After Decades of Suppression, Baha'is Celebrate Publicly in Baghdad

“We have the available option of filing a lawsuit before the Federal Supreme Court to rescind any jurisdiction that contradicts the constitution,” Abaiji added. However, she believes that such actions to instill freedom of thought and belief would not be very effective, as she said, “Nevertheless, we have to be realistic. The hegemony of the current intolerant Islamist movements will not allow it. We must first build a powerful civil current to defend such freedoms guaranteed under the constitution.”

Besides the role that parliament plays, IHCHR is obligated, under Law No. 53 of 2008, to preserve religious and civil diversity and heritage in Iraq. Anas Akram al-Azawi, an IHCHR member, asserted the role IHCHR plays in protecting and promoting human rights, including religious diversity. Azawi told Al-Monitor the reasons why previous IHCHR reports lacked any mention of violations against Baha’i rights or failed to recognize them.

He said, “This does not mean any form of neglecting the rights of this component of the Iraqi society. However, the formation of the IHCHR was a novelty, and having such a multitude of international acts and obligations signed by Iraq as well as lack of resources on religious minorities in Iraq might have been among the reasons that contributed to the lack of vision on the part of the IHCHR in the past.”

Adding an optimist remark, Azawi said, “In this phase, we will work on developing the IHCHR vision in a way that interacts with the challenges facing religious minorities today.”

Millions of Baha’is around the world celebrated the honorary bicentennial of the birth of Baha'u'llah on Oct. 21-22. Baha’is in Baghdad celebrated after one month of postponements given the security difficulties and challenges surrounding the ceremony.

Comments are closed.