As if unlawfully arresting the Faith’s leaders, intensifying propaganda campaigns and vilifying those willing to speak out on behalf of the oppressed isn’t enough, Iranian news agencies have reported the launch of a petition demanding the dissolution of Baha’i administrations in Iran. The text of the petition reads:

Baha’ism is an organized sect, with its leadership residing under the protective shade of the militantly aggressive occupier of Jerusalem [i.e. Israel], and has established its foundation by spreading lies against Islam and Iran, and by openly and fearlessly advancing the political, cultural and economic aims of global Zionism. This Zionist-Baha’i organization not only has targeted Islam for its cowardly attacks, but is negligent of humanity and its principle needs.

We, the undersigned, in carrying out our Islamic and human duty, request the country’s esteemed Attorney General to confront all elements of this organization and dissolve its administration.

Our initial reaction upon reading the article was to wonder: what Baha’i administration? In 1983, the government banned all Baha’i institutions and National and Local Spiritual Assemblies were disbanded.

At a time when Iranians are reportedly questioning their government’s propaganda, this latest development is critical as it could be used to justify the ongoing persecution by claiming it’s the will of the majority. Could it be meant to set the stage for the trial of the 6 arrested leaders?

Our dear brothers and sisters in Iran, we implore you to consider the following: everyday, you stand up in prayer and declare “In the name of God, the Most Gracious the Most Merciful”. Would a Gracious God sanction assaults against defenseless men, women and children? Would a Merciful God view the arson and destruction of homes approvingly? Would a Just God advocate the unlawful detention of innocent civilians? Would a God Whose first revealed word from the Qur’an was “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created” [96:1] approve of depriving young children of their right to an education?

Would an Omnipotent God feel threatened by a religion whose tenets speak of love, unity and peace?