We see. We know. We do not forget.

The seven Bahá'í leaders held in prison in Iran

Photo courtesy of http://iran.bahai.us/.

They are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naemi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm.

They are among the most recent victims in Iran of oppression, intolerance, ignorance, and a self-centered interest by a corrupt, entrenched, and fanatical clergy intent on oppressing a religious minority that has been able to do what no other religion or belief has been able to do in that once great country: succeed – succeed in helping hundreds of thousands of Iranians realize that there is a successor to the Prophet Muhammad, and that His name is Bahá’u’lláh. For 165 years this clergy, with the help of timid governments afraid to challenge their authority, has done whatever it could get away with to eradicate this religious community, those who profess the Bahá’í Faith.

What does our Faith teach us that would cause a just Iranian government to treat Bahá’ís so? Here it is:

In every country where any of this people reside, they must behave towards the government of that country with loyalty, honesty and truthfulness. This is that which hath been revealed at the behest of Him Who is the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days.

 Bahá’u’lláh

What harmful way have the Bahá’ís in Iran been taught to behave toward Muslims and people of other faiths that would justify such mistreatment by the clergy in that land? This is it:

Consort with all religions with amity and concord, that they may inhale from you the sweet fragrance of God. Beware lest amidst men the flame of foolish ignorance overpower you. All things proceed from God and unto Him they return. He is the source of all things and in Him all things are ended.

 Bahá’u’lláh

The followers of Bahá’u’lláh in that land, as in every country, have never varied from these standards. These are our standards. These are our beliefs. These are our practice and our commitment. They have not varied in the past and they will not vary in the future.

The trial of the seven leaders of the Baha’i Faith in Iran could take place this week. They have been charged with spying for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic. These charges are unfounded and no evidence against them has been brought to light. The Baha’i leaders have been held for nearly a year in Evin prison and denied access to their attorney, the Nobel Laureate, Shirin Ebadi. [from http://iran.bahai.us/]

You can play your role as a citizen of the world to oppose this injustice by asking your own government to complain. Citizens of the United States can contact their Representatives in the House and their Senators to support resolutions condemning this behavior. It is a message that says “We know what you’re doing. We have not forgotten. We will not forget. ” U.S. citizens may do this online at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

How can Iran ever re-establish itself as a proud and great country when it treats its own people with such disregard and disrespect?

We beseech God to aid thee to be just and fair-minded,  and to acquaint thee with the things that were hidden from the eyes of men. He, in truth, is the Mighty, the Unconstrained. We ask thee to reflect upon that which hath been revealed, and to be fair and just in thy speech, that perchance the splendors of the daystar of truthfulness and sincerity may shine forth, and may deliver thee from the darkness of ignorance, and illumine the world with the light of knowledge.

 Bahá’u’lláh

And

Say: Honesty, virtue, wisdom and a saintly character redound to the exaltation of man, while dishonesty, imposture, ignorance and hypocrisy lead to his abasement.

 Bahá’u’lláh

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