Persian Voices: Letter from Naser al-Din Shah
Do you know that no one can rise against the government?
Do you know that if, God forbid, there was no government, those same Babis of Tehran would cut off your heads?
Do you know that if the government was not there your wives and children would fall into the hands of the Russian Cossacks, the Ottoman soldiers, the English army, the Afghans, or the Turkomans?
It is a pity that you, with your knowledge and intelligence, should give your reason into the hands of a few talabeh (students of a religious schools), ruffians and scum of the city and act according to their desires.
—Letter from Naser al-Din Shah
Poulson, Stephen. (1966). Social Movement in Twentieth Century Iran. Lexington Books, p.88.
Editor’s Note: British observers reported that as many as ten people were killed during the protest that followed Ashtiyani’s receipt of this letter.