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    Thumbs up Evening in Support of Iranian Baha'is in San Francisco


    Due process ignored as trial date is set for Iranian Baha'i prisoners

    The seven Baha'i "leaders," with spouses, before their imprisonment.




    Source: Mideast Youth
    http://www.mideastyouth.com/2009/08/...san-francisco/

    Evening in Support of Iranian Baha'is in San Francisco

    On Wednesday August 12, a large event was held in San Francisco's Herbst Theatre in support of Iranian Baha'is. The focus of the event was to raise awareness about Baha'i persecutions in Iran, especially with regards to the seven Baha'i leaders [http://news.bahai.org/story/725] currently awaiting trial in the Evin prison, and being under quite a serious threat of receiving the death penalty.

    Only couple days ago, a new date of the trial was reported (August 18). This is the third date that was given over the course of the year, and there is no way of knowing whether it will be upheld. The prisoners have not had an access to their lawyer, who as a height of irony was also recently imprisoned himself.

    As much as the reason for this event was tragic, the event itself was quite uplifting and encouraging, and planned on an unprecedented scale. It was hosted in the Herbst Theatre, a venue that seats 1,000 people. The theatre was packed to the point that some people had to stand. The fact that in this venue, The United Nations Charter of 1945 was signed, added to the special nature of the evening.

    Several distinguished speakers participated: San Francisco Supervisor, and first Iranian American to be elected to public office, Ross Mirkarimi spoke passionately about the events in Iran, and the desire of the local politicians to support the freedom movement. Sepi Richardson, the Mayor of Brisbane, and the first Iranian American woman to be elected to public office spoke of her dream for democracy and freedom for Iran, the country so many of us hold so dear in our hearts.

    Dr. Abbas Milani, the director of the Stanford Iranian studies program gave a historical perspective on Baha'i persecutions, and highlighted Baha'i contributions to the Iranian society, including mentioning the fact that the architect of the Freedom Monument on the Azadi square is a Baha'i. Finally Dr. Farhad Sabetan, a representative of the Baha'i International Community at the United Nations spoke about the plight of the seven prisoners.

    It was very encouraging and heartwarming to see these local dignitaries express their passion for human rights in Iran, and their support for the Baha'i prisoners. Other than encouragement, the evening brought some uplifting moments as it was imbued with arts, and included a small presentation by children, who read a letter that they wrote to the President Obama regarding Baha'i persecutions in Iran. The artistic presentations were quite diverse: classical Western and Persian music, spoken word, and a dramatic presentation "We are not spies." Prayers in English, Spanish, Tongan, and Farsi languages were offered.

    There is really no way of knowing whether the trial will happen on August 18th, and what the outcome may be. But it is my hope that we will soon see free Iran, where everyone can exercise the human rights we all are entitled to. Doctor Sabetan concluded his talk by reading the letter written to the Iranian Baha'is by the Universal House of Justice, the international elected governing body of the Baha'i community. I would like to do the same because of the inspiring nature of its words.

    To the Baha'is of Iran

    Dearly loved Friends,

    With hearts grieved by events unfolding in Iran, we address this letter to you, the steadfast followers of Baha'u'llah in that land. To the concern for your safety that has long weighed on us is now added mounting fear for the safety of millions of Iranian men and women, so many of them at the pinnacle of their youth, their vast potentialities yearning to be realized. How rapidly have veils been rent asunder! Cruelty meted out in calculated measures to you and others over the years has been unleashed in the streets of Iran for all humanity to see. No matter what the turn of events, we are confident you will adhere firmly to the fundamental principle of our Faith that strictly prohibits any involvement in partisan political activity by individual Baha'is or by Baha'i institutions. Yet you cannot remain aloof and insensitive to the suffering of your people. Decades of hardship have prepared each of you to stand as a beacon of strength in the circle of your family and friends, your neighbours and acquaintances, radiating hope and compassion to all those in need. Keep alive in your hearts the feeling of confidence that the future of Iran holds bright promise, the certitude that the light of knowledge will inevitably dispel the clouds of ignorance, the conviction that concern for justice will protect the nation from falling prey to calumny, and the belief that love will ultimately conquer hatred and enmity. You have demonstrated in the example of your lives that the proper response to oppression is neither to succumb in resignation nor to take on the characteristics of the oppressor. The victim of oppression can transcend it through an inner strength that shields the soul from bitterness and hatred and which sustains consistent, principled action. May the words of 'Abdu'l-Baha resound: "Iran shall become a focal centre of divine splendours. Her darksome soil will become luminous and her land will shine resplendent." You and your compatriots are in our continued prayers.

    [signed: The Universal House of Justice] Dated June 23, 2009


    More photos from the event can be seen on flickr: Evening in Support of Iranian Baha'is [http://www.flickr.com/photos/dakini/...57622034996922]
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    Originally Posted by Geno View Post
    Bless your hearts.
    Thank you.
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    What percent of Bahais are Iranian? Seems like a strong majority of Bahais are Persian.
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    God is the All-Glorious Bahai.Lifter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    What percent of Bahais are Iranian? Seems like a strong majority of Bahais are Persian.
    I'm not quite sure of the exact statistics; however, there are 300,000 Baha'is living in Iran currently. Before after the Islamic revolution, in total I'd say about a million Baha'is left Iran. However, since the Baha'i Faith encourages interracial marriages, many Persians married non-Persians, so it's really hard to tell. When I go to Baha'i conferences, I can tell you I never see a lack of Persians though.

    But to give you an idea of the diversity in this religion, the Baha'i Faith statistically is more geographically diffused than Islam, so you'll find Baha'is all over the world, even in remote areas. The late king of Samoa was a Baha'i, and the late Queen Marie of Romania was a Baha'i. There are over 1 million Baha'is in India, most from Hindu backgrounds, some Sikhs. Many Baha'is in the United States are from a Christian backgrounds originally.
    Last edited by Bahai.Lifter; 08-15-2009 at 05:48 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Bahai.Lifter View Post
    I'm not quite sure of the exact statistics; however, there are 300,000 Baha'is living in Iran currently. Before after the Islamic revolution, in total I'd say about a million Baha'is left Iran. However, since the Baha'i Faith encourages interracial marriages, many Persians married non-Persians, so it's really hard to tell. When I go to Baha'i conferences, I can tell you I never see a lack of Persians though.

    But to give you an idea of the diversity in this religion, the Baha'i Faith statistically is more geographically diffused than Islam, so you'll find Baha'is all over the world, even in remote areas. The late king of Samoa was a Baha'i, and the late Queen Marie of Romania was a Baha'i. There are over 1 million Baha'is in India, most from Hindu backgrounds, some Sikhs. Most Baha'is in the United States are from a Christian backgrounds originally.
    Can you do some research and try to find some stats on that? Because I'm sure a lot of those dispersed Bahais are Persians who ran away from Iran.
    *** There is no one free of all need, of whom all else are in absolute need, but God ***

    Pbuh: If anyone testifies that None has the right to be worshipped but God Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Servant and His Apostle, and that Jesus is God's Servant and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, God will admit him into Paradise
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    Can you do some research and try to find some stats on that? Because I'm sure a lot of those dispersed Bahais are Persians who ran away from Iran.
    Yes, as I said, many Baha'is left Iran, some for universities, opportunities outside of Iran, some fleeing persecution. However, currently the Universal House of Justice has asked Baha'is to stay in Iran, so the religion will not die out there.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    Can you do some research and try to find some stats on that? Because I'm sure a lot of those dispersed Bahais are Persians who ran away from Iran.
    Are you going to try to turn this into something about how the Islamic revolution is glorious, and that those who ran from Iran are weak, apostates, anti-Islamic etc.?
    I want to touch the butt.
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    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    Are you going to try to turn this into something about how the Islamic revolution is glorious, and that those who ran from Iran are weak, apostates, anti-Islamic etc.?
    That was before guidance. The Universal House of Justice has given guidance that Baha'is should stay in Iran. But in a way, it's good initially Baha'is went to other areas (e.g., pioneers), because that helped spread the Faith.
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    Just noticed I introduced an unfamiliar term. The Universal House of Justice (UHJ) is the Supreme governing body of the Baha'is of the world: http://info.bahai.org/universal-house-of-justice.html
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    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    Are you going to try to turn this into something about how the Islamic revolution is glorious, and that those who ran from Iran are weak, apostates, anti-Islamic etc.?
    Nope, but from what I've seen, most Bahais seem to have Persian origins so I wanted to look at the stats on that.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    Nope, but from what I've seen, most Bahais seem to have Persian origins so I wanted to look at the stats on that.
    Fair enough. I asked because you've said some pretty **** things to Bahai lifter before. He's annoying as hell, but you take it a bit far sometimes.
    I want to touch the butt.
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    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    Fair enough. I asked because you've said some pretty **** things to Bahai lifter before. He's annoying as hell, but you take it a bit far sometimes.
    Someone who is steadfast in his belief in God is annoying to you? Sorry to hear that.
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    Originally Posted by Bahai.Lifter View Post
    Someone who is steadfast in his belief in God is annoying to you? Sorry to hear that.
    It's probably the constant evangelising. It does get old very fast.
    So much universe, so little time.
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    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    Fair enough. I asked because you've said some pretty **** things to Bahai lifter before. He's annoying as hell, but you take it a bit far sometimes.
    We don't agree on a lot of religious issues and those are what I would address in very serious terms. I wouldn't say anything horrible about Bahai.Lifter himself. For example, I wouldn't call him annoying.

    In fact, his use of colorful text, html forum tags, and rapid-fire link swarming in conjunction with non-stop proselytizing reminds me of myself in my younger days on the forum.

    He also keeps atheists at bay, in his own way.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    We don't agree on a lot of religious issues and those are what I would address in very serious terms. I wouldn't say anything horrible about Bahai.Lifter himself. For example, I wouldn't call him annoying.

    In fact, his use of colorful text, html forum tags, and rapid-fire link swarming in conjunction with non-stop proselytizing reminds me of myself in my younger days on the forum.

    He also keeps atheists at bay, in his own way.
    lol wut? he's a ****ing magnet for atheists.
    I want to touch the butt.
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    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    lol wut? he's a ****ing magnet for atheists.
    Exactly
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    Do Bahai's believe that "all paths lead to heaven". I thought I saw that written here once, but since I can't find it I though I'd ask.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thisisanameduh

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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    We don't agree on a lot of religious issues and those are what I would address in very serious terms. I wouldn't say anything horrible about Bahai.Lifter himself. For example, I wouldn't call him annoying.

    In fact, his use of colorful text, html forum tags, and rapid-fire link swarming in conjunction with non-stop proselytizing reminds me of myself in my younger days on the forum.

    He also keeps atheists at bay, in his own way.
    Thanks, but I don't proselytize. A common misconception is that teaching one's faith is proselytizing. Proselytizing is where you put undue pressure on someone to convert to your faith, e.g., telling him he's going to Hell if he doesn't convert, etc. I don't do that. Proselytizing is forbidden in the Baha'i Faith, so that's something else. What has been referred to proselytizing has really been teaching, or sharing the message with others.
    Last edited by Bahai.Lifter; 08-15-2009 at 07:46 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Weightaholic View Post
    It's probably the constant evangelising. It does get old very fast.
    If by evangelizing you mean proselytizing, I'm not doing that (please see my previous post). However, I am talking about religion, and that's what a religion forum is for. If I was talking about this in a supplement forum, it'd seem strange, but this is the appropriate place for it.
    "O MAN OF TWO VISIONS! Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved."

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    Originally Posted by Bahai.Lifter View Post
    Thanks, but I don't proselytize. A common misconception is that teaching one's faith is proselytizing. Proselytizing is where you put undue pressure on someone to convert to your faith, i.e., telling him he's going to Hell if he doesn't convert, etc. I don't do that. Proselytizing is forbidden in the Baha'i Faith, so that's something else. What has been referred to proselytizing has really been teaching, or sharing the message with others.
    Proselytyzing doesn't need to involve pressure. If we use the dictionary, what you described is the definition of proselytizing or "preaching".

    http://www.answers.com/proselytizing

    http://www.answers.com/topic/induce
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    Talking

    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    lol wut? he's a ****ing magnet for atheists.
    Perhaps they desire to learn more about their loving Creator? I've seen some agnostics/atheists who seem like they genuinely want to believe. That's a good sign, IMHO.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    Proselytyzing doesn't need to involve pressure. If we use the dictionary, what you described is the definition of proselytizing or "preaching".

    http://www.answers.com/proselytizing

    http://www.answers.com/topic/induce
    Well, in the Baha'i Faith, this is how proselytizing is defined:

    "Proselytizing implies bringing undue pressure to bear upon someone to change his Faith. It is also usually understood to imply the making of threats or the offering of material benefits as an inducement to conversion. In some countries mission schools or hospitals, for all the good they do, are regarded with suspicion and even aversion by the local authorities because they are considered to be material inducements to conversion and hence instruments of proselytization."

    http://bahai-library.com/uhj/prosely....covenant.html


    I would never do a thing like that. Teaching, however, is required.
    "O MAN OF TWO VISIONS! Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved."

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    Originally Posted by Bahai.Lifter View Post
    If by evangelizing you mean proselytizing, I'm not doing that (please see my previous post). However, I am talking about religion, and that's what a religion forum is for. If I was talking about this in a supplement forum, it'd seem strange, but this is the appropriate place for it.
    You seem to do it in every thread you show up in, even where it's not warranted. That's evangelising. It's also tedious.

    Originally Posted by Bahai.Lifter
    Well, in the Baha'i Faith, this is how proselytizing is defined:

    "Proselytizing implies bringing undue pressure to bear upon someone to change his Faith. It is also usually understood to imply the making of threats or the offering of material benefits as an inducement to conversion. In some countries mission schools or hospitals, for all the good they do, are regarded with suspicion and even aversion by the local authorities because they are considered to be material inducements to conversion and hence instruments of proselytization."
    I LOVE it when religions make up their own meanings for words!
    So much universe, so little time.
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    Originally Posted by Bahai.Lifter View Post
    Perhaps they desire to learn more about their loving Creator? I've seen some agnostics/atheists who seem like they genuinely want to believe. That's a good sign, IMHO.
    yeah, too bad the only time a religion would ever appeal to me is if it was

    1. a non personal, completely uninterested god

    or

    2. a god from a religion that didn't need to be completely rewritten and reworked to not be a disgusting barbaric example of humanity's potential for evil.

    i would never worship the abrahamic god if everything in the bible was revealed to be true and that the abrahamic god was revealed to the the only one true god. i'm sorry, but in the same way that my ancestors refused to support Hitler's purging of the Jews, I would never worship a god with such a callous regard for life, one who creates only to control and destroy based on his whims and absurdities.
    I want to touch the butt.
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    Originally Posted by potatoe View Post
    Do Bahai's believe that "all paths lead to heaven". I thought I saw that written here once, but since I can't find it I though I'd ask.
    Baha'is believe in the Oneness of Religion, and something called "Progressive Revelation." That is, throughout the ages, at times when humanity strays from the Straight Path, and religion becomes corrupt, God sends a new Manifestation (e.g., Prophet/Messenger) to earth to "renew" His Religion, if you will.

    The Religion of God is really One. Religion, however, is progressive. So, for example, there was Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and today the Baha'i Faith. You can think about it this way: after you finish grade 1, you have to go to grade 2; then you go to grade 3, and so on. So why would you decide to stay at grade 1, when many your age have went through all the grades and graduated college, right? The earliest religions were like the first few grades, and the newer religions are like the newer ones. Here is some more information on progressive revelation: http://www.bahai.org/dir/beliefs/oneness_religio

    Baha'is believe that Baha'u'llah (Arabic: "The Glory of God") is the Manifestation of God for today. Also, Baha'is believe that He has revealed the Word of God for today. The ultimate goal of the Baha'i Faith is to create world unity, and in achieving this goal Baha'is even work alongside non-Baha'is and others who share the same vision.

    Baha'u'llah, in a reference to this new Revelation, states:

    "O YE DWELLERS IN THE HIGHEST PARADISE! Proclaim unto the children of assurance that within the realms of holiness, nigh unto the celestial paradise, a new garden hath appeared, round which circle the denizens of the realm on high and the immortal dwellers of the exalted paradise. Strive, then, that ye may attain that station, that ye may unravel the mysteries of love from its wind-flowers and learn the secret of divine and consummate wisdom from its eternal fruits. Solaced are the eyes of them that enter and abide therein!" (Source: http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/HW/hw-91.html)


    I hope that helps!
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    Originally Posted by Weightaholic View Post
    I LOVE it when religions make up their own meanings for words!
    Nice, isn't it?
    "O MAN OF TWO VISIONS! Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved."

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    Originally Posted by Bahai.Lifter View Post
    Nice, isn't it?
    Don't get me wrong. I find you one of the more respectful theists here, but the constant evangelising, after a while, tends to get repetitive and not really add much to a discussion.
    So much universe, so little time.
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    Originally Posted by Weightaholic View Post
    Don't get me wrong. I find you one of the more respectful theists here, but the constant evangelising, after a while, tends to get repetitive and not really add much to a discussion.
    I try not to get repetitive, but thanks I'll keep that in mind. Sometimes I'm asked the same questions by different people, so that would be the reason why I'd mention something more than once.
    "O MAN OF TWO VISIONS! Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved."

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