[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Newspaper:] Neday-e Hagh

[Date:] 29 Aban 1336 [20 November 1957]

[Issue No.:] 49

 

From the Height of False Dignity, By the Will of God, They Have Fallen Into the Abyss of True Humiliation

O Muslim people, if we make as much effort as this Muslim child did, the door of this dirty nest will soon be closed.

A few days ago, I went to a grocery store to buy a few things. I was waiting for my turn [when] a young child came in, gave five rials to the shop owner, and asked for a glass of OHSO. The owner of the shop said, “Dear child we do not have OHSO, but we have Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola.” The kid gave a surprised look at the shopkeeper and the customers; then [he] said, “Pepsi is forbidden, and it is impure, give me back my money.” The customers praised the Muslim child and his Muslim parents who have educated him. [I hope] God truly blesses the parents that educated such a child for the society. Oh Muslim people, try as hard as this child. Now my topic is over.

Mr. Manager of Zamzam factory, I am talking to you now. I want you to answer my question conscientiously. I have nothing to do with your being a Baha’i. I also agree with all those advertisements in daily and weekly newspapers, doors, walls, streets and markets, that, according to you, [says] “Pepsi [Cola] is such-and-such. It is the cure for all diseases. It increases human life [expectancy], it is a laxative.”

Let me know―not [to count] the cities; only in Tehran itself―how many reputable factories exist that, if one day they close down, it can be said that it would disrupt the country’s order? How many thousands of capitalist people are here? How many thousand reputable traders are here that import goods from abroad? And in fact, the existence of such people and these reputable factories is useful and necessary for the Iranian nation. You should not think that you have [established] an [innovative] factory. I place the Pepsi [Cola] factory and your investment in the same rank as those of other people and other factories.

I ask you to swear by God, by the aghnamollah [sheep of God] and the leader of Baha’is, if you are a Muslim, to tell me, has anyone ever sold his goods with such scandal and humiliation? Most of the reputable factories still do not yet have a signboard. Eighty percent of the people do not yet know the addresses of these factories and people are always running after them. If Pepsi [Cola] is really as you say, it does not need you do so much pleading.

It is a well-known saying that it is good for the customers to come to you, and not for you go after them. The Muslim people will not be deceived by these advertisements. Why are you taking two opposite extreme measures? You are saying that each grocer who sells one bottle [of Pepsi Cola] can get one free signboard for his shop? On every street and alley, you are presenting this dirty drink by using pictures of women. I am sure that next year you will sell it…. with the original. 

I was riding in a car one day and I was passing through Mokhber Al-Dawlah crossroads. The car was going fast. I did not pay proper attention, but I saw a half-naked woman sitting on top of the building drinking Pepsi [Cola]. I was surprised. I looked again and I saw this was the signboard of a Pepsi Cola factory.

Really! Should a human being eat stones, sleep in misery and die of hunger, it would be more honourable than finding money in this way [by selling Pepsi Cola].

Mohammad-Ebrahim Shahrabi Araki