Friday, March 07, 2003

Religious minorities in Iran
I am going to write about the religious minorities in Iran. Iranian religious minorities are Sunnis, Christians, Zartoshtis, Jews, Bahais. Apart from Bahais, all of them are officially recognized by government. Every minority has own problems in our Shiah society.
Since the followers of Bahaism and Judaism have much more difficulty and restriction in our society, I will only write about Bahais and Jews particularly Bahasim which is not recognized as a religious minority. This sect has been officially persecuted and many leaders of Bahais have been arrested, and several of them were executed for apostasy. They are prohibited from holding any government employment and they are not issued identity cards!!. Regarding the Jews, in addition to other matters that minority groups face in our society, the Jews have been viewed with suspicion by the government, probably because of the government's intense hostility toward Israel.
My approach to this issue is based on the ” Universal Declaration of Human Rights" , Articles 2,18 and 26. Here I will not try to prove or reject anything since I think that beliefs are not falsifiable. Indeed, I do not talk about political issues in this regard. I hope that my friends help me to expand on this issue.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it is independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 26
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

(posted by Iman)

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