Dissimulation (تقیّه ) : Unintended Consequences


Dissimulation  (تقیّه ) : Unintended Consequences
by alborz

Dissimulation is a form of  deception whereby the truth is concealed to gain an advantage.

Dissimulation or Taghiyeh (تقیّه ) is an Islamic concept where one conceals or disguises one' beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies  at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury.

Sunnis associate this practice wholly to Shiites, and characterize it as hypocrisy.  In response, Shiites qualify this practice by referencing passages from the Quran.  It was rationalized that if one’s “heart” remained true to one’e true beliefs, then dissimulation was permitted and was considered safe to practice.  However, while some Shiite sects survived and grew in this way under the dominant Sunnis, others like the Ismailis gradually assimilated and as a consequence their numbers dwindled.

Unintended Consequences

Consequences are the resulting effects of the actions we take and as such we consider how they may affect us and others physically, morally, and materially.   Our actions may include what we say, what we do, as well as when and where it takes place, and in the presence or involvement of whom it occurs.  We are accustomed to rationalizing our actions and may at times go to great lengths to rationalize them if some form of deception is involved.  The concept of dissimulation in Islam, however, may have opened the door to the possibility that the ‘faithful’ can legitimize actions that otherwise would have been considered ‘forbidden’.  In this context, the means could justify the end just as Islamic apologists argue that dissimulation is an act of diplomacy in Islam.

It is my contention that dissimulation has contributed to deception and hypocrisy in our society.  Furthermore it has served the theocracy in Iran to survive and advance its causes but justifying much that is abhorrent.

It is also my contention that the inferno that rages within our society will most likely consume those that exercise this type of diplomacy!



more from alborz


by Farnoosh on



Name calling, Mr. Matthew !

by alborz on

I cannot tell what your comment is all about other than the fact that you registered simply to post this comment and that you have had another ID and that your previous comments have been flagged previously.

Also as a surgeon, I am sure that you can write a blog that is informative, respectful and relevant to the readership of this site. 



The Jewish Hand!!!!!!!

by Matthew on

you people all seem really well-read, cordial, and respectful to me...maybe too much so...i should probably stick to surgery and not get sucked into  these bs arguements that get any of us anywhere...I'm sure you're all accomplished in your own respects but it's people like you that practically forced 99% of my family out of Iran. Jewish Lobby...HAHAHAHAHA! you better damn believe it...the jewish hand is here to stay...reaching into your minds and pockets...that's the kind of stuff you think isn't it...a bunch of phony philosophers.

Hey capt_ayhab...make sure you get this post of mine deleted too you fascist.


Dear Capt_Ayhab and Anvar

by alborz on

... I am immensely grateful to you both for your participation on this blog.  Your discourse was indeed exemplary and I have been enriched by you both.

Thank you again, 



Adorning Deeds

by Anvar on

*capt_ayhab* - You have been blessed with the highly human, yet rare, gift of empathy.  Combined with your humility, candor, intellect, and generosity; you, my friend, are a credit to humanity.  The pleasure is in fact mine to be in such company.

I believe you and I can easily overlook the insignificant and trust that all inadvertent misunderstandings are forgiven on both sides.

Over and over, I fail to fully live up to this teaching of my faith:  “…Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.”  By your deeds, you have set an example for many to follow.

As before, I look forward to all of our dialogues and (for selfish reasons) I might even enjoy them more when we are not in total agreement.

By the way, if I ever allowed myself to taunt your persona, this would be the extent of it: )

*Alborz* - Thank you for yet another eloquent blog and its ‘unintended consequence’ of strengthening friendships. : )

While I’m at it, let me also welcome * Nur-i-Azal* back to the site.  I suspect he is my pal from down under.  If so, let me, as an individual and not an alleged gang member, thank you for not using any Death To XXXX slogans.  In return, I’ll be reading your own blog which I’m sure will be interesting.



Mr. Anvar

by capt_ayhab on

As I have said many times, you are a true gentleman and a brilliant, knowledgeable, devote and a true humanitarian.

It has always been such a blessing and pleasure to be in company of a wonderful human beings such as yourself and Mr. Alborz.

Indeed there is unintentional belligerence and sarcasm in my comment to your comment. But I assure you that no disrespect was intended to your person, for whom I hold great deal of respect and admiration.

For my tone, I beg for your forgiveness and generosity. And duly hope that this NEVER affects your future sharing and willingness to hold informative dialogues with me.

Respectfully yours.



Where Were We?

by Anvar on

Oh yeah, back to the main topic…

I agree that most laws are enacted for legitimate reasons and get abused or misused by some people.  There’s no argument on this point here.  At most, I would argue that perhaps some laws are outdated and do not serve their original or indented purpose any longer.  I might even argue that abiding by (or even appropriately applying) such laws, may indeed be harmful and have adverse ‘unintended consequences’.

Since we are using examples here:  
Let’s say someone wanted to ask “What can be an unintended consequence of serving alcohol in religious settings?”

As a part of religious rites, and to represent the blood of Jesus, the Catholics sip a little bit of wine in the Church.  The purpose of this sanctioned law or ritual in the Catholic Church is clear.   

To provide an answer to the question in this example, one might point out that some misguided followers in the church misunderstand or abuse this ritual to the point of getting drunk!  Indeed, they might do so not because they want to get drunk, but because they are devout followers and have strong beliefs.  Therefore, one unintended consequence of this sanctioned law may be an increase in the number of drunk drivers on Sunday mornings.  

This conclusion can be made without passing any judgments about the other followers in the church or questioning the legitimacy and the historical background of the ritual itself.

We also know that serving (or consuming) alcohol is not sanctioned in Islam or the Baha’i faith.  This particular law or ritual is obviously no longer sanctioned.  Therefore, no wine (for any purpose) is ever served in a Mosque or a House of Worship.  

Clearly, sipping wine is sanctioned (and practiced) by some religions and disallowed (and not practiced) by others.  

In the context of the question (sanctioned alcohol consumption), it would be absolutely useless and irrelevant to cite possible examples of individual Muslims or Baha’is who, contrary to their teachings, might have at some point in history gotten drunk in their homes!  

However, it would be relevant to assert, and assure others, that not a trace of alcohol may be found in the body of those who participate in their sanctioned rituals or activities in a mosque or house of worship.

We should be able to distinguish the two from each other.  

BTW - *capt_ahyab* - Please go back and reread the statement that I had made earlier.  Essentially, it states that: “It is POSSIBLE for dissimulation to cause mistrust which MAY lead to disunity.”  Yes, it is my opinion, but how is the statement itself not factual?  (Just judge the simple statement without assuming or extrapolating anything else.)  Exactly what percentage of the population must agree before that statement becomes factual?  5%, 51%, 95%?   At the same time, this statement of yours is true and factual as well: “Roots of mistrust environment in Iran is certainly multi-dimensional, in which dissimulation may or may not even play any role.”  I agree with your opinion here.  I was merely addressing the dimension in which it may play a role.  Just because our specific statements (mine and yours) are stated as opinions, their truthfulness does not necessarily change into falsehood.



Clarifications…(a gentlemanly dialogue on the side)

by Anvar on

(I hope this explains the intent and tone of my previous post to anyone finding it unusual)

With apologies to *Alborz* and others for this long and unrelated post:

Dear *capt_ayhab* - I totally agree about your characterization of our earlier dialogues.  I think they have always been civil, courteous, respectful, and informative (at least for me).  

Additionally, I have always found you to be open-minded, educated, articulated, an advocate of human rights, and most of all smart.  I don’t necessarily expect the same impressions of me from you, but I wish you’d at least give me the benefit of the doubt that I, too, may be somewhat smart.  After all, do we not expect those with whom we exchange ideas to be smart enough to get what we mean?  To read and understand the lines and between the lines?

Both of us have known that your earlier comment was to me and about me; however, for some reason, you had decided not to address me directly.  One intent of my latest post was to establish that connection, which your recent comment did.

Another intent was to match the tone of your comments (admittedly, a bit stronger) as a reminder of “belligerence, aggressiveness and belittlement” that we both regret.  However, in my disappointment, I wanted you to first characterize the interactions on your own so that I might point out few things about your earlier post (now that it’s been made clear it was for me).

The fact that your post is totally devoted to and about my earlier post, but does not address me directly, and refers to me as “…a person who claims of being fair minded and of progressive agenda…” who, as such, ‘should avoid certain things’ is a classic example of Belittlement!  Moreover, you are trying to disprove a claim that I did not make.  

If I said “…a person who claims to be civil, polite, and cultured” should avoid such insinuations, wouldn’t the message of belittlement (although not explicit) get through to you?  Yet, one of us engaged in such behavior and the other one got accused of it.  By the way, do you consider yourself as “… a person who claims of being unfair minded and of backward agenda” by any chance?

I’ll cover the other 2 of your characterizations of (and presumably objections to) my comments in a minute.  But for the record, I welcome all challenges to my assertions - professionally made or not.  Many a times, I learn something new from well reasoned challenges.

Here are some examples of accusatory “Belligerence and Aggressiveness” in your earlier post to me:
- Extrapolating…
- [profiling] of the entire society…
- One strategy…
- creating atmosphere of hate and eventual blood shed…
- These types of generalization…
- …claim that we know the roots of certain level mistrust in Iranian society being caused by this particular law…
- Etc.

In short, you are suggesting or accusing me (a Baha’i) of:  ‘Asserting that dissimulation is the root of mistrust in entire Iranian society.  Therefore, as a strategy, I’m proposing to create a hateful atmosphere that will eventually shed the blood of all who believe in this law (implied: Muslims)’.  Then, you turn around and attack or ‘challenge’ what you’ve made up and attributed to me!  

The insinuations here are clear and, in fact, you are the one who is ‘extrapolating’ from my simple statements to attribute such malice to me or my comments.  How you could jump from my succinct and conditional statement to let’s hate and kill’em all, is beyond me!  It reminds me of how my earlier example of “2 sane individuals,” in this thread, was immediately misrepresented as “a large number of very sane people!”  I expect such spins only from a handful of duty bound antagonists here - and not others.  

When you “challenge my assertions” on any issue (and I welcome them all), please challenge my own thoughts or expressions and not what you create to ascribe to me.  

Regrets have been mutual, but my reaction in kind should be judged by my intentions.  I never intend to disrespect or belittle anyone.  

If you could detect “belligerence, aggressiveness and belittlement” in my comments, then as a fair-minded person, now you can surely detect them in yours.  That was another intent of my post.

Putting a “Respectfully” at the end of a post does not make it so.

P.S.:  Regardless of your possible retort, my esteem for you, has not been, and will not be, diminished.



Mr. Anvar

by capt_ayhab on

I have had dialogues with you in many occasions which have been civil, informative and fair, which I have appreciated and been the same to you.

Regretfully I sense great deal of belligerence, aggressiveness and belittlement in your last comment, which only can be contributed to the fact I have challenged, ever so professionally, your assertion of the issue of SANCTIONED DISSIMULATION and its UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES of such law.

That aside sir,  As I have stated before, my objection to your and Mr. Alborz original blog been your statement of [ In the specific context of this blog, in my earlier comment, I concluded that:  “…one Unintended Consequence of Dissimulation is its possible fostering of Mistrust which may lead to Disunity.”  Earlier, *Alborz* had stated that “dissimulation has contributed to deception and hypocrisy in our society.”  These are factual statements!]

This statement , unless is supported by factual data obtained from a credible and unbiased[no pun intended] source can be easily rebuked for being speculative and personal opinion at best.

To demonstrate my original point allow me to site a possibly familiar case from US tax code. IRS recognizes for special  treatment by companies of large sums of benefit to be encoded in employment contracts of top executive under the tax code known as Golden Parachute.


As definition Golden Parachute refers to clause in an executive's employment contract specifying that he/she will receive large benefits in the event that the company is acquired and the executive's employment is terminated. These benefits can take the form of severance pay, a bonus, stock options, or a combination thereof.]

They are designed to reduce perverse incentives - paradoxically (and ironically) they may create them.

For example, it is fairly easy for a top executive to reduce the price of his/her company's stock - due to information asymmetry. The executive can accelerate accounting of expected expenses, delay accounting of expected revenue, engage in off balance sheet transactions to make the company's profitability appear temporarily poorer, or simply promote and report severely conservative (eg. pessimistic) estimates of future earnings. Such seemingly[concocted/unethical/illegal] adverse earnings news will be likely to (at least temporarily) reduce share price. (This is again due to information asymmetries since it is more
common for top executives to do everything they can to window dress their company's earnings forecasts).

As you notice, a well intentioned executive pay package, which is SANCTIONED by law, can and has created certain individuals/companies who manipulate the LOOPHOLE in SANCTIONED law in their personal gain and favor, which is by all accounts extremely unethical if not outright CRIMINAL.

Are we to assume that companies as a whole and IRS in particular, by SANCTIONING such practice[allowing such compensations] have engaged in unethical and often criminal act of tax evasion, BECAUSE of some individuals' or groups' illegal act?

I should say not.

Respectfully and have a wonderful day sir





Isn’t the blog clear enough?

by Anvar on

The author of this blog has clearly defined the parameters and scope of his topic: UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES of SANCTIOEND DISSIMULATION.  He has also tried to gently guide us to better understand his supposition a few times.  Isn’t that clear enough?

Do we not all have a dictionary at hand or is it that we just can’t comprehend the meaning of these 4 words in combination?  It is too bad that a few have totally ignored the first three words and make irrelevant arguments about the fourth.  There is no need to get defensive over the word ‘dissimulation’, especially when there’s no offense meant.

No one has questioned the legitimacy or historical values/occurrences of such practice.  No one is talking about rogue individuals who violate domestic or international laws.  No one is strategizing to cause hatred or bloodshed on any scale. 

Such implications are, at best due to lack of comprehension of this thread or, at worst misleading and accusatory.  Changing clear and straightforward comments, about specific conditions, into baseless generalizations; and then turning around to attack those made-up presumptions is not conducive to honest discussions. 

In the specific context of this blog, in my earlier comment, I concluded that:  “…one Unintended Consequence of Dissimulation is its possible fostering of Mistrust which may lead to Disunity.”  Earlier, *Alborz* had stated that “…dissimulation has contributed to deception and hypocrisy in our society.”  These are factual statements!  There’s no need to misrepresent these statements as a strategy that may lead to bloodshed of the masses! 

Regardless of motives, trying to equate these factual statements with an attempt to malign the society at large is outrageous.

Now that all of us seem to know what ‘dissimulation’ means (yet, conveniently ignore the qualification of ‘sanctioned’), allow me to cite certain examples of sanctioned laws or decrees:
- When Jews were forbidden to come out of their houses on rainy days…
- When Baha’is are officially excluded from the Islamic Republic’s constitution
- When Ayatollah Khomeini issued a death sentence against Salman Rushdi
- When the sources of emulation (marja taghlid) decree that Baha’is are impure (najis)

To suggest that atrocities against religious minorities in the Islamic Republic (or Egypt, or Sudan, or…) are committed by a few opportunistic individuals who abuse or break the laws is absolutely absurd.  Indeed, the faithful are enforcing the laws and decrees that are in effect.  Be it Sharia or civil laws.

Now, I’m going to put 2 of these 4 words together and give an example of ‘sanctioned’ + ‘dissimulation’:
- From personal experiences even prior to IRI; - I remember when few members of Fadayan-e Islam, under false pretenses to learn about the faith, would come to our meetings.  At the end of the meetings, when it was time to go home, the rest of their cohorts would suddenly join them to assault us in the streets or destroy our vehicles.  They were acting within the system not without.

Now, for the homework, let’s see if we can put all these 4 words together ‘Unintended Consequences of Sanctioned Dissimulation’, and write something relevant to the original point of the blog.  Hopefully something useful too.

Since it apparently takes repeated attempts to get the same point across:  ‘Dissimulation’ has been ‘Sanctioned’ in many religions but not in the Baha’i faith.  Unless I’m mistaken, people were asked to ponder or comment on its ‘Unintended Consequences’ in this blog.

As a side point:  I am personally grateful to all Muslims who, despite the laws and fatwas, stand up in support of human rights for all.  Whether these are the true Muslims or most of the mullahs, only God knows for sure.  I have a feeling that…



Dissimulation in totalitarian systems & liberal democracies

by Nur-i-Azal on

Dissimulation and deceit is a tactic of survival by supporter, lukewarm and opponent alike under any  and every totalitarian system. I invite people to read Roy Medvedev's LET HISTORY JUDGE or any of the novels by Alexander Solzhenitsyn about the Stalin era to see the depth to which dissimulation, deceit and conceit was part of the Stalinist regime on every level of Soviet society from Stalin's own inner guard to all facets of the Communist Party, the Soviet government, the military and bureaucracy all the way down to the most mundane, ordinary levels of Soviet society.

Arguably one could also point to the fact that dissimulation also plays a pervasive role beyond identifiable totalitarian systems and has recently crept into social praxis in purported liberal democracies such as the United States as well. The culture of political correctness and the media-corporate conglomerate's agenda,  whether under the Bush regime or now with Obama,  practices and encourages social dissimulation on a widespread level in the private and public sectors. In the name of protecting and advancing careers, academics, politicians, pundits, religious and business leaders, etc., all practice dissimulation in various guises in one form or another virtually everywhere in the West. For example, even when public figures know or intimate their understanding of the pathological power of the American Jewish lobby, unless one wishes to see ones career destroyed, no one in a prominent public capacity has dared to date to robustly criticize the (over-)influence of the Jewish lobby in many facets of public life in the US. So this problem is not unique to Iran by any means other than as a matter of degree.

That said, the Baha'is here seem to be engaged in serious doublespeak. Baha'is indeed dissimulate, and have dissimulated under the Islamic republic on vast scales. Historically this has also been the case even before the Islamic republic. Throughout the 1980s the Western Baha'i administration attempted, but then pulled back from, mass disenrollments of many Iranian Baha'is who were leaving Iran via the airports and coming to the West. Many initially lost their administrative rights, but many more did not. Since until the middle of the first term of Khatami all applications for passports and exit visas required an explicit identification of ones religion - leaving it blank being unacceptable at the time - many dozens of Iranian Baha'is were clearly identifying themselves as Muslims in order to evade problems and get out of Iran. And no one should blame these people for doing so! Good for them!! The Baha'i administration generally blames such people for being weak in their faith, but apparently the Baha'i administration cares more about keeping appearances than saving actual lives. If Alborz and his gang here publicly with to raise hubris about such things, I am willing to offer names on TRB.

With that, the nature of present human society by definition leads to situations where dissimulation, conceit and deceit become operative throughout. All forms of power, government, religious or otherwise, use techniques of fear and initimidation on varying levels against populations in order to maintain and perpetuate their social contract and leviathan. This is the case in Iran. It is the case in the US. It is the case everywhere else. Unless large segments of the population wake up and maintain a solid personal integrity with uncompromising commitment to truth at any personal cost, on the one hand, and while at the same time adopt some form of a communitarianism or  Anarchism as a point of resistance (as I have) in relation to the nature of power in general, things will never change. But the Baha'is who pretend to have the greatest ideology in the world, need to sit back and seriously think for a moment that notions of "obedience to government" and deference to seats power provides the most fertile ground for the widespread diffusion of things such as dissimulation.


another 2 riali - before I go broke :-)

by capt_ayhab on

Every good intentioned law, has had opportunistic and malicious group or individuals who have taken advantage of such[emergency] ruling and its loopholes, and abused it to their personal gain and advantage.

Extrapolating such behavior of such groups, would be broad brushing  and [profiling] of the entire society and large number of people. One strategy which a person who claims of being fair minded and of progressive agenda should certainly avoid.

These type of generalization has no other outcome but creating atmosphere of hate and eventual blood shed. History been witness to such by the counts of millions in her recent past.

Baha'is in Iran, for that fact, been victim of such malicious generalizations and we are witnessing their brutal prosecutions, oppressions, imprisonment and murders.

Please lets not claim that we know the roots of certain level mistrust in Iranian society being caused by this particular law, for  the claim would be totally unsubstantiated and false. Roots of mistrust environment in Iran is certainly multi-dimensional, in which  dissimulation may or may not even play any role.




P/S Thanks for correcting my typographical error regarding the name of the commentator[Mr. Ostaad,  instead of Mr. Khar]. But at least my unintentional error made one person giddy and happy thinking she has caught a big mistake. Anything for my hamvatan ha!!

omid behrooz

Taqiyya or Taghieh

by omid behrooz on

After the revolution of 1979, most Iranians as well as I, were bombarded, for the first time, by a lot of Arabic words like Taghieh, Ommat, Taaghoot, Mostakbaraan, Mostazafaan, etc.

Some prisonners who were recently freed from Evin Prison, were interviewed on IR National TV. While explaining their experince in the prison,  a few young prisonners said that, some well known religious figures in the prison, were cooperating with the SAVAK.

This made a lot of contraversies. But a couple of prominant religious authorities explained on TV that, they were doing Taghieh to protect themselves and their families.  



by Nur-i-Azal on

...to the uninformed content of this blog can be found here,




by sophia on

Souri: "The very mistake was mine. Because I asked this question here in this blog. Now I realize how stupid I have acted. I should address it to a Bahai site and ask it from the main sources who are qualified to answer my question." 

And the direct citation/quotation of primary Baha'i material on this matter, which has also been cited in correspondence with the UHJ, is, in your opinion, an unqualified response? There goes the rules of academic citation out the window, then. I should assume, therefore, that by these standards, if in the future you (or others engaged in such discussion) wish to raise questions or make statements regarding organizational/doctrinal/historical issues within Islam, or any other religion for that matter, you (or anyone else) will first be directing your questions directly to a site/representative associated with that organization,even prior to posting any primary material they have published/disseminated (ie books, journal articles etc), as only they will be the ones most qualified to answer it? I should also assume that, according to these standards, published,and officially approved primary source material from representatives of the organization itself is not good enough? Fine, if that's the precedent you wish to set. Better stick to it, or your disgruntlement will be most misplaced, as will your immediate response to the "opinions" of the various other posters here as the truth of your inquiry into the stance of the Baha'i organization:

Souri: "Thank you for clarifying! Goftam ke Englisim badeh ;)

Now, I got your point. I'm so released. Yes, I already knew that about the Bahai religion.They never deny their faith. It's a very hard obligation and I salute all the Bahai in this regard. Very heroic, even sometimes hard to bear, I'd say."

 Souri:"You, in occurrence, not only you are not qualified to answer such question, but from what we have seen of you in thepast, your Anti-Bahia intention are always evident. That's why nobodytrust you anymore and your many vicious tricks went bankrupt, so far."

It's called criticism, Souri. 

1) Learn the rules,

2) Come up with something better than talking about my "vicious tricks"(ie, like citing published Baha'i journal articles- how dare I!?),

3) and finally, refer to the premise of the site espoused by JJ himself:


Founder and editor Jahanshah Javid explains the site's motto, "Nothing is Sacred" as being " to a great extent, a response to the situationin Iran. In Iran you cannot write an article saying Ayatollah Khomeini was ahateful man who brought misery to millions, for instance. You cannot say Velayate Faqih is incompatible with democracy. You cannot demand the separation of mosque and state. You cannot defend the rights of Bahais to practice their faith."[4]

"In Iran, the list of no-can-dos isendless. Why can't you? Because these issues are "sacred", becauseIslam says so, because the Supreme Leader says so, because ayatollah so-and-sosays so, because the hezbollah say so. Because our culture says so."[5]

Referringto the content of the site, Jahanshah Javid states that "There are no taboos orsacred cows, as far as I'm concerned. You want to say how great the Shah was?Go ahead. You want to make fun of Reza Pahlavi? Okay. You want to say Khatamiis a fraud? Fine. You want to say the Bahai faith is better than Islam? Sure. You want to say the Bahai faith is just like any other organized religion? Sure. You want to write about sex? I have no problem with that."[6] 



dear Anvar

by Souri on

Thanks for your great input.

About the misunderstanding on the Avatar, I think you are right. I like and respect Ostaad very much, and that was the reason I've got surprised.

Bonne nuit.


Questionable Sincerity

by Anvar on

Baha’is believe that: “Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.”  They can simply tell a little white-lie, so to speak, and gain entrance into universities, gain employment, or free themselves from prisons.  They don’t do any of that.  Not because they don’t value their lives or livelihood but because…

It is worth contemplating, isn’t it?
(Hint: They are not stupid.)

Yet we are led to believe that they pretend to be Muslims to attack Islam! -  A religion they respect and revere.  Since it might be rude of me to expect more intelligence, I would simply hope for less prejudice.

There was a time when great messengers of God had to practice dissimulation and allowed their followers to also practice it.  That practice has been discontinued and disallowed in the new Era.  Whereas the prophet of Islam (pbuh) fled from one city to another and hid in a cave, the prophet of Baha’i faith succumbed to about 40 years of insult, imprisonment, and exile. 

*Souri* - I think capt_ayhab mistook Khar’s avatar with that of Ostaad’s and Alborz responded accordingly and…

*sophia* - In case your question to me was sincere:  As you can see, I used the singular forms and not plural.  “no sane baha’i…” – “no sane opponent…”  And in my summation, I wrote “…both of the above mentioned individuals…” (Both Individuals!)

The way you got from 2 sane individuals to “… a large number of VERY sane people…” is indicative of your obvious intentions here.

I see that you are still trying to desperately find any excuse to carry on your baseless objections!  Good to see you again anyway.

By the way, say hello to (what’s his name these days?) for me.  I hope that he is well.




by sophia on

  Though I believe there were some incredibly serious errors in the promotion of your book, as a young man who more than likely possesses sincere (if not at times, incredibly poorly influenced) intentions, from your own perspective, this should be put down as a major learning experience from which you should draw in the future. The most serious and damaging fault here is with people like Dr Maneck, and with the large number of Baha'i related bodies and institutions that immediately passed your work off as a comprehensive study to which they could turn (which occurs by implication when it is citied in the manner in which Maneck did in her paper), alongside those which promoted it under the banner of a straightforward "refutation" of the material and claims it addresses. Unfortunately, the damage done to the reputation and credibility of the people and bodies endorsing this book, published as it was, has already been done. Though it was not published by an official Baha'i publisher, the passing of this work by the National Spiritual Assembly speaks volumes about the standards to which they hold regarding the dissemination of Baha'i related material, and the manner in which they are prepared to overlook gaping scholarly flaws in a publication if it will serve their interests to do so. THAT is propaganda.  Again, from your own perspective, a single Wikipedia reference in a freshman paper at most major colleges would earn you a major penalty. I seriously urge you to consider the length to which studies of the scope that you attempted in your work go in gathering their material. A doctoral study (which would be the first major step prior to publication of a work of this scope) would take upwards of three or more years. See what I'm saying? Seriously, Adib, look deeply and with a scrupulously critical eye at the origins of your material- and look for that material far and wide.    PS. I would look into the `Abdu'l-Baha issue further, ie- get your hands on an official copy of the document of Knighthood from the relevant archives. This is actually a rather large issue.   



by Souri on

This is your argument I was referring to: 

"I have simply cited an official, published paper on this topic in response to an issue raised AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE THREAD by Souri. "

The very mistake was mine. Because I asked this question here in this blog. Now I realize how stupid I have acted. I should address it to a Bahai site and ask it from the main sources who are qualified to answer my question.

You, in occurrence, not only you are not qualified to answer such question, but from what we have seen of you in the past, your Anti-Bahia intention are always evident. That's why nobody trust you anymore and your many vicious tricks went bankrupt, so far.

Sorry, but I have no more interest to continue this discussion with you.


Souri- are you out of your mind?

by sophia on

Souri: "If I have a question about a religion, I will ask it from the direct and the well intended sources, not from someone who is constantly trying to discredit that religion!

Your argument is of no value here!

Look for another lie to bring up, this one didn't work!!!"

Where is my argument? I quoted a direct source, with no additional commentary, published in a Baha'i journal by a well known Baha'i "academic"- followed by a number of pertinent points from it, which relate directly to the definitions and uses of the terms involved. As there was no additional commentary with these initial quotes, where exactly is "my lie"? Or is "cutting and pasting" from primary sources written by a Baha'i a distortion of the "truth" in your eyes? Or is Susan Maneck not a "well intentioned" source?  


Is not lie sori,

by abdAllah on

No sori, even you say you know them for long, doesn't qualify you to make judgment on my words , how do you know if i know them longer than you or not ?

 although I do agree that majority of Bahais are very polite and nice people there is no reason for any one to hate nice people. and I don't hate them either. they are my hamvatan

Im Not lying and I thought same as you befor, 

what happend in comunication with him,I check the guys IP and it was diffrent name than he was using, when I googled his real name  ,his name  came up to be only one and a Bahai (hezbollai one), and had a site to prove it and same kind of defending the Bahai course all over his site, that proved to me and since I belive that some Bahai do masquerade as Muslim and do these sort of things. now, you don't have to believe, is not that important what you call me,important is God knows and I know I'm not lying . 

Adib Masumian

My book

by Adib Masumian on

Dear Sophia,

Yes, it took me a month, and that month would be during Christmas break, meaning that I was able to invest several hours each day in writing it. Also note that I already had almost all of those resources at hand - whether in hard copy in our personal library or as soft copies in my Internet bookmarks - so compiling it, formatting it, and citing references wasn't the most onerous task.

As I recall, I only used Wikipedia as a source once, and it was not even for any critical or vital information - whether or not I choose to omit the possibility that `Abdu'l-Baha was the first person ever to receive knighthood for the category of humanitarianism would not at all be a detriment to the book or the points it attempts to get across when all is said and done. One Wikipedia reference, and FYI, I am looking for a more credible source for that particular piece of information, so let's not exagerrate.

By the way, note that although the book passed review, I didn't get it published with any Baha'i publishing press; I self-published it. Isn't that act in and of itself enough to tell you that I don't consider the work to be bonafide scholarship? I never claimed that the book was scholarly or that I am myself a scholar in any way; don't forget that. I'm not so blind that I deny that the book has its flaws, which will hopefully be ironed out in the future. And yes, I am still looking for a disinterested, academic party to examine the book for improvements.



by Souri on

I had asked this question from Alborz, not you!

Your vicious intention has been proved to everybody, in the past.

If I have a question about a religion, I will ask it from the direct and the well intended sources, not from someone who is constantly trying to discredit that religion!

Your argument is of no value here!

Look for another lie to bring up, this one didn't work!!!


Absolute relevance.

by sophia on

Souri: "Dear Alborz,

I understand your intention but, still have some questions. I wish you would clarify the subject by answering some questions, like:

- What is the exact Smailis view on this topic?

- What is the exact Bahai view on this topic?"

So, Alborz, you are saying that:

a) your view, or the opinions of other posters here are more "credible" or more authoritative than Susan Maneck's- a person who has entered into personal correspondence regarding this issue with the Universal House of Justice? I have simply cited an official, published paper on this topic in response to an issue raised AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE THREAD by Souri. 

b) that my citing of first hand, published "opinion" on this matter, is of no relevance (and is "cluttering the thread" even though it stands in relation to a direct question from Souri, posed above), and even though this "opinion" was published in Volume 6 of the Baha'i Studies Review, 1996, an association currently overseen by the National Spiritual Assembly of the United Kingdom, which itself answers to the Universal House of Justice regarding "opinions" expressed in the materials it publishes?



Alborz: "PS - yes I consider circular referencing as bad form and simply a desparate attempt at seeking credibility where none exists."   So, you are also saying that the references from Susan Maneck have no credibility? I'd seriously consider who the desperate one here is, Alborz. As for my own definition of "scholarship", whatever "credibility" she had as a scholar went out the window once and for all when she endorsed an un-peer-reviewed or independently refereed, self-published work by a recent high school graduate, that by the author's own admission took "about a month or so " to write -(//www.religiousforums.com/forum/bahai-faith/7...), and draws heavily on internal references from various Wikipedia articles. 


Arthra: "Wow congratulations that's very exciting news!
Thanks for sharing that Adib..
 How long did it take to write it?"   Adib: Thank you Art and you are quite welcome  About a month or so. I forgot to mention that this publication was actually reviewed and accepted by the National Spiritual Assembly of the USA.   


Accusations Against Baha'is Within the Context of Islamic Heresiography by Susan Maneck (Jackson State University)
A paper presented at The 2009 CESNUR Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 11-13, 2009

     Note 7 [7] cf. Momen, Moojan (2004), "Conspiracies and Forgeries: the attack upon the Baha'i community in Iran", Persian Heritage 9 (35) As if to prove that refuting such charges is child's play, an eighteen year old boy Adib Masumian has written a book doing so entitled Debunking the Myths (Lulu:2009.) Unfortunately such refutations cannot be made in the Iranian press where these charges are usually repeated.   


Alborz: "I also suggest that you familiarize yourself with the concept of scholarship before making any more ad hoc nominations." 

You and your organization are the ones who need to take a look at their definition of scholarship.  But this now becomes tricky. Is Susan Maneck a credible source, or not a credible one? Are these her "opinions", or are they, by virtue of the Baha'i organization's publishing review process, credible statements of position? Has her work been endorsed by the UHJ, or has it not? What affect does that then have on the entire trajectory of her academic work, and moreover, for her status as a faculty member of the Wilmette Institute, who may or may not be simply teaching her own "opinions"?

 //www.sourcewatch.org/index.phptitle=Wilmette_Institute  //www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Susan_Maneck  


Now, that is a lie

by Souri on

You said:

"ps: also there is lie we all should avoid, I notice "some" Baha'i show up on som site pretend to be Muslim and curse at Muslims and praise Bahai faith or they make site like "Muslem for Bahai",that seem to be
very common practice among some young Bahai which concider as lie and

From what I know about the Bahai principle (and I know many Bahai since a long while) I can not blieve a word of what you said.

Are you sure you are not spreading lie and propaganda?

I just checked your account and saw that you are registred since 4 weeks ago and participated only in the debate of Bahai subject!!!

That by itself, says a lot about your true intention. 

Why every debate here should finish by lies and propaganda and accusation here?

Stop it please!


Sori said it ,,,

by abdAllah on

Sori wrote: "But I would rather to let people free of this obligation.

I believe nothing is more important than the human being and his life.

So religion should not impose any restriction to its believers which can take their lives. It should be left to each one's personal decision."

that is exactly what I was going to say sori,
God has gave us the gift of life to protect and cherish and trust us safekeeping it, we can't just give it away to any scumbag who ask for it.other wise that leaves door open to any cult and sect for sake of their own purpose ask their followers to become a suicides bomber in cause of GOD,
although ,we have seen grater messengers in order to protect their live they did sort of Dissimulation or Taghiyeh (تقیّه ),

for example : when Jesus notice Pharisees planning to kill him went to hiding or when they came to Pike him up every apostle said "i am the Jesus "and Finlay he must of did sort of Dissimulate in order escape the death on the cross(as God said in Quran: he did not go on cross or he died), friends ,God does not need our blood in order to protect his religion, otherwise he would allow Abraham to sacrifice Ismail but he didn't .and Imam Hossin(a-salam)fighted for his life ,he didnt just gave it away. 

ps:there is "Taghieh" also there is "lie" which we all should avoid liers is among any religion, I notice "some" Baha'ies show up on some sites, pretend to be a Muslim and bad mouthing at Muslims and praise Bahai faith or they make site like "Muslem for Bahai",that is non sens and seem to be very common practice among some young Bahai which concider as lie and deceptions .I dont know if that allowed in BF. 


More cut and paste of zero relevance!

by alborz on

I have already expressed my views on the matter and the material that you continue to paste here only serves to clutter the thread - which no doubt is your only intent ! 

Your library of cut and past material falls into the category of opinions and will continue to be viewed and responded to as an opinion. I suggest that you lower your expectations in proportion.

I also suggest that you familiarize yourself with the concept of scholarship before making any more ad hoc nominations. 


PS - yes I consider circular referencing as bad form and simply a desparate attempt at seeking credibility where none exists.


A simple point got lost...

by alborz on

... and now it is found again.

Be Well Souri Jaan,



lol ;)

by Souri on

Alborz jan:

Khob ino az avval begoo digeh..........

Just kidding ;)

BTW: Who is this Ostaad you guys are talking about? I don't see Ostaad's comment here. Are you talking about Mr. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui ?here:

The word "al-Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury." A one-word translation would be "Dissimulation." 

Becaue if you are talking about what "Roubaaeh" said, he just copied the same words from Mr. Siddiqui which he took from Albrorz'a link here:

  and KHAR just copy/paste it here (of course in bold !!!):    

The word "al-Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing
or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions,
and/or strategies  at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in
time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury."  A one-word
translation would be "Dissimulation."

 Mani Ostaad ro ham fahmidim, lol.



"Obediently Yours" - Susan Maneck in Correspondence with the UHJ

by sophia on

Anvar, what exactly do you mean by this?:

"No sane opponent of the IRI would go to the streets and scream “I hate this regime!”"

I thought a large number of VERY sane people just did?

Alborz:"Interpretation in this Faith is an individual responsibility and Ms. Maneck's opinion is just that, and no more."

You should probably check your knowledge of the process of "academic" review within the Baha'i organization/publishing industry. Moreover, I would probably also clarify your knowledge of who is ultimately responsible for the "interpretation" "of" the Faith (which is what Dr Maneck is doing). 

See also:  //methodologies.susanmaneck.com/ 


Letter Two, from Maneck to the Universal House of Justice

To: Bahai World Centre

Subject:Addendum to Sept. 21 letter 

Date:Mon, 17 Nov 1997


Dear Universal House of Justice,


I am writing this letter as an addendum to the letter I sent you dated September 21,1997. There was a question I still had in regards to your message to me dated 20 July 1997 which I did not ask because at the time I could not decide how best to articulate it in a befitting manner. You will recall that I had suggested that many of the difficulties had arisen because many Baha'i historians and Middle East specialists had exceeded the proper bounds of their calling as scholars by interfering in administrative affairs with their constant criticisms of the institutions. You responded by stating that there were far greater problems involved, referring to "the behavior of a very small group of Baha'is who . . . aggressively sought to promote their misconceptions of the Teachings among their fellow believers." You further refer to attempts "to alter the essential nature of Baha'u'llah'smessage."

While I recognize that in some cases certain Baha'is have done precisely that, these statements were troubling to me in as much as they raised questions in regards tothe limits of tolerance within the Baha'i Faith. Specifically, as you are no doubt aware, Dr. ... has been vigorously insisting that the investigation which was launched by the International Teaching Center against himself and others was motivated by a desire to impose a rigid doctrinal conformity on Baha'i scholars which would be inconsistent with our ability to function as academics.I had argued, to the contrary, that the investigation was largely launched inreaction to what was seen as an attack on the Institutions themselves. For this reason your letter of 20 July created much confusion for me because it seemed to vindicate Dr. ...'s perception of these events.

My question is, to what extent does the House see these problems as issues of doctrinal heresy which must therefore be suppressed and to what extent are the Institutions empowered to do this? I am aware, for instance, of the verse in the Will and Testament which reads: "To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or express his particular conviction. All must seek guidance and turn unto the Centre of the Cause and the House of Justice."I note, however that the term for opinion here is rai which is one of theprinciples (usul) of Islamic jurisprudence. Given the juridical language ofthis entire section of the Will and Testament I would assume that `Abdu'l-Baha was speaking here largely of opinions in regard to matters of Baha'i law andpractice rather than doctrine.

If the Universal House of Justice does regard the imposition of orthodoxy on the Baha'i community as within the purview of the authority of the Institutions I wonder if you could explain to me how this fits in with the tolerance which`Abdu'l-Baha calls for elsewhere within the Writings. I am thinking for instance of the passage in Kitab-I Bada'i al-Athar 1:294 where `Abdu'l-Baha insists that there must be no interference in beliefs or conscience. I also note that in another Tablet `Abdu'l-Baha states that so long as courtesy is maintained that in the Faith no one can rule over a persons conscience. He goes on to saythat such freedom does not extend to matters of divine law. (Ma'idih-yi Asmani5:17-18.) I also have in mind Baha'u'llah's Tablet to Bourjerdi where even overthe vital issue of the station of the Manifestation, Baha'u'llah refuses to allow the imposition of rigid dogma.

Thank you for your careful consideration of the issues I raise and for your continued prayers at the Sacred Shrines.

Obediently yours,

Susan Maneck 

Alborz: "For a change, should you wish to express an opinion please do so independently."

My opinion is that you need to delve further into the subject of your blog as understood in the beliefs and practices of your own organization. Fairly straightforward. 

In this case, a highly relevant source of material belongs to a well known Baha’i “scholar”, Susan Maneck, and her opinions pertaining to these issues. Refer also to the manner in which she has signed off her correspondence with the Universal House of Justice: "Obediently yours, Susan Maneck"


Alborz: Finally, repeated cutting and pasting of an someone else's opinion and then referencing it back to itself (24) does not help improve the credibility of that opinion,

So you're suggesting that Susan Maneck's opinion is not credible from a Baha'i perspective? 

Alborz: "but does clarify your intent!"

.......ahhh, an old favorite. Refer to my opinion.