[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:] Rooz Online

[Date:] 25 Aban 1394 [16 November 2015]


From the Crime in Paris To Attacks on the Baha’is

Ali Asghar Ramazanpour

The reaction of the Iranian people to the crimes of ISIS-type terrorists in Paris is admirable. The feeling of sympathy for the victims and the survivors of the victims in Paris is a sign of the universal humanitarian feeling that is the basic condition of life in today’s world community. The underestimation of this human empathy by people like the extremist editors of Vatan-e Emrooz newspaper is clear proof that those who do not care about human lives are the main justifiers of attacking human beings.

In such circumstances, to underestimate the empathy of Iranians with the French people under the pretext of condemning the policies of Western governments means ignoring the global importance of the spread of insecurity in the world. The fact that Beirut is insecure is not a reason to justify the reception of insecurity and terror in Paris. A common element among the creators of horror is disregard for human life and rights. It is this spirit that justifies the attacks on Iranian Baha’is in Iran.

It is clear that if the people could have protested against the attacks on the Baha’is in Iran with the same freedom with which they could express their sympathy with the French people, they would have done so. And if they could have shown sympathy for the Baha’is on their Facebook pages without fear of Intelligence and law enforcement and the Revolutionary Guards, no doubt they would have done so.

In the morning of Sunday, 24 Aban [16 November], the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence arrested 16 people by [raiding] the homes of some Baha’i citizens in Tehran, Isfahan, and Mashhad. This attack is another example of the latest widespread attacks on Baha’is, which have intensified in recent years.

Unfortunately, the religious jurisprudential authorities and clerics of Iran either support these actions or remain silent against them. And not only the clergy, but also reformist and moderate political figures remain silent for fear of facing government punishment in the face of this wave of inhumane attacks on some Iranians. Such silence is unacceptable by those who claim to defend the rights of all Iranians. The benevolent action of figures such as Mohammad Nourizad in expressing sympathy with the Baha’is could not affect this indifference and bring awareness to the political leaders of Iran.

Those who defend religions such as Islam, without reacting to and condemning the suffering inflicted on others in the name of Islam, support the mistaken beliefs of those who ignore terrorist attacks, such as the Paris attack.

The requirement of peace and friendship in the world is the condemnation of any oppression inflicted on others that is permissible in the name of defending or promoting religion. It does not matter if this oppression is carried out by ISIS in the name of defending Syria and Muslim nations, or in the name of defending religious beliefs against Iranian Baha’is. Similarly, the need to defend the Baha’is is as much a national duty of the Iranian people as it is an expression of sympathy for the people of Paris.