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|Iran's crisis of civilization will be resolved neither by blind imitation of an obviously defective Western culture nor by retreat into medieval ignorance which often seems to be the direction taken by religious and political elites in Iran. The answer to the dilemma faced by Iran was enunciated on the very threshold of the crisis of modernity in the late 19th century, in the clearest and most compelling language, by a distinguished Son of Iran Who is today honoured in every continent of the world, but sadly not in the land of His birth--except by a religious minority now referred to by Iranian political and religious authorities as heretical.
Persia's poetic genius captures the irony of the position of this religious minority: "I searched the wide world over for my Beloved, while my Beloved was waiting for me in my own home." The world's appreciation of Bahá'u'lláh, the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, came perhaps most explicitly into focus on 29 May 1992, the centenary of His death, when the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies met in solemn session to pay tribute to Him, to His teachings and to the services rendered to humanity by the community He founded. On that occasion, the Speaker of the Chamber and spokespersons from every party rose, successively, to express their profound admiration of One who was described in their addresses as the Author of "the most colossal religious work written by the pen of a single Man", a message that "reaches out to humanity as a whole, without petty differences of nationality, race, limits or belief".
One of the most appalling afflictions, in terms of its tragic consequences, has been the slander of Bahá'u'lláh's Cause perpetrated by that privileged caste to whom Persia's masses had been taught to look for guidance in spiritual matters. For over 150 years, every medium of public information-- pulpit, press, radio, television and even scholarly publication--has been perverted to create an image of the Bahá'í community and its beliefs that is grossly false and whose sole aim is to arouse popular contempt and antagonism. No calumny has been too vile; no lie too outrageous. At no point during those long years were the Baha'is, the victims of this vilification, given an opportunity, however slight, to defend themselves and or to provide the facts that would have exposed such calculated poisoning of the public mind.
Ruling elites can make no more serious error than to imagine that the power they have managed to arrogate to themselves provides an enduring bulwark against the relentless tides of historical change. Today, in Iran, as everywhere throughout the world, these tides roll in with insistent urgency and tumultuous force. They are not merely at the door of the house, but they rise up irresistibly through its floors. They cannot be diverted. They will not be denied, perhaps not today but tomorrow---for tomorrow is another day.-Ron Price, Tasmania
married for 37 years, a teacher for 35 years and a Baha'i for 47 years.