[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
27 Shahrivar 1358 [18 September 1979]
Dr. Minachi, Honourable Minister of National Guidance,
With humility and respect, it is hereby conveyed that the Baha’i community of Iran, which has existed in this country for 136 years and is considered its largest religious minority, professes the Oneness of God and believes in the righteousness of the Seal of the Prophets and the Imams; affirms the truth of the sacred scriptures of all religions, including the Holy Quran; follows the path of unity and oneness with all of humankind; obeys the government and national authorities at all times and is continuously engaged in serving the interests of our homeland through cultural and social endeavours. Yet, throughout the history of its existence, from its inception, its members have constantly been subjected to a plethora of persecutions, killings, and pogroms. Numerous forms of discrimination have been imposed against this community and baseless allegations and false accusations have been made against them. During any political or social turmoil in this country, this community has been subjected to machinations and plotting and its basic rights have been violated.
Prior to the revolution, this community suffered grave persecution. A number of members of parliament perpetrated lies and baseless allegations against this community, and the print media, without a shred of evidence, added to those allegations and used them as weapons against the community. This resulted in the looting of possessions and pillaging of the houses and burning of the homes of over seven hundred households and the sustaining of irreparable damages, and a number of Baha’is were killed.
From the inception of the Islamic revolutionary government in Iran, members of the Baha’i community, with utter sincerity, both in words and action, proved their loyalty and servitude. Still, the historical tyranny repeated itself. Armed individuals in various places attacked the offices and institutions of this community and took all of the deeds, papers, documents, books, and publications with them. Later, they confiscated the places and entities associated with this [religious] minority without any investigation or proper legal process, and dismissed many Baha’is from their jobs and occupations merely on the basis of their adherence to the Baha’i Faith.
Recently, on 17 and 18 Shahrivar [8 and 9 September], some local people of Shiraz, accompanied by a number of influential local authorities and in the presence of the police, and by prior arrangement, destroyed House of the Bab in Shiraz, which is the point of adoration of the followers of Baha, and which is held sacred by the believers in more than 96,000 localities around the world, and brought anguish to the hearts of a multitude of people.
What has brought us at this time to write this letter of appeal to that authority is the slander and baseless allegations that are being published in various newspapers in the country against this [religious] minority. The members of this minority community have done their utmost to bring this to the attention of the editors-in-chief of various papers and to defend themselves; however, once such lies are written and printed, then there is no stopping the reaction it produces. This letter is therefore a plea to that authority to do what is necessary by issuing emphatic instructions to prevent further malicious acts of harassment.
On behalf of the Baha’i community of Iran
Dr. Hosein Naji