[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Emblem]

The [Local] Spiritual Assembly of Shiraz]

 

Date: 13/16/104 [Baha’i Era] - 21/10/1326 [12 January 1948]

Number: 1451

Enclosure: -----

 

His Excellency, the Prime Minister

 

With respect and reverence, following the telegraphic letter number 2525, dated 21/10/1326 [12 January 1948], we convey that, for more than two months, in the City of Shiraz and surrounding areas, there have been ongoing machinations against Baha’is. First, in Shiraz, one muezzin, after performing adhan[1] in the market, started profanely abusing and insulting Baha’i sacred figures and gathered a big crowd around himself, provoking the commoners against the Baha’is, until, one day, one of the Baha’i merchants in the market was subjected to contempt and threats by Mr. Fali, one of the preachers of the city.

 

Not much time had passed after this incident when a report was received that in Sarvestan, preparation had been made for an offence against the Baha’is. To prevent such sedition and disturbance, report number 1199, dated 27/8/1326 [19 November 1947], was sent to the governor general, Gendarmerie, and the Police Force, mentioning that there was a fear that the enemies and gangs of troublemakers would be preparing their plots, which would result in a regrettable incident like the one in Shahroud. With all these notices, unfortunately, some of the authorities did not act properly; gradually, the flame of sedition of these troublemakers spread to all parts of Fars. In Chenar-e Abadeh, some locals, on the assumption that a bath with a shower is against the Islamic traditions, attacked the bath and they completely destroyed it, while this bath was built by one of the local Baha’is with his own money and in accordance with the orders of the governor, and was for the comfort and use of everyone. Also in Abadeh, a preacher by the name of Ghayyoumi Abargouie started sedition and disturbance, and its fire affected Dehbid and Sourian. During all this time, we alerted authorities verbally and in writing of the aggravation of the situation. Even in this situation, instead of authorities’ doing something fast and effective, some of them even collaborated with the agitators and started fabricating files against Baha’is. Recently, the sedition spread to Sarvestan, and someone named Sheikh Abdol-Rahim, on the invitation of two brothers, Avaz and Mohammad-Ali Shafi‘ie, who are residents of Sarvestan, went there and started provocation, until, due to the persistent complaints [of the Baha’is], the governor general of the province had to call him to the city; however, after a few days, with the mediation of one of the influential people from Shiraz, Mr. Governor General, without paying attention to the interest of the locals, gave him permission to return to Sarvestan.

 

As a result of his return, the machinations started again, as well as profanity, abuse and insults against Baha’is in every street and alley. The situation and atmosphere were so bad that they could not leave their own houses. As the mourning period of the 28th of Safar was approaching, and it was predicted that the enemies were preparing the groundwork for that day, a report was sent to the provincial governor general. It was mentioned in person as well, and a notice was given that the return of this preacher, especially in such a sensitive time, had emboldened the seditious, wicked people, and it was possible that an unpleasant event might occur. But it was not effective until, on Sunday, 28 Safar, a group of commoners, at the instigation of the Shafi‘ie brothers and the mentioned preacher, pretending to be a group of mourners, attacked the Baha’is’ place in Bidbala, Sarvestan, breaking the door of the house of Habibollah Houshmand, entering the house, murdering him and his suckling baby, and looting the house. Then they assaulted and injured other men and women and looted their houses, as well. According to the latest news, the two people who were injured during the attack have died of their injuries.

 

While all this was happening, the Baha’is, according to their manners, moral characters and religious duties, avoided retaliation and contacted the authorities to stop the atrocities. Of course, Your Excellency, Mr. Prime Minister, who is famous for good intentions and for being unbiased, will not be satisfied that at the beginning of his statesmanship a group of agitators are using religion as an excuse to create chaos, and applying their evil intentions against a group of innocent, oppressed Baha’is, who have no other intentions except peace, tranquillity and comfort (which these days are also observed by the respected authorities). Therefore, with complete certainty and awareness of your good intentions and your wish to administer justice, this letter is written to implore justice for a group of innocent, oppressed Baha’is and request that earnest orders be given to eradicate sedition and revolt, and for the arrest of those responsible and the agitators of the mentioned incident.

 

With deepest respect,

 

Secretary of the Spiritual Assembly of Shiraz,

Ardeshir Master [signature; on behalf, illegible]

 

[Stamp; Spiritual Assembly of Shiraz]

 

[1] [The adhan, athan, or azaan (also called in Turkish: Ezan) is the Islamic call to worship, recited by the Muezzin at prescribed times of the day.]