Sunday, July 10, 2011

Back to Egyptian Baha'i Letter to all Egyptians

What are the choices before us?
Many models of collective living are on offer and being championed by various interested parties. Are we to move towards an individualistic, fragmented society, wherein all feel liberated to pursue their own interests, even at the expense of the common good?
Will we be tempted by the lures of materialism and its beholden agent, consumerism?
Will we opt for a system that feeds on religious fanaticism?
Are we prepared to allow an elite to emerge that will be oblivious to our collective aspirations, and may even seek to manipulate our desire for change?
Or, will the process of change be allowed to lose momentum, dissolve into factional squabbling, and crumble under the weight of institutional inertia?
It might justly be argued that, looking across the Arab region—and, indeed, beyond—the world wants for an unquestionably successful model of society worthy of emulation.

Thus, if no existing model proves to be satisfactory, we might well consider charting a different course, and perhaps demonstrate to the community of nations that a new, truly progressive approach to the organization of society is possible.

Egypt’s stature in the international order—its intellectual tradition, its history, its location—means that an enlightened choice on its part could influence the course of human development in the entire region, and impact even the world.......

That is why it is vital that we endeavour to achieve broad consensus on the operating principles that are to shape a new model for our society. Once agreement is reached, the policies that follow are far more likely to attract the support of the populations whom they affect.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Baha'is Commemorate the Martyrdom of the Bab

Baha'is around the world commemorate the Martyrdom of the Bab this July 9. The Bab, a merchant who was born Siyyid 'Ali Muhammad, had declared in 1844 that He was a Messenger of God sent to initiate a new age for humankind. His turbulent ministry lasted a brief six years until, at the age of thirty one, He was martyred in 1850 at the citadel in Tabriz, Persia (now Iran). His title, the Bab, means the "Gate."

The Bab had also foretold the coming of another Messenger of God who would fulfill the prophetic expectations of all the world's religions and Whose teachings would lead to world civilization and world peace. Baha'is believe this Promised One of all humankind is Baha'u'llah. The events surrounding the lives of the Bab and Baha'u'llah and the development of the Baha'i Faith are the most thoroughly documented and corroborated accounts by eyewitnesses in the history of religion.