I am pleased to learn that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is publishing a consultation paper that ‘proposes increased powers for local councils to take action in areas plagued by alcohol-influenced crime and disorder’. However I think that our nation’s problems are caused by the deep-seated cultural importance of alcohol- which includes the association of alcohol with having fun and socialising (even though you can have more fun without drinking). Perhaps we need to change our culture…
How does one change a culture? One can begin with the right message. In the words of Bahá’u’lláh
‘It is inadmissible that man, who hath been endowed with reason, should consume that which stealeth it away…’
The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá’í World Centre, 1992 edition
The Northern Iranian Village Of Ivel
I am heartened to learn of the sympathy of muslim villagers for their persecuted Baha’i neighbours in the Iranian hamlet of Ivel.
Following the demolition of Baha’i homes in the Iranian village of Ivel – reported last week – there is another story that must also be told: that of sympathetic villagers who have commiserated with their Baha’i neighbors over the injustices they have been forced to endure. It is also the story of an undaunted spirit and a commitment to social good that continues to enable the Baha’is to transcend their prolonged persecution and be active participants in the social and economic development of their village…In its earliest days, Ivel was the summer residence for sheep farmers from the surrounding region of Mazandaran. There have been Baha’is in the village for more than a century and a half. Indeed, since the years immediately following the establishment of their Faith in mid-19th century Iran, the Baha’is have comprised about half of Ivel’s total population. All the while, they have lived side by side with their Muslim neighbors in comparative harmony. Unfortunately, however, outside elements strongly inimical to the Faith have periodically sought to stir up the local population against the Baha’i community, resulting in intermittent persecution – ranging from life-threatening to less harsh forms of harassment.
Source: Baha’i World News Service
The Baha’i World News Service recently published this update on the persecution of the Baha’i community in Iran.
Trial of seven Iranian Baha’i leaders appears to have ended: The trial of seven Baha’i leaders imprisoned for more than two years in Iran came to a conclusion on 14 June after three days of successive court hearings. The seven appeared in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on the mornings of 12, 13 and 14 June. Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations confirmed the court appearances and said that it appeared that the trial has now concluded. See Baha’i World News Service story http://news.bahai.org/story/778
Cemetery vandalized : The Baha’i cemetery in Mashhad was vandalized on the night of 29 May by unknown intruders who used a front-end loader and other heavy machinery, inflicting severe damage to the site.
Homes demolished in campaign to drive Baha’is out of Iranian village: Homes belonging to some 50 Baha’i families in a remote village in northern Iran were demolished as part of a long-running campaign to expel them from the region. The action occurred in Ivel, Mazandaran, when inhabitants – incited by elements inimical to the Baha’i community – blocked normal access to the village, while allowing trucks and at least four front-end loaders to begin leveling the houses. The demolitions are the latest development in an ongoing, officially-sanctioned program in the area which has targeted every activity of the Baha’is. See Baha’i World News Service story http://news.bahai.org/story/780
About 42 Baha’is in prison: There are currently some 42 Baha’is in prison in various localities in Iran, counting the seven Baha’i leaders detained for the last two years. All are jailed because of their religion, and some have been held more than 30 months in what are supposed to be temporary detention centers. Some 270 Baha’is still have cases open, in various stages of the judicial process.