[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:] Neday-e Hagh

[Date:] 8 Khordad 1334 [30 May 1955]

[Issue No.:] 35

 

Penned by the great, erudite Mr. Haj Seraj Ansari

Pepsi Cola?!... Or Pest and Disaster?!...

Pepsi Cola is a type of syrup that has recently become common in most countries and has long been among the drinks in our country. We do not want to discuss its nature; however, some have become attached to the principle of purity, and others have ascribed to the following sentence: [God willing, it is pure]. And the careless people also have followed these two types [groups], and finally its purchase and drinking has become common.

The subject of our discussion is that, recently, in the gatherings and circles, dialogue on its prohibition has started and it is said that buying and drinking it is religiously forbidden and people have been divided into two categories. One group says that buying and drinking it is prohibited. Another group, which is a big fan of it, says that the jealous negative ones, in order to [damage] the rich interests of the owner of the Pepsi Cola factory, have arisen to make this claim. This battle and conflict continues still, and has reached a point where it has been dragged out of the verbal conflict into a written dispute.

And in issue 9324 of the Ettelaat Newspaper, which was published on the night of 4 Khordad [26 May], a commentary was written on this subject signed by Seyyed Mohammad Naghli, in which the words were uttered with impudence and obscenity, as if the deniers of Pepsi Cola have insulted the religious or national sanctities, or they have denied a principle of the religion. The author of that article strongly defends the owner of the Pepsi Cola factory, who is a Baha’i, and writes that he will defend that Baha’i individual as long as he lives.

Because such writings and such outrageous defences may raise doubt in some ignorant people, I consider it my religious duty to briefly summarize the truth of the matter for the readers of the weekly journal of Neday-e Hagh.

A Baha’i individual has been established in the Pepsi Cola factory in Iran and, it is rumoured, from every bottle sold, one rial is given to the Baha’i propaganda campaign. In other words, if one million bottles are sold daily across the country, one million rials will be poured into the pockets of the Baha’i propagators, headed by Shoghi Effendi. [More clearly], the Baha’is earn thirty-six million tumans annually in this way. Seyyed Naghli is right to defend it to the end of his life.

Therefore, the farsighted intellectuals and the learned have boycotted its purchase in Iran; they have no other purpose but to reject it from a religious point of view, and they forbid the Muslims who believe in the Day of Resurrection to buy it and say:

Every Muslim who buys a bottle of it has contributed one rial to the pocket of the stubborn enemies of Islam, namely the Baha’is, with his own hands. Therefore, every Muslim who is interested in his religion and his ideology should seriously refrain from buying it.

It is said that the Pepsi Cola factory does not have a single Muslim worker, and it is said that its representation is not given to anyone except to the Baha’is, unless it is convenient. In other words the owner of the Pepsi Cola factory is a Baha’i, its workers are Baha’is, its representatives are Baha’is, its dealers are Baha’is. Only its buyers are the uninformed, misinformed Muslims or those careless, and inept people...

... That is to say that there is no doubt that buying Pepsi Cola in the sight of the discerning clergy is religious sin, unless the owner of the Pepsi Cola factory officially denies that he is a Baha’i and expels the Baha’i workers from his Pepsi Cola factory and refuses to give a single rial to the Baha’i propaganda institutions. In this case, its prohibition may be lifted. Otherwise it is necessary for every zealous Muslim to refrain from buying it and should also advise its sellers to refrain from selling it.