Following up on our previous post on Iran, we would like to highlight several articles that prove how serious this human rights violation is:

Twenty-four years ago in June 1983, seventeen members of the Baha’i community in Iran were executed in the southern city of Shiraz*. These men and women were among scores of Baha’is arrested in Shiraz in 1982-1983, interrogated repeatedly, tortured and pressured to recant their faith.

The religious judge and head of the Shiraz Revolutionary Tribunal, who sentenced these men and women to death, publicly vilified Baha’is and described them as “deviant” and as “instruments of Satan”. The judge referred to active members of the community as kofar harbi, or infidels, who have no rights, not even the right to life. “It is clear”, he said, “that there is no room, whatsoever, for Baha’ism and Baha’is in the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

Today, Baha’ism remains unrecognized in Iran, the Baha’i community has no legal status, and discrimination against it continues unchecked. Further, recent reports** indicate a new surge in anti-Baha’i propaganda and in the persecution of Baha’is dwelling in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Read full article at this German-Iranian blog, which adopted it from another source.

Here is another excerpt of a disturbing article concerning Baha’is in Iran:

Throughout the country, Iranian authorities have continued to arrest and detain Baha’is throughout Iran in recent months, subjecting them to a “revolving door” sequence of imprisonment and release that is apparently designed to harass and oppress the Baha’is community.

Over the last two years, at least 129 Bahai’s have been arrested, released on bail, and are now awaiting trial throughout the country. The bail demands have been high, in most cases requiring the Baha’is to hand over considerable sums of money, deeds to property, business or work licenses.

Read the rest of the post from the Adorrahman Boroumand Foundation.

Iranian policy calls for expulsion of Baha’is:

A letter issued by a university in Iran shows that the expulsion of Baha’i students from Iranian universities is official government policy.

The letter, dated November 2, 2006, from the headquarters of Payame Noor University to its regional branches, cites instructions from Iran’s Cultural Revolutionary Council and Ministry of Information that Baha’i students “cannot enroll” in Iranian universities and that if they are already enrolled, “they should be expelled.”

Click here to see the document in Farsi or English (PDF format)

Further information, from the same source:

In Iran, repression of the Baha’i community is official government policy.

This policy is outlined in a previously secret memorandum that was uncovered and published by the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 1993. Written by the Iranian Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council in 1991 and signed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, this document provides a blueprint for the suppression of the Iranian Baha’i community. It contains specific guidelines for dealing with the Baha’is so that “their progress and development are blocked.”

Some 300,000 Baha’is live throughout Iran, making the Baha’i Faith the country’s largest minority religion. Baha’is have been targets of discrimination and violence in Iran since the religion began there in the mid-nineteenth century. More than 200 Baha’is were killed in Iran between 1978 and 1998, the majority by execution, and thousands more were imprisoned.

Read more.

As Muslims, we condemn these brutal acts of violence, which was committed by a government that calls itself “Islamic.” Iran should realize the mistake it is committing against a peaceful minority who should be treated as citizens with rights. The Iranian government will benefit socially, economically, religiously, and politically if it ceases these inhumane practices against Baha’is who did nothing to deserve this shameful level of violent discrimination. If Iran wishes to gain a powerful status as a nation, it must accept and embrace the diversity within it. Without acknowledging such basic human rights, unity is not possible, and thus neither is true power.

We hope to see more interfaith activism within Iran to help Baha’is gain an equal status, which is the very least the Iranian government could do after decades of terrorism against the Baha’i minority!

To Iranian Baha’is: Our thoughts and hearts are with you. Despite its title, the Iranian government does not represent our religion, which preaches tolerance and respect. If it was truly an Islamic Republic, it would actually abide by Islamic teachings, none of which justify these crimes.

May you soon live in peace with your Muslim brethren, for we will always support you.