[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:] Ettehad-e Melli
[Date:] 27 Khordad 1337 [17 June 1958]
[Issue No.:] 520
The Issue of Baha’i Employees in the Offices Has Created A Problem
Mr. Ala’s circular and the dead end it has created - The subject has been officially brought up to the office of the Human Resources [Department] of the Ministry of Finance and the opinion that this office has presented. - What does the Constitution and the employment law of the country say about religion and Baha’ism? What is the opinion of the Supreme Court? Will the Baha’is receive their promotions?
Perhaps you are aware that the country is classifying its employees. In some firms and offices they have considered special promotions and restorations; in either case, the employees have to fill out the printed forms before the classification or promotion and restoration and provide their personal details.
On these printed forms, the name, birth certificate, father, age, birthplace and other details are required and there is also a box for the religion. The completed forms are then sent to the human resources office and the promotions and restorations will be considered based on that information.
The problem that has recently surfaced is that some of the employees have explicitly written down their religion as (Baha’i) in the religion box. The Baha’i religion is not acceptable in Iran’s legal system. Only Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism are legally acceptable and allowed. Therefore these offices were not able to make any decisions on these forms, particularly because, after the time of Prime Minister Ala’, when a fierce opposition against the Baha’is began and their centre was confiscated, the prime minister issued a circular that these employees [the Baha’is] must be fired. The directive was issued at a time when politics required strict action against the Baha’is, but later the severity of that action was diminished, and in reality no one bothered the Baha’i employees until recently, when some government departments have been confronted with the explicit confession of these employees in their employment forms, where they themselves have written their religion as “Baha’i” and have put the personnel authorities at a dead end.
Since the aforementioned human resources officials have not been able to personally make a decision in this regard, they have formally requested guidance from the main human resources office of the Ministry of Finance. That office, after much deliberation, has responded that they cannot accept the applications of such people, and that they even need to be fired.
At the Human Resources Department of the Ministry of Finance, they were saying that the Constitution of the country only recognises Islam and some other minority religions and the government employment act also states that official government employees must meet certain conditions, one of which is that they do not have (corruption of opinion).
The issue has been raised informally with the judges of the Supreme Court, who have commented verbally that Baha’ism has taken some principles from Islam and has made some changes to the rest, and naturally, as far as Islamic law is concerned, this sect is accused of having a corrupt belief.
Therefore, the Human Resources Department of the Ministry of Finance, based on these findings and that directive of Mr. Ala’ to the ministry, has sent the aforementioned opinion to all the ministries and organizations that had officially sought guidance.
On the other hand, a group of fanatic Muslims, who are cognisant of these points, is waiting to see what is going to happen to these people. Therefore, overall, the employment offices of the ministries are facing a dilemma, because at this point, the country’s policy does not desire to dismiss anyone, and perhaps a solution will be found that would, in principle, remove the column [question] of religion from the employment forms so that they will not face such problems.