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Saturday, 30 April 2011
Israel: World Center for Three Great Faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Bahaism

by Norman Berdichevsky (May 2011)

Any mention of Israel by the media as “The Holy Land” almost always entails a colossal verbiage of trite conventional wisdom replete with accolades to the three great monotheistic "Abrahamic religions," Judaism, Christianity and Islam that all regard it as their world center. This is simply patently false, elevating Islam’s regard for Jerusalem (not mentioned by name even once in the Koran compared to more than 800 times in the Old Testament) and ignoring the continued and historic presence of the Bahai faith in Haifa and Acre, places of pilgrimage and universal inspiration for the world’s five million Bahais. more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 4:17 PM by NER
5 May 2011
Send an emailNorman Berdichevsky
It is indeed true that Bahais are warned and admonished by an authoritarian and ultra-conservative leadership never to speak ill of Islam lest their fellow coreligionists be persecuted even more severely. Their deprivation of essential human rights throughout the Muslim world has been documented and condemned by many human rights organizations and by scholars in peer reviewed professional journals.
I made brief reference only to the plight of several leading Bahais currently being held prisons under sentence of 20 years imprisonment. The actual number of Bahais enduring deprivation of essential human rights is in the thousands. The following post by Amil Imani is a first hand account of the persecution of bahais under the mullah thugoracy in Iran. Contributing Editor Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and a pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, novelist and essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. He maintains a website at Amil Imani is the author of the smashing book Obama Meets Ahmadinejad.

Recently, I met Mrs. M at a gathering of Iranian ex-pats in a park. I would also like you to meet this elderly widow who is suffering from a variety of brain, neurological, and vision disorders. She is a lone woman without a country, moving from one shelter to the next on her way to the final resting place to which we all are destined.
One dreadful day, Mrs. M and her husband were arrested by the IRI agents in the city of Qazvin for being active members of the Baha’i Faith. The litany of charges included being members of the ferghe zalleh (misguided sect), mohareb (fighters against God), propagandists for their sect, and agents of the Great Satan and Israel. The couple’s three young children were spared imprisonment and ended up as wards of other Baha’i families in the town.

Neither is it true that the Islamists don’t give people an opportunity to mend their ways and see things the Islamic way. First, the clerics reason with the candidate and offer a tempting package of
incentives such as immediate release from the prison, the possibility of a secure job, becoming a local celebrity to be paraded around for the benefit of other infidels to also see both sides of the deal, a menu of horrific punishment for refusing to bend and a set of attractive offerings for complying with a simple thing of accepting Islam as the one true and final religion of Allah.

In the case of Mr. and Mrs. M, all attempts by the Islamic authorities to reason with the couple to deny their religion and convert to Islam failed. The pair insisted that their faith was the most precious treasure to them and no inducement or threat could rob them of it.

The Islamists authorities were terribly angered by the couple’s “obstinacy” and initiated their fall-back plan, a plan of cruel psychological torment as well as severe physical tortures; the kind of IRI treatment that brings to mind the worst of the Inquisition era of centuries ago. The authorities felt that they had exercised great patience, to no avail, to persuade the couple to abandon their
blasphemous belief and adopt the one and true faith of Allah—Islam.

Exercising patience is highly recommended in Islam: Allahoma yejezi al saberoon be ajron min ghyre hesab (God compensates those who are patient with infinite rewards). Yet, they eventually ran out of patience and it was time
to deal with them as the repentant kafirs (unbeliever in Allah) that they were judged.

After many months of incarceration, interrogation, and persuasion came the trial time. All along, the couple was denied access to legal representation of any kind. A barely literate mullah in a perfunctory meeting condemned the couple to death by hanging. Yet, the sentence was not carried out for many months. The couple languished in separate jails with no
visitation rights of any sort, either with each other, or their children.

The couple was condemned to death by hanging on the charge of apostasy. The same decree ordered that all their properties and possessions, including household
furniture, be confiscated since taking away the possessions of an apostate is halal (religiously approved).

Once a
person is judged as an unrepentant kafir by the religious authorities, he or she becomes a target of an unending variety of severe torment, since a kafir is viewed as an enemy of Allah and it is the duty of good Muslims to punish the kafir in any way that their sadistic cruel heart leads them.

It is beyond the scope of this essay and too heart-wrenching to detail the kind of prolonged torture the couple suffered. There is no reliable
information regarding what transpired with regard to Mr. M. during the long months of incarceration before he was hanged.

But Mrs. M was, from time to time, denied her prison ration of food. She endured long periods of thirst in the deadly heat of the summer. She was even periodically denied access to the washroom for days. All along, she was severely beaten by female jailers. The jailers’ favorite way of beating Mrs. M was hitting her with
frying pans on the head, although they also used soda bottles, clubs, and even their bare fists. The beatings were so severe that, on several occasions, blood popped out of her eyes. Head bumps and injury became routine, as she languished to be hanged.

The women jailers were intent on matching and even surpassing the brutality of their male counterparts. These fanatic Islamists are brainwashed into believing that tormenting the non-believers will
earn them great merit points from Allah. They truly believe that the greater suffering they inflict, the greater is their reward.

Months later, she was informed that the sentence would be implemented at dawn the next day. This presented the last chance for the jailers to beat her as severely as they could before she died. They were intent at making the most savab (performing religiously meritorious acts) they could while they had the chance.

The beating she received on that day was so severe that she lost consciousness. When the executioners arrived to hang her, they could not revive her. They faced a serious problem. How can an unconscious woman who cannot stand on her feet be hanged?

A temporary stay of execution was ordered. In due time, Mrs. M regained consciousness only to suffer many more months of the dreadful ordeal. On several occasions, the order to hang her was re-issued. But the severe repeated beatings had shattered her body as well as her mind. She could no longer stand on her feet. She got around only by crawling. The jailers were relentless in their viciousness. On several occasions, they staged mock hangings. They would come to her cell and say the fatehe (prayer for the dead), place the noose around her neck, and hold her up and let her collapse on the ground.

Eventually, no one knows why, she was released from prison, a barely able to walk. She did not get to die in one day, as did her innocent beloved husband. The demonic agents of the Islamic Republic saw to it that she got to live a life of dying every
day for the rest of her life.

The Islamist’s credo is fairly straight forward in
dealing with religious minorities or infidels living in their midst: if you can’t reason with them to change their belief then literally beat some sense into their heads. And if that doesn’t work, then a bullet to the head or a noose around the neck ought to put an end to the “problem.”

And what happened to the children? All three are in different parts of the world. One son is in England, a daughter is in Spain, and another son is in Texas. Each is trying valiantly to survive and make a new beginning, thanks in large part to all the “infidel” nations and organizations that come to the rescue of the world’s persecuted people. The more fortunate ones end up in refugee camps. Some of the even more fortunate individuals eventually find sponsoring host organizations or countries.

Yes, the Islamic Republic of Iran does exercise compassion. They didn’t hang the severely-beaten incapacitated woman who was unable to walk to the gallows to be hanged. They simply dumped her in the streets to suffer a painful slow death for every day of her remaining life.

2 May 2011
Send an emailB andrighett

As a member of the Bahai Faith, I feel quite offended that you would mention the Bahai Faith in an article that is a very transparent attack on Islam.

Al Quds is the third holiest site in the Islamic world. Unbiased future historians will determine the significance of the evolution of the two names - Jerusalem or Al Quds.

Your commentary of the Qur'an and the Old Testament suggests to me that you've not familiarized yourself in any depth with the contents of either one.

I would rather you had not assiciated the good name of our Faith with your book.