Last Thursday, April 12th, IACO participated in an event organized by The Baha’i Campus Association of The Ohio State University, in conjunction with the Iranian Cultural Association, Muslim Student Association, Amnesty International, and the College of Education and Human Ecology Equity and Diversity Committee (Teaching and Learning) which included the screening of a documentary Education Under Fire. This documentary drew attention to Iranâ€™s policy of denying education to many of its own citizens on the basis of ideology or religious affiliation. The film also described the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), an underground university created in response to this oppression. The documentary was followed by a panel discussion with representatives from the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio, Amnesty International, the national Education Under Fire campaign, Antioch University, and BIHE.
It became clear through the panel discussion that this is an issue that the public is interested in learning about. In order to get the word out, individuals who are aware of what is going on need to start dialogue and conversation with those who do not yet know. Further, these conversations will become quite powerful when they are with individuals who are in a position to respond. Helpful actions include lending academic or material assistance to BIHE, calling on the Iranian government to end its policy of state sponsored religious persecution, or offering opportunities for persecuted Iranians to take distance learning classes. An action available to all individuals is signing the online petition found on the Education Under Fire website (www.educationunderfire.com). For further information the Education ! Under Fire campaign at OSU can be found on Facebook, or individuals can respond directly to Andrew Curtright at firstname.lastname@example.org.