[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:] Baqir ul-Uloom (AS) Research Institute

[Date:] 23 Mehr 1396 [15 October 2017]

 

What Were the Consequences of Passing the State and Provincial Associations Bill? A Bill For the Influence of the Baha’is in Iran

The Pahlavi period can be considered as the period of growth and expansion of the Baha’is. During this period, many prominent Baha’is, with the special support of the shah, held various political and economic positions.

According to the website of the Institute for Iranian Contemporary Historical Studies, in addition to the direct support to this political movement by the shah and the regime―,through various means, such as financial aid―indirect support, such as legislation, was also on the agenda of the shah’s regime to support the Baha’is. Among these measures was the passage of a bill by state and provincial associations that, despite the seemingly different goals, focused on empowering the Baha’is. This controversial bill, passed in 1341 [1962], was, in fact, for the support of the Baha’is. This provoked protest from the people and the religious groups…

The main goal of the shah and the regime in the bill was to remove the traditional as well as the religious groups from power and to replace them with non-religious groups. In other words, the emphasis on principles, such as permitting taking an oath on any holy book [besides the Holy Quran], deletion of the word “Islam” as a condition for the electoral candidate’s religion, while facilitating the entry of non-Muslims into the political framework of the country, provided the basis for the gradual elimination of [Islamic] religious groups. In general, after the coup d’état of 28 Mordad [19 August], the court needed to dismiss the old groups from the power bloc and create a new social base to consolidate its power, in order to strengthen and rebuild its absolute power. In the meantime, one of the most important groups that could enter the sphere of power, and gain as much influence as possible, were the Baha’is.

Imam Khomeini (RA), in one of his protest statements that was published about this bill, and in the telegram to the shah, said, “We say, do not corrupt or deviate women in the name of freedom and progress. You ponder, what has benefitted women, what has benefitted men and what has benefitted this country in the twenty-some years that have passed since the removal of this scandalous veil [women’s headcover]?” Accordingly, some scholars believe that the removal of the Quran and the removal of “being a Muslim” [as conditions for becoming a council member] were chosen to “legalize the presence of Baha’i elements in the affairs of the country”, and that the shah’s support for the Zionist regime in developing Iran-Israel relations was a condition of the United States of America’s support for the shah. The influence of the followers of the Baha’i colonial school in Iran’s three [government] forces, fulfilled this condition.

The issue of Baha’i influence and power in the bill was so obvious that Imam Khomeini, referring to it, [said that] he considered the independence and economy of the country in danger of being seized by the Baha’is, and announced, “According to my religious duty, I declare danger to the people of Iran and the Muslims of the world. The Holy Quran and Islam are in danger. The country’s independence and economy are under the control of the Zionists, who appeared in Iran [in the form of] the Baha’i Party... Iranian television is a base for Jewish espionage…”.