‘Abdu’l-Bahá Here to Convert America to His Peace Doctrine
Philosopher, Leader of Bahá’í Movement, to Urge One Religion for all Men.
The accomplishment of a task which many others have undertaken, but at which none has succeeded, the bringing about of universal peace and a single religion among all men, is the professed purpose of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, famous Persian philosopher and leader of the Bahá’í movement, who came to this country from Alexandria, Egypt, yesterday on board the Cedric, of the White Star Line.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá will begin his work of converting America at the Peace Conference at Lake Mohonk late this month, and thereafter will be heard at colleges, churches and gatherings of earnest persons throughout the land.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s philosophy is of a sort which the Occidental mind does not grasp in the first sentence. Universal peace and oneness of religion, he said yesterday, exist rather in the inner man than in his circumstances of time, place, race or condition of servitude, and he who loves his fellow man with all his heart and has shaken off the fetters of “self-imprisonment” is both free and a communicant in the universal religion.
“For instance,” he said, with a gesture in the direction of the Statue of Liberty, “there is your country’s emblem of peace and justice toward all. But I know that peace and justice are not a matter of race and country. Happiness is not his only who loves his native land, but his who loves all humanity.”
It was explained for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá through his nephew, Dr. Ameen Fareed who interprets him, that no man in the world has had more cause to despair of peace and justice than his uncle. Until last Summer, when he visited Paris and London, he had been immured for 40 years, a prisoner in a fortress at Acre, Syria. The Young Turks party, after the overthrow of ‘Abdul Hamid, brought about his release. He was sent to Acre with his father, Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í movement, when he was a young man.
One proof of his uncle’s devotion to the ideal of universal justice, Dr. Fareed said, lay in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s championship of the cause of women suffrage, which is not popular with the men of the Orient. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is a firm believer in the right of woman to equality with man, and he believes the time is not far distant when she will enjoy all the political and other privileges now held by man.
[picture caption: ‘ABDU’L-BAHA]