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TAGS: Human rights; Non-partisanship; Opposition; Persecution; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Public affairs
LOCATIONS: Iran (documents)
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How to address the dilemma of protesting human rights abuses in Iran while remaining non-partisan. Link to thesis (offsite).
Dissertation for the degree of Master of Science in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen).

Nonpartisan Engagement in Public Affairs:
A Critical Analysis of the Bahá'í Approach to Dialogue, Democracy, and Diplomatic Relations

by Bui Tyril

Abstract: The worldwide religious community of the Bahá’í Faith has long been faced with an issue of serious human rights abuses against its members in some countries, most particularly Iran. Dealing with the issue has presented the Bahá’í community with a dilemma: how to address the problem effectively at the political level by engaging with international organizations as well as national governments without compromising the Bahá’í tenet of political neutrality and nonpartisanship. The question of how the community has pursued its objective of defending the Bahá’ís in Iran—and whether this has been done successfully—raises a number of aspects related to public affairs theory and practice. To answer the question of whether the approach taken by the Bahá’ís has proved effective in view of the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, issues related to social science and philosophy are considered,comparing the Bahá’í teachings with major contemporary ideas such as ethics and professionalism,dialogue, trust, equality, and democracy. The investigation is conducted as a think piece and the research methods applied consist of content analysis in combination with a case study. The evidence is drawn from a variety of literature sources with the support of selected interviews and direct observation. The conclusive findings suggest that the Bahá’ís have responded to the crisis effectively without jeopardizing their position of strength in the world of diplomatic relations and public information, which has largely been built on political neutrality and nonpartisanship. The achievements within the United Nations system have been remarkable with resolutions passed almost every year since 1980. Yet the crisis concerning the Bahá’ís in Iran—widely perceived as a test for international law—is far from over.
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