[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[Publication:] Akhbar-e Amri [Baha’i News]
[Date:] Bahman 1326 [January/February 1948]
[Issue No.:] 10
[Pages:] 7 – 8
Text of the letter written to the Ministry of Culture regarding the expulsion of Baha’i students from preparatory colleges
Date: 10 Sultan 104
Corresponding to: 7 Bahman 1326 [28 January 1948]
Dr. Siassi, Minister of Culture
The following is respectfully conveyed to you:
For over three months, a group of Baha’i students studying in the country’s preparatory colleges in accordance with current regulations, have been persecuted in some places by the local Culture Department for no legal reason, simply because they are Baha’is. In Isfahan, they expelled them from the training college by the order of the head of the Culture Department, who relied on the order of the Ministry, and in Kerman, they did not accept one of the graduates as a teacher because he was a Baha’i.
Also, in Mashhad, after humiliating the Baha’i students, they forced the students of the training college not to associate with them and to sever the bonds of affection, which is one of the characteristics of friendship and fellowship, with them, even though it is quite clear to that esteemed official that the requirements for admission to preparatory colleges, as stipulated in Article 5 of the Teacher Training Law, ratified on 19 Esfand 1312 [10 March 1934], are only the first three years of secondary education, and in the third article of the regulation for implementation of the subject law, ratified on 7 Mordad 1313 [29 July 1934], the conditions for entering preparatory colleges are: having the official certificate for the first three years of secondary school, a certificate of health from the Medical Commission of the Ministry of Education and verification of good morals, being of the age specified by the Ministry of Education, and providing a written undertaking. There is absolutely no mention of religion or religious beliefs in the mentioned law and regulations. In addition, according to the eighth principle of the amendment to the Constitution, the people of Iran have equal rights before the state law and no difference has been made between Iranians in terms of religion.
According to Article 7 of the Teacher Training Law, the commitment that the college students have to make to the officials of these schools is that after graduation, they will be employed as teachers and receive wages for a period of five years, and no other commitment is obtained from the students. Also, according to Article 8 of the subject law, the government is obligated to employ those who graduate from the college with a salary, in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the employment law of the country.
Now note that the Isfahan Department of Culture, in violation of all the relevant provisions and the explicit text of the Teacher Training Law, expels the Baha’i students of that city’s college in the middle of school year only because they are Baha’is, and bases this action on having received an order from the Ministry of Culture. Also, contrary to the explicit text of Article 8 of the Teacher Training Law, the Kerman Department of Culture explicitly informs one of the Baha’i graduates that he will not be [employed] because he is a Baha’i and expels another Baha’i student in the middle of the school year. The Mashhad Department of Culture has also subjected the Baha’i students to the ridicule of their peers and friends, while threatening them that they will be deprived of continuing their education next year. The names of Baha’i students who have been expelled and barred from teaching are enclosed.
That esteemed person, who is adorned with knowledge and perfection, who has served the culture and education of this country for many years, and is well aware of the conditions of the civilized and progressive world, will, of course, acknowledge that in this enlightened century, science and civilization have risen in modern countries of the world, and the doors of scientific institutions have been opened even to the [Africans], in an era when the Charter of the United Nations has been prepared and our country has ratified and signed it, and at a time when beloved Iran has been counted as one of the democratic nations of the world and the officials in charge have recognized the rights of minorities. These actions, restrictions, and treatment of a group of students whose good morals are acknowledged by the school officials, particularly by the Ministry of Culture, which is the torchbearer of knowledge and education in this country, will be extremely harmful and detrimental to the good reputation of beloved Iran. The spread of this news in the civilized [countries] will really cause public astonishment. Therefore, we beseech the esteemed official to issue the necessary order to the departments of culture of the cities to stop this discrimination and accept the expelled Baha’i students and to recruit the Baha’i graduates as teachers.
With most sincere respect,
Chairman of the Assembly
Secretary of the Assembly