News Round-up of the Seven Friends in Iran
Phillippe Copeland's Baha'i Thought featured an excellent article written by two American Baha'i youths which was posted on Newsweek's online forum, "On Faith". The title, Then They Came for the Baha'is, was borrowed from the speech Congressman Mark Stevens Kirk addressed to the United States House of Representatives, which itself echoed a statement made by Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller. The full text is can be read on Iran Press Watch , but I wanted to post Congressman Kirk's opening statement to Congress:
Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Persecution of Baha’is in Iran
”In Germany, they first came for the gypsies, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a gypsy. Then they came for the Bolsheviks, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Bolshevik. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics. I didn’t speak up then because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up.”
–Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor arrested by the Gestapo in 1937.
Mr. KIRK. Madam Speaker, then they came for the Baha’is.
Please click on the link above to read the entire speech.
Iran Press Watch also posted a Statement of Support by Writers and Journalists from Kurdistan.
John Barnabas, aka "Barney", has posted about the European Union's condemnation of the Iranian Government unjust incarceration of the Friends in Iran. Please read it by clicking here:
Barney also made a post about Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights lawyer, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, who is the attorney of record for the seven Friends In Iran, but has been denied access to them so she can prepare her case. The United Kingdom's Channel 4 did an interview with Dr. Ebadi, and that is also posted on Barnabas quotidianus.
Anonymous cowgirl posted what I have been struggling to say for a while now. Thanks, Negin and Lev, for giving voice to the emotions that I have.
And thanks for all the Baha'is and friends of Baha'is who have come together in prayer for the Friends In Iran. Here in the Sacramento region, dozens of people have held prayer vigils. The Carmichael community is hosting a prayer meeting every night this week. In my own community, we will be meeting this weekend for prayers. If nothing else, we are putting into action that spiritual principle upon which Baha'u'llah has revealed the Word of God for these times: unity. God is always with those who gather sincerely in His Name.
This prayer, posted on Iran Press Watch, has moved me beyond words:
Another Prayer for the Protection of Baha’i Prisoners
February 17, 2009
Editor’s Note: Last month, Iran Press Watch published a prayer by Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, for the protection and release of Baha’i prisoners at http://www.iranpresswatch.org/2009/01/prayer-for-prisoners/. With the impending trial of the Friends of Iran on the heart of countless concerned citizens from around the world, today IPW is pleased to share a provisional translation of a prayer by ‘Abdu’l-Baha’ for the protection of Baha’i prisoners. This particular prayer was written in October 1921 and may be one of the last prayers revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Baha’, the Son of Baha’u’llah and His chosen Successor.
He is the All-Glorious!
O God, my God! Verily, Thou seest Thy servants acting with sincerity toward the whole of mankind, even the ill-disposed enemy. They are serving the entire human race with pure hearts and sanctified breasts and are exposed to grave danger. Darts are aimed at them, arrows directed towards them. Spears are pointed at them, swords drawn against them.
O Lord! They are victims of tyranny, at the mercy of the enemy. They are prisoners in the hands of blood-thirsty wolves and ravenous dogs from amongst the wicked. They have no refuge, no haven save the stronghold of Thine all-encompassing protection. Shelter them, O my Lord, with the eye of Thy loving-kindness neath the shadow of Thy shield and protection and guard them in the shelter of Thy care from the wicked-doers among Thy people. O Lord! They have no helper except Thee, no protector besides Thee.
Ordain, O my Lord, all manner of affliction for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Make me a target for the darts of men and protect Thy faithful servants from the wickedness of the ignoble. Grant that I may offer up my life for the whole body of Thy lovers so that my heart may find rest, my soul may be quieted, and my eyes may be solaced in the arena of supreme martyrdom. Verily, Thou art the All-Powerful, the Almighty, the Most Exalted.
O ye beloved of the Lord! Be calm and composed.