[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:] Ettelaat

[Date:] 23 Mehr 1334 [16 October 1955]

 

National Consultative Assembly

…The Story of Baha’ism…

“There is a topic that I have to discuss with you. It is a religious uprising that took place in Iran, after His Imperial Majesty’s visit to the United States and the United Kingdom. Propaganda against a group was spread in the pulpits, and peoples’ spirits were prepared and ready for a conflict. Before this, I must say that the foreigners always create a fifth pillar for the advancement of their goals within the country. One hundred years ago, before the start of the game of party-making in our country, the religion-building market was popular, and anyone who had the opportunity to do so would play a game, and the foreigners would use these flows to create the fifth column [agent provocateur].

 “Thirty-two years ago, I saw for myself the Baha’i mosque [the House of Worship] in Ashgabat, and I remember that I was a child in Mashhad, and in Mashhad I remember that [people] spilled oil on someone and set [the person] on fire, and they said he was a Baha’i. A few years before the Constitutional Revolution, a similar incident took place in Yazd, killing a number of Babis.”

Because the speaker’s [time for speaking] had expired, they consulted about [allowing] another quarter of an hour for the continuation of his speech, and voted, which was approved, and the speaker continued thus:

The Fifth Column

“These groups, called Babi, Baha’i or Azali, were each the fifth column of a coercive country.

“The Baha’is were the fifth column of the Russians. Others belonged to the British. After the revolution in Russia, and the ending of religion, these sects obtained another master and became the fifth column of another country.”

The speaker described the events that took place in Yazd and said, “At that time, a tumult started in Yazd and some people began attacking each other until finally my father went over to a table and invited the people to [observe] peace and tranquillity, and said that even if someone is proven to be a Babi or a Baha’i he cannot be killed in vain; if he is an apostate, he should be treated according to the rule of Sharia.  Bloodshed and controversy cannot be allowed in the country.

 “Today, I understand that these games have always been for a purpose, and governments have somehow created these adventures; however, these Baha’is and Babis are the fifth column for the foreigners. After the return of His Imperial Majesty from England and the United States, the noise of Babis, and so on, suddenly became loud.

 “In the middle of these adventures, everyone who was not on good terms with another one and had a property or financial dispute, took advantage of this title [Babi or Baha’i]. For instance, based on the information I received from Yazd, in the middle of this adventure that was going on in the radio and on the pulpit against the Baha’is, a person called Khalkhali went from Qom to Marvast, which is one of the villages of Yazd. The agents and gendarmes arrested that man and insulted him, and in the name of the social security law, which is the legacy of Mr. Mossadegh Al-Saltanah, first they deported him to Qom, then exiled him to Khash, and apparently he should be still in Khash.

 “Then an incident occurred which provoked the people’s sentiments. It seems that a Baha’i decided to go to the public bath and the bath-keeper said that his bath would become impure [dirty] and people would not come there anymore. As a result of these statements, the Baha’is were offended and they attacked the bath-keeper and beat him. Thus, the incident escalated and the people in support of the bath-keeper were provoked, excited and became vengeful. They rushed to the houses that belonged to the Baha’is, killing six men and one woman. And then, when the noise had subsided, the government arrested 63 people. But, unfortunately, the main culprits and perpetrators of this incident had already escaped and these 63 people had only been bystanders and innocent [people] who were arrested. They even arrested a girl whose father and uncle had been killed in that event.

 “I wanted to mention that this practice of [our] government, is similar to the practice of the British government in India; in order to achieve its intentions, it used to create anarchy and caught fish from the muddy waters.

 “A government chosen by the nation does not do these things to upset the people and hurt their feelings...”