Education Under Fire Needs Your Help

How can you help Baha’i students in Iran who are denied access to higher education?

The answer is simple. Take three minutes, maximum, to be part of the Education Under Fire campaign and its Drive to 25 by adding your signature to a petition that will be sent to selected Iranian government officials.

  1. Log on to www.educationunderfire.com.
  2. Then click on the Nobel Laureates’ Letter tab to read the letter co-authored by Nobel Peace Prize laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta.
  3. Finally, click on the Action tab to sign the petition.

Why the Drive to 25?

In May 2011 the Iranian government launched an attack on the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE—the Baha’i-run informal university that provides Persian Baha’i students an opportunity to pursue a college-level education). Computers and materials were confiscated, and 18 professors and administrators were detained. Seven of those have received 4 or 5 year prison sentences simply for educating Persian Baha’i youth. Education Under Fire is seeking 25,000 signatures by May 2012, the first anniversary of the raids on BIHE. As this newsletter went to press the number was nearing 12,000.

Consider, also, making a list of friends, relatives, co-workers, and so on who might be willing to defend the right to education, which Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees to all (and which document has been signed by the Iranian government). For help in framing a request to those on your list, open www.educationunderfire.com; then click on Your Tools, then on Written Materials, then on Guide for Action.

We who are involved with the Wilmette Institute (faculty, administrators, learners) have so many rich resources at our finger tips. Let us all add our names to those who are convinced, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, says, that “Everyone has the right to education,” which contributes to the “full development of the human personality,” “to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” to promoting “understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups,” and to furthering “the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.”

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