That you have written things in your Web log that go against the Islamic system and that encourage people to topple the system," he said. "You are inviting corrupt American liberalism to rule Iran."
When she was asked about how she and her fellow bloggers were organized, she said:
"We are not organized against the state," I said. "I write because I want to criticize the system. There are some things in our state that should be corrected."
"Why don't you write an e-mail directly to the supreme leader's office?" he asked. "The supreme leader considers all criticisms and takes corrective actions."
This is absolutely spooky in its parallels to how fundamentalists think the Baha'i system ought to work. Again and again, I and other Baha'i liberals have been told that if only we went through channels, all would be well. Some of these people get really mad about it, saying that if we were "sincere", we wouldn't be airing our grievances publicly, but would confine them to internal venues. Especially common is the suggestion that we should write to the UHJ, although such letters were a factor in at least three cases where Baha'i liberals were threatened or sanctioned. More often, writing to the House is simply used as an occasion to defend the status quo.
Here's one re-statement of the official position on this:
- Central to your perception of the statements made by the believers about whom you are concerned are their assertions that they are entirely obedient to the spirit of the Covenant and the institutions of the Faith; that they are merely voicing their disagreement with certain decisions and policies made by these institutions; are protesting against what they perceive to be unjust or improper actions by some people who occupy prominent administrative positions; and are suggesting modifications to Baha'i procedures to prevent such perceived abuses of authority. These assertions, however, overlook certain important Baha'i principles which provide the methods and channels for the voicing of such grievances or disagreements, and which are designed to lead to resolution of problems while preserving the unity of the community.
- Over many years, a few believers in the United States, instead of confining their protests against what they saw as abuses of authority by Baha'i bodies to the channels and agencies which are plentifully provided for such a purpose, have been publicly and privily assailing the institutions of the Cause and generalizing specific accusations of injustice to such an extent as to accuse the entire system of corruption, not only in practice, but also in form and theory.
This young Iranian dissident knows that this idea is total bullshit, and so do Baha'i dissidents. The only difference between both of these authoritarian systems is that one controls a state, and therefore has the power to arrest people, and the other controls a religion and can only get rid of critics by pushing them out of the community. Both systems even share a disdainful attitude towards "American liberalism", which is regarded as a corrupting factor. The difference narrows even further when you consider that fundamentalist Baha'is don't regard their administration simply as a way of running their religion, but a system that will evolve into being a civil government as well as a religious authority. They want to turn the whole world into Iran.
And the worse thing is that it has nothing to do with anything Baha'u'llah ever taught; he admired democracy, as did 'Abdu'l-Baha'.