Scurrilous attacks on the Faith continue to appear in Kayhan, one of the oldest and most influential newspapers in Iran. This daily newspaper is published by the Kayhan Institute and is currently managed by Hossein Shariatmadari, who is also the representative of the Supreme Leader at the Institute.
Most recently, the newspaper carried on its front page the opening lines of an article titled “An Interview with a Person Saved from Baha’ism.” This was the first installment in a series of interviews with Bihzad Jahangiri (his new Muslim name is Husayn Fallah) a former Baha’i who, along with Mahnaz Raoufi, his former wife, converted to Islam about ten years ago.
In the last year, Kayhan also published a series of articles based on the so-called “memoir” of Mahnaz Raoufi, with the same intent – to “expose” the inner workings of the Baha’i community. As an example, one may cite the following lie-filled 15 May 2007 article in Kayhan, which appears in translation: http://iran.bahai.us/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/kayhan-15-5-2007.pdf.
This article is typical of the recent intense campaign of vilification and slander against the Baha’i community. The article falsely implies, for example, that Baha’is have their marriage partners chosen for them and that Baha’is live together before marriage. It also misrepresents the number of Baha’is inside and outside of Iran.
For background about attacks on the Baha’i Faith in the Iranian media, see: http://www.bahai.org/persecution/iran/mediaattacks
Some time ago in Shiraz, all the students in grades 11 and 12 of two high schools – hundreds of pupils in total – were required to attend a presentation about “Baha’ism” given by Mahnaz Raoufi and a Muslim cleric. The program made false accusations about Baha’is and repeatedly misrepresented the tenets of the Baha’i community.
On 20 July 2008, the government-backed daily Kayhan published the first in what promised to be a new series against the Faith. This article consists of excerpts from a newly published anti-Baha’i book written by Saeid Sajadi, based on the alleged memoirs of Behzad Jahangiri entitled “Reminiscences of a former member of the Baha’ist sect”. The first article alleges that Baha’is deify Baha’u’llah and worship him in place of God. The article goes on to relate childhood stories by Jahangiri, in which Baha’i children are indoctrinated with misleading ideas such as Baha’u’llah being God and Muslims being enemies of the Baha’is, emphasizing that these “teachings” occur at Baha’i children classes. The article (http://www.kayhannews.ir/870430/8.htm) describes Jahangiri’s Baha’i father as an impoverished alcoholic, unable to maintain a job and thus despised by the rich members of the local Baha’i governing body.