Sen's daily

May 12, 2018

Anti-Bahaism on show at Tehran international book fair

Hamid Rezatghipour, May 7, 2018.

A few days after the start of the Tehran international book fair, the showing of anti-Bahai books with titles such as “the deviant sect of Bahais” has increased dramatically. The Centre for the Documentation of the Islamic Revolution has a series of books on “identifying the various aspects of the Bahai sect,” while the Centre for Bahai Studies has taken two booths at the exhibition to display almost all the anti-Bahai literature it has published. The anti-Bahai literature appears to be more visible than in previous years. The publishers receive subsidies or are funded by Iran’s government or religious institutions. The publication of Bahai literature, or responses to the accusations, is not permitted. From the book covers pictured, it appears that some of the literature mixes anti-Semitism with anti-Bahaism. This is common in anti-Bahai propaganda produced in Iran: some visual examples are collected in “images of hate” on my Bahai studies blog.

Older items can be found in the archive, here. Even older news is here.


March 31, 2017

Sorur Foroughi bailed in Yazd

Bahai News (Persian), March 28, 2017.

Sorur Forughi Mahdiabadi (سرور فروغی مهدی آبادی), a 69-year old resident of Yazd who was arrested in Tehran on February 21, has been released from Yazd prison on bail of 200 million tumans. She was taken from Tehran to Yazd on March 27. Her home in Yazd was then raided, before she was released on bail. Mrs. Forughi Mahdiabadi, who suffers from cancer and high blood pressure, had gone to Tehran to celebrate the marriage of her son, planned for February 23.

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October 23, 2016

Killing of a Bahai in Yazd was religiously motivated

Bahai News (Persian), October 22, 2016

As previously reported, Farhang Amiri (فرهنگ امیری), a Bahai living in Yazd, was murdered by two brothers who came to the door of his house on the evening of September 26. He suffered multiple stab wounds, including to the heart. According to one report he was first hit on the head with a brick. The men were arrested, and have confessed to the murder, saying they killed Mr. Amiri for religious reasons. The information comes from the Prosecutor’s office in Yazd, via the family of Mr. Amiri. The apparent murderers told the Prosecutor that Bahais, in their eyes, are infidels and a verse in the Quran (which they could not cite) required them to kill infidels. They picked Mr. Amiri at random from among the Bahais, and watched his home and family. The father of the killers is reported to have said that his sons had become radical, and he and the boys’ mother had been feeling that they were about to do something, and had reported their fears to the Ministry of Intelligence. A source interviewed by Bahai News said that the two had acted on their own initiative, although some initials reports had said that a third person, and members of the Basiji (militia), were involved. The source said that Mr. Amiri died when he was stabbed by the older brother, and the younger brother had injured Mr. Amiri in the face with a small knife.

The Universal House of Justice, the elected body that heads the Bahai community world-wide, has issued a letter (in Persian) dated October 19, which states that religious fanaticism was the primary motive for the killing of Mr. Amiri. The letter acknowledges the help of neighbourhood residents leading to the capture of the killers, the work of the police, and the willingness of a lawyer to assist [the family of the deceased], as signs that this fanaticism is not shared by all sectors of society. It is promising that the investigating magistrate has promised to approach the case on the basis of the equality of all citizens.

August 10, 2016

Two Shiraz residents required to shun Bahais

Bahai News (Persian, Facebook), August 4, 2016.

Following the recent arrest and later release of 7 Bahais in Shiraz, a non-Bahai couple from Shiraz have been arrested, and released only when they promised not to have any contact with the Bahais. Reza Shafi`i (رضا شفیعی) and his wife were arrested en route from Shiraz to Marvdasht, and taken to the Ministry of Intelligence’s Detention Facility 100 in Shiraz, where they were interrogated extensively for a day. They were made to promise that they would not have any communication or cooperation with members of the Bahai Faith, and were then released. As previously reported, on July 16 and 17, seven Bahais were arrested in Yazd, and detained by the Ministry of Intelligence.

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May 23, 2016

Iranian media publish list of Bahai businesses for boycotting and closure

Oweis, May 18, 2016.

Government-sponsored media in Iran have published a list of Bahai-run businesses in Zahedan, along with a compilation of fatwas from Shia and Sunni divines, requiring Muslims to have no dealings with Bahais. Zahedan is a city of half a million, in the South of Iran, near to the border with Pakistan. It is an important centre for the Sunni population in Iran (70% of the population are Sunni). The Oweis report begins with an ugly “Rasputin” image, one of the stock images used in the anti-Bahai literature to represent the Bahai Faith. (See “Images of Hate” for a catalogue of these images: the content is offensive.) The list contains the names of 40 businesses, which suggests a Bahai population of some thousands in Zahedan. From the names, it appears that 12 of the businesses relate to optician’s work, four to photography, six to computers and electricity, and the remainder to an assortment of retail, services and consultancy work. The report promises to publish lists of Bahai businesses in other cities ‘soon.’

According to the report, in recent days the hearts of many of the faithful [Muslims] have been wounded by a visit from a well-born lady [Faezeh Rafsanjani] to the leaders of the Bahai Faith, which took place in Tehran. Oweis is therefore republishing the fatwas and a list of Bahai businesses in Zahedan, first published in August 2015 (as previously reported on Sen’s Daily). It says with regret that the government has not taken any action against these businesses.

The story, originally published in Oweis, has been republished in other government-sponsored media, such as Shahid News, and Qatreh News.

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May 22, 2016

Anti-Bahai demonstration in Qom ; coming of 12th Imam postponed

Gold News (Persian), May 21, 2016.

An anti-Bahai — and anti-Rafsanjani — demonstration was held in Qom after the noon prayers on Friday, May 20. The protest was a reaction to Faezeh Rafsanjani’s taboo-breaking meeting with Fariba Kamalabadi, one of the Bahai “Yaran,” who had been released on prison furlough. The crowd was demanding legal action against Ms. Rafsjaneh for socializing with a Bahai. They were equipped with slogans such as “Death to the traitor, death to the troublemaker,” “What price for defending Bahaism?” “We follow [Imam] Husayn, we will not be silent” and “Down with the monarchist troublemaker.” The report states that another slogan was “Hashemi, may your Bahai link be blessed,” but the photograph shows the slogan “Troublemaker, may your Bahai link be blessed.” “Troublemakers” is the term used in government media for those who questioned the outcome of the 2009 elections. In this context it is a reference to both Faezeh Rafsanjani and her pragmatic-conservative father, who campaigned against the populist incumbent, President Ahmadinejad.

Another report, on the Bahai site “Equality of men and women” states that Hojjat al-Islam Nekounam (حجت‌الاسلام نکونام), the representative of the Supreme Leader (Khamane’i) in the Province of Chaharmaqal and Bakhtiari, has said that the promotion and publicising of the Bahai Faith, for example when the Bahais meet with opposition figures, on flimsy excuses such as Bahais being ‘oppressed’ or in the defence of ‘human rights,’ will delay the coming of the Twelfth Imam. [In actual fact, the publicising of the Bahai Faith in Iran occurs almost entirely through the anti-Bahai propaganda of the government-sponsored media. ~ Sen]

However a very detailed report of what appears to be the same speech, on the government-controlled site Qatreh, abbreviates this part of the speech, saying that the delayed coming of the Twelfth Imam is due to the existence of “deviant thinking (تفکر انحرافی),” without mentioning the Bahai Faith. The report on “Equality of men and women” does not name its source.

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July 26, 2015

Fresh graffiti in Tehran [and again, August 8]

Bahai News (Persian), July 26, 2015.

On the night of July 25-26, a Bahai home in the Shahrak-e Gharb district in North-west Tehran was defaced with the usual unimaginative slogan: “Death to Baha’i.” The house on Sazman Barnameh Avenue, in a modern and prosperous neighbourhood near Eram Park, has been occupied by the Aqdasi (اقدسی) family for many years. This is the first time that they have faced such threats there, although graffiti, threatening letters, the vandalism of cars and arson attacks are common enough for the Bahais across Iran.

August 8:
The ‘Fariba Kamalabadi‘ facebook page has a photo of a new slogan spray-painted at the entrance to the same house. This time it reads, “Bahais get out.”

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July 24, 2015

Qom Seminary launches online training in anti-Bahaism

Iran Press Watch, July 24, 2015.

In an advertisement on its site, Tasnim news agency has announced that the Qom Seminary, the most influential seminary in Iran, intends to hold online introductory courses on the Baha’i Faith and the Ahl-e Haqq for seminary students across the country. These courses will be offered through the “All sects and religions organization,” and the Offices of Propaganda and Practical Training at the Qom Seminary. The Qom Seminary has started extensive propaganda on these subjects in most government centers and government sponsored news websites. The Qom seminary is not the only organisation teaching the principles of anti-Bahaism in Iran. The Habilian Association uses its website and mobile displays to spread anti-Bahaism and partisan political messages throughout Iran. The photographs below show a 2014 exhibition at Payam-e Nour University in Nishapur and a 2013 exhibition at the Kosar recreational complex in Zanjan.

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March 3, 2015

Increase in anti-Bahai propaganda in Iran

Iran Press Watch, February 25, 2015.

In recent days anti-Bahai posters have been displayed in Tehran metro stations. The propaganda and the simultaneous arrest of 14 Bahais in Tehran and Isfahan in the last two weeks attest to a new wave of pressure on the Bahais in Iran. Saham News reports that the propaganda posters claim that Bahais are members of a cult devised by imperialist powers, whose aim is to spy and to change the culture and religion of the people of Iran, specifically Shiite Muslims. The posters can be seen in most Tehran metro stations.

Concurrently, extensive anti-Bahai programs are being aired on radio and TV carrying the same message: accusations of cultism, spying and propagation of immorality.

Faranak, a 31-year-old Bahai woman, says, “I was shocked to see the poster in the metro station. I didn’t expect them to treat us this way. Although we have become used to harsh and offensive treatment over the years, these posters are alarming; they make us wonder after all these years of persecution and imprisonment: what more are they going to do to us?”

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January 5, 2015

Bahai suffers lethal poisoning in Shiraz

HRANA, January 5, 2015.

Leila Kargar (لیلا کارگر), a 42-year-old Bahai woman living in Shiraz, has been poisoned and killed by an unknown person, using Aluminium Phosphide, a powder that is used to kill insects and rodents. It reacts with acid in the digestive system to produce the toxic phosphine gas. Mrs. Kargar was in the habit of saying prayers while walking in a park near to the spot where the House of Bab once stood, before its destruction by the Islamic regime in 1979. On December 29 she was late in returning home, and after her return her condition became very serious, with severe vomiting. She was taken to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with Amuninium Phosphide poisoning, for which there is no cure. She died shortly afterwards. She told her family that she had been discussing religious matters with a well-spoken lady, who had given her a drink of fruit juice. Her body is still being held by authorities in Shiraz.

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December 3, 2014

Friday Prayer Leader in Rafsanjan proposes expelling all Bahais

FARS news agency, December 2, 2914.

In a December 2 meeting with provincial officials, the Friday Prayer leader of Rafsanjan, Hojjat-al-Islam Abbas Ramadanipour (حجت‌الاسلام عباس رمضانی‌پور) said that there were a number of “sects” in the province, and because people were ignorant they were able to live and work among ordinary people, without being recognized. He said that a number of Jews were also working in the city bazaar, but the difference between them and the Bahais was, that the Bahais are “unclean.” After outlining the history of the Shaykhi, Babi and Bahai religions, and claiming that the latter had Russian support, he repeated that the Bahais are “unclean” and business dealings with them are religiously forbidden (haram), and said “this sect has established many activities and programmes in our city, and the people’s legitimate demand that they should not be in the city should be implemented.”

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June 13, 2014

Anti-Bahai pamphlets distributed in Yazd (2 updates)

Alliance for Rights of All Minorities-ARAM, June 13, 2014

Washington D.C — The Alliance for Rights of All Minorities (ARAM) has been informed of the dissemination of an incendiary flyer in the city Yazd which states: “Since the Baha’i people are considered as expelled criminals by Islam, any privilege of life or property on their blood is wasted.” The flyer that was posted on targeted sections of the city, including the doors of some Baha’i residences calls for “all Moslems to oppose this group and to fight them with all their life.”

The dissemination of this flyer on the eve of Mid- Shaban, or Shabe-barat, or the “night of deliverance” which honors the birth Imam Mahdi, by design or coincidence presents a heightened threat, particularly as the world’s attention is focused on World Cup fervor and turmoil in Iraq. ARAM calls on Iran’s government officials to preserve the safety and security of its citizens by condemning the flyer and its message.

June 14. HRANA adds that anti-Bahai graffiti has also appeared in Yazd, on the walls and gates of Bahai houses. It is unimaginative: all the examples shown say “Death to the Bahais.” One adds “death to America and England.”

Side note: The report of the Bahai World News Service on this incident states, “In January, said Ms. Alai, the Bahai International Community had catalogued at least 55 anti-Bahai articles on Iranian websites. That rose to 72 in February, 93 in March, 285 in April, and 366 in May.”

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March 18, 2014

Anti-Bahai demonstration planned for Tehran

Iran Press News, March 16

Iran Press News, a usually reliable source, reports that an anti-Bahai demonstration was planned in Tehran. It was to take place in front of the United Nations offices in Tehran, on March 16. It is not clear whether the demonstration did take place there, or whether the authorities intervened. The belief that the United Nations, the BBC, human rights organisations and lawyers, the British government and other foreign organs are controlled by Bahais is a common feature of anti-Bahaism in Iran, but it seems unlikely that the authorities would welcome a public display of anti-Bahaism where it could be witnessed from the UN offices.

A statement released by the demonstration’s organisers states that the “deviant sect of Bahais” is a terrorist organisation with its headquarters in the territories occupied by Zionism [Israel], and supported by the Zionist regime. It is linked to this illegal murderous regime which has shed the blood of thousands of innocent people. The actions of this deviant sect are not limited to physical acts of terrorism, they interfere systematically in the lives of the devotees, who are subjected to control from childhood, depriving them of freedom of conscience and the chance to investigate. Moreover, the sect subjects those who leave the sect and seek guidance [become Muslims] to the most inhumane possible treatment, ranging from character assassination to shunning.

The Bahai Faith is a religion founded in Iran in the 19th century, which functions democratically without any priesthood. The Ottoman authorities exiled its founder, Baha’u’llah, to Akka, where he died in 1892, approximately 50 years before Israel came into existence. In the early 20th century there was an appreciable Bahai community in various parts of what is now Israel, but as the future character of the state of Israel became evident, they were all asked to leave. Today there are no Bahais with a permanent residence in Israel, although there are a few hundred staff with temporary appointments working at the Bahai shrines there. The organisers’ “guilt by association” argument is not only logically invalid, it is factually wrong.

One of the most important Bahai teachings is the independent investigation of truth: children of Bahais are not automatically enrolled as Bahais, but may chose to enroll from the age of 15, if they wish. There is undoubtedly some separation, in Iran, between Bahais and those who have left the Bahai community to become Muslims. A long-standing fatwa, recently re-iterated by Ayatollah Khamene’i, states that good Muslims should avoid any contact with Bahais.

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March 3, 2014

Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi: “Equal Rights for the Bahais and the Jews are Against Islam”

Iran Wire, March 3

In a speech to seminary students and teachers, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, an influential hardliner in the Iranian regime, stated “Some have come forward with a plan for citizenship rights and want to give equal rights to the Bahais and the Jews and the Muslims and… We can never accept this.” There was no doubt that he was referring to the Draft Citizenship Rights Charter presented by Rouhani’s administration last November.

Yazdi’s ire was directed at the principle that all citizens are equal under the law. “All Iranian citizens, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, wealth, social class, race, etc, enjoy citizenship rights and the foreseen guarantees in rules and regulations,” declares the draft charter’s first article. The sentence does not include the term “religion,” probably intentionally, but the “etc.” leaves a lot of room for speculation. Hardliners have been quick to speculate, especially when it comes to the Bahai community, which has been harassed relentlessly since the Islamic Revolution.

“The standard is always Islam,” Yazdi told the theological school students. “Western human rights and citizenship rights, meaning equality between Muslims and Bahais, has no relation to Islam. These rights, as described by the West, utterly go against Islam, the constitution and the way of Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini]. The people of this country, who have suffered hardships and have given so many martyrs, would not accept anything that goes against Islam. Of course, even those who are not Muslims must be respected. They have rights, which Islam recognizes.”

Second-Class Citizenship

Ayatollah Yazdi says that religious inequality is acceptable. “Islam never considers a Jew and a Muslim as equals,” he said. “Even though Islam has conferred certain rights to Jews, this does not mean that they are equals in every right. Sometimes this is called ‘second-class citizenship’. They can call it whatever they want, but it does not change the reality.”

Here, Bahais are conspicuous by their absence. Whereas in pronouncements condemning “equality,” Bahais were included [if only to be excluded ~Sen], when it came to “rights” they were not mentioned – not as second-class citizens, not even as third-class citizens. Not at all.

Human rights activists and liberal commentators have been critical of the rights charter for a number of reasons, labeling it “elegant but useless” and a “hodgepodge of things,” but Yazdi sees the charter as anti-Islamic both in word and in spirit.

The spirit, of course, comes from the people who wrote the draft under orders from Rouhani. Addressing the students, Yazdi asserted that those who promote citizenship rights are wrong about Islam and wrong about the history of the Islamic Republic. When citizenship rights supporters cite Ayatollah Khomeini’s respect for democratic practices such as the right to vote, they are misconstruing his words. They believe Khomeini “was a political figure and a national hero who opposed the previous regime because it was harmful for the country and wanted to establish a system which would be more beneficial to people.” But, according to Yazdi, this is simply untrue. “People who think like this are secular and, in their view, good and evil consist of material things,” he said, adding that, for these people, “evil is material backwardness and the absence of well-being, while good is using technology and providing a good life for everybody. They believe religion is something marginal, a fantasy.”

Islam was absolutely central to Khomeini’s thinking, Yazdi said. “When he said that society was facing a great danger, he meant a great danger for Islam. This was something that was not important to many politicians.”

Are the people who want equal rights for all citizens enemies of Islam? asked one student. “They are not really enemies of Islam,” he answered, “but this is how they see the world, especially if the person is educated in England or some other place like that, because in those places they talk of human rights, citizenship rights and other rights with such reverence that gradually the student comes to consider them as the most important issue.” He added that, although he was 80 years old, it would still be possible for him to fall under the influence of Western rhetoric if he travelled to one of these countries. So it was logical to assume a “young person who has no deep understanding of Islamic principles” to be particularly vulnerable to influence.

Full report
Persian report

Contrasting views of Ayatollah Masumi Tehrani

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February 19, 2014

Iranian MP claims Bahai community spy for Israel and US

Jerusalem Post, February 19, 2014

Ahmad Salek, chairman of Iran’s parliamentary cultural commission, on Tuesday accused his country’s Baha’i community of spying for Israel and the United States. “I declare very explicitly that Baha’ism is an espionage organization which gathers intelligence for the CIA and Mossad, and there are abundant documents to prove this,” the Fars news agency quoted Salek saying.

Fars, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard, reported in the same article comments that Iran’s then-prosecutor-general Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi made in 2009: “We [as the state] offer a variety of services to the Baha’i sect in Iran and respect them as human beings, but not as insiders, spies, or a political grouplet supported by Britain and Israel to cause disturbance in Iran.” (more…)

December 1, 2013

Bahai businesses in Gorgan targetted by false flag flyposters

HRANA, December 1, 2013

In the city of Gorgan (the former Asterabad, in the North East of Iran), unidentified persons have been putting up posters on the homes and business premises of Bahais. The posters contain citations from the Bahai teachings, and typically Bahai pictures, so as to give the impression that the Bahais have put them up advertise their faith. On the morning of November 28, just as one of the Bahai shopkeepers arrived at his shop and found one of these posters on his window, officers from the local government body that supervises public places and businesses also arrived. They closed his business down for propagating the Bahai Faith. It was not re-opened until November 30.

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September 10, 2012

Anti-Bahaism mixed with anti-zionism in Iranian propaganda

PCED, August 20
Iranian Taboo (facebook), August 21

At the "Jerusalem Day" protests in Isfahan on August 17, two portraits of Abdu'l-Baha was burned alongside portraits of Qatar's king Hamad bin Khalifa, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and US President Barrack Obama. Western, Celtic and Coptic crosses were also included in the general assault on sanctities and good taste, while a large spider and web indicate the fantastic conspiracy theory which underlies the display.

+ + + +

Advertisements in Tehran's subway recently have depicted the shrine of the Bab in Haifa, along with a text stating “Only a few days after the UN officially recognized formation of the usurping State of Israel, in turn Israel recognized Bahaism as an official religion, and the Bahais established  their own House of Justice. And as a payback the Baha’is raised funds dedicated to the aid of Israel, in such wise that in 1356 [Solar A.H.], they were able to raise 120 Milliom Tumans [at that time, before inflation, 7 Tumans =$1.00]. Through the effort of Habib Sabit, this sum of money was then channeled to the Israeli armed forces.” 

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August 9, 2012

Opponent of religious freedoms to lead Egypt’s Al-Gomhuriya newspaper

Ahram online, August 9

Egypt’s Shura Council, the upper, consultative house of parliament, has named editors-in-chief for state-owned newspapers, including the appointment of Gamal Abdel-Rahim as the editor-in-chief of Al-Gomhuriya daily newspaper. Abdel-Rahim, a former member of the Press Syndicate Council, caused controversy in the past with his stance against religious freedoms in Egypt. In 2008, he stopped a conference about religious freedoms in Egypt because it discussed the issues of religious minorities, notably Baha’is. In 2009, Basma Moussa, a Baha’i activist for religious freedom, filed a complaint against Abdel-Rahim, accusing him of calling for her murder on air during a television programme discussing the rituals and traditions of Egypt’s Baha’i community. During the programme, Abdel-Rahim said Moussa should be killed because she is a Baha’i. In the same year, six human rights organisations accused Abdel-Rahim of inciting hatred towards Baha’is after he praised locals in Al-Sharoniya village in Sohag after their attack on the houses of Baha’is. Abdel-Rahim has frequently attacked Baha’is in his column in Al-Gomhuriya daily newspaper, which he is now to lead. Al-Gomhuriya is a major state-owned newspaper with a number of daughter publications, also administered by the editor of al-Gomhuriya.

Full story

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October 21, 2011

Report on Iran’s anti-Bahai propaganda

Bahai News Service (English), October 21

In a report released today, the Baha’i International Community documents and analyzes more than 400 press and media items over a 16-month period, that typify an insidious state-sponsored effort to demonize and vilify Baha’is, using false accusations, inflammatory terminology, and repugnant imagery.

“This anti-Bahai propaganda is shocking in its volume and vehemence, its scope and sophistication,” (more…)

October 16, 2010

Gold merchants and Iran’s self-reinforcing anti-Bahaism

Filed under: Anti-Bahai polemics — Sen @ 15:39
Tags: , ,


Every week there are one or two anti-Bahai stories that circulate in the officially sanctioned media in Iran: they are usually transparent fabrications. Sometimes I report one which reaches the media outside Iran, or is exceptionally nasty. This week’s story is relatively innocuous: the Bahais are said to be behind the strike of goldsmiths who are protesting a new sales tax by closing their premises. Merchants’ strikes are a traditional form of social and political protest in Iran, since the economy has been the one relatively free sector in an authoritarian society, for the past several centuries. Pulling down the shutters is one of the few ways of pressuring the government available to the long-suffering people of Iran.

Many Bahais in Iran are small shop-keepers and service providers, because they are excluded from government service and employment in most sectors, and from higher education, so that small trading and services is virtually the only avenue Bahais in Iran have to earn a living. They need renewable licenses for their shops, and are periodically put out of business when the local authorities deny them a further license. Sometimes they are arrested and imprisoned or exiled as well. Others have their shops attacked by vandals or arsonists. From the news reports of these incidents, we get a picture of what kind of businesses the Bahais have. Not once have I heard of a Bahai gold merchant or jeweler being denied a license, or of the shop of a Bahai goldsmith being damaged. So this story falls into the category of transparent fabrications, so obviously false that a comment is not required.

However it got me thinking. The motive behind the story is probably not anti-Bahaism, but alarm at the gold merchants’ strike, and fear that it will spread. By saying that the Bahais are behind the strike, the inventor of this story is probably hoping to discourage individual merchants from joining in the strike. The story is circulated to warn shopkeepers, “if you shut your shop, people may think you are a Bahai.” Any perceived relationship to the Bahai Faith would have commercial, social and perhaps criminal consequences for the merchant and his family. (more…)

August 6, 2010

Secret Foreign Office documents show …

May 13 1918, FO Appreciation of Eastern Report LXX

The punch line is, they show nothing. At least this time. …
This posting has been moved to my Bahai Studies blog.

May 25, 2010

The blood libel : Qom variant

An Iranian version of the ‘blood libel’ story has been doing the rounds in Iranian media this week. I repeat it here so that those propagating such libels may know that their deeds are seen, and also because it illustrates the way in which anti-Bahaism is a substitute form of anti-semitism in Iran.

According to this story, the Bahais in the holy city of Qom, on the holy evening of Ashura when Shiah Muslims mourn the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, held a loud festivity where alcohol was served, killed a Muslim boy they had kidnapped, and laid his body on the table with the food and drink.

April 12, 2010

Debunking the myths – free to download

Adib Masumian’s short book on anti-Bahaism in Iran, “Debunking the Myths: Conspiracy Theories on the Genesis and Mission of the Baha’i Faith” is now in the public domain and available to download as PDF files, in English and Persian versions. The short version of this is on Wikipedia under ‘Allegations of Bahai involvement with foreign powers’, and that is very useful for a quick reference, but I recommend downloading the book, given that wikipedia is writing on the water. It includes (more…)

February 12, 2010

A nasty slander

A website devoted to attacking the Bahai Faith and the Bahais has published a photograph purporting to be “Baha’u’llah receiving revelation” and claiming to have received the photograph from Ahang Rabbani, a reputable, indeed outstanding, Bahai historian. Naturally no competent historian would have any part in such a deception. Dr. Rabbani replies

“The author of whatever website you found this lies when he says he got it from me — particularly since I’d never seen it before!”

I suppose the image will eventually appear in image searches and the like. I post it here so it may be recognised as a fraud, and its attribution to Dr. Rabbani as an attack on his professional reputation. As it happens, the image is one held in the National Ethnography Museum in Leiden (my home town, and a great museum). The photograph was taken by Anton Sevruguin, who was taking photographs in Tehran in 1870-1930. By 1870, Baha’u’llah was already imprisoned in Akka, in Palestine. A larger copy of the image is available here.

~~ Sen

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