An open letter to Augusto Lopez-Claros by a concerned Baha'i

Dr Augusto Lopez-Claros is currently Chair of Global Governance Forum. He is an economist with over 30 years of experience in international organisation and has worked in a number of senior roles at the World Bank, where he was Director of the Global Indicators Group, at the World Economic Forum, where he was Chief Economist and the International Monetary Fund. He has published extensively on a range of economic development topics and issues of international cooperation and has also lectured at some of the world’s leading universities, think tanks and international organisations. His latest books are Equality for Women = Prosperity for All (2018, St. Martin's Press) and Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century (2020, Cambridge University Press). By Faith he is a follower of the Baha'i Faith.

This is an open letter to Dr Augusto Lopez-Claros who shares with the Baha'is commitment to the ideals and principles of the Baha'i Faith. One of the principles of the Baha'i Faith is not to involve in the politics but Dr. Augusto, a Baha'i of international repute is openly going against this very clear principle of the Baha'i Faith, set alive by our Master Abdul Baha, and defaming our institutions, specially, the Universal House of Justice, thus labeling them with a tag of hypocrisy.

1. A Vision of Democracy for the Next 100 Years

You were one of the speakers at the 100th Anniversary of Swedish Democracy, it was arranged by the Baha'i community of Sweden. Obviously you were invited to speak but you used the figure of 'Abdu’l-Bahá, one of the central figure of the Baha'i faith during the period 1892-1921, who coincidentally passed away 100 years earlier, you tried to impress the gathering about the Baha'i Faith, by presenting its ideas and principles which would assist in protecting and enhancing the practice of democracy over the next century. Starting with your speech you tried to impress the lady prime-minister that it was the blessing of Abdul Baha that Sweden has a women prime-minister. You could have concluded your speech without the mention of the Baha'i Faith, let me tell you the audience did felt at ease and thought  that you were trying to push Baha'i ideas into their minds. This is politics.

2. Equality of opportunity as a Driver of Prosperity: The Case of Iran 

You are openly criticizing the Govt. of Iran on their treatment of the minorities. You have accused them for unequal treatment of the Baha'i minorities, the law, and violation of people’s human rights. You say this has adversely affected various metrics of human welfare and development but you failed to criticize the inhuman and unjustified sanctions by the United States. This is nothing but involvement of oneself in politics which as a Baha'i you should haven’t done.

You are fully aware that these statements will become a cause for pushing the Govt. of Iran for more persecution. It brings a bad name to the Faith that at one hand we are called for non-involvement in politics and on the other hand Baha'i intellectuals are openly indulging in politics.

3. Russia Must Pay for Ukraine´s Reconstruction

You called the war between Ukraine and Russia terming as unprovoked and labelling Russia as the aggressor, forgetting that as a Baha'i you shouldn’t have gone for analyzing a political issue and that too one sided. At the same time, you failed to criticize the devastating sanctions imposed on Russia and its grave implications, including a freeze on the international reserves of the Central Bank of Russia. The stock market has more or less been wiped out, the ruble has come under huge pressure and there is a long list of major global corporations which have announced their departure from the Russian markets. 

You said, The war in the Ukraine is a golden opportunity that must not be wasted. It should be used to rewrite the rule book on the consequences of armed aggression. You wanted that Russia should know that it will have to pay the final bill. In the most literal sense of the word. In the meantime, you did warn and threatened the Russian people of its consequences.

Dear Aquino have you ever in the past gave this type of warning to the US aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq or the daily aggression of the State of Israel against the people of Palestine?

You may be a successful intellectual but you failed to comply yourself with the Baha'i principles and put to shame the Baha'is and the Baha'i Administration.

At the end I would quote the writings of our beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi that shows that your behavior is against the Baha'i principles and you failed to live with high Baha'i standards. I would request you, in the best interest of the Faith to please resign from your post and request the Universal House of Justice to impose administrative sanctions on you.

As the beloved Guardian has stated: “Let them refrain from associating themselves, whether by word or by deed, with the political pursuits of their respective nations, with the policies of their governments and the schemes and programs of parties and factions. In such controversies they should assign no blame, take no side, further no design, and identify themselves with no system prejudicial to the best interests of that worldwide Fellowship which it is their aim to guard and foster.” For Baha’is to be drawn into such conflicts would be futile and would only perpetuate the culture of contest deranging human affairs; it would also divide the community and prevent it from making any significant contribution to the betterment of the world.

(Letter by Universal House of Justice to The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the Russian Federation dated: 20 August 2014)

Sender's name withheld for security reasons.

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