A Just System of Government: The Third Dimension to World Peace


A Just System of Government: The Third Dimension to World Peace
by Mona Tahiri

The Bahá'í approach to government or collective action is a vast subject that cannot be adequately dealt with in a short paper. Accordingly, this brief presentation will be confined to a few highlights, which might be of special interest in the context of the general discussion this weekend.There are at least three dimensions to the Bahá'í plan for the establishment of a permanent world peace based on justice, or in Bahá'í terminology, "The Most Great Peace." The first dimension is the creation of a new race of men: the adoption of the highest ethical standards by every man, woman, and child on the planet. It is irrational to suppose that a just society can be achieved unless the people of that society are themsel ves just individuals.

A second dimension to the Bahá'í plan are broad policies to ensure that every person in the world has equal opportunity and encouragement to develop fully his or her physical, mental, and spiritual potential. One important aspect of this issue is the abolition of extremes of wealth and poverty within nations and between nations. Another is the elimination of racist and other prejudices that crush the human spirit.

A third dimension of the plan is a new system of government based on spiritual values and a world perspective. It must be clear by now to every thinking person that the present political system corrupts even the noblest of people and is not capable of dealing with the major issues that face humanity today. The most important characteristic of the present political scene is its division into some 170 sovereign states, the so-called Westphalian system. Many of these states have authoritarian governments that exploit and oppress rather than serve their peoples. Even more appalling is the fact that the system is so out of step with the needs of the time that it risks the destruction of most, if not all, of mankind for causes, which, by comparison and in the perspective of history, can only be called frivolous. Establishment of a permanent peace based on justice is, in the Bahá' í view, only possible if we move to an entirely new system of government.

The Bahá'í Community has already established a new system of government to direct its own affairs. This system, known as the Bahá'í Administrative Order, is offered to mankind as an alternative model to conventional methods. Ultimately, it is envisaged that this model will evolve into a full-fledged system featuring a world legislature, a world executive backed by a world police force, and a world judiciary, with subsidiary branches at national and local levels in every part of the world. Meanwhile, Bahá'ís are acquiring, within their own communities, experience on how to work their radically different system of managing the collective affairs of society.I propose to discuss the Bahá'í Administrative Order in two parts: first by briefly recapitulating its main features, and second by suggesting some aspects that make it uniquely fitted for the needs of the day. There are three key elements in the Bahá'í approach to government: a world structure; an electoral system, which puts emphasis on spiritual and collective qualities rather than on individual self-interest; and full, objective consultation as the basis for decision making.

To be continued.... enshalla


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more from Mona Tahiri

Beware of Sen McGlinn

by Zulfiqar110 on

This guy is one of those obscurantist pseudo-intellectuals playing the religious liberal attempting to re-package crap with fancy ornamentation.


See, Baha'i CULT FAQ


PS - McGlinn, any time you wish to have a no-holds barred debate in a public forum where you Baha'is cannot manipulate the discourse to your advantage regarding the issue of Baha'i Theocracy and the fact that your research and writings are totally partial in that regard; and so in fact the Baha'i figures did indeed envisage a Baha'i Theocracy; please do let me know. I look forward to chewing you up into tiny bits and spitting you out as water...

Sen McGlinn

Separation of state and religion

by Sen McGlinn on

Ostaad asked "Is there any separation of state and religion in the "Bahai Administrative Order", or the Bahai "sharia" is going to be the "order"?

Yes, there is Ostaad: it is a fundamental principle in the Bahai teachings. The Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, wrote,

“Theirs is not the purpose,… to violate, under any circumstances, the provisions of their country’s constitution, much less to allow the machinery of their administration to supersede the government of their respective countries.”
(Shoghi Effendi, in The World Order of Baha’u'llah 66.)

Abdu’l-Baha wrote:

“Should they place in the arena the crown of the
government of the whole world, and invite each one of us to accept it,
undoubtedly we shall not condescend, and shall refuse to accept it.” ( Tablets of the Divine Plan 51)

The signature of that meeting should be the Spiritual
Gathering (House of Spirituality) and the wisdom therein is that
hereafter the government should not infer from the term “House of
Justice” that a court is signified, that it is connected with political
affairs, or that at any time it will interfere with governmental affairs. … (Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha Abbas vol. 1, page 5).


Baha’u'llah writes:

The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath ever
regarded, and will continue to regard, the hearts of men as His own,
His exclusive possession. All else, whether pertaining to land or sea,
whether riches or glory, He hath bequeathed unto the Kings and rulers
of the earth....What mankind
needeth in this day is obedience unto them that are in authority, and a
faithful adherence to the cord of wisdom. The instruments which are
essential to the immediate protection, the security and assurance of
the human race have been entrusted to the hands, and lie in the grasp,
of the governors of human society. This is the wish of God and His
decree…. .” (Gleanings, CII 206-7)


This is just a small sample of one of the central Bahai teachings, which is reiterated over and over in the Bahai scriptures. In lists of the Bahai Principles it is often called 'non-interference in politics' : the meaning is that religious authorities should not interfere in politics, and the other side of the coin is that the state should not interfere in matters of conscience. Abdu'l-Baha wrote a short book about the relationship between politics and the religious leaders, the Resaaleh-ye Siyaasiyyeh, which is free to download from the library at the Bahai World Centre site:


My English translation of this book is published as the

Sermon on the Art of Governance 


Abdu'l-Baha also wrote a broader programme for the modernisation of Iran, called the ‘Resala-ye Madaniya.’ It is summarised in an article in theEncyclopaedia Iranica, electronic version , 2009 (use the search engine to find Madaniya, click on the title to get the full article); the persian text is available at //reference.bahai.org/fa/ and an English translation is available on the English part of the same site, under the title The Secret of Divine Civilization

So the Bahai writings are quite clear in endorsing the separation of church and state. 

The confusion on this point comes because there are similarities between the Bahai teachings about how the worldwide Bahai religious community should be organised, and how world politics should work. Baha'u'llah saw that the spirit of the age was moving away from absolutism and rule by "special people", a move from absolute monarchy to democracy (he favoured constitutional monarchy), and from priestcraft to the participation of all the believers. Shoghi Effendi quotes him as saying ""From two ranks amongst men, power hath been seized: kings and ecclesiastics." (in God Passes By, p. 230). You can see why the Bahai have been persecuted in Iran by Qajars, Pahlavis and Mullahs, and elsewhere by totalitarian regimes. 

Because both religion and politics are affected by the same sea-change in the way the world operates, which Baha'u'llah attributes to the spread of "reason" to all the people, the Bahai writings about religion and about politics sometimes sound similar. The theme in both is that everyone can and should participate, not just an elite. There's a 'new world order' (political) and a 'Bahai administrative order' (runs the Bahai community), a 'commonwealth of nations' and a 'Bahai Commonwealth' - a way of running a religious community when it is a common-wealth not a priestly hierarchy.

There's a compilation from the Bahai Writings on Church and State on my blog, at //senmcglinn.wordpress.com/compilations/churc...

and if you go to the 'categories' list in the left column, one of the categories is 'church and state.'

I also have a book on this topic:

Church and State, a postmodern political theology (2005)
which is for sale from Amazon and Kalimat

 ~~ Sen McGlinn




What I can do, is keep my arm
from bringing others any harm.
How can I give the enviers ease?
They are themselves their own disease.
(Sa'di, Gulestan 1:5)

Email: Sen.Sonja[at]Casema.


Some real stuff

by Zulfiqar110 on

DOUGLAS MARTIN -- Monday, September 23, 2001




"We have inherited a dangerous delusion from Christianity that our individual conscience is supreme. This is not a Baha'i belief. In the
end, in the context of both our role in the community and our role in the greater world, we must be prepared to sacrifice our personal
convictions or opinions. The belief that individual conscience is supreme is equivalent to "taking partners with God" which is abhorrent to the Teachings of the Faith


In Promulgation of Universal Peace p. 322 the following is quoted by
'Abbas Effendi from a prayer by his father, cf. THE BAHA'I FAITH AND ISLAM (ed.) Heshmat Moayyad (The Association for Baha'i Studies: Ottawa, 1990), p.23


O God! Whomsoever violates My Covenant, O God, humiliate him. Verily whosoever violates My Covenant, erase and efface him.

A Document Prepared by the Universal House of Justice
January 29 2001


Protection of the Cause (pp. 15-16)

 Although deepening the friends' understanding of the Covenant and increasing their love and loyalty to it are of paramount importance, the duties of the Auxiliary Board members for Protection do not end here. The Board members must remain ever vigilant, monitoring the actions of those who, driven by the promptings of ego, seek to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of the friends and undermine the Faith. In general, whenever believers become aware of such problems, they should immediately contact whatever institution they feel moved to turn to, whether it be a Counsellor, an Auxiliary Board member, the National Spiritual Assembly or their own Local Assembly. It then becomes the duty of that institution to ensure that the report is fed into the correct channels and that all the other institutions affected are promptly informed. Not infrequently, the responsibility will fall on an Auxiliary Board member, in coordination with the Assembly concerned, to take some form of action in response to the situation. This involvement will include counselling the believer in question; warning him, if necessary, of the consequences of his actions; and bringing to the attention of the Counsellors the gravity of the situation, which may call for their intervention. Naturally, the Board member has to exert every effort to counteract the schemes and arrest the spread of the influence of those few who, despite attempts to guide them, eventually break the Covenant.

The need to protect the Faith from the attacks of its enemies may not be generally appreciated by the friends, particularly in places where attacks have been infrequent. However, it is certain that such opposition will increase, become concerted, and eventually universal. The writings clearly foreshadow not only an intensification of the machinations of internal enemies, but a rise in the hostility and opposition of its external enemies, whether religious or secular, as the Cause pursues its onward march towards ultimate victory. Therefore, in the light of the warnings of the Guardian, the Auxiliary Boards for Protection should keep "constantly" a "watchful eye" on those "who are known to be enemies, or to have been put out of the Faith", discreetly investigate their activities, alert intelligently the friends to the opposition inevitably to come, explain how each crisis in God's Faith has always proved to be a blessing in disguise, and prepare them for the "dire contest which is destined to range the Army of Light against the forces of darkness

. - "We don't want to be like those people who want to see God with their own eyes, or hear His melody with their own ears, because we have been given the gift of being able to see through the eyes of the House of Justice and listen through the ears of the House of Justice." - Bahai Counselor Rebeque Murphy

To hear this section of her talk go to:


Baha'i Faith


From a Student to Ostaad

by Anvar on

Dear Ostaad,

I admire your bravery and warrior spirit since you wrote: “You can count on me to fight your "order" with all I've got.”  However, as a Baha’i, I assure you that there will never be a justified occasion for you to have to resort to fighting.  Besides, it would not be a fair fight as we have never, ever, fought back (other than with words or our steadfastness).  Unfortunately, there are some people who are just trying to find any excuse to justify or reinforce their deep rooted misperception, prejudice, and baseless animosity against the Baha’is.  I am not suggesting that you are one like that but, frankly, I don’t know.  I hope you are not pre-judging the Baha’is before you have all the pertinent information.  You referred to this faith as a “fledging monster” whereas you could’ve easily said something like a fledging dove!  You also referred to it as an “evil” order!  There must have been a reason why those particular words were used.  It seems like you have decided that you already have enough information to make such judgments.  If that’s the case, then I seriously doubt this blog has provided you sufficient new information to arrive at such conclusion.  Therefore, it’s more likely than not that you’ve have already had some prior ideas about the Baha’i faith.

You are absolutely correct that, historically speaking, some words have come to mean or imply certain negative connotations. Unfortunately, there is no other language or vocabulary that one can use only for divine purposes.  I’d like to ask you to be open to the idea of using the same language and words but with different connotations and within a spiritual context.  Perhaps, in that light, words such as leader, order, power, world, etc. can conjure up a sense of awe, imagination, and inspiration instead of fear, defensiveness, and belligerence.  For example, you and I see the very same picture that is posted in this blog.  To you, it “looks a lot like a convention of the Nazi Party celebrating their order."   To me, it looks like a convention of good-willed men & women who have gathered in the spirit of love, equality, unity, and service to mankind.  Same picture, different images.  Same words, different meanings.  It’s all in the context and the individual’s perspective. 

By the way, as already stated (and well reasoned I might add), the owner of this blog is not a Baha’i.  If you are interested in passing a fair and credible judgment, there are plenty of authentic Baha’i resources available.  By all means, read the fake or anti-Baha’i materials but read the real stuff too.

You wrote that your “eyes and ears are wide open.”  I ask you to also keep your mind and heart open as well.

( Of course, we Baha’is have a great sense of humor too, but since this is my first contact with you, I shall refrain from making any comments about “eyes & ears” and your great avatar :)



God(ess)head/whatever bless you Ostaad

by Zulfiqar110 on

Dear Ostaad,

For all the caricature the Mona Taheri character brings to shedding light on the Haifan Baha'i organization and its cult-ridden mentalities and meglomaniacal agendas, the blog she put up here reflects accurately the sentiments and goals of the Haifan Baha'i organization as of the time I was still a member in 1996. However, caricatures aside, please look at Sourcewatch, here. Also look at the links and quotes I have put on this FAQ blog, here.

In the Haifan Baha'i organization we are indeed dealing with a seriously twisted Stalinist-Fascist organization with global New World Order pretensions, wishing to rule the world, and a pervasive us/them social-messianic false consciousness complex not unlike that of the Islamic republic or any other totalitarian regime in history. I believe you are beginning to understand what is going on here and the danger the ideology of this organization truly represents for everyone, and for that I wholeheartedly thank you for articulating the core issues.


moaffaq bashid!


immediate opening; Bahai impersonators needed,

by Waters on

"If we cant have the loyalty of 70million Iranians ANYMORE then noone else will"!

Call your nearest agent for an antar-view Bijani,zulfalil,munathary,vovnanat.

What a symphony of hate and deciet, no wonder they dont want this in Iran anymore.

Creepy and Scaaaaryyyyy 



Ostaad !

by Souri on

You surprised me!

Just have a look at the account information of this individual, a fast look at his past blogs and the conversation held under those blog about this matter of identity, the objection from all the Bahai friends...etc, etc.

And you will see what i am talking about.



Adib Masumian

Ostaad, allow me to answer your query directed to Souri if I may

by Adib Masumian on

Her name is clearly a fabrication comprised of two well-known figures to Baha'is: Mona Mahmudnizhad, a 17-year old girl executed in 1983 for her beliefs; and Tahirih Qurratu'l-`Ayn (Fatimih Baraghani), a Babi poetess. Turn Tahirih into a surname and you get Tahiri; combine them and you get Mona Tahiri. In other words, she's trying a bit too hard to prove that she is a Baha'i, and her blogs would lead one to believe that she is an imprudent zealot. 

This user is not the first person to follow this tactic. There is also "Ravian Bilani", which itself is a play on the name of Dr. Kavian Milani, a medical doctor and Baha'i scholar. He, too, tries way too hard to come across as a devoted Baha'i. Look at his first blog, for example - at its head is a picture of Zoroaster with Baha'u'llah's face superimposed on him! Baha'is revere both Baha'u'llah and Zoroaster, so no matter what point you're trying to prove, they wouldn't mess around with their images like that.

This train of overzealousness continues with Mona Tahiri. For example, the title of her first blog is "Baha'i faith is only the way to Salvation." I would then ask you to read the first two sentences of this blog:

As we all know, Baha'i Faith is the only true and latest religion for
the mankind. All other religions lack spirit and hence dead.

While a Baha'i certainly believes that our religion is the most recent in a series of divine revelations from God, we would neither say we are "the only true religion" nor would we go about parading our convictions around and shoving it down peoples' throats. It is completely against the Baha'i spirit to go up to somebody and say "Hi, your religion is dead and ours is right so if you want a good afterlife come and embrace Baha'u'llah today!" And NO Baha'i would ever say that "all other religions lack spirit" - if this person knew anything, they would realize that these tactless remarks run counter to the Baha'i belief in Progressive Revelation (see Wikipedia). This sounds exclusivist, which we are not - I would say we are somewhere between inclusivist and pluralist.

In our scriptures, Baha'is are called upon to be ever prudent, tactful, and circumspect in their dealings and affairs. I'll let you decide as to whether the machinations of this user, Mona Tahiri, and others like them can be compared to those of people like Faryar, Alborz, and Tahirih - all of whom are respected users on this site - in terms of their sincerity.


Adib, I'm sure the "literature" exists, but...

by Ostaad on

I'm also certain the elite of Baha'i, as leaders of an any organized religion, are not immune to grabbing power and domination if they get the chance. Just the term "World Order" reveals a lot to those who have a keen sense of history and KNOW what some words really mean.

One look at that picture reveals the power of "order", hierarchy and all the elements that entice those in the position of power to grab more.

I hope you're right, but my eyes and ears are wide open. 



by Ostaad on

How do we KNOW that?

Adib Masumian


by Adib Masumian on

There is separation of church and state. `Abdu'l-Baha has written a treatise on leadership, and it touches upon the disastrous effect of the intermingling of politics and religion:


Civil authorities will control civil affairs, the Baha'i institutions facilitate spiritual affairs. Therefore you won't see a Baha'i institution try to impose Baha'i laws on a non-Baha'i group:

Theirs is not the purpose, while endeavoring to conduct and perfect the
administrative affairs of their Faith, to violate, under any
circumstances, the provisions of their country's constitution, much
less to allow the machinery of their administration to supersede the government of their respective countries.

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 65)

I hope that helps clarify some points on this matter.

Best wishes,



by Souri on

This individual "Mona Tahirih" is not a real Bahai, and is acting as "anti-Bahai" here.

Just wanted to make sure you are aware of this fact.


Mona, is there any separation of...

by Ostaad on

state and religion in the "Bahai Administrative Order", or the Bahai "sharia" is going to be the "order"?

For me your "...world legislature, a world executive
backed by a world police force, and a world judiciary, with subsidiary
branches at national and local levels in every part of the world" is way scarier than the Velayt-e-Faghih.

Thanks for shedding ligh on this fledgling monster.  Enshalla we won't see any part of this evil "order" to materialize at all.

You can count on me to fight your "order" with all I've got.

I'm sure you're well aware of the fact the Eslamic crowd has been using the "just" label for a long time too.

BTW, that picture looks a lot like a convention of the Nazi Party celebrating their "order", rather than a gathering of peace loving folks. 

Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi

Dear Mona

by Amir Sahameddin Ghiassi on

It is very nice. I hope that unity of mankind will come soon in teh world. Amir