[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]
[Date:] Sunday, 20 Esfand 1357 [11 March 1979] - 12 Rabi`ath-Thani 1399
[Issue No:] 10658
Ayatollah Taleghani: No One Forces Women to Wear Hijab.
Some elements are trying to separate a great faction of the Revolution—the women—from the Revolution.
- We do not let anyone insult women.
His Honour Ayatollah Taleghani, before the passing of his wife, which occurred last Friday, participated in a radio and television interview and responded to the questions of a reporter regarding the hijab and gave some explanation regarding women working in offices and departments and wearing the Islamic and religious hijab.
…It is not even obligatory for Muslim women [to wear the hijab]—what obligation?
His Honour Ayatollah Khomeini advised—as a father advising and guiding his own child—that, if you are like this or act like this, as I have advised you, you would be better able to glorify the spirit of Islam and the Iranian tradition, and to protect your independence and your identity.
While this [hijab] is not obligatory for [Muslims], how can we say that the religious minorities of Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews should wear hijab—most of whom, especially the Jews and Zoroastrians that I have encountered, observe the old Iranian tradition [of hijab]. It is not even obligatory for them.
In Islam, as we have said time and again and have even demonstrated in practice, the official religious minorities such as Christians, Zoroastrians, Jews and other minorities, which have always been part of this land and well-respected, have never been treated differently than others in their social and economic lives—and some of them have had even better [lives] than many Muslims. Even for those minorities that are called the religious sects—not that I say that they are proper religions; they are fabricated, and are [considered as] colonialist sects and Israeli sects and they have been instruments of the politics of colonialism and the espionage of Israelis—[even for them,] we forbade people to disturb them.
In this country, some Jews who had gone to Israel and had to flee from there have themselves confessed that here [in Iran], they enjoy a much better life than in Israel and there are more possibilities for them [here] than in any other place.