Baha'is Need Justice! (Part 2)

Dr. Majid Naficy

From 1964 to 1981, occasionally I associated with Baha’is, and heard good things about them from my friends.  For example, I heard about Bahram Sadeq, a renowned storywriter from Najafabad who was a Baha’i.

However, it was on September 17, 1981, when I felt I had the same destiny as Baha’is. It was over two years since the revolution in Iran.  The government was based on a new footing.  Fundamentalist militant rulers were violently persecuting and executing members of the Iranian National Front and Communist Parties.  These groups were the ones that had played a crucial role in uprooting the Pahlavi regime and bringing the Khomeini regime to power.

On September 16, my wife and colleague, Izzat Tabaian, left the house.  That night, she phoned a friend and hurriedly told him that while being chased by the Islamic Militia, she had fallen and broken her pelvic bone. My wife asked him to contact me and tell me to quickly destroy all incriminating evidence in the house.  The next day, the same friend asked if I had a safe place to spend the night, knowing that our home would not be spared from attacks.  When I replied that I had nowhere to go, he suggested a large house on Lashkar square that belonged to his old aunt. I knew his aunt was a Baha’i, and her house would not be a safe place either. However, after knocking at the doors of a few acquaintances, we had no choice but to go to his aunt’s house. A deft servant opened the door and led us in.  The old aunt told us how Islamic forces had arrested the last members of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Tehran.  She was worried about her own safety as well.

{josquote}In my opinion, a democratic Iranian Baha’i must not only defend the rights of all heterodox thinkers in Iran, but must first and foremost defend the rights of the followers of Azal who call themselves by the name Bayani.{/josquote}

That night, I had the strange feeling that Tahirih, the courageous Babi Poetess, was talking to me from the edge of the well into which she had been thrown after being strangled, 150 years before.  I was seeing a connection between Tahirih and the painful fate of my wife in the claws of her tormentors. A few years later on September 18, 1986, I wrote a poem, printed in the compilation Raftam Golat Bechinam [I went to take your flower] in memory of my wife Izzat, and the old Baha’i woman who offered me her home as refuge:

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