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Bahá’í Leader Here in Interest of World Peace

Bahaist Leader Here in Interest of World Peace
New York American
April 14, 1912
New York


Abdu’l-Bahá Anxious to Talk with Men Who Are Working for Wiping Out of War.


When Women Are Highly Cultivated He Thinks There Will Be No Differences in Sexes.

Abdu’l-Bahá, leader of the Bahá’ís, a cult which has for its aim the inculcation of universal peace, was enthusiastic over the New World when seen yesterday after his arrival here.

He comes from Persia to the United States to talk with men interested in international peace and arbitration. “It is my highest desire,” he said, “to see these societies and converse with their founders and members. For the great object of life is the oneness of the kingdom of humanity and international peace.

We have come to see and to associate with the societies, so that we may find a basis of co-operation and mutual assistance. This is my first object.”

But you have the idea also in mind of spreading your teachings, have you not?”

My religion is the religion of the unity of the nations, and the promulgation and spreading of the universe of peace, as well as the investigation of truth, and to demonstrate to the people of the world that religion and science have been and will continue working hand in hand.

Religion the Cause of Unity.

Whenever a doctrine is contrary to science, it is merely superstition. For that which is contrary to knowledge is ignorance. If we say that religion is against science, then religion is ignorance.

We also believe that religion should never become the cause of warfare and strife. Religion must be the cause of unity of the nations, the affiliation of individuals with each other and the creation of a larger understanding.

If religion becomes a cause of hatred, of antagonism, of creating prejudice against each other, it is better to have no religion.”

Can an individual with a religion - Christian, Mohammedan or Jew - follow your teachings without abandoning his religion?”

Yes, for truth is always one. The prophets of God have always spread the one truth and have established the truth. Truth cannot accept plurality.

If the followers of all religions returned to the original principles of their religions they will immediately become united. The foundation of religion is one. We are following the religions of all nationalities, for the basis of all these religions is truth.

Truth is indestructible and a unit. Therefore, we are associating with the followers of all denominations and religions with perfect peace and fellowship. We consider the members of all humanity as servants of God. We liken children of men unto a family, and the world of man unto a tree, and all the communities are like unto the leaves and blossoms and fruits.

Lovers of Humanity.

We are the lovers of humanity wherever we go. We are the lovers of all light no matter from which lamp it shines.

We are lovers of the sun no matter from what horizon it dawns. We have not these human prejudices. To be brief, our greatest hope and our highest aspiration is to establish unity among mankind and peace among the children of God.”

Do you find men or women the more religious - quicker to accept the truths expounded by you?”

Those who have intelligence and understanding accept our teachings no matter whether they are men or women. For they are all intellectual and logical principles, and they are for the good of all humanity.

For instance, we say that the people of the world should love each other, should serve each other; they should become as members of one family; they should throw into the corner of oblivion national, religious, patriotic and commercial prejudices. They must put aside these narrow prejudices. They must become united, men and women, all.

We have established this principle in Persia, and Mohammedans, Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians to-day are imbued with these broad principles and are living and associating with each other with the utmost love and unity. There is no religious or narrow warfare and strife among these people. The principles have proven themselves.”

What do you think of the woman suffrage movement?”

To-day women, on account of certain reasons, have not yet attained to the vigor of men. But these differences are only accounted for on lines of education. In reality there is no difference between men and women so far as their rights are concerned. They are all the children of one God. Both of them have capacities for progress.

When we look upon the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms we see there both sexes. There is no difference between them in the animal and vegetable kingdom. Therefore, when the women are highly educated and cultivated, you will see that there will be no difference whatever in rights between the two sexes.

Truly, America is facing toward progress. There is no question of this. America is also advancing wonderfully in spiritual and ethical principles.”

[picture caption: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá]