Search for tag "Conspiracy Theories"
|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 Bahá'ís 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 Bahá'ís 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-Bahá'í discourse. With the widespread impression of Bahá'ís as spies of foreign powers, what up to that point constituted a sporadic theme in some anti-Bahá'í 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
|1943 - 1944
||Fereidoon Adamiyyat, one of the most influential and widely acknowledged Iranian historians of the 20th century, argued in his Book, Amir Kabir and Iran, considered perhaps the most influential scholarly work of history published prior to the Islamic Revolution, that British intelligence officers were behind a plot which led to the creation of the Bábí Faith. He falsely claimed that Arthur Conolly, a British intelligence officer who was executed in Bukhara in 1842, had in his Journey to the North of India through Russia, Persia and Afghanistan admitted that Mulla Husayn Bushrui, the first follower of the Báb, was an agent working for him. Adamiyyat further concluded that without the aid of foreign powers such a religious sect could not have survived for so long, thus giving further credence to the conspiracy theories of his time and culture. Although He subsequently came to accept that Conolley had never made such a claim and removed the allegations in later editions of his book, the influence of his initial claim proved to be lasting among Iranians.
[Iran Press Watch 1407]
||Iran; United Kingdom
||Conspiracy theories; Criticism and apologetics; Arthur Conolly; Fereidoon Adamiyyat
|1963 (In the year)
||15 years after the establishment of Israel and during the course of the unrest that swept through Iran in response to a set of far-reaching reforms launched by Muhammad-Ridá Sháh, Ayatollah Khomeini and the Association of Iranian Clerics, in two separate declarations, denounced Bahá'ís as agents and representatives of Israel, and demanded their severe repression.
During the 1960s and 70s almost everything that troubled Iranian clerics was seen as evidence of a Bahá'í-Israeli plot against Islam. The Shah, who was harshly rebuked by the ‘ulama for his regime’s strong ties with Israel, was accused of being a Bahá'í because of some of the reforms he had introduced, notably his giving voting rights to women, and providing blue-collar industrial workers with a share of the profits earned by their companies. Various cultural events launched by the administration, some of which had clear Western tones, were seen as Bahá'í plots to undermine the Islamic identity of Iranians. Iranian ministers and courtiers were almost collectively accused of being Bahá'ís. Even Iran’s notorious intelligence agency, SAVAK, whose strong anti-leftist agenda had naturally led to its inclination to recruit people with Islamic ties, and which had obvious connections with the Hujjatieh society – the self-professed arch-enemies of the Bahá'ís – was seen as nothing more than a Bahá'í puppet. Consequently, the 1979 Islamic Revolution came about not just as an uprising against the Shah, but supposedly as a reaction to an Israeli-Bahá'í threat.
[Iran Press Watch 1407]
||Conspiracy Theories; Ayatollah Khomeini; Shahs; Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi; Reform; History (general); Iran, General history; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
|1983 (In the decade)
||During its first decade in power, the Islamic regime openly persecuted and killed Bahá'ís. These persecutions, however, caused reaction in the international community. In response to the international calls for the persecutions to be stopped, Siyyid Husayn Musawi, then the attorney general of Iran, declared that the Bahá'ís were not being harassed for their religious beliefs but because they were Israel spies. This was despite the fact that by that time it had become plainly obvious that the attorney general’s so-called “spies” could avoid maltreatment and persecution by openly denouncing their faith. The Bahá'í community forcefully denied the charges and challenged the attorney general to produce evidence to back his allegations. [Iran Press Watch 1407]
||Conspiracy Theories; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
|1986 (In the year)
||Iran’s hugely unsuccessful attempt to convince the international community that Bahá'ís were indeed spies was probably one of the reasons that convinced Iranian officials to review Iran’s contemporary history. The aim of this review was in no way to reconsider age-old beliefs and assumptions, but to generate so-called “objective” facts and data which would ultimately serve to justify those assumptions. It was in light of this conviction that, the Institute for Cultural Research and Studies was founded "with a mandate to maintain, organize and catalogue valuable historical documents acquired during and after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. In 1996, it was replaced by the Institute for Iranian Contemporary Historical Studies (IICHS), a professional research centre devoted to the study of contemporary Iranian history. Its objective is to undertake various research projects regarding social, political, economic and cultural aspects of post-eighteenth-century Iran, using its collection of primary sources."
Another such organization, the Political Studies and Research Institute, was founded in 1988.
[Iran Press Watch 1407; the institute's website]
||Conspiracy Theories; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution
||The publication of History of Bahá'ísm in Iran by Abdullah Shahbazi, the then head of the Political Studies and Research Institute, part of the Institute for Iranian Contemporary Historical Studies. In his book he advanced the theory of the alliance between Bahá'ísm and Zionism. [Iran Press Watch 1407]
||Conspiracy theories; Zionism; Criticism and apologetics
|2008 31 Oct
||The Universal House of Justice sent a message of encouragement to the besieged Bahá'í Community of Iran. In the message they noted that:
growing portion of the populace praises your courage, audacity, patience and steadfastness before the rising tide of tribulations."
They praised "the resolve shown by the vast majority of believers, preferring to live with hardship than to seek refuge in other countries," (something which has been)..."seen by many as a sign of their love for their homeland, has earned great respect."
They dispelled the notion of Bahá'ís being agents of the state of Israel.
They reiterated that the Bahá'ís have no feelings of malevolence against Islam. On the contrary, Bahá'u'lláh has shown reverence for both Muhammad and Imam Ali, even revealing a tablet of visitation for him.
They encouraged the continued unity of the community and faith in the constructive powers of the Faith and on an individual level, “a virtuous life and a goodly behaviour”. "...the light of truth will dispel the darkness of deceit".
||Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Interfaith dialogue; Ethics; Conspiracy theories
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- Alleged Pro-German activities: Edward C. Getsinger, Case #317323, by Federal Bureau of Investigation (1918). Forty pages of FBI files investigating Edward C. Getsinger and possible Baha'i opposition to the war, or alleged pro-German sentiment. Includes Edward and Lua Getsinger's passport applications. [about]
- At Home in the Ghettos: Bahá'ís in Iran, by Leila Chamankhah, in MEI Occasional Paper, 5 (2010). Essay on the causes of distrust and estrangement between Shias and Baha'is. The term "ghetto" here refers to ideologically separated communities. (Offsite.) [about]
- Conspiracies and Forgeries: The Attack upon the Bahá'í Community in Iran, by Moojan Momen, in Persian Heritage, 9:35 (2004). [about]
- Debunking the Myths: Conspiracy Theories on the Genesis and Mission of the Bahá'í Faith, by Adib Ma'sumian (2009). Response to Iranian conspiracy theories portraying the Baha'i Faith as a subversive political group, Zionist spies, affiliates of the secret police, British agents, etc. Available in English and Persian. Includes interview with author. [about]
- Dolgorukov Memoirs, by Moojan Momen, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume 7 (1996). Very brief article, short enough to qualify as "fair use." [about]
- Review of secondary literature in English on recent persecutions of Bahá'ís in Iran, by Nazila Ghanea-Hercock, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 7 (1997). Issues of misinformation, perceived favoritism under the Shah's regime, charges of espionage, and theological conflicts with Islam as motives for the persecution of Baha'is. [about]