Baha’i, Iran, Kafir!

The Islamic Republic of Iran has arrested and imprisoned the head (Shahin Negari) of the university designed to provide education for Iran’s 1 million strong Baha’i community who are denied access to higher education in that country.

The Iranian government has wrongfully imprisoned hundreds of innocent members of the Baha’i Faith, the country’s largest religious minority, as part of an on-going systematic campaign to persecute that community, which it sees as spiritually unclean or “Kafir” (infidels), and to deprive them of their basic human rights.

Persecution of the Baha’is has consisted of kangeroo court murders, summary executions, mob lynchings, kidnapping with torture and ransom, desecration of bodies and burial grounds, assault and battery, harassment, public media sponsored hate propaganda, the systematic denial of employment, property, and marriage licenses (and as a result, arrest for operating businesses “without a license”, “theft”, and “prostitution”) the surreptitious and nation-wide expulsion of Baha’is from all undergraduate and graduate institutions of education, and administratively sanctioned humiliation and bullying in K-12 grade schools.

Recently, Iran’s internal militia, the “Basij”, has shot, tortured, and killed hundreds of student protesters, who represent Iran’s free-thinking youth population under the age of thirty, who now constitute over 70% of the general population. These Student protesters organized the “green” revolution, a student-led protest which aimed at securing political change in opposition to the election fixing and ballot rigging widely implicated in Ahmadinejad’s run-up to presidential victory.

The most serious transgression of human rights committed by the Islamic regime in its quest to crush the youth movement and eradicate the Baha’i community has been the the use of repeated arrests and releases as a weapon of terror and demoralization.

These episodes in Evin prison (Iran’s jail for prisoners of conscience) are accompanied by violent interrogation and prolonged incarceration in unsanitary conditions, without sustenance or facilities for hygiene, without evidentiary hearings or due process, and under the guise of spurious charges indicting American or Israeli-sponsored espionage.

The aim of these systematic campaigns for the persecution of the peaceful and law-abiding women, children, and men of the Baha’i community is the wholesale extermination, undeterred debilitation, and utter denigration of the Baha’i community.

Through a deliberate and strategic devitalization of their economic capital, educational expertise, social cohesion, and psychological integrity the Islamic Republic of Iran has attempted a sub-clinical variant of genocide, on par with the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish peoples prior to the wholesale massacres of the holocaust.

The systematic marking, registering, and monitoring of individuals of a proscribed sect by members of a secret police bears an unmistakable semblance to the machinations constituting the prelude to the ethnic cleansing implemented by the Third Reich in the days prior to the advent of genocide, mass starvation, and utter carnage in the concentration camps.

The result must not be the same in Iran in the 21st century. The ultimate narrative of this atrocity must not find its conclusion in the same orgy of bloodshed and loss of talent and human capital as was seen in Germany, Bosnia, or Rwanda.

This tragedy is one horrific future that must not be manifested. It is an eventuality the possible materialization of which must galvanize the civilized world and democratic western governments to unite against such tyranny. Leaders among nations must arise to call other nations to abide under one universal law, and impel all nations to abide by one global code: Man is a spiritual being with sacred responsibilities and inviolable rights.

The earth is but one country, and humankind it citizens. This species is the Crown of God’s creation and the fruit of His tree of evolution, that has grown for 5 billion years under the diligence of One great Gardener — how dare we, who are His creation, take from Him what He has so laboriously raised up, and in which a rational soul has been deposited, a soul with spiritual faculties and moral potentialities which reflects God’s own Image?

Shahin Negari