I recently attended an event on campus called Education Under Fire. It was presented by the Amnesty International Club and showed a viewing of the movie than a discussion with a woman from Iran who actually experienced the devastation going on. The film was about the Baha’I in Iran being denied higher education by the government because of their religion. They are not allowed to attend universities with other people and these universities strictly prohibit any Baha’I people coming into them. The Baha’I must declare their religion on the application and once a university sees that a person applying is a Baha’I, they are instantly rejected. Even with a good GPA, the Baha’I are still denied from these universities. The Baha’I are often dragged out of classrooms at gun point because they are not allowed to receive the same education as other people in Iran.
Being denied higher education from universities and the government, the Baha’I established their own higher education institute. This institute is called the Baha’I Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) and it is for the Baha’I to attend and gain a higher education. The Iranian government however has tried to demolish and shut down this institute, but the Baha’I however continue to progress the institute and improve its qualities. Cruel executions happen to the Baha’I because of their religion. They are denied many basic human rights that everyone should be entitled to. They are not allowed to drink out of the same water fountains as Muslims at school and if a Muslim tries to drink out of the Baha’I drinking fountain they are yelled at because Muslims and Baha’I aren’t supposed to interact. At a very young age the Baha’I are discriminated against and treated unfairly. Many are sent to prison because of their beliefs. The woman who spoke from Iran told a story of how she hadn’t seen her family for sixteen years because of being detained because of their Baha’I religion. She said that they could easily solve their tribulations by simply saying that they were Muslim, but they would never turn their back on their religion and what they believe in. Being denied higher education as well as many other things, the Baha’Is human rights are clearly being violated. They are deprived of higher education because of their beliefs and this is a shame. Action needs to be taken on the Baha’is behalf to change this discrimination and cruelty they face every day. The government needs to stop discriminating against these people and treat them with respect and allow everyone to practice their beliefs freely. There is hope for these people with the increasing awareness of what is going on in Iran being spread across the world. With this awareness will come a solution and the Baha’I people will finally be able to practice their beliefs without being denied human rights. To take action against the education under fire in Iran visit the website http://action.educationunderfire.com/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=6910