Faezah Hashemi and her father, the moderate cleric Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, have become the target of serious criticism by conservative factions of the establishment after the daughter met with a Baha’i community leader.
Hashem Bothayi, a Tehran member-elect of the Assembly of Experts, described “friendly relations with members of the misguided Baha’i cult” as “treason against Islam and the Revolution” and he urged Ayatollah Rafsanjani to reprimand his daughter.
Faezeh Hashemi recently met with Fariba Kamalabadi, a Baha’i community leader who has been given a furlough after eight years in prison.
A photo of the meeting with Hashemi sitting among the Kamalabadi family in their home has raised some eyebrows, as the women other than Hashemi have no headscarves.
Bothayi has told Tasnim that the actions of Faezeh Hashemi have damaged her father’s reputation, adding that religious concerns should take priority over familial bonds.
Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has also been attacked for the actions of his daughter by an organization identified by Tasnim as the Independent Association of Islamic Students, which questions Faezeh Hashemi’s support for Baha’i rights and describes it as an attack on Islam.
Faezeh Hashemi has defended her actions, saying Baha’is have “every right to all citizen rights in the country but are unfortunately denied even the most basic rights.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader has decreed that relations with Baha’is should be avoided.
The Islamic Republic does not recognize the Baha’i faith as a legitimate religion and Baha’is in Iran face severe persecution and discrimination.