Persian Peace Advocate Pays Visit to Lincoln
‘Abdul-Bahá1 Abbas, Persian exponent of the doctrine of international peace and son of Bahá’u’lláh2, who paid with his life for doctrines advanced in his native country, arrived in Lincoln this morning accompanied by his interpreter and four other traveling companions. Arriving in Lincoln at 9 o’clock, the party remaining only a few hours and took advantage of the time to call upon the family of W.J. Bryan, whom ‘Abdul-Bahá met while the latter was touring the world.
Following almost identically the line of work that brought Baroness von Suttner to Lincoln last week, the elderly Persian is conducting his work by a different means. He is the follower of a religion of his father, a religion in which the doctrine of peace among nations, among all people and among religions is predominant. Speaking no English, ‘Abdul-Bahá is conducting his work with the aid of an interpreter, and numerous addresses have been delivered in America since the Persian’s arrival in this country last spring.
Visited Bryan Home.
Clothed in flowing robes and white cap and wearing the long white beard of the patriarchs of his native land, ‘Abdul-Bahá was to be seen for a few hours this morning, previous to motoring to the Bryan home. Kindly and smilingly, he received visitors in his room at the hotel and with the aid of Dr. Ameen U. Fareed, the interpreter, he carried on a brilliant conversation in which he set forth his work, his plans and his ideals. In true oriental courtesy, he expressed sorrow at the parting, bade the visitor Godspeed and slipped a token, a bit of jewelry, into his hand as a token of his pleasure and as a souvenir of himself.
A large part of his conversation was about his favorite theme, peace between nations and the abolishment of all warfare, but he also expressed his views on religion as well as other topics. That religion of the moderns is out of date is not in harmony with the modern keeping of things, is his opinion, but nevertheless Adul 1 loves God in his own way and insists that the Hebrews made the gravest error of their race when they crucified Christ. On the matter of religion, the elderly Persian would have but little to say, merely stating that he realized in doing so he might offend people of the country he was visiting. His work was outlined for him, he said, and he was here solely in the interests of international peace, a doctrine advanced by his martyred father fifty years ago.
Working For Peace.
“I am a Persian. I am a Bahá’í. I have come to America to visit the country, for I have heard that the American people are a peace loving people and I believe in peace. Therefore, I have come to see to what extent this peace propaganda has expressed itself in America,” said ‘Abdul-Bahá this morning.
“Being a Bahá’í means to be a follower of Bahá’u’lláh when his holiness appeared in Persia. He enunciated certain teachings which people in all parts of the world have followed and are following. Among teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is one relative to international peace. Again it is peace between religions; universal peace between races; peace between countries of all the world.
“Bahá’u’lláh founded these teachings in Persia fifty years ago. He wrote to many kings and rulers of the world in regard to these principles. Innumerable souls from among the various nations, different religions and different communities became his followers, united and agreed.
“The expressed great love and fellowship for each other, while formerly they were most hostile toward each other. They killed each other; they stole each other’s property, taking in captivity each other’s wives and children.
“Now they have become united as one great family. He - Bahá’u’lláh - illuminated the east with these lights. Among his teachings was the oneness of the world of humanity. Another of his teachings is relative to the harmony of science and religion. Again it is to leave behind religious prejudice; to quit racial prejudice; to overlook patriotic and political prejudice.
“Fifty years ago he wrote to kings and rulers that an international tribunal should be organized to which representatives from all nations in the world should be sent; such a tribunal as should be ratified by all parliaments of the world and to which all international disputes should be taken. If any nation goes contrary to the tribunal’s final judgment then all nations may combine to force that one to abide by its decision. Such a tribunal will be under the protection of all humanity. Then international peace will be proclaimed and humanity will thereby find rest and security.
“In reality the warfare in the present century is beyond endurance. Everything which is earned by the farmers is taxed for the preparation of armies and navies. Therefore war is continuous and although souls are not lost yet it is a constant financial drain which in the end equals the dire results of the loss of life.
“For example, there is a war going on between Turkey and Italy. So many lives are destroyed; so much wealth is wasted! If the international tribunal were organized this problem would have found solution, and there is no doubt that this tribunal would have arbitrated and the bloodshed would have been stopped.
“From the beginning of history, wars and battles have been waged between nations. How many countries of the world have been destroyed; how many millions killed; how much property and how much wealth pilaged; how many women and children taken into captivity!
“Now it is enough. This century has lightened. Thoughts are expanded; education has spread; these evils of war have become manifest. Therefore that which is befitting this illumined century is the proclamation of peace and all ferociousness wiped away entirely, for the ferocious beasts are characterized by these attributes.
“His holiness - Bahá’u’lláh - like unto the sun, appeared in Persian and promulgated these teachings in the orient. The governments of the east rose against him and oppressed himself and his followers most violently. He was fifty years in banishment, exile and imprisonment and he at last departed this world while in prison.
“I was a prisoner myself up to the time that the young Turks proclaimed freedom in 1908. They dealt justly with me. The government realized that I had not committed crime, except by doing a service to humanity. Therefore they gave me freedom.
“Now I am traveling over the world spreading the principles of international peace, the oneness of the world. I am trying to dispell the clouds of misunderstanding so that all peoples of the world may find happiness and peace. Although former governments of the orient, which were tyrannical and despotic, strove to extinguish the lamp of Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá2, with the powers of the holy spirit, spread his teachings and while in prison raised the standard of the world of humanity.”
The party is working westward and this afternoon left for Denver. ‘Abdul-Bahá spoke in Omaha last night, arriving in that city from Minneapolis. Accompanying him in the party besides Dr. Fareed, are: Mirza Ahmad Sorab, Mirza Ali Akbar, Mizra3 Mahmood and a Japanese servant. All in the party are cultured and well educated, two speaking English with little accent.
Article appeared on the front page with the photograph.