[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:] Baztab
[Date:] 27 Ordibehesht 1383 [16 May 2004]
The clumsy and heavy-handed enmity against Baha’ism
By: Mohammad Bagher Hashimian
The Hojjatieh Society is repeating the same mistake it made before the revolution, when, instead of focusing on the root cause [of the problem] and expending its energies fighting against the Shah’s regime, on the receipt of permission from the Shah and the SAVAK (Parviz Sabeti, the head of SAVAK, who, by the way, was also a Bahá’í) it set out to seemingly fight Baha’ism. Such a strategy, in itself, was straying from the original course of the struggle and the support of the movement of the Imam [Khomeini]. At a time in the 1330s [1950s], when the Shah, with the support of the United States, succeeded in containing and silencing the voices of the liberals in the country and was engaged in their suppression, the Hojjatieh Society decided to attack Baha’ism. After the coup d’état of 28 Mordad 1332 [19 August 1953], the regime did not allow any movement of activity by any group or any proceedings with religious and Islamic ties. Those who resisted or sought justice were imprisoned in the army prisons of the governors of that region, and under torture and various kinds of psychological and mental pressures, cried for blood; yet these gentlemen of the anti-Bahá’í society had no difficulties with the Royal Court or with the directors of SAVAK after its establishment. In the 1340s [1960s], the regime expended all its energies on eliminating all signs of national or religious [identity]. It was only the single awesome roaring cry of the Imám, who fought against all kinds of anti-religious laws and statutes and all things which were not in keeping with the zealousness and the greatness of the Iranian.
In those sorrowful days, when the religious students of Fayzieh [Qum Seminary] were dragged down from the rooftops, and the stone flooring of the courtyard was stained red by their blood, the Society, by obtaining a “letter of protection” from the Rebellious One [title of the Shah, given to him by his opponents], ordered its [members] to penetrate those extravagant parties, to wear suits and ties, and to use western colognes, in order to remind the people of the Lord of the Age [the Twelfth Imám].
The Imám prohibited any manner of collaboration with the regime and spent his time in the company of some of his attendants in exile, moving from one country to another, and while the honourable youth of this nation, under all types of torture in the prisons (joint committees) [?], raised cries to demand justice, the Hojjatieh Society was engaged in battling against the Pepsi Cola and Sabet [Thábit] [companies].
The aim of SAVAK was to prevent the energetic youth from engaging in the major struggle against the regime, and to occupy them with a minor goal—something at which they succeeded.
The [targets] of the tip of the anti-Baha’i society’s arrow were not Hoveyda, Hazhir [Hojabr Yazdani?], Rouhani, Ayadi, and Sabeti, but the lower ranking members of the Baha’ism. Never did it occur to these clever gentlemen of good taste to think how it could be possible that in a government where the Bahá’ís hold such sensitive and prominent roles as in the fields of economics, politics, and permission would be given to them to oppose Baha’ism. In simple terms, this group [?] was in charge, and SAVAK derived the greatest benefits through the Hojjatieh Society. Twenty-five years have elapsed since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution with the leadership of the Imám, and during this time the state has had to grapple with numerous and complex difficulties. We refrain from elaborating on them here, and we will not discuss all these issues, as they will not fit into this article.
The Hojjatieh Society has now remembered the threat Baha’ism poses. This Society has become so enwrapped in baseless imaginings that it believes that the source of the commencement of the war in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Iraq was the influence of Baha’ism. The Society believes that the Bahá’ís inspired the Americans to start the war with Iraq. This group holds such a naïve view of the matter that they do not comprehend that Baha’ism is the puppet of global Zionism and the United States. Even in its internal gatherings and meetings, it refers to Baha’ism as the fundamental problem for the state in the future and speaks of the dangers of this sect. Recently, it has been heard that in its meetings with those in charge of the government, they presented a [lot] of false and inaccurate information to convey such thinking.
Of course, it is important that those responsible leaders give thought to the Bahá’í issue and come up with an appropriate strategy to contain and neutralize it, but the reality is that after the Revolution, the migration of the Bahá’ís from the country grew noticeably, and the Bahá’í leaders have expended all their energies and abilities to protect the sect and its [members]. It is currently in a defensive mode and not aggressive or invasive. Consider the fact that the beliefs and sources of Baha’ism are so baseless and without substance that it has no power of attraction, and that most of its greatest growth has been in the poor countries of Africa; even then, its success is because of the financial, economic, and cash aid it has given to the people. It is a certainty that a person who, because of his empty stomach, has accepted a religion and a set of principles, can also very easily [teach] it. Clearly, Baha’ism, with the powerful [enticement] of cash aid and economic assistance seeks followers. Regrettably, the Hojjatieh Society, from amongst all the issues and difficulties which the Islamic world is grappling with, has chosen Baha’ism to focus on, and claims that it is the only society that has been able to fight [the Bahá’í Faith]—so much so that Mahathir Muhammad is in their [?] pursuit. This group has closed its eyes to the murders of the innocent people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine. In their meetings they do not address the crimes of the United States and its filthy offspring in the region, Israel, but introduce their prime concern as Baha’ism. [The members of the Hojjatieh Society] have become so gravely entrenched in their own imaginings that they consider the state’s policies of conflict resolution and its cooperation with the Islamic world as a weakness in the face of the Sunnis, and accuse the Iranian leaders of encouraging the Sunnis. The [Hojjatieh] Society and its leaders believe the state’s support of the struggle of the oppressed and wronged Palestinian nation against Israel to be the cause of the deterioration of Iran—so much so that they state, “The Jews who pray at the Wailing Wall are superior to the Palestinian people! Why? Because [the Palestinians] are Sunnis”. Such thoughts, do they smell of ignorance or of betrayal?
Baha’ism is dangerous, but according to what it warrants. It is not threatening enough to crush the state, unless we, with our own hands, make it a big issue in society, and thus give rise to the sensitivity of the international community.