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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

THE CASE AGAINST RUHI EFFENDI AFNAN








The narrative of Ruhi Effendi, as I have presented it, was written with the purpose of preserving the memory of this man in the literature which is growing around the Cause. This was necessary, because those who have incurred the displeasure of the Bahai organization are expunged from the record wherever possible, so that with time even their shadows are practically obliterated. It is true that on occasions, the names of these persons do come up in a mass listing, under a direful heading; but their achievements and good works are totally forgotten and, of course, their stories are never told.

Now, I have not attempted to tell Ruhi Effendi's story from his point of view. Such an effort would have been presumptive for, although I knew him well in his youth and have since observed his development with interest, the barriers of distance and separate channels of activity have intervened between us. Likewise, I could not comment on the events which led to his excommunication, for these are shrouded in mystery; yet, one thing I could do, and have done—this was to state his standing in the Cause which was won on his own merits, and to offer a picture of him based on his writings, for the benefit of the Bahai public of today and of the years to come.

Needless to say, I have not received a sign of approval from him, for excommunicated persons do not place themselves in one category, to make merry or lament on the same ground. Of this order, there are definite grades which are recognized not only by the Bahai community but by the outcasts themselves. Consequently I, who am close to black on the tone chart of untouchability, cannot expect to communicate with those who an listed under the greys; although, for my part, I confess to being rather color-blind in this respect and feel myself fundamentally involved with all shades of God's children, however different their opinions may be from my own.

The writing of a biographical sketch on a living person is not an easy task. In praising, one tries to be restrained; in implying a criticism, one hopes to be inoffensive.   Through it all, truth is of first importance;otherwise, it were best either to lay down the pen or else devote one's time to fiction.

These difficulties were apparent to some of my friends within the Bahai organization and to the others outside of it. It was said that I had enough trouble on my hands, and that I should not go hunting for more. Also, I was reminded that my readers had small interest in the internal disputes of the Bahai organization and that they might lose patience with -ne altogether. This latter was sound advice and I realized it; nevertheless, -n inner voice insisted that it was incumbent upon me to pay a tribute to his grandson of Abdul Baha, which task I have discharged to the best of my ability.

Reasons in Toto
The excommunication of Ruhi Effendi was a totally arbitrary act as can be estimated from the Guardian's cablegrams, passages of which I quote. The reasons given, and all of them, are asfollows:—

Reason I:-—     
Ruhi's sister married covenant-breaker Fayzi.

Reason II:—     
(The)   flagrant disloyalty   (of)   Ruhi's family compels me (to) disclose information so long (and) patiently withheld (from) American believers concerning his failure (to) obtain my approval (of) his second visit (to) America

Reason III:—   
His subsequent conduct regarding his marriage which I refrained from revealing (to) anyoneexcept your Assembly, as well as Foad's departure (to) England without my knowledge should now be made known to believers.
Reason I
The First Reason applies to the marriage of Ruhi Effendi’s sister to the son of Furighyyeh Khanum, daughter of Baha-o-llah.

Now, I happen to have known the two elder brothers of this young man, the late Hussein Effendi Afnan when he was aide-de-camp to Fayzal, King of Iraq, and Nayyar Effendi Afnan who was Commissioner of Parks in Cairo, Egypt. Both of them were noble Bahais, who had achieved distinction in their respective fields; yet the Guardian has chosen to stig­matize this entire family, which incidentally was greatly cherished by Abdul Baha, with the name of coven ant-breaker, and he therefore is displeased with the marriage which has taken place between these two cousins of his.

However, this is a story in itself and does not apply to Ruhi Effendi.He did not marry into the honorable family above-mentioned; therefore, I claim that the First Reason given for his excommunication is entirely beside the point and cannot be taken seriously..

Reason II
The Second Reason is on the grounds that Ruhi Effendi failed to ob­tain the Guardian's approval of his second visit to America.

It happens that my readers have seen the advance announcement of this visit, published inBahai News by the National Spiritual Assembly, in which it was stated that Ruhi Effendi was expected in this country and that he was coming with the approval of the Guardian. Now, we can say with cer­tainty that the National Assembly had been in communication with the Guardian in regard to this visit; that this announcement was made follow­ing his instructions, and that the warm welcome accorded to, and the series of meetings arranged for the distinguished guest were in conform-ance with Shoghi Effendi's wishes. It seems incredible that the printed words of the National Spiritual Assembly should now be flouted to so great an extent; yet, such is the case. The Guardian in his cablegram of excom­munication goes back on his trusted administrative organ and brands it with untruth; an action which is unwise, for hereafter no one can put much weight on the statements made by the National Spiritual Assembly.

Let us suppose that Ruhi Effendi's visit to this country was made without the Guardian's approval, but with his permission which we know had to be granted. If such were the case, there was an excellent precedent for it which we will now review:—

Shortly before the Master's departure from this life, Shoghi Effendi determined to go to Oxford, England, to continue his education. He had suffered a disappointment at the University of Beirut, having failed to obtain the degree of M. A. upon which he had set his heart; and the fact that his fellow Bahai students had won this honor made the situation all the harder. Now, Abdul Baha was disappointed too, but he did not make a point of it. He felt that his grandson had derived much benefit from the University and that a degree was not absolutely essential. He wished Shoghi Effendi to remain in Haifa to take up the work of the Cause at his side. Undoubtedly, he needed him; also he probably felt that his time on this earth was not to be very long. So, Shoghi Effendi stayed in Haifa for a few years.

Now, Shoghi Effendi has a very strong scholastic leaning and he could not give up the desire for further education; consequently, the time arrived when a definite issue arose in Haifa: Shoghi Effendi insisted on going to Oxford, and the Master insisted that he should remain at home.

To make a long story short, Shoghi Effendi won his point, for the ladies of the household were so sympathetic to his distress that they interceded for him with Abdul Baha. Thus, Shoghi Effendi finally went to Oxford, without the Master's approval but with his permission. He was there when Abdul Baha passed away from this life and was unable to return until more than a month after the funeral services.

Naturally, the Master did not excommunicate his grandson for this determination to have his own way; therefore, by the same token, if Ruhi Effendi came to America without the Guardian's approval but with his permission, he likewise should not have received punishment. Also, in view of the fact that the National Spiritual Assembly had gone on record as say­ing that the visit was made with the Guardian's approval, the statement should have been honored. Consequently, I claim that the Second Reason given for the excommunication of Ruhi Effendi cannot be sustained in a court of ethics or of law.

Reason III
The Third Reason is in regard to his marriage, although nothing is told us of this event other than the fact. It would seem that Ruhi Effendi had a right to pick out his own wife, and as his choice fell within the family circle it is obvious that he did not marry outside of his class or of the Cause. This excuse of marriage brings to mind an event of world-wide importance which took place in the first family of England, which has a similar aspect to the one with which we are dealing, although it cannot be called a parallel.

In the case of Edward VIII there existed certain disadvantages: the lady was an American; she was divorced; she was not of royal birth. How­ever, in view of prevailing modem conditions, an adjustment could have been made if the Tory element in England had so wished. Yet, the tragic break occurred; the King was deprived of his rights and sent into exile. Why was this? The answer is well known: Edward VIII was too liberal, too progressive, too democratic; the stand-pat dignitaries of the Empire thought him dangerous and longed for his downfall. So, the abdication was con­summated and the idol of the nation became persona non grata. Thus, the royal house of England lost its most gifted and decorative representa­tive, and the nation, a valuable asset which could not be replaced or sup­plemented.

Those who have studied the talks and writings of Ruhi Effendi can see very clearly that this material could not have been pleasing to the Ad­ministration, for it contained an inherent liberality and tolerance which did not fit into a totalitarian pattern. Doubtless, this descendant of Baha-o-llah caused a good deal of anxiety to the authorities. He seemed to be of the old order of Abdul Baha, which is synonymous with being of the new order of a world society; and he constituted a threat to the system which had chosen to forget the universality in the Cause, which was its heritage, and its destiny. Consequently, reasons for his elimination from the picture had to be worked out; and one of the excuses was his marriage.

Now, I claim that the outworn method of excommunication applies to heresy in religion, having nothing to do with the private life of an individual, and that the Third Reason for the excommunication of Ruhi Effendi is totally invalid.

We have examined in their order the excuses given for the expulsion of Abdul Baha's grandson from the Bahai community; and can accept them as just, reject them as unjust, or pass on to other matters with a sigh of relief, finding the whole subject outside of our line of interests. How­ever that may be, the case of the Guardian of the Bahai Cause against Ruhi Effendi, in which the extreme penalty was exacted on grounds that were not legal, nor logical, nor ethical, nor moral, must stand before history as one more example of the overriding irresponsibility of Fascism as expressed in this abnormal age. Let us however expect that, in the per­spective of the future, organized terrorism will appear as but a phase of the great’ day of transition which will have developed into the day of Uni­versal Democracy—the Day of Baha-o-llah.


Foad"
But, who is Foad?" This question was asked of me by some Bahais who had noted the name in one of Shoghi Effendi's cables of excomunication.   It is included in the Third Reason, as quoted in this chapter.

Foad is the youngest brother of Ruhi Effendi; but he is not merely part of a family that has been placed under spiritual quarantine. He is awrongdoer in his own right. Quote:—Foad's departure (to) England without my knowledge, should now be made known (to) believers.

It is questionable whether this action was better or worse than was that of his brother. The latter went to England without the Guardian': approval; the former, without his knowledge. It seems to me that Foad Effendi was wise; he intended to go to England (I surmise, to pursue his studies), and, not wishing to run the risk of being forbidden to do so, he simply took French leave. I hope he got what he wanted out of his sojourn in that country and, certainly, I think no less ofhim for having conducted his private life as he saw fit.

I remember Foad as a baby of a year or so at the time when I left Palestine in 1918. Since then, I have not returned to that country, so the little knowledge I have of him is derived from the writings of the pilgrims. This actually is not knowledge, but rather a few glimpses of a child as seen through the eyes of visitors to Haifa. It appears that he was an independent little personality even at the age of three, and I have heard that he was a delight to his grandfather who found much amusement in his precocious ways.

In The Light of the World by William H. Randall, published in 1919, we read a description of An Afternoon with the Household. In the above-named chapter, on page 132, Foad makes his appearance as natu­rally as would any child in any ordinary family:—

At this point little Foad entered the room breathlessly and began speaking very fast and excitedly. It seemed that his pet donkey had a feverand he was asking Abdul Baha to pray for it. Earlier in the afternoon he had given two oranges to Abdul Baha. The Master now gave him one to eat. When he had finished, the other was given to him with the instruction: "Give this to the ladies." He firmly refused, saying the gardener had said that no one but Abdul Baha should eat the oranges, and no amount of persuasion could make him give it to the ladies—but be had already eaten one himself.

In the same book, on page 86, we find the children at the supper-table, in the presence of the ever-loving and indulgent Host:—

At supper, Foad and Riaz, the two three-year old grandchildren of Abdul Baba, were both seated al one end of the table, their faces shining with joy and happiness for this privilege. We learned that before dinner, the Greatest Holy Leaf had told Foad that as he had been there all the day, il were better for him to go borne for dinner. He quickly left the room, going direct to Abdul Baha and complained of this. He replied with loving kindness; "Of course, you can slay with me for dinner." Immediately Foad returned triumphant to the rest of the family, saying:—"Now you see, the Master wants me to stay with him."

In an article by Miss Genevieve L. Coy printed in Star of the West, October 16, I92l,page 198, we come across the irrepressible Foad offer­ing his services as protector to Abdul Baha:—

In a short time the Master came from around the eastern corner of the Tomb, followed by little Foad. The Master was radiantly beau­tiful. He wore a dove-colored overcoat or wrap, for the wind was cool on the mountainside. Foad was dressed in a stiffly starched white dress, and made a staunch little bodyguard for the Master. (Someone told us that one night Foad went up to the Master after supper and said, "You go to bed now and rest. I will take my gun and lie across the threshold.  If any thieves come, I will scare them away!")

These simple anecdotes give a picture of Foad Effendi Afnan as he figured in Abdul Baha's household at the start of his life. Now at the age of twenty-five years, he has been excluded from the one-time happy family circle and from the Bahai community in all parts of the world. He will forever be classed as an enemy of the Cause and be relegated: to the limbo of forgotten things, if the Bahais continue to agree that the punishment of excommunication fitted the crime, which was, Iblush to remind my readers, that of traveling to England without permission.




Conclusion
The above digression from the account of Ruhi Effendi is not actually such, for his family is an inextricable part of the sad story -which I have felt called upon to write. My task is now completed and I leave it for whatever it may be worth, happy in the fact that my tribute is paid and is on record. In this work, I have had no arr'tere pensie of any kind, and especially no expectation that Ruhi Effendi should, at any time, lend his talents to the aspect of Bahai endeavor for which I strive. The world is large; our pathways will probably never cross, but the Light which we follow is the same. It falls on us without distinction and will guide us to the same goal  I trust that his journey will be fruitful in the future as it has been in the past; that his name will continue to shine on the records of the Cause and that he, descendant of the Bab, Baha-o-llah and Abdul Baha, will fulfill: glorious destiny as a man, the ramparts of whose spirit are unbreached.

Meanwhile, I must express my very ardent hope that the evalua tion of an excommunicated person, as set down by the National Spiritual Assembly {Bahai News, No. 134, March 1940, page 2), will seem a ridiculous to Ruhi Effendi as it does to me. This statement reads:—

. . . his expulsion or excommunication from the Faith, which can be effected by the Guardian alone, in his capacity as the supreme spiritual  head of the community, has far reaching spiritual implications affecting the very soul of that believer.

And a little further in the same article:—

But in case he is excluded from the body of the Cause by an act of the Guardian he ceases to be a believer, and cannot possibly identify himself even nominally with the Faith.

I know that Ruhi Effendi is far too intelligent to take such an argument seriously; besides, he has had his instructions) long since—instructions from Baha-o-llah himself. They read:—

Verily God hath made it incumbent upon every soul to deliver His Cause according to his ability. Thus hath the command been re­corded by the Finger of Might and Power upon the Tablet of Majesty and Greatness.
—Bahai Scriptures, p. 257

Again:—

Be as the blowing wind of the Merciful to the trees of the cre­ated world, and rear them up in the name of thy Lord, the Equi­table, the Learned One.
—Bahai Scriptures, p. 189

These teachings cannot be abrogated; they are there to stay, as is the promise:—

Whosoever quickens one soul in this Cause is like unto one who quickeneth all the servants and the Lord shall bring him forth in the Day of Resurrection into the Rizwan of oneness, adorned with the Mantle of Himself.
—Bahai Scriptures, p. 258

And now comes the burden of Abdul Baha's message, delivered on earth. It is his message now, received according to our understanding; and, dare anyone doubt, conveyed at this time to his grandson with peculiar emphasis:—

Abandon silence and seclusion and solitary nooks and go forth into the arena of explanation. Convey the Message of thy Lord with clearest speech and most complete elucidation. This is better for thee than solitude.
—Tablets, of Abdul Baha, Vol. III, p. 520





Monday, April 14, 2014

UHJ is interested in having more Martyrs from Iran!

To,
The Bahá’ís of the World
Allahu Abha
In a very recent incidence as mentioned by UHJ in letter dated 7 April 2014 that an Iranian senior cleric has presented to the Bahá’ís of the world, an exquisite calligraphic prepared by him of a passage in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas wherein Baha'u'llah calls upon His followers to: “Consort with all religions with amity and concord, that they may inhale from you the sweet fragrance of God.” 
Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani
The letter requested the Bahá’ís to contact their Office of External Affairs to take immediate steps, in consultation with individuals and like-minded organizations, to draw widespread attention to it. The Office of External Affairs was also to call upon its contacts in the mass media, as well as Bahá’ís and others with whom it has established relationships and who have achieved distinction in such fields. The letter assured the Bahá’ís that alongside the foregoing action, the Bahá’í International Community, will be apprising its contacts at the United Nations and among international non-governmental agencies of the significance of this gift. The UHJ also hoped that The Brussels Office of the Bahá’í International Community will, in addition, pursue related action at the level of the European Union.

Surprisingly the letter further states that “Given the considerable risk to the personal freedom and safety of Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani on account of this courageous act, the fact that people of prominence in the political, religious, and civil spheres express their support publicly, may well serve as a protection for him. Your Office of External Affairs may consider making approaches to some of its high-level contacts in government and elsewhere on this matter, on a confidential basis.”

I have been a member of NSA of an Eastern country for almost twenty years and since then every month I see a Message from House asking the Bahá’ís to meet the prominent people or government officials or writing open letters to Iranian leaders. It surprises me that what is the purpose of this. It looks like the UHJ has no concern with the teachings of Baha’u’llah and its just involved in political matters. And then claims that Bahá’ís do not indulge in politics.

The recent letter of the UHJ has many unexplained points:
  1. Even if the said cleric has gifted his calligraphy to the Bahá’ís, then it is a gesture. Why  the Government of Iran should eliminate him and moreover in which way the governments of other countries are concerned with it. Isn’t the UHJ itself is suggesting the government of Iran to take some action against the cleric? It looks like the UHJ is playing a part of clever enemy and not a good friend for the cleric inspite of his gesture. UHJ by this way is really putting the life of the said cleric in danger. UHJ is not trying to PROTECT the cleric they want to further EXPOSE the cleric to the Iranian authority.  
  2. The UHJ is trying to make this incidence as an excuse of meeting various governments’ officials and influential people. I guess that the Bahá’ís must have informed and UHJ must have realized that the Government officials of various countries are no more interested in meeting them and are refusing to give any hearing to Bahá’ís. The declining support of countries towards various motion tabled by western countries on human right issue is an indication towards it.
  3. My Persian Bahá’í friends who echoed same sentiments regarding this letter believed that this recent incident is fake, the Website is fake and it is operated from outside Iran. He said that this will put further restrictions on Bahá’ís and Bahá’í Faith. He narrated a recent incident that a couple of months back there was a news originated from some corners that an Iranian Mollah has praised Bahá’í Faith on Iranian TV. He said that we investigated the matter and found that the whole news is fictitious. When he talked to other Bahá’ís they were of the opinion that Bahá’ís themselves are putting these fake news on internet to get some publicity for them and putting their own Bahá’í brothers under more problems. He further said UHJ is interested in having more Martyrs from Iran.
  4. A Persian Bahá’í recently informed me that he has come to certain conclusion that It was only UHJ who was interested in death sentence for Yaran so they could easily gather money from the Bahá’ís of the World. But the Iranian government acted smartly and waved off their death sentence and destroyed the Party of UHJ.
  5. Never UHJ has taken some concrete steps to help the Bahá’ís of Iran. Whatever steps they took resulted in increased persecution of Bahá’ís.
  6. Same policy UHJ has followed in other countries resulting in imprisonment of Bahá’ís in Indonesia, deportation in Uzbekistan arrest in India. The list is endless.
  7. Isn’t it is the responsibility of parent body to see that if the situation is not favorable in some parts of the world to ask Bahá’ís to slow down their activities till the situation turns favorable but always the Messages of the House and directives of the counselors are “Go to Court” , “Go to police”, register a complaint. Even a layman will understand that UHJ is interested in blowing the situation out of control so as to gain some benefit and in return Bahá’ís are put to more harassment, in the name of reforming and transformation of the society. Really is the Blood of Bahá’ís become so cheap!!!.
  8. He was very apprehensive of certain Iranian members of the UHJ whom he thinks are misguiding the UHJ and probably they are more close to Iranian Government then the teachings of Baha’u’llah. Instead of taking inspirations from the writings of Baha’u’llah they are being directed by friends of Iranian regime on regular basis.
  9. The problem of the Bahá’í world are Persian Bahá’ís. They make a group, they decide amongst themselves they dictate terms, they humiliate non-Persian Bahá’ís in every country, make mockery of them and all of them are interconnected to each other. If this tendency went unchecked then very soon we will see all nine members of UHJ as Persians. We will see an Iranian flag over UHJ and the same Ayatollah leading Friday prayers in Haifa.
Source
Free Baha'is of Singapore
http://www.singaporebahais.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shoghi Effendi and Grandsons of Abdul Baha




Respect of Shoghi Effendi towards children of Abdul Baha



Here we would like to bring the facts about Shoghi Effendi’s cruelty towards the Holy family of Abdul Baha, as he become Guardian of faith by  will and testaments of Abdul Baha, he turned dictator and started ex-communicating the holy family of Baha’u’llah, the grand children who served the faith in Europe and America. Readers might be wondering why he has ex-communicated the entire grand children of Abdul Baha, what was that heinous crime which they committed, that Guardian has to take such drastic step to ex-communicate them, not only this even he ordered that if someone asked about their well being will also come under wrath of Guardian. First let us list the Noble family members of and Grand Children of Abdul Baha.

Abdul Baha had four Daughters
1.     Ziayyeh Khanum
2.     Touba Khanum
3.     Rouha Khanum
4.     Monavar Khanum

1.     Ziayyeh Khanum, Married to Mirza Hadi Afnan
Children from this marriage
                   I.                   Shoghi Effendi Rabbani
                 II.                   Ruh-Anghiz Khanum
              III.                   Mehr-Anghiz Khanum
              IV.                   Hussain Effendi Rabbani
                  V.                   Riaz Effendi Rabbani

  1. Touba Khanum Married Mirza Mohsen Afnan
    Children from this marriage:
  1. Ruhi Effendi Afnan
  2. Soroya Khanum
  3. Soheil Effendi Afnan
  4. Foad Effendi Afnan

  1. Rouha Khanum, married to Mirza Jalal Effendi Shahid
    Children from this marrieage
  1. Maryam Khanum
  2. Dr. Munib Effendi
  3. Zahra Khanum
  4. Hassan Effendi.

  1. Munavvar Khanum married to Ahmad Effendi Yazdi.

    No Issue.


Direct Excommunication

Ø  Ruhi Effendi Afnan: Grandson of Abdul Baha
Ø  Zahra Khanum: Grand daughter of Abdul Baha and wife of Ruhi
Ø  Soraya Khanum: Grand daughter of Abdul Baha and wife of Feyzi Effendi
Ø  Foad Effendi Afnan: Grandson of Abdul Baha
Ø  Mehr Angiz: Grand daughter of Abdul Baha and Sister of Shoghi
Ø  Feyzi Effendi: Grandson of Baha’u’llah
Ø  Touba Khanum: second daughter of Abdul Baha
Ø  Rouha Khanum: Third daughter of Abdul Baha
Ø  Mirza Jalal Shahid: Husband of Rouha Khanum
Ø  Furughiya Khanum: Daughter of Baha’u’llah
Ø  Agha Sayyed Ali Afnan: Husband of Furghiya Kahnum

Let us examine the cause and effects of these excommunications from the Book of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab “ABDUL BAHA’S GRANDSONS”

Mirza Ahmad Sohrab was confident secretary of Abdul Baha for many years he was well versed in Bahai teachings and trusted lieutenant, he was sent to teach and propagate faith to America, there are numerous tablets of Abdul Baha in respect of Mira Ahmed Sohrab after the sad demise of Abdul Baha when Shoghi took the charge of Bahai administration he quickly realize popularity and influence of Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, he side lined him, Mirza Ahmad sohrab wrote many books for faith, when he saw Shoghi is excommunicating the entire family of Abdul Baha he wrote a Book “Abdul Baha’s Grandsons ” in which he raised his voice for the oppressed souls of Abdul Baha’s Grandsons.


Page 24-26

The year of Disgrace
The law of excommunication puts an absolute ban on those who are expelled from the Faith. The families of these persons and their fellow-believers must leave the ostracized individuals alone. They must neither communicate nor associate with them. They must break all ties of friend­ship and of humanity even; for, if they deviate one hair's breath from this law, they themselves fall into the same ditch.
Thus as time goes on, the number of the excommunicated increases;
RUHI EFFENDI AFNAN
for a few are generally to be found, here and there, who are willing to risk ease and safety in order to follow their generous impulses. Such evidently was the case in the instance of Touba Khanum; it probably is the case in the instance of Rouha Khanum. However, in the instance of Ziayyeh Khanum, the Guardian cables that his parents strongly condemn Mehr-Angiz's action. Thus, Shoghi Effendi's father and mother have been forced to publicly denounce and repudiate their own daughter. Hereafter, they must be as strangers to her. They can never approach her in her hours of trouble or illness. They will never hold their grandchildren in their arms. Such is the Bahai Cause in this year of disgrace—1942.

A Fact Beyond Realization


I intend to take up the matter, treating it in connection with historical data and in the light of reason; and, in order to simplify the subject as far as possible, I will center my thoughts around the personality of Ruhi Effendi Afnan. His excommunication and the reasons given for it tell the story of all the rest
Ruhi Effendi Afnan has twice visited the United States; he has lectured before numerous Bahai gatherings and outside groups; his articles on the Bahai Cause are published in Bahai publications and the records of his loyal services to the Guardian and the Bahai organization are spread on the pages of Baha’i News. Knowing full well that he has not deserved the treatment accorded him at the hands of his cousin, Shoghi Effendi, I am taking it upon myself to vindicate him, as far as I am able.
Having experienced excommunication together with the ostracism of all those who are associated with me, I naturally sympathize with other excommunicated persons. However, this is not the reason that impels me to raise a voice of protest at this juncture.
During eight years, I was fed, clothed and educated by Abdul Baha. Throughout that time, the Master's daughters were most gracious to me and I carry in my memory lively tokens of their kindness. I associated most intimately with their children, and vividly remember the ardent respect of these young ones for their grandfather, and their devotion to him. I hold each and all of them in high regard.
I never objected to my own excommunication, nor did I take it at all seriously; but the excommunication of the very family of Abdul Baha has shaken my being to its foundations. I am amazed and indignant. I am outraged and horror-stricken. The fact that Shoghi Effendi has dared to expel from his own household these souls, in whose bodies run the blood and life of Abdul Baha, is beyond realization.  The reasons given for their
Excommunication are childish to the extreme, having nothing to do with their faith and love for the Baha’i Cause.
In the writing of this book, I have not had the opportunity of con­sulting with any of the members of Abdul Baha'is family. It is certain that none of them would consult with me. Thus, I have asked permission of no one, and am alone responsible for every word appearing here. My own conscience is my sole guide.
Another reason for my taking up the pen in this regard is that a number of Baha’is have written to me on this subject. To put it very mildly, they are disillusioned, shocked and confused. They cannot square the actions of the Guardian with his role in life. They are wondering what precipice is around the corner; toward what swamp of despair the Baha’i Cause is being driven. They are anxiously asking if there may possibly be a modern rational explanation for these medieval and irrational pro­cedures.
We will therefore face the issue: and, as a first step, will examine the Bulls of Excommunication as presented in the up-to-date guise of the cablegram.

Text of Cablegrams (Cablegram received November 10, 1941)
Ruhi's sister married covenant-breaker feyzi, whose mother joined and supported arch-enemy Muhammad Ali and whose father Abdul-Baha denounced openly and repeatedly as His deadly enemy. Ruhi's family concurred, inform all believers (that) all manner (of) communication (with) excommunicated family (is) forbidden.
(Signed) Shoghi Rabbani
(Cablegram received November 10, 1941)
(The) flagrant disloyalty (of) Ruhi’s family compels me (to) disclose information so long (and) patiently withheld (from) Ameri­can believers concerning his failure (to) obtain my approval (of) his second visit (to) America. His Subsequent conduct regarding his marriage which I refrained from revealing (to) anyone except your Assembly, as well as Foad's departure (to) England without my knowledge, should now be made known (to) believers. Confident (of) Unshakable steadfastness (of) exemplary American Baha'i Community-
(Signed) Shoghi Rabbani

Answer sent on November 17th by the National Spiritual Assembly:—
Informing friends (of your) message (about) Ruhi's family. Assure complete obedience protection unity (of) sacred Faith.
(Cablegram received on November 21, 1941)
My confidence (in) immovable steadfastness (and) unstinted loyalty (of) American believers (is) reinforced.
(Signed) Shoghi Rabbani. Bahai News; December, 1941, No 149, pp. 1-2




From Page 11
PROTEST
Against the Excommunication of Members of Baha-O-Llah's Family
signed by Leaders of Religion and Educators
May 1942
In these days when the principles of humanity are threatened on all sides, there is urgent need for men and women of good faith and purpose to band together for the upholding of the common rights of man, within their own communities and religions and within the communities and re­ligions of others.
It is with this thought in mind that the undersigned consider condi­tions within a minority group, namely the Bahai Cause, and make pas­sionate protest against the recent excommunication by Shoghi Effendi Rab-bani, Guardian of the Cause, of certain members of Baha-O-Llah's family. Excommunication, as we take it, is an order for severance of ties be­tween the excommunicated and their fellow-members in Faith. It is an un-Christ-like act which, although practiced in medieval ages by religious authorities, is now totally condemned by enlightened persons of every rank and profession.
Threfore we go on record, at this hour when the Four Freedoms enunciated by the President of the United States are ringing around the earth, endorsing whole-heartedly and without qualifications whatsoever a sentence from Mr. Roosevelt's historic speech before Congress, delivered in January 1941:—
"The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world."
On the basis of this principle we insist that, in the New World Order which all of us picture and strive for, the irreligious practice of excom­munication be set aside forever and replaced by the practice of Love and Tolerance as set forth throughout the ages by Christ and the great company of prophets, seers and spiritual teachers.
We urge men and women of all Faiths to consistently oppose, and to refuse to recognize, any and all exclusion acts within their religion, and under all circumstances to keep open the doors of their temples and hearts to their fellow-believers and to their fellows of every race, creed and color.
Signed by:
Mr. David P. Berenberg, Author: A Worker's World; Educator,Lecturer Kedarnath DasGupta, Author: Essence of Religions and Founder of
World Fellowship of Faiths Dr. Georgia Dunn, Professor of Psychology, Hunter College, NewYork
Mr. William Floyd, Editor: Arbitrator; Author, Educator Archbishop William H. Francis of the Old Catholic Church Miss Frances Grant, President of Pan-American Women Association, New York
Mr. Jacob Greenwald, Counsellor-at-Law, New York Dr. John Haynes Holmes, Minister of Community Church, New York Mr. Gordon S. P. Kleeberg, Counsellor-at-Law, New York Commander R. E. Lambert, U. S. N. R.; Editor: Sourcebook Rev. Leon Rosser Land, Minister of Bronx Free Fellowship, NewYork

Dr. John Rowland Lathrop, Minister of Church of the Saviour,
Brooklyn, New York Mr. William Pickens, Director of Branches, National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People, Washington, D. C. Dr. Haridas T- Muzumdar, Author:   The   United Nations of the World; Lecturer, Sociologist
Mr. John J. O'Neill, Science Editor, New York Herald-Tribune Rev. A. J. Muste, Secretary, The Fellowship of Reconciliation, NewYork

The Key. Dr. Charles Francis Potter, Author; The Story of Religion;
Founder and Leader of The First Humanist Society of New York Miss Lisa Sergio, Radio Commentator
Dr. Krishnalal Shridharani, Author: My India, A/y America; Lecturer Dr. Anup Singh, Editor: India To~Day; Author: Nehru, the Rising Star of India
Dr. George Maychin Stockdale, Minister of Church of Christ in Amer­ica, Methodist Branch, Clinton, N. Y. Dr. Eliot White, Clergyman, Writer, Lecturer

PROTEST Comment and Some Notable Letters

In the Old World, we were not our brother's keeper; but were of the cautious type, looking for our own interests and letting ethers shift for themselves. In the New World that is to be, we shall recognize the fact that all of us are part of the human organism and will boldly apply ourselves Io the task of keeping that organism in good shape. The averted eyes, the careful picking of one's way on the other side of the road will no longer be the acceptable attitude; but the straight look and the helping hand will be the characteristic of a new citizenry, everywhere in the world.
Of such an order are the distinguished educators who have condemned the action of Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, Guardian of the Bahai Cause, taken against several members of Baha-O-Llah's family. Excommunication, to their minds, has no place in modem society; intolerance, exclusion and cruel­ty has no place in any society, and so they have condemned this deed and gone On record in a Protest that wil make a landmark in religious history. The Protestant Minister, the Catholic Bishop, the Jewish Rabbi, the Hindu, the Sikh have arisen together to protect the Bahai—their brother before God and man. So have the boundary lines grown thin under the penetrat­ing warmth of the Religion of Love.
Dr. George Maychin Stockdale, Minister of Church of Christ in America, Methodist Branch, Clinton New York, in a letter dated March 25, 1942 writes to us that their Young Men's Class studied Bahaism the previous week and is to consider Shoghi Effendi's excommunications the following Sunday. Dr. Stockdale states that he is ready to do anything "to help banish this ancient barbarism of excommunication from off this earth" and has actually communicated directly with the Guardian on this subject. He encloses a copy of his letter, which w£ herewith reproduce:—
CHIRM OF CHH1ST IN AMERICA
Melhodiet Branch George Maychin Stockdale, Minister
Clinton, New York, March 25, 1942.
Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, Guardian of the Bahai Cause, Persian Colony, Haifa, Palestine. Dear Guardian of the Bahai Cause,
Your Chris like Grandfather, Abdul Bah a, when asked on one occasion, "What is a Bahai?'1 replied,
"TO BE A BAHAI SIMPLY MEANS TO LOVE ALL THE WORLD: TO LOVE HUMANITY AND TRY TO SERVE IT; TO WORK FOR UNIVERSAL PEACE AND UNIVERSAL BROTHER. HOOD."
(J. E. Easlemont, "Baha'U'Llah and the New Era," page 70.)
I Would like to make the above my own definition of what it is to be a Christian. On this definition the Hindu Gandhi and the Buddhist Das Gupta are both Christians and Bahais, as well as true Hindus and Buddhists respectively. Some of my Bahai friends do me more honor than I deserve by telling me that I am a Bahai, although I am just trying to be a Christian.
If we agree on the above, and I hope we do, it is the more amaz­ing to gel word of what are called, and seem to be, your excommuni­cations of Ruhi Effendi Afnan, your* cousin; his wife; your sister and others.
What troubles me, my dear Sir, is the method employed. If we love all humans, and the Love of God cannot dwell in us unless we do, bow can we use any other than Love and Persuasion as our means of seeking change of mind and heart in those we deem wrong? Can excommunication be a method of Love?
Now far be it from us to prematurely make up our minds in this controversy. We would hear your side. Sir. Yet we assure you that even if you should submit proof positive of the commission of the more heinous crimes by any or all of the excommunicated, (which I am sure you wouldn't,) still would we say that the WAY of LOVE demands we retain community with the vilest of sinners. THEY NEED LOVE EVEN MORE THAN NINETY and NINE SPIRITUALLY TRANSFORMED SOULS, in whom GOD (LOVE) DWELLS. That seems dear to me from both the teachings of Christ and of Baha'U'-Llah, interpreted too by Paul and Abdul Baha respectively.
It troubles me too that it is reported that you are not too sure amid this world madness just what loyalty we owe to God and what to the state. We are blessed beyond many here in America, as in Britain, in that the Draft Law here specifically makes room for us pacifists, who could not disobey God at the command of man, no matter what the consequences. We know you have the cares of a world gone mad in suicidal slaughter on your mind and heart. Yet it would be hearten­ing to have from you a word, clear as crystal, that Bahaism officially "although making no attempt to bind the consciences of its individual members, will NOT OFFICIALLY ENDORSE, SUPPORT OR PAR-T1CIPATE IN WAR." I have slipped into the exact words of our Methodist Branch of the Christian Church, with which I agree one hundred per cent.
Yours, strong in the Faith that LOVE (GOD) alone can win,
(Signed) George May chin Stock dale

Shoghi Effendi has not replied to any of this protest.