Bahais In Iran – Why the fuss?

Regarding the hue and cry about the arrest of some Bahais in Iran, I would like to make some points.

Firstly, the government of Iran is an independent government with its independent laws and independent constitution. It has its reasons for the arrest of these Bahais and we should respect that. Just as America, Israel and the West in general would like to maintain their sovereignity, Iran would like to do that as well.

Secondly, people should keep in mind that world-wide, Bahais do not have a track record of respecting local laws (except in the West and Israel). Bahais frequently break local laws and have been help responsible for conversion activities, spying etc. Hence it is difficult to give them benefit of doubt that the Bahais are indeed “innocent”.

Thirdly, if Amercia / the West is so concerned about the state of the Bahais in Iran, why does it not offer asylum to these Bahais in America, Israel, Britain. That would solve the problem once and for all. All Iranis in any case are hankering to go to America. This move will kill two birds with one stone.

Incidentally Bahais are banned in Saudi Arabia as well. If a Bahai is caught in Saudi Arabia, he would probably be executed for blasphemy (a lot harsher than being arrested). I dont see people making too much noise about it (rather any noise about it) – perhaps because Saudi is an ally of the West and Iran is not.

So this whole thing about persecution of Bahais in Iran is hogwash. Bahais are banned not only in Iran. They are banned all over the Middle East and in several other Muslim countries. Iran is being singled out because they want to paint a poor picture of Iran in the media. That is all.

Wait, there more…I secretly believe that the Bahais dont want their “friends” in Iran to be released. What purpose will that serve? One Bahai in prison is more valuable than one free Bahai. Simply because it gives this community to be in the press all the time, it gets them brownie points for sympathy and in any case, apart from the sympathy factor, there is’nt much to talk about the Bahai Faith.

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About imranshaykh
I am a student of comparative religion with a special interest in Islam and The Bahai Faith

7 Responses to Bahais In Iran – Why the fuss?

  1. kanzu99 says:

    This is a bit harsh. I disagree with the authority of the faith, but it’s believers in general are sincere, albeit, sincerely wrong.

    No one deserves to be imprisoned for their religious beliefs, even if the laws in their country allow for such persecutions. If Bahais are being told to remain in parts of the world that would endanger their safety, then they should start asking themselves if this is wise. In some ways, these persecuted Bahais are victims of their own faith as well. It’s hard to extricate yourself from the only community you have ever known, if that is what you were born into.

    No one should be condemned by their own communities for renouncing their faith, if doing so will save their own lives. Stories of martyrdom are such rubbish. Martyrdom causes suffering and that is it. If lying meant that I would save my own life and spare my loved-ones grief, I’d do it in a heartbeat. This doesn’t make me a bad person. It makes me in touch with reality.

    • imranshaykh says:

      Bahais in Iran are not arrested because they are Bahai but because they are accused of spying and treason against the Faith.

      Regards
      Imran

  2. Herbert Edgar says:

    How would you feel if Islam was banned in the west?

    Would you say that they are sovereign countries and why make a fuss if they want to ban Islam, and imprison or execute Muslims?

    What if it was illegal for Muslims to speak about their faith, and illegal for anyone to convert to Islam.

    Put yourself in the other persons shoes for a moment, even if you disagree with them.

    Freedom of conscience means nothing if you are not free to disagree with authority.

    • imranshaykh says:

      Dear Herbert:

      The question about Islam being banned in the West is a hypothetical one and I choose to stay away from responding against that just for that reason.

      There is anyway no reason for any country to ban Islam. But in any case, there are several countries which practice racial profiling and discrimination against Muslims – parts of Europe, France, Myanmar (more recently). I don’t find the West making any noise about that or offering any sympathy to Muslim communities or for that matter even condemning verbally these events.

      Bahais are banned in these countries because of their activities against the state. The Bahais arrested in Iran are accused of spying. And this is not new. This is not the first country they are been caught flouting the law. Look up other articles on my blog and you will find countries upon countries where Bahais broke and continue to do so) the law – India (spying, conversion activities), Indonesia, Uzbekistan etc…

      Ironically, and you should know this, Bahais are banned from teaching the Faith in Israel or even converting any Jews. But they dont seem to mind that one bit…how hypocritical.

      Regards
      Imran

  3. William Jarrell says:

    Imaran, you wrote,”There is anyway no reason for any country to ban Islam.”

    What about the attrocities in New York, London, Madrid, Paris, San Bernidino, Orlando, and Nice?

    • imranshaykh says:

      Dear William:

      I don’t know what is your knowledge of Islam or the general beliefs of Muslims, again in general.

      There are approximately 1.6 bn Muslims in the world of which probably about less than 0.5 m have a view which is led by violence. Perhaps you wish to ignore all the 1.55 bn Muslims and focus only on the 0.5 m or less than that. Please grow up and show some maturity, dear William.

      Muslims all over the world condemn violence against non Muslims. We shout ourselves hoarse over the fact that Islam condemns violence and injustice towards humanity. BTW, we ourselves are victims of the violence perpetrated by these few “Muslims” And if you done believe me, see the bombings in Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and other Muslim countries.

      Warm regards
      Imran

  4. William Jarrell says:

    Imramshaykh,

    I should clarify my position. I don’t advocate banning Islam. I was only responding to your comment that you don’t think there are any reasons for doing so. I was just being rhetorical by pointing that these acts of violence can be cited as a reason for banning Islam. I agree that these barbarities don’t represent the majority of Muslims. But they don’t help Islam’s image and play right into the hands of demagogues like Pamela Geller and Donald Trump. I haven’t seen any Baha’is crashing airliners into skyscrapers or shooting up night clubs.

    I would also point out that your blog doesn’t help people’s perceptions of Islam because you advocate religious persecution. You defend persecuting Bahai’s for no other reason than it is the prerogative of the Iranian Government. Some non-Muslims would consider this to be another expression of Islamic intolerance. Hanging a teenage girl for being Bahai can easily added to be litany of Islamic cruelties along with ISIS beheadings.

    I am not Bahai no more than I am a Muslim. As far as either faith is concerned I might as well be an atheist. But as someone who believes in freedom of belief I don’t see any more reason for banning one than for banning the other. Your conspiracy theories about Baha’is being spies are a canard. The real reason the Iranian government bans Baha’ism is because it posited a prophet after Muhammad.

    William Jarrell

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