[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] Quds Online

[Date:] 1 Mordad 1398 [23 July 2019]

 

Hidden Spies / Baha’i Games in the Name of Human Rights

Baha’is have the same right to study in schools and universities as long as they do not disclose or propagate their ideology.

Quds Online: “Human Rights” – This concept, which originated in the West, today has become more of a “tool” for advancing the morality of dissident groups, and in particular, has changed to sectarian currents.

Clear indication of this can be seen in the behaviour of the Baha’i sect’s organization. From the beginning of the formation of their organized administration, called the “House of Justice” (located in occupied Palestine), until today, the Baha’is have put the influence of so-called human rights circles on the agenda and through various means try to accuse the Islamic Republic of violating the citizenship rights of individuals by touching on sensitive areas such as training and education, women’s rights, political protests, religious minorities (trying to confuse their religion with official religious minorities), and the like.

These allegations are made while examining the available documents and evidence, which illustrate falsification and distortion of the facts, misrepresentation of issues and even lying, in line with the sect’s perpetual policy of “displaying the image of being oppressed.”

In the meantime, the issue of education, due to its connection with children’s rights and citizenship on the one hand, and the full record of Baha’ism in this field, from the establishment of Baha’i schools (before the revolution) to the establishment of the underground university called BIHE on the other hand, is doubly important and is always used as one of the levers of pressure―in turn, [it is taken] advantage [of] according to the circumstance.

There are many examples in this field. In the year 1386 [2007/2008], Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations, said, “In one month, in at least ten cities, there were about 150 cases of insults, ill-treatment and even physical violence, and about 76 cases of harassment. Psychological and physical abuse has been reported in high schools against Baha’i children, adolescents and young people.” [1]

In an interview, Simin Fahandej, another international representative of the Bahá’í International Community, said, “Baha’i youth, like all other youth living in Iran, are interested ... in being able to study, freely find a job, start a family and live a normal life in the country in which they live, in fact, without fear of expressing their beliefs. But when this basic right is taken away from them, they will naturally look for a way in which they can defend not only their own rights but also the rights of others. The group of activists and other organizations alike who started their activities, created conditions so that many people interested in this field could work and defend the rights of others, and become active and useful with their activities.” [2] Thus, they justify the activity of Baha’is in pressure groups—illegal—under the heading of “situation for defending the rights of themselves and others.”

A noteworthy point is the acknowledgment of the Baha’is who have recanted their faith, who enjoy all civil rights, including the right to education and higher education institutions. Many of the returnees from this sect have emphasized in their revelations the importance of the propaganda role of Baha’i members, which is the main reason for possible clashes with offending elements. In one of his letters, Shoghi Effendi (the third Baha’i leader) acknowledged, “Concerning propaganda in universities and colleges, this is very important because students are generally enlightened and less influenced by tradition. If the Cause is properly and correctly introduced to them, they will enter into it and their intellect and emotions will be properly satisfied; however, such an effort should be made only by individuals with a university education who are familiar with the thoughts of intelligent and educated youth.” [3]

In other words, Baha’is or followers of any sect or denomination, regardless of their belief, or ethnic or religious affiliation, are entitled to all citizenship rights, as long as they do not strike at the foundations of the regime, in accordance with the provisions of the law. All members of society have the right to housing, education, employment, etc., and anyone who breaks the law, whether Muslim or Baha’i, will be prosecuted.

On the other hand, the [Baha’i] activities of underground centres such as the [Baha’i] university, the shutting down of which has always been brought up with a trumpet, are completely illegal. Ironically, these activities are contrary to the orders of the Baha’i leaders, who stated that Baha’is must observe the laws of the countries where they reside.

Despite all this, Baha’is have the right to study in schools and universities as long as they do not disclose their beliefs and do not preach, and today, many Baha’is have graduated from the country’s universities.

 

Postscript Notes:

[1] “Sufferings of Baha’i students in Iranian schools”, Tavana website.

[2] Minorities and activists; in an interview with Diane Ala’i and Simin Fahandej, two representatives of the Baha’i International Community, Peace Path, 20 Esfand 1394 [10 March 2016].

[3] Letter from Shoghi Effendi to a Baha’i, 3 February 1932