[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:] 9 Khordad 1334 [31 May 1955]
[Issue No.:] 72
How Much Of the Complaint of the Ismaili Sect to Aqa Khan is True?
The Spiritual Assemblies Are Urging Baha’i Employees to Be Fired From Government Jobs
Did Ayatollah Boroujerdi Intend to Issue a Fatwa?
On the last day of Ramadan, on the orders of Commander Bakhtiar, the military governor of Tehran, the demolition began of the building and the structure of the Haziratu’l-Quds, the centre of the Baha’is, and the first sound of a pickaxe echoed in the air [as it destroyed] the nine-part-dome of the Haziratu’l-Quds. In addition to the staff and workers who had previously been recruited, there were also people present or visiting―whether Mr. Falsafi, the famous preacher, or the ordinary people, or the officers and soldiers―each of whom hit at it with a pickaxe, so they could partake in this operation.
The demolition of the Haziratu’l-Quds building, which is made of reinforced concrete and very solidly built, if done normally, would have taken more than a month, because in addition to destroying the bricks, the foundations and the columns, dismantling the ossification skeleton of the building in which the iron rods were used, required an oxygen welding machine to open the reinforced concrete ossification with the heat of the machine and separate the rods. The dismantling of the thick iron beams was also a lengthy process. Usually, wherever they wanted to destroy the iron beams and strong foundations, they should have first installed strong wooden foundations to make it possible to dismantle the beams. For this reason, as of Sunday, it was decided to use the army engineering class and large cranes that the army had engineered to expedite the demolition of the Haziratu’l-Quds building.
About an hour after the building was demolished, several residents entered the Haziratu’l-Quds, holding a large green flag. With the permission of Colonel Hariri, who commands the troops in the Haziratu’l-Quds area, they hoisted the flag over the Haziratu’l-Quds, and it is now flying there.
Mr. Falsafi, commenting on what the clergy thought about Baha’i employees and what the government would decide about them, said, “Of course, you know that in the laws of our country, whether in the employment law or other laws, it is stated that government employees should not be known for having corrupt beliefs and having illegal harmful ideologies, and when the National Consultative Assembly, the legislature, has also approved the government’s explicit report, there is no room for doubt that a Baha’i employee should not remain in the government. However, Islam has made the matter clear and considers the person’s statement as sufficient evidence, and we are by no means an inquisitor. We consider as Baha’is only those employees who have stated that they are Baha’is in their service application forms.” Mr. Falsafi added, “The maturity demonstrated by the Iranian people, this unprecedented peace and order, this vigilance by all the people as to not to engage in any unlawful action…” [incomplete]
In the City of Babol in Mazandaran, there is a mosque and a school in the area of the Hasir-Foroushan [mat sellers], where Baha’is believe that one of the leaders of the Baha’i sect, Mullah Mohammad Ali Quddus, was buried. Last week, several telegrams arrived from the people of Babol stating that, because the mosque and school building were still standing, its sale was inappropriate and basically illegal. They demanded that the mosque and the school be expropriated from the Baha’i sect and again be used for congregational prayers and a residence for the religious students. Based on information received, actions have been taken and arrangements will soon be made for the school and the mosque to be taken from the Baha’i sect and handed over to the Endowment Office.
It was rumoured last week that Ayatollah Borujerdi intended to issue a special fatwa against the Baha’i sect. An informed person stated, “This rumour is obviously not true. Since the orders of Ayatollah Borujerdi, who is the marja’ taqlid [religious jurisprudence authority―source of imitation] of the Shiite world, are unquestionably obeyed and put into action, and every Shiite Muslim practices and obeys his commands and opinions, he does not need to issue a special fatwa.
About the issue of the Baha’i sect, whether the emperor himself, the ministers, the law enforcement officials, or the people, [all] were in complete agreement with the ayatollah and clergy. As you have observed, the emperor personally issued strict orders, and the occupation of the Haziratu’l-Quds was the result of the same explicit and emphatic royal support.
It was heard that Mr. Falsafi had again been scheduled to take the pulpit after Ramadan and pursue the struggle against the Baha’i sect through the sermons in the pulpit. Mr. Falsafi said, in this regard, “It was suggested by various people that I go to the pulpit after Ramadan, but I replied that it is not currently necessary that I go to the pulpit. The struggle will continue through the law and by observing the interests of the country and the nation, and by maintaining the public order and peace, and we will move forward step by step. Of course, if it becomes necessary to inform the public through a pulpit sermon, I will not refuse to go to the pulpit with prior notice. But considering the people’s awareness and government’s support, I do not think it will be necessary to go to the pulpit.” Mr. Falsafi commented on the future stages of the struggle against the Baha’i sect: “Our request to the government is that they not just be satisfied with official recognition of the unlawfulness of the Baha’i sect, but rather that they provide an executive guarantee of its illegality.”
Considering the protection of individual property rights and observation of the country’s law, and also the issue of dismissal of the Baha’i employees from the government offices who have confessed to being Baha’i, the other issue that must be determined is the fate of the public properties of the Baha’i sect. A private report from Mahallat this week indicates that fraudsters and exploiters in Mahallat have recently abused the anti-Baha’i movement and harassed the followers of the Ismaili sect. This caused concern among the Aga Khan’s followers and they wrote him a letter, asking him to ask the Iranian government not to hesitate to support the Ismaili sect.