The online service Shahrvand Rouz has published an interview with Askar Nasira’i, a prayer leader and the custodian of the well-known Muhaddithin Mosque (http://www.shahrvandemrouz.com/content/2809/default.aspx). This undated interview was placed online on Sunday, 26 October 2008, and discusses a number of topics, among them the mosque of Muhaddithin located in Babul, a town well-known to students of Babi-Baha’i history by its 19th century name, Barfurush. It was in Barfurush that Quddus was born and raised, and it was in this town that in 1849 he and many other Babi defenders of the fort at the shrine of Shaykh Tabarsi suffered martyrdom.
Most of the interview had to do with the history of this mosque and its various endowments and activities. However, in the midst of these questions, the interviewer asked, “Before its present expansion, would anyone ascend the pulpit?”
To which, Nasira’i responded, “The late Ayatollah Ruhani, the representative of the late vali of Mazandaran, had a special affinity for this mosque, and would ascend its pulpit [to deliver sermons], particularly on the day commemorating the birth of the Lord of the Age, the expected 12th Imam. You must know that the town of Babul and its surrounding area is the region where the Baha’i community congregated. Since the time of the previous regime [i.e. the Pahlavi dynasty], there has always been opposition to the Baha’is from this mosque, which was Ayatollah Ruhani’s headquarters. However, these incidents were disconnected and no one knew of the true purport of the mosque.”
The significance of this admission is that it flatly contradicts the misinformation spread by the Islamic Republic of Iran. That is, the Islamic Republic claims that the Baha’is enjoyed privilege and comfort under the previous regime and were under the Pahlavi regime’s special care and support. Had that been the case, then why would a cleric in Babul have had a special anti-Baha’i center and be left free to routinely carry out his acts of persecution and hatred towards the Baha’is?
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