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Text of the Resolution
by the Michigan State University
Council of Graduate Students

WHEREAS, the Baha'i Faith is an independent world religion that promotes the principles of unity in diversity, freedom from all forms of prejudice and inequality, and universal access to education, and,

WHEREAS, the Baha'i community is the largest religious minority in Iran comprising over 300,000 citizens, and,

WHEREAS, by the tenets of their faith, Baha'is are peace-loving, non-violent, and obedient to the rulings of their government and therefore have never posed a threat to the people or government of Iran, and,

WHEREAS, the Iranian government has denied Baha'is entrance to public universities since 1980 only by reason of their religion, and,

WHEREAS, the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), or "Open University," was founded in an attempt to provide formal education for Baha'is on a private basis since 1987, and,

WHEREAS, in 1998, the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education was forcibly closed, its equipment and materials confiscated, and its faculty arrested, and,

WHEREAS, such attempts to close the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education are in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, all to which Iran is a signatory, and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan State University Council of Graduate Students supports universal human rights, including universal access to higher learning, not only on its own campus but throughout the world,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan State University Council of Graduate Students:

Condemns these flagrant violations of the fundamental human rights of Iranian Baha'is;

Demands that the Iranian government afford Baha'is full legal and human rights, including access to higher education, and refrain from further attempts to prohibit or otherwise impede the operations of the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education;

Strongly encourages the students, faculty, and staff of Michigan State University to convey their concern about the persecution of Baha'is in Iran and specifically the closure of the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education to the Iranian Minister of Culture and Higher Education and the Director of UNESCO; and

Requests that the University, its Colleges and Departments, after review of the credentialling procedures of graduates of the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education, consider applications of graduates of the BIHE as it would any applicant from an accredited University to their programs.

Passed unanimously, Wednesday, March 24, 1999

The Michigan State University

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