[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

 

To the Esteemed and Respected Leader Imam Khomeini, may God extend your eminent life![1]

 

We humbly wish to draw to your attention the fact that the Baha’is of Iran are very sorry that the rumours, baseless accusations, and false allegations that are heaped upon these wronged ones have even affected your noble heart to such an extent that in your talk of 15 Sha’ban, you introduced them [the Baha’is] as a political party, which left an impression upon the general public and the learned alike, led to the events in Mahforouzak, Yazd, and in other places, as well as the recent bloody events in Shiraz.

 

It may be that the burden of your work does not permit your highness to investigate these cases, but the One True God knows, and as the judges and those in high posts, as well as the judicial high court and any person in this world who has some knowledge of the meaning of spying and espionage, and who are aware of the principles and beliefs of the Baha’is, would be certain that these people, who give their lives to uphold their beliefs, do not act contrary to their principles - one of which is non-involvement in political matters and therefore cannot be spies or involved in political matters.  Why should they be spies and to what end; for whom; for what information; and from where? What manner of crime of espionage is this, which its punishment is execution yet it can be cleared by the simple act of signing of a letter of recantation, thereby releasing and freeing the prisoner who was sentenced to death!  Meanwhile, those who not recant are to be hanged and become adornments of the gallows-tree, their belongings confiscated, their bodies not returned to their relatives, and their families made homeless wanderers.  In order to multiply the reward attending this “good deed”, they [the prosecutors] rely on baseless charges of involvement in politics and espionage.

 

This wronged community, requests your highness - who is trying to reduce oppression in the world - to instruct that an unbiased and unprejudiced committee be appointed to investigate this matter, so that it will become clear and evident that in the whole world there does not exist any group more innocent, wronged, and oppressed, than the Baha’is of Iran, and that despite the pressure and oppression they are made to endure, they have remained obedient to the authorities and the government, never having joined sides with any group, whether outside or inside the country, and never having breathed a single word against the government.

 

These accusations and false allegations have existed ever since the advent of the Baha’i Faith. There are books written against the Faith that are filled with these accusations, first charging that the Baha’is are agents of Russia, then later accusing them of being under the protection of the British, and then yet later connecting them with Zionism and America.  [Those inimical to the Baha’is] distributed many manufactured proofs and reasons for these charges, not realizing that governments and super-powers are unable to found and create a religion; nor can ordinary human beings, who will never have the ability or power to create such a thing [divine religion], or even legitimately claim to have done so.

 

Unfortunately, no fair-minded researcher in Iran has been ready or sufficiently daring to investigate and research this matter, to read the Writings of the Faith, to ascertain the truth and deny the false charges.

 

Your Highness Imam Khomeini, the exile and imprisonment of the founder of this religion by the two despotic governments of Iran and the Ottoman Empire, led to His banishment in 1868 to Akka - the most desolate of places in the world at that time – and which in those days was part of Palestine. After His ascension, He was buried in that same region, which is now the point of reverence and adoration for all the Baha’is of the world.  This devotion has nothing to do with the governments that rule that land.  The murder of thousands of pure souls, and the destruction and burning of thousands of homes, and the continued cruelty and oppression went on, even to the extent that in 1334 [1955], the [Iranian] government of the time, itself became the cause of attacks on this wronged community. All this oppression was done in the name of defence of religion and with the intention of exterminating the Baha’is, [but instead resulted in] inflicting the effects of these wicked actions upon themselves, the people, and the nation.  Unfortunately, this course of action was followed to a greater degree under the Islamic Republic. New and fresh accusations were presented [against the Baha’is] regarding espionage and Zionist activities. The government of the Islamic Republic related the politicians of the former regime to this [Baha’i] Faith, they stripped the Baha’is of their legal rights to any form of defence, thus inflicting all manner of cruelty and oppression upon them and depriving them of all their lawful rights.

 

Your highness Imam Khomeini! Some of the authorities, according to their own words, do not oppose any of the existing false ideologies which are contrary to Islam; they do not even disapprove of the Naturalism ideology. Despite all this, they consider the Baha’is -who believe in the unknowable essence of God, in all His Prophets and Messengers, in the Holy Books, in the next world and in reward and punishment in the worlds to come;, who uphold ordinances such as obligatory prayer, fasting, pilgrimage; who follow the moral principles of trustworthiness, honesty, chastity, and purity; who are the well-wishers of all mankind regardless of race, nationality or religion; who never involve themselves in any political, partisan, or secret activities; who are forbidden to fight or kill; who leave their affairs in the hands of God; who are submissive to His holy command:  [despite all this, they consider the Baha’is to be] worthy of death , persecution, and attack.  Is it fair that people with such principles and beliefs be put on the same level as those who are immoral and decadent?  Is it right that of the four billion non-Muslims in the world, the only ones who confess to the truth of Islam, are considered as worthy of having their blood shed?

 

Alas, that the thick clouds of prejudice and the dark veils of power do not allow the judges even a moment’s reflection, so that they may ponder the day of judgment and the presence of the True Judge, may meditate on the sacrifices of the Baha’is, may consider the love of God for His own creation and servants, may beware the tears of the orphans, and may not set flame to the hearts of the oppressed. This time in Shiraz, oppression reached such heights that all the people were weeping, and the cries of all were raised throughout the world.  On 28 Khordad [1362] [18 June 1983], ten pure Baha’i women, seven of whom were innocent young girls, were called in their prison, and, as usual, were given forms to either recant their belief, or else be executed as another group was, just two days prior to that. As those shining examples of purity and perseverance preferred death to recanting their belief, the order was issued to take those innocent ones to the field of sacrifice and have them all hanged.  By the killing of those dignified women, a new page was opened in history. Who knows, it may well be that in the future such crimes will also be repeated and Divine Justice will not be recalled for a moment.  We leave them [the persecutors] to God, as He is the All Powerful.  So to prove our innocence in accordance with the highest standards in the world, we submit ourselves to the Will of God, and accept whatever He destines for us.

 

Your highness Imam Khomeini! Once again we repeat, as God is our witness, the Baha’is are innocent, and it is not appropriate to inflict them with cruelty and oppression. What will the result of these wrongdoings be in the future... The trials [of the Baha’is] from beginning to end are based on the following few points:  Why are you a Baha’i; why are you active in your religion; you must both recant your faith and become a Muslim, or you will be executed. [Those in authority] do not want to accept that one of the principles of the Baha’i Faith is its belief in the validity of the Cause of His Holiness Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Imams, and that activities in which the Baha’is engage are simply confined to spiritual and moral affairs, such as the education of children, seeking to prevent [Baha’i] youth from entering into political and partisan matters, and conducting Baha’i marriage ceremonies and burial services, because we do not have any religious leaders in this Faith.

 

Now, it seems that the life and death of these wronged ones is in the hands of the respected judges of the courts in Iran, and as God Almighty has placed the guidance of those judges in your hands, for the sake of the good pleasure of God and with reference to the merciful verses of the Quran, in observance of divine justice and human rights, and also in protecting the prestige of the Islamic government, it would be befitting that some further investigation and research be carried out about the Baha’is and that their principles be examined without any prejudice, and their numerous appeals be considered, and they be treated with justice and fairness, as the canopy of the world is standing on the pillar of justice and fairness.

 

Your highness Imam Khomeini! In our opinion, the fire of the Faith of God cannot be quenched by man, and any false word and untrue statement as testified by the holy verse [44-47] in Surih Al-Haqqah “And if Muhammad had made up about Us some [false] sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand; Then We would have cut from him the aorta. And there is no one of you who could prevent [Us] from [doing so to] him” will be dissipated and lost through the Will of God. All that remains is history, which is the mirror that fully reflects events:

 

The story of our Good and Bad [actions] will both be written down,

Time has its own book, diary, and records[2]

 

Respectfully submitted,

The Baha’i Community of Iran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] [This letter has been released prior to 12 July 1983, by National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran]

[2] [From a poem by Parvin Etesami]