[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran
Date: 17 Azamat 136
Coinciding with 12 Khordad 1358 [2 June 1979]
To Local Spiritual Assemblies
We are sending you a memorandum below, which has been prepared by this Assembly for the information of the Baha’i friends. We request that you take action to ensure that all Baha’is in your area are informed about its contents.
With spiritual greetings,
The Baha’is of Iran have experienced the love of their fellow countrymen in many instances and occasions. In response to this love, they have showed respect and appreciation and lived alongside their non-Baha’i friends with utmost friendliness, and they have sought shelter under the banner of fellowship and beneficence. They have never placed the blame for their many calamities and injuries on the generality of Muslim people. Rather, they have continuously showed sincerity to all the people of their country and have been respected by most of them. Despite this relationship between the Baha’is and most of the people of the country, individually and collectively, the Baha’is have continued to be afflicted by a wide range of unabated calamities and their misfortunes and difficulties have not decreased. The reason for this is that some non-Baha’i individuals continue to regularly harm these relationships and confuse the minds and thoughts of the people as much as they can.
Approximately thirty years ago, some individuals started a special sect that changed its name every few years. They organized themselves to fight against the Baha’is and worked to establish pretexts for attacks, assaults, and damages to the Baha’i community. They prepared councils, groups, meetings, branches, and circles and began to systematically stalk and torment this community throughout the country. First, they attacked the places of religious teaching and meetings to discuss and investigate the Faith, all of which have long existed, where they would begin to create chaos and anarchy and instigate fights. Subsequently, the Baha’is would be taken to the police stations and branches of the Ministry of Intelligence. The perpetrators would then be supported by those entities, and they would open criminal files on Baha’i individuals to spite them and would issue orders for their arrest or imprisonment.
After some time, they began to target the homes of the Baha’is. At various times, whether day or night, they would enter their homes through insistence and persistence, or, at times, by issuing threats and creating fear, without obtaining permission or agreement. They would stay in these homes for a long time and would force the residents of the house to listen to the insults they hurled at their sacred beliefs. If they met resistance, they would cause a fight to break out, and would then use these as a pretext for slander and persecution and opening files for legal prosecution, while, as usual, receiving support from the agents. By hiring spies and investigators in all areas and alleys they would stand watch by the homes of the Baha’is to monitor the comings and goings of people. If a few friends or Baha’i family members happened to sit together in a house, they would attack the house and begin to cause chaos.
They would ask some individuals to falsely present themselves as Baha’is and apply for registration of their names in the Baha’i census records. They would, then, stay in the Baha’i community for some time as dissenters and provide access to this community, while also promoting divisive propaganda and various nefarious schemes and temptations among the Baha’is. Whenever, after some time, their tricks were discovered, they would write a letter recanting their faith in the Baha’i religion with their name and registration number. But if some time passed without anyone discovering their deceit, they would commit various violations in their words and actions in ways that would create a bad name for the Baha’is and adversely affect their reputation among their countrymen.
They were not satisfied by these trickeries. They would create letters of introduction with a forged signature of the secretary of the Spiritual Assembly and would give these to some individuals among them to use for gaining access to the Baha’i community and to pursue their vendettas and aims. Finally, they began to steal the census documents from the offices of the Local and National Spiritual Assemblies to gain access to the names, data, and addresses of all the Baha’is in Iran and more effectively and widely implement their deceitful and impure actions.
They would write large numbers of statements, brochures, and books against the Baha’i Faith and distribute them among Baha’is and other people. They would fill these pages with insults, slander, misrepresentations, and disrespectful statements. By taking books out of context, presenting topics in incomplete ways, and altering the truth, they would launch any attack against the Baha’i Faith they wanted. In these attacks, they would take advantage of the limitations on Baha’i publications and the lack of the possibility for the Iranian Baha’is to publish papers and magazines.
They would put Baha’i children and youth under extreme pressure, distress, and torment; they would not stop stalking and persecuting them for a moment and would continuously subject them to insults, cursing, disrespect, humiliation, degradation, and injury. They would do so until some of these innocent children would be forced to change their school every few years or even leave their studies and forget about learning and discussion and education.
They would use every trickery to find the addresses of the Baha’i students abroad and try to confuse their minds using various falsehoods. In addition, any time that the Baha’is wanted to present the truth about their community and alleviate the misunderstandings from the minds of their countrymen or the authorities in the sacred country of Iran, this same group would prevent them from revealing the truth, using a thousand kinds of opposition and resistance, and would continue to confuse the public, be it the members of the government or the people of the country, against this community.
They associate individuals with the Baha’i Faith who have never in their life been a Baha’i, and propagate their name in newspapers, magazines, and announcements so that whatever hideousness or evil was connected with them would also entangle the Baha’i Faith and defile and dishonour the good name of this community.
In addition to persecuting the Baha’is, they also enter their places of residence and their shops to create conflict and disperse their gatherings. They constantly try to go the houses of the Baha’is in all areas of Tehran and in all other cities, villages, and hamlets, and try to make them paranoid about each other and to also make them fear their Muslim countrymen. They wish to create enmity and division among this united, cohesive, and unified group. They try to create conflict among community members by arousing their prejudices. They cause the Baha’is, who have always lived next to their neighbours with trust and friendliness, to become objects of suspicion and they bring myriad deprivations and calamities upon them.
They endeavour with all their might to distract the government from important issues in the country and focus them on fighting with the Baha’is, a community characterized by service, obedience, and patience. In particular, they try to prevent the authorities from noticing the goodwill, obedience, and fairness of the Baha’is. While these same people would turn in the Baha’is to the police and imprison them with the blessing of the law enforcement system and cause them to be prosecuted and arrested, they have now reached such heights of cruelty that they accuse these oppressed people of colluding with the same system. Their most recent efforts focus on making themselves the judges of the Baha’is at the same time as being their accusers. Clearly, when the accuser sits in the seat of the judge, what will the accuser see?
Of course, the Baha’is have never sought to act in a similar manner against this group, because they consider this and any other type of such behaviour to be contrary to truthfulness. And whatever is contrary to truthfulness is also against the creed of the Baha’is. Therefore, even today, the Baha’is continue to try to stay completely clear of any deceit, conniving, and misrepresentation, and to reassure all authorities regarding their goodwill toward all people, their determination to serve the country, and their commitment to obedience to the government, in the hope that they might prevent the minds of the people of justice from being confused by the instigations of this small group against such patient, honest, forbearing, and loyal people, and avoid a situation where all information about the Baha’is reaches the high-ranking officials solely through the words of these individuals. Once [the Baha’is] succeed in expressing the truth about their beliefs, activities, creed, and behaviour, and are able to speak about their experiences as they should, then they will surrender to the Will of God and accept their fate. So “Be patient, O Prophet, with what they say. And glorify the praises of your Lord”.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran