From: Juan Cole jrcole@u....
Date: Sun Oct 21, 2001 4:28 am
Subject: pusallanimity of Baha'i administration
I have seen a directive from the US NSA instructing Baha'is not to say the
"prayer for America" publicly in response to the horrid assault on our
country of September 11. Apparently this instruction derives from a fear
that Baha'is will be seen as pro-American, which in turn might endanger
Baha'is living in Muslim countries.
I will try to restrain myself from a Dennis Miller rant on this subject,
but this message is the height of yellow-bellied cowardice, rank
ingratitude, and unpatriotic near-treason. The prayer for America was
revealed to celebrate its commitment to human liberty, that same liberty
that was the target of the terrorists on Black Tuesday. It was revealed to
be read *precisely* in such moments as these.
The United States Congress and State Department have been *indefatigable*,
moreover, in defending the Baha'is of Iran when they were attacked by the
Ayatollahs. Please note that they did not quake in their booties that
maybe taking up such unpopular causes as the Baha'is might endanger the
lives of Americans in the Middle East (though, that was obviously a
possibility). Americans put themselves on the line for the Baha'is. But
now that we Americans need all the allies we can get, what is the response
of the Baha'i administration? "Sorry, folks, you're on your own. We won't
risk anything for you, the way you risked for us."
Moreover, this pretext of the poor Baha'is in Muslim countries that keeps
being trotted out to justify whatever weird policies get into Ali
Nakhjavani's head is rather thin. Uh, get a clue guys. Baha'is are not
welcome in Muslim countries *already*. You might have noticed that 200
were killed in Iran in the past 20 years and they have been banned in
Egypt, Libya, Indonesia, etc., etc. They are viewed as dangerous heretics
attempting to undermine the Muslim religion. So, that they object to 6000
innocent civilians being butchered and vaporized is a little unlikely to
matter much one way or another to their Muslim critics! But if they
*don't* object to it, and publicly, then they have acquiesced in
barbarism. Yet, when *they* were being killed in Iran, they ran around
insisting that the European Union and the US Congress and everyone else
under the sun stridently denounce the ayatollahs!
I am sickened by this level of hypocrisy and selfishness on the part of the
more cult-like elements in our religion, which have so inexplicably grabbed
the reins of power. And, I have an even more unsettling suspicion that
some of the more extreme cultists among them, the Ian Semples, Farzam
Arbabs, Peter Khans, Doug Martins--are secretly joyous that the United
States, bastion of evil Western liberal values such as freedom of speech
and "immature" separation of religion and state, has been humiliated and
weakened. That is, I suspect that in the Baha'i Far Right the response to
all this has been somewhat similar to that of the Taliban themselves. And
that is the real reason they don't want Baha'is reading the prayer for
America. They despise America, unlike the Baha'i Holy Figures who praised
it and held it up as an exemplar.
cheers Juan Cole