[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]
[Date:] 20 Aban 1336 [11 November 1957]
[Issue No.:] 1931
Religious Fatwa of His Holiness Ayatollah Behbahani Regarding the Baha’i Sect
We printed the news of the passing of Shoghi Effendi in yesterday’s issue. Since one of the foreign news agencies had published contradictory news, the issue was discussed in religious and political assemblies in Tehran. The matter was even tabled at the general session of the Islamic Consultative Assembly and received criticism and objections. Thus, His Holiness Ayatollah Behbahani was asked to clarify the issue, and this is what he wrote:
In the Name of God
The establishment of this sect was no longer than about a hundred-some years ago; the reference to “centuries” by the News Agency is incorrect.
The scheme was created through the support of a foreign nation for political purposes, to be spread in the name of religion in order to create dissension in Iran, while their belief is clearly a political ideology and has no connection to any religion or faith. The beginning of this Sinister Tune was by an illiterate Seyyed who was a textile trader in Shiraz, who became deranged as a result of unlawful ascetic practices, and produced some insignificant works. But it was enough for the foreigners to achieve their goal, and their seditious scheme caused corruption, murder, plunder, contention and war all across the country. The suggestion that Baha’ism is a sect of Islam is false and slanderous. They themselves have clearly stated in their writings that they do not believe in Islamic decrees and they are a new religion. Therefore, the statement by the reporter, supplementary to the news of the passing, that the Islamic clergy had something to do with the creation of this sect, is baseless and false.
Your most humble servant, Mohammad Al-Mousavi Al-Behbahani