As you realize, this cannot mean that Bahá’ís must not be controversial since, in many societies, being a Bahá’í is itself a controversial matter. The central importance of this principle of avoidance of politics and controversial matters is that Bahá’ís should not allow themselves to be drawn into the disputes of the many conflicting elements of the society around them. The aim of the Bahá’ís is to reconcile, to heal divisions, to bring about tolerance and mutual respect among men, and this aim is undermined if we allow ourselves to be swept along by the ephemeral passions of others.

The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 516-517