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|1942 – early
||The publication in Iran of The Political Confessions or Memoirs of Prince Dolgoruki (or, simply, Dolgorukov's Memoirs). The book contends that the Bábí Faith was simply an element in a plot to destabilize Iran and Islam. [22 February, 2009 Iran Press Watch]
See Religious Contentions in Modern Iran, 1881-1941 by Dr Mina Yazdani where she posits that "The process of Othering the Bahā’īs had at least three components; 1) religious, carried on by the traditionalist theologians; 2) institutional and formal, sanctioned by the state; and 3) political, the result of a joint and gradual process in which Azalīs, former Bahā’īs and reformist theologians all played a role. This process reached its culmination with the widespread publication of The Confessions of Dolgoruki which resulted in a fundamental paradigm shift in the anti-Bahā’ī discourse. With the widespread impression of Bahā’īs as spies of foreign powers, what up to that point constituted a sporadic theme in some anti-Bahā’ī polemics now became the dominant narrative of them all, including those authored by traditionalist clerics. Consequently, as Iran entered the 1940s, the process that would transform Islamic piety to political ideology was well under way."
In its preface, Dolgorukov's Memoirs purported to be a translation of the memoirs of Prince Dimitri Ivanovich Dolgorukov (Russian Minister in Iran from 1845-54), first published in the official organ of the Soviet Communist Party. According to the book, whose Russian “original” has never been found, Prince Dolgorukov had travelled to Iran during the 1830s, entered the ranks of the ‘ulama, and instigated the Bábí-Bahá’í uprising. The book totally contradicted the well-documented life of Prince Dolgorukov, and made obvious chronological and historical mistakes in its allegations about the lives of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Nevertheless, it was reprinted many times, and created a master narrative that others subsequently deployed. With its political tone, the book, on the one hand, heralded the ascendancy of politics over religion in the mindset of Iran’s Shi’a clergy, and on the other, demonstrated the vast popularity that conspiracy theories enjoyed in Iran. [Iran Press Watch 1407] iiiii
||Conspiracy theories; Criticism and apologetics; Memoirs; Prince Dolgorukov; Persecution, Iran; Persecution