Bradford residents can take part in a global campaign for unity and equality.
As part of the #OurStoryisOne campaign to commemorate the women hanged for their Baha’i faith on June 18, 1983, in Shiraz’s Chawgun Square in Iran, the BWG Baha’i Women’s Group welcomes everyone to attend a vigil at the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library Dec. 2.
“We will be raising awareness of the sacrifice of the 10 women who were executed for their faith in Iran 40 years ago. These women were mothers, sisters, daughters as young as 17 and as old as 50s,” group member Noora Akhavan said via email. “Some of them were executed with their children.”
The event will give guests an opportunity to come together and reflect on the incident, vocalize the names of the women while listening to uplifting music and feature a short video and biographies of those slain.
“We are part of a global community with diverse demographics in our town and we are impacted or should be impacted by suffering, injustice or joy and triumph by our brothers and sisters. The injury of one is the injury of all; and by raising awareness we learn from our collective mistakes, hoping it will stop injustice everywhere,” Akhavan said.
According to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), the Baha’i community has faced repeated cycles of persecution from the Shi’a clerical establishment in Iran, which has condemned the Baha’i faith as a heretical deviation from Islam.
One of the early centres of the Baha’i faith, the city of Shiraz in Fars Province, “has been a frequent flashpoint for these tensions,” the IHRDC said in a paper published in 2007.
In 1982, the Revolutionary Guards conducted two rounds of mass arrests from the Baha’i community, detaining 39 people in October and another 41 in November.
While some were eventually released, the IHRDC claims others were interrogated for months, before the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz eventually ordered some executed, including the 10 women, as well as seven male detainees.
The BWG Baha’i Women’s Group is affiliated with the Bradford Baha’i Community and since 2020 has been working toward social transformation by raising awareness of key issues and providing spaces for public discourse and promoting social action by organizing service projects.
The IHRDC is an independent and nonpartisan scholarly undertaking to establish a comprehensive and objective historical record of the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran since the 1979 revolution.
This vigil takes place in the Zima Room from 2 to 4 p.m. The library is at 425 Holland St. W.