[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Emblem]

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran

Number: 1604

Date: 9 Mashiyyat 101 [B.E.]

Corresponding to 14 Mehr 1323 [6 October 1944]

 

Dear Prime Minister, Mr. Saed,

Of course, you are aware that for a while now, some of the owners of newspapers and magazines in the capital and provinces have been incessantly using their pens to [hurl] insults at the sacred beliefs of Baha’is. They have made the dear compatriots pessimistic and suspicious of [Baha’is] by spreading lies and false accusations, and as a result, have incited the naive and the uninformed to enmity and hostility toward them. In different ways, they have ignited the fire of nervousness and the zeal of ignorance in the hearts of fanatics and opponents, and some publishers and authors have filled their books and articles with obscene, vulgar expressions of accusation and defamation toward the Baha’i sacred beliefs, instead of enlightening the thoughts and publishing the effects of civilization in this century of light, and they have published them freely with the permission of the Ministry of Culture.

Unfortunately, Baha’is do not have the freedom of speech and expression; they have been [completely] unable to defend their inalienable rights and have been, and continue to be, deprived of and prohibited from telling the truth and removing misunderstandings from the [minds of] the people of the country, and of bringing to light the plots of the masters of deceit. This is to the extent where, recently, the enemies of Baha’is have made up an article entitled “The Political Confessions of Kenyaz [Dimitri Ivanovich] Dolgorouki”, have filled its pages with slander and defamation of the Baha’i sacred beliefs, and, with the permission of the Ministry of Culture, they have published it twice and have published it in some newspapers sequentially.

If, in fact, in the sacred land of Iran, freedom of the press exists for the general public, and the above-mentioned individuals are engaged in publishing canards and false accusations in the name of freedom of the pen, we ask that esteemed official, in the name of humanity, civilization and safeguarding the dignity of being Iranian, to also allow the Baha’is to express the truth and eliminate misunderstandings, unlike their enemies and opponents, with utmost politeness and respect and observance of the dignity and value of those who have understanding, and thus, extinguish the fire of enmity and hostility that has been ignited in the hearts of the majority of their compatriots by the plots and tricks of the biased and the provocateurs, because it is far from justice, morality, civilization and humanity for a group to violate the rights of another group with complete freedom, both in writing and in speech, to publicly use profanities against their sacred beliefs, to allow all sorts of insults, humiliation, slander and defamation, and yet [not allow] that oppressed group [to] have the possibility to defend their inalienable rights, to be able to tell the truth by any means, or to be able to file a claim in any court.

Are all the subjects of this country not equal before the law and justice? Is the government not the protector of the dignity of all the inhabitants of the country? How ugly it is in the eyes of the nations of the world for a group to write with complete impudence and disgrace against another group, and for those who have been violated to have no right to defend themselves.

On behalf of all the Baha’is of Iran, this Assembly asks that esteemed official to take immediate action to remedy this discrimination and rectify this astonishing situation, and to no longer be content to be disrespectful to a large number of honest and peaceful subjects of this country; and finally, to put an end to the mob of transgressors and aggressors who insult the sanctities of Baha’is, which will not have any benefit except igniting the fire of sedition and corruption.

Respectfully,

Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran,

Ali-Akbar Foroutan [Signature]

 

[Stamp]

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran

 

[Handwritten notes at the top of page 1]

Necessary action to be taken.

30 Mehr 1323 [22 October 1944]

This was reiterated to the prime minister and explained to him that there are no provisions in the laws for the Baha’i community and registration of their religion. Material that is written and published against the official religion of Islam can be prevented; otherwise the government cannot force the newspapers not to publish the published book in the newspapers. Therefore, there is no action required. This should be archived.

10 Aban 1323 [1 November 1944]