History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2017


With the spread of the Baha’i religion in Iran since its tumultuous birth in that country in the middle part of the nineteenth century, the persecution of its followers has been a part of Iranian history.2 As Abbas Amanat has shown, during the Qajar period (1785-1925), anti-Babi pogroms and campaigns usually occurred during provincial or national crises such as those caused by harvest failures, famines, and epidemics. The Babis (and later Baha’is) served as scapegoats to cover the state’s failure in relation to European economic and political intrusion. Drawing the attention of the public to the evils of this ‘devious sect’ served to consolidate the relationship between the Qajar government and the clergy.3

Journal Title

Iran Namag