Friday, May 06, 2011

Belief Behind Bars

Reposted from the magnificent Iran Press Watch

Thursday, May 5, 2011
Contact: Ginous Alford | O: 202-833-8990


Remarks from special guests:
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk
U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Iraj Kamalabadi, brother of imprisoned Baha’i in Iran
CSI Miami star Eva LaRue

Musical performances:
Grammy-award winner KC Porter with Badi and Momo Loudiyi

When: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 5:30 p.m. EST
Where: 902 Hart Senate Office Building WATCH LIVE!
Twitter: @BahaiUS

WASHINGTON—Concern in the U.S. government is growing as the incarceration of the seven members of the Iranian Baha’i community’s former acting leadership group moves into its fourth year. The five men continue to be held in Gohardasht Prison under close surveillance, while the two women were transferred early Tuesday morning to a warehouse-like detention center where more than 400 female prisoners share just two bathrooms.

Meanwhile, the Baha’is of the United States – in upholding their faith’s teachings of justice, unity and equality for which their co-religionists in Iran are persecuted – invite all supporters of human rights to a reception marking the third anniversary of the unlawful incarceration of the seven “Yaran-i-Iran” (Friends in Iran).

The reception aims to foster stronger ties of friendship between the people of the U.S. and Iran, through song and words of supports from special guests including: Grammy-award winning musician KC Porter; U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (IL); U.S. Representative Michael Grimm (NY); Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Kathleen Fitzpatrick; Iranian-American engineer Iraj Kamalabadi, brother of imprisoned Iranian Baha’i leader Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi; and CSI Miami star Eva LaRue.

Director of the U.S. Baha’i Office of External Affairs in Washington, Anthony Vance, will host the reception, the latest in a series of events on Capitol Hill to raise awareness among U.S. lawmakers and human rights groups about the continued persecution of the Baha’is in Iran.

“Our efforts to scrutinize and oppose human rights violations against the Baha’is of Iran and all the Iranian people will never cease or dissipate,” Vance said.

Iranian-American Iraj Kamalabadi, whose sister Fariba is one of the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders, will make his third trip in three months to Washington on behalf of his younger sibling to deliver the closing remarks in the reception program.

“My sister has told me to tell the leaders of the world that if there is something that could be done, now is the time to do it,” he said.

Kamalabadi attended Senator Kirk’s May 4th press conference introducing legislation on human right in Iran.

“As Americans,” Sen. Kirk said in a press release following the introduction of his new bill, “we should speak directly to the people of Iran struggling for freedom and democracy and let them know we stand squarely by their side.”

Senator Kirk will open the program with remarks and the event will be webcast live on his LiveStream account. Following him in the program are Grimm, Fitzpatrick, LaRue and Kamalabadi, and a performance by Porter of a song he wrote for the imprisoned Baha’i leaders.

LaRue and Porter are Baha’i performance artists based in Southern California. As a woman and mother of a nine-year-old daughter, LaRue was moved by the courageous spirit of Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet, whose separation from their children is entering the fourth year and who continue to endure further deteriorating conditions of their incarceration.

On April 28, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2011 Annual Report. ( The report describes – beginning on page 78 – several cases of the “severe” persecution the Baha’i community in Iran faced from April 2010 to March 2011. Iran is one of 14 countries USCIRF recommends that the Secretary of State name “countries of particular concern” or CPCs.

In early March, Kirk introduced S.Res.80 condemning the Iranian government for its state-sponsored persecution of Iran’s 300,000 Baha’is and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights. The bill (and H.Res.134 in the House) calls for sanctioning Iranian government officials and other individuals directly responsible for human rights violations in Iran, including against the Baha’i community. (

See PDF format of this press release here: Media Advis 5-12-2011 Washington Reception Iran imprisoned Bahais

Download invitation from here:


  1. Anonymous6:38 PM

    My openion about this faith, first they need to stop what bahai men do to non bahai women. I was involved with this so called faith for 25 years. I went through first physical abuse, them financial abuse and the end emotional abuse. Sadly this very immature faith. Their main purpose to increase number of bahais. They really believe if they convert someone into bahasim they go to heave. It is plain a cult. They all preach the same thing. If one questions them their answer is DON'T question GOD.

  2. Dear Friend,
    IF this is true, I am sorry you had this experience. I too have been a Baha'i for quite some time, 29 years, and I have rarely heard the term Bahaism, as you put it, by anybody but those who are pretending to be Baha'i in hopes of casting a negative light on the Faith. You will not find the word Bahaism once in all the copious writings of the Baha'i Faith. If you can find it, please site your reference.
    I am not sure what you are talking about when you speak of Baha'i men and how they treat their non Baha'i women. Myself, I have been married for almost 22 years to a lovely Catholic women and we have two beautiful children. Our son was Valedictorian of his class and my daughter is a flower. (I give full credit to both my kids for their attributes and accomplishments)
    The Baha'i Faith is not immature, it is young. The main purpose is not to increase their numbers; it is to serve. We do not convert people; we strive to facilitate each individuals quest to discover their nobility. If we look to the Writings it appears this begins SEARCH. Below is a extract from a Tablet revealed by Baha'u'llah related to this. Following by this, is a link on some very dear Baha'is who have been imprisoned for 3 years to date (tomorrow)by the government of Iran. After reading and taking in the guidance offered and then watching the videos I think it is hard not to see the true embodiment of this passage in these servants of Baha’. (cont.)

  3. (continued from above)

    "Know thou of a truth that the seeker must, at the beginning of his quest for God, enter the Garden of Search. In this journey it behoveth the wayfarer to detach himself from all save God and to close his eyes to all that is in the heavens and on the earth. There must not linger in his heart either the hate or the love of any soul, to the extent that they would hinder him from attaining the habitation of the celestial Beauty. He must sanctify his soul from the veils of glory and refrain from boasting of such worldly vanities, outward knowledge, or other gifts as God may have bestowed upon him. He must search after the truth to the utmost of his ability and exertion, that God may guide him in the paths of His favour and the ways of His mercy. For He, verily, is the best of helpers unto His servants. He saith, and He verily speaketh the truth: "Whoso maketh efforts for Us, in Our ways shall We assuredly guide him." And furthermore: "Fear God and God will give you knowledge.

    In this journey the seeker becometh witness to a myriad changes and transformations, confluences and divergences. He beholdeth the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation and discovereth the paths of guidance and the ways of his Lord. Such is the station reached by them that search after God, and such are the heights attained by those who hasten unto Him.

    When once the seeker hath ascended unto this station, he will enter the City of Love and Rapture, whereupon the winds of love will blow and the breezes of the spirit will waft. In this station the seeker is so overcome by the ecstasies of yearning and the fragrances of longing that he discerneth not his left from his right, nor doth he distinguish land from sea or desert from mountain. At every moment he burneth with the fire of longing and is consumed by the onslaught of separation in this world. He speedeth through the Paran of love and traverseth the Horeb of rapture. Now he laugheth, now he weepeth sore; now he reposeth in peace, now he trembleth in fear. Nothing can alarm him, naught can thwart his purpose, and no law can restrain him. He standeth ready to obey whatsoever His Lord should please to decree as to his beginning and his end. With every breath he layeth down his life and offereth up his soul. He bareth his breast to meet the darts of the enemy and raiseth his head to greet the sword of destiny; nay rather, he kisseth the hand of his would-be murderer and surrendereth his all. He yieldeth up spirit, soul, and body in the path of his Lord, and yet he doeth so by the leave of his Beloved and not of his own whim and desire. Thou findest him chill in the fire and dry in the sea, abiding in every land and treading every path. Whosoever toucheth him in this state will perceive the heat of his love. He walketh the heights of detachment and traverseth the vale of renunciation. His eyes are ever expectant to witness the wonders of God's mercy and eager to behold the splendours of His beauty. Blessed indeed are they that have attained unto such a station, for this is the station of the ardent lovers and the enraptured souls."

    (Baha'u'llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 26)