A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Prejudice

Again applying the principle of equality evenly, women are not exempt from self-examination in the area of gender equality and must also engage in deliberate examination of their own attitudes, feelings and behaviors, which may contribute to sustaining traditional patterns of gender prejudice.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, Guidelines for Spiritual Assemblies on Domestic Violence, p. 3)


And the breeding-ground of all these tragedies is prejudice: prejudice of race and nation, of religion, of political opinion; and the root cause of prejudice is blind imitation of the past—imitation in religion, in racial attitudes, in national bias, in politics. So long as this aping of the past persisteth, just so long will the foundations of the social order be blown to the four winds, just so long will humanity be continually exposed to direst peril.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 247)


As you can see, all these developments relate directly to the teaching work inasmuch as the Bahá’í communities must reach a certain size before they can begin to implement many of them. How, for example, can a Bahá’í community demonstrate effectively the abolition of prejudices which divide the inhabitants of a country until it has a cross-section of those inhabitants within its ranks? A seed is the vital origin of a tree and of a tremendous importance for that reason, but it cannot produce fruit until it has grown into a tree and flowered and fruited. So a Bahá’í community of nine believers is a vital step, since it can bring into being for that locality the divine institution of the Local Spiritual Assembly, but it is still only a seed, and needs to grow in size and in the diversity of its members before it can produce really convincing fruit for its fellow citizens.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 515-516)


Bahá’u’lláh tells us that prejudice in its various forms destroys the edifice of humanity. We are adjured by the Divine Messenger to eliminate all forms of prejudice from our lives. Our outer lives must show forth our beliefs. The world must see that, regardless of each passing whim or current fashion of the generality of mankind, the Bahá’í lives his life according to the tenets of his Faith. We must not allow the fear of rejection by our friends and neighbors to deter us from our goal: to live the Bahá’í life. Let us strive to blot out from our lives every last trace of prejudice—racial, religious, political, economic, national, tribal, class, cultural, and that which is based on differences of education or age. We shall be distinguished from our non-Bahá’í associates if our lives are adorned with this principle.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973, p. 99-100)


But there is need of a superior power to overcome human prejudices, a power which nothing in the world of mankind can withstand and which will overshadow the effect of all other forces at work in human conditions. That irresistible power is the love of God. It is my hope and prayer that it may destroy the prejudice of this one point of distinction between you and unite you all permanently under its hallowed protection.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 68-69)


Certainly the well-being of mankind depends on the development of the potential virtues and abilities of every individual, regardless of race, nationality, class, religion, or sex. For this reason prejudices, which cause division and oppression, are systematically abolished in Bahá’í community life.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Apr 05, Equality of Men & Women A New Reality)


Experience shows that ignorance breeds superstition and perpetuates religious prejudice and animosity.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1992 Feb 10, Creating a Climate of Religious Tolerance)


He is pleased to see you have naturally, with conviction and good will towards all, been mingling with and teaching the colored people. When the Bahá’ís live up to their teachings as they should, although it may arouse the opposition of some it will arouse still more the admiration of fair-minded people.
(Shoghi Effendi, Living the Life)


He is pleased to see you have naturally, with conviction and good will towards all, been mingling with and teaching the colored people. When the Bahá’ís live up to their teachings as they should, although it may arouse the opposition of some it will arouse still more the admiration of fair-minded people.
(Shoghi Effendi, Living the Life)


If we allow prejudice of any kind to manifest itself in us, we shall be guilty before God of causing a setback to the progress and real growth of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. It is incumbent upon every believer to endeavor with a fierce determination to eliminate this defect from his thoughts and acts. It is the duty of the institutions of the Faith to inculcate this principle in the hearts of the friends through every means at their disposal including summer schools, conferences, institutes and study classes.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973, p. 100)


If we allow prejudice of any kind to manifest itself in as, we shall be guilty before God of causing a setback to the progress and real growth of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. It is incumbent upon every believer to endeavour with a fierce determination to eliminate this defect from his thoughts and acts.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 529)


It is difficult for the friends always to remember that in matter[s] where race enters, a hundred times more consideration and wisdom in handling situations is necessary than when an issue is not complicated by this factor.
(Shoghi Effendi, Pupil of the Eye, p. 87).


It is difficult for the friends always to remember that in matter[s] where race enters, a hundred times more consideration and wisdom in handling situations is necessary than when an issue is not complicated by this factor.
(Shoghi Effendi, Pupil of the Eye, p. 87).


It is essential that men engage in a careful, deliberate examination of attitudes, feelings, and behavior deeply rooted in cultural habit, that block the equal participation of women and stifle the growth of men.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, Two Wings of a Bird, 1997.)


It is evident that prejudices arising from adherence to religious forms and imitation of ancestral beliefs have hindered the progress of humanity thousands of years. How many wars and battles have been fought, how much division, discord and hatred have been caused by this form of prejudice!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 39)


It is indeed strange that the cultured class, the people of thought and experience, are often more filled with prejudice than just plain ordinary souls who have not enjoyed such advantages. They are so afraid of seeming in any way ‘different’ from their fellows, and of course to be a Bahá’í is to be different!
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 529)


Let the white make a supreme effort in their resolve to contribute their share to the solution of this problem, to abandon once for all their usually inherent and at times subconscious sense of superiority, to correct their tendency towards revealing a patronizing attitude towards the members of the other race, to persuade them through their intimate, spontaneous and informal association with them of the genuineness of their friendship and the sincerity of their intentions, and to master their impatience of any lack of responsiveness on the part of a people who have received, for so long a period, such grievous and slow-healing wounds. Let the Negroes, through a corresponding effort on their part, show by every means in their power the warmth of their response, their readiness to forget the past, and their ability to wipe out every trace of suspicion that may still linger in their hearts and minds. Let neither think that the solution of so vast a problem is a matter that exclusively concerns the other. Let neither think that such a problem can either easily or immediately be resolved. Let neither think that they can wait confidently for the solution of this problem until the initiative has been taken, and the favorable circumstances created, by agencies that stand outside the orbit of their Faith. Let neither think that anything short of genuine love, extreme patience, true humility, consummate tact, sound initiative, mature wisdom, and deliberate, persistent, and prayerful effort, can succeed in blotting out the stain which this patent evil has left on the fair name of their common country. Let them rather believe, and be firmly convinced, that on their mutual understanding, their amity, and sustained cooperation, must depend, more than on any other force or organization operating outside the circle of their Faith, the deflection of that dangerous course so greatly feared by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and the materialization of the hopes He cherished for their joint contribution to the fulfillment of that country’s glorious destiny.
(Shoghi Effendi, Advent of Divine Justice, p. 40)


One of the forms of prejudice which afflict the world of mankind is religious bigotry and fanaticism. When this hatred burns in human hearts, it becomes the cause of revolution, destruction, abasement of humankind and deprivation of the mercy of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 337-338)


Prejudices of all kinds—whether religious, racial, patriotic or political—are destructive of divine foundations in man. All the warfare and bloodshed in human history have been the outcome of prejudice. This earth is one home and native land. God has created mankind with equal endowment and right to live upon the earth. As a city is the home of all its inhabitants although each may have his individual place of residence therein, so the earth’s surface is one wide native land or home for all races of humankind. Racial prejudice or separation into nations such as French, German, American and so on is unnatural and proceeds from human motive and ignorance. All are the children and servants of God. Why should we be separated by artificial and imaginary boundaries? In the animal kingdom the doves flock together in harmony and agreement. They have no prejudices. We are human and superior in intelligence. Is it befitting that lower creatures should manifest virtues which lack expression in man?
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 287)


Religious intolerance is a complex phenomenon with a multitude of causes. Available evidence suggests the underlying one is a pervasive ignorance about the beliefs of other peoples, an ignorance which breeds suspicion and fear. Frequently, the effects of this lack of understanding have been exacerbated by historical events which have left legacies of cultural estrangement.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1991 Feb 25, Promoting Religious Tolerance)


So free must be your thoughts and actions of any trace of prejudice—racial, religious, economic, national, tribal, class, or cultural—that even the stranger sees in you loving friends.
(Universal House of Justice, Ridván Message 2008, paragraph 8)


The black man must ever be grateful to the white man, for he has manifested great courage and self-sacrifice in behalf of the black race. Four years he fought their cause, enduring severe hardships, sacrificing life, family, treasure, all for his black brother until the great war ended in the proclamation of freedom. By this effort and accomplishment the black race throughout the world was influenced and benefited. Had this not been accomplished, the black man in Africa would still be bound by the chains of slavery. Therefore, his race should everywhere be grateful, for no greater evidence of humanism and courageous devotion could be shown than the white man has displayed. If the blacks of the United States forget this sacrifice, zeal and manhood on the part of the whites, no ingratitude could be greater or more censurable. If they could see the wretched conditions and surroundings of the black people of Africa today, the contrast would be apparent and the fact clearly evident that the black race in America enjoys incomparable advantages. The comfort and civilization under which they live here are due to the white man’s effort and sacrifice. Had this sacrifice not been made, they would still be in the bonds and chains of slavery, scarcely lifted out of an aboriginal condition. Therefore, always show forth your gratitude to the white man. Eventually all differences will disappear, and you will completely win his friendship.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 112-113)


The conscience of one person may be established upon a disinterested striving after truth and justice, while that of another may rest on an unthinking predisposition to act in accordance with that pattern of standards, principles and prohibitions which is a product of his social environment. Conscience, therefore, can serve either as a bulwark of an upright character or can represent an accumulation of prejudices learned from one’s forebears or absorbed from a limited social code.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1992 Dec 10, Issues Related to Study Compilation)


The damaging effects of gender prejudice are a fault line beneath the foundation of our national life. The gains for women rest uneasily on unchanged, often unexamined, inherited assumptions. Much remains to be done. The achievement of full equality requires a new understanding of who we are, what is our purpose in life, and how we relate to one another—an understanding that will compel us to reshape our lives and thereby our society.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, Two Wings of a Bird, 1997.)


The prejudice and discrimination that disabled people suffer is the product of the more general human tendency to label as “inferior” those who are somehow different. But the ostracism that disabled persons often experience can be even more intense, for it is founded on fear—fear on the part of the ostracizer that he, too, may someday become the victim of disability. The only way to eradicate this fear is to educate every member of society to see disability for what it really is—a mental or physical condition that may make everyday life more challenging, but that cannot affect the disabled person’s soul, spirit, creativity, imagination or determination—in short, some of the most valuable aspects of life. At the same time, such an appreciation will enable individuals to see through the outward handicaps of disabled persons, to their inner reality.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1988 Aug 06, Human Rights Disability)


… interracial fellowship completely purged from the curse of racial prejudice which stigmatizes the vast majority of its people—these are the weapons which the American believers can and must wield in their double crusade, first to regenerate the inward life of their own community, and next to assail the long-standing evils that have entrenched themselves in the life of their nation.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 41)