[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]
[Adapted from website:] Tabnak Professional News Site
[Date:] 29 Ordibehesht 1395 [18 May 2016]
Zibakalam: Mrs. Faezeh Hashemi’s Action Was Right in Every Way. Her Action Was Both Moral, Humane and Commendable.
According to Tabnak Tabriz, in an interview with Entekhab, Sadegh Zibakalam said, “In Islamic narrations, it is frequently heard that one day the Messenger of God (PBUH) was passing by a place. An infidel would pour a sheep’s rumen [intestine] on him from the rooftop. Then one day when the Prophet was passing by, as usual, he noticed that there was no news of that infidel. When asking about him, he found out that he was sick. Then the Prophet went and paid him a visit.”
If we pay attention to the lessons taught to us and to all the people by the clergy from the pulpit about the life of the Prophet, then Mrs. Hashemi’s visit to her fellow prisoner, with whom she spent several months in a cell, should not constitute any problem.”
This professor of political science said, “She undertook the most just, moral, and humane action possible by visiting that Baha’i lady.”
Referring to Mrs. Kamalabadi, he said, “What is really the crime of these people, some of whom are imprisoned for eight years or more? Did these people spy and give the secrets of a country to the foreigners and betrayed their homeland? From the religious point of view of Imam Sadegh (PBUH), who sat or argued with several thousand infidels, polytheists, Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians, if anyone of them became sick, would the Imam not go to visit them?
Sadegh Zibakalam then added, “Mrs. Faezeh Hashemi went to visit someone who had been in a cell with her for eight months. This means that she did the most basic thing a human being can do for another human being. In my opinion, if she had not gone to visit her cellmate, just because their beliefs and opinions are contrary to each other, she should have been criticized, and it would have been appropriate to attack Mrs. Hashemi.”
He said, “It is still not clear why Baha’is in Iran do not have the right to study and work and should be in prison. Is it simply because their beliefs and thoughts are different from ours? Is such behaviour carried out according to Islamic norms? Did the Messenger of God (PBUH) order that anyone who did not become a Muslim and remains an infidel should be imprisoned? Did the clergy and maraje’[religious jurisprudence authorities] issue the fatwa that anyone who does not think like us should be imprisoned?”
At the end, Sadegh Zibakalam said, “I do not look at the Baha’i question from the perspective of human rights or Western or non-Islamic law. Rather, my question to the esteemed officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran is whether, according to our own constitution and according to our own jurisprudential and religious principles, and according to other cases that the great Shiite jurists have [cited] in the past and today, can we convict or be imprison a person, with the accusations of having thoughts that are contrary to our religious beliefs?