[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:] Bakhtiyar

[Date:] 15 Tir 1334 [7 July 1955]

[Issue No:] 499

 

The incident of Shiraz should be a wake-up call!

 

When Ayatollah Boroujerdi has ordered, what is Mirza Noureddin Shirazi saying?

 

By today, most readers have probably realized that an incident happened in Shiraz about ten days ago which, even if [we do not say that it] caused more than a temporary loss of security in parts of Fars and its famous city in the South, we must confess that it could have been the beginning of great unrest. Had it not been for the immediate reaction of the current government officials and the awareness of its efficient officers, it would certainly have led to consequences that would result in major dangers for Fars and the South.

 

In summary, the story took place as follows: Subsequent to a sudden discussion about a “religious sect”, which happened during Ramadan, a commotion started. Despite the strict emphasis placed by the authorities and the minister of the interior on preventing disorder and chaos, a few unimportant incidents took place in some parts, which were immediately stopped. In Shiraz, this only created more disorder and a few thugs and hooligans started looting houses, beating and disturbing people.  Ayatollah Boroujerdi, who is followed by all the Shiites, emphatically and explicitly announced that it should be acted upon through the government.

And the same famous clergyman[1] who, from the first day, after years of silence, repeatedly spoke about this matter, said that, although [this sect] should certainly be stopped, no one except the government had the right to deal with this “sect” issue, and that we had not forgotten that following these explanations and the emphasis of the representatives of the government in parliament, after being assured that the government would strive to fulfil the aims of the Shiites, and he reminded [everyone] that “the present government will never agree to endanger the lives and possessions of the Iranians, and certainly will prevent any kind of disorder and intrigue.”  Still, these words of the representative of the government were echoing in the air, and at the time of His Majesty’s arrival in Shiraz, a wicked group, provoked by a preacher by the name of Mirza Noureddin, attacked a few houses and residences, looted and robbed these people naked, stole the possessions of these families, and destroyed a few houses in which he claimed that Seyyed-e Bab had lived.

 

At that time, the government actively took steps and destroyed the aforementioned house, and the story ended.  But Mirza Noureddin Shirazi, who, during the past thirty years, has been the instigator of all these unpleasant happenings in Shiraz, was looking for a new controversy.  Ten days ago, with his provocation, the members of his dangerous and anti-government party once again created commotion and tumult and incited the people to close the market, on the pretext that [the Baha’is] were “repairing this house”, and by taking advantage of the ignorance and weakness of some of the government officers, re-attacked the previously looted houses and took whatever was left, devastating many families, including Jews and Muslims, by labeling them “Babis and Baha’is”. Worst of all, they resisted the government officers, injured a few, and unsecured the area, claiming that this action was a kind of “warning” for the current government, which is planning to fight the corruption according to the earlier intentions of His Majesty the Shah.

If the government does not move fast and does not punish the instigator of all this tumult—whose intentions are so apparent [to anyone] and who has, even during the time of the late Shah, repeatedly caused bloodshed, and who, by pretending to be innocent had escaped punishment— and cut away his hand from Shiraz and Fars, more serious incidents will happen that will gradually destroy the foundation of the current security.  We do not believe in government’s silence or listening to the talks and accepting the recommendations from the supporters of Mirza Noureddin. We believe that before anything else, the government should follow the principles, and protect and safeguard the interests of the country and poor people and their families, and not accept the recommendation from those who, for their own interest, need to protect Mirza.  The government, as it did in the incident of Tehran and the clergyman [?][2] of the Haziratu’l-Quds,[3] must do whatever it deems necessary, not letting people like Mirza Noureddin, who pretends to be from Shiraz, be free to commit any wickedness and disorder.  We are hoping that the government will always pay attention to the people’s safety and prioritize it over any other reform.

 

In particular, the stay of Mirza Noureddin in Tehran and his rebellion is an indirect insult to the genuine clergy in the centre [Tehran], because whatever was necessary for the intervention and follow-up has been told by Ayatollah Boroujerdi and Ayatollah Behbahani, and they stressed it so seriously that the government had to intervene. They even forced the head of the joint staff of the armed forces to openly participate in the destruction of the respected house.  Therefore, after all these forceful activities, it is not necessary that Mirza Noureddin involve himself with interference in everything. In a place where the greatest and the most famous and erudite religious personalities have fulfilled their responsibility, his [Mirza Noureddin’s] intervention is unnecessary.

 

[1] [It may refers to Ayatollah Falsafi]

[2] [The Persian sentence is vague and it may mean the clergyman, Ayatollah Falsafi, who caused the destruction of the Haziratu’l-Quds]

[3] [A Baha’i term for Baha’i Centre]