Fighting for Justice

All research or scholarship questions
onepence
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby onepence » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:12 pm

brettz9 wrote:
onepence wrote: ...

Why are you speaking of these pilgrimage sites? I don't see the relevance. Are you talking about adhering to their laws? This language may be suited for poetry, but I personally find it hard to follow when we are trying to ensure we are respectfully considering and responding to your ideas.

Best wishes,
Brett



Hi Brett,

Thank you for your response.

Your gifted ability to guide people is extraordinary and appreciated.

I like to think that a Baha'i can view America in such a way that all people may discuss how fair, just, and balanced are the people that have been raised upon the North America continent.

I also like to think any Baha'i would be free to express any insights into their own unique pilgrimages, even if such pilgrimages are not the stereotypical pilgrimages of the past.

Feel free to continue to analyze and offer guidance to me , i actually enjoy your company.

As to why i mention The Universal House of Justice with Our True Brother helping us to understand the sites and sounds associated with the pilgrimage is that i think it is possible that only that Institution can effectively guide us through our pilgrimage. It may interest you to know that i have the picture found here http://www.bahaullah.org/mazraih/place-of-beauty as my screen saver.

America, though controversial, is extraordinary beautiful, yet, i never see her as being able to say build the House here, meaning, that while America has the potential to lead all nations spiritually she can only do this by following Guidance.

I guess a lot of what i think about, what i write about is my own understanding of what the future looks like to me, and the future that i see appears to be substantially different that what most people think and see.

As you know, Persia has cease to exist,

Where then shall we go for pilgrimage ?

yes, there is the standard pilgrimage. but once the majority of North America wants a pilgrimage then perhaps some may wish to have Persia arise like a phoenix from the ashes ... i would say ... Persia is so big, that it is bigger than any North America wishes ...

Thus i say ... today ... Persia only exists in our imagination ... perhaps one will arise that will call himself sultan ... perhaps then He will build Persia with the Paristians ... perhaps He will build here, or there, or even over there ... but ... ???? .... ....

How big of a dream can you imagine ?

As mentioned, i like to write with a view to future .... i do not expect anyone to agree with what i perchance may see ...

but ... wow ... the dreams i have with the Sultan ...

oneness
dh

brettz9
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:17 pm

Hello Dean,

onepence wrote:I like to think that a Baha'i can view America in such a way that all people may discuss how fair, just, and balanced are the people that have been raised upon the North America continent.


Did I dispute this in some way? I did not mean to.

onepence wrote:I also like to think any Baha'i would be free to express any insights into their own unique pilgrimages, even if such pilgrimages are not the stereotypical pilgrimages of the past.


I still don't know what you're talking about. You may have mentioned pilgrimage, but I don't see the connection or why you brought this up in a thread about Force and justice? I of course don't wish to deny anyone from contributing, but I'd like to keep things clear and organized for visitors, so they can ignore topics which don't interest them, and can follow the thread in a meaningful, logical way.

onepence wrote:Feel free to continue to analyze and offer guidance to me , i actually enjoy your company.


As I do yours, when I can follow your train of thought! :) And I only offer suggestions since I think you have worthwhile contributions to make, which I think are sometimes getting a little lost in unclear asides. That is all, it is not to suppress discussions or manner of expression. Everyone has gems and diamonds of contributions to make, but they need some polishing to be fully appreciated, and it is in this vein that I offer my suggestions to you.

onepence wrote:As to why i mention The Universal House of Justice with Our True Brother helping us to understand the sites and sounds associated with the pilgrimage is that i think it is possible that only that Institution can effectively guide us through our pilgrimage.


How so? What does this mean?

onepence wrote:America, though controversial, is extraordinary beautiful, yet, i never see her as being able to say build the House here, meaning, that while America has the potential to lead all nations spiritually she can only do this by following Guidance.


Sure. Good intentions are important, but a child cannot teach themselves everything. Learning requires humility and hunger to seek out guidance from a Master unless you are already a flawless Master.

onepence wrote:I guess a lot of what i think about, what i write about is my own understanding of what the future looks like to me, and the future that i see appears to be substantially different that what most people think and see.


While I think it is enjoyable to spend some time on speculation, and vision is largely what the Writings offer to us, but as the following quotation emphasizes, we need to be sure to spend the bulk of our time in the needs of the present:

It is not for us, at this crucial hour, to delve into the future, to speculate on the possibilities of the Plan and its orientation, to conjecture on its impact on the unfoldment of an embryonic World Order, or to dwell on the glories and triumphs which it may hold in store, or to seek to delineate the mysterious course which a God given Mission, impelled by forces beyond our power to predict or appraise, may pursue. To try to obtain a clear view of the shape of things to come would be premature inasmuch as the glittering prizes to be won are directly dependent on the measure of success which the combined efforts that are now being exerted must yield. Ours is the duty to fix our gaze with undeviating attention on the duties and responsibilities confronting us at this present hour, to concentrate our resources, both material and spiritual, on the tasks that lie immediately ahead, to insure that no time is wasted, that no opportunity is missed, that no obligation is evaded, that no task is half-heartedly performed, that no decision is procrastinated. The task summoning us to a challenge, unprecedented in its gravity and force, is too vast and sacred, the time too short, the hour too perilous, the workers too few, the call too insistent, the resources too inadequate, for us to allow these precious and fleeting hours to slip from our grasp, and to suffer the prizes within our reach to be endangered or forfeited. So much depends upon us, so pregnant with possibilities is the present stage in the evolution of the Plan, that great and small, individuals, groups and Assemblies, white and colored, young and old, neophytes and veterans, settlers, pioneers, itinerant teachers and administrators, as isolated believers, as organizers of groups, and as contributors to the formation of local or national Assemblies, as builders of the Temple, as laborers on the home teaching front, or in Latin America, or in the new transatlantic field of service--all, without exception and in every sphere of activity, however modest, restricted, or inconspicuous, must participate and labor, assiduously and continually, until every ounce of our energy is spent, until, tired but blissful, our promised harvest is brought in, and our pledge to our Beloved fully redeemed.

However dark the outlook, however laborious the task, however strange and inhospitable the environment, however vast the distances that must be traversed, however scarce the amenities of life, however irksome the means of travel, however annoying the restrictions, however listless and confused the minds of the peoples and races contacted, however trying the setbacks that may be suffered, we must, under no circumstances, either falter or flinch. Our reliance on the unfailing grace of an all-loving, all-preserving, ever-sustaining, ever-watchful Providence, must, however much we may be buffeted by circumstances, remain unshaken until the very end. Shall we not, when hardships seethe about us, and our hearts momentarily quail, recall the ardent desire so poignantly voiced by `Abdu'l-Bahá in those immortal Tablets that enshrine forever His last wishes for His chosen disciples: "Oh! that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, promote the Divine teachings! This, also, I cannot do. How intensely I deplore it! Please God, ye may achieve it."

(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, pp. 101-102)


Besides responding to questions in such a forum, I think online service needs to involve building up the likes of the cluster of Baha'i wikis under ongoing development (so as to improve organization of frequent questions to be prepared for a sudden burst of new interest and to be prepared to provide the relevant texts of interest in potentially obscure or complex but important matters), developing Wikipedia articles, building on-line compilations, study materials, etc., writing scholarly articles or blogs to address concerns of the moment, etc.

Best wishes,
Brett

onepence
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby onepence » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:59 am

again, thank you for your guidance.

it is indeed enjoyable to gain new insights.

thank you

oneness
dh

brettz9
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:46 am

anonyM wrote:So troops in Afghanistan are fighting and dying unnecessarily?

Though this could take us into political territory, in general I think we Baha'is can say, even before there is an official global security pact, that we do support our international institutions and their internationally approved actions (and even if wrong, Baha'i consultation says that institutions should be obeyed so that the truth can be discovered by all in time--so it is not to say, that international policies might not be revised). As discussed here earlier, when our Writings say war is never necessary, it is not talking about global police action, and indeed the Baha'i International Community has, as mentioned in earlier posts, encouraged formation of international forces (or at least rapid response regional forces) to solve global security problems.

That being said, it should also be remembered that the Baha'i Writings indicate other important precursors to peace as well, some of which may or may not be currently applied on the world stage (or perhaps inadequately emphasized) such as universal education, including of girls, teaching of world citizenship in schools (as Baha'i schools began teaching this early even in small villages of Iran) and overcoming nationalism, racism, and religious fanaticism from an early age; selecting a world auxiliary language and teaching it in schools around the world to foster understanding and ability for training among different peoples of the world, addressing extremes of poverty and wealth (including by adequate progressive taxation, as well as voluntary means), moral education which, while not indoctrinating in a particular religion, does not exclude the potentially beneficial influence of religion, including those of local traditions, in shaping children's morals, and better representation and justice within the international institutions so that the masses of the world will be more willing to trust their decisions and intervention, etc.

Best wishes,
Brett

brettz9
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:02 pm

Btw, I wanted to just add to the previous discussion on the the European Union that I didn't want to imply it was necessarily overcentralized; perhaps it is excessively decentralized in some areas, fine in others, or whatever.

brettz9
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:56 pm

A very good quotation, but I think that is meant more in the vein of looking at the root causes of current problems, rather than siding for or against very specific cases:

"There is, however, one case in which one can criticize the present social and political order without being necessarily forced to side with or oppose any existing regime. And this is the method adopted by the Guardian in his `Goal of a New World Order'. His criticisms of the world conditions beside being very general in character are abstract; that is, instead of condemning existing institutional organizations it goes deeper and analyzes the basic ideas and conceptions which have been responsible for their establishment. This being a mere intellectual and philosophical approach to the problem of world political crisis, there is no objection if you wish to try such a method, which immediately carries you from the field of practical politics to that of political theory. But in view of the fact that no clear-cut line can be drawn between theory and practice you should be extremely careful not to make too free a use of such a method."

(On behalf of the Guardian, Lights of Guidance, p. 452)


anonyM wrote:So in your view is Afghanistan a case of:

a) wrong but should be obeyed
b) an international force resolving a security problem

As far as my view of Afghanistan, no I am not even saying it is wrong. In fact, if a Baha'i could say anything, in my opinion, it would simply be that as the will of the international institutions we currently have, we should not oppose such decisions, and on the contrary, pray for and assist in a humanitarian capacity (though again, not joining present-day national militaries, unless compelled, though in the future, we could join an international Force, whenever it will come into existence), as we may be called upon to do or be motivated to do. So, my personal understanding would be b. However, this is not to get involved in debates about whether the international military presence should be continued, reduced, expanded, etc.

My personal feeling is simply that Baha'is ought to know that we do not inherently oppose such intervention, and in fact, our Writings envisage a global Security Pact which would oblige some such interventions on the international community.

Besides teaching that force may indeed sometimes be necessary, I think Baha'is can play an equally if not more significant role in examining some of the moral and social challenges which a purely military intervention, however justified, may not be adequate to handle. For example, I saw a television program recently about a handful of Afghani women pilots who were being trained, but as children they had not even been afforded the opportunity to learn how to count, let alone read and write. The Baha'i Writings mention that the equality of women and men is an under-appreciated prerequisite to peace, though in international research, by now, it seems to have become well-recognized as such. The preference to be given to girls in education (if universal education cannot be afforded) is a very important and special teaching in this regard also.

Beyond this, the normal activities in which Baha'is engage, are themselves foundational to social progress. When people, from whatever country, come to accept Baha'u'llah, especially given the Faith's inherent power to demonstrate harmony with peoples' own religious traditions while also renewing and building upon them, these people will find it much easier to adopt new teachings, laws, and institutions better suited for today.

When they see a model of consultation, in Baha'i community life and institutions--assuming the conditions permit the institutions to be formed--they may find that they will avoid being dragged into partisan conflicts. If they come to follow Baha'i laws, such as the placing of a limit on a dowry (the dowry being a law applicable currently only in the East), single men might not be frustrated in being unable to marry. If whole communities come to accept Baha'i laws, they no longer feel forced to apply outdated laws such as cutting off the hand of a thief or stoning of adulterers, which cause disturbances with secular-minded or foreign peoples and governments, while still offering laws which would sufficient deter such punishments so as to adequately prevent such crimes.

Best wishes,
Brett

brettz9
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:30 am

anonyM wrote:If the troop presence in Afghanistan can be justified there should be no objection to Baha'is being involved in armed combat there. So clearly, in your view, it cannot. Thus the effort there is at best misguided and what has been unfolding is a travesty. For, no matter how noble and honourable their motives, combatants on both sides and civilians have died and continue to die in vain.

And in the case of the "Arab Spring"? For example in Libya citizens should have patiently sought peaceful means if they desired to engender change?

I guess, in short, the point is that everyone should be Baha'i.


I don't see it like this. Imagine a country which required its police officers to belong to a political party, and say there were riots in that country. If there were violence and looting by protesters, should one object and say that the effort to stop the violence is misguided and the resulting force used a travesty? No, I don't think so. That being said, the policy of requiring members to belong to a party might have sown distrust in the country, and indeed have increased the chances of such violence, but the issue of Baha'is not becoming police officers in that hypothetical country (since Baha'is cannot join political parties unless required by law) is not related to whether using force in such a case is justified or not. On the contrary, Baha'is would, I think, typically support the will of a government to maintain order (though when I say "support", I don't mean we take sides in conflicts) as long as the regime was not violating internationally recognized rights, and even if they weren't, Baha'is, as seen in Iran, still do not respond in kind.

The international community is no different; it has to maintain order, even if it is not perfectly constituted. The fact that the Baha'i International Community has both given recommendations to the United Nations for restructuring and at the same time urged that educational and media programs be devised to promote the U.N. as part of the concept of world citizenship should be evidence that the Baha'i community is open to offering advice to and supporting an institution which is still less than perfect.

For, no matter how noble and honourable their motives, combatants on both sides and civilians have died and continue to die in vain.


In nation-to-nation wars, this is certainly true, but I think the lines are beginning to be blurred, as we see international agreement in engaging in global police action. That is not to say that the manner in which a global operation is conducted, or who oversees it, cannot be improved, or that better social understanding between peoples such as the Baha'i teachings offer would not have prevented conflicts (or improved the conduct of such operations), but again, since the "war" in Afghanistan has been undertaken with international approval, and since Baha'is are, as a quotation supplied earlier indicated, not absolute pacifists, I don't think we can be at all justified in objecting to it on principle; on the contrary, we support international law and action (even if the nature of such actions will be evolving, and subject to change by the international community).

And in the case of the "Arab Spring"? For example in Libya citizens should have patiently sought peaceful means if they desired to engender change?


I think this is a more difficult question. Certainly there are words in the Writings about force being justified against tyrants (though one could interpret this as referring to a higher constituted authority using force against a lesser one, such as a national government sending troops to oust an oppressive local boss, or an international community sending troops against an oppressive national one), but as Baha'is do not get involved in opposing governments (though they no doubt would not have been active in seeking policing positions in repressive regimes either), as demonstrated by Baha'i non-involvement in politics in Iran, despite the abuse heaped upon the community there, I think an "ideal" response would be demonstrating by long-suffering the power of inner transformation, which would, if persisted and on a large enough scale, no doubt succeed in persuading even elements siding with the source of oppression, to change their character.

That being said, it does not mean that Baha'is would somehow hold in contempt those who did not engage in such an "ideal" response where the oppression had been heavy. Here are words of 'Abdu'l-Baha about those who overthrew the Sultan (though, granted, once they had already been in power):

He [Baha'u'llah] was under the dominion of `Abdu'l-Hamíd. I, too, was in the prison of `Abdu'l-Hamíd until the Committee of Union and Progress hoisted the standard of liberty and my fetters were removed. They exhibited great kindness and love toward me. I was made free and thereby enabled to come to this country. Were it not for the action of this Committee, I should not be with you here tonight. Therefore, you must all ask assistance and confirmation in behalf of this Committee through which the liberty of Turkey was proclaimed.

('Abdu'l-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 36)


I guess, in short, the point is that everyone should be Baha'i.


On this, I think we agree. :)

But, even here, if you mean in name only, of course, however improbable and hypocritical, it is possible a person could call themselves a Baha'i yet engage in violence.

And if you mean that all will become true Baha'is or even just fairly good Baha'is, this is also impossible, as the Writings state that "...men of ill-will have been and will always continue to be in this world, unless mankind reaches a state of complete and absolute perfection--a condition which is not only improbable but actually impossible to attain." (On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, no. 1562)

But certainly we will get to a point of international order and maturity, as humanity has achieved at the national level, and also achieve greater individual social and moral education to make violence of any kind a great rarity.

Best wishes,
Brett

brettz9
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:54 am

anonyM wrote:The problem that I have, and this is the reason for me starting this thread in the first place, is that there are times when I feel that it is deemed okay for others to risk and even lose their lives trying to achieve certain goals that do actually represent albeit small, incremental steps, progress, towards attainment of the World Order of Baha'u'llah. Yet, while condoning, however tacitly, these somewhat misguided and tentative steps they believe that engaging in such acts is not appropriate for them. It's so none committal and smacks of hypocrisy, double standards, cowardice and injustice. This attitude that it's okay for you to get your hands dirty but not me. "I am too good, too precious, too enlightened, too holy. You, on the other hand, please go ahead. You may even do some good". It reminds of these individuals in positions of authority that send troops into battle while ensuring that their own children are kept safe and sound at home. Or others that refuse to allow their citizens the right to choose people to represent them (universal suffrage) citing widespread ignorance as their excuse and all the while their own children are abroad enjoying life (private schools, university etc) and the very rights that they deny their own people. I find it difficult to accept that this is the kind of attitude that Baha'u'llah would want his followers to have and, personally, I find the thought of it sickening.

Our institutions may simply be offering advice to existing institutions which have been open to suggestions. If they were to ask us to take over completely and we had the capacity, or if there were at least an International Force not under the direction of national militaries, then we could do things consistent with our beliefs without risking becoming involved in national wars and individual Baha'is could get involved. I hardly see this as hypocrisy. Our institutions are giving advice to at least make things work best within the parameters the existing powers are willing to accept. I think it is like this quote:

Now that ye have refused the Most Great Peace, hold ye fast unto this, the Lesser Peace, that haply ye may in some degree better your own condition and that of your dependents.

(Shoghi Effendi, Promised Day Is Come, par. 60)


Are you talking about the tyranny issue? In that issue, what Baha'is think is ideal is avoiding responding in kind, while recognizing that higher-level institutions can certainly be appealed to. I was just saying that I don't think it means that we can't recognize that some people who are not Baha'is will feel the need to take it upon themselves to respond in kind. Not that we are asking them to do this!

Baha'is are not asking the U.N. to intervene militarily in Iran, for example!!! On the other hand, we are not objecting to the principle of military intervention if the international community makes such a decision with any country. But we would not get involved unless compelled by law or if there is an International Force in place to enforce a collective agreement, and that would only be as individuals.

Does that address your concern?

Best wishes,
Brett

onepence
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby onepence » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:58 am

anonyM wrote:Do we have that capacity? Are we (the community, the Universal House of Justice and/or National and Local Spiritual Assemblies etc) ready to take on those responsibilities? If the answer is, as I expect it to be, "no" then how are we going to get to that stage? And while we are faffing about (and I say this because it appears to me that there are not that many Baha'is who take the prospect of such a scenario coming to pass in the foreseeable future very seriously) prolonging this transition as we are through our half-heartedness, what are we going to do? Stand haughtily on the sidelines and critique the rest of the world as they struggle and stumble awkwardly onward?


According to our understanding we are not only capable, but already have a fully working and functional Constitution of the Universal House of Justice to which all must turn.

http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-6-1.html

notice the phrase ... to which all must turn ... the phrase does not exempt kings nor prime minsters

oneness
dh

"There being no successor to Shoghi Effendi as Guardian of the Cause of God, the Universal House of Justice is the Head of the Faith and its supreme institution, to which all must turn, and on it rests the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the unity and progress of the Cause of God."

onepence
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby onepence » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:31 am

anonyM wrote:Isn't us being ready one of, and perhaps the most important, prerequisite to this actually happening? Or maybe we have no responsibility and it is completely the fault of a wayward humanity that as yet failed to recognise their Lord in His present day Manifestation?


The above thoughts remind me what i have heard and imagined Abdu'l Baha was thinking and feeling after reflecting upon his journey in North America.

239 days straight he raised the call Ya Baha'u'l-Abhá! in north america

239 days straight walking the walk ~ talking the talk!

Yet ... in the end ... was He good enough ?

... in the end ... when it was time to say goodbye ... only a handful of people were at the dock ...

and ... saddest thing of all ... it took like 40 or 50 years to build the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár ...

so ... God forbid anybody would ever think Abdu'l Baha failed America ...

... at best it is not about assigning blame ...

... at worst it is simply some are sick ...

oneness
dh

onepence
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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby onepence » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:04 am

It appears Canada is doing a fantastic job in understanding what can and can not be done for Justice ...

http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/8463

whipping up anti-Israel hysteria and hatred has been the truck and trade of most despots, extremists, religious charlatans, dictators and other anti-Semites over the breadth of history — not only in the part of the world that Iran seeks to dominate but also elsewhere. In recent times, forces of darkness in locations as diverse as Venezuela and Malaysia have embraced this age-old and tiresome game. Going with the flow in the face of this is a reprehensible lack of spine, but as a general practice when it comes to hating Jews and Israel, it is counted upon by the common currents of fascism, communism and all the extremes on the flanks seen in many political histories. Few countries have been completely immune in the East or West, Christian, Islamic or non-denominational worlds. That excess on the part of the Islamic Republic’s supreme religious, political or Revolutionary Guard leadership is, since the days of the end of the reign of the Shah in 1979, not particularly unique, however loathsome and disreputable.

What is new and horrific is what has been done to imprison, oppress and intimidate the proponents of the Baha’i faith within Iran. Any government that would employ its hired revolutionarily guards to mow down its own citizens, who simply desired a fair count of the votes in the last general election, is capable of anything. What they have done to Iranians of the Baha’i faith speaks to the essential inhumanity and embedded intolerance that typifies this particular Iranian government’s distorted view of Islam and the manipulation of the most extreme interpretations of the Quran for its own narrow political and oppressive purposes.

History tells us something here which President Ahmadinejad and the al-Quds Brigade of the Revolutionary Guard cannot wish away. If you would oppress and kill your own people in large numbers because of their politics and religion, then when the opportunity comes to do the same in neighbouring countries or throughout a region where people of different politics or religion would oppose your domination, it is even easier for you to oppress or kill foreigners. Mr. Stalin and Mr. Hitler taught us that decades ago.

It is time that we cease the hopeful view that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s present administration is but a brief eccentric event in what should be a peaceful and constructive force in the politics of the world and its own region. There is not a shred of evidence that a truly democratic election with a truly democratic outcome will be allowed to transpire. Mr. Hitler was elected fair and square in 1933 under the then rules of the Weimar Republic. That was the end of free elections until the post-war Federal Republic of Germany, which followed a world war that destroyed much of Europe and killed in excess of 50 million human beings.

Am I suggesting that the oppression of Iranians of the Baha’i faith by the present government, combined with the repression of democratic forces and the subversive and well-funded Iranian activity to destabilize Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Iraq constitute a similar existential threat to large parts of the world’s population? Yes, honourable senators, that is precisely what I am suggesting.

Our duty, as allies of various partners in the region, including Sunni Arab states or our Turkish NATO allies, including the people of Lebanon, Palestine and Israel, who seek the freedom to make their own decisions about their own countries and futures, is to be clear and outspoken about what evil and malevolent intent guides the present leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. To ensure that in every way at all levels, with our allies and with respect to our geopolitical interests, we are preparing for and planning all that may be necessary to contain this vile and sadistic administration. This aggressive and inhumane administration, if unchecked and unpunished for every excess and inhumanity, will be the cause of a third world war as sure as we serve together in this upper chamber this afternoon.

...

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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby onepence » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:18 am

dh note

following is a pilgrim note

oneness
dh

http://bahai-library.com/ali-khan_pilgrim-notes_1906

Speaking at length concerning true faith, 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke thus: "When man has faith, even the mountains of the world can not oppose him, nay, he bears every trial and calamity, and nothing can conduce to his weakness. But one who is not a true believer, and does not possess real faith will lament over the least disappointment and complain of the slightest thing which may mar his peace and pleasure. When in company with the Blessed Perfection we arrived in Constantinople as exiles, we were all filled with joy and gladness and enjoyed great peace of mind. Then when we were removed to Adrianople we still continued in the same spirit in our new place of exile. None among us offered any complaint, except three persons: Mirza Yahya (Azal) who was extremely downhearted and confused: Siyyid Muhammad of Isfahan; and Haji Mirza Ahmad of Kashan. (* The latter two also finally denied Bahá'u'lláh and became Azalis. *) These three constantly complained of the hardships and bothered and troubled the believers. At least Mirza Yahya and <41> Haji Siyyid Muhammad of Isfahan appeared morbid and sullen without complaining openly to others; they only seemed dissatisfied and lost in melancholy. But Haji Mirza Ahmad, though a brother of Jinabi Zabih (one of the great Bahá'í Martyrs) constantly troubled the believers with fits of impatience, complained of the violence of the cold weather, and the severity of the snow and frost, often saying sarcastically: 'Though I often said at Baghdad that this Shaykh Abdul Husayn Mujtahid is busily engaged in making trouble for us, in company with the Persian Consul, working for our exile, no one listened or headed my warnings. Now you all see how they brought about our exile to this wretched place, and afflicted us with great calamities in these cold countries. And now we are God's faithful servants and must need suffer these trials! etc.

"To be brief, He so constantly found fault with everything and showed impatience, that on several occasions the believers were provoked to the point of beating him, so that he might perhaps abandon us and leave the place. But each time I prevented them from so doing. But the rest of us, who were over fifteen in number and yet were obliged to live in one single room, were nevertheless filled with joy and composure, for we were blessed with exile for the sake of the Cause of God. And in order to pass the time, each day one of us cooked a certain dish for the rest to enjoy. So the severe winter went by and in the course of a few months the snow and cold passed away and the famous delectable spring-time of Rumelia came on. Then the weather was so delightful, that even the above Haji Mirza Ahmed began to praise the glorious air of Rumelia. <42>

"To be brief; as he had no faith, he could not endure the winter or restrain himself from complaining and remain patient until the cold weather would be superseded by fine weather.

"Now this is the difference between a man of Faith and one without Faith. A man of Faith endures every hardship and suffering with patience and self-restraint. But one without Faith bewails and mourns, and utters complaint. He has no power to endure hardships and fails to think of the future when better times will come as a substitute for present hardships. (* In these utterances we later saw a prophetic vision into the suffering my wife was to endure in Persia, during her long illness, the perfect patience she showed during that period and the coming of spring-time which brought on sufficient change for the better in the invalid, to allow our return to this country, where once again she was restored to perfect health. These words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá proved my chief stand-by during the many weeks when I was in constant attendance in my wife's sick-room. For nothing but the prophetic nature of these words spoken months before, could convince me that my wife would survive what seemed to be unfailing signs of an imminent death! *)

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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby onepence » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:31 am

more from Parliament of Canada

http://www.iranpresswatch.org/post/8463

...
...



It would be a good thing if our foreign minister urged his colleagues across the civilized world to join him in calling in the respective Iranian ambassadors in those capitals to deliver the very same stern message about the way the Baha’i faithful have been treated. We should advocate that a series of “Baha’i sanctions,” new, precise and impactful, be imposed universally by countries of good will and common humanitarian belief.

This did not happen to the Germany of the 1930s. A world then beset by economic uncertainty and serious impacts of a calamitous depression looked the other way as the oppression, imprisonment and extermination of minorities within Germany first, then amongst its neighbours, then through all of Western and Eastern Europe proceeded. When engagement finally came with the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth allies, including Canada, standing alone against the Germans between 1939 and 1941, and the Americans and Russians entered alongside after being attacked themselves, millions had already died, and the machines of war and extermination were well launched, to the utter expense and horror of humanity for generations and decades to come. This is what we must act now to prevent.

The suffering heaped on our Baha’i friends is neither isolated nor peripheral. It is systematic and brutal, especially when the Baha’i are known as a peaceful faith that embraces the sanctity of all religions. The official Iranian oppression of Baha’i is more than the canary in the mineshaft. It is a clarion call to humanity and to free peoples and democracies everywhere to look directly at the harsh colours of the Iranian reality and not look away until the challenge is faced head on.

(On motion of Senator Tardif, debate adjourned.)

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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:06 pm

On the European Union, I just wanted to add the following quotations, indicating that the Baha'i Faith has long spoke in positive terms about the further integration of Europe:

"A general Pact on security has been the central purpose towards which these efforts have, ever since the League was born, tended to converge. The Treaty of Guarantee which, in the initial stages of its development, its members had considered and discussed; the debate on the Geneva Protocol, the discussion of which, at a later period, aroused among the nations, both within the League and outside it, such fierce controversy; the subsequent proposal for a United States of Europe and for the economic unification of that continent; and last but not least the policy of sanctions initiated by its members, may be regarded as the most significant landmarks in its checkered history."

(Shoghi Effendi, World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 191)


"The fierce opposition which greeted the abortive scheme of the Geneva Protocol; the ridicule poured upon the proposal for a United States of Europe which was subsequently advanced, and the failure of the general scheme for the economic union of Europe, may appear as setbacks to the efforts which a handful of foresighted people are earnestly exerting to advance this noble ideal. And yet, are we not justified in deriving fresh encouragement when we observe that the very consideration of such proposals is in itself an evidence of their steady growth in the minds and hearts of men? In the organized attempts that are being made to discredit so exalted a conception are we not witnessing the repetition, on a larger scale, of those stirring struggles and fierce controversies that preceded the birth, and assisted in the reconstruction, of the unified nations of the West?"

(Shoghi Effendi, World Order of Baha'u'llah, pp. 44-45)

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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:41 pm

Posted quotes on Europe to a wiki compilation format:

http://bahai9.com/wiki/Europe
http://bahai9.com/wiki/Integration_of_Europe

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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby Sen McGlinn » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:07 am

I don't know if it resolves the issue at all, but note that there is a translation issue involved in the quote from SDC about praiseworthy conquests.


My translation reads

Nevertheless, the conquest and subjugation of territory are commendable. Moreover, there are certain times when war is the greatest foundation for peace, and destruction leads to reconstruction. For example, if a mighty king were to marshal the troops in the face of an enemy or insurgent, or if he resolves to take resolute and courageous action to unify a society and kingdom that has become fragmented, in short, if his warfare has the right motive, then this wrath is the essence of kindness, this injustice is the embodiment of justice, and this war is the foundation of concord. Today, the fitting task for mighty kings is to establish universal peace, for in truth, peace is freedom for all peoples.


And I remark in a note:

“Nevertheless, the conquest and subjugation of territory are commendable.” The implication appears to be that, despite what has been said about justice and fairness being the primary tools of the ruler, it is also praiseworthy for a ruler to exercise effective military control in the country. The alternative is to suppose that there is a negative missing in the sentence (conquests are not commendable, nevertheless...), or to insert a conditional and singular, and omit the ‘nevertheless,’ as Marzieh Gail does (“a conquest can be a praiseworthy thing, and...”).

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Re: Fighting for Justice

Postby brettz9 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:11 pm

Recently came across this significant quote:

"This nation so signally blest, occupying so eminent and responsible a position in a continent so wonderfully endowed, was the first among the nations of the West to be warmed and illuminated by the rays of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, soon after the proclamation of His Covenant on the morrow of His ascension. This nation, moreover, may well claim to have, as a result of its effective participation in both the first and second world wars, redressed the balance, saved mankind the horrors of devastation and bloodshed involved in the prolongation of hostilities, and decisively contributed, in the course of the latter conflict, to the overthrow of the exponents of ideologies fundamentally at variance with the universal tenets of our Faith."

(Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p. 35)


Granted, this is not any kind of call to action, and may be mere post facto praise of the good inclinations of the nation, but it does seem to me to be further evidence of endorsing some such interventions in principle, and perhaps even when international support (pending a responsive world government) may be lacking.


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