Archive for the 'Baha’i' Category

13
Apr
08

Iran: Mosque Target of Bombing

Muslims love each other to death…

Iran mosque blast kills 12, wounds over 200

April 13, 2008 – 9:21PM

Twelve people were killed and at least 202 wounded when an explosion ripped through a packed mosque in Iran’s southern city of Shiraz during prayers by a prominent cleric, officials said on Sunday.

Uncertainty surrounded the cause of Saturday evening’s blast, which some officials insisted was an accident but others said could have been caused by a bomb.

The massive explosion in the men’s section of the mosque took place at around 9:00 pm (1630 GMT) during an evening prayer sermon by prominent local cleric Mohammad Anjavinejad, Iranian media reported.

Twelve people were killed and 202 wounded, the governor of the local Fars province, whose name was given as Rezazadeh, told state television.

“The incident could have happened as a result of negligence. A while ago at this site there was an exhibition commemorating the (1980-1988) Iran-Iraq war,” provincial police chief Commander Ali Moayeri told the Fars news agency.

“The munitions left at the site could have caused this explosion,” he added. The agency said he ruled out an act of sabotage.

Television pictures showed shards of glass and piles of debris inside the mosque and huge crowds gathered to await news of loved ones. Casualties, their clothes soaked with blood, filled local hospitals.

“Last night’s incident… was definitely an accident. We are studying the cause, but as of now but main reason is not clear,” Deputy Interior Minister Abbas Mohtaj told the Mehr news agency.

Other sources indicated that the possibility of a militant attack had not been ruled out, however.

A judicial probe has been launched to determine the cause of the explosion and the possibility of sabotage,” Shiraz prosecutor Jaber Baneshi told IRNA.

Shiraz MP Mohammad Nabi Roodaki said the explosion could have been caused by unknown people deliberately setting off the munitions used in the Iraq war exhibition, the student ISNA news agency reported.

Anjavinejad himself cast doubt on the accident theory, saying that the force of the blast and the presence of an individual who planted a package before his sermon suggested otherwise.

“Some parties are trying to show this was an accident to portray the city as safe. But it is their duty to implement security,” he told the Alef news website.

One of Iran’s most famous cities, Shiraz is popular with foreign tourists because of its proximity to important ancient sites from the Achaemenian Empire that ruled much of Asia from 550-331 BC.

Fars said the death toll was set to rise because many victims were in a critical condition.

Iranian media quoted eyewitnesses as saying the explosion caused a cloud of dust to billow into the sky and caused panic among worshippers.

There have been deadly attacks in Iran’s border cities with ethnic minority populations in recent years, but a strike in a non-frontier city such as Shiraz would be unprecedented.

Such attacks in Iran have become extremely rare over the past two decades, although the first years after the 1979 Islamic revolution saw a succession of bombings in Tehran by outlawed opposition groups.

The last major attack was a February 2007 strike by suspected Sunni rebels in the city of Zahedan in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan border province that killed 13 elite Revolutionary Guards.

According to the reports, before Saturday’s blast Anjavinejad had been preaching against Wahhabism — the ultra-conservative form of Sunni Islam practised in Saudi Arabia. He is reported to be a vehement critic of Wahhabis.

In his sermon he also attacked Bahais, who were once Iran’s biggest non-Muslim minority by far and who believe in the unity of all religions, Fars reported.

Bahais are deemed to be apostate by the Islamic republic, and their beliefs are not recognised by the constitution.

© 2008 AFP

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18
Mar
08

Iran Tightens the Noose On Apostasy

Iran Mulls the Death Penalty for Apostates—Perhaps with Worldwide Jurisdiction

Life for so-called apostates in Iran has never been easy, but it could become literally impossible if Iran passes a new draft penal code. For the first time in its history, Iran is considering the death penalty for apostates. In the past, authorities have executed apostates. But punishment by death has never before been set down in law.

The text of the draft penal code uses the word Hadd, which explicitly sets death as a fixed punishment that cannot be changed, reduced or annulled. The rest of the code is little better. By using ill-defined terms, other provisions also open the door to abuse Iran’s already beleaguered religious and ethnic minorities.

Article 225-1 states “Any Muslim who clearly announces that he/she has left Islam and declares blasphemy is an Apostate.” Article 225-2 adds that “Serious and earnest intention is the condition for certainty in apostasy.” So an accused person could claim that he made his statement reluctantly, or ignorantly, or while drunk, or through the slip of a tongue, and he would not be considered an apostate.
The penal code also identifies two types of apostates: innate (Fetri) and parental (Melli). An innate apostate has at least one parent who was a Muslim at conception, who declares himself a Muslim after maturity, then later leaves Islam. Maturity occurs at puberty, usually around 12 or 13. By contrast, both the parents of a parental apostate were non-Muslims at his conception. A parental apostate becomes a Muslim at maturity, then “later leaves Islam and returns to blasphemy.”

The code adds another condition for the parental apostate: anyone who has “at least one Muslim parent at the time of conception but after the age of maturity, without pretending to be a Muslim, chooses blasphemy is considered a Parental Apostate.”

To dispel any confusion over the required punishment for apostasy, the draft code says outright that “punishment for an Innate Apostate is death.” However, parental apostates do receive a slender reprieve: After sentencing, they have three days to recant their beliefs. If not, they will be executed according to their sentence.

Interestingly, the punishment for women is lighter than that for men. Punishment for a woman, whether innate or parental, is life imprisonment with hardship “exercised on her.” If a woman recants, she will be freed immediately. In a side note, the code’s authors said religious laws would determine “the condition of hardship.”

The code would also further erode the rights of minorities such as Bahá’ís or Christians by labeling them apostates. “False prophets”—a term undefined in the code—are to be sentenced to death. Any Muslim who “invents a heresy” or a sect contrary to Islam is also an apostate.

Also worrying for minorities is Article 133-3, which declares that anyone who uses a minor to commit a crime will be punished. As past experience shows, parents of Bahá’í or Christian youth who share their teachings with children other than their own could find this article applies to them. Also, two or more people who get together to commit a felony constitute a group or band. This reference can be used for any organized action by a group of people, including any activity carried out by groups the government considers dangerous, such as Bahá’ís, Christians, or Azeris.

The code’s authors go even further, extending its jurisdiction beyond Iran’s borders to those acting “against the government, the independence and the internal and external security of the country.” The law does not define the term “security.” This means that groups around the world that Iran’s regime consider dangerous could be liable for actions they take outside the country.

Iran already has an abysmal record when it comes to oppressing religious minorities and political dissidents. The current draft penal code only provides more scope to abuse the fundamental rights of Iranians. For anyone who dares question the regime’s religious ideology, there could soon be no room to argue—only death.

Joseph K. Grieboski is the President of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.

Source

No worries they just need a good talking to. 🙄

Blood In Blood Out

23
Nov
07

Iran: The Systematic Persecution of Baha’is

islamonazi5.jpg

The Islamic Republic’s War with the Dead @ Amil Imani

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

“The hatred of the extremist mullahs for the Baha’is is such that they, like the Taliban of Afghanistan who destroyed the towering Buddhist sculptures at Bamiyan, intend not only to eradicate the religion, but even to erase all traces of its existence in the country of its birth,” says the statement, which took the form of a paid advertisement in the New York Times. Such has been the plight of one of the greatest segments of the Iranian population.

Persecuting the Dead

In 1993, in Tehran alone, under the orders of the Islamic authorities, more than 1500 graves were bulldozed on the pretext of constructing a municipal center. In a similar fashion, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which holds in great contempt any non-Islamic belief or heritage, has embarked on destroying the archaeological sites of Pasargad, Persepolis and the tomb of Cyrus the Great as well, also on another pretext of building a dam.

As early as last month, and with the direct order of villainous, handpicked President Ahmadinejad who is notorious for his anti-Baha’i sentiments , the bulldozing began of Baha’i cemeteries across Iran. That is the latest series of incidents in an Islamic government-led campaign of hatred against Baha’is. The destruction of the cemetery by using large and heavy equipment occurred between September 9th and September 10th near Najafabad, on the outskirts of Esfahan. What happened there is an almost total replica of what happened in July in Yazd, where another Baha’is’ cemetery was savagely damaged by earth-moving equipment.

The House of the Báb in Shiraz, one of the most holy sites in the Bahá’í world, was destroyed by Revolutionary Guardsmen in 1979 and later razed by the government. Also, the residence of Baha’u’llah in Takur, where the Founder of the Baha’i Faith spent his childhood, was also demolished soon after the radical Islamic revolution, and the site was offered for sale to the public. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, Baha’is are forbidden to live peacefully in this life and rest in the next.

Islam is now out of its own cage. It has declared war on the dead as well as the living. Islam plans to kill, destroy and eradicate anything and everything in its path to world domination. Secretly, most Muslims endorse suicide bombings and the underpinnings of bin Laden’s assault. For as long as there are bigoted, self-serving clergy and their collaborators with first exclusive access to the blank slate, the problem of supplying wave after wave of Islamofascists will persist. Do we have to have a bloodbath of monumental scale before we in the West see anything near peace again? Isn’t it time to stop this madness and think judiciously?

All free people must feel for the long-suffering Baha’is in Iran. They have been savagely brutalized for over a century and a half through the demonic machinations of the despicable mullahs. They continue to pay dearly for their audacity to believe in human dignity.

Why anyone would desecrate cemeteries is unfathomable.

Indeed, a careful examination of Iran’s persecution of the Bahá’í community reveals that the Iranian government has long sought specifically to completely block the “progress and development” of the community — as outlined by the government in a “secret” memorandum that surfaced in 1993. [See “Iran’s Secret Blueprint for Repression”]

Iran’s Secret Blueprint for Repression

THE ISRCC DOCUMENT

[Translation from Persian]

[Text in square brackets added by translator]

In the Name of God!
The Islamic Republic of Iran
The Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council
Number: 1327/….
Date: 6/12/69 [25 February 1991]
Enclosure: None

CONFIDENTIAL

Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Golpaygani
Head of the Office of the Esteemed Leader [Khamenei]

Greetings!

After greetings, with reference to the letter #1/783 dated 10/10/69 [31 December 1990], concerning the instructions of the Esteemed Leader which had been conveyed to the Respected President regarding the Bahá’í question, we inform you that, since the respected President and the Head of the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council had referred this question to this Council for consideration and study, it was placed on the Council’s agenda of session #128 on 16/11/69 [5 February 1991] and session #119 of 2/11/69 [22 January 1991]. In addition to the above, and further to the [results of the] discussions held in this regard in session #112 of 2/5/66 [24 July 1987] presided over by the Esteemed Leader (head and member of the Supreme Council), the recent views and directives given by the Esteemed Leader regarding the Bahá’í question were conveyed to the Supreme Council. In consideration of the contents of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the religious and civil laws and general policies of the country, these matters were carefully studied and decisions pronounced.

In arriving at the decisions and proposing reasonable ways to counter the above question, due consideration was given to the wishes of the Esteemed Leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran [Khamenei], namely, that “in this regard a specific policy should be devised in such a way that everyone will understand what should or should not be done.” Consequently, the following proposals and recommendations resulted from these discussions.

The respected President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the Head of the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council, while approving these recommendations, instructed us to convey them to the Esteemed Leader [Khamenei] so that appropriate action may be taken according to his guidance.

SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS OF THE DISCUSSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION

A. General status of the Bahá’ís within the country’s system

  1. They will not be expelled from the country without reason.
  2. They will not be arrested, imprisoned, or penalized without reason.
  3. The government’s dealings with them must be in such a way that their progress and development are blocked.

B. Educational and cultural status

  1. They can be enrolled in schools provided they have not identified themselves as Bahá’ís.
  2. Preferably, they should be enrolled in schools which have a strong and imposing religious ideology.
  3. They must be expelled from universities, either in the admission process or during the course of their studies, once it becomes known that they are Bahá’ís.
  4. Their political (espionage) activities must be dealt with according to appropriate government laws and policies, and their religious and propaganda activities should be answered by giving them religious and cultural responses, as well as propaganda.
  5. Propaganda institutions (such as the Islamic Propaganda Organization) must establish an independent section to counter the propaganda and religious activities of the Bahá’ís.
  6. A plan must be devised to confront and destroy their cultural roots outside the country.

C. Legal and social status

  1. Permit them a modest livelihood as is available to the general population.
  2. To the extent that it does not encourage them to be Bahá’ís, it is permissible to provide them the means for ordinary living in accordance with the general rights given to every Iranian citizen, such as ration booklets, passports, burial certificates, work permits, etc.
  3. Deny them employment if they identify themselves as Bahá’ís.
  4. Deny them any position of influence, such as in the educational sector, etc.

Wishing you divine confirmations,
Secretary of the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council
Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Golpaygani
[Signature]
[Note in the handwriting of Mr. Khamenei]
In the Name of God!

The decision of the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council seems sufficient.
I thank you gentlemen for your attention and efforts.

 

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Fifty-first session
Item 12 of the provisional agenda

QUESTION OF THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO COLONIAL AND OTHER DEPENDENT COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

Report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran prepared by the Special Representative of the Commission, Mr. Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1994/73 and Economic and Social Council decision 1994/263

G. Freedom of religion and the situation of the Baha’i community

46. In addition to the allegations enumerated in the interim report to the General Assembly (A/49/514, paras. 61-71, A/49/514/Add.1 and A/49/514/Add.2, pp. 11-12), the Special Representative received the following information.

47. The New York Times reported in its 1 August 1994 issue that the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jarad Zarif, had said that some evangelical Christian churches were in actual fact organizations of a political character: “We consider them to be political organizations. If someone wants to start a political organization they must go through the process to obtain permission, as is the case for Muslims”, he said.

48. In connection with the killing of Pastor Tatavous Michaelian, various inconsistencies have been noted in the police and court investigation. For example, Mrs. Farahnaz Anami, accused of the killing, allegedly said that the Pastor died from two bullet wounds, whereas the owner of the house in which the crime was committed said he had heard only one shot, and the office of the examining magistrate said that three bullets were found in the body. The testimony of the owner is said to have caused some controversy.

49. Farahnaz Anami reportedly confessed to killing Pastor Michaelian; identifying a place to bury the body of Pastor Dibaj in the Sorkheh Hesar woods in east Tehran; planning the killings of Archbishop Iraj Mottahedeh and Dimitri Belous; and planting explosives in the mausoleums of Hazrat Ma’soumeh and Imam Khomeini. Mrs. Batoul Vaferi Kaleteh and Mrs. Maryam Shahbazpoor are said to have confessed to being accomplices in these crimes and to have been arrested while they were trying to plant bombs at these mausoleums. No details are known about the inquiries into the killings of Pastor Dibaj and Pastor Hovsepian Mehr.

50. The situation of the Baha’is remains the same as that described in the Special Representative’s interim report to the General Assembly (A/49/514, paras. 66-71). The situation of two Baha’is sentenced to death because of their religion on 8 December 1993, Mr. Bihnam Mithaqi and Mr. Kayvan Khalajabadi, is still precarious, for no reply has yet been received to the appeal against the conviction lodged with the Supreme Court of Justice. These persons have been in prison since April 1989.

51. Five other Baha’is are still in prison because of their religion. Particular concern was expressed about the situation of Mr. Husayn Ishraqi, aged 72, who has been in prison since 1 April 1992 and has been sentenced to a term of 10 years. Another Baha’i, imprisoned since 17 October 1985, Mr. Bakhshu’llah Mithaqui, has been told verbally that he has received a further sentence of 10 years in addition to the term he is serving in Gohardasht prison. It was also reported that, while Mr. Ramidan’ali Dhulfaquari has been released, the charge of apostasy against him has not been withdrawn. This person had been sentenced to death in December 1993.

52. Further acts of discrimination and economic pressure against the Baha’is have been reported, particularly in Mashhad, a city where the private sector is said to be under pressure from the authorities to dismiss Baha’i employees. The Baha’is in Mashhad are reportedly facing major hurdles in carrying on their professional and commercial activities. Throughout the country, many Baha’is dismissed from the public sector on account of their religious beliefs are still unemployed and receive no financial assistance, grant or pension. It has even been reported that some Baha’is dismissed from the public sector were required to return the salaries and pensions they had received when they were working. Baha’i farmers are still denied access to farm cooperatives, which often provide the only opportunity to obtain credits, seed, fertilizers and pesticides.

53. It has been alleged that marriage, divorce and the right to inherit among the Baha’is continue to be unrecognized in law. Major difficulties, mentioned in information received previously, remain in obtaining passports and exit visas. It is asserted that young Baha’is continue to be denied access to higher education and, for the Baha’i community as a whole, the right to meet freely, to elect their representatives and to maintain their administrative institutions. The cemeteries, holy places, historical sites and administrative centres of the Baha’i community remain confiscated or have been destroyed. It is said that the Baha’is must bury their dead on waste land specified by the Government and that they are not entitled to identify the graves of their loved ones.

THE BAHAIS QUESTION?

The Baha’i Question Cultural Cleansing in Iran

Chapter I

Introduction

By all accounts, the house of Mirza Abbas Nuri was a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Mirza Abbas Nuri was a renowned 18th century Iranian calligrapher, and his home in Tehran — marked by a verdant veranda, flowered courtyard, and tasteful tile-work — was considered among the most beautiful houses of that period.

mirza-abbas-nuri-home-destroyed-c28_a3.jpgThe demolition in June 2004 of the house of Mirza Abbas Nuri, a renowned 18th century Iranian calligrapher, reflects the Iranian government’s willingness to destroy its own cultural heritage to eradicate the Bahá’í Faith from Iran

In the summer of 2004, however, Iranian authorities demolished the house. The reason was all too clear: the home was considered by Iran’s Bahá’ís as a sacred and historic site, inasmuch as Mirza Abbas Nuri was the father of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

Islam the religion of peace and tolerance?

Or…Islam the religion of violence and extreme prejudice?




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