Talk:Bahá'í Faith

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Archives (Index)
Archive 1 02/03 – 08/04 Archive 2 08/04 – 01/05
Archive 3 01/05 – 02/05 Archive 4 02/05 – 06/05
Archive 5 03/05 – 07/05 Archive 6 07/05 – 10/05
Archive 7 10/05 – 11/05 Archive 8 11/05 – 12/05
Archive 9 12/05 – 04/06 Archive 10 04/06 – 07/06
Archive 11 08/06 – 09/06 Archive 12 07/06 – 12/06
Archive 13 12/06 – 02/07 Archive 14 02/07 – 03/07
Archive 15 03/07 – 12/08 Archive 16 03/08 – 12/10
Archive 17 05/08 – Archive 18
Biographies for discussion of material relating to the history of Baha'i figures
Picture discussion of the display of Baha'u'llah's photograph
Request for comment discussion generated by a RfC of Feb 2005
Off Topic discussions removed per wikipedia policy (Wikipedia is not a discussion board)

Graph for administrative section[edit]

You need a graph to explain all the elections and administrative levels (including protection and teaching Institutions), much like the work of your 'friends' here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:42, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

That would be Bahá'í_administration#Structure. --Smkolins (talk) 21:35, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Then it's missing the most important part regarding HOW these institutions get elected by the Baha'is in the first place. My 2 cents as always. (talk) 09:04, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

ok - the problem is that the topic of the Baha'i Faith is huge and putting it all in one big article would make it unreadably huge. That's why there are links to other articles. The balance of *this* article is governed by the priorities of reliable sources of this part of the larger picture, the hub of a network of related articles. Individual people may find one or another topic more important from their perspective but the balance is what the sources say. --Smkolins (talk) 12:15, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Sections and structure[edit]

The section about the founder of this cult has 2 paragraphs (or so) while the last section about the persecution in Egypt is of equal length. Only need to say: REALLY?

No need to be scared to sign your comment, even with an IP or Wikiname! - no one is going to track you down, honest! In assessing any other article, would you feel justified in drawing (unstated) conclusions on the relative lengths of more or less unrelated sections? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 03:32, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
you have ALWAYS to be careful with people who edit this article my mom says. (talk) 03:49, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Besides, you should know (as a good Baha'i you are - as per your WP userpage) that you need to get the approval of your NSA for your edits here (since it is a form of 'publication' about this cult.)!
To answer your question the best i can, the whole thing is carried on the shoulder of one person initially and it is of utmost importance. I know you disagree since you don't even like his picture. Basically you are inviting the whole world to follow a 'superhuman' with a long beard & with oriental dress who looks UNIQUE. (talk) 04:13, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Serves me right for answering a silly question, I suppose. If you've been reading my page you know very well I DON'T claim to be a particularly "good" Baha'i - and some regular editors here might very well be "worse" Baha'is than me (never met a bad Catholic or a "non-religious" Jew?) - as if that's got anything to do with anything. Actually this article is by no means an official, authorised one - and many of our sources would not be "approved" at an official level. Like every article in Wikipedia, conscientious editors (of whatever persuasion) simply try to keep it balanced and fair. I apply (I hope) exactly the same standards here as with the many articles in completely unconnected fields (aeroplanes, music) that I edit. the point is that this article isn't (or at least shouldn't be) an invitation to embrace the Faith - but a quick reference, mainly for people with no such intent at all. In this context, current events, like the persecution of Baha'is in various countries, might well be of more immediate interest than anything else, and therefore worthy of more detailed coverage. But honestly, if you're really disturbed, or even swayed, by things like the comparative length of a paragraph or a Middle-Eastern man with a Muslim background looking like, well, a Middle-Eastern man with a Muslim background, then what can I say? Middle-Eastern people with Muslim backgrounds sort of have a bad name nowadays - at least you can't say the article makes any bones about this (and other "inconvenient" facts). Or is this really all about the attitude to "the picture". As I think you probably know, Baha'is "like" Baha'u'llah's picture very much indeed, which is exactly why they don't like it flashed around too freely. This might sound strange, but there again, there it is. Be a dull world if we were all the same. There was a very long discussion about including "the" picture, and a consensus of Wiki editors (most of them NOT Baha'is at all, much less good ones) decided that Wiki should display it, but discreetly, at the bottom of Baha'u'llah's specific article. And there it remains, as I'm sure you know, in spite of most Baha'is being very much opposed to it being there at all.
A bit of advice from someone old enough to be a grandfather to most of the people here, if not you personally. Especially when it comes to politics or religion, being positive about what you like is a lot nicer than becoming obsessed with what you DON'T like.
Now a Wiki talk page should be very specifically about improving the article concerned, and none of this is - so it might be better continued (if at all) on my talk page (or yours, if you have one?) --Soundofmusicals (talk) 07:20, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
And the points to that end about balance of the article content and linking to relevant "main" articles are exactly why things are the way they are and earned "Good article" status - a procedure of wikipedia review for following the highest quality guidelines wikipedia has. --Smkolins (talk) 12:10, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Yet, you have just edited this article according to my comment. Thank you! (talk) 16:56, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
and you misconstrue my purpose in doing so. And nesting comments across time interleaved between comments as above and below tends to mix up the points being addresses. --Smkolins (talk) 19:19, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Yet you do the same here How funny you are! :) (talk) 02:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC) & please do tell us your purpose then (lol)
& Did i upset anyone with my comments above? I think Boby is cool. I like his dress in fact. (talk) 17:15, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

"Baha'i" in other languages[edit]

There is no more justification for including the name of the Faith in other languages in the lead here than (say) in the article for Coffee or Basketwork. We lead with the name in English because this is the English Wikipedia - the Arabic is there because it IS an Arabic word, when all is said and done. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 03:20, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree. I was going to revert it myself but I have decided to propose things in the talk page first.— (talk)
And I agree with Soundofmusical's points. The methodology wikipedia uses for access to the other languages is the sidebar of linked articles in other languages. --Smkolins (talk) 12:06, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Unsupported reference to "Baha'ism" as being a pejorative word[edit]

There may be an offical name in English, "the Baha'i Faith", for the religion we're discussing, but I don't see how this makes "Baha'ism" pejorative. It's a natural tendency in English to use the Greek "-ism" marker for this kind of word, along the lines of "Judaism", "Buddhism" or "Sikhism". In fact Christianity in Greek has always been and is now "Christianismos". It's in the English language that the Latin ending is used. Also worth noting is that the Baha'i Faith in Arabic (as noted in the article) is "Baha'iyya", just as Judaism in Arabic is "Yahudiyya", there being (as in the Greek instance) no such derivational schism in that language. Furthermore, the two references given say nothing about "Baha'ism" being pejorative (The Bahá'í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion, xiii. Footnote 1 ).-- (talk) 07:35, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

The references are meant to refer, I think, to the fact that "Baha'i Faith" is the official term in English, just as "Christianity" is the "official" English term for that religion (certainly the only one in normal, everyday, current use - although such a term as "the Christian Faith" would probably be considered acceptable as a neutral alternative, unless non-Christians with an axe to grind took to using it in a nasty or belittling sense, or Christians, for whatever reason, actually objected). "Baha'ism" simply is (for what reason I remain as much in the dark as you) usually used (in English, anyway) pretty much exclusively by people who do not refer to the Faith at all except in a more or less hostile manner. Every religion has such people, alas, whether or not they use a "special" vocabulary to make their own special points. It is at least good manners (especially in an encyclopedia) to avoid terms in this category. The equivalent that comes to mind most immediately is "Jehovah Witnesses", for the people who call themselves "Jehovah's Witnesses". No one not intent on being rude would deliberately leave off the apostrophe s. In almost the same category is the term "Roman Catholic" to refer to people who call themselves "Catholic", this is certainly not neutral nor friendly, even if the users feel they have a right to be considered in some sense "Catholic".
Having said all that, I for one would be perfectly happy if we simply ignored the term "Baha'ism" altogether in this article - or if we mentioned it as simply not being current use among the Baha'is themselves. I seem to remember that this last used to be the case - in fact it may have even been me (perhaps in a foolish moment) that suggested the current wording? Or am I going senile? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 09:39, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Well I'm sure that haters of just about anything can be found on the internet, but I have never encountered a pejorative use of "Baha'ism". In fact to say that it's pejorative is so heavily POV that it reads like a paranoid fantasy, and this is what i'm concerned about, that to say such a thing has the effect of detracting from innocent people using the word legitimately (as they would see it). So yes, it would be much friendlier to state that the word isn't in common use amongst Baha'is. Thank you for your comment. -- (talk) 11:53, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm afraid my concern for your "innocent people" is minimal, and I just can't see any "paranoid fantasy" - read the section of this article on the (current and continuing!!) persecution of Baha'is and you may see what I mean. The main point of course is that it isn't a current term, any more than "Christism" or "Judaianity" would be, and provided the article says this clearly I would have no objection to a slight rewording. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 01:49, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
You're right, but i was only concerned with the possibility of maligning anyone who has used "Bahaism" to refer to the "Bahai Faith", without accompanying it with ill intent. Also, i wanted to highlight the point that although prejudicial material may be easy to find on the internet, that is due to the vocality(?) of extremists rather than a indication of popularity, thats not how things work online, and it is not reflective of the real world. --Monsieur Puppy (talk) 04:20, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that clarification - although pointing out that a term is not used (for whatever reason) hardly "maligns" people who might inadvertently have used it - by the same criterion a dictionary that listed the correct spelling of "acquire" would malign everyone who has at sometime spelled it "aquire". A dictionary or encyclopedia supplies information, hopefully in a way that "maligns" nobody. In fact it would seem to be a very positive thing to supply information that saved someone from making a faux pas (embarrassing mistake), even if they were for a moment mortified that they had made one in the past. It is true, of course, that the "on-line world" is not necessarily a direct reflection of reality. Alas, this does not always mean that reality is better than the web. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 14:28, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Official written agreement between the BWC and the State of Israel[edit]

I know such accord exists and has been signed in the 1990s between the Baha'i World Centre (BWC) in haifa, Israel and the State of Israel. I think it is a material fact and should be mentioned in the Administration section (and please don't tell me this accord does not exist!) (talk) 12:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Like every country doesn't regulate religions? Come on! For a church to marry people in the United States they have to be registered with the Department of State of whatever state they are in - filing paperwork back and forth, paying registration costs, etc. Yet I don't see entries in wikipedia articles noting the registration status and details of each religion and institution per country. Occasionally there is some reference to when a religion is DENIED the ability to be registered and recognized and that has been mentioned in some place for Baha'is as well as others. But aside from that and as far as reliable sources I can only find a couple brief mentions in Smith's "A Concise Encyclopedia" and one newspaper story about the Baha'is having an agreement with the state of Israel. It is not notable in the reviews of the Faith I can find.--Smkolins (talk) 16:05, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of this accord is not what you say (obviously you don't know since you have not read it). It is more like establishing the relations of the Vatican with Italy, which is to be updated as the status of BWC itself evolves. It is a kind of "seat accord". Why this is unknown to most Baha'is is a mystery all by itself :) . The idea is that BWC will obtain an international status (within Israel) sometime in the future much like the Holy See. When the Secretary General of the BWC says that Baha'is are not treated favorably by Israel is somewhat 'incorrect' to say the least. (talk) 16:37, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Verifiability, Reliable sources and Notability are Wikipedia policies. Original research and synthesis are not permissible. Regards, -- Jeff3000 (talk) 16:48, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry I can't help you with the verifiability part since the UHJ itself does not want to share this document with you! Regards, (talk) 16:52, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Agreeing with Jeff3000 that notability through reliable sources is the standard you seem to be referring to other standards of information. --Smkolins (talk) 19:30, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Regarding notability, please refer to the article at Holy See. It has one section devoted to it entirely.

Finally, "Original research or synthesis"? not really, but again you need to read the original document for yourself FIRST before judging. (talk) 17:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

"regarding notability"is being spoken of, between us, in two different ways. I'm addressing if reliable sources discuss it and they don't. You are suggesting the topic is, but if sources dont then your opinion is not with the norm. --Smkolins (talk) 19:24, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
You have a problem with the fact that this document exists and the Universal House of Justice of this sect does NOT want to share its content publicly. It is not a question of 'my belief to be in line with the norms'! You are being risible :) (talk) 02:02, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
You err in several ways all at the same time. And going into personal attacks doesn't help.--Smkolins (talk) 10:05, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

NB: I do have this document in possession and its authenticity is NOT disputed in any way, shape or form. At this point, if i were you, i would ask the advise of your Baha'i Internet agency before digging a greater hole for yourself! (talk) 02:18, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Again, you err in several ways at the same time.--Smkolins (talk) 10:05, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Again, verifiability, Reliable sources and Notability are Wikipedia policies. Original research, synthesis and self-published sources are not permissible. Also, Wikipedia is not a forum; if you wish to discuss the existence or non-existence of a documented, without sources, please do that at a forum, or on your talk pages. Regards -- Jeff3000 (talk) 12:01, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I very much doubt the document concerned exists, and, further, I suspect you know very well it doesn't exist, or alternatively does not bear anything like the construction you put on it here, or you would be able to give us a source. "Stirring" as we call it in Australia can be great fun, but Wikipedia (especially the talk pages of articles) is a bad place to try it, because we are constrained to take you seriously ("assuming good faith" we call it) however fantastical you become. There is in fact (keep my response to you serious) a whole article detailing a number of official Iranian government accusations of this general nature. The fact that this particular charge has NOT been raised at an official level (perhaps it will be soon?) when so many remarkable charges HAVE been raised in this context does make it "original research" from a Wikipedia point of view. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 05:23, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Whatever is claimed or not I think it is pretty clear this interaction is not aimed at improving the article. --Smkolins (talk) 12:52, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I got this document from the NSA itself. It would take an email to your UHJ to confirm this; yet you continue to dig a whole for yourself with all your unfounded arguments and personal accusations. (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 13:19, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Again, verifiability, Reliable sources and Notability are Wikipedia policies. Original research, synthesis and self-published sources are not permissible. Also, Wikipedia is not a forum; if you wish to discuss the existence or non-existence of a documented, without sources, please do that at a forum, or on your talk pages. Regards, -- Jeff3000 (talk) 17:19, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
If the editor who claims to have the document can produce it, or indicate somewhere where it is available, then it would be extremely useful if he would either produce it, or provide a link to a website where it can be found. That would allow others to determine if the document exists, exactly what it says, and how important the information to be sourced from it is, which would help determine which article it would go into. I am in no way an expert on the state of Israel, but I would have to assume that if a democratic country like Israel were to have been a party to such a document, that its official records would contain a copy of it. Otherwise, all I see are to date unfounded assertions regarding something whose very existence has yet to be definitively established.
If the document or explicit reference to it in independent reliable sources cannot be produced, then it seems to me that further discussion of it on this page would not be particularly relevant to the development of this article, and a violation of WP:TPG, and also probably WP:TE as well, and such violations can reasonably in some cases lead to some form of sanctions. Therefore, I believe it is in the best interests of the editor, and the project itself, if he produces a copy of the document that others can see, or drops the subject altogether and does not continue to misuse this page in what seems a counterproductive way in violation of WP:TPG. John Carter (talk) 18:18, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi, I found this online (which proves the accord does exist). I hope this helps your discussion above:

[...] From such clearly stated recognition flow privileges and benefits befitting the spiritual and administrative centre of a world Faith. These provisions of the Agreement are defined in terms that are renewable or renego-tiable at certain intervals, lending a flexibility and extension to the Agree­ment that are among its salient features. The Agreement can thus be regarded as the culmination of a series of preliminary measures of official recognition variously granted by sundry governmental authorities over a span of decades, now confirmed, amplified, extended, and defined in an instrument which places the operation of the Baha’i World Centre on a solid basis in its relations with the Government of Israel and in its other external relations. It thus launches a new phase in the development of the administration of the Faith at its World Centre.

"12 May 2008 Letter of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies". Baha'i World Centre. May 12, 1987. (talk) 16:41, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

The point being? Surely many religious (and non-religious) bodies have agreements of similar import with governments of various countries, as someone remarked right near the top of this discussion! Such agreements are necessary for all kinds of reason - not the least to secure property rights, tax-free status and so on. A religion that is either not recognised at all, or specifically banned in several countries can be forgiven for laying stress on obtaining such recogntion where it is available. The partisan site from which this was dredged contains a parallel accusation that the Baha'is are subversive of the state of Israel, and "fantasising" about a time when Israel may have a Baha'i government! Which is it to be? You can't have it both ways! --Soundofmusicals (talk) 02:04, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

That's not true. Read the agreement of the Universal House of Justice. It is a (political) accord of "friendship" and "cooperation" as stated in their letter. (talk) 10:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Change in use of Badi calender[edit]

Since the use of the Baha'i (or Badi) calender in the West is no longer tied to the Gregorian calender but to direct astronomical observation - references to Gregorian calender dates for Baha'i feasts and festivals etc. perhaps should be changed, even if it is only adding "(in most years)" here and there. This is, in factual terms, a pretty petty change - never making more that one day's difference (so far as I know) but if it is noted at all, it needs to be done comprehensively, and carefully. The "twin holy days" which are now celebrated according to the Muslim calender in the West, as they always have been in Iran - also may need some careful changes, by an editor thoroughly familiar with all the implications, etc. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:52, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Agreed but also minding that the primary identification should remain the common calendar. For informational purposes the Badi calendar specifics should be included but not to the point they obscure identifying the general calendar - at least that is my feeling. --Smkolins (talk) 20:55, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Nearly "rushed in where angels feared to tread" here myself but was held back by similar constraints. Better not done at all than done in a way that obscures rather than enlightens. Exactly what I was talking about when I used the word "careful". --Soundofmusicals (talk) 21:31, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

But the facts need to be correct. For eg. saying that Baha'is fast from 2nd to 21th March or that the Baha'i new year is on 21st March may not be true for every year after the Letter from the UHJ dated 10 July 2014. The "twin holy days" will not be celebrated according to the Muslim calender in the West, as they always have been in Iran (1st and 2nd Muharram);but rather on the first and the second day of the 8th new moon after Nawruz. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahmed99999 (talkcontribs) 19:17, 7 March 2015 (UTC)