[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]

 

[Newspaper:] Arak

[Date:] Wednesday, 22 Aban 1353 [13 November 1974]

 

Written by Hosein Shah-Zaydi

Response to the Objections of This One and That One - A Journey to the United States of America (7)

The Honourable Ayatollah Haj Sheikh Mohammad Taghi Sadr (Araki), of whose affection I always aware and whom I totally respect, informed me by telephone that a few people had objected to the content of the article I had written in issue number 238 of this newspaper, dated 22 Aban1353, regarding my observations of the Baha’i Temple of Chicago (America). Their protest has reached the point where they perhaps considered me as an apostate!...   

...Let us observe so that we may learn…Therefore, if I wrote that the Baha’i Mashriqu’l-Adhkar in Chicago was situated in a verdant garden full of flowers, and its building reproaches the building of the White House of the president of America, and that whenever tourists from all over the world came to visit it they worshiped in it by reading the words of past prophets, even read some verses from the Holy Quran in addition to the words of Baha’u’llah, then did you expect me to write contrary to what I observed? Or should I ignore it, altogether and keep quiet? Never!  It was not possible for me not to boil, as long I was on fire.

I acted according to the verse that I read and listened to the Muslim orator, who said, “Two things are signs of light-mindedness: to keep quiet when it is time to speak out, and to speak when it is the time to be quiet”. I could not observe and keep quiet. I wrote about it that we may awaken and be inspired, to recognise the society, become generous and improve our mosques, which are covered by dust. Do you now understand why I would like you to be reprimanded?  Do you understand what I am saying?

No just person can ignore our social and advanced laws. We possess all good and useful words. We have a bigger population and have more wealth and credits in Iran and also in America, but this is the situation of our mosques in Iran and in America… And [this is] the [situation of] the elegant temples of the Mormons, the Catholics and the Baha’is...

Accidently, next to the same [often-] discussed article of mine that was published in the newspaper, there was the news of the coming of the archbishop to Arak with the ceremonies and special respects. Astonishing! Don’t we claim that Islam abrogates all other religions and should replace them all? So why we do not study it profoundly and [why have we] ignored its world-embracing aspect, and instead of adorning ourselves with its exalted principles and avoiding the local protests, become social and global…