[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

Date: 12 Dey 1358 [2 January 1980]

 

To His Excellency, Ayatollah Bahonar, may his exalted shadow be everlasting

The following is conveyed with greetings and respect. Even though all Islamic criteria have commanded equity and justice and the supreme leader, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, has repeatedly issued emphatic declarations regarding protection of the rights of all sectors and minorities, and also the first article of the Constitution has declared and ratified the Islamic Republic of Iran as a government of rights, justice and the Quran, and the second article has declared it as a regime based on faith and divine justice (paragraph 4), eliminating baseless prejudices, creating fair opportunities for everyone in all material and intellectual aspects (paragraph 9), securing the all-inclusive rights for all men and women, creating a safe and just space for all and equality before the law for all the people (paragraph 14), and though this defenceless community has proven its complete obedience and impeccable service in all cases both in words and in action, the injustice imposed in relation to the termination of Baha’i employees has caused this minority to send you this request.

As you are aware, Baha’is have existed in this country for 136 years, are considered as the largest religious minority, profess the oneness of God, believe in the righteousness of all the Prophets, messengers and the Imams, affirm the truth of the sacred scriptures of all religions, including the Quran, follow the path of unity and oneness with all of humankind, obey the government and state laws at all times, and are continuously engaged in serving the interests of their homeland. It has now been a while since they terminated a large number of teachers and employees of the Ministry of Education who have spent lifetimes serving the country and the nation with utmost honesty, trustworthiness, perseverance and discipline, and they even intend to deprive those retired individuals who have gradually and throughout their services deducted an amount from their own monthly wages for [the purpose of] receiving their retirement income.

What sin have these individuals, who have honestly and clearly expressed what is in their conscience, committed to deserve such injustice and to have their dignity tarnished so openly? Do they not have spouses, children and families who must have [financial support]? Is it befitting the land of Islamic justice to [cause] an individual who has spent a lifetime, his youth, and material and intellectual abilities, while observing all human standards with utmost honesty, not to benefit from the regulations and the amounts that he himself has contributed to the retirement fund, when he is old and can no longer work? Article 23 of the Constitution has clearly stipulated that inquisition of beliefs is prohibited and that no one can be questioned or reprimanded merely for having a belief.

Therefore, the request of this community is that you issue instructions to have the [pensions] of the retired and the employees paid according to the command, “Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the truth stands out clearly from falsehood[1], and “You have your way, and I have my way[2], and in relation to the [current] employees, if the esteemed authorities indeed do not want these individuals to continue their services, give them the honour of retirement and treat them based on the principle of “giving all who have rights what they deserve”.

With utmost respect

 

 

[1] [Quran 2:256]

[2] [Quran 109:6]