Talk:Bahá'u'lláh/Archive 4

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Archived Jul 24, 2005 Cunado19

What is going on here?

I have been following this discussion with interest. Clearly there are many people here who know a good deal about Bahá'u'lláh. It would be a shame to see this turn into a revert war -- they usually accomplish nothing. One thing though must be clear: Wikipedia: Wikiquette provides a series of very important policies here. Amir, you can't go around saying "Go take a hike asshole. I am not here for an idiot like you to talk to me like i am a grade school kid and you are the teacher. You are dumb man." Refdoc should say things like this either. It's unacceptable here. I am sure you feel really frustrated. I've been there myself and I have two suggestions.

First, let's say that, as you suggest, editors like Refdoc know nothing about the Bahá'í Faith. If your goal is to contrubute to an on-line encyclopedia, you have to assume that there will be many readers of this articel who know as little or less than Refdoc. A good article will explain things clearly enough so those readers can understand. Now, if you cannot patiently explain the matter of content to Refdoc, how good a job will you do on editing the actual article? I am not putting down your skills as a writer -- I am inviting you to see Refdoc's ignorance as an opportunity, an opportunity to find out what explanations are effective, and what isn't (or rather, what phrasing is or isn't). If you can get Refdoc to understand, then you know that you can add whatever you have been discussing to the article and others will get it too.

Second, accurate, verifiable content although extremely important is only one of the principles guiding the contents of articles. Equally important are other policies like Wikipedia: Neutral point of view and Wikipedia: No original research. Even if you are the world's top expert on the Bahá'í Faith, there are certainly many people here who know more about Wikipedia policies than you do. These people can help you find ways to add content to the article while complying with these policies. I urge you to accept their help in good faith. Don't take anything someone says (e.g. Refdoc) personally. What is important is that he can be just as dedicated to making this a great article as you are, even if you have radically different reasons.

That said, I also have some comments on the language thing. First, Amir points out problems with Bahá'u'lláh's Persian; Occamy provides aquote attesting to his command of Arabic. As far as I know these are two different languages so these two claims do not contradict.

Second, I will take Amir at his word that Bahá'u'lláh's Persian sucked. Is it possible that he can still be considered a great stylist of Persian and contributor to Persian literature? I am not arguing, I am asking because I really do not know. But I can tell you why I ask this question. Americans can recognize expressions of English that are of the highest quality, in grammar and style. Nevertheless, some of the greatest American writers are those who, because of acquired skill or precisely because of a lack of education, could express themselves in an English that violated all the rules of "proper" grammar and style (e.g. Mark Twaine, Will Rogers, Sojourner Truth, Henry Roth). Is it possible that Bahá'u'lláh's contribution to Persian literature is precisely his expressing powerful thoughts and feelings in the language of illiterates? Maybe I am wrong -- but if I am right, I am just saying, this wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened.

I trust, Amir, that you will accept my comments in good faith and as constructive. From looking over your contributions I have no doubt that you will add good content. But I urge you to review our Wikipedia: Neutral point of view and Wikipedia: No original research policies. Because any content, no matter how accurate, will be deleted sooner or later if it violates one of these two policies. Good luck, Slrubenstein 22:11, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thanks Slrubenstein. The edit conflict appears at the moment resolved as my latest editing of "language skills" appeasr to be accepted by amir. But it was actually about both languages, Arabic and Persian - this becomes clear when reading the main article history in conjunction. Anyway, over for now. Refdoc 22:41, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I am glad to hear it -- and apologize if I spoke out of turn. Byyyyyyy the way -- and I really am not trying to make trouble -- it sounds like the debate over whether or not to include the photo itself illustrates some of the conflicting views people have of Bahá'í. Has anyone thought of, instead of using a photo, just having a blank square on the page -- followed by an explanation of why there is a blank square, and some of the controversy over Bahá'í and photos? Just an idea -- if this doesn't make sense, skip it. Slrubenstein 23:46, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I seem to remember that this article used to be illustrated in such a way, with a note saying that "out of respect, his picture cannot be displayed". That's as I recall it when I first looked at this article back, oh, a whole month ago on January 3rd. I think that was what first got Amir steamed up enough to get his friend Martin2000 to upload and link Baha'u'llah's picture in the first place, his comment on making that change [1] on January 14th being: "(Uploaded a passport photo of Bahà'u'llàh and removed the BS about "no photo out of respect" which makes absolutely no sense. This is Wikipedia and people have the right to see this photo)" -- PaulHammond 17:00, Feb 6, 2005 (UTC)
the photo is to a degree useful information. As such it should either be avaible in the article or be linked to (I favor at the bottom of the article for a number of reasons).Geni 00:42, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Sarcasm doesn't really travel well by text, so I'm going to assume that that was intended as a joke →Raul654 01:08, Feb 5, 2005 (UTC)

While I can not comment on Geni's intention's I can assure you that this suggestion is seriously meant and was made by numerous people who were either not involved or tried to get some consensus.I believe linking or at the bottom of the article are both valid alternatives. Not all articles must aspire to featured status and conform to the templates to the last spot. The reasons are all above or in the archives. Refdoc 01:13, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Not a joke. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) includes no mention of images at the top.Geni 05:36, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Declaration in the Garden of Ridvan

I added "formally" in the Declaration section because there are hints that some of those surrounding Baha'u'llah guessed or knew beforehand his station as "He whom God shall manifest". I have not made an extended search, but here is an extract from one scholarly source: Christopher Buck, The Kitab-i Iqan: An Introduction to Baha'u'llah's Book of Certitude with Two Digital Reprints of Early Lithographs. Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies, Vol. 2, No. 5 (June, 1998) http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/bhpapers/vol2/iqan&sn.htm

What Baha'u'llah termed the "delay" and the "set time of concealment" (cited in Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By [1944], p. 151) is intimated in several self-referential passages in the Book of Certitude....The translator, Shoghi Effendi, succeeds in capturing a vigorous sense of mission on the verge of disclosure. The many hints to this effect in Baha'u'llah's writings during the Baghdad period are in fact not, in the final analysis, all that subtle. Such hints were not missed. Doubtless, there were at least a few Babis perceptively alive to these hints, who "recognized" Baha'u'llah before his Declaration. Occamy 19:40, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Also removed "alleged" from the Declaration section because--by their nature--visions are personal experiences and cannot be proved to others. For example, the Old Testament records that Moses heard the voice of God out of the burning bush, but it is not alleged. Occamy 21:43, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I believe it is important to mention the 11-year delay all by itself in a separate paragraph. I intent to expand on this in future contributions. Anyway, with or without any future contributions, I believe any reasonable person wouyld agree that since 11 years delay is quite a long time, it is important to make it more pronounced in that section of the article. --Amir 22:59, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Expand away, but please try to keep your analysis and interpretation clearly labeled as your analysis and interpretation rather than as historical fact. Yep, Baha'u'llah stated that he first received the vision of the Maid of Heaven 11 years befor the delcaration outside Baghdad. Agreed. _He_ claimed (See God Passes by) that the period was "a set time of concealment." If you want to expand on that, be my guest, but please distinguish between your analysis of it, and Baha'u'llah's statement about it. Hold yourself to the standard you want to hold the Baha'is to. Objectivity and neutrality. Rick Boatright 02:25, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

OK, Amir has added the following paragraph....
Some have claimed that this puts his subsequent claim in doubt, because Kitab-i-Iqan was written to prove the Báb's "legitimacy" to those who had raised doubts about the Bab and Bábi Faith, but Bahá'u'lláh's new religion and its holiest book, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, essentially sends Bábism and its book the Persian Bayan into retirement, and declares a new "religion". Some have raised the question why a messenger of God, inspired by God about his mission, keep it secret for 11 years and in those 11 years write an extensive book in support of something, that only a few years later he himself was going to cancel and send into retirement?
    • First - Who has claimed (other than Amir?) - This is not an argument I've seen before.
    • Second - uh, the purpose of the Kitab-i-Iqan was not written only to prove the Bab's legitimacy, but to..
      • Establish the Bab, and Him Whom God Shall Make Manifests claim to the station of manifestation
      • To answer the question of the Seal of the Prophets
      • To establish Baha'u'llah's position as the receptor of revelation, a position CLAIMED by Azal, but who never produced.
The Kitab-i-Iqan is at its core an eschatological work providing an analysis of the prophetic content of the Quran.
In other words, the questions raised are not raised by any credible source, and they are easy to answer. So. Unless someone (other than Amir) strongly objects, I think the thing to do is DUMP this paragraph. (Or find sources, and flesh out the argument.) Rick Boatright 05:32, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Some Data

We note that some people are still trying to use the preserving information argument. Well lets see how that ones stands up. To get two equiverlent versions lets use the ones when there was the edit war going on. The version with the photo at the top [2] was 10.07 KB acording to firefox page info. The version with the photo at the bottom[3] was 10.26 KB acording to firefox page info. In short putting the photo at the top was destroying information.Geni 08:31, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Sources

Can somebody please explain who is the the source "Some"? He/she is referred to twice in the Declaration in the Garden of Ridvan section, viz "Some have claimed that this puts his subsequent claim in doubt..." and "Some have raised the question..." This is sloppy work and possibly POV that will be excised unless someone (no pun intended) can provide proper detailed references/sources. Thanks. --Occamy 14:02, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The some was inserted by me. Prevously the whole section had been an assertion which was not consistant with NPOV. Since the section is quite new I think we can wiat a while to see if anyone can come up with any sourcesGeni 14:09, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I added that section to what was already modified (by Bahais here) and I didn't want to change any of their words, so I just added "However, this claim naturally brings the questions of ...." -- Geni decided that my "However" was POV, so she changed it to "Some have claimed" and then demanded source for "who are these 'some people' " !! LOL --Amir 14:21, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Amir, he is right. There is no "naturally" here. It is irrelevant what you think or what opinion you hold. We report. So if there are questions raised, bring sources. If these are only your questions, doubts and opinions, then they are out of place. Simple as that. You have said on many other places "Relevant facts", rather than opinion and apologetics.

BTW I read on Kasravi a while back, that he had a very low opinion on Hafiz and his literary skills. When you disparage Baha'ullah's literary skills, do you want to say they are just as bad as those of Hafiz? Refdoc 14:35, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You are showing off your IQ again. His criticism of Hafiz is not on his mastery of the language, he acknowledges Hafiz' superb mastery of the language, his problem with Hafiz is not the language, it is on the whole notion of Irfan. Read the book again, some people need to read even a simple sentence a few times to understand it. Reading is always easy, understanding is a little extra.
Regarding what I have added to the article, it is a valid point and it is raised in the same book that you yourself added to the article (Kasravi's book). Stop harrassing people for sources every step of the way, because this way nobody can add anything to wikipedia articles without spending a significant amount of their time searchign for sources. Anyway, it is in the same book. Also, I wish that you keep your communication with me at an absolute minimum. Thank you. --Amir 14:45, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

without spending a significant amount of their time searching for sources Exactly this is what you should do before you keep adding stuff to articles.WRt communication - as I am working on the same article I would think you do better put up with me communicating Refdoc 15:04, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

To make it clearer for all of us, this is Wikipedia's guideline on sources:

  • Cite sources (citation): provide references that help the reader to check the veracity of the article and to find more information. Good citations are critical to help make Wikipedia trusted and useful.
  • If you consult an external source while writing an article, citing it is basic intellectual honesty. More than that, you should actively search for authoritative references to cite. If you are writing from your own knowledge, then you should know enough to identify good references that the reader can consult on the subject—you won't be around forever to answer questions. (Also, this forces you to check your facts, and you might find that you don't know everything.) The main point is to help the reader—cite whatever you think will be most helpful.
  • This applies when writing about opinions, as well—beware the temptation to write weasel phrases like, "Some people say..." Who said it, and where and when? (Remember that Wikipedia is not for your opinions or for original research.)

Archive

Meanwhile, the discussion page is far too long (again). Rather than simply archiving older comments, can someone capable divide all the discussions--including those currently in archives--by topic into separate pages/files? I don't know how to do it. --Occamy 20:01, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Good Idea. Do it!

Cut, copy and paste the text as you see fit into a text editor page, and then open these new archive pages - or any other you wish to create, and copy the stuff inside. Simple really. Have a look at the source text and you will see how I did it. Refdoc 20:11, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Done Rick Boatright 04:16, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

200.189.80.8 (Brazil?) has inserted some people to question the honesty of Shoghi to the section referring to Baha'ullah's marriage. As per the Cite Sources guideline above, contributors should beware the temptation to write weasel phrases like, "Some people say..."Unless an authoritative source can be quoted, the statement will have to be removed. --Occamy 21:09, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Archived discussion files have been reorganised as follows:

The original Archives remain unchanged for the time being. --Occamy 21:55, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Amir is using the "weasel phrases" again without authoritative sources to project his POV, viz: "Some have claimed that this puts his subsequent claim in doubt..." and "Some have raised the question...". "Remember that Wikipedia is not for your opinions or for original research." Inevitably, these parts will be removed with the support of neutral observers and admins. Occamy 06:55, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

those are not weasel phrases, i have provided sources. read the discussion page. the fact that you want to stop me on each and every single word shows that you are haggling with me and trying to fight off and hinder my contributions. are you afraid of the truth? even if i had not provided sources (which i did), why would you be so worried of some wikipedia bringing a fact to the surface that you know to be factual and correct, yet you try to get rid of it? have you ever thought about this? this behaviour of yours itself should be a good indication for you that you are misguided and on the wrong path, otherwise, not only you would not be afraid of the truth, you would seek the truth and then some. you in particular are pathetic among the bahais here and we both know that you are a sockpoppet. your ID showed up as a result of one of my contributions to this very article a few weeks ago. you don't even have enough courage to be a shadow of yourself in the cyberspace. i suspect bahaism has something to do with it. --Amir 07:46, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia's definition, they are weasel phrases. OK Amir, this is your opportunity: quote the authoritative sources and the text of their arguments.
I have no problem with facts, but I do with unfounded speculation, which is the extent of so much of your contributions. This includes calling me a sockpuppet. If you are referring to the one time I erroneously made an edit without first logging in, then you will note in your diligent research that I immediately went back in and signed with my logged in name. Check the Paranoia article before making unfounded accusations. Occamy 08:08, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
i have already answered it and the source is in references. as i told you, read the discussion area. there is no wikipedia rule that a contributor has to individually respond to each and every single query in discussion areas, especially when he has already done so to other users. and here is your opportunity: buzz off and stop haggling with me, cuz trust me, if you continue to harrass me for the "crime" of bringing bahai shams and contradictions to light, i will start really rolling up my sleeves. you ain't seen nothing yet. trust me on that. it is best for you guys and for me, to not provoke me. you guys don't want me to bring up much more serious issues, and i don't want that either, because it will take more of my time than at the moment i am willing to spend here. --Amir 08:25, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Getting caught up in the wider debate on images

See, I'm really not sure about archiving live and unresolved discussions (I know there have been lots of comments made in the last few days). I want to add a comment here, about the discussion and vote that was going on about having Baha'u'llah's picture here. I guess I'll just add it there, and cc it here? PaulHammond 11:50, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)

I looked into Geni's comment to Cyprus, for example:

for this article only? - --Cyprus2k1 17:39, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
We are getting caught up in the wider conflict over imagesGeni 17:42, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

And, user SPUI, for example, is supporting the publication of Baha'u'llah's picture in this article, regardless of the sensitivities of Baha'is, because he supports the inclusion of offensive pictures in Wikipedia in general, regardless of the sensitivities of anybody - see Talk:goatse.cx for further information. Goatse.cx is an offensive image often linked to by internet trolls, and someone has written quite a long article about it. - PaulHammond 11:57, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)

I reverted the removal of the picture by an unknown user as this is not within any consensus. The options discussed are linking/re-positioning or leaving it in place. Refdoc 17:11, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC) (Sorry for not signing)
AgreedGeni 16:25, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I would like to know people's feelings about getting this picture debate over with. We have a few options, as I'm sure you're aware:

The first, and easiest, is to simply have a survey as to what people should do. If we can get people to agree to its outcome, things should be easy. The options could be "Removal of the Picture Altogether", "Moving Picture to Bottom of Article", "Linking of the Picture" and "Let the Picture Remain". We can combine some of these if people want.

no right now this is a really bad idea. We will mearly get people voting as part of the wider conflict.Geni 22:50, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

If this doesn't work, we could apply for mediation, which would help us agree.

Not active at the momentGeni 22:50, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The last choice is arbitration, which offers a binding decision that would have to be followed. The disagreement here is religious beliefs vs. Wikipedia format. Thus, this might work.

Arbitration is not ment to deal with disputes over contents mealry behavoiur. As for you comments wikipedia style please show me exactly where Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) says that images will not go at the bottem.

We have already agreed on a truce, which is good. I will add a {{Twoversions|10097164}} template to the top of the page to inform potential editors that we are discussing this issue. Cabhan 21:16, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Nice but there are a couple of problems:1 there are at least 4 versions being dissputed over although only 3 of them have any real chance, 2 The one you are showing the diff of isn't one of the 3 that has a real chance, 3 there is not current diff for the most popular version picture at the bottemGeni 22:50, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"The disagreement here is religious beliefs vs. Wikipedia format." I would dispute this. There is actually no guideline regarding the position of pictures in any article, let alone in biographies. There mnight be unspoke/unwritten rules, but the actual policies do not spell this out. A position of the picture at the bottom of the page is perfectly within the "authorised" Wikipedia format for biographies, it would fulfill the desires of Baha'is and as an added bonus it would actually be a further bit of information about the Baha'i faith and its practical outworkings. Putting teh picture in a link would be more controversial wrt policies as would be removing it altogether Refdoc 21:53, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Newcomer

I just popped into the Baha'u'llah article via Dizzy Gillespie. (Trying to find the definition for "Con Alma". Google says, "Alma del Con" is the English translation!) Reading up on the comments about the image, I noticed that no one has wondered if the picture is even really of Baha'u'llah. There aren't many pictures around to compare it to, according to the discussion. How do you verify something like this. I also didn't see source attribution for it. It says "passport photo" on the image caption, but, I guess I mean, "Says who?" There's some comment by Martin2000 asking rhetorically if it's authentic, but I don't see anyone take him up on it. There was a comment later that Martin2000 didn't respond to questions. The best reason to take it off I can see is that it's unverifiable. I mean, I know Wikipedia has a reputation for questionable accuracy but that tends to be in cases where not many people are working on an article. As to the discussion of the 'marketability' of the image: I sure have some passport photos that would not improve a biography on me! Isn't there some stock joke along the lines of: "You know you've been traveling too long if you start to look like your passport photo?" So anyway to sum up, looking at this discussion for the first time, it seems to me like the folks who are so keen to put this dubious photo on the biography want to do so primarily because the Baha'is don't want them to not because it adds anything to the article. Jlavezzo 22:47, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think this is not an accurate way of summarizing things. The matter of the authenticity has been brought up - do trawl the archives - I am not going to do this for you - an dthe picture is authentic. It is a passport picture which was taken shortly after the discharge from Siyah Chal (prison) and before the exile in Baghdad. It is not a nice picture, but is a genuine one. Bahai's have acknowledged it as genuine at least - and I do understad form teh archives that this includes Baha'i authorities. It is not a nice one probably becaus etha man has been through quite a bit of a rough time.
To presume now on the motives of those who want the picture in is quite disingenious and contrary to Wikipedia spirit and policies. So please do not do this. FWIW my motives are the picture is there and it should go up as everything else now ould be censorship, but in an acceptable form -i.e linked or bottom. I would also suggest that the picture gets replaced by one which is a bit more wellkempt given that this is one presumably after a bad bout of torture. This should be acceptable as any other picture - provided genuine - would convey the same information -the looks of the man. Refdoc 23:03, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
To presume now on the motives... Sure. I was thinking of comments made by the user who added it originally. Considering a photo is supposed to be a likeness of a person, and this quality of this photo is so poor, does it add anything to the article? I think the article would be better without it. Should I manage to do something historically noteworthy and someone felt like writing a biography of me 100 years from now, if they could only find my passport photo, I hope they leave it out. (and my passport photo was taken on a regular day, not "after a bad bout of torture"!) Jlavezzo 22:13, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
just a little note: this is NOT about the quality of the photo or whatever the photo looks like as our friend amir constantly tries to imply - --Cyprus2k1 22:24, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Universal House of Justice in Haifa has acknowledged that the photo is genuine. There is _one_ other photo, and it is not available on line. Rick Boatright 00:41, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)


The photo is genuine. That, and what the photo looks like, are not the issues. The issue is whether the photo should be linked/moved to the bottom of the page with a warning, out of respect for the religious sensibilities of Baha'is, or whether it should be put right at the top of the page, regardless of the fact that coming face-to-face with the image without warning would be shocking to Baha'is. PaulHammond 14:58, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

Marriages Section Revisited

Deleted the contrary interpretation because more explanation is required if one is going to be so picky without delving further into the background. The purpose of the paragraph was simply an attempt to attack the reputation of Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i Faith. Laying aside my personal distaste for the attacks, this article is not the place to present them. If they wish to do so, they can start an article listing their complaints and contrary arguments. Putting the argument in their court, all Muslim users would be incensed if Christians and others started putting up their old arguments against Islam and its revered Prophet Founder on the Islam and Muhammad pages. Wikipedia provides space for such attacks...but in another article. --Occamy 06:44, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Then again, the Discussion pages would be suitable places to debate the various contentious issues, but the attackers have avoided serious discussion and debate (with cited sources etc...) and have altered the article on the basis of their own untested opinions spiced with plenty of POV. --Occamy 06:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I am not sure what you are on about at the moment. If he had three wifes then this should be mentioned, adding by all means any explanations given. Or is there something I have missed? Refdoc 09:27, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The article mentioned his 3 concurrent wives and the information was accurate. Then some Bahai decided to add a paragraph below it to present Shoghi Effendi's explanation. Then another paragraph was added which says that Shoghi's "explanation" is a lie, and his lie has been pointed out by a number of people, including some ex-Bahais. To say that Bahaullah had 3 wives because "he was only practicing what was normal from his Islamic past" is clearly a lie. If you don't like it, it was a Bahai who put it in the article, and also, I believe, this bogus claim is still the "official" stand of the Bahai authorities on this contradicion. Anyway, you guys have no right to yank it out of the article, because it is factual, relevant and important. Last but not least, the foto is NOT from after the Siah Chal, rather, it is from Adrianople. Even if one didn't know this, one look at the Turkish hat is enough to know that it is not from his Iran days. --Amir 10:51, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I've not been all that active on this page for a while but for my two cents...

As far as I can see, in an ideal situation, you could have an article on Baha'u'llah, where it would have a quick mention about Baha'u'llah having three wives followed by a link to another article "Baha'u'llah_three_wives" or something where it goes into details about who the wives were, the arguments about why some find it contentious and the arguments why some defend it, and finish off with what happened to them and where they're buried. The purpose of wikipedia as an encyclopaedia is to not to make Baha'u'llah look good, and certainly not to let someone bad-mouth him, but to state the facts. -- Tomhab 10:21, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

There is a page on mohamed's wivesGeni 11:39, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Tomhab's suggestion. Shoghi Effendi wrote in 1953: ...Bahá'u'lláh married the first and second wives while He was still in Tihrán, and the third wife while He was in Baghdád. At that time, the Laws of the "Aqdas" had not been revealed, and secondly, He was following the Laws of the previous Dispensation and the customs of the people of His own land. Amir's point concerns the third marriage. Did it contravene a Babi law that may or may not have been operative at the time? This needs to be checked. FYI the son of Mírzá Yahyá--the nominal head of the Babi community--reports his father to have had eleven or twelve wives while another source gives fourteen wives. I don't know how much light (or confusion) this casts on Babi law and marriage, but the situation is not as clear as has been presented in the Wikipedia article. The source is M. Momen's The Cyprus Exiles at [[4]] Occamy 23:08, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

AIUI, the Baha'i consensus appears to be that Baha'u'llah married his third wife to allow her to remain resident at his home without drawing adverse comment from the neighbours - this is the motivation that the mention of the fact that the third wife was the first's maid is meant to explain. Whatever the motivation, it's clear that some bending of the rules was involved - but then, Muhammad allowed muslims to marry 4 wives, but himself took 12 (with some similar excuses offered) - so it appears that there is at least some precedent for manifestations saying "do as I say, but not as I do" PaulHammond 21:16, Feb 13, 2005 (UTC)
First of all, Shoghi wrote "Bahá'u'lláh had no concubine, He had three legal wives. As He married them before the "Aqdas" (His book of laws) was revealed, He was only acting according to the laws of Islám, which had not yet been superseded." -- this is clearly a lie, as Bahaullah was not a muslim at the time of his third marriage. Secondly, even if the Babi leader had a million wives, how is that an excuse for Bahaullah to break the law of his faith if he was a man of principles? Thirdly, according to Bahaullah's own claim, at the time he took the young maid of his first wife as his third wife, he was already inspired by God of his new mission (i.e., the Bahai Faith), but according to Bahai claims, his mission was in what you guys call "concealment phase" or something to that effect. So he broke the principle of whatever it was that he claimed he believed at that time, no matter how you look at it. If you were an intelligent person, instead of fooling yourself and trying to excuse it or hide this fact, you would yourself vigorously bring this question to surface and confront your organization. Why would Bahaullah lie? Why would Shoghi lie? Then, is there any wonder that now all bahais seem to lie or try to cover the facts, whenever they do not like the bitterness of the facts? The behaviour of the gang of Bahais here in Wikipedia is a perfect example of this culture of lies and deceptions that exists in the Bahai cult. It has permeated down from the head of the pyramid. --Amir 10:54, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Amir suggests that the Baha'is working with him on this/these articles are either lying or trying to hide facts. If the other Baha'is editing these articles are like me, then they are neither lying nor trying to cover facts. My problem is that I am not a scholar who has examined detailed developments in their historical contexts, and I am having to work my way through voluminous material. My POV is to try to understand what happened and then explain here. As an article of faith, I start from believing that Baha'u'llah is a Manifestation of God and try to work through to understanding. If I understand Amir correctly, his starting POV is to believe that it is all a lie that must be exposed. Amir is fully entitled to state his POV, but he must allow people like me a little time to research answers to his questions. Meanwhile, it makes sense to break out the detailed three wives issue onto a new page. People who do abhor the Baha'i Faith would like to put all their dissenting views on the Baha'i Faith page, but there simply isn't room. Occamy 23:15, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Two Versions

I'm not sure the "two versions" thing works, as it seems now to give a misleading interpretation of what the two versions are - but I do think it's helpful to have a notice warning that the question of the picture is under dispute. If we're going to have the picture up here, I preferred the version where the caption just said "Baha'u'llah", so I've edited that. Probably might be best to just have a general "dispute" tag up there, then people can read the talk and look at the history for themselves. I don't know, but it seems the "two versions" template picks one historical version for comparison, and I don't know how to change which one it picks. PaulHammond 15:08, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

Whoever changed the tag, thanks. I was thinking of doing that myself. PaulHammond 18:25, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

Someone made a mess with the two versions - I trie dto correct it and now it is worse. We need two versions - picture at to p an dpicture at bottom - to compare. Not one with picture at top and bottom and one without any... Refdoc 09:27, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

the problem is that the tag always compares the current version to a presected version. I personaly don't think it is any more helpful in this case than a general dissputed tag would beGeni 09:33, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
There is no need for two versions. The Bahais will have to accept the fact that Wikipedia is not a Bahai publication and they should have enough sense and respect for all humanity to stop forcing the will of their own religious organization unto the rest of the world. The foto very much belongs to this article, on top, and is going to stay. It is already on numerous other websites as well, and it will be spreading even more soon. --Amir 10:53, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
have you seen here bahais not accepting that wikipedia is not a bahai publication? do you see bahais "forcing" their "religious organization" unto the rest of the world? - --Cyprus2k1 11:35, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yes, especially you who reverts the articles which contain useful and correct information, almost every day, because you SUBJECTIVELY decide that certain facts must not be included in these articles. --Amir 11:38, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
give me examples... - --Cyprus2k1 11:50, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Amir, I think you are very wrong if you presume it is only Baha'is who want the picture at the bottom/linked. There is an ongoing debate in general wrt offensive pictures, this debate is passionate and not resolved, but it is wrong to assert here a conflict between "Baha'i bigotry" and "Wikipedian liberality". This conflict does not exist - or at least is only part of the problem. If you do loook at the straw poll above you will see that there are a fair number of Wikipdeians who are not Baha'i who agreed with leaving it at the bottom - after listening to the concerns and argument. It is quite clear there is no consensus at the moment and as such the debate remains open. Refdoc 11:15, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

There should never have even been a debate about this as there is nothing wrong with this picture. It is not porno, it is not gory and violent, it is doesn not contain offensive content in any shape or form, other than the fact that the looks of Bahaullah makes Rasputin look like a beauty queen -- and that is no justification to declare this foto "offensive". --Amir 11:38, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Baha'is just do find the casual use of Baha'u'llah's image offensive, and that's a fact. Even if you didn't know this when you first uploaded this image to the wiki, there's no excuse for you not knowing this now, after weeks of Baha'is explaining to you why it is offensive. PaulHammond 15:11, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)
ho come on... you still think that? please dont ignore the outgoing debate... [[Talk:Bah%E1%27u%27ll%E1h/Archive_Picture]] - --Cyprus2k1 11:50, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Also, please don't keep adding Baha'u'llah's picture back to the Baha'i Faith article. There is a case to be made for its inclusion here, but not at Baha'i Faith - an overwhelming majority of those commenting there agreed that where the subject was the faith and not its founder the picture should not appear, as it does not with, for example, Scientology, Mormonism, etc., PaulHammond 14:52, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

The looks of Bahaullah makes Rasputin look like a beauty queen, Indeed, but this is not the issue. As I understand it is the fact that the picture should be seen by Baha'is in a state of reference etc etc, which is impossible on Wikipedia within an editwar.... To make this clear - if there was a photograph available of Muhammad whether pretty boy or grim looking old desert sheikh, putting up the picture would create major trouble dt the Islamic prohoibition on pictures. Or - slightly more realistic a proposition - if a forensic scientist would conduct a facial reconstruction on a confirmed skull of Muhammad, the resulting face - while probably largely accurate - would create excatly the kind of stink we have here - again irrespective of whether the man was good looking or not so. Beauty is anyway in the eye of the beholder. So you are misrepresenting the conflict here and presume motives in your fellow contributors. Not a good thing to do Refdoc 11:53, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Your hypothetical questions are a waste of Internet bandwidth .... and boring. Anyway, if there was a pic of mohammad or jesus around, they most certainly belonged to their respective wiki articles. --Amir 11:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Not as hypothtical as you might think. There is a public domain (Well probably PD it was taken pre WW1 and I belive the author is unkown) photo of mohammads coffin in existance. There is a significant prohibition against the existance of such photos in islam.Geni 13:15, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

they most certainly belonged to their respective wiki articles. I would probably argue the same, but they would at the same time be subject to fierce debate. Refdoc 12:21, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

First off, I wish to point out that I have changed the {{twoversions}} tag to a simple {{ActiveDiscuss}} tag. Most the disputing tags are in relation to accuracy and NPOV, so I think that a notification of a discussion will be sufficient.

Amir1, we are attempting to come to a definite and agreed-upon conclusion for the picture. Your somewhat intolerant responses to anyone else's point-of-view are quite aggravating. We are not attempting to force a decision on you, but we are attempting to have a decent conversation and trying to come to an agreement.

I again point out that neither Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) nor Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography says anything about requiring a picture. The latter contains etiquette on how a picture should be, but NOT that it is required. It states:

Illustrative portraits should be of a "classic pose" and sized above 250 pixels square.

But again, it does not say anywhere that a picture is required. And I do not support getting rid of the picture altogether. I (and several others) support instead moving the picture to a not-so-visible location. Please remember that. -- Cabhan 21:33, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

for the record I am oposed to deleting the image in the basis that it is less than 250 pixels square (ok I'm oposed to deleteing the image full stop)Geni 23:17, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
i also do not support deleting the image - --Cyprus2k1 10:19, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm coming around to the view that putting the picture at the very bottom of the page, with a prominent warning at the top, as on the German Wikipedia, is possibly the most elegant solution to this. I'd be happy with either that, or a link. When I first called for the picture to be deleted from the database, that was because I had just investigated User Martin2000's edit history and was angry because I felt I was dealing with Amir's sockpuppet. PaulHammond 18:31, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

There is no way that the picture gets deleted. I would oppose this and I think there would be many, many others too. And I did not think that anyone should even quietly wish for this. I do think an elegant solution would be the bottom, but I remind you that this would require consensus to survive further editwwarring. Once consensus is establishe drevert warriors can be dealt with in an "adminstrative" fashion, But, this consensus does not appear to be there, nor ever was. And while AMir/Martin is the loudest and most active opponent of such a move, he is by no means alone.
Subsequently I do oppose any further edits to move it to the bottom, unless a clear and wideranging formal consensus can be established by RfC. If - for good reasons - you do not wish to go down the route of a RfC at the moment - given the current unrelated but passionate debate re offensive pictures in general - you simply will have to put up with the picture in the current position until you can establish Wikiwide consensus at a later stage. Refdoc 18:41, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Including Detailed Quotes

wjhonson writes in the article "...it is instructive to review part of the letter from the Persian government to the Turkish authorities that the Babi headquarters may be removed to some more distant place:..." It may not be worthwhile including the long quotes here, although the wounding of Mulla Aqa of Darband would be a serious allegation. Presumably the language of diplomacy would deter the Iranian government from admitting any alternative explanations such as the growth of an influential Babi community so near to Iran's border. The point is that there are lots of debatable issues like this, but there is only a relatively short space in which to write them. How should such issues be addressed: through debate on the Discussion page or in another, more detailed article? --Occamy 20:47, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I've always felt it important to have as many articles as you can. The only reason why you'd consolidate them into fewer articles would be if, at this time, each of the articles haven't been filled past a stub level. I guess having a short, relevant quote with a summary of the rest with a weblink to the full document. -- Tomhab 13:11, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Vote on Image?

Amir has claimed there was a vote on the inclusion of the image. I was not able to find this looking through the Discussion page. Can someone tell me where this is?

[[Talk:Bah%E1%27u%27ll%E1h/Archive_Picture#Vote here]] - --Cyprus2k1 09:56, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, Cyprus...How about appeal procedures or for arbitration? [[User:Brettz9|Brettz9]] 10:53, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It seems like a rather childish argument to insist on posting images which are objectionable to a signficant number of people. Showing a measure of respectfulness is quite different than censoring access to information or distorting it. If the image is so important, how difficult is it for someone to follow a link to the page with this image? Why should everyone be held hostage to those who wish to push everything as far as they can?

I would think that those spending their time engaging in the realm of ideas as Wikipedia allows would not be so quick to ape the commercial world of racing to the bottom to inundate people with controversy for the sake of controversy (which has become so fashionable as to no longer be controversial anyways).

Isn't it a materialistic assumption (and thus non-NPOV) that courtesy, reverence, and decency are mere sentimentalities and that human beings are so autonomous as to not be swayed unduly by their senses, affecting their desires to maintain a sense of reverence or the like? [[User:Brettz9|Brettz9]] 09:45, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What other wiki pages have done with their images

I thought I'd write a little about what I've seen done on other wikipages. I still have my opinion on the matter but right now too full of flu to care what people decide.

Obviously all these links will refer to crude, or at least slightly shocking images (perhaps only to some though).

  • Clitoris - Well, it seems that this is on going, but at present they've settled (I think) on including a picture. Note they use a drawing at the top of the article, and a photograph furtherdown (but not at the bottom).
Another difference is that you probably know what you're expecting here.
  • Goatse.cx - A shock site. Article is clean, but included a screenshot. Conclusive vote AGAINST including the picture or link on wikipedia. The image is pretty disgusting and can only now be kept as an external link (not even on wikipedia). I believe there was some question of the legality of storing the image but think that only came after the vote anyway.
  • Autofellatio - Less said about it the better, but they've basically included a hand (?) drawing to show whats going on. 60% wanted the photograph to go and be replaced by a link.
  • Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse - Obviously you kind of need the photo graphs here as this is what the whole scandal was based on. They've screened out any genetalia, but seems all there. Scanning through the talk page shows they started a Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse (no pictures) article which was identical except... it doesn't have any pictures. It is currently up for deletion (and probably will be deleted) because it is redundant.
again?Geni 17:19, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Gah errrrm, perhaps not. I might not have looked that closely at the timestamp. Ignore everything about the non-photo page getting deleted. -- Tomhab 19:00, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm struggling to find a comparible vote to the Baha'i's case (where its offensive and unexpected in an encyclopaedia but only to Baha'is) here.

  • German Baha'i Wikipedia - The debate (contrary to what people above seem to think) is still going on. Interestingly they've just put up a new picture of him (in my opinion better for the article as its not just a small headshot, but doesn't affect the debate on whether it stays up). The German page has the same problem as we do about the Baha'i pages having a revert war about whether or not to add Baha'u'llah's picture.

The other Baha'i pages aren't particularly long and don't include much about him let alone a picture.

Have fun -- Tomhab

Putting aside the strong sense of offence felt by Baha'is at having Baha'u'llah's image being placed at the top of the article--which seems to be the purpose of the unsigned supporters' campaign--the image on the German site German Baha'i Wikipedia is much clearer and better quality. Even with the other image, it would be best to access it via a link, or at least, place it at the bottom of the article with appropriate forewarnings at the start of the article. Occamy 18:23, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It will be interesting to read the comments of those wanting to put the image at the top if the image were changed to the better quality one. As a Baha'i, my position would be unchanged...preferring it as a link to avoid offending visiting Baha'is. Occamy 18:28, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The photo Image:Bahaullah2.jpg is at the Wiki commons, and could easily be used here. It is a much better picture, and I don't see that putting it lower on the page, with warnings, or even providing a link to it seperately is all that much of an undue accommodation of Baha'i beliefs. It could even be put here on the talk page. I feel that access to it should certainly be provided though, even though many Baha'is might not like that. ~ Achilles 19:54, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You think that I think that quite a lot of people think that. 1 person objects rather a lot of edit wars latter I am getting slightly fed up. Btw do we know anything about this image?Geni 20:12, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Actually, this photo is a worked up and touched up version of the original that appears in the article presently. You can tell they are the same photo, but this one has some areas blurred and smoothed out the background etc. The other one is a real photograph from his passport and is acknowledged by the Bahai authorities. Having said that, I would be happy with this one, because I think this one is more scary and even more evil looking.  :-) 194.24.245.30


Image:Bahaullah.jpg I would vote that both images be provided here, on the talk page, with a note mentioning that the one currently used shows him after his release from prison, if that is the case, as Refdoc stated above. If either image is used in the main article, I would vote for the fuller portrait, and vote for it being near the bottom of the page, as it currently is here, and at least at 250 px sizing (100 px is too small). ~ Achilles 20:29, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It is simply a lie that this photo is after he was just released from prison. At first they were claiming it is a photo taken immediately after he was released from a dungeon in Tehran, Iran. Then someone pointed out that if that is from his Iran days, how come he is wearing a Turkish/Ottoman hat? So then they changed the story to "it is after release from a prison". But even a grade school kid can tell you that these two photos are the same. The bigger one, is built based on the first one (which is his real passport photo), probably using some computer software. Look at his left hand for example. Does it look real? His finger tips are square!! Anyway, I think the bigger picture looks even more evil. I would be happy with either one. All I care is that Wikipedia articles be as complete as possible, and in this case, either one of the two photos will do!!  :-) 194.24.245.30

Please include your name when you write in the talk pages... Gets confusing. Use ~~~~ to tag it -- Tomhab 21:03, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The problem isn't that 194.24.245.30 didn't sign his comment, it is that he didn't sign in before he signed. PaulHammond 12:55, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)
We know that at least two photos exist both taken in turkey in different poses. We do not appear to have a source for the claim that any of the images is from a passport[5] as such the existance of a cropped photo is not a huge supprise. A claimed copy of his passport does not have either immage [6]. there are a number of images of interest in commons [7]Geni 21:19, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)


I've just browsed the web and the wiki a bit more, and the picture seems to date from 1868, and the third image at the commons seems to be misidentified: according to this site that image is of Bahá'u'lláh's father. I've also noted, that along with the controversy here, the image of Bahá'u'lláh has been posted on the Bahá'í Faith page as well, and though I have no strong objections to it being somewhere on the page here, I agree that there is no need for it there at all, and 194.24.245.30 seems to simply be trolling. ~ Achilles 21:37, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
he and all the other open proxies he is useing are as well.Geni 21:51, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This image is Baha'u'llah's father Mirza Birzurg and he died before photography was brought to Iran so I'm pretty certain its not a photograph (and doesn't look it - at least in his face). -- Tomhab 23:37, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It is weird how 194.24.245.30 (Poland?) and colleagues are so eager to accuse others of lies. Some days ago we were wondering about the context of the photo. As it was claimed to be a passport photo--and without further information at hand--I assumed it dated back to 1853 immediately after his release from the Siyah-Chal, and mentioned this to some other contributors. The date was a simple and honest mistake by me, but now through collaboration the context is better understood by all of us. As I understand it, this is the purpose of discussion in Wikipedia. Occamy 22:07, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

colleagues? a lot of evidence points to there being only individual.Geni 22:10, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • groan -- Tomhab 23:37, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Ah crap! I put a warning up on my user page yesterday telling Baha'is not to click on to the articles if they didn't want to inadvertantly see Baha'u'llah's photo. Then I put a link and told them to come directly here if they wanted to express their opinion on this debate without seeing the photo. Now someone's gone and put the images here, too. So much for trying to keep out of this one! Is it at all possible we could put the images *here* on links to subpages or something like that? PaulHammond 12:52, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)

I've just changed the images to links (in the paragraph above). If anyone really gets hot under the collar about it change it back..... not such a big deal -- Tomhab 20:33, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Completion of the Bayan

As I mentioned in the edit notes, p. 138 of God Passes By mentions that it was not Yahyá but the Promised One Who was to complete it; my guess is that the statement was based on Yahya's claim to be the Promised One (and thus was a POV interpretation). Brettz9 22:08, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This is not true at all. Shoghi Effendi has a axe to grind in perpetuating the myth that the Bab didn't really choose Mirza Yahya. I have quoted my sources do not delete my references. If you disagree than post a detailed quote offsetting them with source cited. You should know that there is ample proof of my position in original documents that predate Shoghi by many decades.Wjhonson 23:26, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

My intent was not to quash your comments. It is not too difficult to revert back if you disagree. As I stated, I had thought that your source, while perhaps well-meaning, may have gotten the facts wrong by making a false (or at least unproven) assumption. Now that you have shown your own angle and do not accept the source I cited, I still think it is incumbent on you to prove that your source (which I could only find published online on a Qadiani website, begging the question as to whether this is simply a polemical work with its own bias (I could not download it successfully to verify) is not the one with the axe to grind or, on the other hand, whether its author would have even himself been willing to admit it was an error.

Shoghi Effendi does not dispute, by the way, that Mírzá Yahyá was appointed as the Bábí figurehead. We are referring to one specific instance here dealing with the completion of the Bayán. You do not think that "Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest" is an unequivocal synonym for Mírzá Yahyá, do you? Which Tablet is it if you in fact know it so well? Brettz9 02:38, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

He's sourced his argument (It is available online at [8]), what more do you need Brettz. His argument is that Azal was directly given the responsibility of the Bayan, not that Azal was "Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest". Less agression guys... -- Tomhab 11:56, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I do apologize for my tone...My point on this was that I thought Wjhonson might want to verify whether even his own source might have been basing his comment on the assumption that Mírzá Yahyá was "Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest" (and perhaps the source would have even been willing to admit it). But here Wjhonson has claimed that "there is ample proof of my position in original documents that predate Shoghi by many decades" without supporting this, if by this he/she is insinuating firstly that there are multiple documents, and secondly that by "original", there is a primary source of the Báb available indicating this rather than this secondary source he cites. His own source is a secondary one, and I would not be surprised if a quite biased one, though I do not want to automatically assume this without looking through it. Also, just because someone (Shoghi Effendi) is a protagonist of something (as everyone is, including scholastic agnostics) does not mean they are automatically not fair-minded or have an "axe to grind". Brettz9 18:32, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Considering that the sources cited disagree on who was tasked with completing the Bayan, perhaps the article should state instead that "Baha'is consider....But this is disputed by...." Further research may settle the issue conclusively in due course, but this wording seems a fair compromise. Occamy 12:47, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'm fine with that...I just didn't want to word it that way myself in the event that Whjonson might have conceded that it could not be found that the Báb explicitly appointed Azal to do it, and out of my uncertainty that perhaps even the author of his souce might have admitted it was simply his opinion (in the absence of that author claiming sources or other details for his position). The quotation Whjonson cited did not go into elaborate detail about Yahyá's supposed appointment to do this task, so I'm not sure how significant one potentially ambiguous reference in a secondary source is. It is easy enough to say that "Bahá'í sources maintain...", especially since what might turn up to be an error might be seen as significant to the story (even while official Baha'i sources have already referred to the possibility for error in the Guardian's history, as did Shoghi Effendi himself), but citing one book or "Some scholars maintain..." or whatever as the counter-point, which later turned out to not even be the intention of the original author, would not reflect well on Wikipedia for reliability, I think. But, I have no objection to Whjonson (or anyone else) referring to it as disputed if he/she feels confident enough that that was the actual position of the author, though I think if he has the supposed original source(s) from the Báb as he/she seems to claim, that would be a much more relevant citation (even if its authenticity might in turn be disputed by Baha'i sources). Just because someone is canonized a "historian" (and others not) by certain parties does not mean the individual was in fact more apt to tell the truth or be more reliable in facts. Brettz9 18:32, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Did anyone actually touch the Bayan? Isn't it still in the form that the Bab last left it (so neither Baha'u'llah nor Azal added anything to it?). Bit hard to verify as it was only translated into French... Or am I confusing myself again? -- Tomhab 19:57, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Shoghi Effendi in God Passes By, p. 25, states of the Bayán, that it was "wholly safeguarded from the interpolation and corruption which has been the fate of so many of the Báb's lesser works", but yes, by completing the Bayán, it was not understood as editing it. That wouldn't preclude there being other versions circulating if interpolations were to be found, such as seems to be the case with the so-called "Will and Testament of the Báb". Brettz9 23:44, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

All right, let me review the source again with the intent to tweeze out exactly what the Bab said and from where, and how it relates to completing the Bayan i.e. is the author assuming too much or did the Bab actually make it explicit. I will also try to see if Azal actually changed the Bayan any and get back to you. Wjhonson 20:26, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

In his Will and Testament, the Bab instructs Subh-i-Azal to complete the Persian Bayan (verses 30-33). The Bab also clearly signals that Subh-i-Azal is his chosen nominee to lead the Babis (verses 10-12). But this leadership must not be confused with the authority of Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest (verse 27) viz: We order you to obey Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest.... Then in verse 29: He shall carry out whatever He wishes, with permission from His Lord. He shall not be questioned for his actions. However all others are responsible for everything they do. The source is Sepehr Manuchehri, The Primal Point’s Will and Testament, Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies,Vol. 7, no. 2 (September, 2004) [[9]] Occamy 20:56, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Was that paper subject to Baha'i review? One of the advantages of the Baha'i review is you know that it can be considered Baha'i canon automatically if its written by a Baha'i :) -- Tomhab 21:07, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't know if it was subject to Baha'i review, but it is also available from the Baha'i Library site [[10]] Occamy 21:12, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The Bahá'í Library site though is an individual initiative and not any kind of official site. Brettz9 23:44, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Concerning Tomhab's question whether the Bayan is all the work of the Bab, the answer is positive. But there is further information about the Persian Bayan from the above source: the Bab revealed a total of 162 babs made up of the following:

(8 completed vaheds x 19 babs each) + (10 babs from the 9th vahed) = 162 babs
Subh-i-Azal added a further 47 babs in a work known as Motammem Al-Bayan. Occamy 21:19, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Can you translate "Motammen Al" into English so we know what it means? I just mean those two words, not the whole book.
On the subject of whether "Him who God shall make manifest" should complete the Bayan, in fact "Him who God shall make manifest" is going to bring in an entirely NEW dispensation with NEW laws etc. So the Bayan would be completely overthrown by such an event. Therefore there'd be no reason to complete it. Christians still read the Old Testament of the Bible but it's been abrogated by the New, just as the New was by the Koran and the Koran by the Bayan. (according to Babis at any rate). Wjhonson 22:36, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"Motammem" is an Arabic word meaning "complement (as in completer), or supplement" so "Motammem Al-Bayan" means "Completer of the Bayan". From reading the Bayan it is crystal clear that the time of "He who God shall make manifest" is in distant future. For example, it gives advice to kings (plural) about their behaviour and justice, etc, until the "Man Yozharullah" arrives.
My personal opinion is that Baha, as a result of writing Iqan, realized that he could string together a bunch of things (truth, half-truth and flat out lies) and after some preparation declare himself to be the Man Yozharullah. One would have to be stupid to believe that he was "comissioned" by God in 1853 in a Tehran dungeon, kept it to himself for 11 years, in those 11 years wrote an extensive book to support someone (and some book), both of which he himself was going to render annulment soon.
In fact, I believe this crook even made up the story of his 4-month "Siyah Chal" captivity. There is no solid evidence, that I know of, to support that claim outside of Bahai religious material. And from the copy of his Iranian passport it is clear that he was not sent into exile, it is a normal passport, and he has requested it for the purpose of visiting the Shiite holy sites (shrines) in then Ottoman land (today Iraq). So he left iran with 4 women and 2 sons (one of which was Abdul-Baha) and then joined the Babis in Baghdad, claimed he was imprisoned in Tehran for 4 months. His trip to the Kurdish area was most probably due to his long fascination with Sufism (quite common among Iranians) and he was a half-literate Sufi-wannabee ... indeed his sufi so-called "poetry" is laughable.
Most of his so-called "words of wisdom" that the mislead Bahais think are so profound, are simply regurgitated random lines from the myriad of mystic poetry from Persian language. An observant person who studies the history of Bahaism dispassionately, will find way too "gotchas" with the claims of bahaullah. I don't think Abdul-Baha was evil, but Bahaullah most certainly was. Abdul-Baha actually was a victim of his selfish, short, ugly and inferiority-complex afflicted father. --Amir 23:26, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)


you have a proper psychologist’s report that he has an inferiority-complex?Geni 23:39, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, one doesn't need to be an expert to see the signs. First of all studying his claims, words, behaviour, pompous titles and modeling his "kingdom" after what was around (again, the stupid titles, language, "court ceremonies", etc), plus the fact that he was a very unattractive man, who was also very short (he was not a midget, but he was VERY short), one does not need to be an expert to surmise all of that can most certainly be indicative of inferiority complex. Calling his own scribbles, in his truly pathetic language, "tablets" is just another one of MANY indications. Then there is the "Aghsan and Afnan" hehe, this is really funny. they are arabic words and they mean "branches, and twigs" (his own MALE children were "branches" [off of the main trunk!!!] and whoever connected to those "branches" (by way of marriage) or married his female offspring were "twigs (Afnan)"!!). LOL. His "aghsan and afnan" concept was modelled after the Shia "Sayyad" concept of stupidity. There are way too many indications of a massive case of inferiority complex in case of Bahaullah. --Amir 23:56, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
i think thats a conclusive "yes" Geni. -- Tomhab 00:34, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Response to Wjhonson:
According to Bahá'í sources (God Passes By, p. 138, the Kitáb-i-Íqán was "written in fulfillment of the prophecy of the Báb, Who had specifically stated that the Promised One would complete the text of the unfinished Persian Bayán." This book is an apologia of Bahá'u'lláh on the validity of the Bábí Faith written in response to questions of His Muslim uncle. It is not seen as invalid by Bahá'ís with a new law for the reasons given in the article:
"The Bahá'í Writings maintain in response that while the Báb's short Dispensation is to be considered a "mystery", the successive appearance of two independent Manifestations of God, called the "Twin Manifestations of God", testifies to the uniqueness and potency of this new age of prophetic fulfillment. They also argue that the Báb's Writings and prayers are to still be included among the Writings used by the believers (even while its social laws were abrogated), that the mission of the Báb served to provide a necessary abrupt break from the past (in its institution of its dramatic laws), and that the Báb prepared a sufficient number of people spiritually for the coming of Bahá'u'lláh, so it is argued that the Báb's mission was far from being without utility."
As Bahá'u'lláh is seen by Bahá'ís as having a "Mystic Unity" with the Báb, there is no perceived contradiction, just as there is no perceived contradiction to Christians in the example you give about the New Testament completing in a sense the Old Testament. Brettz9 23:44, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't disagree that Baha'is have a way of explaining what happened. But the encyclopaedia is not an "apologetic" for the Baha'i faith. It should present facts not after-the-fact re-interpretations according to the doctors of that theology. Don't you think? Wjhonson 23:47, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, that is one opinion to which you are certainly entitled and which could (and is) expressed in the article, just as the Bahá'í interpretation is expressed. If the issue you mentioned were touched upon in an article about Christianity and Judaism, it would be natural to highlight how Jews might dispute the need or relevancy of a New Testament, while Christians, such as in the Apostle Paul's statement (paraphrasing) that all the scriptures are suitable for instruction, might find the Old Testament still relevant, even though they cling to a newer law. I don't think one can state that it is a fact that there would be no need for the book to be completed if there was a new law, as that is subjective. Brettz9 23:59, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Like I said I have no problem with anyone adding to the article some other details. I simply had a problem in someone removing details that I thought were very relevant. We're not here to declare Baha's godhood, we're here to try to present an honest, fair, balanced article. That includes presenting what could incriminate him as well as support him. I don't have access to the book right now, but when I do I'll post here more about exactly what the author says and what he quotes. Wjhonson 00:21, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That is why I did not remove the question raised about the duration of the Báb's ministry in this article, but added a summary of the Bahá'í response. It is nice that, even though we may disagree, we can come to a consensus of posting things in a balanced manner where sincere opinions from whatever side are duly described rather than censored or berated. As I have explained, my removal of your comments had been under a certain understanding of the content and was not under any intention to prevent you from expositing your side to it, nor to turn this site into a promotional tool. While we as Bahá'ís have no apologies for holding to our beliefs, our own Guardian states, "...to make claims which we cannot prove weakens instead of strengthening our position." and "it (rectitude of conduct) must be demonstrated in the impartiality of every defender of the Faith against its enemies, in his fair-mindedness in recognizing any merits that enemy may possess, and in his honesty in discharging any obligations he may have towards him." Brettz9 01:01, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Amir vividly expresses his POV. Addressing one point he tries to make, viz. "From reading the Bayan it is crystal clear that the time of "He who God shall make manifest" is in distant future." On the contrary, the Will and Testament of the Bab states clearly to Subh-i-Azal in verse 27 "We order you to obey Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest....", which can only mean that the promised one would become manifest during the lifetime of Subh-i-Azal. Occamy 10:19, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

LOL ... bright sparkle, it's a good thing that you yourself cut-and-paste'ed what I wrote. I wrote "from reading the BAYAN" ... what does that have to do with "verse 27 of Will and Testament" ?!! Besides, it clearly addresses future kings and rulers on numerous issues until the time of the Man Yozharullah. Baha hijacked the Babi movement, one would have to be really dense not to see that. At least with your old ID you used to hide certain paucities a tad better. --Amir 15:07, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment, but I was aware of the reference to the Bayan. Your comment about it being "crystal clear" provides no references to specific texts. Doing so would provide an opportunity for a further discussion of the references in the Bayan to Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest. I referred to the specific text in the Bab’s Will and Testament because the document is quite brief and the instructions are unambiguous. There can be no doubt that the Bab was informing Subh-i-Azal that the Promised One would be manifested during the latter's lifetime. And for your information, this is the only account I have used with Wiki. Can you question whether some of your other assumptions may be unfounded? Occamy 16:58, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Concerning the comment that "Baha hijacked the Babi movement...", verses 28 and 29 of the same Will and Testament of the Bab--referring to Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest of verse 27--states
  • 28: "We are all servants and kneel down before Him"
  • 29: "He shall carry out whatever He wishes, with permission from His Lord. He shall not be questioned for his actions. However all others are responsible for everything they do."
Therefore Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest supercedes the Babi cause; He does not hijack it. And Baha'is believe that Baha'u'llah is that Promised One. Simple really. Occamy 17:16, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Again occamy no one is disputing that Baha'is believe that Baha U'llah is the same as "Him whom god shall make manifest". What is being disputed is not what Baha'is do or don't believe but rather what is *true*. Wjhonson 00:09, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You are correct, of course. Amir considers Baha'u'llah to be a charlatan, which is a valid--though in my opinion not a well thought out--POV. "Truth" comes down to the basis of faith (small "F"). There are many brilliant people who do not believe in God, while an uneducated person may consider the truth of God to be as plain as day. I don't think we can prove the truth of Baha'u'llah's claim here any more than we can prove the claims of Moses, Jesus, Muhammad or the Bab. Does this help? Time for bed.... Occamy 03:06, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
In a NPOV article we can't say that Baha U'llah was x but only that he claimed to be x, or that some of his followers understood him to claim that he was x ... or something neutral like that. There were other Babis who also made a similar claim, we haven't quite gotten to them yet, but I'm sure we will soon. Wjhonson 05:06, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Baha'u'llah's three wives

I've gone and done what I've threatened to do for a while. Take a look at Bahá'u'lláh three wives. Plenty of room for content and for people to poor their hearts into the article. As with any article, comments and stuff welcome. When the article is a little more finished I'd like to change the bit about the three wives here and cut it right down. No names of wives, just:

  • Three concurrent wives
  • Contraversial as Babis were limited to 2 wives
  • See article for more details

By the way, everything and a little more thats in this article is there. -- Tomhab 23:09, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hahahahaha oh deary me. It took Amir 24 minutes to make sure that the photo of Baha'u'llah was on the page stating "his photo definitely belongs here". Talk about one track mind - the page isn't even up yet. I think the argument will go along the same lines as the Baha'i faith page. -- Tomhab 23:42, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Hello Tom. No, that is different. One can argue that on the Bahai Faith page, perhaps we can do without Baha's pic (although I believe it belongs there too), but on a page directly about Bahaullah, his pic most certainly belongs. One would have to be extremely unreasonable to deny that. But anyway, thank you for taking the time to create that page. --Amir 00:26, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, come to think of it, it should be considered differently to the Baha'i page. But anyway. I reckon we should wait until this page has decided what to do before moving on to that. As before any inclusions about the more vague persons in his direct family welcome.
I'm not sure but perhaps moving it to "Baha'u'llah Family". All information is still just as relevant. -- Tomhab 01:13, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing that out. I just created a redirection so that Baha'u'llah's Family redirects to Bahá'u'lláh's three wives. --Amir 01:51, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That is plain vandalism Amir. Clearly wives are part of family rather than family being part of wives. You have a POV, but the redirect defies logic and only serves to illustrate the absence of a NPOV. Occamy 10:30, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Pay attention to what you read. I am the one who created the page Baha'u'llah's Family and made it point to the page Bahá'u'lláh three wives (which was not created by me). Later, someone made the "family" page the main one, and had the other ones point to that one. --Amir 22:02, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Photograph

In an attempt to get more dialogue going again about the photograph rather than an edit war I've put both a picture at the top and bottom. I believe this does not disrespect Amir's approach, whilst can engage a commentry about the benefit of Geni's idea of putting the picture at the bottom. Obviously just an idea to try to get a consensus and one approach will be picked, not both.

Could we get some neutral comments going here? I've forgotten how to request a neutral request for comment. Can someone else get the request up? :) -- Tomhab 15:46, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

OK actually come to think of it a RFC might not be the best idea. It would be better if we could resolve this here - I'd rather this dispute didn't get involved in the whole image argument right now that seems rife across wikipedia. As I've got to get rid of one, I'll do my personal choice of the top one but I'm sure someone will change it at some point. If someone wants to run a RFC be my guest. I've tried to avoid arguing about the photograph as it doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast. -- Tomhab 03:20, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well, Amir clearly is advocating using the worse copy of the same photo. The official Baha'i web site, in reference to the smaller photo says that it appears to be "a poor copy" of one of the two photos taken in Adrianople. What, pray tell, is wrong with using the BETTER copy if we must use a copy of this photo on the Baha'u'llah page. Ignore, for a moment, the controversy about placement. Where in the wikipedia is it stated that we have to use the CRAPPY photo? Rick Boatright 03:37, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

rick, don't pretend like you don't know the truth about this case. one doesn't need to be particularly bright to immediately realize which one of these two photos is the real one. the so-called "poor quality" is his actual passport photo. the other one is touched up using computer software, areas of it are blurred, cleaned up etc. simply bring both jpeg files into any computer image display or manipulation software program and enlarge them and you will see which one is the real one. the bahai site never disputed the authenticity of the smaller pic -- because they couldn't. --Amir 04:00, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
but is it? There is that supossed copy of his passport in wikicommons that does not have a photo. Does anyone know when passport photos first appeared any way? I spent quite a bit of time messing around with various contrasting methods on the second photo and found zilch where you would expect the seams between the images to appear. There is also the issue that the photos were in different poses. Passport photos should have a standard pose. There is also the issue of how a copy could be taken considering the storage conditionsGeni 04:27, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Hmm this site supports the existance of a passport photo [11] however the author seems to think there is only one photo in existance. There is also a photo in a book by a Mr William McElwee Miller which has not been authenticated by the the Universal House of Justice however I don't have a copy. Any volenteers to solve this one by visting the Universal House of Justice and having a look at the one they have on dissplay.Geni 04:48, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
the so-called "poor quality photo" is from miller's book and it has been acknowledged by bahai Universal House of Justice to be an authentic photo of bahaullah. but they say that is not the photo of bahaullah that they show to the bahai pilgrims in israel. --Amir 04:55, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"We would like to point out to you that the National Spiritual Assembly has no documentation verifying the authenticity of the illustrations in Mr. William McElwee Miller's book, and as such they cannot be regarded as being of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab" [12]Geni 04:58, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
but you are conveniently ignoring the earlier acknowledgement by the Universal House of Justice, which is immediately above what you just pasted, and you intentionally excluded the date that was on what you claim to be a copy-and-paste. so you did a copy-edit-and-paste. i will do the honour: --Amir 05:07, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"The picture on page 83 of William Miller's book is a portrait of Bahá'u'lláh, but different from the one displayed in the International Archives." Universal House of Justice to an individual 30 March 1980
two opposeing messages about a year apart. So much for trying to get the Bahá'í organisation to sort it out. Do we have any wikipedians in the right area to visit it (well considering where it is probably finding someone who would do so sould be more difficult).Geni 05:28, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
don't bullshit, you have already embarrassed yourself enough for one day. the Bahai Universal House of Justice in 1980 has acknowledged the authenticty of that photo. a year later, the "National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States" has said they do not have "no documentation verifying the authenticity of the illustrations in Mr. William McElwee Miller's book" which is really a pretty much meaningless statement. anyway, the bahai UHJ is a higher authority than the national bahai assembly of just one country. you are clearly a cheating person in your personality. thank you for embarrassing yourself publicly. --Amir 05:46, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
if the second image is a fake then whoever made it started with a higher quality photo than our "passport photo"Geni 05:00, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
showing off your IQ again? --Amir 05:13, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
huh? I'm trying to get as much information as I can about the images that includes examaining themGeni 05:28, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
well, resolution means nothing because you and i can both scan the same page out of a book with different resolutions. furthermore, many image editors allow you to do all sorts of things to an image, including resizing by a certain percentage and/or saving it with higher or lower resolution. so what you wrote about the resolution is meaningless. --Amir 05:35, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Strawman. I didn't deny that they could have come from the same source. I am pretty sure that the head in the second image does not come from the wiki version of the passport photo (which is the standard version of the photo on the web). A good anonlogy would be that just because man and apes share a common ansestor (and I strongly suspect that the images share a common source although there is that second image) does not mean that man evolved from modern apes). What we need to do is find a copy of the common sourceGeni 05:51, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Rick's outrage

Amir, don't be an idiot. Both images are copies from scans from William Miller's book. Below you will find a long long long description of the sources, and comparison of them, but the SOURCE of these is absolutely the same. They are BOTH scans from The Baha'i Faith: It's history and teachings page 83, which is itself sourced from Miller's "Azal notes" which can be found at the princeton library and derive from Jezal Azal, a decendent of Mirza Yahya, Baha'u'llah's half-brother and his principle enemy. Where Azal got a copy of the photos no one knows.

Look Amir, do exactly what you proposed and you will see that the smaller photo is a VERY poor quality scan of Miller's half-toned image of his poor copy of Azal's copy which has been re-sized several times, had its color map messed with as it was moved from bmp to tiff to gif to jpg and back any number of times.

You certainly can not claim that this is a result of a direct scan! The image you're posting is from www.answeringbahaullah.com (a site which is no longer available, but the wayback machine has an archive of the page of interest here [13] )

This is the SOURCE of your image. THAT version is a VERY poor scan of the image on page 83 of William McElwee Miller's book The Baha'i Faith: Its history and teachings. Of course, as much as the person who maintained "Answering Baha'u'llah" hated the Baha'is, I'm not surprized he went out of his way to get a crappy insulting version of the image in Miller's book. But that is where this, AND the larger image are from.

Miller, is of course, a life-long enemy of the Baha'i Faith, a failed christian missionary to Iran who eventually blamed the Baha'is for his failure. It's funny that moslems attacking the Baha'i faith use material originating with a man who was not only anti-Baha'i but also anti-Moslem. Ah, the irony of it all. In any event, the "Answering Baha'u'llah" page used the oft-quoted citation from the Baha'i World Center that

"The (passport) photo found on page 83 of William Miller's book (Bahai Faith: its History and Teachings) is a portrait of Baha'u'llah" (The Universal House of Justice in a published letter to a believer March 30,1980)

That's the _LARGER_ image, the smaller one is just a clipping of the Miller image.

Miller's source, of course was his Aza’l’s Notes pp. 829-830. That is, they are xeroxes of material supplied to Miller by Jelal Azal, decendent of Mirza Yaha, copies of which are in the Princeton library. (see [14] ) Most of the "Azal's notes" material is poor xeroxes of poor pencil originals... the quality of the copies of the photos Miller was provided were field copies, and do not do justice to the orginals no matter HOW poor they are. Miller's original caption was Mirza Husayn Ali Baha'u'llah Said to have been taken when he was in Edirne (1863-1868). Note, by the way, if you're reading Miller that his PRINCIPLE SOURCE was an Azali in Cyprus. (some of the reviews at [15] might be helpful.) By the way, a stub of the "Answering Baha'u'llah" page, with yet a DIFFERENTLY processed version of this image is still available at [16].

The larger image is ALSO a scan from Miller's book, just a better one. The web-source of the image that was uploaded to the wiki can be found at http://www.gospelcom.net/wclbooks/thebahaifaith/Chapter-5_files/image001.jpg [17]

The larger image suffers similar artifacts, the pixelization around the arabic characters in particular is a classic result of multiple re-sizes along with "sharpen" and "blurs" in an attempt to get a decent image out of a marginal scan. The blurring I think you're refering to (on the left side of the beard in the image (his right) along with the pixelization around the image flaw above the head and to the right, appear to be artifacts created by an attempt to "clean up" a poor scan of a creased image. Apparently, the people posting at gospelcom.net were too cheap to go buy a clean copy to scan before they typed in the full text of the book. Still,the Gospelcom.net version is cleaner than the one uploaded to the wiki, and I'll replace the one here now with a copy of their scan instead.

Neither of these images are true to the original, or even Miller's image in the way a high quality scan would be. However, it is also the case that no high quality scan of the original photo is likely to be released any time soon. I certainly understand why you want to claim that the larger photo, showing Baha'u'llah setting in context, and without the massive contrast-push the smaller one has suffered is the "more accurate" image. It begins to appear that there are no lengths to which you will not go to attack the Baha'is. So be it. But while your statement that "the bahai site never disputed the authenticity of the smaller pic" is true. But let is keep CLEARLY in mind what they DID say about it... [18]

Dear Mr. Anthony David,
Your email message of 4 September 1999 to the Universal House of Justice concerning the contents of the Web site ... has been referred to our Office for response.
In one of His epistles, Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of Bahá'u'lláh, wrote that two photographs of Bahá'u'lláh were taken, both in Adrianople, Turkey, each in a different pose. There are copies of both pictures at the Bahá'í World Centre and one of these is displayed in the International Archives where it is viewed by Bahá'í pilgrims. The image reproduced on the Web site in question seems to be a poor reproduction of one of these photographs.
For Bahá'ís, the photograph of Bahá'u'lláh is very precious and it should not only be viewed but also handled with due reverence and respect, which is not the case here. Thus, it is indeed disturbing to Bahá'ís to have the image of Bahá'u'lláh treated in such a disrespectful way. However, as the creator of the site is not a Bahá'í, there is little, if anything, that can be done to address this matter. We hope these comments have been of assistance.
Office of Public Information

I repeat for emphasis "a poor reproduction of one of these photographs."

Now, note that the world center has COPIES, not the originals. I personally do not know who has the originals, but the author of the web site "Answering Baha'u'llah" from which the image you keep posting is taken, is NOT the owner of the original negative or a first generation print of one of those Adrianople photographs, he's stealing a scan of a half-tone from Miller's book.

Note further, the Baha'i World Center's mention that "it is indeed disturbing to Bahá'ís to have the image of Bahá'u'lláh treated in such a disrespectful way. However, as the creator of the site is not a Bahá'í, there is little, if anything, that can be done to address this matter." This certainly applies to the wikipedia too in one sense, but in a slightly different sense, is there some OVERWHELMING NEED to have the worse of the two available copies of this one of the two images taken at the top of Baha'u'llah's biography page? The only reason I can see for such a thing is that you have an overwhelming desire to attack the Baha'i Faith, and prefer this image because you think that in some way it's more "insulting." -- I'll admit that the fact that a prophet of God can be a little wild eyed didn't bother me, but then, that's me.

In any event, you're constant anti-Baha'i attacks are getting old. Your insistance that the Baha'is participating on the wiki are in a conspiracy to silence our opponants is getting old. We keep citing sources. We keep referenceing documents. We keep trying to help edit your vituperative language into NPOV statements like "People who belive the Baha'i Faith to not be a valid religion think that Baha'u'llah was a short, lying madman who tried to poisen his half-brother. Baha'is disagree." Uh, or are you not going to allow us to say "Baha'is disagree."??? The photo is but a single element of your constant POV attacks of the Baha'i Faith on page after page of the wiki. I for one, am tired of them. If you want to say nasty things about the Baha'i Faith DO SO. Make whole pages, even as the anti-catholics have whole pages about the evilness of the Pope. Enjoy! Then, post them on SRB so we can debate them there! What fun! But with the POV attacks, what you've managed is the opposite of a conspiracy of silence. It's te same thing we've spent 20 years doing on Soc.religion.bahai. By having people ATTACK the cause, we encourage many Baha'is who would never otherwise have done so, to research the complex and interesting history of the Cause, to learn more, and to write about it. There is a sense in which I thank you for the inspiration. You have raised up masses! But there's no conspiracy. We're just sick of the attacks. NPOV language, and citing sources, and you can say ANYTHING horrific about the Baha'is. (Just like, the featured page today on Scientology has a lot of nasty things to say about scientology. No problem. Just back them up, and write them NPOV. ) Enough. Enough. Rick Boatright 05:55, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

oh boy. rick, i had no idea i had annoyed you to such a degree. after all, we have had very little interaction; just a few. first of all, thanks for taking the time to explain about the history of the photo. i mean it. you must know that i never meant that the larger photo is fake, i knew the smaller is a clip of the larger one, but the larger one seems to have been modified using computer software. if you don't believe me do this simple verification: take the image into your favourite image editor, enlarge it to 400% and take a look at the left hand of bahaullah. you will CLEARLY see that is has been manipulated. also the beard (at least the part on the face) is clearly blurred. so there is no question that there has been some image editing done on that picture. i am not saying the bahais did it, but someone did it.
having said that, let me be perfectly honest with you. i think the larger image actually looks "less pleasant". your wild guess is wrong that you think i want the smaller one because it is a worse picture of baha; the way my mind works, for me it is natural that if we have two pictures of a historical persoan and one is more real than the other, i naturally favour the "more real" version. in this case, either one of the two will do, and i have said this before. but the bahais here are trying to take these photos out of the article or push them to the bottom.
oh, before i forget, thank you for teaching me "vituperative"!! hehe i must start using that word. but i found it interesting that you claim the bahais are in no way working here in concert, but at the same time you write "We keep citing sources. We keep referenceing documents. We keep trying to help edit your vituperative language into NPOV statements" -- notice "we"? also, look at the history of the bahai pages and see how everytime there has been a "hot issue" or voting, etc, a new bahai ID has arrived on the scene. i am not saying that every bahai here is part of a coordinated team, but some of them are, and also there is no doubt that some sockpuppetry exists among these ID's.
you are obviously mad at me, but from my point of view, i have brought a lot of good to the table, especially if there is an intelligent bahai who has the courage of reviewing and examining the history, contradictions and fallacies of the bahai sham that i have helped bring to light. sadly, they try to delete, destroy and as one of them was teaching another "use the technique of dilution of pollution" to deal with my contributions.
as i mentioned to you in the shoghi afandi page's discussion area, i have lots of classes this term and don't want to spend much time here, but i really wish that people were fair, honest and courageous and instead of fighting the truth, helped bring the truth to light. nevertheless, i will continue to educate the people about the bahai cult. sad that you call my contributions "attacks". i guess for you guys anything harsher than a rose leaf in regards to bahaism constitutes an attack. --Amir 06:49, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I can use the group term "we" without external coordination when I refer to what is obviously a set of which I am a member. Would you not use such a term (we) when refering to yourself as part of the set of Iranians? Or people from Tehran? "We" does not imply collusion.

I'm glad you enjoyed vituperative. Good word, and certainly accurate in the context of your edits of the Baha'i pages. Your edits of Shoghi Effendi's pages, and your clear language attempt to cast me as the sock puppet master of the Baha'is here make the term accurate.

And for the oh, it must be 100th time, it is not the case that "anything harsher than a rose leaf" constitutes an attack (although, of course, you ment rose petal. Rose leaves are hard edged, prickly, and hurt. -- but still, your english is better than my Farsi.) -- clearly that's not the case. Do the Baha'is delete the language where people have posted that Baha'u'llah was attempting to poisen Azal and in a fit of incompetance took the poisen himself by mistake? -- Nope. Do we deny that he had three wives? Nope. Do we deny that Shoghi Effendi excommunicated almost his entire family? -- Nope. What we (and that's another of those "I am a member of a set" we's that does not imply sock-puppetry of any kind) req1uire is what the wiki standard calls for. Neutral Point of View language, sources, and the admission that these are opinions subject to disagreement. And Amir, for the umpty-eth time, YOUR opinion isn't really enough. You have consistantly called on the Baha'is to document each and every point when we counter one of your silly - stupid edits. Why should "we" not hold you to the same standard?

as to the photo, your continued insistance that the larger was "modified using computer software" without acknowledging that the smaller photo was subject to image manipulation (pixelizing, contrast push etc.), your assertion at one point (need I go dig up the post?) that the head was pasted onto the body in the larger image... all these make your oh-so-innocent statement that "Oh Gosh, i didn't think the smaller image was INSULTING! Gosh No! Seem somewhat disingenuous. Frankly Amir, when I see you post something, I now simply presume that you MUST have found the information on some violently anti-Baha'i polemical site, and go looking for the answers. This is probebly good for me somehow, and I should thank you for the intellectual exercise. Clearly, at root, the existance of the Baha'i Faith offends you. Clearly, you believe that Baha'u'llah was no prophet of God, and that the religion which has grown out of his writings is a hollow shell with, what I believe you think to be evil underpinnings. I'm sorry you feel that way. However, I accept the reality of your feelings. It's similar to the situation with the scientologists tho. However much I think their religion is a silly mass of sillyness, THEY think it's a real religion, and ifI want people to respect MY religion, I have to respect theirs.

What "we" are asking for Amir, is that you understand that _to us_ the Baha'i Faith is a real, living religion. We believe that. We're asking you to respect our beliefs even while you attempt to point out how wrong they are. Be respectful, and you'll find the Baha'is don't attack you nearly as much. Allow a space for OUR feelings. This isn't some hollywood conspiracy. This is a real, living religion with millions of believers. You have to deal with that. Rick Boatright 07:19, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)