The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


My Response to Takfir (original)

See also A Response to Takfir (as published)

See the abbreviated published version, "Challenging apostasy: Responses to Moojan Momen's ‘Marginality and Apostasy in the Baha'i Community.’" Pages 384-393 Religion 38 No 4 2008.

Challenging apostasy: Responses to Moojan Momen's ‘Marginality and Apostasy in the Baha’i Community’ Original Online at Religion.

It appears here to help the reader understand the Iranian Shiite fanaticism that the Baha'i Faith really has come to represent behind the granite facade of peace and love. It cannot be sufficiently overemphasized that in each case Momen's article constitutes one falsehood and distortion after another about each person named as a so-called "apostate."

From this server: Full text of Momen's libel of 15 people: "Marginality and Apostasy in the Baha'i Community."

From this server: Challenging apostasy Responses to Momen.pdf

Full original article also on Scribd: "Marginality and Apostasy in the Baha'i Community." by Moojan Momen. Full PDF text from Religion on Scribd:

Full Text of All Responses from the several people slandered in Momen's article.

Also see US District Court of Northern Illinois rules against Haifan Baha'is - April 23, 2008
Amici curiae, Reform Bahai Faith


FG - A Response to Moojan Momen's Takfir & Slanderous Vilification:
“Marginality and apostasy in the Baha'i community.” Religion. Volume 37, Issue 3, September 2007, Pages 187-209.

"While in all past religious books and epistles, the world of humanity has been divided into two parts; one called the people of the Book, or the Pure Tree, and the other, the Evil Tree. One half of the people of the world were looked upon as belonging to the faithful, and the other as belonging to the irreligious and the infidel; one half of the people were consigned to the mercy of the Creator, and the other half were considered as objects of the wrath of their Maker. But Baha'u'llah proclaimed the Oneness of the World of humanity--He submerged all mankind in the Sea of Divine Generosity." --Abdul-Baha

Moojan Momen’s attempt to label people as “apostates” entirely misses what is truly the issue: The corruption and decline of the Baha’i Faith under an oppressive administration founded upon the spurious, fraudulent will and testament of Abdu’l-Baha. A denomination based upon an act of forgery cannot but produce the many evils that have manifested themselves increasingly over the last decade in the Baha’i Faith. The much flaunted “administrative order” constitutes the real cadre of apostates, not the fictitious "group" he's concocted.

Moojan Momen and the Haifan Baha’i administration, while publicly hiding behind a facade of liberalism, are essentially practicing Islamic “takfir,” labeling people “kafir” or infidels, and issuing fatwas, denying the very existence of other Bahais and denominations, all indicative of the worst in the Shiite Islamic heritage of the Bahai Faith—practices Baha’u’llah specifically repudiated, teaching tolerance of different religious views, largely congruent with modern Western custom. Nothing could be more diametrically opposed to the modern democracy of Western civic and legal order than the jihad the Haifan Baha’is are conducting.

Momen’s paragraph about me, a litany of hate, derision, and slander, under the guise of "scholarly content" and "factual statements," is so thick with lies and misrepresentations that I am sure the rest of the "article" must be just as biased, deceitful, and hypocritical. My response to his various distortions follow below.

Holding two degrees from the University of Michigan, I studied there with Robert Hayden, the only American poet of any real ability who thus far has happened to be a Bahai, an African-American, and appointed Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. I edited both his Collected Prose (University of Michigan Press) and his Collected Poems (Liveright). A man of formidable intellectual integrity, Hayden loathed fundamentalist Baha’is. It’s important to understand that Baha’i fanatics have attempted, since Hayden’s death in 1980, to distort and co-opt his reputation for their propaganda and that I stand in their way, as with other issues. Sharing his assessment, I discuss Hayden’s actual views on the Baha’i Faith at length in my essay about him in my recently published The Grove of the Eumenides: Essays on Literature, Criticism, and Culture (2007). I've also published three other books of poetry and prose, have a forthcoming volume in Spring 2008, been a Fulbright-Hays scholar to China, and an NEH scholar on India, but since I’m supposed to be a “marginal” Baha’i “apostate,” Momen, like all zealous Baha’i apologists, can only treat people with caricature and slander, as has been done by fundamentalists for over a decade on talk.religion.bahai and elsewhere online.

Deriding my four years of community college teaching, Momen conveniently leaves out that I taught English literature and rhetoric for several years at Gunma University (Japan), Illinois State University, and Oakland University.

I’ve been a Bahai for 31 years, since 1976, not 25. I was very active in the Michigan Bahai community, travel taught in the state in youth groups, attended firesides, summer school, conventions, served on a number of assemblies and committees, regularly contributed to the Funds, and I pioneered to Japan and on the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Arizona (3 years). I published an essay on the poet Robert Hayden and a review in World Order in the early 1980s. 

“Personal clashes with Iranian Baha’is.” Apparently they thought so and reported something to someone. What is the accusation and who is my accuser? This type of libel is characteristic of fascist states and organizations.

Similar to the many Bahais whose messages were censored, my posts to soc.religion.bahai were also censored, by fundamentalist apparatchiks who opposed the creation of an unmoderated news group, talk.religion.bahai for over two years, organizing and massively voting against a free and open forum they couldn’t manipulate. It took three rounds of voting to pass. Even after a decade, talk.religion.bahai remains quite possibly THE ONLY Bahai FORUM that cannot be censored by anyone, fundamentalist or liberal, and I am definitely proud of that fact. Talk.religion.bahai > Menu:  At times, as stormy as the British Parliament, say what one will, it’s a free and open forum, where all voices may be heard, more than one can find in the Shiite-like world order the ao would impose, imitating the anti-Western prejudices of that decadent, depraved, and backward excuse for a culture and civilization, and unlike the Teachings of Baha’u’llah, who loathed the tyranny of His homeland. Online now for over a decade, talk.religion.bahai participants soon began to realize there was a "Bahai Technique" to fundamentalist behavior, based primarily on slander, character assassination, and such reprehensible tactics. That Momen has practiced such "techniques" in the pages of a reputable academic journal should give intelligent minds reason for pause and concern:

“Withdrawn from active participation” on talk.religion.bahai: completely false, as is the spam allegation. I withdrew from allowing myself to be pummeled by bullies and fanatics who refuse to engage and discuss people’s legitimate concerns. I’ve found ways to reveal how utterly corrupt the ao is. The ao actually spams the group with the same ignorant party line, year after year, never discussing anything that doesn’t align with it. That’s not discussion nor an exchange of ideas, even though they pretend otherwise. A free society and free speech require give and take. They’re only interested in takfir and branding people as kafir. I regularly exchange posts on talk.religion.bahai with people capable of decent courtesy, listening, and respect for other people’s opinions and religious convictions, including Bahais who are members of other Bahai denominations, whose views may differ from mine, but whom I respect as human beings. Momen, like all fundamentalists and bullies, is incapable of respecting people who don’t echo back to him his own opinions. A public school teacher once observed that most bullying occurs in 6th through 8th grade. That tells us something important about the administrative order and the people it uses to do its dirty work, like Momen and Susan Maneck. My interest on talk.religion.bahai is in reaching those Bahais and people who are uninformed and naive as a result of the distortion and suppression of information and the deceit of Baha'i propaganda. The reactionary attack and tactics of Momen and others demonstrate that I have been successful in informing my fellow Bahais and citizens, in the USA and around the world, of the despicable fanaticism that purports to represent Baha’u’llah’s Teachings. The allegations and howling over "spam" is all out of proportion to reality, revealing their disreputable motives.

The Bahai “institutions” are not above criticism; no one is in this world, especially any putative institution that purports to be "infallible." They merit little else than criticism given their disgusting conduct and lack of ethics.

Not at all acerbic. Here’s the proof: "Please remove my name and address from your mailing list." Details at  That’s it. That’s all I asked for, and I got insult and fanaticism in return. I’ve never been officially notified, if I was dropped from the “rolls,” only online slander claiming it. Some people have sued the ao, Deborah Buchhorn for fraud and slander, which they wiggled out of, not at all a proof of their innocence: 

“Fact and fantasy”: Momen and the ao are so sunk in fantasy that only fanatics like themselves fail to see it. They share that with Al-Qaeda, along with many other traits.

The Reform Bahai Faith began August 19, 2004, though its roots go back to Ruth White, Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, Julie Chanler, and other early Bahais who were similarly maligned for not accepting the fundamentalist Shiite interpretation of Baha’u’llah’s Teachings, based on the fraudulent will and testament of Abdu’l-Baha, written by the family of Shoghi Effendi, and pronounced a fraud in 1930 by Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell of the British Museum: 

The Reform Bahai Faith is already much larger than any other Bahai denomination, including the three combined that the NSA of Wilmette is currently suing in the US District Court of Northern Illinois.

Why would members of the Reform Bahai Faith want to identify themselves on the Internet to be abused and harassed by Shiite Baha’is, especially given the way fundamentalists have caricatured and slander me and other independent minds? Some hardy souls have posted and participated in the safe forum of Yahoo Group - ReformBahai, where fundamentalists may not libel people with impunity: 

My website “The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience” may be the most comprehensive effort made to document the fanaticism that has taken over the largest Bahai denomination.

Blitzkriegs: Ad hominem, slander, and takfir are not an answer to the profound questions raised by Shoghi Effendi’s corrupting Baha’u’llah’s Teachings and taking His Faith back into the middle ages. Momen's defamation has a very long Baha'i history, early instances of which were noted by Mirza Ahmad Sohrab in his book Broken Silence: The Story of Today's Struggle for Religious Freedom. New York: Universal Publishing, 1942. "The writer of the article in Bahai News reaches the height of his slanderous vilification when he likens Mr. and Mrs. Chanler and their Bahai friends to those enemies that preceded them: Subhi-Ezel, Mohamet Ali, Kheirella and their like" (138).  Click “Dangerous Doctrine.”

Out-of-context allegations of "conspiracy theories" and misrepresentations about the murders of Daniel Jordan and David Kelley do not address the real issues, nor do they successfully dodge them, to a thoughtful and critical mind capable of detecting a blatant attempt to discredit. A call for further investigation is not tantamount to a conspiracy theory but a highly logical and prudent precaution given the actual conduct, over so many decades, of such a reprehensible organization, which at times pretends to be a mere corporation when it serves its designs, as in its several lawsuits against other Bahai denominations.

Far from "obsessive hatred" of the Bahai Faith, the people Momen attempts to label "apostates" have valiantly sought to *defend* the values of honesty and decency requisite for any civilization worthy of the name and to *protect* themselves and their fellow citizens from religious tyranny and exploitation.

Bullies, liars, and fanatics are not scholars worthy of the title, even when they deceive editors of reputable academic journals into publishing their screed.

Bahai regards,


Compare Professor Juan Cole on Baha'i Takfir

"The Bahai Technique":

Shunning & Slander > Menu 

Sen McGlinn, Church and State. Leiden, 2005. Reviewed by FG