Sunday, August 03, 2008

Burnin' Down the House

The latest tactic of oppression against the long suffering and heroic Baha'i community in Iran is arson:

— Acts of arson targeting homes and vehicles are the latest violent tactics directed against the Baha’is of Iran.

“In the early hours of the morning of 18 July, the house of the Shaaker family in Kerman went up in flames, only weeks after their car had been torched and in the wake of a series of threatening phone calls,” said Bani Dugal, principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.

“As would be expected in the light of the mistreatment Baha’is in Iran are routinely receiving, the officials who investigated the fire either ignored or dismissed obvious signs of suspicious activity, including a muffled explosion, simply saying that it was the result of an electrical problem,” she said. (Read all about it here)

There is a word for this kind of behavior, cowardice.


  1. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Tonight I saw a history program on the TV mentioning Germany under Hitler before the second world war and how the Jews were starting to be persecuted and what was written about them. I thought about the similarities between their plight and that of the Bahai's currently in Iran.


  2. I'm with anonymous. What we're seeing can't adequately be explained by saying the mistreatment of the Baha'is amounts to cowardice. I think we're looking at a leadership that is dragging its country into committing genocide against the Baha'is, impelled by a range of external and internal pressures. This is stuff that can happen in pretty much any society when the conditions breed such behaviour.

    Genocide Watch has a useful page, setting out the eight stages of genocide. The listing provides a handy way of gauge how close a particular society is to carrying out genocide. I'm guessing that the persecution of the Baha'is is probably between stage 3 (dehumanisation) and stage 4 (organisation), although many features of later stages are also evident.

    Fortunately, moderate Muslims, inside and outside Iran, are courageously speaking up -- including respected figures like Ayatollah Montazeri. It takes real courage, insight and integrity to speak up against religious leaders and assorted malcontents when they call decent people apostates and begin to persecute them.

  3. Pauline and Stephen, thanks for placing the arson attacks against the Iranian Baha'is in context. It is definitely more than cowardice at work. Stephen thanks especially for the information about the stages of genocide, I'll have to take a look at that.It's new information for me.

  4. Anonymous8:25 AM

    This following comment is related to the above post only in this manner: The House of Justice often reminds us that the sacrifices of the Friends in Iran always have and always will lead to victories for the Faith. Sacrifice needs always be honored and spur us to action to teach.

    I know you are interested in race and medicine, Phillipe. The article I refer to appeared on July 10th, p. F5 in the NY times, "Apology Shines Light on Racial Schism in Medicine". I assume you can find it online. I am feeling that every Baha'i physician should read it, should know that, among other things, the AMA was formed to exclude Blacks from medicine, to gain a deeper understanding of their medical and spiritual mission.
    On July 9th, the AMA issued a rare, formal apology for "a century of wrongs."
    This, and other facts are in the article, by Harriet A Washington (no relation to my family as far as I know), author of "Medical Apartheid..."
    Judith W

  5. Thanks Judith. I was aware of the AMA apology, interesting that you are linking it to what is going on with the Baha'is in Iran right now.