[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]
[Adapted from website:] Ferghe News
[Date:] 19 Mehr 1393 [11 October 2014]
A Response to Zibakalam’s Open Letter Regarding Baha’is and Sufis of Iran
According to Ferghe News, during the past few days, a text was broadcast in cyberspace titled “Dr. Sadegh Zibakalam’s Open Letter to Dr. Mohammad-Javad Ardeshir Larijani”. According to the text, Dr. Sadegh Zibakalam asked the head of the Human Rights Commission to look into the educational situation of Baha’is and the freedom for dervishes. Zibakalam then questioned the law of dealing with the perverse sect, in a way pointing [out] that the perverse sect is right. Of course, the first site that reflected this letter was the official site of the Baha’i Faith. Mr. Zibakalam, where to with such haste?
In this article, we write a short response to this letter:
Dear Mr. Zibakalam,
It is far from your dignity, if you have written this letter. It is necessary to mention a few points:
No security or law enforcement agency has dealt with any citizen merely for being a Baha’i or a Sufi, they are living their daily lives like other Iranian citizens, but if they commit a criminal act, it is natural that they be treated like any other citizen, regardless of their religious or political affiliation, just as other citizens, and that is normal. For example, for crimes such as disturbing public order or acting against national security, we have prisoners in our prisons who may include Baha’is or Sufis, as well as followers of other religions and beliefs. Dealing with criminals has nothing to do with their religion.
If a group with its own thoughts and tendencies abuses public facilities, etc.… it is natural that restrictions on or deprivations of their use of these facilities are considered. In this regard, we can point to the Baha’is’ misuse of public facilities and the academic atmosphere of universities. Yes, the Baha’is used this scientific space as a safe and suitable place for organizational activities and the promotion of their perverse ideas; in this regard, some of them were dealt with educationally and were deprived of these facilities.
The Islamic Republic has not required any of its citizens to follow a particular religion; that is why Muslims, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, even Sufis, Baha’is and… all live together and there is no difference in their citizenship. They all have their social and economic rights and there is no difference between them. There are even the names of all the groups among the recipients of the basket of goods, subsidies or shares of justice, and no Iranian citizen is deprived of these benefits, because according to Iranian law, being a Baha’i or a Sufi is not a crime and no one is imprisoned. If so, all Baha’is or Sufi dervishes should have been in prison, when this is not the case and many of their families are busy with their daily lives.