Following Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy, his religious affiliation became the topic of national discussion, with pundits wondering how much of the Christian fundamentalist base of the Republican party would be willing to vote for a Mormon. In that vain, we may recall that Mormonism and Baha’ism arose in the 1st half of the 19th century in the US and Iran as offshoots of the mainstream religions of those societies, Protestantism and Shi’ism, respectively. Fundamentalist-minded adherents of both mainstream religions view these offshoots as heresies, and from the beginning the heretics faced persecution at the hands of the true believers. But religious persecution has long ceased in the US, whereas it’s alive and kicking (sometimes to death) in the Islamic Republic. So, a heretic Mormon like Romney becomes a successful and wealthy businessman, the governor of an important state and a presidential candidate, whereas a heretic Baha’i may not be permitted to complete elementary education or hold jobs. So, while Romney may lose votes due to religious bigotry, he won’t lose all the other privileges he has to his name.
It’s often the case that bigots, being immoral, are also morons, and take their audience to be fools like themselves. And this applies to the bigots of the Islamic Republic of Iran and those amongst its supporters, as illustrated by the following. A first case is the following comedy show aired on Iranian state TV last month, which features 3-stooges impersonators and a clown. The poorly-scripted story line has the 3 stooges recounting tales of appalling abuse at the hands of the Baha’is followed by liberation from the fearsome clutches of these heretics and the role of the Beloved Leader’s directives. The clown, under the guise of moderating the discussion, chimes in with worn-out propaganda points and take-home messages for the audience, one of the newer concoctions being the Baha’i-Wahabi connection.
Another example of the imbecility of these bigots is the doctored video posted recently at this site @ http://iranian.com/main/blog/frashogar/bah-bra… which features statements by a dissident Baha’i named Frederick Glaysher. What is obvious from the format of this hack job is that the video consists of segments of a longer interview pasted together with no introduction of the author. The full interview is in fact 2.5 hours long and was done by a pair of Israeli film producers as part of a documentary they were making about the Baha’i presence in Israel. The full interview is posted in 3 parts which are linked to @ http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL27E91AB0E43…
Glaysher is a critic of the Baha’i establishment in the US and Israel, and in the interview he raises issues, whatever their merit may be, on only that topic. His objections are completely independent of the human and civil rights of the Baha’is in Iran, which he makes clear in the interview, and is not about the (persecuted) Baha’i establishment in Iran either. In contrast, the deceptively-edited version essentially implies that the Baha’i human rights issue that’s been raised internationally is manufactured by a Baha’i-US conspiracy. But the relevant parts cut out of this clip convey a different message. At min 9:40 of part 1 of the full interview, Glaysher states, “The Iranian Muslims have always had a great deal of animosity towards the Baha’i faith with periodic persecution, denial of the most basic human rights to Baha’is in Iran, murder, torture, desecration of cemeteries and the most hineous kinds of acts and violations of basic rights of humanity.” At min 54:40 of part 1, “There were public statements by Reagan denouncing Iran, supporting the Baha’is and so forth, which is fine and legitimate. As an American I’m appaled too and I don’t see anything wrong with my gov’t trying to protect a vulnerable people in another country somewhere.” And at min 7:25 in part 2, “At times when we have to deal with Iran and we want to denounce for political purposes the Iranian fanatical gov’t or whatever, how do we do that? Well, here’s a little group of people who’s being brutalized, always have been and are, no matter what time of history you want to look at in Iran … I don’t believe the US gov’t is in some sort of conspiracy theory with the Baha’i.” In short, all the references Glaysher makes to the historical Baha’i persecution in Iran, which he acknowledges and denounces, have been cut out of the doctored clip to convey the opposite message.