Sen's daily

February 23, 2013

Bahai-run businesses in Hamadan still closed over Holy Day issue

HRANA, February 18

As previously reported, on November 17, 32 businesses linked to Bahais in Hamadan Province were closed down by the authorities without any explanation. Following this, the owners and tenants of these businesses went to the local authorities to ask for the reason, and were told that they could re-open if they agreed not to close on the Bahai holy days. There are eleven holy days, commemorating significant historical events, in the Bahai calendar: on nine of these, normal work is suspended. In the Islamic lunar calendar, November 16 and 17, 2012 were Muharram 1 and 2, when Bahais in countries using that calendar celebrate the births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, and close their businesses. Three months later, the businesses remain closed, and there has been no progress towards a resolution. Because Bahais in Iran are excluded from employment by the government and from many economic sectors and professions, they rely heavily on small service and retail businesses to earn their livelihoods.

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