Chicago Public Radio's report on How Bahais conduct themselves without clergy.
Chicago Public Radio / Jennifer Brandel
04-Jun-2008 (2 comments)

Though the season of primaries is almost behind us, November is nearly half a year away and we could still be in for a lot more partisan politics and mudslinging. If it seems like there ought to be a more civil way to run democratic elections, members of the Baha’i faith say that’s because there is. And once a year, they refine a new democratic process in that big white temple in north suburban Wilmette. The 100th Baha’i National Convention was recently held there. Eight Forty-Eight contributor Jennifer Brandel watched the process.


Global Democracy; The Bahai Way.

by faryarm on

The News in these critical days is mostly about the plight and arrest of Bahais in our native land, not to mention the venomous  propoganda by the anti Bahai elements in Iran. There is rarely ever discussion about their  everyday  contribution and solutions to a world desperate for love, justice and unity.


Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi

When Love dies; a treu story

by Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi on

sahameddin wrote on Feb 10 WHEN LOVE DIES
Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi
The young girl, about seventeen years old, steps firmly to the death place; Mona Mahmundizhad, one of my best students, was persecuted in Iran (Persia), because she was Bahá'í.
The Bahá'í religion is a world religion which began in Persia. Bahá'ís believe in the oneness of God, the oneness of religion, and the unity of mankind. Bahá'ís strive to eliminate all prejudices of race, nationality, and religion. And Bahá'ís respect that all religions have come from the same God, in different times, to guide mankind.
The revolutionary Islamic court in Shiraz, Iran persecuted Mona, and now they wanted to perform her execution.
Mona was walking very firmly towards the place of execution without any doubt or fear. She was singing Bahá'í songs and was walking like an angel towards her place of death. The people who were looking at this heroine were all crying and their faces were wet with tears. The eyes of her Moslem friends were shining from the tears and their faces were red; Mona was the only one not crying, and she was not sorry about what would happen to her in a few minutes. The reflection of God was in her face and she was sure that what she was doing was right and correct.
The Moslem people around her were singing Moslem songs, quietly. Some of them were singing in a very low voice while crying about this cruel situation and what would happen in a few minutes. The Bahá'ís who were there were singing the Bahá'í songs, "Sobuhon Ghoduson Rebeana Ve Reben Malaekaten Ve Ruh" The Moslems were singing "Alah o akbar" and the Baha'I were singing "Alláh-u-Abhá, Alláh-u-Abhá".
My friend Djalal, who was there as Mona's teacher, told me the following story in the hopes that the message of Mona would reach the people:
"I could not believe that what I was seeing was real. She, the young girl, was so in love with God that she was ready to be killed for Him and His glory. For her faith. And I, her poor teacher, must be there - without any power to save her. I have to watch the execution of one of my best students; I am a helpless person and can see the injustice to this young girl who has no crime in her life. The only crime that the so-called Islamic court could prove was that she was Bahá'í. A young, nice, intelligent, lovely, friendly and pure girl, who should be walking to the university to study and should have her whole life and future in front of her, was going to be executed because she was Bahá'í. And, who had signed her document but a Moslem who must be the follower of Imam Hossein, who was killed by Jazid in Karbella with all his family; his wife, children and even a little baby. The Jazid had cut off the water from them; so in the hot summer day of Kerbella, these holy people had no water to drink and must fight with these cruel people. He had been killed and for three days his body, and the bodies of his family, were left under the hot burning sun of the Kerbella Dessert. We had always cried for his death and the cruel situation in Kerbella, and now one of his followers had signed the death document for Mona.
"Her friends and classmates were there and were crying very bitterly; but Mona was firm and was singing with love and joy.
"The revolution of Iran, which should have been a religious revolution and should have lead the people to God's way, was now eating the innocent people and children. Which dirty hand in the revolution would like to paint a black page for Islamic history? I was Moslem, my father was Moslem, and he loved all the people around him. He always said to me, 'Djalal, you must respect all other people and their religion, and even if they have a false religion, you must respect them so they will respect our prophet. If you say bad words about their false prophet or god, they will do the same thing to our real and pure God." Now I was seeing the Moslems killing young, innocent children; my students, who were like my children. I could imagine that one day they might kill my little girl and that she must walk to her death place.
"Mona was a very good and friendly student of mine. She always helped the other students and laughed in a friendly way with them. She liked the younger students and helped them with their homework. Her parents were very proud of her. She was also, as I had heard, a teacher for the Bahá'í Friday school for younger students, which was another crime the Islamic court could prove.
"Her parents were very proud of her. I, as her teacher, was there to watch her die. Helpless and poor, I could not change this injustice and had to accept this way of cruelty. I wish that I had the power to do something more for my beloved student than just stand there and cry. I did know that any wrong movement would mean my death also, and I did not think my death would help my student.
"In Persia, the teacher is like a father or mother, and they love the students like their own children - so for me it was like I was watching my own child being killed by the Islamic court. My mother, who was a Moslem believer, said to me that she would pray for my student who was to be killed by an unjust court.
"Why should people be so cruel to each other and why should they kill each other just because they have other thoughts or religions, which had been given to them by their parents anyway? She was like my daughter and was very polite and friendly to me. I was very sorry to see all this happening to her and sometimes I could not believe that what I was seeing was real. My eyes were full of hot tears, burning my skin as they ran down my face. My feet were shivering as I saw that Mona was close to her death place. She behaved like a hero without any doubt, sorrow or fear. She was looking firmly in front of her and her dark eyes were shining with the love of God. The people who persecuted her could not see this love and purity. They were blind and could not see the light of God. I did not know why the love for God that Mona was demonstrating now would not move the people that had signed her execution. Were their hearts made of stone or did their business, money and power blind them? Why could not the people see the light and glory of God, which was reflected by Mona?
"Mona walked to her execution place, took the execution rope, kissed it and put it around her neck. The voice of the Moslems who were singing Moslem songs now changed to the Bahá'í song which Mona was singing. Now all the Moslems and Bahá'ís were singing the same song. They were united in song, the Bahá'í song which Mona was singing. All were full of sorrow and sadness. She died at 17 years of age, but her spirit and how she died, I will never forget. I hoped that the other people that saw this would never forget. Any human being should be ashamed to kill innocent people for their beliefs or for the beliefs of their parents.
"Many other Persian girls and boys have been killed by the Islamic Revolution Court and their only crime was that they were Bahá'í. What could they do; as their parents were Bahá'í so they were Bahá'í also. Some of them were my students. Why should I teach them to be killed by the Islamic court? My work was a useless work. I became very depressed and could not teach anymore."
Djalal, my friend who was telling this story, looked in my eyes. His eyes were red because he cried so much for his students who were killed. I could feel the warm tears on my face as well. He said, " What can we do? Only cry for this cruelty?" Should we just sit and look at what the cruel people do as they misuse religion and humanity to kill in the name of God the innocent boys and girls, our students? I thought God gave us a heart full of His love so that we could love and understand each other and each other's children. But these cruel people do not use even their simple understanding for the other people and in the name of God they kill children of God. And they claim that they believe in God. Djalal could not teach in the schools of Iran anymore and he was so sad that I was worried he would soon loose his mind. He said, "How can I be in the class and see the children whom I should teach? The faces of other students who were killed are in front of me and I see in each of the other students, the face of Mona. I cannot teach anymore and see the innocent children who could also be killed by the Islamic Court".
Djalal left me that day. I was always looking for him and I went many times to his house to visit him. The last time that I saw him he was very depressed and his hair had turned white during those years. When I rang his bell, his daughter opened the door. I saw her face, an Iranian girl with the same eyes and face as Mona. I saw in her face the face of Mona. The girl invited me into the house and to her father's room. Djalal was reading a book. He saw me and stood up to shake my hand. " You see, Amir, my girl. I saw always the face of Mona in her face. Maybe the same situation will happen to my daughter one day and they will kill her as they killed Mona."
Djalal; we should work for a goal as Mona worked for a goal. We should work so that our children will have a nice free country, and we should work against this cruelty. I know that maybe they will kill us too, but we must not give up and must try. Freedom has its cost and Mona paid that cost for us. Look at history; many people have been killed because they wanted justice, but they did not give up, they followed their ways without fear or doubt. I know that many young people have been killed, but one day our children will enjoy this freedom. Mona did her part, and we must do our part too.
I think, Djalal, you have been right. And I know that it is very hard for you to see all these cruel things. But we should give the message of Mona to the whole world because they have to know what has happened. The Iranian organizations, which call themselves organizations for humanity and human rights, should understand what they have done to the young and innocence in the Name of God. I hope that one day the message of Mona will reach the people who have God in their hearts and are willing to listen to the words of God. The people who can open their hearts to God, and who are pure, will listen.
I am not a Baha'i ,but I borrowed money to one of my best Moslem friend and in respons of my help he wrote to the government of Iran that I am a Baha'i so I have been persecuted as a Baha'i and my jobs and other belonging have been taken from me. My sister who was married to a Baha'i told me come t here and you will have jobs and everything. She has told me this for many years and I have sent her money to buy for me houses in the USA. Her husband who is a Baha'i wrote to me , too.. COme here and everything will be OK. He thought I cannot come here and Iranina government will kill me as a Baha'i , he hoped. Or I cannot come to the USA. As I was here he told me per telephone "do not come to us if you come I will call the police" So you can see the Moslem friends, Baha'i family and government were not nice to me. Please help me in this regard that at least the other people should not make the same mistake that I did. Yours Amir