Wikipedia and Others Write about BIHE and Education Under Fire

Two recent links about the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) and Education Under Fire show how far the campaign to support students in Iran who are being deprived of higher education has come in one year.

The first link is to an article about the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/bah%C3%A1%27%AD_Institute_for_Higher_Education). The article covers curriculum, graduates, faculty, locations, and raids, as well as the Education Under Fire response, references, and further reading.

But the article is not 100 percent accurate. For example, the University of New Mexico, as a result of the Drive to 25 campaign and a campus showing of the Education Under Fire documentary, is now considering BIHE credits and transcripts on a case-by-case basis and has accepted a BIHE graduate into its Teacher Education Department.

However, despite some errors, the article is a useful resource for anyone wishing more detailed information and for preparing talks on the subject.

The second link is to “The Epic, Secret Struggle to Educate Iran’s Baha’is,” a long article by Sohrab Ahmari, an Iranian-American journalist, published in The Chronicle of Higher Education on May 13, 2012 (http://chronicle.com/article/The-Epic-Secret-Struggle-to/131819/).

The article opens with the passing of Salvadoran jurist Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, who died recently. From 1986 to 1994, Pohl was the UN Human Rights Commission’s special representative on Iran. In 1993 he exposed the Golpaygani memorandum, which set out the official Iranian policy for dealing the “Baha’i question”—a policy that aimed to ensure that Baha’i “progress and development” are blocked, especially in postsecondary education.

Ahmari details the history of the persecution of the Iranian Baha’i community, particularly after the 1979 Revolution; the establishment of BIHE in 1987; the difficulties of teaching in online courses English, which students need for success in countries outside Iran; and the success of some of the BIHE students who have continued their education in Western universities.

As with the Wikipedia article, Ahmari’s article is an excellent resource for anyone wishing detailed information about BIHE.

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