July, 2009

Support Baha’i Rights Day!

Today the seven Baha’i leaders who have been held for more than a year in Iran without access to their lawyers are scheduled to be tried before a revolutionary court. Their charges are baseless, but they are punishable by death.

You can help. Iran Press Watch and The Muslim Network for Baha’i Rights have named today, July 11, Baha’i Right Day, and are calling on human rights supporters around the world to take a stand on behalf of basic rights for the Baha’is in Iran.

Here is what you can do:

  • Please inform your friends, family and colleagues that on July 11 they should Tweet, blog, Facebook or create any material in support of Baha’i human rights everywhere, specifically in Iran where Baha’is have been severely persecuted against for the past 30 years.
  • Please use your influence to try and get as many journalists as possible to formally recognize this day and write about Baha’is in Iran or the remaining struggles of Baha’is in Egypt and other countries.
  • Please contact other bloggers and request that they dedicate at least that single day (July 11) to write about Baha’is and their rights.
    Please Tweet about it consistently on July 11 and use the #BahaiRights hashtag in order for people to locate your comments. The idea is to make #BahaiRights a top trend on July 11.
  • If you are an artist, a website designer, a musician, or anyone with creative skills, please create material in honor of this day and in the name of all the Baha’i victims around the world who suffered persecution and violent discrimination for decades.
  • Visit the website http://www.bahairights.org/2009/07/04/july-9th-is-bahai-rights-day/.
  • Stay informed: visit iran.bahai.us for the most up to date information.
  • Finally, remember that you do not have to be a Baha’i to participate! The idea for this Baha’i Rights Day came primarily from non-Baha’is.

As Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf said on July 9 about the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran, “Human dignity and freedom must not be relegated to the sidelines.”

Martyrdom of The Báb

Commemorating the Martyrdom of the Bab On July 9 every year, Bahá’ís commemorate the day when the Báb was martyred. The Báb, which is Arabic for the “Gate,” was the title taken by Muhammad-’Alí, who announced in Shiraz in 1844 that He was the promised one whom the Holy Books of the past had foretold. The Báb had a twofold purpose. His primary mission was to prepare the world for the imminent arrival of  another Divine Messenger. (Bahá’u’lláh, announced in April 1863 that He was the Divine Messenger the Báb had promised.) Yet He also brought His own independent, distinctive religion, the Bábi Faith. In carrying out this mission He called for the spiritual and moral reformation of Persian society, as well as championed improved treatment of women and the poor.

The religious and political leaders of the day arose to oppose and to persecute the Báb and His followers. The Báb’s ministry lasted 6 years. Yet during that time, around than 20,000 of His followers were killed. Then, although guilty of no crime, on July 9, 1850 at 12:00 noon He was executed by firing squad. You can read more about the stunning events of this day here. It is tragic that more than 160 years later Bahá’ís are still being persecuted and threatened with death in Iran.

The Arlington Baha’i Community will commemorate the Martyrdom of The Báb on Thursday, July 9, at Bon Air Park located at 850 N. Lexington St., Arlington, VA 22205. Everyone is welcome to join us in commemorating this Holy day. We will meet in the rose garden or the covered pavilion in the event of rain. We will begin with prayers at 11:30am. Light refreshments will be served. You are welcome to just show up, but if you need a ride or have any questions please contact us.