(CNN) — Iranian media outlets have “systematically stirred up” widespread contempt toward the country’s 300,000-strong Baha’i religious minority, the group says.
The Baha’i International Community issued a report Friday entitled “Inciting Hatred: Iran’s media campaign to demonize Baha’is.”
The report “documents and analyzes more than 400 media items over a 16-month period.” The result, the Baha’is say, is an “insidious state-sponsored effort” to discredit the Baha’is with “false accusations, inflammatory terminology, and repugnant imagery.”
“This anti-Baha’i propaganda is shocking in its volume and vehemence, its scope and sophistication,” said Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.
“It’s all cynically calculated to stir up antagonism against a peaceful religious community whose members are striving to contribute to the well-being of their society,” she said. “The parallels between the campaign of anti-Baha’i propaganda in Iran today and other state-sponsored, anti-religious campaigns of the past are undeniable. History shows us that such campaigns are among the foremost predictors of actual violence against religious minorities -or, in the worst case, precursors of genocide.”