[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:] Shargh Newspaper

[Date:] 16 Mordad 1385 -12 Rajab 1427 – 7 August 2006

 

A Report of the second day of the Parliament’s Constitutional conference

Criticizing the intellectuals of the Constitutional Era

Political group: To mark 100 years of constitutionalism, the second and last day of the conference was convened during the seventh sitting of the parliament, where the speakers of the conference, as on the first day, criticized the role that intellectuals played during the Constitutional Revolution…

…The concluding speaker of the conference was Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, who spoke about constitutionalism from the perspective of the past heads of the Iranian Parliament.

The member of the Expediency Discernment Council considered this conference as an opportunity for researchers, academics and scholars to examine the various and obscure dimensions of the constitutional movement.

…Referring to a period of constitutionalism, he said, “Shaykh Fazlollah Nouri’s crime was that he realized [grasped] before others did, and this became a cause of trouble for him…”

Emad Afrough, a fundamentalist member of parliament, was one of the other speakers who evaluated constitutionalism as full of divergences. Reported by ISNA, the member for Tehran and the head of the cultural committee of the parliament, after saying that the constitutional phenomenon is not merely a political event but a concept which continues to be on the agenda, added, “We are discussing philosophical concepts in society which were raised in constitutionalism, such as rights, separation of powers, freedom, equality, rationality and democracy, and after one hundred years we do not have a suitable answer for these questions.”

Mostafa Amr-Talab, researcher and academic, explained the role of Babism and Baha’ism in perverting constitutionalism. He affirmed, “Shaykhiyyih and Babism were shaped by the concept of Mahdaviyyat and they challenged not only Mahdaviyyat but also the succession of religious jurisdiction during the Occultation [disappearance of the Twelfth Imam] period”. He added, “Ali Muhammad, the Bab, after founding Babism, at first claimed to be representative of the holy Occult Imam, and then claimed Mahdaviyyat and Prophethood”. He described the political movements of the Bab’s followers at the time of Naser-al-din Shah and said, “Their aim was to gain power, and by abrogating Islam they wished to obtain religious and political authority in society”. He continued to explain the role of Yahya Sobhe Azal and Mirza Hossain Ali, Baha’u’llah, and other Babis and Baha’is in their attitude towards the religious leaders of society and affirmed, “In regards to the Baha’i sect, we do not have a comprehensive source, and their importance and place in the Iranian history is negligible”.