[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]

 

[Newspaper:] Asia

[Date:] 29 Dey 1337 [19 January 1959]

[Issue No.:] 162

 

Revival of Religion and Homeland

Religious Arguments and the Discussion about Equality between Women and Men

Is There A Plan in Place That Has Provoked These Arguments?

During the past two weeks, a few topics were brought up unexpectedly, which shows that they are all related to each other, like people who have been bitten by serpent and now fear even a black and white-striped rope, this is a surprising and terrifying issue. The removal from circulation of Kasravi’s books, the prosecution of those people who believed in Kasravi’s statements, the topic of equality of, women and men and allowing women to participate in the parliamentary elections, and the objections of clergy and their letters to the parliament, and announcing in the international forums that “Iran does not follow the charters of the United Nations,” are among the issues that should not be ignored. We must learn what is the underlying intent that has required igniting such arguments, and why it is that one group of people is screaming that religion is in danger and another group is heartbroken that women are not allowed to become members of parliament and that there is no sign of women in these fully credible elections or among the nation’s parliamentary representatives.

Equality of social rights between women and men has been upheld in Islam to such an extent that there is no need to add another word to it, and, naturally, for many years to come, mankind that is passes through the true stages of civilization, still will not reach that level of equality. In Islam and in Iran, since thousands of years ago, the emancipation of women has been at such a level that women have reached the positions of being mujtahids, military commanders, protectors of borders, and even rulers of kingdoms. To bring up the issue that women cannot participate in the election of the parliament or become a parliamentary representative is absurd. However, at this point in time, we do not have elections in the sense that people would vote, and representatives would be elected by the vote of the people. According to logicians, the issue is “Salebe Be Entefa.” [Conditioned to something that did not exist before and in this context it means: becoming deprived of that voting right which had not been granted before] Thus, to argue about whether women should vote or not is a laughable debate.

Now, as to the rounding up of the publications of Kasravi and bringing up his name again in the public discourse and turning people’s attention to issues that have faded away from their sight, shows that the main and real issue is not religion and, as the late [poet] Bahar has said, “Nation and religion are made-up excuses.” I knew Kasravi very well. He was not without knowledge, but he had bad taste, and he was crude and inexperienced. Whatever he said about Persian literature is not useful because Persian was not his mother tongue, and, at times, he would show bias. He had a kind of mental illness about this. He considered the poetry of Hafez, Saadi, and Mawlawi as being no good. However, if a poet were to write some poetry complementing Kasravi, he would repeatedly publish it and would speak and write in praise of the author. Whatever he wrote about religion was biased, and it is clear from his writings that he followed the religion that he himself founded. At times, he betrayed the trust in this regard. For example, Kasravi translated from Arabic to Persian a book written and published by Jarollah Tatar about the Shia religion, and then published it under the title of “Shi’ism” without citing the name of the original author.

Nevertheless, killing him was not wise or well-deserved. It appears that it was related to political matters, but they attributed it to religion, and people also forgot about it after a while. Resurrecting his memory must also be related to political issues, just like resurrecting the memory about the Baha’is, three years ago, which was also related to political matters and its results were harmful to the nation and people of Iran.

There is no doubt that the people of Iran have become more aware compared to the past, and they will not welcome religious matters such as the incident of Sheikh Hadi’s water station, miracles of the Imam Davoud and Imam Golzard Shrines, and will not meet their expectations. Those claiming to support Islam should be careful not give excuses to others.