Persecution In Iran

For most Americans, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is best remembered for a moment of YouTube fame - when asked about homosexuals in Iran his replay was, "We don't have that phenomenon in my country." The audience laughed, and we laughed along. That little soundbite, coupled with his continued denial of the Holocaust just made him look foolish, or slightly crazy. If you take this little tidbit into account however (wherein he claims that Imam Mahdi - the Shiite prophet who is supposed to return after 1000 years in the desert to bring peace to the world - is directing his government's actions), it becomes obvious that he is bat shit insane, and frankly quite dangerous.

Rather than reporting regularly on his incredibly oppressive and increasingly loony regime, the media is more interested in the President's plan to attack Iran to thwart their nuclear program (and take all that oil). Unfortunately, there are other groups in Iran that Ahmadinejad would like to pretend don't exist, and they don't have the luxury of waiting for our thirsty gas tanks to bring US troops to their aid.

This situation was brought to my attention by our roving reporter and Inquisitor Emeritus, Rachel. Even though I follow Bahá'í news more closely than the average American by a long shot, I was unaware of the dire situation they face in Iran currently. Sure, I knew there was oppression in Iran - from the very beginning of the Bahá'í Faith, Iranians have been more than happy to shoot, hang, burn, and torture Bahá'ís in large numbers - but I wasn't aware of the latest developments. If you're completely up on the situation, don't let me bore you; if not, read on.

In May of this year, Iranian authorities arrested 6 Bahá'í leaders, and have held them incommunicado since then. They join another Bahá'í leader who was taken in March, who has also been denied contact with family or counsel. A spokesman for the Iranian government, Gholam-Hossein Elham, acknowledged at a press conference that the the six were in custody. He cited "security issues" as the reason for the arrests, but most observers agree that they, just like the thousands of Bahá'ís who have been arrested and killed in Iran since the Islamic Revolution, are the victims of religious persecution.

As all regular readers know, I am not a fan of most of the organized religions on this planet, but the Bahá'ís are just about the most gentle, innocuous group of believers I've ever encountered. They hold an ethical worldview that makes theirs one of the most decent and logical versions of monotheism you'll ever find. Even if you are a liberal atheist intellectual, I think you'd find the Bahá'ís pretty palatable - I do. Trust me folks, these are our people.

Just like with any case of sytematic oppression throughout history, silence is the ally of the oppressor. Educate yourselves, and make your disapproval known. For more information, click here, here, and here.


fleur said...

Thanks for bringing this one to our attention and raising awareness - persecution over religious beliefs is always a sad thing to see, but it is important that it is seen so it can be stopped... though how one stops a crazy man is a hard question to answer...

Anonymously Lost said...

God that is so so sad. I wish I could do something. :(

IS there anything anyone can do to stop all this violence? :(

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