[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:] Hawzah News Agency

[Date:] 8 Azar 1397 [29 November 2018]

 

Hojatoleslam Rahaie:

The Growth of the Baha’i Sect Was One of the Concerns of Grand Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili

Hawzah – A faculty member of Mofid University said, “The late Grand Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili was faced from the very beginning with the growth of the perverse Baha’i sect in Ardabil and later in Tehran, and this matter was one of his main concerns.

As reported by Hawzah News, in a specialized meeting today on political rights, focusing on freedom of opinion, apostasy and independence of the judiciary, which was held on the sidelines of the second conference of Grand Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili at Mofid University, Hojatoleslam Saied Rahaie said, “Freedom of religion and opinion is one of the topics that has been discussed many times in the history of humanity....”

The Mofid University faculty member added, “In our country and in our neighbourhood, there has always been a debate about religious freedom, and today international documents show that democracy and the sovereignty of the people over their own destiny is not possible without freedom of belief and religion.”

He stated that in the international arena and in government laws, the issue of apostasy and blasphemy has been one of the main issues of religious freedom. He said, “A government like Britain, which had laws to combat blasphemy and considered it a crime, had to changed its law and no longer criminalizes blasphemy. Today in the international arena you see few countries that criminalize apostasy and blasphemy.”

Hojatoleslam Rahaie pointed out, “There has always been a problem on the part of religious and non-religious people as to how apostasy could be criminalized in an absolute form, and such a severe punishment imposed on the innate apostate[1] is the fact that the innate apostate seems to be completely deprived of human dignity, and he cannot be dealt with as a human being.”

He further said, “The late Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili was faced with the growth of the Baha’i sect from the very beginning in Ardabil and later in Tehran, and this issue was one of his main concerns.”

 

[1] [One whose father is Muslim but he himself renounces Islam]