Posts by mrjapilz

I work to make the world a better place. Please visit http://www.abahaipoint.com to access different articles, videos, links and other miscellaneous resources that are very useful. "To do something, you must first know what you are doing." I try to make my actions and my ideals one. I try everyday to let my deeds, not my words, be my adorning. - John Pilz

“Iran’s Forgotten Minority” entered into a competition – Needs more views by March 25 to win

By March 25 at 11:59 PM, this video will need more than 4,000 views to win the competition. Think you can help share it so it ends up in Los Angeles being played to movie directors who can actually make a difference?

 

Please share.

 

-Mrjapilz

“The story goes …” How a Muslim Priest became a Bahá’í

The story goes back to some 60 years ago. Mohammad Movahed was a young Muslim priest who had entered
the priesthood at an early age.He was around 7 when he asked his father to let him join a Maddreseh of Mullahs, a seminar for becoming a priest. He graduated soon and when he was almost 20 he himself became a professor of such Maddreseh. He had many students under his control and was a very successful professor.

One day he saw one of his pupils had a book and was busy reading it. Curious about the book, he asked the pupil what it was, when the boy said that it was a Raddieh, A book that the Muslim clergy authors rejecting the Baha’i Faith. In these books they normally cling to calumny, lies and wrong data on the history to defame the Faith. Mr. Mohammad asked the boy to let him read the book as he had never heard about the Baha’i Faith before and wanted to know why a Raddieh had been written against an unknown religion.

He read the book overnight and the next day he was uncomfortable to see contradictions on the attacks on the Faith by the author. Very few phrases had been taken from the context of the Baha’i writings and were included there, over which the attacks were focused. He was astonishingly more attracted towards those phrases than on the attacks. He was now more thirsty to know more about the strange religion he had come up with. He went to the library in Shiraz to find more books on the Faith, which he was not so lucky with. He asked the director of the library about such books, and he said that they had some but they were locked in and nobody was supposed to see them. He insisted to get some, and the director supposed that a Mullah would need them just to write Raddieh Raddieh on.

He got the Bayan, Farsi, and the Arabic, the book of Iqan, and a few others. He almost did not sleep for a week to read all those books.

With each book he found himself drown into an ocean of doubts and more questions to which he could not find answers. So he looked for more and more books to read, when one day he was certain of the validity of the Faith, and he felt great love for Baha’ullah. Now the next task was to look for others who had embraced the Faith. He searched and searched but he could not find anyone, until he met a shopkeeper who was known as Baha’i. He went to his shop and asked to meet him in private to talk about the Faith. He was still wearing the priests’ outfit, with the white turban and the long black robe. He asked the shopkeeper to meet him somewhere else to talk about the Faith. The next day he was waiting for the Baha’i man but he never showed up. He went back to his shop the next day telling him why he did not show up. The man said he would go the next day, to which Mr. Mohammad attended and waited for hours and the shopkeeper did not appear. So he assumed that maybe he was afraid to be abducted or be attacked, so he decided not to look for any other Baha’i and instead he decided to declare his Faith to his own pupils.

He gathered them together one day in the classroom and announced to them that he was then a believer in Baha’ullah and was no longer considering himself a Muslim.

His students remained surprised and none could say anything and one by one they went away and he was left alone in the room. Days later he received swarms of other priests from the city,(Shiraz) reproaching him his decision.

He answered them all with logical proofs why he had accepted Baha’ullah. They called him an apostate, and warned him of the consequences. He said he did not care for the possible consequences as well as losing all the benefits of being a Mullah.

The Ullema had a consulting session and decided to arrange for him hospitalization in a mental institution. They did not tolerate that one of their kinds could declare himself a Baha’i. He was then taken to an institution and the only favor they did to him was not to take them to the dangerous patients section.

All the patients and the doctors and nurses tried to avoid him as it was rare to see a priest among them. The institution director called him a few days later and told him he did not see any sign of madness in him, and wondered why he had been let it there.

He said that it was because of being a Baha’i and a priest at the same time. The director said,Then you really are crazy”.

Little by little the nurses and the doctors started to get along with him as he had a kindly behavior towards everyone. A patient next door who was almost cured and ready to leave the institution told him that his wife was a Baha’i and the next time she came , she could have a talk with him, which he welcomed. When she was sure that he was a real Baha’i and that it was no trick, she passed the word to the local spiritual assembly of Shiraz. The assembly tried to send a representative but he was blocked to meet Mohammad. Later it was known that only the Muslims clergy were allowed to meet with him. But the assembly was able to send him a big box of Persian cookies as a gift for becoming a Baha’i. That box of cookies he later said was the sweetest candy he had ever had in his life.

The clergy tried to use another tactic to make him recant. They had a well known hypnotizer to meet him and try to make him recant through hypnosis.

The doctor went to his room and said he would love to talk to him, and he said it was fine. The doctor did not know how to start so he asked Mohammad to say about his problem, to which he said it would take long and the doctor said he had lots of time and he would not mind.

So Mohammad started to tell him the long story how he became a Baha’i. After about some 20 minutes the doctor who seemed to be in a deep sleep, woke up and stood up from the chair and said in a freaked voice, “Who are you? what am I doing here? what was all that you just said?” and he left abruptly. He got worried about the interviewer and went after him but he had left the building. Then he asked a nurse “Who was the guy who just ran away?” The nurse said that he was a new specialist doctor in hypnosis.

The next morning the same psychiatrist showed up at his room and apologized for leaving like that the previous day. When Mohammad asked why he did so, he said that he had been looking for a true religion for 17 years and none had satisfied him and his talk of the past day had brought him answers to all his question he had had for the last 17 years.

Two years later this same doctor declared Baha’i and left the country for pioneering.

The story goes on and on and Mr. Mohammad was later released from that mental hospital after 95 days with the help of the Baha’is of Shiraz, and resided in Tehran. He was one of the very few Baha’is who knew the Faith through his own investigation without meeting even one Baha’i and getting taught in a conventional method.

Years later after the Islamic revolution his ex colleagues spotted him and martyred him for the sin of apostasy.

He has left his testimony in a recorded tape before a group of Baha’is and the story is much sweeter from his own words and his own mouth.
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I have tried to be brief and yet loyal to his account. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did.

Written by Kaveh Hassankhani

The Centenary of an Important Visit to the United States of America

http://www.abahaipoint.com/2012/04/centenary-of-important-visit.html

Please read and share this link placed above and below this paragraph. One hundred years ago, a newly freed prisoner traveled from a land called Palestine to the United States of America. On April 11, 1912 for 239 days, a message of progress would travel throughout the continent. He spoke of harmony between followers of different religions, the end of harmful prejudices, equality between men and women and the start of a World War due to the adherence of world leaders to misconceptions. He would proclaim the importance of promoting the advancement of humanity through the people striving to attain to spiritual degrees even as they already had attained to material degrees. He taught the importance of giving human rights to everyone when rightswere not given to everyone. Human rights belong to every human being.

http://www.abahaipoint.com/2012/04/centenary-of-important-visit.html

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Eye Opener: Reza Allamehzadeh’s documentary about Bahai persecution

 

Posted on: 17 Mar 2012 07:34 AM PDT

www.IranianTaboo.com

www.IranianTaboo.com

[iranian.com, 14-Mar-2012] by Ari Siletz

On the way to viewing Reza Allamehzadeh’s documentary about Bahai persecution, the car radio program was about a 340 ton rock being dragged 60 miles to the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art. A surreal waste of effort, perhaps to make that very point! As it turns out, this extravagant expenditure of energy isn’t nearly as absurd as the efforts of the Islamic Republic to create terror and frustration for Iran’s Bahais. The difference is that while the artistic statement is a capricious waste, the Regime’s political statement is a malicious overexertion. There is no reason for it other than to cause suffering. The absurdity of this effort borders on the laughable. Why else would a film audience of over 400 burst into laughter as a wrinkled old Iranian villager innocently explains to the camera that she doesn’t know the way to Israel? The Bahai grandma was evicted from her own home by a gang of regime zealots, and when she asked where she should go now, they told her to go to Israel!

In this touchingly impactful scene with confused elderly villagers, Allamehzadeh dispels the myth of Iranian Bahais as sophisticated members of an elite cult with deep ties to power. Throughout his documentary, Iranian Taboo, the filmmaker continues to smash, one by one, traditional misconceptions about Bahais. Is the Bahai faith a Zionist tool? After all the World Bahai Center is in Israel. In a visit to the center we find out that it was established in the Haifa/Acre region during the Ottoman Empire. The country of Israel did not even exist back then. Allamehzadeh interrogates a Bahai leader at the center to the point of rudeness to expose any special accommodations that Israel may have made for the Bahais, but comes up empty handed. Where does the money come from? What is the special Bahai card that Israeli customs officials ask for when Bahai pilgrims enter Israel? These questions have innocent, reasonable and believable answers.

An eye opener for me was when Allamehzadeh broached the myth of Iranian Bahais being left in peace during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah. In fact the Bahai situation was as perilous as ever because the Shiite clergy were relentless in pushing the Shah to persecute the Bahais. During episodes of political weakness, the Shah had no choice but to cave in to the wishes of the Shiite clergy. For example, a controversial photo of the queen published in Europe could give the clergy enough material to blackmail the Shah into withdrawing protection from his Bahai subjects. The documentary shows footage of Tehran’s Bahai center being demolished brick by brick by the Shah’s generals during one such episode in 1955. Things appeared better for the Bahais later in the Shah’s reign, but this was simply due to political fortune in the Shah-Clergy competition, not because the Bahai political pawn had been promoted in the game.

Allamehzadeh had originally pitched the idea for the film to the BBC, but failed to reach an agreement with the organization. He blogged about the effort and caught the attention of Bahai playwright/actor Mansoor Taeed who contacted Allamehzadeh to see if he could help realize the film. Having read Taeed’s successful play, We Are Not Spies, Allamehzadeh recognized a likeminded artist and agreed to team up with him. Taeed suggested that he could raise funds from the Bahai community. Allamehzadeh agreed provided there were no strings attached. The rest of the $300,000 budget came from Take 7 Production’s Bijan Shahmoradi who had collaborated with Allamehzadeh in the past, notably in The Guests of Hotel Astoria. There was also a great deal of volunteer work by human rights supporters.

Besides helping raise funds, Taeed played the critical role of arranging Bahai contacts inside Iran whose stories could be told. An elderly couple in the Iranian village of Eeval, a mother and daughter fleeing to Turkey, the mother of one of the Bahai leaders now in jail. We get to know their stories with a mixture of sadness, fury and, oddly, shame at our ignorance leading to silence about the persecution of Iranian Bahais. There was, however, one story in the film that made me proud to be an Iranian. To counter the Islamic Republic’s ban on higher education for Bahais, the group had organized an underground university so advanced that some universities across the world recognized its academic credits and accepted the graduates. Why does this make me proud as an Iranian? Because the brave and talented organizers, teachers, and students were Iranians who overcame astounding odds to build an institution that advances the future freedoms of the younger generation. It does not subtract one iota from my pride in this accomplishment that these Iranians happened to be Bahai. Does it make a difference to you? See the film, and think about it.

Source: http://www.iranian.com/main/2012/mar/eye-opener

Education Under Fire – Anytown

Another video made in defense of education. Please take a look at these links about the video and its makers too!

http://www.communitytampabay.org/blog/anytown-2011-graduate-negar-sabet-film-education-fire-video-715/

http://www.communitytampabay.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Newsletter-FebMarApril.pdf

This video is made to send the message to the world that education is not a crime. An attack on education somewhere is an attack on education everywhere.

We cannot remain silent.

A Different Perspective on Religion

The Tenth Wall Spirituality & Religion

The Tenth Wall Defense of Baha'is of Iran Profilr

This is a video with a poem, both made by John Pilz. Religion has always been used by people in the past and the present as a disguise for sacrilegious intentions. In the name of religion; people lie, cheat, steal, murder and hate. Religion teaches honesty, loyalty, equity, mercy and love. The pundits (religious clergy and experts) change or ignore the teachings of religion to meet their own selfish needs. People have forgotten why religion exists – to build an ever-advancing human civilization. Religion is derived from ligare “bind, connect,” from re-ligare “to reconnect.” Religion teaches us to put our differences aside and work for each other. I see that religion teaches love but fanatics engender hate. Religion teaches peace and tolerance but the “religious leaders” advocate war and intolerance. People have the right to know true religion for themselves, and search for the truth wherever it may lie.