Aged Persian, A Prisoner For Half A Century, Comes to America To Preach The Gospel Of Universal Religion
MAN WHO ADVOCATES WHAT IS GOOD IN ALL RELIGIONS, TALKS ON MODERN CONDITIONS AND TELLS WHY POLITICS CAN NOT ADVANCE UNTIL WOMEN HAVE RIGHT TO VOTE.
Out of prison comes the first missionary from the east to the west. His name is ‘Abdul Daha Abbas, and he spent 56 of his 67 years in prison. He comes to preach the oneness of God, the oneness of religion, the oneness of humanity, the eradication of prejudice, universal peace.
This aged philosopher is head of the Bahá’í movement, which teaches the fundamental unity of all creeds. He arrived in San Francisco recently for a stay of three weeks. During this period he will speak from the pulpits of a number of churches of varying denominations, and will address the students of two universities.
‘Abdul speaks in Persian and Turkish, and his sermons are repeated by an interpreter.
“America is a prosperous country,” he said. “The wealth of the nation is increasing, its development is phenomenal. It has civilized men and gracious ladies, but they are all submerged in materialism.
“The American people are a hospitable people, stranger loving and very noble. I have found them quite courteous.”
“How about woman suffrage?” the interpreter asked, in jerky Persian.
“The world of humanity is possessed of two wings, one represented by the male, the other by the female,” was the reply. “Both must be strong in order that the world of humanity may fly. Equality of rights and prerogatives of men and women is finding foothold in America faster than in other parts. Until suffrage is established the body politic will not achieve its progress. Women are the first educators of men. Hence womankind must be educated until they reach the level of men.
“I have come to America to advocate international peace and the oneness of humanity, not for sightseeing,” the philosopher replied when asked for an opinion of the amusements of the country.
“We have paid no great attention to fashions and picture hats. We have no regard for the external clothes. If a woman is virtuous, refined, near God, in our estimation she is praiseworthy and revered, in no matter what clothes.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá and his train have visited the largest cities of the United States and Canada since April. The aged teacher pays his own ex [text missing]
‘ABDU’L-BAHA’S OPINIONS OF THE UNITED STATES
“The most wonderful thing in America is its liberty. This nation is in reality free, and this government is fair.”
“International peace today is the greatest issue of humanity.”
“The American people are hospitable and courteous, but their civilization is one of materialization. They should learn idealism, they should receive radiance.”
“The world of humanity is light. It is the divine bounty, represented by the male, the other by the female. Both must be strong in order that the world of humanity may fly. Until suffrage is established, the body politic will not achieve its progress.”
[picture caption: ‘ABDU’L-BAHA]