[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:] Sobh-e Azadegan
[Date:] Sunday, 25 Bahman 1360 - 14 February 1982 - 19 Rabi’ath -Thani 1402
[Issue No.:] 590
A Glance at the Hojjatieh Society
An interview with [Mr.] Tayyeb, the former member of the Society and one of the current members of the Ebad-e Saleh
... One of the questions in society, which this newspaper has repeatedly been asked to investigate and to reflect on, is the subject of the Hojjatieh Society of Mahdavieh, or Anti-Baha’i Society.
This Society, for a long time, fought against the Baha’is in the name of Islam, without paying attention to political issues, the late prime minister, the late king, and many of ministers and members of the parliament of Taghut [idol and reference to Pahlavi regime], who were from the Baha’i leaders. However, due to the non-political nature of the Society’s activities, those individuals were not considered by the Society.
This Society, until the victory of the Islamic Revolution, had no role in the struggle against the Taghut, but some members of the Society were also active in politics apart from the Society, and due to the Society’s non-political nature, they separated from it. One of the branches of the [Hojjatieh] Society is the called Ebad-e Saleh Organization....If members or leaders of the Anti-Baha’i Society have any comments or objections, they can contact the newspaper and provide their point of view for the publication.
And now you are reading the text of the interview with Engineer Tayyeb, a member of Ebad-e Saleh’s Organization...
The first point is the history of the formation of the Society. The founder of the Society, Mr. Halabi, did his religious studies in Mashhad about 25 years ago or more, [along with] with another religious student named Seyyed Abbas Alavi, both of whom were learned students, and the Society was established. Both were taught Baha’ism by a Baha’i teacher, and since they, had encountered a relatively unknown phenomena, and took about six months to study Baha’ism. And they kept in touch with their [Baha’i] teacher in order to know the depth of what they had been taught, until after six months, Seyyed Abbas Alavi, with the material settings, worldly and lustful fields that probably Baha’ism provided him, slipped and became a Baha'i.
Later on, this Seyyed Abbas Alavi, who was also a learned student, became one of the great teachers of Baha’ism and wrote books [to help establish] its proof, arguably the strongest evidentiary books of Baha’ism.
When Mr. Halabi (along with Seyyed Abbas Alavi, who had now become a Baha’i), observed his conversion to Baha’ism, and with the knowledge he had of him, he could guess how much danger he could create and he observed that the Baha’is were influencing not only the individuals but also infiltrating the seminary. Therefore, he became sensitive and began to try to receive more information about them, and gradually began to contact people who were being fooled by the Baha’is, in order to [warn] them not to become Baha’is, and gradually found the way to go to the Baha’i teaching sessions, which were called “Beitol-Tabligh”. Then he [participated in] some debates and discussions with them, and with the information he gained from his studies and with the additional information he had acquired, he became proficient in debates and arguments, and gradually began to feel successful.
The colleagues of Mr. Halabi in his work were Dr. Muhammad-Taghi Shariati, the father of Dr. Shariati, and Mr. Ali Amirpour, and others like him, who accompanied Mr Halabi and attended the debates and discussions and gradually gained their knowledge in this way. Then, Mr. Halabi, due to the special political situation that was happening at that time, left Mashhad and came to Tehran. In Tehran, he gradually began to attract new people and taught them what he had learned, and conveyed his own experiences of debates and discussions.
At the same time, the propagations of Baha’ism were open, just like those of us [Muslims], whose mosques and prayer halls are marked with flags and were visible to every passerby. Also, there was no active organization to stop Baha’ism and its teaching work; [therefore,] they did not feel threatened and their meetings were known everywhere and they worked very openly. Of course, a lot of people who were taught became Baha’is, and the issue of the danger of Baha’i propaganda found reflection in the theological seminaries and the words of the religious authorities.
When a few favorite students of Mr. Halabi, who were trained by him or were either clerics or from amongst the guilds of the bazaar, could successfully defeat the Baha’i teachers and save those who were being taught Baha’ism, or convert the Baha’is to Islam, the news of this issue reached the seminaries, and the religious authorities, for whom this had been a problem, welcomed the work that Mr. Halabi had started. It was then that the late Ayatollah Borujerdi, the late Ayatollah Hakim, and most of the religious authorities, confirmed what the Society had successfully achieved, and thus the Society could develop itself further.
Some religious authorities even allowed the Society to use the imam’s share for the Society’s propaganda work, and of course, more and more people were attracted [to his cause], and the Society could form its own branches in the cities, under the auspices and approval of the city’s spiritual circles. Slowly, it was considered an organization at the national level, and of course, because it was fighting against the Baha’is, which were a fully organized sect, it needed to organize itself.
This was a brief [description] of the motivation of the formation of the Society and how it started functioning…