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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 12:57PM #1
world citizen
Posts: 5,461

For decades Iranian Baha’i youth (for religious beliefs) and Iranian Muslim “dissident” youth (forming student unions, speaking out on human rights, etc.) have been either expelled from, or denied admission to, that country’s universities.


In September 1998 agents of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard spread out across Iran in dozens of small groups.  By the time they were finished five days later, more than 30 people had been arrested, some 500 private homes had been invaded, and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of books, furniture and equipment had been confiscated.


The aim of those raids was to shut down the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), an effort by the Bahá'í community of Iran to provide university educations for those systematically excluded from colleges and universities in Iran since the 1980s.  The Institute has commitments from many universities in Europe, the US, and Canada to accept BIHE graduates.


Within the past few months, Iran’s campaign against BIHE has intensified and its qualified educators have been arrested.  They are now facing possible decades in prison on the charge of “delivering higher education to Baha’i youth” with the accusation made that it is a “matter of national security.”  Their attorney, described by Amnesty International as "one of the bravest human rights defenders in Iran" was arrested before the professors and lecturers could come to trial.


Education Under Fire is a website dedicated to bringing these egregious violations of a basic human right to awareness of the public.  It includes videos, a letter from Nobel Laureates, and a petition letter to the Iranian leaders which will be sent upon receipt of a minimum 25,000 signatures.


Would you add your name to this petition letter?  If not, please explain the reasoning behind your decision so as to invite further discussion.


News Link for Education Under Fire

Moderated by Stardove on Feb 14, 2012 - 03:14PM
Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 3:55PM #2
TemplarS
Posts: 6,716

Yes- I agree- 


the problem is, though- you can guess how much careful consideration the enlightened gentlemen who run Iran will give  to this petition.


The other problem is, foreign attention only seems to strengthen these guys' hand in portraying their poor oppressed Iranian revolution as the victim in all of this.  Probably the only solution will be when enough Iranians get fed up enough with the situation that they themselves  do something about it.  



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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 4:32PM #3
mountain_man
Posts: 39,129

Feb 11, 2012 -- 12:57PM, world citizen wrote:

For decades Iranian Baha’i youth (for religious beliefs) and Iranian Muslim “dissident” youth (forming student unions, speaking out on human rights, etc.) have been either expelled from, or denied admission to, that country’s universities......


Iran can do as they please. I find it very hard to drum up any concern for something going on in Iran when education is under attack in my own country.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 7:15PM #4
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,783
MM you do have a good point. Right wing zealots are trying to eliminate public education from all children here in the United States and are rewriting the history books to teach lies when they allow children to be taught at all.
A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 8:29PM #5
TemplarS
Posts: 6,716

It is absurd to think that anything in Iran comes close to anything we have in the US.


There is a sobering lesson here, however, for anyone who even thinks that the state needs to have a role in enforcing any sort of religious agenda.


Curious that many of those who are the most hawkish on Iran are the same ones pursuing this sort of creeping agenda domestically.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 9:27PM #6
rabello
Posts: 20,940

Yes, I will sign the petition.  Thank you for the link, worldcitizen.  Imprisoning  and killing teachers is egregious. 

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 10:30PM #7
world citizen
Posts: 5,461

Feb 11, 2012 -- 4:32PM, mountain_man wrote:

Feb 11, 2012 -- 12:57PM, world citizen wrote:

For decades Iranian Baha’i youth (for religious beliefs) and Iranian Muslim “dissident” youth (forming student unions, speaking out on human rights, etc.) have been either expelled from, or denied admission to, that country’s universities......


Iran can do as they please. I find it very hard to drum up any concern for something going on in Iran when education is under attack in my own country.


Your comment is reasonable but seems similar to the U.S. isolationist views taken about what was happening to the European Jews and gypsies, etc., in the 1930's.  What has been happening to the Baha'i citizens of Iran since the 1980's is right out of Hitler's playbook.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 10:36PM #8
world citizen
Posts: 5,461

Feb 11, 2012 -- 3:55PM, TemplarS wrote:

Yes- I agree- 


the problem is, though- you can guess how much careful consideration the enlightened gentlemen who run Iran will give  to this petition.


The other problem is, foreign attention only seems to strengthen these guys' hand in portraying their poor oppressed Iranian revolution as the victim in all of this.  Probably the only solution will be when enough Iranians get fed up enough with the situation that they themselves  do something about it.  




I don't think the petition letter is as much about expecting Iran to actually change its ways as it might be to let them know that the world is watching, aware, and standing behind the oppressed.  Didn't Iranians try to do something about this regime about a year or so ago but received no outside  backing (ie., ignored by the US govt when asked for help)?  At my age, the memory can't always be relied upon.  :-)

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 10:50PM #9
rabello
Posts: 20,940

Your memory agrees with what I remember from the crackdown in Iran, world citizen.


I will sign it to stand for the oppressed, and help get the 25,000 signatures they want to get before they send it to the Iranian leaders.   

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 11:16PM #10
jane2
Posts: 14,295

I can do so little about what happens in Iran. I wish Iranians well. Iran is a rogue nation right now.


I am more concerned with the education of the marginal in the US. I am happy to read that the inane  No Child Left Behind is  no longer operable in ten new states. It was never a solution.


Many years ago I told my husband I would love to volunteer to teach preschoolers standard American English--in which our classes are taught. Politically somewhat incorrect, I know.


Our middle-class and especially upper middle-class students tend to do well, many in science and math. I believe we should also encourage talented students so inclined to do well in the humanities. Studies in the arts, language and fine arts contribute to our overall well-being.

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