Baha'is Worried Temple in Haifa May be Terrorist Target

July 21, 2006

Source: The Jerusalem Post

On July 21, 2006 The Jerusalem Post reported, "'Hizbullah would think it pretty neat if they destroyed our temple,' said Albert Lincoln, secretary-general of the Baha'i International Community in Haifa, said Thursday. 'Shi'ites consider a Baha'i an apostate who can be killed for nothing,' said Lincoln. 'There are 350,000 Baha'i in Iran. They are excluded from higher education, including the last year of high school. If a Baha'i is killed in a traffic accident he is ineligible for compensation, because a Baha'i's life is worthless.' Members of the Baha'i community have been persecuted, and sometimes killed over the years by Muslims, especially by Shi'ites. Nevertheless, Lincoln said it was important to remain optimistic. 'It is useless to sit in judgment,' said Lincoln, a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School who grew up in a nominally Protestant household near Boston and embraced the Baha'i faith as a young man. 'Individuals have to deal with their own difficult experiences. Collectively, Baha'is look at their persecution in Iran and other places in a positive way. Many lost their lives because they refused to deny their faith. This courage and principled approach served to convey a message. Some persecutors have been so impressed that they have joined us'... Fear of missiles has forced the Bahais to close their beautiful gardens in Haifa to visitors. 'We don't want to risk the lives of our gardeners, our guides and, of course, our visitors.'"