[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:] Khabar Online

[Date:] 27 Azar 1387 [17 December 2008]

 

Islam and Treatment of Non-Muslims

Abol-Hasan Navvab - Head of the Centre for the Study and Research of Religions and Faiths in Qom

When Islam entered the world community of its time, it faced a reality; the fact that others had already existed, and Islam came. When Islam manifested itself to others, it adapted itself to those who believed in God. Of course, later Islamic regions, Islamic countries and Islamic cities were formed, but this was not the case at the beginning of the arrival of Islam....

Throughout history, there has never been an order in Islam to destroy and disturb the situation of followers of other faiths.

I have to make a point about Baha’ism that I also raised at a conference in Geneva. I said, if someone in the UK declares that he is a key member of al-Qaeda or the Taliban, is the British government willing to grant him residency? In our view, Baha’ism is not a religion. It is a colonial sect whose centre today is where the security and peace of Muslims is threatened at all times; that is Israel.

This is a challenge between our country and the West. The West itself has created this cancerous point to kill us and use the tools of religion against our country, the same thing that the Taliban and al-Qaeda do in the name of religion. No Islamic country recognizes a religious identity for anyone who openly states that he or she is a member of al-Qaeda. The Baha’is are the same.

Of course, the rights of Baha’is as Iranian citizens are not taken away. But the system has the right to be more sensitive to them. Now, it is not the case that they will kill the Baha’is. They will not be arrested. They will not be repatriated. But whenever the West agrees to allow official al-Qaeda members to go to Western universities for free, then they can [ask critically] why, if someone officially says they are a Baha’i, they cannot study at Iranian universities.

When the sect’s relationship with Iran’s main enemy is so clear, they cannot be considered a religious group....