack was one of the saddest events, since this attempted attack betrayed the integrity and dignity of the Babi faith.

Hope this helps. Given all of the inaccuracies that have been published, it is important to understand biases of any intellectual, clergy, or scholar (good or bad biases).

Moreover, in the spirit of the Open Letter, it is important to dispel all of the propoganda that the clergy and others have promoted.

Whatever one feels about the Babi and Baha'i religions, it is important to note the ground-breaking social and spiritual ideas they brought. It should also be a source of pride to us all that something of this caliber originated in our culture and in our country.



Babi insurrection under Ghajars

by Professor (not verified) on

Dear JJ:

I saw your signature on the apology to the Baha’i community. The only problem I have with this is the phrase on the Babi community and their suppression under the Ghajars. As you well know, Babis were themselves a millenarian and violent minority (actually, from a historian’s point of view, they were quite fascinating) who initiated Jihadi wars against the community around them. Bab had declared several provinces in Iran exclusively Babi areas and ordered his followers to expel the heathens from them. The reaction against the Babis were both governmental and popular. It was a genuine – tragic -- religious war.


Thank you

by Ali Najafi (not verified) on

Thank you for this Open Letter. It was so touching to see that most of those who signed the letter have been champions in raising awareness for the crimes perpetrated against Baha'is. I thank you for your sincere committment to speak out against injustices, whether related to Baha'is or other oppressed peoples.

As the situation of the Baha'is in Iran is quickly deteriorating (more arrests, more vandalizing, etc), your Open Letter presents the opportunity for our Iranian countrywomen and men to lend their voices to stop the government's horrific campaign.

Again, to all that signed the Open Letter and the many Iranians who have spoken out against the prejudice and brutality against the Baha'is, I want to thank you. Your acts are an example to all of us. It is people like yourselves that are the only hope to restore Iran's nobility, dignity, and beauty!