Douglas Martin a former member of the UHJ passed away


           Douglas Martin(1929-2020) a former member of the Universal House of Justice, passed away on 28 September 2020 in Toronto, Canada. He was 93 years old.

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          Having embraced the Faith as a young man, he dedicated his life to the Cause over successive decades of service. NSA member in Canada (1960 -1985), and UHJ membership (1993-2005).

           Much of this work was undertaken while he simultaneously discharged weighty responsibilities in the administration of the Faith. This included a quarter century spent as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, most of that time as its Secretary. His scintillating intellect and uncommon grasp of the grand forces of history, combined with his formidable powers of expression, were much in evidence during the years he spent as director-general of the Bahá’í International Community’s Office of Public Information, a prelude to the twelve years he served as a member of the Universal House of Justice.

           He was a member of the conservative wing in the Bahai administration. According to Juan R. Cole (One of Dog Martin’s victims)”House of Justice farms out particular tasks to specific members, giving them that “portfolio”. Since 1995 the “portfolio” for “dealing with the Western intellectuals” has been among the responsibilities of Mr. Martin.”When he was powerful in the Association for Baha’i Studies he gave a talk in Canada about the faith in which he advocated Israeli control of Jerusalem. This talk was taped by the conference organizers, who assumed it was his conference paper submission, and they typed it up and printed it in a book published in India. I wrote him a protest that he was involving the faith in politics in a big way. This Jerusalem talk was typical of the kind of fundamentalist “Zionism” he espouses, along with a lot of other wacky ideas like the world changing dramatically in the year 2000! (Cole,2000) (How will he backpedal about *that*?) There isn’t much difference between his discourse and that of someone like Jerry Falwell. Note that like the right wing “Christian Zionists,” Martin actually does not mean the Jewish people particularly well, since he just wants to convert them to his religion. His “Zionism” is a use of them for his own, fundamentalist purposes.

           “Undoubtedly, some current Baha’i leaders seek absolute unilateral sovereignty, the removal of women from the highest religious decision-making body and the presidency of men, and the rejection of religious unity (arrogant and unpleasant by considering the Baha’i faith superior to other religions).”
           In a message on the occasion of Douglas Martin’s death, the Baha’i House of Justice mentioned one of his characteristics as attacking the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and defending and inciting the Baha’is of Iran.
          According to Baha’i observers, after the death of Farzam Arbab and Doug Martin, and the recent ouster of Gustavo Correa and Fereydoun Javaheri from the House of Justice, the extremist and anti-Iranian faction of the House of Justice are in the minority. Contrary to Bahai teaching  of not  interfere in politics the Baha’is, especially the Iranian Baha’is, were encouraged in various countries to oppose Iran and to cooperate with Western countries against Iran. At present, Shahriyar Razavi, Peyman Mohajer, and Ayman Rouhani are the three remaining members of the extremist group known as the “Arbab Circle”. If they leave
the House, it is hoped that the Baha’i community in Iran will be able to return to peace, unity, and coexistence.

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