The Persian Baha’i dilemma

For over a century, the leadership of the Baha’i community has sought to make their religion a world one and not just one centered on the Middle East and people of Persian/Shiite descent. Yet because the Faith was founded by such people, they tended to be a privileged class in Baha’i communities around the world. Now, however, not so much. It seem ironic that Baha’is taking the anti-racist teachings to heart are now causing problems for some Persian Baha’is.

Read this first:    https://weeklysift.com/2012/09/10/the-distress-of-the-privileged/

As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does. Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others.

Now read this:

https://bahaism.blogspot.com/2019/09/an-open-letter-to-kenneth-bowers-from.html

To
Mr. Kenneth E. Bowers
Secretary
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States

I have just read your letter/warnings regarding the activities of one Ms. Bahareh Moghaddam, who you feel is trying to deceive and misguide the Baha’is of Iranian descent by sowing the ‘seeds of discord’. Well, you may or may not be right in your analysis, but as a sincere and third generation Baha’i, I wish to mention that before breaking into pen please follow the principle that Ignorance sometimes is a Bliss (i.e you could have ignored her). Now I am sure many Baha’is will take a chance to connect themselves with the ‘misguided soul’.

Having given my advice to you regarding the Enemies of Faith, I have some very rough and tough questions to ask. You may forward it to Beloved Universal House of Justice for its explanation.

We, Persian Baha’is are concluding that PERSECUTION is something which is destined to us. We face persecution in the country where we pioneer, we face persecution in our own country and now we are facing persecution in our own Faith by fellow Baha’is.

Dear Secretary, we see a very systematic persecution of Persian Baha’is in the Baha’i Administration. It looks like there is systematic cleansing of Persian Baha’is from the Baha’i Administration.

The representation of the Persian Baha’is in the Universal House of Justice has gone down tremendously, and they are being replaced by unskilled, ignorant Baha’is.

The ITC has been cleansed of many Persian Baha’i except Muna Tehrani. The number of Persian Bahai’s as counsellors have come down drastically and the story is not different for the ABMs.

They were asked to leave their place of pioneer where they had established themselves, gained respect, involved themselves in Teaching of the Faith and then asked to settle in some other parts of the world. This is nothing but humiliation and harassment.

The case of Baha’i Scholar Mr. Ahang Rabbani has not been forgotten. After working for 15 years at the World Centre, he died Heart broken.

The way Mr. Ali Nakhjavani was hunted for his misunderstood statement resulting into ignorant Baha’is daring to ask him that why he gave such a statement?

A sincere Persian Baha’i in India was threatened by one of the members of UHJ that he should come in line with the UHJ or face severe consequences.

Jamshed Fozdar and Firoz Anarki were on the brink of being declared Covenant Breakers but some better reasoning prevailed on the UHJ and they stopped from doing such an atrocious act.

There are some misguided Baha’is who are making fake sites in the name of sincere Baha’is for defamation.

A Norwegian Baha’i sent to India made the life of Persian pioneer miserable in India. He was an arch enemy of Persian Baha’is.

Wife of a well-respected former counsellor wanted to attend a Baha’i programme but was refused permission. It was well evident that she was accused of being siding with Persian Baha’is.

The Late Mr. Hasan Sabri along with Isabella Sabri made fun of Persian Baha’is and use to call them KHAR (donkey) and used to say that Persian Baha’is are misguiding other Baha’is.

Many sincere Baha’is were asked not to enter any other countries else face consequences!

We see that if a non-Persian Counsellor retires from his post, he is immediately offered another post in his own country, but if the counsellor is a Persian, and that too a pioneer, never this opportunity of service had been offered to him or his experience used for promotion of the Faith.

A retired counsellor wanted to attend a conference in a foreign country at his own expense but was denied permission by the NSA of that country.

I don’t understand how just for expressing one’s feelings about injustice, is categorized as ‘sowing the seeds of discord’?

I can’t help but think these statements are gross exaggerations. What the writer calls “PERSECUTION” is merely non-Persian Baha’is demanding and getting equality with Persians in terms of social power within the Baha’i communities. If the Baha’i communities around the world have grown to the point that Persians are no longer the overwhelming majority, then the leadership of the Faith needs to reflect that reality. Persians need to stop expecting everything to be handed to them without merit. The Unitarian Universalist Association, a denomination with a white majority, faced a problem of racial justice among themselves in 2017 that forced them to change. If they can do it, so can Baha’is.

For over 300 years, the Roman Catholic Church only elected Italians to the Papacy. It wasn’t until 1978 that John Paul II, who was Polish, became Pope. Since then, it seems Italians have been shut out of becoming Pope, for the two others that have become Pope are also non-Italian (German and Argentinian). I wonder how Italians feel about that.

Jews founded Christianity, only to be excluded and persecuted by Christians later. That was not justice, but neither would have been keeping the Christian communities Jewish dominated, no matter their ethnic makeup. We should keep things balanced and fair for all.

You can either have a single ethnic/linguistic group dominate a religious community forever, or you can have a diverse community spreading around the world. It is wrong to expect both, ever.

Betrayed by Wahid Azal (podcast)

Hello. I am Dale Husband, and today I’d like to talk about a certain individual known across the internet as Wahid Azal. Last month, he and I were friends and we made a podcast together in which we discussed the Baha’i Faith and I also talked briefly about my allegiance to Unitarian Universalism. A link to that is below in the description.

Well, a couple of weeks after this, Wahid was banned from the ExBahai subreddit, a link to which is also below,

https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/

and this was done for him fighting with another member and also making threats at the moderators of the subreddit. I expressed my profound disappointment over this, since he had clearly brought this punishment on himself.
His response to this was to turn completely against me and begin to attack me in the most ridiculous terms. A link to the blog entry documenting this is also below.

https://dalehusband.com/2019/09/02/wahid-azal-slanders-me-and-others-in-reddit/

Not content with this slander, he further defamed my character with a second video in which he accused me of somehow being racist. A link to THAT video is also below, so watch that diatribe and then come back and finish this.


OK? Question: How could it have been acceptable for him to collaborate with me only a month before and then begin slamming me for views and perspectives I do NOT have and he cannot prove I have regarding race relations? The simple truth is that Wahid Azal has always had a psychotic, bigoted hatred of white people. Now, of course white people in power have been responsible for a great many evil things over the past several centuries. Does that mean that ALL white people should be condemned for what their ancestors have done? Wahid Azal clearly thinks so. He only found me useful because of my devastating attacks against the Baha’i Faith, and thus I was an outlier to him, one of the “good” white people. Much like a white supremacist like Donald Trump can find “good” blacks useful to them even while demonizing blacks in general, such as Barack Obama. But the moment I stopped being useful to Azal, he began to treat me instead like he has always treated white people, as an enemy.
In addition to slandering me, he also attacked a reddit user named “Christian ExBahai” for being a white American and also repeatedly accused the moderators of the exbahai subreddit of being “gatekeepers” working for the Haifan Bahai leadership in some fashion. There is NO evidence for that claim either and it is certainly irrational for anyone to assume that all white people by their very nature MUST be racist. What would you call someone who asserts things as truth that are not factual?
His anger towards me stems solely from my refusing to be one of his few sycophants. Indeed, I am a sycophant to NO ONE; I am always my own person. If you work with me, we must be equals, I don’t blindly follow anyone. If he was thinking of me in those lowly terms, then he was wrong.
Many times he addressed me as a brother in our battles against the Baha’i Faith, but the thing about being someone’s brother is that you don’t allow simple disagreements to pull you apart from that other person. Wahid Azal is a liar, backstabber and bigot and no one should ever take his insane rants seriously.
Now, I have to wonder if others have also been betrayed and backstabbed by Wahid Azal just as I was. If that has happened to you, please send your story to dale_husband1@att.net and If I get one or more of those stories in the next few weeks, I will publish them in a future blog entry. In any case, beware of that extremist. Trust him at your peril.

Damage Control by Shoghi Effendi

If you have not yet read this blog entry, do so now:
https://dalehusband.com/2018/06/07/the-bogus-issue-of-infallibility-in-the-bahai-faith/

Abdu’l-Baha’s claim of infalliblity was directly opposed by his brother Mirza Muhammad Ali, resulting in the latter being declared a violator of Baha’u’llah’s Covenant, which was an outright lie. You don’t violate a covenant by upholding the actual teachings of Baha’u’llah!

Continue reading

Wahid Azal Slanders Me and Others in Reddit

Only two weeks after Wahid Azal and I did a podcast together, and after I intervened to prevent the moderators of the ExBahai subreddit from banning him, he repaid my help by stabbing me in the back! And he was expelled from the subreddit anyway.  He is proof that not all arguments against the Baha’i Faith and not all critics of the Baha’i Faith are created equal and I will work with him no more.

Anyway, here is the podcast he made attacking me.

He speaks of me starting about two minutes in. He accuses me of “shiftiness” and “brownnosing”, which I did not understand.  He also calls me racist and says that I, like all American liberals, are anti-Muslim, anti-Iranian, and pro-capitalist. Note: Making bigoted statements does nothing to defeat the bigotry of others, especially when that supposed bigotry of others is not even a real issue. Continue reading

Confronting Scott Hakala on Quora

Quora is a social media site where people can pose questions on all sorts of subjects and get answers from others. One of the most frequent posters on it is Scott Hakala, a Baha’i apologist.

Before I tell about my fight with him there, I must supply a bit of background.
For more than a year and a half after I made an account on reddit, Hakala, using the pseudonym “DavidBinOwen”, would often invade the ExBaha’i subreddit and relentlessly attack its members with counter arguments to things they would write. Then after wreaking havoc for a few days or weeks, he would disappear only to return weeks or months later. Things got so frustrating that Wahid Azal decided to do something to force the admin of that subreddit to deal with Hakala once and for all. So he posted these:
https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/cnzclf/why_are_the_moderators_of_this_site_consistently/

https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/co4u0o/beware_non_and_exbahais_of_this_subreddit/

I knew this might lead to Azal being banned from the subreddit, so to prevent that, I sent private messages to all the admin, playing “good cop” to Wahid Azal’s “bad cop”. My efforts paid off; nothing was done to Azal, but Hakala was FINALLY banned permanently from the subreddit.

Continue reading