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It has been worth your time

What each of us does in the world matters. 

It may not feel like that.  It might seem as if our individual voices are just tiny drops in a gigantic churning ocean of injustice and that anything we do will make no difference.  Which makes us feel it is all a big waste of time.

That’s not true.

Throughout history the voices of ordinary people have made the most difference in human progress.  From the abolition of slavery to the conferring of rights such as votes for women, most change has come about most rapidly when we ordinary folk have stood up in our homes and our neighbourhoods and called for change.

For the past two weeks the worldwide Baha’i community has been engaging in a campaign to call for the release of the unjustly imprisoned Baha’i Leaders – 7 people who have served 9 years in prison simply because of their religion.

In Iran these 7 brave souls are not alone in their predicament.  Alongside them in Iran’s prisons are over 80 other Baha’is also imprisoned because they are Baha’is.  With these Baha’is are at least as many Christians and Sufis who have also been imprisoned for their religious beliefs. 

And religion is not the only type of belief that can result in persecution and imprisonment when human rights are at issue.  Iran’s prisons also host thousands of other prisoners of conscience – journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, activists supporting the rights of children, women and workers and many more people deprived of their rights simply because of their beliefs. 

Human rights activists inside and outside of Iran understand that no-one is safe until everyone is safe. It is widely agreed that as a group Iran’s Baha’i citizens suffer the most extreme government-led persecution from cradle to grave and in every walk of life. Because this is the case the Iranian Baha’i community is seen as a litmus test of human rights in Iran. It is widely believed that a cessation of human rights abuses against Baha’is would augur well for everybody in Iran – not just the Baha’is.

So, to all the people who supported the worldwide campaign calling for the release of the Baha’i 7 – thank you.  When you supported the call for justice for the imprisoned Baha’is in Iran your voice was also calling for justice for all prisoners of conscience in Iran. 

Your support on social media and elsewhere may not feel as if it is making a difference but that’s not true – it really does count.  There is a lot of evidence that shows that public protest against injustice helps to protect people whose rights have been abused. 

The fact is that you simply knowing about these injustices and sharing this knowledge makes it more difficult for those committing these abuses to act with impunity.  This is true about the Baha’i prisoners in Iran and it is also true about all other injustice.

So, never doubt that you as an individual can change the world for the better.

Because that’s how it really works.

To see more about the RelaseBahai7Now campaign in Ireland visit our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter @bahaisofireland

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