The Bahai Faith and Al Qaeda

“John Ricardo I. “Juan” Cole (born October 1952) is an American scholar, public intellectual, and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia. He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. As a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, he has appeared in print and on television, and testified before the United States Senate.

Cole became a member of the Bahá’í Faith in 1972 as an undergraduate at Northwestern, and the religion later became a focus of his academic research. He resigned from the faith in 1996 after disputes with Bahá’í leadership concerning the Bahá’í system of administration.”

qaedaThe Baha’i faith stands for universal love, for tolerance, and for a separation of religion and state.  The need for religious leaders to let politicians do the ruling is a key value stated over and over again in Baha’i scripture.

Unfortunately, a weird Baha’i sub-cult has arisen.  It structurally resembles al-Qaeda, and differs from al-Qaeda only with regard to methods, not ideals.  It does not usually employ violence or terrorism (though persons with this mindset have beaten up friends of mind).

And, most frighteningly of all, it has taken over and subverted the main institutions of the Baha’i faith.

1) Al-Qaeda believes in the destruction of secular, civil governments and replacing them with a fascist theocracy.

Baha’i theocrats believe in the destruction of secular, civil governments and replacing them with a fascist theocracy.  Ian Semple, a member of the Baha’i Universal House of Justice, has for decades cast scorn on civil governments and spoken of his dream of a future when Baha’i Institutions will rule in their stead.

One pilgrim wrote,

“I recall being in Haifa in the ’70s (’72 and ’78) and hearing long talks about this from Ian Semple, on how the world was destined to be ruled by houses of justice and there will eventually be no distinction between church and state, with rather snide and smug comments about how at last the world will finally get it right and have God and Government fused through the power of the Baha’i covenant.”

Note that this is the opposite of what `Abdu’l-Baha says in the Treatise on Leadership:

Ian Semple also put out a letter from the Secretariat of the UHJ:

“As for the statement made by Shoghi Effendi in his letter of 21 March 1932, the well-established principles of the Faith concerning the relationship of the Baha’i institutions to those of the country in which the Baha’is reside make it unthinkable that they would ever purpose to violate a country’s constitution or so to meddle in its political machinery as to attempt to take over the powers of government. This is an integral element of the Baha’i principle of abstention from involvement in politics. However, this does not by any means imply that the country itself may not, by constitutional means, decide to adopt Baha’i laws and practices and modify its constitution or method of government accordingly.”

In this passage he basically argues for a Nazi-like tactic of getting elected democratically and then abolishing democracy.  By the way, the Islamists (with al-Qaida links) tried this in Algeria, and the democrats and secularists fought back, embroiling the country in a civil war that has cost 100,000 lives.  This is the sort of conflict between theocratic Baha’is and the rest of society that Semple is urging on the world.  At that point would the Baha’i theocrats refrain from violence?

2)  Al-Qaeda wishes to reestablish the Islamic Caliphate as the One World Government.
Baha’i theocrats substitute the House of Justice for the Caliphate and envision it ruling the world.

3) Al-Qaeda despises parliamentary democracy as corrupt, money-driven and unrepresentative.  It wishes to overthrow parliaments and institute authoritarian religious rule instead.
Baha’i theocrats despise parliamentary democracy and wish to substitute their religious institutions, which are not freely elected, for civil government.  Long-time Baha’i leader Firuz Kazemzadeh said in 1988:

“If somebody is dissatisfied with a local assembly, he is not prevented from appealing to the NSA . . .  It is something else when whispering campaigns or petitions are sent around for signatures objecting to the activities of the institutions.  That also may be something which is countenanced by American democracy but has nothing to do with the Bahaullah and Baha’i Faith.  We must always remember that our institutions are an unusual and unique combination of theocracy in the best sense of the term with democracy.  The institutions of the Baha’i Faith have not been created by us, the institutions have
been created by God.

Actually, Kazemzadeh’s version of the Baha’i institutions has been created by Kazemzadeh.

4) Al-Qaeda establishes cells throughout the world to work for theocracy, and recruits innocent Muslims at mosques.
Baha’i theocrats have secret cells within the Baha’i community, and recruit Baha’is at deepenings and other events into their twisted world-view.  Many “Auxiliary Board Members” and Assistants are secret theocrats who play dirty tricks on ordinary Baha’is to force them out of the Faith.

The Ian Semple / Kazemzadeh theocratic ideology aims at destroying American democracy.  It aims at gutting the Constitution and abolishing Congress in favor of Kazemzadeh’s weird, secretive, authoritarian way of ruling.

5)  Al-Qaeda demands absolute obedience from its recruits, and no dissent is permitted.

Baha’i theocrats demand absolute obedience to “the Institutions” and tolerate no dissent.  Kazemzadeh told a group of Baha’i intellectuals, “the word dissent implies separating oneself from the activities of the group and putting oneself outside the mainstream of the community, and that is contrary to Baha’i practice.

You can’t disagree with the NSA.

The dangers to the pristine Baha’i faith, with its values of tolerance, allowing the expression of diverse points of view, and firm commitment to the separation of religion and state, of this theocratic cult that has taken control of the community cannot be overstated. Moreover, it is a threat to the whole world.

Now that we have seen where such authoritarian theocracy leads, on September 11, I call upon all Baha’is to step back, reread the scriptures, and adhere to the real values of our religion.

Juan Cole

Source :

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

9 Responses to The Bahai Faith and Al Qaeda

  1. Jeffrey says:

    This is a hit piece devoid of fact written by an egomaniac who refuses to engage in dialogue with anyone he considers intellectually inferior to him (everyone) even while he insults our intelligence to believe that Baha’i and al qaeda are the same or similar. I have no love for the Baha’is but this kind of trash needs to be called out for what it is.

    • imranshaykh says:

      Dear Jeffrey:

      Thanks for your views. The opinion you have expressed is your own and I respect it even though I dont agree with it. I think the article is well written and brings out an aspect of the Bahai Faith which the UHJ is trying very hard to mask.

      Warm regards
      Imran Shaykh

    • Barry says:

      yup it is a bit much, the author does point out a few good things that should be further examined. Its not the religion that has its problems its the humans that want the power and praise that are causing the issues in all religions.

  2. Cyrus says:

    After reading the article, I found there were a few holes in the logic, which made this piece seem more like demagoguery rather than an academic piece.

    1. “Baha’i theocrats believe in the destruction of secular, civil governments”

    This is not the views held by Baha’is, neither is it supported in Baha’i literature. Baha’is believe their government may be called on to govern in a time of crisis when other forms of governance have failed. There is no such process to “get elected democratically” since Baha’is cannot be elected in any secular political system. Secular politics are subject to powerful monetary interests and are divisive by nature. Only just this year, the Washington Post published a study from Princeton and Northwestern universities that the United States was no longer a democracy, but an oligarchy, that the laws passed only reflect the will of special interest groups, not average Americans. Baha’is are not to be associated with any such system.

    2. “.Baha’i theocrats despise parliamentary democracy”

    This is also false. Baha’is have supported the efforts of all democracies to establish laws based on justice and fairness, to to allow freedom of religion. Whether these democracies succeed or fail have nothing to do with Baha’is or Baha’i activity. Baha’is are told in our writings to “follow the laws of the land” where we reside. This means Baha’is can never be revolutionaries or even engage in civil disobedience. The idea that they are paralleled in this article with a terrorist organization like Al-Quaeda seems ludicrous, to say the least

    3. “The Ian Semple / Kazemzadeh theocratic ideology aims at destroying American democracy. It aims at gutting the Constitution and abolishing Congress in favor of Kazemzadeh’s weird, secretive, authoritarian way of ruling.”

    First off, both Ian Semple and Firuz Kazemzadeh have passed away, so I”m not sure what Mr. Cole is talking about here. There is no Baha’i goal of changing any aspect of the functioning of secular governments. These governments must change themselves based on their own democratic processes without the involvement of Baha’is since none are democratically elected to them, nor do they even associate themselves with any political party thereof.

    4. “Baha’i theocrats demand absolute obedience to “the Institutions” and tolerate no dissent.”

    Again, completely false. The expression of dissent is part and parcel of the Baha’i democratic process of consultation. However, when it comes to following through with decision making, the process is to follow the decision of the administration in order to determine whether that choice was the right one or not. Author Patrick Lencioni in his book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” talks about how a team should allow all to express their honest thoughts and to be heard, however the team should work in unity to follow through the course of action. If one person in that team were to actively campaign against a decision or attempt to sabotage it, the group cannot complete it’s process of gaining intelligence because it would not know if that decision would have worked or not. Dissent is critical in any democracy, but also is being able to work in unity in order to increase our group knowledge and experience.

    There is no theocratic cult in the Baha’i Faith, nor is there any threat to the world as Mr Cole concludes. Baha’u’llah wrote “Know thou that We have annulled the rule of the sword, as an aid to Our Cause, and substituted for it the power born of the utterance of men…. Say: O people! Sow not the seeds of discord among men, and refrain from contending with your neighbor, for your Lord hath committed the world and the cities thereof to the care of the kings of the earth, and made them the emblems of His own power…”

    I suggest Mr. Cole reread Baha’i scripture in order to remedy his innacuracies.

    • imranshaykh says:

      Dear Cyrus:

      You are right that perhaps Bahai scriptures do not carry statements to the effect mentioned in the article. But their actions are perfectly like Al Qaeda or like any other mafia. This is easily established through a study of their literature and their history.

      Imran Shaykh

  3. G says:

    Baha’is do believe in theocracy

    • imranshaykh says:

      They dont. They consider Bahaullah as God.

      • ramonaofficial says:

        Where do you get your facts from?
        Bahaullah has NEVER claimed to be god.

        Stop making up statements about a religion that you clearly have no knowledge of its teachings nor its history.
        I know it’s pointless to argue with people with views such as yours but at least other people will read my comments and know that you base your statements on false information

      • imranshaykh says:

        Read the Aqdas in Arabic. You will know what I am talking about. Also Bahais by claiming that Messengers and Bahaullah were Manifestations of God have corrupted the belief of Tawheed brought by Islam, Chiristianity and other Divine religions.

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