So many times when you think about people being tortured and killed for religious beliefs, it’s hard to picture the person, the young girl behind the story. The story that really never made the news or got lost behind other headlines. The story of every individual persecuted for believing in something, that others see as a threat.
Well imagine being 16 years old and you and other women and girls have been teaching Baha’i children’s classes. You and nine other women and girls are arrested and charged with teaching children’s classes on the Baha’i Faith (Sunday School), Well, that is one happened in Shiraz, Iran on June 18, 1983.
Mona Mahmudnizhad was teaching her religion (the Baha’i faith) to children, something we in the U.S. take for granted every day.
In an attempt to make the women and girls recant their belief in the Baha’i Faith and Baha’u’llah, they were physically and mentally tortured. Yet, these ten women and girls, like most Baha’is arrested and tortured refused to recant their faith. The women knew that if they didn’t recant that they would be executed. The time came and the women were escorted from their cell, some could hardly walk, their feet had been beat until they were a bloody mess. The women cried quietly and stood steadfast to their knowledge that they would be reunited in heaven.
When it was time for the first to be hung, Mona Mahmudnizhad a brave young girl walks forward, choosing to lead the way to Heaven, God and Baha’u’llah, and to give the others’ courage walked up to the rope. She kissed the noose reverently and placed it over her head, before the executioner had a chance. The remaining women and girls followed Mona Mahmudnizhad into heaven and forever in every Baha’is’ heart.
There has been at least on song written about Mona by Canada music artist Doug Cameron made the top of the pop charts with his son “Mona with the Children", then a video was produced for the song, and a play was recently enacted in her honor.
Persecution of Baha’is is still goes on to this day. People are dying for what they believe in, 20,000+ have been tortured and killed, they have lost all rights to property, jobs and education in Iran.
Author - Sandy Mullins
The other nine women that were martyred in Shiráz on June 18, 1983: Mrs. Nusrat Yalda'i, Mrs. 'Izzat Janami Ishraqi, Miss Roya Ishraqi, Mrs. Tahirih Siyavushi, Miss Zarrin Muqimi, Miss Shirin Dalvand, and Miss Akhtar Sabit.
Mona's Dream is an upcoming Jack Lenz film.
People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Take no one for granted and embrace all equally with joy!
Julie A. Manhan ...