Sen's daily

May 18, 2013

House of Baha’u’llah in Tehran features in Iran’s pre-election polemics

Filed under: current events and comment — Sen @ 12:26

FARS, May 15, 2013.

The house in Tehran where Baha’u’llah was born was added to the register of historic buildings in December 2006 and is to be restored. In recent days, reports of this, with numerous photographs of the exterior and courtyard of the house, have been carried in the conservative FARS news agency and copied by many other publications. This is being used to embarrass Isfandiyar Rahim Masha’i ( اسفندیار رحیم مشایی ), a close ally and relative of President Ahmadinezhad and one of the proposed presidential candidates. FARS claims that there are hundreds of old houses in Tehran with a similar architectural and cultural value, which the provincial authority for Cultural Heritage has not registered. The report lists the homes of princes and prominent clerics of the period that have not been registered, and describes the importance of the house in Bahai history (with the bias one would expect). It was previously owned by an organisation for the propagation of Islam, and purchased by the present owner in 2005, in order to prevent its demolition. This owner has registered it as a historic building and intends to restore it using his own funds. However the ‘transparency” magazine (which Radio Zamaneh says is an anti-Bahai organisation) has claimed that it was bought by the Cultural Heritage foundation, at a time when Mr. Masha’i was the head of that organisation.

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  1. Good News, Thank you!

    Comment by César — May 18, 2013 @ 21:55 | Reply

    • Perhaps not good news: while Iran’s intellectual classes are overcoming the prejudice of generations, and obtaining accurate information about the Bahai Faith, the misinformed and prejudiced mass of the people can easily be manipulated by religious and political leaders. In this situation, to have the House of Baha’u’llah identified (one of the photographs shows a street name) may place the property at risk. For that reason, I did not at first repeat the story here, but within a few days the FARS story was so widely repeated in the Iranian media that any harm that may be done by widening Iranians’ awareness that the house still stands, has already been done. We can only hope that registration as a historical site may provide some protection.

      Comment by Sen — May 19, 2013 @ 07:58 | Reply

      • Thank you for the information. Tet us pray.

        Comment by César — May 20, 2013 @ 05:43

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