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Anti-Bahā'ī Polemics and Historiography

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This article examines the corpus of anti-Baha’i polemics produced since the mid-19th century as historiographical works, exploring the ways in which they have been exploited in the service of writing the dominant history. It categorizes these polemics, identifies their major themes, and traces the shift in their overtone from religious/moral to political. Suggesting that historiography became an integral part of anti-Baha’i polemics from early on, it focuses on Tahirih, Dolgoruki, and Hoveyda as epitomes of the three main accusations levelled against Baha’is: moral/ethical decadence, clandestine foreign dependency, and political corruption. The article concludes by advancing a short analysis of the role these accusations have played in anti-Baha’i polemics and why they have been blindly accepted by large numbers of Iranians.
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Keywords: Dolgoruki; Hoveyda; Iran; Tahirih; historiography; polemics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 04 September 2012

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