[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:] Etemad Online

[Date:] 12 Shahrivar 1398 [3 September 2019]

 

The Interview of Etemad Online With Mohammad-Ali Pourmokhtar, Member of the Legal-Judicial Commission of the Assembly

The Proposed Legislation for the Punishment of the Perverted Sects is Under Review by the Judicial Commission / The Punishment of the Members of the Perverted Sects Differs According to the Degree of Creating Deviation in the Belief of Individuals.

Mohammad-Ali Pourmokhtar, a member of the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, said, “The bill for punishment of the perverted sects is currently under review by the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Assembly and it is far from becoming a law. But the punishment for members of the perverted sects depends on the degree of [their] influence on an individual’s deviation from the religious and sectarian belief and encouragement for [him/her] to commit sin.”

Etemad Online – In an interview with Etemad Online, in response to the question, “According to the law, which sects are considered perverted and what are the punishments for the members of these sects?” Mohammad Ali Pourokhtar, a member of the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Assembly, said, “At present, the bill for punishment of the perverted sects is currently under review by the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Assembly, and it is far from becoming a law.”

This member of the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Assembly continued, “This bill is being written [in relation to] the sects that do not have any religious, Sharia or authorized positions and ascribe themselves to Islam, but their actions and behaviours are the cause of religious deviation, and in the majority of cases, act contrary to or against the Sharia law and fight with it.”

Pourmokhtar said, “These [the perverted sects] are also recognized and measured by the laws of other religions, and this is a characteristic of the perverted sect.”

The representative of Kabudarahang in the Islamic Consultative Assembly explained, “For some time, we have witnessed the appearance of the newly made sects that merge psychological matters, through new, scientific methods, with discussions, religious vision and people’s belief systems.”

He also said, “These sects, by taking advantage of people’s belief―for instance, prayer, which, of course, is dependent on the Quran or relationship with God or intercession―confiscate all these belief topics to benefit one individual or themselves and cause various political, economic and social abuse.”

This member of the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Assembly continued, “The activities of these perverted sects result in dispersion of the family foundation; based on the view of the designers of this bill, this is recognized as crime and deserves confrontation and punishment.”

Pourmokhtar, in response to a question about the limits of punishment for the members of the perverted sects, explained, “Their crime depends on the degree of their influence, and its accordance with the legal punishments within the Islamic Penal Code, and they are different. But sometimes, independent punishments are considered for it. The punishments are different; it depends, for instance, on how much they have caused deviation in the religious belief of the individuals or [how much] they have encouraged the others to commit some crimes.”

The member of this Legal and Judicial Commission of the Assembly responded to the question, “How will the law encounter these individuals; is confiscation of their property also on the agenda of the lawmakers of this bill?” He replied, “This bill is not yet a law.”

This representative of the people of Kabudarahang, said, in conclusion, “The reference for the punishment of these perverted sects is not yet finalized, but there are instances in which their punishments have been assigned in the law and will be dealt with according to the penal code, and there is no need for a new bill to emphasize them.”