Baha'is and violence...

Jun 2006
4,317
California
#1
In terms of the question of violence in the name of the Baha'i Faith I would like to adda few items.

Baha'u'llah has forbidden Holy War... that is war in defense of religion such as the crusades or Jihad:

"In the Tablet of Bisharat, Bahá'u'lláh expresses the hope that
"weapons of war throughout the world may be converted into instruments of
reconstruction and that strife and conflict may be removed from the
midst of men".

"In another Tablet Bahá'u'lláh stresses the importance
of fellowship with the followers of all religions; He also
states that "the law of holy war hath been blotted out from the
Book".


~ Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 241

"A Bahá'í denies no religion; he accepts the Truth in all, and would die to uphold it. He loves all men as his brothers, of whatever class, of whatever race or nationality, of whatever creed or colour, whether good or bad, rich or poor, beautiful or hideous. He commits no violence; if he is struck he does not return the blow. He calls nothing bad, following the example of the Lord Bahá'u'lláh. As a safeguard against intemperance he does not drink wine or spirits. Bahá'u'lláh has said it is not good for a sane man to take that which will destroy his health and sense."

~ Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 56

"For in those days no one knew that the Manifestation of the Báb would culminate in the Manifestation of the Blessed Beauty and that the law of retaliation would be done away with, and the foundation-principle of the Law of God would be this,
that "It is better for you to be killed than to kill"; that discord and contention would cease, and the rule of war and butchery would fall away."


~ Abdu'l-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 199

Baha'is in the United States are to apply for non-combatant service if drafted by a selective service system:

Bahá'ís and Military Service
by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States

published in Bahá'í News, 88
1965-06
The policies governing the relationship of American Bahá'ís to military service are currently being reviewed. Pending publication of a more definitive explanation, the friends will be guided by the Guardian's statement of principle and by certain repeated elaborations by the National Spiritual Assembly.
Shoghi Effendi's 1946 guiding words of principle are still in effect: " . . . the Bahá'ís should continue to apply . . . for exemption from any military duties that necessitate the taking of life. There is no justification for any change of attitude on our part at the present time."

It is obligatory, and not optional for all Bahá'ís in the United States to apply for non-combatant status when registering at the age of 18. By registering as a Bahá'í, there is opportunity for recognition of the Cause both at the Draft Board and among acquaintances. Instructions for youth may be obtained from the local or national assemblies. The Bahá'í statements on military service and on loyalty to government are supplied.

Since it is only through the Selective Service machinery of classification and induction that a noncombatant status can be assured, one who volunteers for service ordinarily forfeits his right to receive that status. Therefore, Bahá'ís should not voluntarily enlist in any branch of the Armed Forces which by definition is entirely a combatant Service.

Bahá'ís and Military Service

"Gracious God! This people need no weapons of destruction, inasmuch as they have girded themselves to reconstruct the world. Their hosts are the hosts of goodly deeds, and their arms the arms of upright conduct…."

Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 170.

So the above seems to me to reflect accurately Baha'i views on the issue of violence.
 

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