“They say they have noticed an increase in the persecution of Bahais since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”
Funny how that keeps happening: the increasing Islamization of government and society is accompanied by visibly and violently decreasing levels of religious tolerance. “Iran’s Bahai community fear rise in persecution,” from BBC News, July 2:
First there are the images of wooden beams on fire. Then buildings come into view, some without windows and doors, others reduced to rubble.
The shaky mobile phone footage posted on YouTube by Iranian human rights activists shows scenes of destruction filmed secretly from inside a car.
The activists say the footage shows the results of an attack on the properties of Bahai residents in Ivel, a village in northern Iran.
They also say that non-Bahai residents supported the demolitions.
Bahai groups outside Iran have also received eyewitness reports from Ivel.
The witnesses said that several days before the bulldozers moved in, some people in the village signed a petition demanding the expulsion of their Bahai neighbours.
Many Bahais had left already: a number of families had fled previous attacks on Bahai property in Ivel. In 2007, for example, six houses were torched.
However, this time the Bahais left in the village complained to the police in the nearest town, Kiasar.
The police denied that there was a petition against them and refused to provide any protection.
The reports from Ivel residents say that by June 22, almost 50 houses belonging to Bahais had been flattened.
Bahais have lived in the area in Iran’s Mazadaran province for more than 100 years, says Diane Alai, the representative of the Bahai community at the UN in Geneva.
Bahai groups warn that life is becoming harder and harder for the 300,000 followers of the religion in Iran.
They say they have noticed an increase in the persecution of Bahais since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad….