Baha'is Draw Attention to Destruction of Holy Sites in Iran

September 12, 2004

Source: Baha'i World News Service

On September 12, 2004 the Baha'i World News Service reported, "The destruction of yet another Baha'i holy place in Iran has prompted an outcry by Baha'is around the world, who see that the Iranian Government is persisting in a campaign of persecution so extreme in the fanaticism driving it that it even jeopardizes invaluable assets of the country's cultural heritage. The demolition in June of an historic house in Tehran, which followed the leveling of a Baha'i holy place in Babol earlier this year, has spurred national Baha'i communities in several nations to place a statement in major newspapers decrying the destruction. The statement, which ran in the New York Times today, is set to run soon in newspapers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The Baha'i community of Iran, with about 300,000 members, is that country's largest religious minority... 'The hatred of the extremist mullahs for the Baha'is is such that they, like the Taliban of Afghanistan who destroyed the towering Buddhist sculptures at Bamiyan, intend not only to eradicate the religion, but even to erase all traces of its existence in the country of its birth,' says the statement, which took the form of a paid advertisement in the New York Times. The house that was destroyed in June had been owned by Mirza Abbas Nuri (also known as Mirza Buzurg), the father of Baha'u'llah, Who founded the Baha'i Faith. Mirza Abbas Nuri was an eminent provincial governor and was widely regarded as one of Iran's greatest calligraphers. The statement in the Times notes that Mirza Abbas Nuri's house was an 'historical monument, a precious example of Islamic-Iranian architecture, 'a matchless model of art, spirituality, and architecture.'"