In a piece penned by state-run outlet Fars News Agency about the accused YouTube shooter Nasim Aghdam, Iran admits to persecuting the Baha’i faith to which Aghdam belonged.
“The Baha’i faith is not recognized by the Islamic Republic and its followers claim that they have been facing restrictions and bans in the country,” Fars News wrote in a piece titled, “Nasim Aghdam’s Baha’i Faith Indicates Underlying Realities.”
It added, “Muslims believe that Islam’s prophet (PBUH) was the last of 124,000 divine messengers sent by God and hence do not regard Bahai’ism as a divine faith.”
Fars News wrote, “A small community of Baha’is live in Iran now.”
According to the State Department’s International Freedom Report from 2005, “The largest non-Muslim minority is the Baha’i community, which has an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 adherents throughout the country.”
Aghdam published many posts on her YouTube channel and Facebook page – both of which have been deleted by the companies – about her Baha’i faith, which Fars News detailed in the piece to build an argument against the minority population.
The publication went on to mention that while Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians are tolerated in Iran:
The Baha’is have always been seen as apostates since the birth of the faith nearly two centuries ago when the public took to the streets to demand an end to the heresy. They are tolerated in modern-day Iran, but are still seen by the public as a political agenda of the West not just for the nature of their faith, but because of the record of its followers. They contribute a major share to the human rights violation claims against the Islamic Republic and are given a powerful ploy in all opposition media run from the West, specially the US and Britain. The community shows no interest in integrating into the Iranian society.
Taking aim at supporters of President Donald Trump, Fars News wrote, “The mainstream media has been smart enough not to tie this attack to Islam or Iran, but still some Trumpsters have sought to mislead their audience through their social media accounts to link the case to Islam or Iran.”
The publication further noted the persecution of Bahai’s in Iran by making certain to note that Bahai’s are banned from serving in Iran’s military.
“[M]ention should also be made about the fact that there is a ban on recruiting Baha’is in the military. In addition, women are not recruited by the Iranian military and they are exempt from the compulsory military service, similar to the case in many other Islamic countries.”
Bahai’s are among the most persecuted religious minority population in Iran.