[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:] Gooya News

[Date:] 23 Khordad 1395 [12 June 2016]

 

Ayatollah Alavi Borujerdi Was Forced to Give an Explanation After Defending the Rights of Baha’is and Being Proud of Cyrus’s Charter

Iranwire: Ayatollah Mohammad-Javad Alavi Borujerdi, a senior cleric in Qom and the grandson of Ayatollah Borujerdi, was forced to issue a statement explaining his emphasis on Baha’i citizenship after declaring that Baha’is “are citizens and have rights according to the very principles of Islam, and we have no right to kill or imprison them for their beliefs.”

The other day, during a meeting with Sheikh Khalid Matar Al-Tamimi, head of the law department at Bahr al-Ulum University in Najaf, Ayatollah Alavi Borujerdi said, “Today, we need to formulate and teach human rights of religious jurisprudence in the seminaries. We even have this problem in Iran itself. The Baha’is are our problem. What should we do with the Baha’is? According to the principles of Islam itself, they are citizens and have rights. We do not have the right to kill or imprison them for their beliefs. They have the right to life, and human rights in jurisprudence is an independent issue.”

This high-ranking cleric said, “We must seriously discuss human rights in the seminaries. This requires an endeavour to compile literary works by the gentlemen who work in this field. Unfortunately, we have not been able to introduce to the world what is known as human rights today.”

Ayatollah Alavi Borujerdi, quoting Imam Ali, the first Imam of the Shias, had emphasized in the Malik Al Ashtar’s Treaty that if someone is not your religious brother and does not believe in God or any religion, he is still a citizen and has rights. He said, “This was said by Imam Ali 1,400 years ago; that is, when there was no discussion of human rights in Europe at all. We have these truths in the words of the Imams. Today, we are proud of the Cyrus Charter, and of course, this glorious charter is good in its own age.”

A day after the publication of the remarks and emphasis of this high-ranking cleric on Baha’i citizenship rights on the official website of the seminary in Qom, Ayatollah Alavi Borujerdi’s office issued a statement, following some questions from this office regarding Ayatollah Alavi Borujerdi’s statements, in a meeting with Sheikh Khalid Matar Al-Tamimi, head of the law department at Bahr al-Ulum University in Najaf Ashraf, and its reflection in news agencies and news sites, indicating that, “It was necessary to declare that Baha’ism, like Wahhabism and Qadianism, are religions of the colonial powers, fabricated among Muslim communities.”

The statement, of course, emphasized that the issues raised in the meeting with Sheikh Khalid Matar Al-Tamimi, head of the law department at Bahr al-Ulum University in Najaf, were addressed to Malik Ashtar Nakhaiy, who explained that human rights are independent of any opinion, but they do not include matters such as misguidance, corruption and apostasy.

In a statement, the office of Ayatollah Alavi Borujerdi also said that the citizen’s right is legally the same as the citizenship rights which are enshrined in all constitutions for all people born in any country, and is recognized in our constitution, too. It does not mean protection of the criminals and immunity from the Sharia and legal limits. And the glorification of the Charter of Cyrus is the glorification of the people who accepted Islam with such thinking, civilization and heritage in that age of ignorance and darkness with fascination, and inherited Islam in a short time and became involved in all sciences and arts, and finally set up their tents in the settings of the Holy Household, the Pure Ones, and lovingly insisted on preserving their rich and unique heritage, and in this way, they unjustifiably shed blood and paid heavily, and are still paying.”