This debate at Quora.com is regarding :
I am learning about Baha'i faith but this is very discouraging and disappointing finding for a person like me ,who is new to it.Please any Baha'i person clear the statement. I anticipate the response because i need to learn more.
Here is what Sen McGlinn has to say on the above answer :Hi OP,
I'll start with the first quote:
“Say, Oh you donkey! Whatever God says is the truth and will not become void by the words of the polytheists (deniers of Baha’ism).” (Baha’u’llah, Kitab-i badi`, p. 174)
This is the translation of an authentic quote. You can double check by downloading the book where the Persian quote can be found here:
This is also authentic:
“Protect yourself so that from the donkey enemies, those with large turbans do not turn you away from (Baha'ism)...” (Baha’u’llah, Athar-i Qalam-i A`la, vol. 2, no. 83, p. 504)
The book can be downloaded from the official Baha'i website here:
The bastard quote:
“Whoever denies this apparent exalted luminous grace (meaning Baha’ism), it is worthy that he asks his state from his mother and he will soon be returned to the bottom of hell,” Ishraq Khavari, Ma’idiy-i asimani, vol. 4, p. 355;
You don't even need to download a book for this. The original Arabic quote is available as an Image in the Baha'i library here:
I've checked all the quotes they are authentic. If you have doubts about the translations there are a ton of Arabic forums on the web where you can double check (1 or 2 of the quotes are in Persian).
I wish you well in your quest for finding the truth.
"The quotes are accurate, but without context, and the translation and interpretation shows a lack of understanding of literature. The bane of religion in the 19th century and until today was that it fell into the hands of engineers and the like whose own use of language lacks literary flourishes, metaphors, rhyme, quotes from poetry and sayings, etc.. When they read religious literature the result is like the ballet of the hippopotami. Oh dear, I called our author a hippopotamus! Scandal!
In this page, the writer's objection is to animal metaphors. The first one is "O you donkeys" (plural not singular as in the website's translation), which Baha'u'llah inserts as a quote in Arabic although the text is in Persian. The reason, I think, is that this is a saying which plays on the rhyme between Amir (leader) and hamir (donkeys). Baha'u'llah could have used the Persian khar, plural kharha, meaning a donkey/fool. Instead he switches to an Arabic expression, which is less derogatory and has the connotation of looking like a leader but being a bumbler. A literary reading notes such things: quotes, allusions, rhymes, metaphors. To these, your engineer is as deaf as an adder. As deaf as a shad.
The quote from Baha'u'llah continues "truth is what Truth may tell, tho' the errant may say it's an error." The Persian original has a couple of word-plays that are lost in the web-site's translation.
There is one striking simile used by Abdu'l-Baha, which does employ the Persian word khar. It's in the Persian edition of selections from the writings of Abdu'l-Baha, vol 2 p 77
where he compares people who waste their lives on splitting hairs to a donkey turning a mill (pumping water or grinding grain): it goes round and round and gets nowhere.
Wem die Jacke passt, der soll sie sich dat anziehen.
And this is how Sen McGlinn is exposed by Roger Spielberg
1- The most important point: Baha'is finally admitted that these quotes exist and are accurate.
2- Your so called Baha'i theologian, Sen McGlinn, technically speaking is not a Baha'i anymore because he was kicked out of the faith by the same UHJ that he firmly believes in, without any explanation whatsoever. Makes you wonder...
3- You claim he is fluent in Persian and Arabic, while he didn't know the meaning of a simple word: 'school' in Persian and after many posts of denial he finally admitted his error:
4- He also lacks simple Arabic linguistic skills. He claims the word Hamir is plural not singular:
""O you donkeys" (plural not singular as in the website's translation),"
While this word has usage for both plural and singular statements. The same word has been used in the Quran and as you can see here the translators have translated it to both "donkey" and "donkeys":
BTW, if Sen McGlinn had really read the context of the statements he would have understood that Baha'u'llah was speaking with 1 person not many. Thus the correct translation would be singular not plural, unless you mean to tell me Baha'u'llah didn't know that he was using a plural word where he should have used singular.
5- Sen McGlinn doesn't even have the correct skills to read that book. As you can see here he had to be corrected when trying to read a few simple words from the quote he mentions:
6- Sen claims: "Instead he switches to an Arabic expression, which is less derogatory and has the connotation of looking like a leader but being a bumbler."
The Arabic is no less derogatory. There is nothing in the context that implies leadership or bumblership. In fact, if Sen had read that book, he would have realized that Baha'u'llah constantly switches between Arabic and Persian in nearly all of his sentences using Persian grammatical structure but utilizing Arabic words which makes the statements very very ugly and hard to read. The prose he uses doesn't even conform with what one would expect from Qajar Era texts. Funny thing is, Sen completely ignores the 4 other quotes that are in pure Arabic and is instead sticking to the one that is a mixture of Persian and Arabic. How about the Pig quote Mr McGlinn? Or the quotes about calling Muslim Scholars donkeys with large Turbans? Or the one where he claims he has a spirit that transmutes people into donkeys? Those are pure Arabic and there is no switching to Arabic expressions.
7- Sen puts forward the context argument. This has been extensively responded to at the end of the article OP cited. e.g. According to Baha'i scripture unlike all religions in the Baha'i faith deniers are not insulted or treated like trash. Baha'is have to act like lovers toward their worst enemies, etc. etc. Baha'u'llah's attitude completely contradicts these statements... The context isn't even relevant for Baha'u'llah calls people pigs and donkeys in whatever context you like. Find a context for it if you will, becasue up to now Baha'is were denying these quotes even exist and were attacking the blog but now they are running around trying to justify them.
8- Sen puts forward a similitude from Abdu'l-Baha: donkey turning a mill. Abdu'l-Baha's similitude also contradicts the claimed oneness of humanity that Baha'is say they adhere to (see no. 7). Also, what Baha'u'llah says is vastly different. He insults by directly calling people pigs and donkeys he doesn't state similitudes.