The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


For Dr. Linda Walbridge, a prominent anthropologist of Islam, an authority on Shi`ite Islam, and former associate director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, also see the following links

"Critics chafe at Baha'i conservatism" By IRA RIFKIN
February 27, 1997, Religion News Service Obituary 2002 by Juan Cole

Juan Cole - Menu

From: Juan R. I. Cole <> To: <> Subject: two wrongs make a wrong Date: Tuesday, February 10, 1998 12:12 AM

Not only, as Milissa says, do two wrongs not make a right, but in this case
both wrongs were committed by the same parties!  So they especially don't
make a right.  Susan has started making the ultra logical argument that if
the Baha'i institutions ever act wrongly, and if anyone criticizes them for
that, then the very criticism justifies the wrong done in the first place!!!
What I hear from her is, "My country, right or wrong."  I was taught in
grade school that this sentiment was always immoral; it seems Susan had a
less rigorous ethical education.  She has justified:  the expulsion of
Michael McKenny, the false charges of covenant breaking against the
Talismanians, the false charges against the Dialogue editors, the
harrassment of Nima Hazini (and she even slandered poor Nima in the
process).  And on what grounds?  "My religion, right or wrong."  It was a
bad sentiment in 19th century jingoistic America.  But for it seriously to
be put forward as an ethical standard by an adherent of a religion that aims
at uniting humankind and providing justice for all is so tragic that one
wants to weep.
And let me get this straight.  Susan Maneck apparently puts forth seriously,
an argument that the fact that Dr. Hossein Danesh was charged by *three* of
his women patients with taking advantage of them and that the Royal College
of Physicians found these charges plausible and that he paid a large fine
and promised never to practice psychiatry again--the fact that these matters
were discussed on Talisman is said by Dr. Maneck to justify Dr. Ghadirian
standing up in front of a large audience of Baha'is in London (and before
that in Montreal) and making false and quite frankly libellous statements
about Juan Cole (and really about all Talisman and Irfan listmembers)!  
Dr. Danesh's case was reported in the newspapers and is a matter of public
record.  No one can know the entire truth of the matter.  But that *three*
such accusations were launched and that his professional association took
them so seriously certainly cannot be ignored.  And to think that people
like Michael McKenny or Linda Walbridge were chased out of the Baha'i faith,
having loyally served and sacrificed for the religion, while Dr. Danesh was
protected by the Canadian NSA and then actually appointed to run the
prestigious (and cushy) Landegg Academy in Switzerland--all of this left a
very bad taste in Linda Walbridge's mouth, and I don't blame her.
cheers   Juan