Fada’iyan-e Islam was the first Shiite terrorist group to appear in Iran. It received support from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The group carried out numerous assassinations based on edicts by extremist Shiite clerics.
Group founder, Navvab Safavi, visited the office of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in January 1954. He met a host of Brotherhood leaders, including Sayyed Qotb and Umar al-Tilmisani. This was on the same day the Egyptian government disbanded the Muslim Brotherhood as an organization.
Safavi was closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. He called for joining the group when he visited its office in Syria. He even called on Shiites to join the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a Sunni group. This was why Fada’iyan-e Islam was viewed as yet another branch of the Brotherhood, although it was a Shiite group.
The Iranian group staged a number of assassinations, including this of notable Iranian linguist and historian, Ahmad Kasravi. Safavi shot Kasravi, but could not kill him.
Safavi was arrested, but released later, thanks to mediation by Shiite leaders in Najaf, Iraq.
Kasravi continued to be a target for Fada’iyan-e Islam for a long time because of his criticism of extremist Shiite leaders. He analyzed their claims in an enlightened manner, which created opposition to them among Iranian youth.
Kasravi taught at the University of Tehran. He assumed a number of positions in the judiciary, including this of the Iranian General Prosecutor. He wrote articles in Arabic, Turkish and English. He also wrote in Armenian and Farsi. He has several books to his name.
Safavi met Kasravi several times, but failed in reasoning him out of his reason. This was why he decided to kill him. Finally, he succeeded in convincing some of Kasravi’s followers to end the man’s life. He was 57 then.