Breaking News - NSA Orders Boycott of Kalimat Press
Kalimat Press has played a pivotal role in developing a Baha'i intellectual life and Baha'i scholarship -- particularly through its *Studies in the Babi and Baha'i Religions* series. And it has had to tolerate the interference of the Baha'i administration on many occasions. Even as early as 1982, the UHJ demanded that passages from Salmani's memoires be censored -- as I understand it, Kalimat was required to literally "stop the presses" because of this demand, as the book was just being printed.
However, there are many occasions that have been connected to events in recent years. Kalimat co-owner Tony Lee received a threatening letter in 1999 because of his distribution and advertisement of Juan Cole's groundbreaking *Modernity and the Millenium* -- a letter which warned him of penalties in the afterlife if he continued to do this. Just this last summer he was warned about carrying Abbas Amanat's *Resurrection and Renewal* -- the best book out there about the Babi era. Amanat, like a lot of other Baha'i scholars who experience the administration's wrath, had some pointed criticisms about it in the new introduction to this book -- and the administration cannot abide any criticism.
Kalimat also carries Sen McGlinn's *Church and State*, which has been condemned by the administration and its author disenrolled.
Well, it is no longer news that the Baha'i administration is unalterably opposed to new ideas, creative thinking, or solid academic scholarship. The talk is that, along with the LSAs, most ordinary Baha'is will avoid even the non-controversial publications of Kalimat Press. I hope this isn't true. Kalimat's customers, overall, probably represent the most intellectually curious segment of the Baha'i community. Baha'is who don't like history written in an academic style probably aren't buying from them anyway.
Besides the *Studies* series, Kalimat offers devotional materials, children's books, books on Christian issues and spirituality, and introductory materials. Next on my list to get is the book of translations of Tahirih's poetry -- which is a groundbreaking effort in itself.
So, I would ask my readers not to allow this effort to drive Kalimat into the ground to succeed. The Baha'i community needs this publisher -- buy a book or two from them, as soon as you can, to show your support and put this blatant effort at censorship in the toilet where it belongs.