[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:] Ettehad-e Melli
[Date:] Tuesday, 26 Ordibehesht 1334 [17 May 1955]
[Issue No.:] 366
When, How and With What Preparations Did They Enter the Struggle Against the Baha’is?
The Baha’i issue is still at the forefront of domestic and foreign news regarding Iran. The correspondent of this newspaper was instructed to first obtain information from Mr. Falsafi, who is currently in charge of speaking out and spearheading the struggle against the Baha’is, and then, using other sources, to complete the collection and make it available to the readers.
In the Home of Falsafi
Mr. Falsafi responded to our questions, and we will publish [his answers] without any comments.
The reporter said, “At first it was thought that you had risen up against the religious minorities, but your glorification of Moses and Jesus dispelled this doubt.”
Mr. Falsafi said, “I have heard that Baha’is have complained to the United Nations, and that by paying money to some radio stations they have advertised in their favour, while we had not talked about the religion; rather, we have argued about a group that disguises [itself] with a religious mask. I have sent a message to the Americans that Muslims have fought against the Tudeh Party; now members of the Tudeh Party have infiltrated the Baha’is, and if you support Baha’is, it is as if you have strengthened the Tudeh Party, which is the enemy of the United States [of America].”
When I said goodbye, Mr. Falsafi said, “I receive about two hundred letters and telegrams daily and I spend four hours reading them. The majority [of the letters] either confirm [my struggle against the Baha’is] or complain about their Baha’i leaders, and some people have sent [copies of Baha’i tablets and teachings. I receive and answer close to the same number of telephone calls.”
I asked whether these letters, telegrams and telephone calls were all approvals, or whether some were “compliments”.
For collecting additional information, we found that the best person is Dr. Jazayeri, the minister of education in the cabinet of the Razmara government and today’s member of parliament. Dr. Jazayeri provided the following additional information at his home: “In 1329 , when I was the minister of education, I was told that Ayatollah Borujerdi wanted to meet me. I left for Qom with my older brother and cousin. Ayatollah Borujerdi said, ‘the work of the Baha’is has reached a point where one of the employees of the [Ministry of] Education, who is a Baha’i, wrote me a letter, preaching and inviting me to become a Baha’i, so that I and the Shiites could be saved!’
“I reprimanded the Ministry of Education about his disrespect and he was fired temporarily, but he returned to the service of [the ministry] by exerting influence—the clerics of Mashhad had also written that a large number of the teaching staff in [the Department of] Education in Mashhad are Baha’is. Tell all these issues to the government and the king.”
Dr. Jazayeri said, “I came to Tehran and raised the issue in the cabinet; the parliament’s minutes of that time are evidence. The government then issued a circular denouncing the official recognition of the Baha’i Faith to all the provincial governors, but I decided to dismiss the Baha’is in Education [Departments]. First, I asked and told them all to write ‘Muslim’ in their recruitment form, and we would not bother them anymore, since Islam ostensibly [takes precedence] unless proven otherwise. But the Baha’i teachers did not agree to it. Instead, they wrote two official letters against me to the prime minister and the inspector general, one signed by Foroutan, the secretary of the Baha’i Assembly, and the other signed by Fatheazam, the chairman of the Assembly, in which they [said that they] considered my actions to be against the [principle of] religious freedom and the Charter of the United Nations. When this happened, I fired all Baha’i staff who were contract workers and dismissed those who were officially employed from their teaching positions, and engaged them in administrative work. But with the killing of Razmara and my departure from the Ministry of Education, all of them became involved in education again.”
Trial and Expulsion
Listen to this story from Major General Kaykavusi, the current member of parliament. When he was the commander of one of the divisions in the year 1322 [1943/1944] and 1323 [1944/1945], he received a secret [memorandum] from the Office of Statistics, in which it was stated that one of the officers [had gotten] married and had written only a letter informing the Office of Statistics of his marriage. Since Baha’is did not marry according to the Islamic law and followed their own Baha’i marriage law, they would only inform the Office of Statistics of their Baha’i marriage; the Office of Statistics, in turn, would inform the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor’s Office was only allowed to detain them for 48 hours and close the case with a fine of sixty tomans. But it was not possible to send the [army] officers to the Prosecutor’s Office, so their commanders were informed. However, after being informed of this, Major General Kaykavusi arrested the [mentioned] officer and handed him over to the court, where his rank was removed and he was dismissed from the army.
This was the information that the readers were requesting from us, and we published it, citing the sources and without commenting on what appeared to be the case, so that our esteemed and enlightened readers could judge.