Iran's Baha'isGolnaz Esfandiari, a broadcaster with Radio Farda, wrote an interesting article a few years ago highlighting the case of Iran’s Baha’i minority. Throughout the article, one can clearly note that Baha’is within Iran are not only facing human rights abuses, but also extremism and constant humiliation. The Iranian government has shown no tolerance or respect towards the Baha’i Faith and its followers, violating at least two Baha’i holy places within the country. The article concludes with a powerful quote implying that Iranian Baha’is don’t wish to be treated more specially, but wish to have their equal rights respected and acknowledged by the Iranian government. They too, after all, are Iranian citizens, whose mere difference is a religious choice. They should reserve the right to practice their faith freely and without governmental interference or threats, as citizens of Iran.

Excerpt of the article:

In Iran, the situation of the Baha’is worsened after the 1979 revolution. In the early 1980s, authorities banned the Baha’i religious and spiritual administration and declared membership in it to be crime. Alai, the Baha’i International Community’s UN representative, says after the revolution in Iran the harassment of Baha’is became systematic. However, she adds that in recent years the execution of Baha’is and long-term detention have decreased.

“Since the beginning of the Islamic Republic we can say that there are approximately 200 Baha’is that have been executed only for their beliefs, thousands that have been jailed,” Alai says. “But in recent years, we have seen a great decrease in the number of executions and long-term detention.”

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Individual rights, which includes the right to religious freedom, is the very least that any human can ask for. Muslims within this network already acknowledge these rights and we wish to continue fighting for them. The Baha’i case within the Arab and Muslim world is one worth fighting for, by Baha’is and non-Baha’is alike. Religious differences don’t stand in our way; both our faiths are peaceful ones where tolerance and peace are praised. Let us prove to the world who we really are.