[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]

 

[Adopted from website:] Fars News Agency

[Date:] 8 Bahman 1387 [27 January 2009]

 

Baha’ism, Israel and Pahlavi Regime

Fars News Agency:  The [late] Shah had allowed Baha’is whose center was in Israel to have extensive activities so much so that the Prime Minister Hoveida, Shah’s special physician, as well as the National Radio and Television’s head were Baha’is, while other Baha’is such as Hojabr Yazdani had managed to create powerful mafia-like groups.

With the establishment of Israel, Baha’is based this land as the center of their activities and center of operations.  The Zionist regime also recognized Baha’i sect as one of the “official religions!”.  The Shah also protected them and the presence of the Baha’i Hoveida as well as the Baha’is influence in the court of the Shah and the ruling establishment in Iran, created a considerable economical and political power base for them.   

The Bab’s intrigue did not end with his death, but rather it intensified Qajar Government’s hostility against it as a result of the assassination attempt by some of Bab’s followers against the life of Nasereddin Shah, especially because the followers of the Bab took refuge with the Russian Empire and the Russians intended to take full advantage of this.  After a while, the Babis tilted towards the British and became their puppets, and later on America provided them with a new environment when Baha’i centers in America started to increase in number.  With the formation of Zionist regime, the relations between the Baha’is and the Zionists started to become more intimate.

After Qajar government deported Babis, they went to the Ottoman domain and were in Istanbul for a short time.  This coincided with the hostilities that had begun on successorship of the Bab and created serious problems for the survival of this misguided sect.  “Mirza Yahya” and “Baha” were the main leaders of the sect.   As a result, the Othman government decided to send both of them along with their followers to a distant land.  Mirza Yahya and his followers were sent to Cyprus Island, and Baha and his followers were sent to Acre; it was at this time that the two branched out.  The followers of Mirza Yahya were named “Azali” and the followers of Baha became known as “Baha’i”.

(1) Mirza Yahya went to Cyprus where he became an unknown and his followers also gradually forgot the religion and faded away; however, Baha did not surrender in Acre and wrote some nonsense in Bab’s style which later made the holy book of Baha’is.  He lived in Acre for twenty some years and later died in 1312 [1892].  After his death, his son Mirza Abbas or Abbas Effendi (2) succeeded him and became known as “Abdu’l-Bahá”.  He also wrote several books that indicated his handicapped mind and his superficiality, which brought infamy for his followers. (3) Abdu’l-Bahá also died in 1340 [1921] and Shoghi Effendi, his daughter’s son, succeeded him.

During the leadership of Shoghi Effendi which coincided with the formation of the Israeli state, the name of “Arz-e Aghdas” (The Holy Land) and “the main Baha’i Temple” (Mashriqu’l-Adhkar) was heard for the first time.   After the formation of the Israeli government, the fourth Baha’i leader decided to accept Israeli land as its main center and point of adoration, but also caused the Jewish government to become not only its refuge, but moreover the sect’s international platform.   Obviously, one of the oldest demonstrations of enmity that the Jews had in relation to Moslems was that they would support any anti-Islamic force, especially because Israel was one of the first and most effective governments that recognized Baha’i sect along with different religions, as one of the official religions of its country.  Also, undoubtedly, attracting big investors, especially the sect’s leaders who were at the top of that list, naturally invested their capital in the newly formed land, and was beneficial to the newly formed government of Israel.  That was how the newly formed government treated Baha’is favorably and attracted them and their capital to itself.  If we add the burial of Baha’i leaders in this land to the collection, making the center a holy place for the Baha’is that attracts their large investments and huge expenses towards this land, we will further and better understand the extraordinary understanding that exists between Baha’is and Israelis. (4) Formation of the Israeli government not only was fully accepted by the Baha’is but was rather welcomed by the sect’s fourth leader.  In his telegram of dated 9 January 1951, he writes: “Fulfillment (of) prophecies uttered (by) Founder (of) Faith (and) Center (of) His Covenant culminating (in) establishment (of) Jewish State, signalizing birth after lapse (of) two thousand years (of an) independent nation (in the) Holy Land.” (5) Having considered the formation of the Israeli government as valid and prophesied, Shoghi Rabbani later recommends three important duties to the International Baha’i Council that he himself created.  The first duty after the formation of Israeli government is creating good relationship with that government: “first, to initiate relations with the leadership of the Israeli government…”. (6)  Shoghi Rabbani considers establishment of relations with the Israeli government to be related to the creation of future Baha’i administration and notes that: “thirdly, to discuss issues related to the personal affairs with the government leadership and as the council which is the first international institution and is currently in an embryonic stage, develops, will be in charge of other duties and gradually will be recognized as the official Baha’i court.” (7)  In order to get Israeli support for the official Baha’i court, Shoghi Effendi declared the recognition and legitimacy of the newly formed government, and recommended initiation of good relations with this government.  In objective 24th of his ten-year plan, he expresses his preference for support of the Israeli government over and above all other world governments and recommends to the Baha’is to institute national spiritual assemblies based on the laws and regulations of the Israeli government. (8) There are other views on the subject of pacts between Baha’ism and Zionism that believe that the pact between the two goes back to many, many years ago.  Al-Ittihad Newspaper printed in Abu Dhabi on 29 Bahman 1354 [18 February 1976], in an article titled: “Zionism’s Shadow Over Baha’ism” has written that: “after the passing of Baha in 1892 in Gregorian calendar, a strange occurrence took place which was that it was decided that Zionism forms certain groups in the service of and by invitation of Abbas Effendi, son of Baha and his successor, and to open its cash reserves in support of this sect to expand and propagate Baha’ism in the world.  Zionism cooperated with Baha’ism in areas where Islam had no stronghold such as in the Soviet Turkmenistan and began teaching Baha’ism and later transferred it to Chicago and San Francisco.   The Zionist groups collected contributions for the establishment of (Baha’i Al-Azkar) organization, and invited Freemasonry groups to join this religion.  In 1899, after the formation of the Zionist conference (Bal) in Switzerland, the Jewish orientalists specifically Tumanski published Baha’u’llah’s holy book and displayed it among the collection of reports of this conference.  In 1909, the Jewish “Hibult and Rinus” published a book in Paris titled: “History and Baha’i Social Principles”.  At a time when the propagation of Baha’ism in the West from Russia to America had reached its peak, some American women travelled on pilgrimage to Carmel Mountain in Palestine to teach the faith and to meet with the new Persian prophet!! and in hopes of achieving his blessing and his guiding laws that had been revealed to him by God.

“Gold Teshir”, the Polish Jewish orientalist praised what the above-mentioned women had done in way of promoting and advancing Baha’ism and its recognition as a progressive religion.  The Jewish religious leadership issued fatwa about the Persian prophet and began to teach it and determined the 19th century for His manifestation and for a time of purification of Jerusalem from the presence of Moslems.  This was how the Babis entered a new stage of their propagation and they are of the belief that Baha’ism is not a sect of Islam, but rather it is a world religion that has surpassed Islamic world’s boundaries and the prophet of Acre!! has found fanatic followers in America and Europe who have helped create Baha’ism organizations in America and have selected Chicago as the headquarter for the religion.  They established Mashriqu’l-Adhkar (House of Worship) there and acquired a lot of land there with the help of the Jews….As Gold Teshir points out, with the advent of Abbas Effendi and supported by The Old and New Testaments, Baha’is have gone further and claimed that in the Old and New Testaments there have been mentions of Abbas Effendi…”(9) Furthermore in Acre, city of Haifa was Baha’is’ other headquarter in such a way that they established their “Beyt’ul-Adl” (The House of Justice) in Haifa in 1963. (10)  Furthermore, at the bottom of Carmel Mountain they built Bab’s resting place which had a shrine, dome, and an elaborate building and its building was completed in 1953. (11) In a report from Iran’s representative’s office that was sent in 1357 [1978] for the Foreign Ministry, it was mentioned that during the fourth international Baha’i conference that was held in Haifa, two Baha’is of Iranian citizenship by the names of Mr. Fath-e-Azam and Mr. Nakhjavani were present.  Pointing to the great assistance that the government of Israel provides to the Baha’is, it adds that: “The government is cooperating with the followers of this sect that reside in the country and extends diplomatic favors to the nine member council (called House of Justice) which is the Center of the sect by providing such support as customs-free import of equipment and automobiles to meet their needs and those of the Center’s. (12) With regard to the relations of the Iranian representative in Palestine with Baha’is, it must be said that based on the last testament of Abdu’l-Bahá addressed to him advising him to maintain his Iranian citizenship, Shoghi Effendi was trying to maintain a good relationship with the Iranian representative in such a way that he would send telegraph messages to greet the Iranian representative office in Jerusalem during such holidays as Nowruz for which he would get replies. (13) Shah had also given Baha’is, whose center was in Israel and were supported by Israel, the permission to have extensive activities, such was in the case of his Prime Minister Hoveida who was a Baha’i and from a Baha’i family, and his court was subjected to an increasing influence by the Baha’is.  Shah’s special physician as well as the head of Radio and Television were Baha’is.  Furthermore, Baha’is such as Hojabr Yazdani had amassed great financial power by resorting to force and illegal means and by using the influence of Baha’is who were in Shah’s court and in the ruling establishment.  The description of some of these activities are documented with evidences in the book titles “Ensheab in Baha’ism”.

Hosein Fardoust also mentions that regardless of all the warnings that were given to the Shah about the influence of Baha’is in the Shah’s court, he would not pay any attention and had even once said that he would not feel any threats from them because they would never betray him.

Footnotes:

  1. Division in Baha’ism following the death of Shoghi Rabbani, Esmail Raeen, Raeen Research Institute, Bita, Pages 75-84
  2. After Baha’is went to the Ottoman court, the prefix of “Mirza” gradually changed to “Effendi”.
  3. Abbas Raeen has some of its pieces in his book, page 87
  4.  Previous source, page 169.
  5.  Previous source, page 169
  6. Previous source, page 169
  7. Previous source, pages 169-170
  8. Previous source, page 170
  9. Report number 25/8/5962-12 dated 19 Esfand 1354 [9 March 1976] from the foreign minister to Mortezaie, Tel Aviv, the Headquarters’ documents, years 1353-1355 [1974-1977], carton 9, document 25-12.
  10.  Haarts Newspaper dated 2 October1964 ministry of foreign affairs archive, Tel Aviv, year 1343 [1965], carton 10, document 24.
  11. Haarts Newspaper dated 2 October1964 ministry of foreign affairs archive, Tel Aviv, year 1343 [1965], carton 4, document 24.
  12. Report number 162-3/364 dated 7 Ordibehesht 1357 [27 April 1978] from Mortezaie to the ministry of foreign affairs, Tel Aviv representative, the Headquarters’ documents, year 1356-1357 [1975-1977], carton 2, document 162-3.
  13. Telegraph dated Farvardin 1321 [March/April 1942] from Haifa (Shoghi Rabbani) to Abdol-Hosein Esfandiari in Jerusalem, representative in Palestine, years 1320-1329 [1941-1950], carton 1, document 200.

*Ali-Akbar Velayati

“Vijeh-nameh 30-Salegi-e Enghelab-e Eslami” by Farsi News Agency “Special Report of the Islamic Revolution’s 30-year Anniversary” by Fars News Agency