The Hojjatieh Society was formed in 1953 by an Iranian Mulla (priest) who denounced the Baha’i Faith as the biggest threat to Iran. At the time Hojjatieh was given free rein by the Shah and they instituted a progom of attacks against Baha’is including the destruction of the National Baha’i Centre in Tehran. The Head of SAVAK (Shah’s Secret Service) personally took a pickaxe to a Baha’i building. Hojjatieh eventually turned on the Shah, and supported the Islamic Revolution. They were eventually banned by Ayatollah Khomenei, but it is thought that the current President and much of the executive power of Iran is influenced by the Hojjatieh view.
Former member of Hojattieh, Mr. Abbas Mazaheri recently apologised for his involvement in Hojjatieh attacks on Baha’is, while he was a young man. Mr Mazaheri has been recently released from prison and, in an interview with Bahram Moshiri, he began by saying, “Today, before I begin, I owe some apologies. I owe an apology to my honourable and dear Baha’i friends. I spent the most exciting years of my youth, from 16 to 21, fighting against the Baha’is. I am ashamed of this, and I hope that my dear and honourable Baha’i countrymen will forgive me.” (With thanks to IranWatch)
Even this one apology, a sign of rational reflection, from one man, is certain to warm the hearts of Baha’is all over the world. It is this transformation in another human being, that is at the heart of all Baha’i activity, and our peaceful response to all attacks on our Faith.
Baha’u’llah gave this high endeavour to Baha’is, “Is it within human power, O Hakim, to effect in the constituent elements of any of the minute and indivisible particles of matter so complete a transformation as to transmute it into purest gold? Perplexing and difficult as this may appear, the still greater task of converting satanic strength into heavenly power is one that We have been empowered to accomplish. The Force capable of such a transformation transcendeth the potency of the Elixir itself. The Word of God, alone, can claim the distinction of being endowed with the capacity required for so great and far-reaching a change.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 200)