denial of higher education to baha’is of iran

Here’s something I found quite disturbing. Below is an excerpt from the Baha’i International Community’s newly launched website, Closed Doors: Iran’s Campaign to Deny Higher Education to Bahá’ís. It sheds light on the denial of higher education to the Baha’is of Iran — a denial that contravenes the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.

Since 1979, the government of Iran has systematically sought to deprive its largest religious minority of the right to a full education. Specifically, the Islamic Republic of Iran has for more than 25 years blocked the 300,000-member Bahá’í community from higher education, refusing young Bahá’ís entry into university and college. The government has also sought to close down Bahá’í efforts to establish their own institutions of higher learning.

This action comes against a wider picture of persecution of the Iranian Bahá’í community that has included arbitrary executions, unjustified imprisonment, the confiscation of property, and severe restrictions on freedom of religious practice and worship. Since the Islamic government came to power, more than 200 Bahá’ís have been killed, hundreds have been imprisoned, and thousands have had property or businesses confiscated, been fired from jobs, and/or have had pensions terminated. Bahá’í holy sites have been destroyed, the community’s elected administrative structure has been dismantled, and Bahá’ís have been denied a host of other rights, ranging from freedom of movement to simple inheritance rights.

Against that backdrop, the efforts of the Iranian government to deny Bahá’ís the right to education can only be seen as a coordinated effort to eradicate the Bahá’í community as a viable group within Iranian society.


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