June 24, 2009
“With aching hearts, Baha’is of the world focus on the events unfolding in Iran, the birthplace of their religion.” -Baha’i World News Service
Every day I read the news. Whatever tragedy has happened in the world, the media is covering it (I use that term loosely, as I’m rather cynical about the way news is reported).
For the first time in 30 years, the American media is again focused on Iran. They’re dusting off the talking heads, pundits, and anyone they can find with a connection to the events happening there.
Baha’is have a connection with Iran because it is where the Baha’i Faith began in 1844. And since its inception, Baha’is in Iran have been persecuted, blatantly or subtly. The situation is volatile, complicated, and very sad. And today we hear that the trial date has been set for July 11 for the seven Baha’i leaders who have been in jail for a year without formal charges. It is possible that they could be executed, simply for being Baha’is.
I have been watching, and waiting, as the situation in Iran has turned chaotic over the election results. Things are summarized into sound bites, and everyone loves a story about the people fighting against tyranny. However, it seems rather irresponsible to just throw my opinion out there. It is so easy to forward an email, post a news story, or blog about a hot news topic.
“The Great Being saith: Human utterance is an essence which aspireth to exert its influence and needeth moderation. As to its influence, this is conditional upon refinement which in turn is dependent upon hearts which are detached and pure. As to its moderation, this hath to be combined with tact and wisdom as prescribed in the Holy Scriptures and Tablets.” -Baha’u'llah
We don’t know what is really happening there, and perhaps it is not our place to interfere. Yesterday I said the following on Twitter:
“Wisdom in speech, writing, & web postings. Perhaps we should have that as our mantra. We don’t know how our actions affect others.”
“If we are true Bahá’ís speech is not needed. Our actions will help on the world, will spread civilization, will help the progress of science, and cause the arts to develop. Without action nothing in the material world can be accomplished, neither can words unaided advance a man in the spiritual Kingdom. It is not through lip-service only that the elect of God have attained to holiness, but by patient lives of active service they have brought light into the world.
Therefore strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers. Turn towards God, and seek always to do that which is right and noble. Enrich the poor, raise the fallen, comfort the sorrowful, bring healing to the sick, reassure the fearful, rescue the oppressed, bring hope to the hopeless, shelter the destitute!” -Abdu’l-Baha