Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What A True Martyr Looks Like

Mona Mahmudnizhad, 17, (pictured left) was one of 10 Bahá’í women executed in Shiraz on 18 June 1983. The primary charge against her: teaching Bahá’í children’s classes.

With the rather sad and bizarre preoccupation in the media and among some in the Arab and Muslim world with the recent hangings of a tyrant and his henchmen, it is refreshing and inspiring to hear that a true martyr and her Baha'i sisters who shared a similar fate will be honored with a full-length motion picture called "Mona's Dream". There's a really moving website that details the story of these courageous women who died for the freedom to believe that you can view here. Warning, you will cry when you visit this website.

If you are unfamiliar with the history of the persecution of the Baha'is in Iran, you might want to take a look here. Also, don't forget the recent setbacks suffered by the Baha'is in Egypt and the response of the Universal House of Justice, the International Governing Council of the Baha'i Faith.

In the spirit of Mona, Baha'is around the world continue to work for the spiritual and moral development of children as emphasized in remarks made by Ms. Rebecca Murphy at the recent Social and Economic Development Conference in December 2006:

"Providing spiritual education for children is a fundamental part of social development," said Rebequa Murphy, a Baha'i Counsellor. Her comments came in a talk titled "The Preservation of Human Honor," explaining how human progress will organically spring from core activities.

In closing I'll share the testimony of Baha'u'llah to the spirit of those who have given their lives in this day for the freedom to believe:

Reflect: Who in this world is able to manifest such transcendent power, such pervading influence? All these stainless hearts and sanctified souls have, with absolute resignation, responded to the summons of His decree. Instead of complaining, they rendered thanks unto God, and amidst the darkness of their anguish they revealed naught but radiant acquiescence to His will. It is evident how relentless was the hate, and how bitter the malice and enmity entertained by all the peoples of the earth towards these companions. The persecution and pain they inflicted on these holy and spiritual beings were regarded by them as means unto salvation, prosperity, and everlasting success. Hath the world, since the days of Adam, witnessed such tumult, such violent commotion? Notwithstanding all the torture they suffered, and manifold the afflictions they endured, they became the object of universal opprobrium and execration. Methinks patience was revealed only by virtue of their fortitude, and faithfulness itself was begotten only by their deeds.
(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 235)