Makarem Shirazi Called Visit with Baha’is a Prosecutable Crime

ABN NEWS

Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi 1, a religious leader in Qom, strongly condemned Fazes

Hashemi’s 2 visit with one of the leaders of the Baha’i community, and said that in his view, this

act is a “prosecutable crime”.

Sadeq Larijani 3, head of the Iranian judiciary, called the visit “breaking norms”, and warned that

“if this break from the norm reaches the threshold of a crime, we will deal decisively with it”.

Mr. Larijani has said that the judiciary performs its responsibilities regardless of “who the person

may be or who the person might be related to”.

The release of a photo of Ms. Hashemi’s visit with Fariba Kamalabadi 4, one of the leaders of the

Baha’i community of Iran, who was on leave from prison for the first time in eight years, has made

headlines in recent days.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani 5, chairman of the Expediency Council, and Faezeh Hashemi’s father,

reacted decisively; he said that his daughter had made a bad mistake and must pay for it.

On Sunday 15 May in an interview with Euro News, Ms. Hashemi defended her actions; she said

she has not done anything wrong and regrets nothing.

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi called Mr. Rafsanjani’s criticism a “mild protest”, and said “thank

God” at least he showed some sort of negative reaction.

image

Mr. Makarem Shirazi has called Ms. Hashemi’s visit an “absolute abomination”, and has asked

“why others are silent”.

The criticism from Mr. Makarem Shirazi has come as conservative media sharply criticized the

visit of Ms. Hashemi with one of the leaders of the Iranian Baha’i community.

Mohamad Reza Naghdi 6, the head of the Basij paramilitary force 7, without referring to Ms.

Hashemi, called the visit with Baha’is part of “an infiltration” and said: “Today we are facing these

oppositionist movements which are worse and more convoluted than Amr ibn al-As (opponent of

the Prophet) 8.”

In a speech at the Parliament on 16 May Javad Karimi Qodusi 9, a Member of Parliament, sharply

criticized Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and addressed him, saying, “The impact of your act against

the revolution, Islam, and the nation has been no less than the impact of the actions of the

hypocrites at the beginning of the Islamic revolution.”

According to Fars news agency, the Student Basij chapter at the Tehran’s Azad University has also

written to officials of this university demanding the expulsion of Faezeh Hashemi, saying: “The

University should take a revolutionary approach against the heinous act of this member of your

faculty”.

In addition, images of a number of petitions signed by bazaar merchants in Tehran addressed to

the Prosecutor and against Ms. Hashemi has been released.

Ms. Faezeh Hashemi, in an interview yesterday, said that she did not expect such attacks, but

stressed that these waves do not worry her because “waves ultimately work to the detriment of

wave makers.”

Political and media figures close to the reformists and moderates are deliberately largely silent

on this matter.

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