Friday, 10 October 2008

Government promotes petition against Baha’is


A week after an anti-Baha’i petition was displayed prominently at a major event in Tehran, a similar signing event occurred in the city of Qom. Both came during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

As reported previously, in Tehran on the third Friday of Ramadan (19 September) – when huge crowds gather at a special enclosed area to hear Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei lead prayers and offer a sermon – the petition was positioned where worshippers would sign it as they entered. Officials from the Ministry of Intelligence were on hand to gain the maximum number of signatures.

A second signing event was set up the following Friday in the city of Qom at the time of the annual Jerusalem Day march, which involves sloganeering against the “Zionist regime” and against the United States. The petition was on display at the entrance of the Khomeini Mosque, which encloses the Shrine of Fatima Masoumeh – one of the holiest spots in Iran for Shiite Muslims.

The petition, which had been announced earlier by Iranian news agencies, including the official IRNA, was filled with falsehoods and inflammatory statements about the Baha’i Faith, and called for the dissolution of “Baha’ist institutions.”

People who signed were given a pamphlet with the text of the petition and additional false information about the Baha’i Faith and the Baha’is.

News reports confirmed that in the petition, a group named The People's Movement Against Baha'ist Institutions in Iran, stated: “Baha'ism is an organized sect whose leadership is situated within the secure boundaries of the occupying and tyrannical regime of Israel, and its doctrine is based on spreading lies against Islam and Iran. It is spreading the political, cultural and economic goals of international Zionism audaciously and rapidly. The Baha'ist Zionist organization has not only attacked Islam in a cowardly way, but does not even believe in the rules of civility and human virtues. We, the undersigned, in accordance with our civic and Islamic duties, demand that the respected Public Prosecutor deal with all the elements of the [Bahá'í] institutions and dissolve this organization.”

In fact, elected Baha’i institutions, which exist in almost all countries of the world, were banned by the government of Iran in the early 1980s, and since then Iranian Baha’is have been forced to take care of the needs of their 300,000-member community on a less formal basis.

Source: Baha'i World News Service

1 comment:

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