My Early Life
While I was born into a non-practicing Shiite Muslim family in Iran, as children, no one within the family forced Islam down our throats. In other words, in my younger days in Iran, I had never been exposed to Islam at all, except by observation. I think I speak for many Iranians as well.
Most Iranians truly did not know what ‘real’ Islam was until after the invasion of 1979, the Islamic Revolution. To be exact, until Ayatollah Khomeini set foot in Iran and took the genie out of the bottle for everyone to see the ‘true’ Islam.
The type of Islam Iranians practiced during the time of the Shah did not even exist at all. It was only a fiction or a fantasy manufactured out of whole cloth. Some people in Iran, however, are still in disbelief and refuse to accept that true Islam is not what Ayatollah Khomeini introduced in 1979.
As humans, we know religion casts a huge shadow on everything in life. Like other humans, I, too, had to deal with this enigma and couldn’t simply just set it aside. And Islam, the Shiite Islam was the most pervasive religion around. I wanted to know more about this ‘religion,’ beyond the textbooks. In our schools, we were forced to memorize a few non-violent Surah (verses) from the Meccan period when prophet Muhammad’s beliefs and sayings were relatively innocuous.
To polish Islam’s image, Muslim apologists usually quote verses from the Quran that were written in the early days of the Islamic movement while Muhammad lived in Mecca. Those passages make Islam appear loving and harmless because they call for love, peace and patience. This is a deception. The apologists fail to tell the gullible masses that such verses, though still in the Quran, were nullified, abrogated and rendered void by later passages that incite killing, decapitations, maiming, terrorism and religious intolerance. The latter verses were penned while Muhammad’s headquarters were based in Medina.
I still recall what my high school history teacher told us in our class. He explicitly said that the Islamic creed was imposed on an enlightened, tolerant and free Iranian people at the point of the sword. For me, that was the defining moment to start to find out for myself.
I came to the realization that the root cause of Iranian peoples’ degradation and suffering was Islam. I found out that it was an ideology imposed on a sophisticated, tolerant and free people at the point of the sword by savages hailing from the Arabian Peninsula during the seventh century, with promises of booty and women in this world and glorious eternal sensual rewards in the promised paradise of Allah in the next.
Even at this very young age, things Islamic did not resonate with me, and often clashed head-on with what I valued and loved in life. I realized Iranian Muslims were victims of the Islamic invasion of centuries ago that was imposed on their ancestors through Jihad.
Ironically, Iran was never Islamized. Why? I have come to understand it is the Iranian ancient fundamental belief in the validity and value of diversity that is enshrined in the Cyrus the Great Cylinder, the unconditional respect for complete rights of all people of the world (anathema to the Islamists’ credo) that has held the nation together over the millennia. Without that, Iran, though not Arab, would become like another Arab nation, like Egypt, Syria or Iraq.
Although Islam was imposed on Iran some 1,400 years ago, most Iranians still deeply value their own ancient non-Arab identity and have never fully surrendered to the Arab culture, even after 40 years of the non-stop Islamic cultural revolution, Islamic propaganda and indoctrination by the current regime.
An Iranian journalist once asked Mohamed Hassanein Heikal (b. 1923), a famed Egyptian journalist, commentator, and a former editor of Al-Ahram, that “we Iranians were once invaded by the Arabs, just as you were, but we managed to keep our culture and the Persian language. So, why is that your language today is Arabic? You are not Arabs. What happened to your authentic culture?” Heikal answered, “Because we didn’t have a poet like your Ferdowsi.”
That would be the tenth-century Persian poet, the author of the epic book of Shahnameh (Book of Kings), who revived not only the Persian language, but also the Persian identity. Ferdowsi is known for his efforts to save the Persian language and its history from oblivion. It has been suggested that Ferdowsi is Iran’s Homer:
“Twice as long as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, taken together, the Shahnameh blends Iran’s ancient myths and legends with accounts of major events in its past. Its 55,000 rhyming couplets chart the history of the Iranian world from its creation to the fall of the Persian Empire in the seventh century.”
Egypt, one of the crown jewels of the ancient world, rich in culture and filled with illustrious antiquities, has no memory of its glorious past. Unlike the Persians, the Egyptians became completely Arabized, and have little or no nostalgia for their ancient past. Islam has dominated the Egyptians’ lives.
Interestingly, the new generation in Iran is eager to distance itself from the Islamic credo and embrace the ancient creed of Zoroastrianism or even other religions. In fact, Christianity has become the fastest growing religion in Iran.
How did Islam Form?
From the primeval land of the Arabian Peninsula of over 14 centuries, ago rose a man by the name of Muhammad. An illiterate hired hand of a rich widow, Khadija, he claimed that he was the bearer of a perfect life prescription from Allah — the Quran. He claimed humanity could do no better than to follow its precepts, as well as to emulate Muhammad’s own life example for a guarantee of bliss and salvation. In exchange for this, people must embrace Islam — surrender — by surrendering their liberty to Muhammad.
In no time at all, the savages of Arabia, won over by the allure of the win-win promise of Muhammad — you kill and you get the booty from your victims in this world; you get killed and your abode will be the unimaginably glorious sensuous paradise of Allah — sword-in-hand, sallied forth to lands near and far.
Perhaps few people would deny any longer that Islam and its variants mean, in practice, bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal actions, forced hijabs, show trials and genocide. It is a widespread plague upon humanity. It is disguised as a religion and has penetrated the Western system of government with the aim of replacing civility and liberty with the barbarism of Sharia Law.
It is Muslims, Muslim organizations and the radical left who are guilty of dissimulation and fraud. Muslims act meekly when they lack sufficient power. Once in power, ‘Real Islam’ emerges from its shell of dissimulation and puts free people and their way of life to the sword.
I have never practiced nor embraced Islam at any time in my life. In fact, I looked at it as an invader and found it to be my solemn duty to expose this fraud of a religion, help other Muslims to free themselves from it, and warn the good-hearted and gullible non-Muslims against falling prey to it.
Islamdom is at a crossroad. Millions in Iran, a hugely important force of sustaining and fanning the Islamic fire, have already turned and are turning against the Islamic credo. They and the rest of the world need to hear the voices of secular decent people who are in league with them and can help to put Islam, the very spawning swamp of the deadly virus that makes for jihadists, out of business.