A Song for Human Rights Day


Tonight I had the honour of performing at a special reception to mark the upcoming Human Rights Day (Saturday Dec. 10) here in Dublin. Colin Wrafter, the Director of the Human Rights Unit at Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs gave a moving address on the subject of ‘freedom of religion or belief‘ and I was invited to play a short set of songs after his talk. I wrote a new song especially for the occasion about the persecution of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The reception was hosted by the National Assembly of the Bahá’í Faith in Ireland. Members of the Bahá’í Faith in Iran are being systematically denied one of the most basic human rights – the right to education. By denying young people the right to higher education simply because of their beliefs, the Iranian government is attempting to stifle the lives of an entire generation of its own people. Several Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including Bishop Desmond Tutu and José Ramos, President of East Timor, have launched the ‘Education Under Fire‘ campaign to bring greater global awareness to this issue (www.educationunderfire.com). Rainn Wilson (best known as ‘Dwight’ from ‘The Office’) has voiced his concerns about the situation in an inspiring video posted below.

The song I’ve written for Human Rights Day is called ‘One Hundred Thousand Veils’ and is about the persecution of the Bahá’í Community in Iran. You can read the lyrics and hear the song – which I performed live for the first time last night at The Ruby Sessions in Dublin – below.

Rainn Wilson on ‘Education Under Fire’


‘One Hundred Thousand Veils‘ – performed for the first time last night at the Ruby Sessions in Dublin


Come down

and walk these roads around

the city of Tehran

where seven candles burn.


Follow me

all you who claim to be

possessed of charity

down to the Crimson Sea.


One hundred thousand veils have covered the sun

and darkest clouds have blocked and blackened the blue sky.


Did you hear the fate

of those who educate,

who even in the grave

find no respite from hate?


Have you seen the youth

who gave their lives for truth,

that girl who kissed the noosed

and welcomed all abuse?


One hundred thousand suns have fallen to earth

with blasts that block the ears from hearing the new song.


One hundred thousand veils have covered the truth.

How many mothers’ cries are lost in the tumult?


There is no war to fight

You have no sacred right

No holy book to cite

To make these wrongs seem right.


Does it so offend

to want this world to mend,

to walk in hope to the end

and see each man a friend?


Come down

and walk these roads around

the cities of Iran

which boast so much to man.


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