Re: Howcum no links to Talisman or Occasional Papers sites?

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Posted by Jonah on January 07, 1999 at 19:01:32:

In Reply to: Howcum no links to Talisman or Occasional Papers sites? posted by Moondragon on December 29, 1998 at 15:23:45:

Dear Mr/Ms Moondragon,

I am sorry you have such pronounced negative feelings towards "my religion" and related issues. The answers to your two questions are quite simple.

> After much perusing of Baha'i stuff on the Internet, I find that Talisman /
> Occasional Papers are by far the best on-line sources of secondary material on the
> Baha'i religion. As Baha'i academics, you should incorporate them into your
> discussion or at least acknowledge their existence. Yet you do no such thing. Is
> this because your religion teaches you to be insular, avoiding neutral arenas of
> discourse?

Juan's personal webpage and his H-Baha'i webpage are, after the Library, the only significant sources of original articles which are updated with any frequency. Therefore, he and I have chosen to link to each other's sites rather than mirror every item. It is for this reason that you will find links to both under the "other sites" page, where H-Baha'i is described as "an ever-growing collection of online Baha'i academia and Arabic and Persian source documents." Juan's page is described as featuring "numerous original Baha'i material." Each site is listed alphabetically. You will also find each of these two pages linked to more frequently than any other page (save for the Baha'i Studies Review), as for example at the top of the Provisional Translations index.

> Is it because of personal reasons? (That little parody piece on Juan
> Cole, for example, is largely inscrutable to outsiders but seems to consist mainly
> of--dare I say it?--backbiting.) Or did somebody calculate that the academic gains
> would be offset by the exposure such dialogue would give to dissidents, ex-
> Baha'is, non-Baha'is, and so on?

I am not aware of any parody piece on Juan. Are you referring to the two items which parody a large number of Talisman incidents and personages? If so, you'll notice that Juan is not singled out there more than any other individuals. If this isn't the piece to which you refer, *please* alert me to the one in question so that I can see if there is any improper material online. I should also mention, not for defense but for the record, that I have posted pieces of Juan's or pieces stating his positions against the recommendation of certain members of the Baha'i administration as well as sometimes against my own opinion. I select pieces on the basis of relative objectivity and academic utility, not on the basis of personal leanings. This applies both to critical and to apologetic material. I know that my Library is on the right track because I get an equal number of inflammatory letters from each "side" protesting my selections. There are other instances in which I have chosen to defend and highlight Juan's work against the express preferences of the Baha'i administration, but these are private matters which I'd rather not summarize publicly.

> I would hope that your Baha'i affiliation would not > serve as a barrier to academic quality, but
> unfortunately that seems to be the case > at this writing.

You would seem to be assuming my "Baha'i affiliation." Whether or not I am a Baha'i is not stated anywhere on my website, nor will it be. Only myself, my close friends, and the Baha'i administration know or will know whether or not I am a "member" of the religion. As a librarian and educator, my personal religious status is and must remain a private affair.


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