[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

8 Mordad 1323 [30 July 1944]

 

Honourable, Mr. Sa‘ed[1]

 

As per your instruction, I met with Dr. Fatemi and spoke to him at length about the topic of interest.  He said, at first, that the memorandum issued by the Prime Minister’s Office has a public and general intent, and there is no mention of Baha’is in it.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, the text of the memorandum was with me and I read it [to him], and as you are well aware, the memorandum starts with the following sentence: “Among the Baha’i propagators and their leaders, there are often agents and employees of the government, and their activities and interference in the towns cause adverse events.…”

You would agree that any literate person would conclude from this clear and unequivocal sentence, along with the second section of the memorandum, that the Baha’is are probably spreading political opinions and are preaching against the official religion and government of the country.  Therefore, based on the provisions of Article 8 of the Public Services Employment Act, they must be dismissed from service.  Thus, the heads of some departments, particularly in areas where there is antagonism and enmity against the Baha’is, with reliance on this instruction, and without review and investigation, they proceeded to dismiss some individuals from government service solely because they were Baha’is.  In fact, during this week, a number of Baha’is (from the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Health, and other departments) have been dismissed from service.

Mr. Sa‘ed, I do not wish to take your valuable time by relaying the matters which were discussed with Dr. Fatemi.  However, I am forced to mention this point, which, in my opinion, is important.  When Baha’is are appealing for justice from the official government authorities, [we] are told that the locals are also complaining a great deal about [our] activities, namely propaganda against the sacred religion of Islam.  Therefore, we need to respond to these complaints.  We Baha’is say that, first, [the allegation of] engaging in propaganda against Islam by the Baha’is is an absolute lie, a false accusation, and a slander, because among all of the existing religions in the world the only religion that affirms and bears witness to the truth of the Great Messenger of God (Mohammad) and the 12 Imams, and upholds and respects all other Islamic principles (in contrast to the followers of the religion of His [Holiness] Jesus and His [Holiness] Moses) is the Baha’i Faith.  Second, the complaints that are coming from the cities are similar to the complaints that the religious clergy submitted to the Qajar dynasty and forced the government to use all of its forces and means to persecute the Baha’is.  It was as a result of the complaints of these clergy that Tahirih Qurratul-Ayn, the only herald of the emancipation and equality of women, was martyred about 100 years ago in Tehran by these same government agents in the most gruesome manner.  It was as a result of the shouts of “Religion is under attack!” by the religious clergy that more than 20,000 followers of the Baha’i Faith, who were among the most patriotic and peaceful citizens in the country of Iran, were subjected to various types of torture and persecution and the blood of those poor souls was shed.  But one century later, the world has judged, without bias and based on valid and irrefutable evidence and documents, that the Baha’is are well-wishers of the government and the people, and the complainers are obnoxious religious clergy who are the cause of Iran’s adversity and roadblocks to the progress and advancement of the people of Iran.

Mr. Sa‘ed, the time is very short, and if you were to take an action that befits your high station and position and your praiseworthy and outstanding virtues to protect the lives and property of the Baha’is at this historic moment, your name would be recorded in good standing in history and you would leave the best legacy in the Baha’i community, which today has vast and well-functioning administrative bodies in more than sixty countries in the world.  Any time you delegate the matter to one of the lower-level officials or one of the ministries because of the large number of tasks and lack of time, and they, in turn, issue orders such as the aforementioned memorandum in the first part of which allegations are made against the Baha’is and the second part of which has spelled out their punishment, this would cause unprecedented chaos in Iran, because the groundwork for disorder and agitation is completely ready, and the troublemakers and ill-wishers, through entities whose mention is beyond my duty, are ready, prepared, and waiting with utmost audacity to start a fire.  The slightest spark could start such a firestorm that it would not be possible to put it out anymore.

Mr. Sa‘ed, my great affection and longstanding friendship toward your highness and your continued kindness and thoughtfulness in my behalf allowed me to take the liberty of sharing the above points and troubling your mind.  I earnestly hope that you will forgive this trouble and excuse me.  In closing, I wish to express that, since I was sure that the pure conscience of your highness would be free and clear from the negative interpretation that the local agents will make about the contents of the memorandum, I allowed myself to bring up….[The part of letter is missing]

[Margin 1:] Dr. Nakhaie, this was closely studied.  It appears best to issue the following order to the Ministry of the Interior:  Within Memorandum number ----- dated ------ it was stated that appropriate action needs to be taken regarding agents and employees of the ministries who spread propaganda against the official religion of the country or against the government and, in case of a violation, to follow the law.  However, according to the information being received, in some departments employees are being fired solely because of being Baha’is, and without proof that they have violated item 8 of the Public Services Employment Act.  Now, we strictly remind you that religious belief cannot be the sole reason for dismissal of an employee.  So long as the Baha’is abide by the provisions of item 8 of the Employment Law, they should not be harassed in any way.  In addition, in order to prevent excesses in carrying out the instructions of the memorandum, please issue strict and immediate orders that, at any time they wish to expel an employee of the government based on the allegation of violating item 8 of the Public Services Employment Act, they must report the matter to the Office of the Prime Minister and ask for permission. 1323/5/15 [6 August 1944]

[Margin 2:] Prior, 1323/5/25 [6 August 1944]

[Margin 3:] Action has been taken.  To be filed. 

 

 

[1] [Muhammad Sa'ed Maraghei (28 April 1881 – 1 November 1973) was a Prime Minister of Iran]