During the past few days news reports from Iran’s state controlled media has made allegations against Shirin Ebadi as being a Baha’i sympathizer and that one of her daughters has left Islam to become a Baha’i. She is reportedly a student at McGill University, in Canada.
Shirin Ebadi’s response to these reports has ranged from anger to appeasement. On the one hand she has pronounced herself and her family as devout followers of Shiism and on the other hand she has denounced the allegation as a distasteful charge and insult upon her and her devout family.
A chronological list of these reports, analyses, and interviews are found below with the latest report of the danger facing her, appearing first.
While her concern for her life is understood and can be appreciated in the context of the various charges and allegations aligned against the Baha’is and its consequences, the response of a respected defender of human rights in this context is noteworthy in several aspects.
First of all, she is not being charged with being a Baha’i, but rather her daughter as being one. This is not a subtle point to be overlooked. So far, her daughter has not denied being a Baha’i. Next, her defense against these allegations has included proclamations of being a devout follower of Shiism alongside a very clear distaste for Baha’i beliefs. Finally, she has resolutely stated her commitment to defending the 7 Baha’i
leaders who have been in Evin Prison for the past 3 months.
Now that the Islamic regime is paying attention to the international uproar on the mistreatment of the Baha’is, the question is whether defending and securing the future of Shirin Ebadi will overshadow the very people that she wants to defend. The water has indeed been muddied, but Shirin Ebadi will ultimately be judged not by the exoneration of the imprisoned Baha’is but the process by which balances the dignity of those in prison and respect for their beliefs and she deflects the allegations against her.
PS. And by the way here is what the 54 Baha’i youth in Shiraz were up to and why there were imprisoned, as narrated by one their own.