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HomeEditors Pick : Top StoriesWhy Baha’i students are denied admission in colleges?

Why Baha’i students are denied admission in colleges?

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iran college

Shadan Shirazi had always been a brilliant student in all her subjects. She ranked no 113th among more than a million students in Iran who appeared for college entrance examinations.

In spite of this, she was denied admission in the university.

She is not an isolated case. Many other bright students belonging to Baha’i faith suffer similar discrimination in Iran.

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Primary school is the only place Baha’i children can study with the other children. That too, under strict supervision of the teachers who strictly monitor their activities and make fun of their religious practices at the slightest pretext.

Shaheed a student of architecture at the Tabari University at Mazandaran in Iran was summoned to the university Intelligence office where his ID card confiscated, and his online student account was closed. The reason: the university came to know that he was a Baha’i. So he was expelled.

The Baha’is are a religious minority Iran, who believe in Bahá’u’lláh a messenger has come after Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. While the Baha’is too are a monotheistic religion and believe in one God — almost like the Jews, Christians, and Muslims, relatively young religion has come under fire.

Constitution of Iran specifically recognizes three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. Anyone else is not eligible for admission in higher education. Page four of the university entrance guide 2014 admissions in Iranian national universities specifically, states that only those who believe in Islam or any other religions mentioned in the Constitution are eligible to apply.

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Despite the fact that Baha’i religion originated in Iran in the 1840s, its practitioners are specifically excluded. Successive governments in Iran have opposed Baha’i Faith on the ground that it is not a religion that was divinely-revealed . Baha’is have been systematically persecuted since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Baha’is are not allowed to get admission in public or private colleges and universities in Iran. Even if a student manages to get enrolled by hiding his/ her religious inclination, they are liable for immediate expulsion by the school.

Potential students applying for university enrollment also have to state on oath that they do not bear “enmity” towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. In other words, this means anyone “taking up arms”, participating in anti-revolutionary groups (Muharib) or “propagating materialism and man-made religions.”


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Some of the other discriminatory terms and conditions mentioned in the university entrance guide state those students must possess “physical ability” for the chosen field of study.

All this just provides wide latitude to the university authorities to deny admission to student belonging to the “other religions” in Iranian universities.

To Light a Candle a new film by Maziar Bahari explores the difficulties faced by Baha’i since the 1979 revolution that consolidated Islamic power in Iran. The film dissects the lives of five former prisoners and their families living under the constant threat from in Iran.

The purpose behind the assault on the Baha’i and closure of their schools by the Iranian government was to discourage their religion from spreading. The situation today is that there are no official Baha’i schools and more and more believers of their faith are disappearing every day.

To overcome the negative bias, some Baha’is tried to start The Baha’i Institute for Higher Education as a parallel education system. These parallel network of schools were located in private residences where Baha’i students could get education outside the Iranian school system. It was a novel idea, but Iranian Government did not think so and arrested the administrators.

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Taazakhabar News Bureau
Taazakhabar News Bureau
Taazakhabar News Bureau is a team of seasoned journalists led by Neeraj Mahajan. Trusted by millions readers worldwide.


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