[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)

[Date:] 14 Khordad 1395 [3 June 2016]

 

Ali Motahhari: Baha’is Have No Right to Propagate in the Islamic Regime

The deputy speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Ali Motahhari, said, “Baha’ism is a superstitious sect created by colonialism and does not come from thought and consideration; therefore, it has no right to freedom of propagation.”

According to IRNA, on Thursday evening, in a debate on “the limits of freedom of expression and thought in the Islamic Revolution”, stating that every human talent is the source of a right, Motahhari added, “The talent of thinking is the source of the right to freedom; the talent of learning is the source of the right to education; desire for the opposite sex is the source of the right to marry; the power of innovation is the source of the right to craftsmanship; and the love for beauty is the source of art.”

Stating that belief is different from thought, Motahari added, “Islam agrees with freedom of thought but does not agree with freedom of belief, because no belief has a source of thought and rationality and many beliefs are derived from prejudices, ancestral paths and superstition; that is why Islam has fought against this set of beliefs and considers them as a chain on human hands and feet.

Motahhari said, “There is freedom of expression in Islam, and any school in the Islamic government can express their thoughts. This freedom will continue as long as it does not lead to practical action against Islam.”

He said, “Every belief, if it is due to thought, has freedom of expression, and the only limit to freedom of expression is practical and armed action against the Islamic government; as long as it is merely a comment, everyone has the right to express their opinion.”

He continued, “The sentence of apostasy is only executed when a person becomes an apostate and propagates it, and there is no freedom for its propaganda in Islam.