[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

Dated 11/10/1357 [1 January 1979]

 

Statement of the Bahá’í Community of Iran

 

During these times when stupendous events have occurred in the sacred country of Iran and to our beloved and dear countrymen, we witness, most unfortunately, that a few of the representatives of the respected National Consultative Assembly at the legislative centre, as well as some of the newspapers and a number of publications from various political parties, have propagated false information against the Bahá’ís and have put forward slanderous statements against this community.  For example, some of the individuals who were in top government positions in the previous regime or were among the cabinet ministers have been [falsely] identified as Bahá’ís. Also, [the authorities and the press] have associated the Bahá’ís with, God forbid, various political factions, and have attributed many of the violations against and difficulties that have fallen upon the great people of Iran to them.  Given that the means of self-defence have been taken away from this community and that due to current limitations and discrimination against us, we are not able to present the principles and ideas [of the Bahá’í Faith] or our defence to the public and [thereby] make them aware of the truth of the matter, and it is therefore natural that many of the people in the country may imagine certain things in their minds, and it is likely that they might believe them to be true.  However, the truth is that the Bahá’ís are completely innocent of all of these allegations, and as the holy Quran says: “Indeed, some assumption is sin[1],” all of these allegations are false and untoward and have been inflicted upon this beleaguered community unjustly and unfairly.

 

During their 135-year history in this great country, the Bahá’ís have been unceasingly subjected to various allegations and persecution [including] killings, and a large number have lost their precious lives with utmost meekness in this path.  Contrary to religious and legal principles, Bahá’ís have always been subjected to discrimination and deprivation in the social, employment, work, taxation, and educational issues, and based on existing evidence and documentation, they have also been subject in recent years to discrimination and injustice under the government.

 

Whenever a political or social change has taken place in our dear country, along with it, there has been a conspiracy against this religious minority that has led to trampling on its legal rights.  Among them one can point to the conspiracy that was launched against the Bahá’ís after the assassination attempt on the life of Naser-al-din Shah, and led to the killing of a large number of Bahá’ís.  Another example was the conspiracy to kill “Major Imbrie”[2] and the “Saqqa khaneh”[3] affair, after which many Bahá’ís were subjected to various calamities and difficulties.  Another example was the event that took place during Ramadan of 1334 that originated with radio broadcasts[4] and led to the killing, pillaging, and [physical attacks that led to] injuries, insults and various other forms of persecution toward a large number of Bahá’ís.  Among them were the conspiracies of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 23, 24, and 25 Azar 1357 in Fars [14, 15, and 16 December 1978], which had previously started in Neyriz and Sarvestan, and after having visited various calamities upon the Bahá’ís in these two cities in order to turn them into [political] bargaining chips, some individuals carrying weapons and batons and shovels and machetes and various explosive devices attacked the homes and businesses of this beleaguered [Bahá’ís] in Shiraz and Marvdasht.  All manner of insult, threat, fear-mongering, and acts of terrorism, torture, killings, stealing of belongings, and destruction and burning of homes, [extending even to the] desecration of the burial places in the Bahá’í cemetery called “Golestan Javid” were perpetrated, and severe injuries were inflicted on the lives and belongings [of the Bahá’ís], to the extent that until today it has been impossible to obtain information about the life or death of many of the people who had to flee and go into hiding.  Based on reliable information we have obtained thus far, more than two hundred homes were burned in Shiraz and are no longer habitable.  All of money, belongings, and places of business have been pillaged.  The amount of loss exceeds hundreds of millions of tumans.  And yet, those who are familiar with Bahá’í people and their way of thinking know of a certainty that they have no goal but to be well-wishers of mankind and to work toward creating unity and oneness among all members of the human family.  Their sincere motive is to render honest service to humanity, and nothing else.

 

In addition to the fact that based on the teachings of their Faith [the Bahá’ís] expend their efforts to provide for the benefits of their country through cultural, social, and environmental services and activities, owing to their deep-seated belief they keep entirely away from the world of politics.  They do not join any political party and are excused from accepting any [political] posts such as being a minister or diplomat or legislative representative and such, to the point that aspiring to such positions is in itself evidence of the lack of any relationship to the Bahá’í community.  In addition, it has been proven and established throughout the years that a Bahá’í person will not in any way deny their belief and would not dissimulate their Faith for the sake of expedience.  Based on these facts it is clear and undeniable that the information against this community that is being propagated in the media and by other authorities, or that which may be published in the future, is all false allegations and does not have the least application to the Bahá’í community.  These allegations are devised only to use the Bahá’í community as a bargaining chip.  Bahá’ís proclaim the truth of all Messengers and Prophets and uphold and respect all heavenly books and Divinely-revealed religions.  Among all of other [world] religions, it is the only one that holds the luminous religion of Islam to be true, and now that the Bahá’í Faith has caused the fame of our dear Iran to spread and has been established in more than eighty thousand localities across the globe and been promoted among 1,600 tribes and ethnic groups and its writings have been translated into more than 685 languages, and the Bahá’í community has been accepted as a non-governmental organization at the United Nations, it is appropriate that we request that just and fair attention be paid by our countrymen, and in particular the thinkers, researchers, and religious and political leaders, as well as people of insight and the responsible authorities, to the rights that have been taken from this community and that these rights be reinstituted, and  the expansion of troublesome instigations be prevented, and the injustices ceased entirely.

 

Awaiting your attention and justice.

 

[1] [Quran: 49: 12]

[2] [Robert Whitney Imbrie]

[3] [Refers to a historical event, which led to a social unrest and killing of Imbrie]

[4] [Speeches by Ayatollah Falsafi]