In response to the tirade above:
Original thinkers don't need degrees.
~ Hannah Arendt
Whosoever allows narcissism to enter them is destroyed!
~ Imām Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq (ع), ḥadīth
…What the Babi Movement of the middle of the nineteenth century and the Constitutional Revolution of the end of the nineteenth/beginning of the twentieth century ultimately reveal is how as soon as the insurrectionary spirit of Shiʿism degenerates in one case it resuscitates itself in another. As soon as the Babi movement of the middle of the nineteenth century degenerated into the Baha’i religion, the Constitutional Revolution of the end of the century becomes the repository of all the hopes and aspirations that were brutally murdered with the execution of Bab in 1850. The collective spirit of protest that is in Shiʿism in its most insurrectionary moments divests its aspirations from the lofty but irrelevant and megalomaniac claims of Baha’ullah and invests them in local and anonymous figures far closer to their miseries and hopes. The Constitutional Revolution thus rises like a sphinx from the ashes of the Babi Movement...Baha’ullah systematically eradicated every ounce of revolutionary energy from Babism and put it squarely at the service of the reigning monarchy and of Russian and then British colonialism. By the time that Iranians were getting ready to tear down the very foundation of Qajar monarchy in the course of the Constitutional Revolution, Baha’ullah officially sided with Muhammad Ali Shah.[i] His son and successor Abd al-Baha went even further and was knighted by George V, and under the British mandate established the center of his vanity in Haifa…
~ Hamid Dabashi, Islamic Liberation Theology, 2008, 80 & 83.
Facebook and Dabashian Vitriolic Knee-Jerkism
On 15 September 2015 Counterpunch and Countercurrents published my From Academia to Hackademia: Hamid Dabashi as Native Informer[ii] which was a response to a scurrilous, below-the-belt Aljazeera op-ed (11 September 2015) penned by Columbia University Professor Hamid Dabashi where false allegations were levelled against Iran and her intake of Syrian refugees.[iii] Only a few short hours after the article went live, inexplicably, Facebook arbitrarily shut-down and deactivated my Facebook account on the spurious grounds that I was using a fake name; and this, on an account I have maintained for eight straight years!
It took the better part of the next morning to get my account reactivated, with Facebook demanding identification in order to do so. This sort of charade is not new to me since I have experienced all manner of organized online gang stalking, bullying, the hacking of my accounts (and that of family and friends), identity theft, incessant cyber-attacks and public defamation during the entire course of the last decade from Dabashi’s imperial Haifan Baha’i friends[iv] with their Baha’i Internet Agency[v] (about whom more will be said presently below).
While this mess was being sorted out, for a few hours Hamid Dabashi himself deactivated his Facebook fan page, only to return some hours later by posting quite an unseemly knee-jerk tirade full of juvenile invective, vitriolic vulgarities and below-the-belt ad homs – including the usage of adjectives such as “bully” and “loser” (i.e. the classist language of the perpetrator and establishment oppressor) - but without deigning to even respond to a single point raised in the rebuttal to his ope-ed.[vi] He also used the singular pronoun (i.e. I, me, my) thirty-eight times in a single paragraph! Lame. His entire diatribe narcissistically revolved around himself, his hurt pride and bruised Ivory Tower ego, and that how dare a lowlife, non-credentialed pleb such as I question or interrogate his published views and the patronage he receives by the Qatari Aljazeera!
Nothing was forthcoming by him – not one word! -- in response to the established fact that Iran has indeed taken in Syrian refugees and has no objections in continuing to do so,[vii] thus (by his silence on that score) invalidating the entire premise of his totally disingenuous misdirection published by Aljazeera on 11 September 2015. As wiser heads keep telling me, whenever one is faced with this sort of reaction, and with the kind of rapidity that it came, you can bet your sweet patootie that someone has been rattled – and badly.
Normally in such a situation – and given the manner in which Dabashi completely shot himself in the foot with that public response – one should declare mission accomplished and go about one’s merry way because the argument has been won. However, his tirade raised several germane matters that further expand upon what Dan Glazebrook and I have already stressed on the pages of Counterpunch regarding Dabashi, not to mention the presences behind him. [viii] With that tactless rant Hamid Dabashi further demolished his own credibility and additionally reinforced the fact that he is absolutely not to be trusted anymore because he is merely a well-positioned buffoon, an opportunist voice of establishment shillery - only one who spins better, more sophisticated sounding sorcery than others - but who when pushed or called on the floor for articulating nonsense instead explodes into infantile tantrums and fits of public rage: infantile tantrums and fits of public rage that belie his core elitist snobbery and conceited Ivory Tower privileges. For his sake, I wish he had not responded at all because I was totally embarrassed for him with the response he did offer.
But, seriously, what did Hamid Dabashi honestly expect as a rejoinder to that nonsense penned by him on Aljazeera: rose petals and palm leaves strewn upon the pathway of his spouting the bald faced lies of Empire against his own homeland?
It is quite telling in that regard that contrary to his Columbia colleague Joseph Massad, who time and again has called a spade a spade and brooks no compromises with the sell-out antics of westernized gusano Arab liberals and the venal Western plutocratic interests behind them,[ix] Hamid Dabashi instead regularly obfuscates and instead calls a spade by something else while incessantly muddying waters, drawing bogus parallels or painting patently false equivalences between the world-devouring imperial hubris of this demonic Anglo-Zionist Atlantic Empire and that of its Eurasian or multipolar opponents such as Russia, Iran and Syria.
Reality check: What the Empire of the Dajjāl perpetrates daily upon the world – and has systematically perpetrated upon the world for 500+ years without let-up -- and anything Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad or Ayatollah Khamenei are accused of pales into an insignificance of vacuous existential nothingness and so therefore cannot be taken as equivalent or aligned on any credible parallel line of comparison (at least in the present ontological universe) with what Empire is up to, whatever the tangled, convoluted, smoke and mirror sleight of hand in the porous geopolitical theorizing of Dabashi and his ilk suggests otherwise. Simply put, Hamid Dabashi is being an utterly irresponsible quisling (i.e. a native informer) towards the best interests of his own countrymen and homeland (not to mention the region) when he suggests as much because by asserting such absurdities – and I will say it again - he is unquestionably playing right into the hands of Empire and its larger agendas.
The Baha’is and their imperial hackery
Now, one should also thank Hamid Dabashi profusely here for opening a golden can of worms and allowing this heaven-sent opportunity to address something even more potent that was specifically broached in his Great Facebook Tirade of 2015. This surrounds his public advocacy on behalf of those imperial hack-stooge extraordinaires: the Haifan Baha’is, who as a creed represent the consummate colonialist, Anglo-Zionist lackey, gusano, westoxicated, corrupt nouveau riche, comprador bourgeois-globalist destabilizers of Iran and the Iranian people since the late nineteenth century bar none.
This creed and the subculture it represents is precisely the epitome of everything the great Jalal Al-e Ahmad indicated in his momentous Westoxication/Occidentosis (gharbzadegī) because vis-à-vis Iran the imperial Baha’i establishment is the pointy end of coloniality exemplified. Wherever any attempts, endeavours or efforts exist to undermine and destabilize the Iranian state and society, there you will find the Haifan Baha’is. Same with Islamophobia, but that is another discussion for another day. Part of this has to do with their long-held and long-cherished fantasies of one day ruling Iran and turning it into an uber-modernist, hyper-corporatized, neoliberal totalitarian Baha’i theocracy which presumably would be ruled by their all-male (no women allowed), nine member “infallible supreme body” (known as the “Universal House of Justice”) from Mt Carmel, Haifa, Israel. For Pete’s sake, they even try claiming credit for coining the term ‘New World Order’ promulgated in the writings of their prophet-founder Bahā’u’llāh!
Is this really what Dabashi remotely wishes to be associated with, let alone defend from the likes of me? Is this what the true agenda behind the Green movement of Iran is really all about, i.e. a trojan horse for Empire’s plans of overthrowing the system in Iran and installing in its place a future Western-friendly Baha’i theocracy ruled from Haifa, Israel?
It is, of course, no secret that besides the Islamic Republic of Iran itself yours truly is widely considered to be one of the most vocal critics of Baha’ism. Of course, when Dabashi attacks his interlocutor on this point he seems to have forgotten that his interlocutor is an an ex-Baha’i himself and an expressly declared ‘apostate’ in their books (having formally left it for the much greener pastures of Shīʿi Sufi Islam in 1996 after becoming disillusioned with it much earlier in adolescence). Moreover, my family and I have been maliciously targeted by this organization on numerous occasions in the past due to my public exposes of the litany of their lies, abuses and skulduggery (historical and contemporary) as well as their quite sinister imperialist links, not to mention their unceasing cult-like abuses and victimization of former members and critics (some of which may even constitute genuine human rights violations). So if Professor Dabashi wants to walk down that road and talk about bullies and bullying, there is a Masnavī-long tale to tell regarding those imperial bully-stooges of Empire whom he calls friends and who he beats his chest for in public.
Here is not the place to go into every delicate point of the convoluted history; but suffice it to say that currently there is not a single Western government, NGO, think-tank, lobby, organization, business or corporation in the West (or the Gulf countries, for that matter) with sinister designs on Iran and who the imperial Haifan Baha’is are not in one way or another connected to. The detailed evidence for it can be found online connecting this organization to the elite echelons of high finance within Wall Street and the City of London, both the US and British intelligence establishments as well as corporate national security ‘mass surveillance’ contractors of precisely the sort that Edward Snowden blew the whistle on in 2013 -- and the list goes on and on. Until former Clinton administration hack Lisa Graves bought out the Center for Media and Democracy’s Sourcewatch, and overnight turned that whole site into a joke, extensive summaries of this evidence were compiled and made available on that site (mostly now taken down by the new admins since the turnover).
Now, the world headquarters of the imperial Baha’is (a decadent and megalomaniacal-looking religious Disneyland cut from Italian marble and constructed in the form of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon revisited) is located in the heart of the Zionist settler-colony in Haifa, Mt Carmel, Israel.[x] This, in itself, should begin by alerting any but the seriously deluded as to who the imperial Baha’is actually roll with. Why doesn’t this factoid upset Hamid Dabashi when he offers conceited public lamentations and performs his ridiculously inverted taziya passion-plays on their behalf? Has he forgotten his own words from Islamic Liberation Theology quoted above? And how disingenuous does this make his overall critique of Zionism and Israel appear when he is not prepared to temper his advocacy for the Iranian Baha’is (and whatever purported plight suffered by them under the Islamic Republic) with this gaping embarrassment of a tidbit regarding the locus of their world headquarters with its opulently lavish, quite expensively maintained gardens which costs quite a pretty penny – especially with the water bill alone, a resource the Israelis regularly deny the native Palestinians who Dabashi otherwise professes to champion. Does the blatant, insoluble, gaping and unbridgeable contradiction here not bother or phase Dabashi’s conscience in the least?
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 the imperial Baha’is have incessantly alleged persecution against them (including on one notable occasion allegations of “cultural” and “ideological genocide”)[xi] by the Iranian state while always busy lobbying and then mobilizing the entire governmental, special-interest lobby, academic and human rights apparatus of the West – in short the globalist glitterati (or as I have elsewhere coined it, the ‘Sorosazzi’)[xii] - against Iran.[xiii] While some incidents have indeed occurred (most of which may have been acts of independent vigilantism rather than any initiated by the Iranian state specifically itself), on closer examination many of the claims made by them have also turned out to be either completely exaggerated or outright spurious fabrications designed as targeted propaganda against both the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the greater Iranian society as a whole.
Some of the incidents they have claimed to constitute persecution by the Iranian state -- incidents which occurred during the early years of the Islamic Revolution (1979-84) – later turned out to have nothing to do with religious beliefs at all but rather with either royalist political connections of the past or economic crimes committed by prominent individual Baha’is during the former Pahlavi regime – a regime, by the way, the imperial Haifan Baha’is were in fact quite chummy with all the way into the Shah’s secret police SAVAK.
Presently the Iranian state considers Baha’ism to be a ‘cult’ in identical terms as Western countries like France or Germany consider Scientology or the Jehovah’s Witnesses to be a cult. Due to the foreign, and particularly its overtly Zionist and Anglo-American ties, the Iranian state also considers the Baha’i organization – but not rank-and-file individuals – to be a national security threat in the same manner as Western nations would officially consider al-Qaeda, ISIS or any other number of Islamist (or even neo-Nazi) groups to constitute such threats. The Baha’i adherence of both the late Dr David Kelly and his Pentagon DIA sidekick Mia Pedersen al-Sadat – both of whose roles as weapons inspectors in Iraq in the lead up to the American invasion of 2003 is well noted[xiv] - would obviously not lead Iranian authorities to change their minds in the slightest about the real threat this organization poses to the safety and security of Iran. And why should they? Of course, one should also mention that the Iranian state is also well aware of the fact that the parent organization in Haifa has been playing a dirty game with the lives of average rank-and-file Baha’is in Iran for thirty-six plus years now, often using them as convenient pawns and patsies in its conceited games of political one-upmanship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, given that the response of the Iranian state towards the Baha’is has been relatively muted compared to what it otherwise could’ve been.
Now, during July-August 1953 at the height of Anglo-American meddling in Iran, prominent Baha’i business tycoon Habib Sabet (a lifelong member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran) actively helped the Shah in the lead up to the CIA-orchestrated coup d’etat toppling Mossadegh (paying for Muhammad-Reza Pahlavi and Queen Soraya’s brief stay and royal maintenance in Rome out of his own pocket just before they returned to Iran just after Mossadegh’s fall). Following the post-coup consolidation by the Shah and his regime, Sabet was richly rewarded by the Pahlavi monarch with the Pepsi Cola and Iranian National Radio & Television franchises. In 1967 at the Shah’s coronation ceremony, Habib Sabet was officially deputized by the Haifa Universal House of Justice as its chief representative to the event.[xv]
Additionally, the father of prime minister Amir Abbas Hoveyda had been a lifelong Baha’i. He had even acted for some time in the official capacity of personal secretary to Baha’i leader ʿAbdul-Bahā in Palestine. The Shah’s own personal physician, General ʿAbdu’l-Karim Ayadi, was a Baha’i. The notorious Sangsari criminal underworld figure, Hozhabr Yazdani, whose close ties to the Pahlavi royal court and SAVAK are well known, was a Baha’i. The deputy-head of SAVAK: Parviz Sabeti – a Baha’i (albeit the Baha’i establishment currently denies this most vehemently). Countless other examples such as this could be furnished from that era.
Given such facts, the imperial Baha’is occupied a fundamental cornerstone of the ancien régime of the Pahlavis as they remain to the Empire itself presently. In other words, we are talking about a longstanding pillar of the Anglo-American ‘deep state’ itself. The evidence once offered on Sourcewatch makes this fact undeniable and beyond the speculative conjectures of any mere ‘conspiracy theories’ alone – and I defy anyone to argue with these facts. In the insightful words of a Facebook friend, “Haifa has been hitched up to every western scheme of imperialism to come down the pike.”
The degree to which the events of 2009 itself possessed a surreptitious, hidden Haifan Baha’i hand is also undeniable. This angle to the story has yet to be written, but there is no question that there was deep Baha’i infiltration of the Iranian Greens from its inception; and Empire’s remote-control of those events was as much with Baha’i connivance as it was with Langley, Virginia’s. Dabashi’s beautiful faux pas in the Great Tirade of 2015 only further highlighted the fact.
But to cement the point regarding the monumental treachery committed by this creed towards Iran in the last century: during the First World War when the British were busily engineering a genocidal famine in Iran (which according to the meticulous research conducted by Mohammad Gholi Majd[xvi] claimed the lives of between 8-11 million Iranians from 1917-19), persuaded by military intelligence officer Major Wellsley Tudor Pole (a Theosophist and a Baha’i), the British mobilized a massive force of Indian cavalrymen just to rescue the Baha’i leader ʿAbdul-Bahā from the clutches of his Ottoman Turkish enemies in Haifa. This was because the Turks were threatening to kill him at the time due to him covertly aiding the war effort against them from Acre-Haifa on behalf of the British.[xvii] Years later the Baha’is claimed that ʿAbdul-Bahā’s efforts during the war had been purely humanitarian in nature, although the British themselves specifically characterized such efforts as being “valuable services rendered to the British government.”
In 1919, as 8-11 million Iranians lay either dead or languishing from starvation (with the whole country laid to waste devastated from this British engineered famine), in the now newly British occupied zone of Palestine, ʿAbdul-Bahā was with great public fanfare officially knighted and made a KBE.[xviii] Later with the rise of Reza Shah and the Pahlavi regime – a regime the British specifically helped install and bring to power in 1921 – the Baha’is would have certainly been involved in those behind the scene, systematic efforts by the Pahlavis to conceal and cover-up the evidence of this heinous crime (nay, holocaust) – since this was one of several reasons the British empire installed Reza Shah – seeing that the Pahlavi shahs elevated the Baha’is into all levels of their administration from the very beginning.
With that said, those prominent First World establishment liberal voices for the imperial Haifan Baha’is like Dabashi who are continually attempting to paint them as meek victims lacking political agency in Iran (and so victims of state sponsored as well as Muslim sectarian bigotry), only need to look at both the past and present history of this creed’s active involvement with Western imperialism to thoroughly disabuse themselves of that notion once and for all. If the events of the past few years in the Middle East and North Africa have taught us anything, it is the uncanny ability of such perpetrators and wolves-in-sheeps-clothing to always masquerade themselves as victims in front of the corporate mass media, the Western humanitarian interventionists and to public opinion at large just before the masks come flying off revealing what they’re really about.
Dabashi and the BIHE
Now, even though Hamid Dabashi has rightfully railed against early Baha’ism in at least two of his major publications (as the opening quote above amply demonstrates), in 2011-2012 he was among a dozen prominent North American academics and public figures who the Haifan Baha’is appropriated for sound-bites on behalf of the activities of their BIHE in Iran (the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education). Soon he was publically paraded before cameras beating his chest for the BIHE. In one clip posted to Vimeo, which is a preview for a longer propaganda piece entitled ‘Education under Fire’, he is quoted as saying that the accomplishments of the BIHE constitute “nothing short of a miracle”.[xix]
Besides Dabashi and the two Baha’is in the clip, prominent individuals tied to the foundation-lobby industry in North America are also represented in this preview clip for ‘Education under Fire’. These include a former board member of NIAC (the National Iranian American Council) and contact person for the anti-IRI lobby United4Iran, Hadi Ghaemi (represented in this video as the executive director for International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran). Donors for NIAC and United4Iran, of course, include George Soros’ Open Society Institute as well as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Predictably, Elise Auerbach (Iran and Mid East specialist for Amnesty International), a prominent voice for “humanitarian interventionism” in the Mid East and North Africa (quite vocally at that during the Arab Spring too), is also given a prominent spot.
The outfit itself (i.e. the BIHE) was at the time operating illegally in Iran and against the attempts of the Iranian government to shut it down, which they eventually did. As innocuous as the name sounds, this organization was rumoured to actually be a front for the activities of the B’nai B’rith in Iran, with other supporters and foreign donors ranging from, again, the NED, the Open Society Institute, special interest groups with outright Beltway Neo-Con ties, and even the US State Department. The operations of this outfit were described by the Haifan Baha’is themselves as being one designed to offer access to continuing education modules to socially disenfranchised and “persecuted” Baha’is in Iran up to the level of university graduate degrees: education which the Iranian state, they claim, apparently denies them (a debatable point). However, the facts surrounding the real activities of this outfit were anything but benign (or humanitarian or educational), as common sense, the evidence of their linkages and then subsequent events all proved one by one.
In 2012 I emailed Hamid Dabashi specifically complaining about his involvement with these people, explaining the issues to him surrounding the BIHE. He brushed me off initially, but several months later came back unprompted and unexpectedly apologized confirming what I had specifically warned him about earlier. Now all of a sudden, after my last Counterpunch piece, he has begun clamorously defending these people once more in public, this time against yours truly in his diatribe on Facebook. Tsk tsk.
As he presently refuses to acknowledge or rectify his error in the scurrilous accusation he has levelled against Iran in his Aljazeera op-ed of 11 September 2015 - throwing an unseemly public tantrum on his Facebook fan page instead when called out - what is one to make of Hamid Dabashi? Is he just plain naive or is he one in a long line of self-serving, mercurial shills whose political ambition exceeds his actual wisdom to wield it? He pontificates one thing in his theoretical writings but then goes on to do the diametrically opposite in his activism (or to write up in his published op-eds on Aljazeera) in the process aligning himself with some godawfully dark, subversive forces out there, because it should also be noted as well that Hamid Dabashi has for years been alleged to be a ‘Soros-man’ and quite close to those specific objectives advanced by the Open Society Institute against Iran.
Given this, Dabashi ought to first take the mote out of his own humanitarian imperialist,[xx] Ivy League elitist and privileged Ivory Tower eyes – and also go back to the proverbial drawing board when speaking of hegemonic systems of knowledge production or knowledge industries - before ever again lecturing or accusing anyone of being a “corrupt mind.” Nor should Dabashi gutlessly brush off his critics by hiding behind his professional credentials, entrenched academic position or the privileged interests of his parasitic social class and attempt thereby to squelch or silence (and, moreover, like the establishment itself, dehumanize) voices who disagree with his. The issues are the issues, the facts are the facts, and one does not require Ivory Tower credentials (or connections to think-tank lobbies with deep pockets) in order to speak to the issues or the facts. Such eminent public figures as he who insist on such trifles when throwing public hissy-fits on Facebook because they have been proven wrong have instead conceded to all of the original points made by their critics.
[i] Professor Dabashi has his history somewhat garbled. Muḥammad ʿAlī Shāh succeeded his father Muzzafaruddīn Shāh in 1907 and was the reactionary anti-constitutional/anti-revolutionary monarch the second generation Bahā’ī leadership sided with. Mirza Husayn ʿAlī Nūrī Bahā’u’llāh, the founder of Bahāism, died in 1892 in Ottoman Palestine, nearly thirteen years before the beginning of the Constitutional Revolution. Indeed, contrary to the earlier Bābī policy of confrontation with the Iranian monarchy of the time, Bahā’u’llāh and his son did indeed seek rapprochement with the corrupt Qājārs (who had mercilessly and violently persecuted the earlier Bābīs). Bahā’u’llāh sought reconciliation with Nāṣiruddīn Shāh (the father of Muzzafaruddīn Shāh) during the period of the 1870s-80s. Later his son and successor, ʿAbdul-Bahā (d. 1921), sought this reconciliation with Muḥammad ʿAlī Shāh. Bābīs, or Azalī Bābīs (who are also known as Bayānīs), and who still exist, are a distinct community from the Bahā’īs (in fact they are their bitter rivals given that Bahā’īsm represents a schism of the former). Azalī Bābīs are even credited by some for initiating the Constitutional Revolution in Iran, see Mangol Bayat Mysticism and Dissent: Socioreligious Thought in Qajar Iran (Syracuse University Press: Syracuse, 1982) and Janet Afary The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-11: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy and the Origins of Feminism (Columbia University Press:, New York, 1996). See also (in Persian) Siyyid Miqdad Nabavi’s recent Tārīkh-i-Maktūm: nigāhī bi-talāsh-hā’i sīyāsī-i-faʿʿālān azalī dar mukhālifat bā ḥukūmat-i-qājār va tadāruk-i-inqilāb-i-mashrūtih (Concealed History: An investigation into the role of Azalī activists in opposition to the Qājār regime and the genesis of the Constitutional Revolution) (Pardis: Tehran, 2014), a seminally important study that deserves a full, critical English translation http://shirazehketab.net/tarikh-moaser-Iran/tarikhmaktoom.php
[vii] See this piece from January 2015, http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Jan-27/203950-iran-says-ready-to-help-syrian-refugees-in-jordan.ashx
[viii] See Glazebrook’s “With Enemies Like This, Imperialism Doesn’t Need Friends,” http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/16/with-enemies-like-this-imperialism-doesnt-need-friends/
[ix] For example, see Massad’s “The Destructive Legacy of Arab Liberals,” online https://electronicintifada.net/content/destructive-legacy-arab-liberals/14385
[xii] See my “The Sorosazzi Do Protest Too Much,” online http://syncreticstudies.com/2014/10/30/the-sorosazzi-do-protest-too-much/
[xx] See Michale Barker’s “Promoting Humanitarian Imperialism,” online http://www.palestinechronicle.com/michael-barker-promoting-humanitarian-imperialism/