The following excerpt is from an article in the New York Times. It tells of a Baha'i mother's struggles from her early years as a teenager in Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran to her current situation in Houston, Texas, decades later. Because of its copyright, a link is provided below to read the entire newspaper article which cannot be printed here in its entirety.
A Woman’s Persecution, and a Daughter’s Deliverance By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN
HOUSTON — On a blustery night the week before Mother’s Day, a woman and her daughter sat together on the sofa at a hair salon here. Nica Sabet had come to the beauty parlor after school, because it was where her mother, Nahid Sabet, worked. By this time, past 8 o’clock, the doors were locked and the customers gone, and Mrs. Sabet could tell the story that Nica had never heard in its entirety.
It was a Mother’s Day story, involving all the maternal mainstays of such stories: love, sacrifice, perseverance. Yet it was unlike any other Mother’s Day story, because all those familiar things happened amid an almost unimaginable climate of religious persecution.
The story, as revealed over several hours by Mrs. Sabet, began on the day 40 years earlier in Tehran when, as a 15-year-old, she converted from her family’s Muslim faith to the Bahai religion. Bahaism had emerged a century earlier, proclaimed by a Persian noble after a revelation from God of a monotheistic, pacifistic doctrine. Many of Iran’s Muslims, including Nahid’s parents and siblings, deemed it heresy. And when the theocracy of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini overthrew the shah, during Nahid’s 20s, Bahais fell under immediate attack as criminals, subversives, secret agents of Zionist perfidy. They were jailed and tortured; their businesses were shuttered and their educations halted.
Tending to their apostate, Nahid’s parents selected for her a Muslim husband. One of her brothers swore that no child of hers would be a Bahai....