(RNS) — My wife and I don’t have much to go on. Just fragments of memories that we cling to like holy relics. Kamran Samimi, my wife’s grandfather, was tall and charming. He wore colorful clothing that matched his larger-than-life personality. My wife, Shirin, dreams of him often. My mother-in-law, Samira, remembers him dancing one day in the courtyard to Ella Fitzgerald. He loved to dance.
In the last days of December 1981, a firing squad executed Kamran and seven others in Tehran. He was three days shy of his 56th birthday.
Two years earlier, the Iranian Revolution had ignited a vicious fanaticism that could allow no truth other than its particular brand of Shiite Islam. Kamran and his friends were selected to be killed because they were members of the national administrative council of the Baha’i Faith, but they were just a few of the more than 200 Baha’is killed in this wave of intolerance.