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Posted by Bret ( on May 28, 2002 at 14:34:26:

In Reply to: Juan Cole has lots of friends posted by Juan cole on May 28, 2002 at 08:15:28:

Dear Juan,

I must apollogize for my comment about you. I did say it on a whim and I retract it. I have read critical responses from you and to some of your work and statements and have never thought that you were completely friendless. My comment was meant to point out the disunity that has come from a lot of these past works and statements, so if you can retract statements and expect that people should and will forgive you I'm asking you to treat this matter as you would want such a matter to be treated yourself.

It goes to show the power of words my friend, but I am man enough to admit, as I did before you even responded to me, that I was wrong, but being man enough to admit and actually learning from the experience are two different things. This is an even greater lesson to me when the cause of all of this was just a few words. Some people say many hurtful things and repeatadly never learn, so I am happy that I apologized before and am retracting my statement now and will look for a better way in the future.

Just one more thing, you can't take a statement such as mine and the few words therein and then make the blanket statement that it is indicative of a whole right wing culture in the Baha'i Faith. You can't understand a person's view of everything by one such statemnt, or to say something against you doesn't mean that I'm automatically right wing. It's kind of funny actually, so I can't be upset because my family is so liberal and I'm just about as pragmatic as they come. I'm a little passionate sometimes, which gets in the way of my critical thinking skills, but it's not like I'm Brother Jebadiah standing on a hilltop waving a Kitab-i-Aqdas around yelling to passers by that they are sinners.

Nevertheless, backbiting is backbiting and, although I would never compare myself to Jesus Christ or the Babi and Baha'i Martyrs, I would hope that we would all follow Christ's advice in this manner and learn to do unto others as we would have done unto us or, in this case, not do and also to turn the other cheek.

Anyhoo, I hope we are cool-headed now and on an equal-footing so that we can move along.

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