[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
The Honourable Chief Justice of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Justice, [Head of the Revolutionary Court of] Kerman
I respectfully submit to you that the honourable public prosecutor has charged me with two counts in the indictment [as follows].
One count concerns my [religious] belief, and the other alleges [that I am guilty of] usury, to each of which I respond separately to the honourable court:
1: Concerning my religious beliefs, as I indicated directly during my cross-examination, I adhere to the Baha’i Faith, and please allow me to present some of my beliefs to the honourable court for its information.
I believe in one single God, the God Who was not born and did not give birth, God Who has no partner, the God Who is beyond understanding; there is no God but Him, single in His essence, single in His qualities, single in His image, and single in His creation.
I believe in the righteousness of all the Messengers and Holy Books, I respect all the Holy Imams and believe in the Day of Judgement. In my personal religious beliefs, the use of alcohol and drugs, stealing, lying, infidelity, prostitution, involvement in politics, and betrayal of the government and its institutions are unlawful and forbidden.
I believe that life and livelihood are all in God’s hands, and we shall all return to God. Are such convictions considered corrupt in Muslim society and contrary to the [ideals of] the Islamic Revolution?
In accordance with my religious beliefs, I am not allowed to be part of any political party or group, or to be involved in politics. In this town alone, despite all the pressures and threats, if you investigate, [you will find that] no Baha’i has registered in the Rastakhiz [political party] or any other political party. In the Baha’i Faith, God says that the test of being a Baha’i is non-involvement in politics, which means that anyone engaging in political matters is not a Baha’i. According to my religious beliefs, I have to be obedient to my government, and, as He says, if someone betrays the just government, he has betrayed God. A political person is not a Baha’i; a Baha’i is obliged to obey the rules and orders of the government. How is it then that the honourable public prosecutor suggests that Baha’is are co-operating and associating with anti-revolutionary groups? The God of creation says in the Holy Quran: [“And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of (feeling in) the heart will be inquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).”]
Not only do the Baha’is not oppose Islam, they also believe in the righteousness of the Prophet, and consider the Holy Quran divine [in origin]. The Baha’i Faith is the only religion that testifies to the truth of Islam, and, in fact, one of the requisites of being a Baha’i is to accept the truth of [all of the world religions, including] Islam and that of the Quran. As long as a Christian does not recognize Islam, [she] [would not be considered] a Baha’i. Nothing I have presented briefly here is in opposition to Islam. Refer to Baha’i books to witness how the Prophet Mohammad, the Holy Imams and the Holy Quran have been glorified and exalted.
With regard to usury in the second part [of the indictment], I submit that there is no evidence before this honourable court to support that allegation, and there is no mention of evidentiary documents or complainants in the indictment. However, the respected public prosecutor himself is witness to the issuance of many court orders in various courts that have ordered payment of the principal debt plus 12% and the arrears. Additionally, everyone knows that many individuals and families have term deposits and saving accounts in banks and receive interest, or they receive bank loans and pay interest on them. As I stand here before the court defending myself, millions of individuals in this country are engaged in the business of collecting or paying interest -- in other words, they are engaged in usury.
However, in my case, instead of evidentiary documents, the public prosecutor relies on [unsubstantiated] rumours and general petitions to support the indictment. If the honourable court is interested in petitions and rumours, I, too, can proffer a petition with signatures to testify to my professional ethics and helpfulness to others and that I have demonstrated nothing but honesty, trustworthiness, and fairness in trade.
Imam Khomeini, the esteemed leader of the nation of Iran, instructed that those involved in usury should be charged by the courts on the basis of proper and credible evidence; however, the application before the court contains no mention of complainants and/or evidentiary documents.
I leave the judgment to the members of the honourable court, and I request them to issue their verdict in accordance with justice, based on thorough review of the evidence and consultation with experts.
This submission was attached to the case file together with a number of affidavits.
[Handwritten note date at the top of the page]
24 Shahrivar 1358 [15 September 1979]