[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]
[Date:] 21 Ordibehesht 1334 [12 May 1955]
[Issue No.:] 93
Text of The Plan to Boycott the Baha’is That Was to Be Presented to Parliament’s Public Meeting.
These Four People Are Intended For the Provincial Governorship of Khuzestan, Gilan, Isfahan and Mazandaran Provinces.
The Negotiations Meeting That Was Held at Sarrafzadeh’s House And the Names of Those Present at the Meeting
What is the Opinion of Political Circles About a Justice Ministerial Post for Allahyar Saleh or Golshaeian, Who is Known as the “Stubborn” Minister?
At the End of Ramadan, the Minority Will Be Officially Announced and Its Struggle Will Begin With the Militant Faction That Agrees With the Alaa Government.
This week, the issue of the confiscation of the Hazratu’l-Quds by law enforcement and the telegrams issued by the great clerics and spiritual leaders to express their gratitude to His Majesty overshadowed all political issues in political circles. And everywhere, both in parliamentary circles and in private political and press circles, there were talks about the effects and reactions of this new movement and what will be the consequences of raising this controversial issue in the country.
One of the most influential clerics in the political arena told our correspondent that Ayatollah Borujerdi had been the forerunner and reinforcer of this idea, which had been considered for years, and he had repeatedly reminded [the government ?] that the activities of the Baha’is should be stopped. He prevented them from publicly expressing that they [were followers of] this religion.
Three years ago, the grand ayatollah had sent messages to this effect to the authorities, since complaints were circulating that behind-the-scenes differences between the Muslims and Baha’is in various parts of the country that had been taking place over year, had been gradually exposed, leading to clashes in some areas.
For the first time during the reign of General Razmara, the ayatollah sent a message to Dr. Jazayeri, the minister of education, [to say] that the influence of the Baha’is in the Ministry of Education had increased and the spread of their ideology must be prevented.
For this reason, the minister of culture, with the consent of the head of the government [prime minister], issued a circular stating that every teacher, school principal, or employee of the Ministry of Culture who is Baha’i must be fired. It was also written in the circular that those who are accused of being Baha’i, if their employment file states their religion as Islam, will be considered as Muslim.
The reason for issuing this circular was that the Baha’is had been ordered from 1329 [1950/1951] to refrain from hiding their religion and even to register their Baha’i faith in employment files, and therefore the Ministry of Education suspended those who refused to identify themselves as Muslims.
At the beginning of General Zahedi’s administration, the issue of fighting the Baha’is arose, but in those days, too, he refused to pursue the idea because of tensions, until last week, when, according to clerics, “the barrier was missing and the condition was appropriate”. The fight against the Baha’is sounded like a bomb all over the country, and this explosion was so severe and unexpected that all the political currents of the country were overshadowed by it.
This commotion, behind which, in the opinion of informed observers, there may be a series of political reasons, led to the convening of a private session of the National Consultative Assembly and the summoning of the government to the Assembly to explain to the deputies. The influential clerics who created the first anti-Baha’i movement had [endorsed] a plan by Seyyed Ahmad Safaei, the clerical representative of Qazvin, and intended to pass the plan with the approval of the parliament, boycott this sect and close down their organization. The text of this plan, which consists of an introduction and four articles, is as follows:
The Text of the Anti-Baha’i Plan
The honourable speaker of the parliament: For some time now, Iran has been suffering from a disruptive population, which, in the guise of religion, has risen against the nationalism of the Muslim people of Iran and the territorial integrity of the country, by various means, and has diverted the people from the path of goodness and chastity and from the axis of theism and religion; in advancing their sinister intentions, those people do not refrain from committing any crime. There are many cases of murders, sedition, and historical crimes committed by the members of this population in the judiciary, and there is much evidence proving that they have been in the service of foreigners trying to break up the country. In recent years, when the situation in the country has become chaotic, and the audacious and disruptive elements have found freedom of action, the members of this population have increased their courage and activity and have disrupted the security of the society by insulting the religious traditions and rituals and opposing the society’s religiousness and godliness.
The leaders of the society have considered it inexpedient to continue this situation. At this time, under the guidance of the nation-loving Muslim emperor, order in the affairs of the country is established. The intentions of the Iranian people were reported to His Majesty the King and fortunately, like most important social issues, they have been addressed and the law enforcement officers acted according to their national and religious responsibility.
Therefore, by specifying that the action of the law enforcement officers is approved by the National Consultative Assembly, the signatories offer the following scheme, which contains four items, for the suppression of corruption with level three urgency, and we ask the representatives of the nation, who are interested in nationalism and the establishment of security and the preservation of Islamic rituals, for its approval.
Article 1- The corrupt population of Babis and their affiliate Azalis and Baha’is are declared to be against the security of the country and illegal.
Article 2- From now on, membership in this population and public demonstration of being affiliated with it, in any way, is a crime; the perpetrator is to be sentenced to two to ten years in solitary confinement and deprivation of civil rights.
Article 3- The immovable property that is the centre of the community and its affiliated organizations, or its revenue that is spent on the affairs of this community, will be transmitted to the Ministry of Education, to be dedicated to the establishment of the educational organizations and the dissemination of religious knowledge, and the principles of godliness.
Article 4- Individuals from this population who are serving in government departments and their affiliates will be expelled from government service as of this date and will not be covered by the employment law in any way.
This was the text of the plan; however, after the private negotiations between the government and parliament, both the speaker of parliament and the acting prime minister have decided that the government should study the possibility of implementing the above-mentioned plan and then inform parliament of the results of their studies, until the speaker of the assembly decides whether or not to present the above-mentioned proposal. But politically informed observers believe the noise will subside by the end of the week.
[Photo of Seyyed Ahmad Safaei on the right side of the page]
[Photo of Entezam on the right side of the page]