Ennis supports the international fight for human rights this week when a groundbreaking film ‘To Light a Candle’ is screened at the Civic Rooms, Waterpark, Drumbiggle as part of a campaign to highlight human rights violations in Iran where large numbers of youth are denied an education.
The ‘Education is not a Crime’ International Campaign is focusing on the denial of 3rd level education for all Bahá’ís in Iran.
Sponsored by the Ennis Bahá’í community the screening will commence at 7.30pm on this coming Friday 27th February and admission is free.
‘Here in Ennis we take education for granted’ said Madge Rainsford, a local Bahá’í. “Our leaving certificate youth have made their college applications and are working towards their third level education, regardless of their religion. But this same privilege is withheld from Bahá’í students in Iran.”
Archbishop Tutu a supporter of this campaign states “The Iranian government says that education is a crime for Bahá’ís”, adding that he and others like him can tell the government of Iran ‘that banning the Bahá’ís, or any group from higher education is hurting Iran and hurting the Iranian people.”
In 1987 the doors of universities and colleges were shut in the faces of Bahá’í students solely because of their religion, and that since then the educational needs of the Iranian Bahá’í youth have been met in modern-day hedge schools.
Brave and dedicated tutors in Iran itself and around the world use modern media or whatever means they can to offer third level qualifications to students denied an education through religious discrimination.
The screening of this film by Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari is part of a world-wide campaign of screenings and events on this day 27th February 2015.
According to filmmaker Bahari the treatment of members of the Bahá’í Faith in Iran is a barometer for what goes on in that society. Though not a Bahá’í himself, he suffered torture and imprisonment in Iran when he covered the aftermath of civil elections there. Commenting on the discrimination against Bahá’í students in Iran he said: “When society, in Iran, is more repressed, it’s the Bahá’ís who are the first victims.”
The film tells the story of the Bahá’ís whose peaceful response to decades of state-sponsored persecution has inspired whole generations of students around the world.