Posted by Tom Roberts on November 13, 2101 at 23:49:19:
I obtained a fuller understanding of some issues arising post September 11 by a study of some passages from talks and writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi. I formulated the issues as I understood them into questions and then cited the passage below.
Bahá'í Writings of Increased Interest after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
1) Does the United Nations have a mandate for World Government?
Somewhere ahead lie the further great changes that will eventually impel acceptance of the principle of world government itself. The United Nations does not possess such a mandate·" CoL, p.91
2) What in the future will be known of the United States of America?
The oneness of the kingdom of humanity will supplant the banner of conquest, and all communities of the earth will gather under its protection. No nation with separate and restricted boundaries--such as Persia, for instance--will exist. The United States of America will be known only as a name. Germany, France, England, Turkey, Arabia-all these various nations will be welded together in unity. When the people of the future are asked, "To which nationality do you belong?" the answer will be, "To the nationality of humanity. I am living under the shadow of Bahá'u'lláh. I am the servant of Bahá'u'lláh. I belong to the army of the Most Great Peace." The people of the future will not say, "I belong to the nation of England, France or Persia"; for all of them will be citizens of a universal nationality--the one family, the one country, the one world of humanity--and then these wars, hatreds and strifes will pass away. PUP, p.19
3) What does the 'Abdu'l-Bahá say about the US and the natural resources of Persia?
· an evidence of the possibility of uniting the East and the West, of establishing a perfect bond between Persia and America--one of the objects of this conference. For the Persians there is no government better fitted to contribute to the development of their natural resources and the helping of their national needs in a reciprocal alliance than the United States of America, and for the Americans
there could be no better industrial outlet and market than the virgin commercial soil of Persia. The mineral wealth of Persia is still latent and untouched. It is my hope that the great American democracy may be instrumental in developing these hidden resources and that a bond of perfect amity and unity may be established between the American republic and the government of Persia. PUP, p.35
4) What does the 'Abdu'l-Bahá say about New York City and the Persians?
This city with its suburbs has about half the population of Persia. If Persia had a population and an affluence like this, and had she turned herself to progress, she would have far excelled this country in all respects. There can be no comparison whatsoever between these people and the manners, love, hospitality, intuition and sagacity of the Persians. Mahmud's Diary, p. 167
5) What did the 'Abdu'l-Bahá say about relations between the East and West?
In the western world material civilization has attained the highest point of development, but divine civilization was founded in the land of the East. The East must acquire material civilization from the West, and the West must receive spiritual civilization from the East. This will establish a mutual bond. When these two come together, the world of humanity will present a glorious aspect, and extraordinary progress will be achieved. This is clear and evident; no proof is needed. The degree of material civilization in the Occident cannot be denied; nor can anyone fail to confirm the spiritual civilization of the Orient, for all the divine foundations of human uplift have appeared in the East. This, likewise, is clear and evident. Therefore, you must assist the East in order that it may attain material progress. The East must, likewise, promulgate the principles of spiritual civilization in the western world. By this commingling and union the human race will attain the highest degree of prosperity and development. PUP, p.165
6) Why was the United States of America chosen to establish world peace?
I find the United States of America an exceedingly progressive nation, the government just, the people in a state of readiness and the principle of equality established to an extraordinary degree. Therefore, it is my hope that, inasmuch as the standard of international peace must be upraised, it may be upraised upon this continent, for this nation is more deserving and has greater capacity for such an initial step than any other. If other nations should attempt to do this, the motive would be misunderstood. For instance, if Great Britain should declare for international peace, it would be said that it has been done to ensure the safety of her colonies. If France should hoist the standard, other nations would declare
some hidden diplomatic policy underlies the action; Russia would be suspected of national designs if the first step were taken by that people, and so on with all the European and eastern governments. But the United States of America could not be accused of any such selfish interest. Your government has, strictly speaking, no colonies to protect. You are not endeavoring to extend your domain, nor have you need of territorial expansion. Therefore, if America takes the first step toward the establishing of world peace, it is certain to be ascribed to unselfishness and altruism. The world will say, "There is no other motive than altruism and service to humanity in this action by the United States." PUP, p.121
7) Will the leadership of the United States of America be limited to world peace?
The American continent gives signs and evidences of very great advancement; its future is even more promising, for its influence and illumination are far-reaching, and it will lead all nations spiritually. PUP, p.104
8) What did the 'Abdu'l-Bahá say when asked about democracy?
Question: Is it not a fact that universal peace cannot be accomplished until there is political democracy in all the countries of the world?
Answer: It is very evident that in the future there shall be no centralization in the countries of the world, be they constitutional in government, republican or democratic in form. The United States may be held up as the example of future government-that is to say, each province will be independent in itself, but there will be federal union protecting the interests of the various independent states. It may not be a republican or a democratic form. To cast aside centralization which promotes despotism is the exigency of the time. This will be productive of international peace. PUP, p.167
9) What is the Bahá'í role in establishing a world government?
What the Bahá'í community is called on to do, at this stage in humanity's social and political evolution, is to contribute by every means in its power to the creation of conditions that will encourage and facilitate this enormously demanding undertaking. CoL p.94
10) What are the two conditions for attaining world unity?
Those involved must first of all be in some agreement about the nature of reality as it affects their relationships with one another and with the phenomenal world. They must, secondly, give assent to some recognized and authorized means by which decisions will be taken that affect their association with one another and that determine their collective goals. CoL, p.41
11) What does the 'Abdu'l-Bahá say about the American sovereignty and the US political system?
The American nation · stands, indeed, from whichever angle one observes its immediate fortunes, in grave peril. The woes and tribulations which threaten it are partly avoidable, but mostly inevitable and God-sent, for by reason of them a government and people clinging tenaciously to the obsolescent doctrine of absolute sovereignty and upholding a political system, manifestly at variance with the needs of a world already contracted into a neighborhood and crying out for unity, will find itself purged of its anachronistic conceptions, and prepared to play a preponderating role, as foretold by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in the hoisting of the standard of the Lesser Peace, in the unification of mankind, and in the establishment of a world federal government on this planet. CoF, p.126
12) What should Bahá'í institutions do at this time?
What Bahá'í institutions do, rather, is to strive to align the work of the Cause with the Divinely impelled process they see steadily unfolding in the world, a process that will ultimately realize its purpose, regardless of historical circumstances of events. CoL, p.69
PUP Promulgation of Universal Peace, by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, 1982
CoL Century of Light, a publication of the Universal House of Justice, 2001
CoF Citadel of Faith, by Shoghi Effendi, 1965
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