Prayer Leader of Rafsanjan: Baha’is Are Untouchable and Have to Leave Town

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Source: Persian Deutsche Welle (PDW) 

Translation by Iran Press Watch

12/04/14

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Abbas Ramazanipour, the Islamic prayer leader of Rafsanjan – a city in southern Iran – in the presence  of many officials of that city, declared that Baha’is are “untouchable” and “ritually unclean”* according to the religious edict, or fatwa, of top clerics, and it is unlawful to do business with them. “The wish of people for them to leave the city ought to be fulfilled.” He added.

According to the report of the FARS News Agency, on Thursday December 4th, Abbas Ramazanipour, the prayer leader of Rafsanjan, in the presence of many officials of that city, stated that some Baha’is are living anonymously among ordinary citizens, and are doing business there incognito.

Alluding to the fact that some Jews are doing business in the Bazaar of Rafsanjan, he emphasized that Baha’is are different from Jews, and that according to the fatwa of high Islamic clerics they are “untouchable”. The prayer  leader of Rafsanjan declared that doing business with Baha’is is “unlawful”.

Referring to the Quran regarding the points he made, he affirmed that: “this sect has created a lot of businesses in our city and the valid demand of the people for them not to live there should be fulfilled.”

Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, in an edict on the question of the Baha’is, stated: “All members of the misguided sect of Baha’i are condemned as ‘untouchable’ and ‘unclean’, and it is incumbent upon all Muslims believers to resist their trickery and evil, and to avoid food and any other thing that has been touched by them.”

Closures of Baha’i Businesses in Cities

According to the Baha’i World News Service, in the month of November the businesses of 79 Baha’i citizens in the cities of Kerman, Rafsanjan and Jeeroft – all in the province of Kerman in southern Iran – were closed and sealed. At the very same time, 6 Baha’i businesses were shut down in the city of Nashtarood in the province of Mazandaran in northern Iran.

Also, in Najafabad and Villa Shahr, two businesses for mushroom production and leather hand bags owned by two Baha’i citizens were simultaneously shut down, and all the tools and equipment were confiscated by the agents of the Office of Intelligence in Isfahan, in central Iran. At the same time, many Baha’i homes were searched in these two cities.

Seven Baha’i Community Leaders – collectively known as the “Yaran” (Friends) – are currently serving prison terms of 15 years each. Many of ordinary Baha’i citizens are regularly summoned, and often arrested afterwards.

All this happens at the same time as the Head of the Human Rights Council in the Judiciary claims that: “No Baha’i is persecuted because of his belief, because according to the Iranian Constitution every Iranian has citizenship rights, and no one can be denied their citizenship rights enshrined in the Constitution.”

* The Arabic term is najes. Originally referring in the Qur’an to blood, excrement, pigs, wine, etc., the term has increasingly been used by Shi’ite clerics against Baha’is. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Najis.

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