The Verdict of the Imam Jum‘ih of Semnan

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Editor’s Note: In light of increased attacks on the Baha’i community in Iran and further systematization of these hostilities, the following story from http://www.rasanews.com/Negaresh_site/FullStory/?Id=48731 is one of many examples of exhortations by Iranian Shi’ite clergy to “severely confront” and “stamp out” the Baha’i Faith and Baha’i fellow citizens in Iran.  Translation by Iran Press Watch is presented below.

According to a report from Rasa News Agency on Friday, 20 February 2009, in the course of his Friday sermons in Samnan, Hojjatu’l-Islam Siyyid Muhammad Shah-Cheraqi, the representative of the Hidden Imam in the province of Semnan, stated, “The Baha’is are born under the shadow of Zionism and (the Baha’i Faith) has appeared to combat Islam.”

He added, “The nation’s Attorney General has sent a letter to the office of the Imam Jum‘ih in Semnan instructing that people should be warned about this wayward sect [i.e. the Baha’is] and they should be forcibly confronted.”

The Imam Jum‘ih of Semnan emphasized, “In truth, the objective of this sect is opposition to Islam.  It is for this reason that every Muslim must avoid dealing with the followers of this sect and avoid marriage with these people (i.e. Baha’is) outside the law or unofficially.”

Hojjatu’l-Islam Shah-Cheraqi stated, “If the people of Iran arise, then in the same way that we toppled the Pahlavi regime, we can stamp out the Baha’is from their roots in this country.”

The representative of the people of Semnan in the Council of Experts asked the people of this province to “seriously and severely confront this misguided and unreligious sect.”

Hojjatu’l-Islam Shah-Cheraqi added, “The enemies of Islamic Iran, with their goal of anti-religiosity and showing Islam to be devoid of merit, are encouraging the children of this society, both girls and boys, to immorality and wickedness – and this is the same depravity of society which the late Imam (Khomeini) warned us about.”

He underscored, “In the same way that in the 30 years of the bountiful life of the Islamic Revolution we have witnessed mighty victories in the realm of politics, society, culture and economics, we can, through unity, reduce this enemy and win the final victory.”

The representative of the Hidden Imam in the province of Semnan suggested that the people of Iran owe much to Islam and its sacred Figures, and said, “The Islamic Revolution is a page from the luminous religion of Islam, and we must honor the sacred days [of the Prophet] and not give any excuse to the enemy.”  In this regard, he added, “The sanctity and holiness of that Sacred Being (i.e. Muhammad) must be an example for the youth, so they may achieve a high spiritual station.”

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