[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[Emblem] National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran
Enclosure: (Enclosure Number 9)
Date: ----- month -----12—[B.E.]
Coinciding with: ----- month -----134 — [Iranian calendar]
The Esteemed Permanent Administrative Court – Khorasan Education Department
The letter number 86, dated 8 Khordad 1345 [29 May 1966] from Mr. Habibollah Hoseini, permanent administrative prosecutor of the Khorasan Education Department, which was full of insults, slander and accusations [against] me was regrettably received, and I feel compelled to respond.
1. First, it stated that according to Section 4 of Article 2 of the National Employment Act, the official government employees in general, and educational employees in particular, must have special qualifications, including not having been convicted of corruption of belief, not being known for moral corruption nor open debauchery. The real intention of the esteemed administrative prosecutor is that I have been convicted of corruption of belief and am known for moral corruption and open debaucher; whereas, first of all, all people of Bojnourd, whether working for the education department or otherwise, know me and nobody had ever detected moral corruption or open debauchery in me. Rather, my file reflects the encouragement and admiration of the heads of the education department of the time. Therefore, it is not right for the esteemed administrative prosecutor to accuse me of corruption of belief, moral corruption and open debauchery. And if he is only relying on the corruption of belief sentence, according to the verdict of the Judiciary authorities, Baha’ism is not a crime and Baha’is do not have corruption of belief; otherwise, all the people who believe in God and the Holy Books revealed by Him, are respectable. How is it possible for me to have corrupted belief, while I respect the true religion of Islam and consider it part of my own religious belief?
2. The esteemed administrative prosecutor stated that according to Article 8 of the Administrative Employment Act, “Application of political views in administrative affairs, propaganda against the official religion and against the government is absolutely forbidden and will result in dismissal.” In response, I respectfully say that I have never applied any political views in administrative affairs and have never created any propaganda against the state official religion, in which I completely and truly believe; and I respect the just monarch who fosters justice, and the national monarchy.
Based on my inner belief, I am forbidden to interfere in political affairs. The authorities are well-aware of this fact.
3. The esteemed administrative prosecutor has stated that Article 7 of the Employment Act explicitly states, “Anybody who enters official service must, according to religious rites, take the oath not to betray the country, the people and the national principles.” I have also sworn by the Holy Quran in which I absolutely believe and consider to be a divine revelation, and I stand by my oath; no one has ever seen any betrayal by me, as I am faithful.
4. The administrative prosecutor has written that according to the first principle of the Amendment to the Constitution “The official religion of Iran is Islam and the true path of Twelve-Imam Jafari.” I admit loudly to the unity of God and that there is no partner to Him; to the righteousness of His Holiness Muhammad, Son of Abdullah (PBUH) and the Imamate of the Twelve Imams; and the infallibility of the Fourteen Infallibles. I have always believed and still do that the Holy Quran is the Word of God and the revealed Divine Verses. Therefore, citing this principle about me is irrelevant.
5. Subsequent to citing the said laws which are not true about me, the esteemed administrative prosecutor states that according to the above-mentioned laws which have been issued, plus the addition of order number 7682 – 24 Tir 1334 [16 July 1955] by the prime minister, “Employees who are known for open debauchery or openly display their allegiance to religions not included in the Constitution, should be barred from government service.” Open debauchery is not true about me.
Firstly – since the National Consultative Assembly unanimously adopted the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ten years before now (Shahrivar 1324 [August 1945]) and it also received royal ratification; and the above Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights protect freedom of belief for all human beings, the prime ministerial order number 7682 – 24 Tir 1334 [16 July 1955] is contrary to the law and is invalid; so citing it is considered a crime.
Secondly – the accusation claims, “Employees who insist on adhering to the Baha’i Faith must be expelled from service.” While filling in the application, I asked the officer who gave it to me several times to allow me to leave blank the answer to the question of religion―which means I did not wish to insist on writing Baha’i―but he refused and particularly insisted that I should write it. If they have the slightest bit of conscience, they would testify to the truth of what I say. Therefore, since I did not insist on writing Baha’i, based on the prime ministerial order which explicitly mentions “to be insistent on the Baha’i religion”, I should not be expelled from service, particularly as I never openly display my allegiance nor [spread] any propaganda. Even now, I am prepared to sign my service contract without mentioning religion.
6. Mr. Administrative Prosecutor has written on page 2 of the indictment that “such a person is not employable, lacks the above-mentioned conditions and his presence in educational [and cultural] institutions discredits the Muslims and other employees, and causes public anger and disbelief in the society as well as towards educational institutions.”
For the reasons mentioned above, as a result of the cultural/educational appreciation and encouragements I have received and lack of criminal history, and not being known for moral corruption, and my admission to believing in the truthfulness of Islam, I am not unemployable. But I do not know how, after ten years [of service] all of a sudden, Mr. Administrative Prosecutor realized that certain cultural/educational employees are discredited and cause public anger; so, he has no recourse but to cause the misery of a few oppressed families. Moreover, the educational employees of Bojnourd are among the best and most respectable service providers of this city, and the people of this city are among the most honourable people of our beloved country of Iran.
The honourable judges of the Administrative Court are reminded that the National Consultative Assembly of Iran unanimously adopted the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 5 Shahrivar 1324 [27 August 1945], in which all human beings have personal freedom, including freedom of religion, and subsequent to the signature of the just monarch Aryamehr, it became law. However, ten years later the present prime minster issued order number 7682, which is contrary to the ratified national law. Since orders of the prime minister cannot revoke the law, the said order is not effective and citing that is considered a crime.
Article 2, number one, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that anyone can benefit from all rights and freedoms without any discrimination—especially for race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or any other beliefs, as well as nationality, social rank, wealth, place of birth or any other condition. How can an honest servant of the country be deprived of basic rights to life and livelihood or face expulsion from government service, contrary to the ratified laws of the National Consultative Assembly and the royal insignia?
“Whoever draws the sword of oppression, the universe will shed his blood by the same.”
It is therefore very unfortunate and surprising that in the era of space conquest and atom-splitting, Mr. Administrative Prosecutor of the Education Department of Khorasan, using the weapon of apostasy, returns to the medieval period and the Inquisition, and with such rusted and rejected weapons in an age when other nations are thinking of conquering the celestial planets, he wants to deprive me and my innocent and oppressed family of our right to life and livelihood. Indeed, it is really unfortunate, surprising and disgusting. The fact that this action of the esteemed administrative prosecutor causes division among the people of a nation is, by itself, a crime.
In closing, I believe and trust in the honour and pure conscience, right and just minds of the honourable impartial justices of the Provincial Court, and hope that when issuing the verdict, they will keep the Almighty God and their awakened consciences in mind as to the result of their verdict, which may cause the misery and homelessness of an innocent family.
Since I am also trained as an engineering aide, in order to make the administrative prosecutor happy, I am prepared to resign from my teaching position and work as an engineer in an administrative capacity in the office or workshop. I hope this will be acceptable.
Bojnourd Education Teacher – Ahmad Shamsi