Apart from the confusion about the ‘continuance’ of the Bahai Faith through male offspring and Wills. Surely the failure to attain this testifies to the weakness of the predictions and claim that the faith is inspired. Looked like chaos to me. But I must answer the ‘shame’ accusation. I became a Bahai after attending firesides. I thought it was a faith of benefit. Once I was in I learned that certain aspects were only revealed after joining not before.
I found a strong bias against women and pressure to entertain all Bahais no matter what and to live my life within the community. The fact that I had many friends outside the faith was frowned upon. I was constantly being visited by Bahais new to the area who were told to expect hospitality as “that is what Bahais do”. On one long visit to a Bahai in a different area, I was raped by the man who drove the vehicle. I was traumatized by this but thought that I should appeal to the Bahai’s in the first instance. It was obvious from their response that they knew that he had commit other offences. He had been thrown out by his wife, his sister. He subsequently committed a sexual offence again, still the same “we are all sinners and come to Bahaullah for help with this. No sympathy at all. The man also beat up men who he saw as ‘competing for women he was interested in’.
At a later stage one of the young daughters aged 14 announced she was pregnant by a 22 year-old policment also of the Bahai faith. We were expected to rush around trying to find someplace they could go to where a marriage could be conducted not possible in the UK. The charge for an adult having intercourse with a minor is rape in the British Isles.
As someone whose womenfolk have compaigned long and hard over the last century for equality of females I found this insistance that men could decide the fate of these perpetrators of crime sickening. Everything was about preserving the outward appearance of the faith not protecting and supporting victims.
I also found the constant gossip, innuendo and backbiting worse than anything I’ve ever experienced anywhere, including my school. There was much more than the national average divorce in our community also. My view of faith is that the truth will attract right thinkers and truth seekers. It will also help those seeking a better way of spiritual development to flourish. This was certainly not my experience. With regard to the young girl who I see as being abused the explanation was “thats why Bahaullah suggests that girls be married off by this time” it saves them from harm. Actually, I was 40 when I joined, I had travelled extensively in East Africa and the Middle East and have never been in harms way. In Britain we have an age of consent so that children can be educated and reach their full potential whether male or female. These two cases show that the Bahai Faith is neither progressive nor inclusive.
There is no hatred in my heart, just disappointment and a lingering anger at the way I was abused and made to feel I was in some way responsible for that abuse.
Finally, the man who abused me has gone on to commit further atrocities. He has just been accused of brutality by his third wife and she and her daughter have had to be housed in a womens’ refuge. Once again, the LSA have supported him and sheltered him to the detriment of another innocent victim.
The Bahai faith talks about equality of the sexes but does not practice it, talks about ‘no backbiting’ but is a hotbed of gossip and untruths and fails to uphold the laws of the land if to do so exposes the Faith to criticism and contempt. Inspired by God? I certainly hope not.
I also believe that Bahais are supporting the Israeli Government in their attrocious policies against the Palestinians. As someone very familiar with Israel and its views I find it astounding that Bahai institutions can flourish the way they do unless they support the Government.
Author’s name withheld for security reasons.
Image courtesy : kamilagornia.com
Image used only for representation purpose.