A Systematic Ethnic Cleansing of Persian Bahá’ís from the Bahá’í Administration
Very often a discussion goes amongst the few veteran Bahá’ís that they do not see the spirituality and vigor that was seen two decades ago. The present status of the Bahá’í Faith is more like an organization being managed by board of directors. There are now more do’s and don’ts, ex-communication verdicts, sudden resignations, quick elevations, and mid-term and annual reports. The days of fire-sides, deepening on holy writings, discussions on the life of the Master, the early contributors, contemplating on divine words, and observing the Holy Days are being faded.
Those Bahá’ís who have seen the old days are sane enough to analyze and draw conclusions. They may not make their views public due to fear of being declared covenant-breakers; yet their dissatisfaction is noticeable. Slowly but surely the sincere Bahá’ís are getting sidelined and replaced by nominations of the Supreme Body is thus more with management strategies than with reliance, trust, and prayers. Spirituality has taken back-seat! It is therefore not surprising to see members of the Faith indulging in corrupt practices, involving in scandals that draw parallel from Hollywood and surfacing as law-breakers. All this is happening so commonly that a NDF without it is considered providence!
This drift naturally has come as the people at helm of affairs have not experienced sacrifice and ever shed a drop of blood. They have no attachment except for purpose of control and positions. The Faith and position has come to them on the platter. Their elevation to the highest administrative body is made more out of selection by forces external to the Faith, who are exploiting the wonderful religion for ulterior motives. These are vested interests (non-Persians) who want to keep this thing going as long as possible – because Bahá’í Faith is a lucrative and profit making business for them.
After ascension of Shoghi Effendi, the powerful persons in Haifa, the USA, and Britain have been packing this community with their own people, and sidelining the faithful Persian Bahá’ís. In fact, within administrative positions there are far more Anglo-Europeans in charge, than the Persians. Thus the Faith is witnessing the reducing influence of the Persian Bahá’ís. The cradle of the Faith, which was specially revered by both Bahaullah and Abdul-Baha, is seen more as a foe. Indeed with the reducing influence of the Persian Bahá’ís the Faith has become devoid of spirit at leadership level. Persian Bahá’ís today are looked down and mocked upon, accused of nepotism and suspected to believe in Concept of Guardianship.
Some of the Persian Bahá’ís who have been over-looked are:
6-Dr. Ahmad Ansari
7-Dr. Hamid Moghbelpour
8-Mr. Soroush Najmi
9-Dr. Jabbar Eidilkhani
The fact remains that Anglo-European pronounces “Huququllah” as “Coca-Cola”, and consider Abbas Effendi and Abdul-Baha had a father -son relationship! The migrated Persian Bahá’ís are supposed to do all the donkey jobs and provide much of their hard earned money. But top management remains for Anglo-Europeans.
The respect that the Faith had earned during the time of Persian Bahá’ís, due to its high standards of morality and discipline is dwindling. The Bahá’í Faith today is like a political party or social club interested in advancement for reasons other than spiritual. The spirit is diminishing, the body is growing. Alas! The growth is more damaging to the Faith than the schemes of all open opponents of the Faith. We do not need an external enemy for damaging the Faith when destiny has taken over. We are collapsing faster than the old world order.
With prays for revival of the spirit and earnest hope that Bahaullah changes the destiny of the Bahá’í Faith and we could see the good old days of the Faith with deepening meetings on Aqdas, Iqan, and Some Answered Questions instead of senseless and unproductive Ruhi curriculum. We will see an Administrative order where knowledge of the Holy writings will be considered as true knowledge rather than boring Ruhi books. Very soon let’s hope we see the servants of Bahaullah serving on our administrative bodies rather than Board of Directors working as highly paid executives on our NSA, LSA, UHJ, etc.
1-How the Hand of the Cause, Fadil Mazandarani, was Silenced by the Universal House of Justice
Hand of the Cause Asadu’llah Fadil Mazandarani
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 95
Subject: Zuhur’l-Haqq and Encyclopedia
Once again, Chris Buck has managed to cut through all the smoke and put his finger right on the heart of the issues .The short answer is: yes, there are a lot of similarities between what happened to Zuhuru’l-Haqq and the current status of the Bahá’í Encyclopedia!
Let me first state what happened with Zuhuru’l-Haqq project. The lessons may then be obvious. On 11 Jalal 107 BE (1951) the NSA of Iran (Ali-Akbar Forutan was NSA secretary) published a 16 pages open letter which at the end contained a short response by Fadil. That letter was the kiss of death for both Zuhurh’l-Haqq series and Fadil’s scholarship and reputation!
He spent the latter part of his life away from the Bahá’í community – though extremely active in teaching field. After the passing of his wife, he married a Muslim woman and his three sons were raised with deep resentments towards the Bahá’í community in general – though they are very knowledgeable about the Cause and have many good Bahá’í friends. His youngest son lives here in Houston, another passed away (in Ohio?) with the eldest (he is about 80 years old now) being in the States, now seeking medical treatment (heart problem).
Of most concern is that Fadil had some extremely valuable and *unique* Texts and documents in his possessions, not to mention the fact that he had completed a number of very important books on the Faith which I believe he never shared with the administration and left with his sons — which either have all been destroyed or awaits freezing of hell before they are handed over to the Faith. As an example of some of the books which he has completed but you never hear anyone mentioning it is a massive Encyclopedia on the Cause under the title “Asraru’l-Athar-i Umumi” (General Mysteries of the Writings). Years before he published a 5-volume Bahá’í encyclopedia series titled “Asraru’l-Athar-i Khususi” (Private Mysteries of the Writings) which no serious Bahá’í student should be without. But his “Umumi” version was apparently the finest single piece of scholarship ever attempted in the Cause, and it is a great shame if destroyed – or not published. But again, what is of greatest importance is the massive amount of Tablets and original documents which he had in his possession which never found their way to the Cause.
Sometimes ago, when I was posting on Quddus (I believe my first post on this topic), I discussed that for example he had a Tablet of Baha’u’llah in his possession where He states that had the Bab not declared, then Quddus would have. (Dr. Muhammad Afnan in Andalib states there is not such Tablet, but I think he knows better.) Anyway, the question is what happened with this most productive Bahá’í scholar of all time (in my view, several orders of magnitude above Mirza Abu’l-Fadl or anyone else in the Faith)?
The answer to this question is with “the Dawn-Breakers”! All roads eventually lead to “The Dawnbreakers” which the beloved Guardian has stated should be the “standard for Bahá’í history”; but in reality has served as the standard for Bahá’í fundamentalism. “The Dawnbreakers” in my view is the biggest barrier to Bahá’í scholarship! In fact, one can trace back the emergence of Bahá’í fundamentalism right to the publication of this book and then exaggerated statements about it being “THE STANDARD“. And that’s when Fadil’s troubles began. Fadil’s view of history was based on several decades of incomparable collection of Texts, documents, narratives, interviews with old believers and extensive travels throughout the region – not to mention a very elevated sense of devotion to the Cause which both Abdu’l-Baha and the beloved Guardian have praised repeatedly. So, what happened? Fadil had completed his first 3 volumes when Ali-Akbar Forutan got all bent out of shape. Now Forutan was (and is) somewhat of intellectual lightweight (and I’m afraid history won’t be very kind to him on his writings, unless the House send out (which they will!) an extremely glowing cable after his death to silence all his critics (which are many)). This is all in early 1930’s. So, Forutan, knowing that he couldn’t take on a great mind like Fadil, got together with a real intellectual superstar (well, fast becoming one in those days), namely, my other hero, Ishraq Khavari.
Together they made a case that certain points in Zuhuru’l-Haqq series do not conform to The Dawn-breaker – the “standard”! So, they write to the Guardian. This makes Shoghi Effendi all upset with Zuhuru’l-Haqq as he didn’t like anything that deviated by a dot from the Dawn-breakers. So on 15 September 1932, he wrote:
“Immediately organize a special committee to investigate, reorganize and bring into conformity Jinab-i Fadil’s history with the Dawn-breakers. Of this task and grave responsibility, no delay is permitted, and utmost effort must be diligently exerted.”
Poor Fadil. After a letter like this from the Guardian, well, his goose was cooked. What happened next is the ugliest chapter in Bahá’í scholarship which has ever occurred. If you think things are bad now with respect to scholarship, well, you have seen nothing. (I have no intention of discussing the details on Talisman9, and if pressed, will move the conversation over to Tarjuman, but in truth really rather not disclose any details, mostly because there is no guarantee that what I know is really what happened. Remember, I’m just a young lad in my 30’s, I wasn’t around in those days.) What is a matter of public record and I can safely state is that a committee was organized and closely (word by word) examined Zuhuru’l-Haqq. Now the Guardian wanted this to be done overnight. Well it took nearly 20 years to complete this process (Fadil’s “confessional” letter is dated 1951).
So, those hoping for a quick resolution of Bahá’í Encyclopedia impasse may wish to make note of this. At the end, NSA of Iran published a 16 pages letter outlining all the “errors” in ZH-3 and included Fadil’s own short letter giving a blank agreement with their comments. This letter of NSA of Iran is the greatest stupidity ever committed by a Bahá’í institution and shows only their deep ignorance. I will share its content as our discussion of ZH-3 unfolds. This letter resulted in discouraging a model servant of the Faith from further association with Bahá’í administration and silenced anyone who dared to do serious or independent scholarship.
The memory of this illustrious scholar of the Cause is inscribed upon the hearts of those seeking knowledge. The incredible injustice that took place a half-century ago must be set right, and it is my intention to speak publicly, openly and supportive of the Hand of the Cause of God Fadil-Mazandarani wherever I can. If justice means anything to you, I implore you to do likewise.
2-How Ahang Rabbabi was Silenced by Universal House of Justice
Oppressed Bahá’í Scholar Ahang Rabbani with his family.
Subject : Why me?
From : Ahang Rabbani
To : email@example.com
Date : 3/30/2007
Dear Universal House of Justice,
I have no idea how to start this letter, so I’m just going to type and then send the letter without reading it because if I read it, I would never send it.
I’ve been upset with the House of some time now. I hate feeling this way. I love the Faith and I love the House. But I feel that I am being persecuted unjustly by the House. That sounds crazy, I know. But that’s how I feel. I think I’ve been extremely loyal to the Faith and the House for all my life and have served it with dedication all my life, but I’ve been dealt with extremely harshly and unjustly.
I came to Haifa in 1981, giving up a very promising professional career, to serve the Faith. When my service was no longer needed (or actually some folks had plans to bring Hoda Mahmudi from some rather strange designs they had at the time), I had to go through a most excruciating period of months of unwarranted criticism from folks I loved and respected. To this day I don’t know what crime I had committed that warranted such treatment during those incredibly dark days in 1988.
When I came to the States my interests shifted to translation and scholarly activities. I wish I had never done so because it has brought me nothing (absolutely nothing!!) but pain and heartache. When I worked on something, I would send it to the World Centre (when I absolutely did not have to and was advised by family/friends not to do so) out of a sense of loyalty that getting the House’s approval and blessing was a good thing. Every time I was disappointed. It’s been going on for 15 years now. I keep pouring my heart into my work just to find the World Centre has come up with some new excuse to block my labor from seeing daylight -while all kinds of incredibly low quality books are filling up Bahá’í stores. Along the way I am terribly shocked to see that I’m target of all sorts of accusations by the House of Justice which only later prove to be false and baseless.
So I have to ask: What have I done to warrant this? Why I am being singled out for what appears to be … well, I don’t know what word to use. But it doesn’t feel good. I can’t sleep. I’m very angry with the House and really hate myself for feeling this way. I DON”T want to feel this way.
If you don’t want me to be a Bahá’í, just say so and I’ll leave. I have complete trust in whatever comes from the House, is from God (though I really hate it that I’m always criticized or and everything I do is rejected -even though I know my manuscripts and work is first grade.)
If you don’t want me to do work (which I had understood naively to be what the House wants those of us with interest in such things to work on), then just say so and I’ll close my books and go to something else in life.
I probably have made no sense whatsoever and will be very upset with myself after I send this, but at this stage if I don’t, I’ll never write a letter and won’t know why I’m targeted for so much negativity.
Please help me to regain my faith. With tears pouring from my eyes I beg of you! I need your help please.
3– Mr. Jamshed Fozdar
Mr. Jamshed Fozdar, son of Khodadad Fozdar and Shireen Fozdar,is a Bahá’í from a respected family who served the Faith with distinction for the whole of his life ,whose family members have served as Counselor was supposed to go through the rigorous courses of Ruhi Book where a 15 year Old girl appointed as Teacher will teach you the tenets of Bahá’í Faith. Any disagreement from this system will make you a recipient of a warning letter from the House of Justice. The language used in the letter will make you further reflect that whether the letter is written by the custodians of the Faith or an international Terrorist organization threatening you to come in line with the UHJ or get ready to be declared as Covenant breaker!
Letter to Jamshed Fozdar, 18 December 2007
“The House of Justice was most surprised to learn that, beyond expressing such opinions in your letter to the Spiritual Assembly of Sarawak and its attachments, you have been taking steps in a number of countries to gather a cadre of believers around you, urging them to take action in support of your particular views, which are often contrary to the clear direction being given by the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’í world. As you will recall, in the letter to you dated 7 December 2004 sent on its behalf, the House of Justice conveyed its displeasure regarding similar actions on your part. Your obstinacy in persisting in this pattern of behavior demonstrates a total disregard for the appeal made to you in that letter to correct your mode of conduct. You should consider this letter a final warning, which if not heeded will necessitate the removal of your administrative rights in the Bahá’í community. The House of Justice would profoundly regret having to take such action.”
4-Mr. Firooz Anarki
Mr. Anaraki, a Professor by profession, who served on the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais of Thailand was accused of “disclosure of confidential information”.
Letter to Mr. Anaraki dated 2 February 2010
“Having considered Dr. Anaraki’s recent conduct, in particular the manner in which he has chosen to respond to the question put to him about the disclosure of confidential information, the House of Justice has concluded that he has shown gross failure to fulfill the basic spiritual obligations of a Bahá’í serving on an institution of the Faith. On that basis, you are instructed to deprive him of his administrative privileges forthwith, a sanction that will, of course, require his immediate removal from membership on the Spiritual Assembly of Bangkok. You should notify the Assembly accordingly, in a manner that you deem appropriate. Dr. Anaraki should be informed of the reason for this decision, and he should also be told that if consideration is to be given to lifting the sanction now imposed upon him he will first need to demonstrate a pronounced change in attitude towards the institutions of the Faith over an extended period of time.”
Mr. Burhan Afshin migrated from Iran to India in 1968;and after a very hard work was elevated to the position of Counsellor. The group of Anglo European Bahá’í could not see his popularity. He was supposed to be the future member of UHJ. But the group leased another NSA member, Mr. R.N. Shah, after him. Mr. Shah was deadly against all Persian background Bahá’ís. He used to criticize the Panchgani community and used to say that what these Iranians are doing in this tiny place of Panchgani. It is a known fact that R.N. Shah was never a Bahá’í; he was against all Persian Bahá’ís. He disbanded the Persian conference used to be held every year in Panchgani. He manipulated the votes and earned huge amount of money. He brought his corrupted son in law as an NSA member and then we saw what happened. Mr. Jabbar wanted Mr. Afshin to do some deepening in Bangladesh but the house did not approve as it felt that he is increasing his field of influence. It looks like that all of Persian Bahá’ís are branded as Doubtful Covenant-Breakers! Hence their movement and participation in any important conference is denied by UHJ.
6-Dr. Ahmed Ansari
Another Persian Bahá’í settled in India suffered untold persecution through the Jews supported Bahá’ís. He was legally elected to NSA but asked by the House to resign. When he was elected as delegate for National Convention, he was asked to resign. A tirade of moral corruption was leashed against him and his family. His sister was also not spared and accused of being a family breaker!
7-Dr. Hamid Moghbel pour
He was a member of NSA in India for a long time. He was a prolific donor to the Bahá’í Funds. In the ethnic cleansing of Bahá’í Administration from the Persian background Bahá’ís, he too was not spared. It is reported that Payman Mohajir, the member of UHJ advised the NSA to seek his resignation from the membership of LSA of Varanasi as well.
8-Mr. Soroosh Najmi
A former member of NSA of Pakistan was barred from being elected to any administrative body under Bahá’í Administration. He along with another member of NSA was accused by Counselor Reyhani and Mehrdad of being elected by unfair means. The correct reason was the Jewish dominated Bahá’í Administration was unwilling to see his popularity rising day by day.
He is counselor appointed in Bangladesh as no American or European Bahá’í would like to stay in Bangladesh. He is very hard working sincerely but very recently he was accused of stage managing the delegate election of NSA trying to induct his wife into NSA. Had any European or US Bahá’í agreed to migrate to Bangladesh, he would have shown the door as Mr. Afshin was shown.