[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:] Iran va Jahan

[Date:] Khordad 1362, from Monday 9 to Monday 16 [30 May 1983 – 6 June 1983]

[Issue No:] 143

 

The Baha’is

Restarting the Killing of Baha’is and Their Deprivation of Social Rights

 

Washington

According to reports received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Baha’is residing in the United States of America recount the newly re-applied oppression and violence against their co-religionists in Iran, such as killing and denying tens of thousands of children [the right to] attend schools.

 

According to Firouz Kazemzadeh, one of the Persian Baha’is, who is the head of the School of Middle Eastern Studies at Yale University, said, “The matter is extremely serious, as the Baha’i community is slowly vanishing from Iran. Of course, they will not massacre thousands of the Baha’is tomorrow, but [over a period] of time, with short steps, the Baha’i community will be annihilated”. 

 

Baha’is are followers of a relatively lesser-known sect, who do not have a mulla [religious leader] or priest, and according to their fundamental belief, the religious truth is not absolute but relative.

According to their belief, all the religions, including Islam, are divine in origin. Two months ago, a court in Shiraz, in the south of Iran, convicted more than 22 Baha’i men and one woman of espionage and connection with Israel, and consequently condemned them to death. [This] caught the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

Last week, three of the convicted were executed. It is estimated that now there are close to four hundred Baha’is in detention in Iran, and it is said that some 4,000 Baha’is are “internal refugees” and have gone into hiding.  At the time of executing the court decision, the head of the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz warned the 300- to 400,000 members of this sect that there would soon come a day when the court in Iran would deal with them as they dealt with the Monafeqin[1] and satanic communities.

 

This warning and other recent similar statements have worried the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the destiny of the Baha’is of Iran, who are not officially recognized in the Constitution.

 

Parallel to the latest report of the killings, up to now close to 150 Baha’i women and men have been hanged by the government or [otherwise] executed. There are signs of crushing of the Baha’is, such as denying education to 25- to 30,000 Baha’i children.

 

This number is only half of the children in their educational age. According to the reports received by the Baha’is residing in America, most of the children at the schools have been ill-treated and they have been avoided at the school, and accordingly, they have to sit separately from other children. Some of the parliamentarians and members of the Congress have protested the behaviour of Iran with the Baha’i community.  According to their recent booklet, the Baha’is avoid any kind of violence and believe in “uprooting racial, religious, social, national and gender prejudices and aim to annihilate of all kinds of superstitions”.

 

This sect has followers in 173 countries.

 

In Iran, the members of the Baha’i denomination have been stigmatized as heretical by most of the Shia Muslims. Their general welfare as tradesmen has angered many of the Iranians. It is estimated that in the recent years 8,000[2] Baha’is have left Iran, but [at the migration] exit form, they should have indicated their religion; whereas many of the Baha’is have refrained from denying their religion.

 

Herald Tribune

27 May 1983

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] [Monafeqin (stirrers of sedition):  Referred to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran]

[2] [The original New York Times article says:  “Mr.Barrett estimated that 10,000 have left the country since the revolution. For the last six months, he added, none have been able to leave. Applications for exit visas must now specify the applicant's religion, and Baha'is are being turned down.”]