18 Tir = 9 July

Cyrus the GreatThe image is of Cyrus the Great, an ancient ruler of Persia—modern-day Iran.

“It is said that, in universal history the role of the Achaemenid empire founded by Cyrus lies in its very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects…”

This year, 18 Tir in Iran
(9 July in the Gregorian calendar) is said to be planned to be a day for major protest.

From Tehran Bureau : “As the atmosphere in Iran continues to thicken, with the number of arrests rising daily, and several hangings (reportedly on the charge of having been involved in protests), everyone is looking towards the anniversary of the 1999 student uprising at Tehran University on 18th Tir (9 July). Exactly ten years ago, the students of Tehran University began to protest against the regime’s policy on social freedoms. In reply, scores of Basij militia raided the university halls of residence with the sole aim of extinguishing the protest, beating students, throwing tear gas, throwing people from the third floor windows shouting ‘Ya Zahra’, and causing several deaths including Ezzat Ebrahim Nezhad who, much like Neda, became a symbol of injustice.”

[important update (9 July): unrest continues…]

Video Update:

Here’s another video… Notice the prominence of women…

Also on July 9th, the Bahá’ís of non-Middle Eastern countries will hold memorials for the Martyrdom of the Báb—a profound Holy Day. For members of the Bahá’í Faith in Iran (the country’s largest religious minority), who are being viciously persecuted, the Martyrdom of the Báb is observed this year on August 20th, due to Lunar Calendar reckoning. The Iranian Bahá’ís will most likely hold their memorial services in secret…

From Planet Bahá’í : “The Martyrdom of the Báb took place on July 9, 1850 at noon. An event with no parallel in history save the crucifixion of Jesus, it is commemorated as a solemn Holy Day by Bahá’ís around the world.”

I would love to be able to walk the streets of Iran on that day, when citizens march for their rights, Iranian Bahá’ís pray for their fellow citizens’ safety, and Bahá’ís in other countries pray for all Iranians…

Spiritual Quote:

“Thus, after the martyrdom of the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh appeared. The government arose against Him. The priesthood in Persia opposed Him, subjecting Him to severe persecution. His possessions were confiscated, His relatives and friends were killed, and He was placed in a dungeon. For a long period He was imprisoned, chained and subjected to severest suffering. Afterward, He was exiled to Iraq, or Mesopotamia, from thence to Constantinople, then transferred to Adrianople and finally to ‘Akká in Syria. He spent twenty-four years in the prison of ‘Akká, where He underwent the severest ordeals and privations without a day or night of relaxation and repose. Notwithstanding this imprisonment and suffering, He manifested utmost spiritual power and majesty. Although imprisoned, He withstood two tyrant kings and eventually overcame both.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 371

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For America’s Spiritual Growth . . .

statue_of_liberty

This is not a 4th of July post.

That particular celebration commemorates the
Declaration of Independence.

That document includes this statement: “… as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War...” Also, certain traditional songs used at the celebration “recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812 [Wikipedia].

Our last post was about human rights in Iran and this one is about America’s spiritual destiny…

Many are unaware of the vastly important spiritual future of Iran and the United States and current events are certainly, to say the least, confusing on that score. One of the Spiritual Quotes  below addresses a future relation between Iran and the United States…

This video is a song about America that uses the words from the other Spiritual Quote

Spiritual Quotes:

“Some of the creatures of existence can live solitary and alone. A tree, for instance, may live without the assistance and cooperation of other trees. Some animals are isolated and lead a separate existence away from their kind. But this is impossible for man. In his life and being cooperation and association are essential. Through association and meeting we find happiness and development, individual and collective.

“For instance, when there is intercourse and cooperation between two villages, the advancement of each will be assured. Likewise, if intercommunication is established between two cities, both will benefit and progress. And if a reciprocal basis of agreement be reached between two countries, their individual and mutual interests will find great development. Therefore, in the unity of this radiant assemblage I behold the link between Orient and Occident. Such unity is the means and instrument of cooperation between the various countries of the East and West. It is evident, then, that the outcomes from this basis of agreement and accord are numberless and unlimited. Surely there will be great harvests of results forthcoming for Persia and America. In Persia advanced material civilization will be established and the doors thrown open wide to American commerce.

“Above and beyond all this, a great love and fountain of affection shall bind and blend these two remote peoples, for Bahá’u’lláh has proclaimed to the world the solidarity of nations and the oneness of humanity. Addressing all mankind He has said, ‘Ye are all leaves of one tree and the drops of one sea’. The world of humanity has been expressed by Him as a unit—as one family. It is, therefore, hoped that the American and Persian nations may be conjoined and united in reciprocal love. May they become one race endowed with the same susceptibilities. May these bonds of amity and accord be firmly established.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 35

“O Thou kind Lord! This gathering is turning to Thee. These hearts are radiant with Thy love. These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy glad-tidings. O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious. Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. O God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 23

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An Anthem for Iranians

An Anthem for Human Rights in Iran
from The Freedom Glory Project


Spiritual Quote:

“The source of human rights is the endowment of qualities, virtues and powers which God has bestowed upon mankind without discrimination of sex, race, creed or nation. To fulfill the possibilities of this divine endowment is the purpose of human existence.

“Human rights can be established in terms of social status when members of the community realize that the gift of life and conscious being obligates them to meet responsibilities owed to God, to society and to self. Mutual recognition by members of the community of the truth that their lives emanate from one and the same universal Source enables them to maintain ordered relationships in a common social body.

“The social body does not create essential human rights. Its office is that of trustee under appointment to act for the community in the preservation of the relationships which represent the moral achievement of the members, and to cherish and protect that unity of spirit which is their highest mutual obligation.

“No social body, whatever its form, has power to maintain essential human rights for persons who have repudiated their moral obligation and abandoned the divine endowment distinguishing man from beast. Civil definitions of political and economic status, if devoid of moral value and influence, are not equivalent to essential human rights but express the expedients of partisan policy. An ordered society can only be maintained by moral beings.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1947 Feb, A Bahá’í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights

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Blogging Yourself To Death . . .

This post isn’t about blogging so much you die from it. It’s about blogging in the wrong country. That country is Iran and the blogger was Omid Reza Mirsayafi. He was jailed for blogging and died in prison. There’s a special site dedicated to making him the last blogger to die in prison, OR318.
Here’s a special video about the movement:

Spiritual Quote:

“Just as in the world of politics there is need for free thought, likewise in the world of religion there should be the right of unrestricted individual belief. Consider what a vast difference exists between modern democracy and the old forms of despotism. Under an autocratic government the opinions of men are not free, and development is stifled, whereas in democracy, because thought and speech are not restricted, the greatest progress is witnessed. It is likewise true in the world of religion. When freedom of conscience, liberty of thought and right of speech prevail—that is to say, when every man according to his own idealization may give expression to his beliefs—development and growth are inevitable.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 197

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Jon Bon Jovi Sings for Iran

In our previous post titled, Playing for Change, there was a wonderful rendition of the song Stand By Me. With the recent violent actions against human rights in Iran, it only seemed appropriate to give you
Jon Bon Jovi and Andy Madadian’s recent version:

Spiritual Quote:

“O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

“O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself.
I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.”

— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá               
~~~~~~~~~

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Neda! Stay With Us . . .

Neda SoltanThis woman was recently murdered in Iran…

She’s now called Iran’s “Angel of Freedom”…

She was walking with her singing teacher (women in Iran are prohibited from singing in public), while the current struggle for human rights was being waged around them, when a single malicious bullet found its home in her heart…

She was a student of philosophy and is now a symbol of the egregious waste that oppression of human freedom spreads over not just Iran but our whole earthly Home…

Why such brutal waste of human potential?

Why should beauty be viciously twisted into the horror of senseless death.

Why should those created in God’s image take on the venomous visage of satanic insanity?

People are murdered, young beauty is effaced, humans become devils because the Principle of the Oneness of Humanity is buried under ages of egoistic debris…

The Spiritual Quote  at the end of this post contains a solution for this Crime…

I’ve posted an image and video of Neda’s final moments on one of my other blogs. Why in the world would you want to go there and actually watch this sweet, young woman die? I’ll let Aylar Macky, who represented Calgary in the recent Miss Universe Canada competition, who had never been involved in any social causes, then turned into a strident activist, give you one possible reason why you might watch Neda die.

In her words, from the Calgary Herald :

“I watched the video of Neda over and over….I just couldn’t stand by helplessly after that….This isn’t just about Iran, it’s about all of humanity.”

Spiritual Quote:

“This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world are luminous, and the world will become indeed as a garden and a paradise. It is the hour of unity of the sons of men and of the drawing together of all races and all classes. You are loosed from ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the foundation of true humanity.

“The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers.

“In the days of old an instinct for warfare was developed in the struggle with wild animals; this is no longer necessary; nay, rather, co-operation and mutual understanding are seen to produce the greatest welfare of mankind. Enmity is now the result of prejudice only.

“In the Hidden Words  Bahá’u’lláh says, ‘Justice is to be loved above all’. Praise be to God, in this country the standard of justice has been raised; a great effort is being made to give all souls an equal and a true place. This is the desire of all noble natures; this is today the teaching for the East and for the West; therefore the East and the West will understand each other and reverence each other, and embrace like long-parted lovers who have found each other.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 19

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Why is this woman in jail ?

Haleh RouhiThe Iranian authorities say this woman, “Haleh Rouhi Jahromi, [and her friends and co-workers] Raha Sabet Sarvestani and Sasan Taqva were each sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for ‘organizing illegal groups’ and to an additional one year’s imprisonment for ‘propaganda on behalf of groups that are opposed to the Islamic system’.”

From the site, OneCountry.Org, we have this:

“Accounts that have emerged from Iran tell a far different story. According to Diane Ala’i, a Bahá’í International Community representative to the United Nations in Geneva, the three were in fact engaged in social service projects that most governments would praise.

“’Far from working against the government, the Bahá’ís who were arrested in May 2006 were engaged in humanitarian projects aimed at helping underprivileged young people in the city of Shiraz,’…”

They continue, “In fact, it was a Muslim friend of one member of the group who suggested that the program be instituted to help school children in Katsbas, a poverty-stricken suburb of Shiraz. The project aimed specifically at tutoring children to help them prepare for their end-of-term school examinations.” The group then “…decided to extend their services to include assisting the children to acquire social and moral skills so that they themselves could become the agents of advancement in their own lives and in the society.” The group decided to go even further and “…organized a weekly program offering art classes to young cancer patients at a hospital for children and youth in Shiraz.”

These activities were considered “organizing illegal groups” and “propaganda on behalf of groups that are opposed to the Islamic system”?

Why in the world…?

Because Haleh and Raha and Sasan are Bahá’ís and the current leadership of Iran hates Bahá’ís…
Haleh Rouhi with 'Abdu'l-Baha
That’s Haleh again and she stands in front of a portrait of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. The quote below is from Him…

Spiritual Quote:

“I now wish you to examine certain facts and statements which are worthy of consideration. My purpose and intention is to remove from the hearts of men the religious enmity and hatred which have fettered them and to bring all religions into agreement and unity. Inasmuch as this hatred and enmity, this bigotry and intolerance are outcomes of misunderstandings, the reality of religious unity will appear when these misunderstandings are dispelled. For the foundation of the divine religions is one foundation. This is the oneness of revelation or teaching. But, alas, we have turned away from that foundation, holding tenaciously to various dogmatic forms and blind imitation of ancestral beliefs. This is the real cause of enmity, hatred and bloodshed in the world—the reason of alienation and estrangement among mankind. Therefore, I wish you to be very just and fair in your judgment…”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 407

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