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Score ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as False Prophet

Score Abdul Baha as False Prophet
Baltimore Maryland Star
May 27, 1912

Lectures of Persian Teacher Arouse Washington Ministers.


Rev. Dr. James M. M. Gray Likens Him to Ali Bába.

Washington, May 27. — It is written in the Bible that many false prophets shall arise. Clergymen in Washington believe they recognize one in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the prophet and high priest of the universal religion, or Bahá’ísm, who, during the delivery of a course of lectures here, was the target of much vigorous criticism by the propounders of other doctrines.

Even the most rabid of his critics impute to him none other than the most sincere motives, though many of the clergy are of the opinion that he has come to the wrong land to teach his faith. The religion of Bahá is a sort of second edition of Mohammedanism, which Bahá believes includes all of the virtues of the original, together with certain valuable embellishments.

Already there are some thousands of devotees to the Bahá teachings in this country and it seems the membership of the cult is on the increase. It has a subtle appeal and Bahá churches are springing up in nearly every city.

Ministers of every Christian creed are banding together to fight the invaders. This is true of all cities in which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has preached, but especially so of Washington. The new prophet had not completed his lectures before an avalanche of objections issued from the pulpits.

Perhaps the criticism of the Rev. C. Ernest Smith, of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, was the bitterest. Rev. Mr. Smith did not confine his attack to Bahá’í; he extended it to Persia, and incidentally to all Mohammedan peoples. He declared that nothing good could come out of Persia. He maintained that Persia was a lost country, a dead notion, and that it was madness for the people of the western world to listen to the song of a man from this benighted land. The Rev. … Smith arraigned Bahá on a charge of attempting to lure from Christ the [people] of the United States.

The Rev. James M.M. Gray [of] the Hamline Methodist Episcopal Church of Washington, likened Bahá’í to Ali Bába of the Forty Thieves, who [accepted] hospitality of a robbers’ cave, [in order] that he might kill and rob when admitted.

Bahá, with all the imperturbability of the Oriental, says nothing in answer to these attacks. He is handicapped in that he does not speak the English tongue, but travels with an efficient interpreter. He will remain in this country about three months.