[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:] Kayhan Newspaper

[Date:] 7 Azar 1386 [28 November 2007]

 

Welcoming the Baha’is Uncovering of Hijab in the Pahlavi Era

By: Ahmad Allahyari

Farrokh-Din Parsay and his wife Fakhr-Afagh in Tehran gave up a bit of conservatism and wrote a series of articles on the need for women’s education. However, the publication of this series of articles provoked protests from the clergy because of the clear traces of anti-Islamic teachings in them. This reached a point where the Tehran City Council accused Farrokh-Din Parsay and his wife Fakhr-Afagh of propagating anti-Islamic rites and exiled them to the City of Qom. This banishment took place in 1301 [1922/1923], when Reza Khan began his run up to the throne and needed the support of the Muslim religious community. It was during these days of exile that their daughter, Farrokhrou Parsay, was born in 1301 [1923]. Of course, some historians also believe that Farrokh-Din Parsay and his wife were never exiled to Qom, and this was a story drawn up for them in order to create a hard-working and militant figure for the so-called liberation of women.

It is important to note that Farrokh-Din Parsay was the first to make great efforts to send Iranian women to Europe and the United States, to stay in boarding houses and with American Jewish families.

Qavam os-Saltanah, the prime minister [at the time], sent Hossein Ala to the United States as the ambassador of the “Accredited Iran”. During this trip, the Rockefeller Foundation announced its readiness to admit, board and provide free education to Iranian students. Even American girls’ colleges took the lead in announcing that they would pay for all the living expenses, boarding houses, and education of a number of young Iranian girls until the end of their university education and specialization.

The news of the U.S. government’s agreement and the readiness of the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as the issue of the agreement of American girls’ colleges for the education of Iranian girls, along with the catalogues of several American girls’ colleges, were sent to Iran along with this report. This news was transmitted to Iran through diplomatic channels and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was considered confidential for some time.

Farrokh-Din Parsay obtained the news and learned fully about the details and content of each of these scholarships through Baha’i and Jewish lobbies and in connection with the Association of American Baha’is, which was organized by Iranian Baha’is who had immigrated to the country and several Americans. But the activities of Farrokh-Din Parsay and his wife in those days were semi-public, because after their banishment to Qom, there was a special sensitivity about these two people and the National Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran had called for more caution in dealing with the religious and ideological issues of Muslims. For this reason, with special care and attention, the first group of young Iranians were sent to use government grants and so-called American charities.

Farrokh-Din Parsay made his activities more public after 1305 [1926/1927] by the order of the [Universal] House of Justice and the National Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran (the centre for guiding, designing and compiling programmes of the perverse Baha’i sect). In his re-approach, he paid special attention to the issue of modernity, and, in fact, the spread of Westernization, and in a series of articles he wrote for newspapers he placed more attention on women. It was on the orders of this “House of Justice” [sic] that years before the unveiling of the hijab, he dealt with the issue of Iranian women’s clothing and kept the clothes and veils of his wife and families of Iranian political representatives abroad far from the events of the progressive era (!) of Reza Khan and Iran in the new era, praising the action of Sediqeh Dowlatabadi, who had removed the hijab to travel to Europe and the United States.