Important Article about the Iranian Baha’is under the Last Shah Published
Dr. Mina Yazdani, Assistant Professor of History at Eastern Kentucky University, just published “Towards a History of the Bahá’í community of Iran during the reign of Muhammad Reza Shah (1941–1979).” In the article she divides the Shah’s reign into three phases:
- A Phase of Physical Danger for Bahá’ís, 1944–55. During these years, the young Shah was unable to stand up to the Shi’ite clergy, who encouraged violent persecution of the Bahá’ís, even their killing, and the local authorities rarely prevented it.
- Decades of Relative Respite from Physical Attacks, 1955–77. Following the severe anti-Bahá’í campaign in 1955 and the international backlash against it, the Bahá’ís had relative safety and peace but often faced serious discrimination and disruption, while the Iranian government sought to portray itself as enlightened and a supporter of human rights.
- The Revival of a Bloody Period, 1977–79. These two years constituted a phase of renewed violence, as the Shah, in an effort to cling to power, did not prevent the clergy from stirring up attacks against the Bahá’ís.
The article, published in Iran Namag, can be downloaded here: https://www.irannamag.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2.1.11-English-Yazdani-Iran-Namag.pdf.