Branscomb – Upperclass dorms on Greek row; consists of Lupton, Vaughn, Stapleton, and Scales. Vanderbilt’s party dorm. Highland – Upperclass housing by the Rec center; consists of Morgan, Lewis, Mayfields, and Chaffins. On the Card – Restaurants and services (both on and off campus) that take Meal Money. Unfortunately does not include Lacoste. The Wall [...]
While religious freedom has been a controversial issue at Vanderbilt in recent weeks, one man in Iran is likely to lose his life over the desire to practice his religion freely.
Iran has been on a lot of people’s minds lately, mostly because of concerns over their burgeoning nuclear weapons program and cessation of oil sales to France and the United Kingdom. Another worry with the Iranian state is increasing levels of persecution of religious minorities. One Christian pastor’s conviction for apostasy, however, is drawing long-needed attention to these human rights abuses in the country.
Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian-born Christian pastor, could be facing his final hours. Nadarkhani is currently on death row for the failure to recant his faith and “turning his back” on Islam. The pastor was originally arrested for protesting his sons’ required reading of the Quran in school. Since then, this courageous man’s ordeal has drawn international attention.
Leonard Leo, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, commented, “This case is further evidence that there is no transparency or justice in Iran’s so-called legal system for religious minorities.”
President Obama condemned Iran, saying Nadarkhani’s imminent execution, “violates the religious values they claim to defend, crosses all bounds of decency, and breaches Iran’s own international obligations.”
State Department spokesman Mark Toner has also voiced concerns over increasing arrests of members of the Baha’i faith. Seven Baha’i leaders are currently serving 20-year prison sentences.
The tragic case of Yousef Nadarkhani is only another example of Iran’s continued flaunting of international law, malevolent disregard for human decency, and attack on every person’s right to practice their religion without fear of persecution.