Nooshin Khadem: Prisoner of the day

Bahai university teacher sentenced to 4 years

Bahai World News Service: Nooshin Khadem, 48, received a General Studies degree – the only major available via correspondence courses from Indiana University, U.S.A. She also later received a Masters of Business Administration from Carleton University, Canada. Khadem worked in an administrative capacity with Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE).

Along with several other Bahai's affiliated with the online university, Khadem was arrested on 22 May 2011. Khadem and six other Bahais first appeared in Branch 28 of Tehran Revolutionary Court with Judge Moghisseh presiding on Tuesday 27 September 2011. Their charges were stated as "membership in illegal groups with the intent to commit crimes against national security (membership in the Iranian Bahai community)."

Khadem was sentenced to four years in prison, which was subsequently upheld in the Tehran Appeals Court. She is currently serving her sentence inside Evin Prison.


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Shahab Ferdowsi

Ali Najafi

by Shahab Ferdowsi on

Dear Ali Najafi--

I don't believe in the concept of "group rights" over the rights of the individual. The privileging of the group over the individual is one of the vestiges of collectivism that still plagues human rights thinking in the West and has made it political on multiple fronts. Besides privacy, its seed, the foundation of any sound human rights philosophy and jurisprudence must rest on the sanctity of the individual as the individual, and not the individual by virtue of their affiliation or their philosophy or adherence or beliefs or race or class or financial circumstance. Individuals and their rights must have value for themselves not because of what they belong to. Human rights philosophy in the West took a wrong turn precisely when group interests over individual interests began to be a hallmark and determining factor because at that point human rights became politicized and a valuation process crept in allowing human rights to become an issue easily manipulatable where certain powers and establishments weigh what is more important and what is not -- rather than the case-in-itself. Because of this I believe Nooshin Khadem's rights should be defended not because she is a Baha'i but because she is a human being and a creature of the All-High God.

Indeed my mind about Bahaism is made up. You can even read some my views in these Persian language articles on the question collated here :-)

On the issue of South Africa, I quote your own words, "In the history of South Africa, there were different National Assemblies
that tended to the different national homelands/bantustans..." If you know anything about the history of South Africa, and especially the apartheid era, you would know that what you are stating above to a trained eye says exactly what I said before. However, if you insist on your point that these NSAs were racially integrated, then you would also know that the Baha'is would have been breaking the laws of the land at the time and would have faced prosecution and imprisonment by the white Afrikaaner dominated South African apartheid state where all Baha'i activities would have then been proscribed by law as illegal because of violating apartheid racial laws. Since this did not happen, i.e. the South African apartheid government did not proscribe Baha'i activities, this proves and reinforces the point I initially made.

Until its final resolution in the Mid East, Palestine and the Palestinian question will remain the central human rights issue of the region. Here's hoping you Baha'is may soon advocate and become champions for the Palestinians who live amongst you in occupied Palestine. Here's hoping that you will be as vigorous in advocating for those dispossessed individuals and their right to return to their homeland as you are for the plight of your own community in Iran.

Shahab Ferdowsi


by Shahab Ferdowsi on

If people like you and others like you on IC are representative of the active opposition waiting to replace the present regime in Iran, our country will remain in the toilet into the forseable future - if not forever. Furthermore, the people of Iran can speak for themselves (and have, eg. 2009) and do not require paid armchair American Enterprise Institute lobbyists sitting in the safety and luxury of their posh middle-class yuppy North American "Shahs of Sunset" living rooms to be speaking on their behalf and screaming "lengesh kon"! If you and those like you have the guts, get on the next Iran Air flight from wherever and go do the hard yards of changing Iran yourselves.

But if it is all the same to you, people like you sold Iran out to the mullahs 33 years ago, so stop screaming and pointing fingers and go clean up the mess you yourselves created! 

Ali Najafi

Shahab jan --Thanks for

by Ali Najafi on

Shahab jan --

Thanks for your response. Not sure I agree with the accuracy of your points. Based on your tone and comments, it seems like you have already cemented your judgement against Baha'is, which is your right. However, this causes your arguments to come across as biased and one-sided.

In the history of South Africa, there were different National Assemblies that tended to the different national homelands/bantustans. For example, there was a National Assembly for the homeland of Boputhatswana, etc. More importantly, these National Assemblies were racially integrated (they were not racially divided). (//

Finally, based on what you write, I really hope that you are not justifying the imprisonment of Nooshin Khadem, who is the focus of this post.

Hope this is helpful.


shahab ferdowsi

by Cost-of-Progress on

Who's gonna stand up for the right of Iranian people like the thousands that are jailed for their resistance to this regime?

Would you people stop beating your chest about the Pals and spend an ounce of the zeal you show for the Pals who hate your guts (if you are Irooni) for your own motherland and her people?

With patriots (big laugh) like you, is it any wonder our country is in the toilet?


"Nuri Azal" aka "Free thought" aka "Tabarzin"...

by Reality-Bites on

....aka "Nima Hazini", is that you?

Shahab Ferdowsi

Some more thoughts

by Shahab Ferdowsi on

Dear Ali Najafi--

Whatever the IRI uses or does not use as propaganda, the fact remains that the Palestinian question is the central question of human rights today and there is no sidestepping it, however many New York based professional advertising agencies or lobbyists jump on your bandwagon and saturate the Western corporate media with your issues. Certainly you cannot compare the physical and cultural genocide of the Palestinians by the Israelis with whatever has happened to your community in Iran because the Israeli cultural and material genocide against the people of Palestine far, far exceeds anything done to your community at any time because it is equivalent, and in some instances exceeds, the Holocaust experienced by the Jews themselves under the Nazis during WWII. To their discredit Baha'is have been silent on this question since 1948 and never offered any humanitarian input on the issue on any level at any time, have benefitted from the situation, even though there are Palestinian Baha'is who have likewise been at the receiving end of Israeli atrocities.

I have read Shoghi Effendi's 1947 message to the UN Special Commitee many, many times and the message is frankly contradictory political pandering which makes Shoghi Effendi look  like a complete opportunistic creep.

I understand that Baha'is are presently attempting to make their own issues with the mullahs in Iran the central human rights question on the planet. But as much you try to mobilize and influence world public opinion in the Western corporate media - a stance that ultimately only benefits Israel anyway and its continued violation of the human rights of Palestinians - the fact is your community's issues with the mullahs are in actual fact a small blip on the radar of the atrocious human rights violations perpetrated by an apartheid-racist, Judeo-Fascist state such as Israel. I should note that Baha'is were likewise silent in South Africa during the apartheid regime and even maintained two separate National Spiritual Assemblies (one for whites and one for blacks) during its heyday.

Again, Baha'is would have far more credibility inside the Muslim world itself if, just once, they took a side for Palestinian rights with their Israeli hosts. Other religious communities in Israel (including Jewish ones) have done this, but not the Baha'is. If the Baha'is took a solid stand on this issue they would also discredit the Iranian mullahs and other critics in the Middle East/Muslim world regarding their own human rights issues in Iran creating a situation where no one could ever criticize them again or accuse them of blatant hypocrisy and opportunism.

Ali Najafi

Some thoughts

by Ali Najafi on

Shahab jan --

Often times, IRI propoganda tries to use the fact that Baha'is are headquartered in Israel as a way of attacking the Baha'is. It concerns me that your note may come across as justifying the horrible treatment of the Baha'is in Iran. This may not be your intention, but that is how it could  be read.

I am sure you are aware that the establishment of the Baha'i headquarters in city of Haifa (in present-day Israel) was made during the time of the Ottoman Empire, prior to the establishment of Israel.

I thought it may be helpful to share the response that Shoghi Effendi, as the Head of the Baha’i faith, made to an inquiry made by Judge Emil Sandström, acting on behalf of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine formed in 1947, which was then seeking the views of various religious and non-religious groups on the future of that land. In a letter dated 14 July 1947, a year prior to the birth of the State of Israel, Shoghi Effendi made clear the Bahá’í position of non-involvement in partisan politics, indicating that the Baha’i faith did not identify with any side “in the present tragic dispute going on over the future of the Holy Land”. “As many of the adherents of our Faith are of Jewish and Muslim extraction”, he further stated, “we have no prejudice towards either of these groups and are most anxious to reconcile them for their mutual benefit and for the good of the country.”

Also, I don't agree with your conclusion. The persecution of the Baha'is in Iran has existed since its founding in the mid-19th century, before the creation of Israel.

I hope these thoughts are helpful.

Shahab Ferdowsi

Will Baha'is ever stand up for the rights of Palestinians?

by Shahab Ferdowsi on

The way they are mobilizing mainstream public opinion to stand up for them inside Iran?

The Baha'is are headquartered in Israel. The Palestinian question is very much relevant to them as well. This is not merely the case of an Iranian only issue. Palestine and the racist, fascist apartheid state which currently occupies it is very much a case Baha'is need to stand up for and answer for.

If Baha'is stood up for Palestine and Palestinians, and renounced the Nazi Zionist regime for all posterity, no one on this planet could criticize them ever again.


Sheer zan

by delldaar on

may God protect all of you


درود بر تمام ایرانیان مبارز


So many Shir-zan Irani are standing up for their rights and the rights of their hamvatan.  They are the future of Iran and deserve our full support to protect their rights and freedom.  A sustain campaign for their immediate and unconditional freedom is the duty of all folks who wish freedom and democracy for Iran and Iranians.

My hats off to each and every one of these brave souls

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Defend and Support Nooshin Khadem!

by Zendanian on

Sample Protest letter:

Dear  virtual family, please take a moment to send this protest letter or use your own version.

Please keep in mind that as we're entering Spring, and celebrating 13th of Farvardin,  for our most courageous political prisoners there will be no Sizdeh Bedar, or Spring to be exprienced; apart from their family members, deprived of the most basic rights inside jails of IR.

Sending a letter would take only a few moments for us, but it would mean so much for them. Many thanks in advance.


Free Nooshin Khadem!

I (we) am (are) writing this to condemn persecution and incarceration  of  religious minorities in Iran. Religious minorities in Iran, specially those of the Bahai faith, are constantly persecuted and harassed by officials of Islamic Republic.

In particular, this letter is written to express my (our) serious concern about the  health and well being of Ms. Nooshin Khadem.

Ms. Khadem is currently serving a four year sentence term inside infamouse Evin prsion, for no reason other than practicing a faith of her choice.  According to all and any civilized and international norms and laws practicing one's faith is a Human Right and not a crime.  

I (we) demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of  Ms. Nooshin Khadem, and all other political prisoners, and call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect the right of all Iranians to  , organize, assemble and freedom of  religion, association and expression.




Send Copy of your Protest Letters to:,,;;,,,; =========================================== 

An injury to one is an injury to all.