[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:] Islamic Development Organization
[Date:] 1 Bahman 1387 [20 January 2009]
Victory of the Islamic Revolution Was the Greatest Blow to Baha’ism
In the second gathering on “Bahá'ísm: A new Administrative and Propaganda Surge,” as part of a series of reflection meetings conducted by the office of Applied Research in the Bureau of Research and Training of the Islamic Propagation Organization (IPO), while stressing that the victory of the Islamic Revolution was the greatest blow to Baha’ism, it was said that by hiding its previous teachings and adjusting them to modern times and declarations and charters of the United Nations Organization in recent decades, it has developed deep ties with that organization.
According to IPO’s public relations office, Doctor Seyyed Mohammad-Kazem Ahmadi presented a short history of the formation of Baha’ism during Qajar period and added: Baha’ism took shape in the middle of 19th century by one of the followers of Seyyed Muhammad-Ali Bab, who later called himself Baha’u’llah, at a time when Iran had been defeated by Russia, and the colonial powers were the only ruling powers in the country. This man initially claimed to be the promised Messiah and later claimed Godhood.
He added: Following the execution of Muhammad-Ali Bab by the decisive order of Amir Kabir, Mirza Husayn-Ali Nouri, who is the same as Baha’u’llah, was banished to Iraq. Baha’ism regards this man to be very holy, so much so that it prevents publication of his picture. Baha’ism gradually branched out of the Babi sect through Baha’u’llah’s propaganda. Many of the followers of Muhammad Ali Bab still are strongly opposed to Baha’ism.
This researcher of the religions and university professor stressed: Baha’ism has devised new religious laws for itself. The sect’s daily obligatory prayer consists of 9 Rik’at (sections), which are performed by individuals at three set intervals. Today, the sect allows reading of this prayer at one time as well. Baha’is also fast yearly for 19 days. This sect allows usury and marriage to close relatives except with one’s step-mother.
Ahmadi stated: After Baha’u’llah, his son ‘Abbas Effendi or ‘Abdu'l-Baha succeeded him. Compared with his father, Abdu'l-Baha was more conservative and cunning, and would not present those beliefs of a more controversial nature that were not popular with many people. Using extensive propaganda, ‘Abdu'l-Baha transferred Baha’ism’s main center of power to the West. United States and United Kingdom increasingly supported him to the point where even the British gave him the title of “Sir” and made him a Knight.
He stressed: After Abdu'l-Baha’s passing and succession of his daughter’s son Shoghi Effendi in 1921 during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi, Baha’ism was not very active due to its young and inexperienced leader. However, during the rule of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi and coinciding with the White Revolution in Iran, right after the death of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, Baha’is took over important government posts with secret support from the Shah. Prime Minister Hoveyda, capitalist Hojabr Yazdani, Head of Radio and Television Sabet Parsa, Minister of Education Farrokhroo Parsa, Shah’s Special Physician Abdolkarim Ayadi, SAVAK’s Deputy Chief Parviz Parsa, President of Tehran University Houshang Nahavandi, and many other Baha’is were among such people.
Emphasizing the point that the victory of the Islamic Revolution was the greatest blow to Baha’ism, Ahmadi said: After the victory of Revolution, a lot of Baha’is were executed, not because of their beliefs but rather as the corrupt on earth, and most of their properties were confiscated. Also, some Baha’is converted to Islam.
He added: In the words of former American President Ronald Reagan, in Iran 198 Baha’is were executed, 717 were imprisoned, and 25,000 were forced to leave Iran.
Stating that Baha'ism advances its objectives through extensive propaganda, high level public relations, pretending to be oppressed, and aligning its ideas with the modern world, he said: A lot of the ideas that Baha'ism presents as its own are taken from other religions. These ideas are very general in such a way that many of them cannot be denied. Baha’ism never states the source of its ideas and does not offer their details.
Despite its appearance, this researcher of religions considered the Baha’i administration to be mafia-like and frightening and stated that: In order to counter Baha’ism, we must understand the modern world and critical views of it.
It is noteworthy that the second gathering on “Baha'ism: A new Administrative and Propaganda Surge,” is part of a series of reflection meetings organized by the Office of Applied Research of the Bureau of Research and Training at IPO. The gathering was held in the auditorium of the above Bureau and attended by some erudite and expert members of the IPO.