Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And Then They Came for Me!

Here is an award-winning video on the plight of the Baha'is of Iran. It was put together by Bobby Aazami and became the overall winner of a contest conducted by the external affairs office of the Bahá’ís of the United States.

In light of the video's context, one cannot help but contemplate the following poem by Martin Niemöller (1892–1984):
In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Baha'i Spokesman Interviewed on NPR Regarding Iran

A spokesman for the Baha'i International Community was interviewed two days ago by the US National Public Radio (NPR). On its website, NPR writes the following:

Iran's Religious Minority Speaks Out On Elections
Listen Now [5 min 26 sec]

June 18, 2009 · Members of the Baha'i faith, Iran's largest religious minority, have long been discriminated against and persecuted by the Islamic Republic of Iran government. Farhad Sabetan, an official within the Baha'i faith community, offers a reaction to the recent elections.

Please click here for NPR link.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Remarkable Words for a University Graduation

This is an actual video recording from the opening remarks by the Chaplain of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. These remarks were made during the graduation ceremonies, given seven times this year for a total graduating class of approximately 4,900 students. The Chaplain uses the words of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the Baha'i Faith--who had visited Montreal in August 1912--in her description of the beauty of diversity in these young graduates and of their hopes and dreams for a peaceful future.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Egypt Moving Forward With its Commitment to Human Rights

Based on recent developments and reliable reports, the Egyptian Government should be acknowledged for its efforts in treating its Baha'i religious minority, as well as other minorities, with dignity and respect. Among several examples, related recently and reported by some Egyptian media outlets, Baha'is are increasingly being recognized for their positive role in their society and for being an integral part of its fabric.

As a first step in the Government's efforts to improve the civil rights status of the Baha'is of Egypt, the civil administrative authority is moving forward with granting the Baha'is their identification documents in an orderly manner. Naturally this process of ID issuance will take time to implement for all those concerned but, nevertheless, these efforts speak for the government's intentions and commitment to do the right thing for its minorities which have been oppressed in the not too distant past. As this path continues to be pursued, the Baha'is of Egypt are quite confident that Egypt will indeed come through with its promise for a happier and greater future for all its lawful citizens.

There are also clear signs that these efforts are genuine and are intended to move Egypt forward in its quest for moderation and tolerance. It would be indeed timely to express gratitude and respect for such a positive trend.