Saturday, May 24, 2008

Totally Bogus Allegations

A fountain at the foot Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel

Apparently I'm a Zionist because my holy places happen to be in a state that didn't even exist when Baha'is were exiled to Palestine in the 1800's. This is the logic represented by the Iranian government who is saying that the Baha'is who were recently taken into custody in that country were seized not because of their religious beliefs, but because of somehow being a threat to national security. The Baha'i World News Service has it all and Bani Dugal rightfully calls the regime on its totally bogus allegations:

“The charges linking the Bahá’ís to Zionism are a distortion of history: The Bahá’í Faith has its world headquarters in Israel because Bahá’u’lláh was, in the mid-1800s, sent as a prisoner to the Holy Land by two Islamic countries: Ottoman Turkey and Iran.

“The charge that Bahá’ís are Zionists, which has in fact been made against Bahá’ís for the last 30 years by Iran, is nothing more than an effort by the government to stir animosity against Bahá’ís among the Iranian population at large. This is but the most recent iteration in a long history of attempts to foment hatred by casting the Bahá’ís as agents of foreign powers, whether of Russia, the United Kingdom, or the United States—and now Israel—all of which are completely baseless.

“The real issue, as it relates to Bahá’ís, who are committed to nonpartisanship and nonviolence, is the ideology of the government, which has undertaken a well-documented effort to utterly block the development of the Bahá’í community not only through arrests, harassment and imprisonment but also by depriving their youth of education and preventing adults from obtaining a livelihood.

“We would ask whether issues of state security rather than ideology were involved in recent incidents such as the destruction of a Bahá’í cemetery and the use of a bulldozer to crush the bones of a Bahá’í who was interred there; the harassment of hundreds of Bahá’í schoolchildren throughout Iran by teachers and school officials in an effort to make them reject their own religion; or the publication of dozens of defamatory anti-Bahá’í articles in Kayhan and other government-sponsored news media in recent months,” said Ms. Dugal. (Read the whole article here).

Memo to the current regime: You're going to have to come up with something better. The world isn't buying it and even many people in Iran and elsewhere in the region are seeing your actions for what they are, systematic persecution of your citizens solely due to their religious beliefs.

Barney and Bilo as usual have great posts about the latest shenanigans of this played out regime. Read about it here and here. and here.

"Say: Beware, O people of Baha, lest the strong ones of the earth rob you of your strength, or they who rule the world fill you with fear. Put your trust in God, and commit your affairs to His keeping. He, verily, will, through the power of truth, render you victorious, and He, verily, is powerful to do what He willeth, and in His grasp are the reins of omnipotent might."
(Baha'u'llah, quoted in Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 137)