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Friday, October 5, 2018

The tragic life and death of Zeinab.


In her latest blog, Mehnoush tells the tragic story of a young child bride who was accused of murdering her abusive husband in order to stay alive and after many years in prison was executed by the evil Iranian regime.
Zeinab joins a long list of victimized women in Iran who are unjustly executed by a misogynistic culture.





    Once again, another case of a woman and another crime against her committed by the shameless and misogynist system of Islamic Republic of Iran!

     Zainab Sekaanvand was a teenage girl whose family forced her to marry at the young age of 15. She suffered for a long time being beaten and tortured by her abusive husband. Through several letters from prison, she had already explained everything about her dark and shameful life; also, she had claimed to have been raped several times by her brother-in-law.

   When she was only a teenager, Zainab may have been compelled to commit a crime which could be considered a kind of self-defense against threat, rape, harassment, cursing and torture, while Islamic system calls it murder. Like so many other innocent women, Zeinab was compelled to confess to a murder that she later denied committing after finally being represented by a lawyer. Despite her denial, the Judge refused to investigate her claim and instead sentenced her to death. The judge on duty did not pay any attention at all to the way she had been harassed and tortured and only emphasized the need for capital punishment. In a letter to Human Rights Organization, Zeinab had already mentioned that she was frequently tortured and hit by her male investigators who had made her sign some phony documents. She was also raped by one investigator during the investigation process; afterwards, she got pregnant and gave birth to a still born child. 

       However, the prison authorities claimed she had already gotten married to one of the prisoners and then became pregnant! No one can possibly believe such a big lie! In fact, this suppressed young girl is a typical example of thousands of Iranian girls and women who are regularly harassed and oppressed by the judicial and legal system of the country and then executed as innocent victims. None of these girls and women are allowed to complain or live a normal life under the control of the Islamic government and they are simply regarded as sexual slaves of men’s lusts. This is the only value of a girl or a woman in Islamic ideology as well as in Islamic lands.   

       In the end, Zainab was cruelly executed on October 2, 2018 and her name joined the memories of a long list of female victims. 


      Zeinab;




              Now you may now rest in peace, you have finally been freed from the cruelty that you faced throughout your short 24-year-old life. Now is the time to prepare and restore your lost rights in the righteous and just presence of Almighty; the day all your torturers and executioners are going to be punished for good!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A tribute to Golrokh Iraee


This article is adapted from my book, "Broken yet beautiful: Rising up from their ashes."  It is originally written by Mehnoush my dear Iranian friend living in Sweden. Golrokh is Mehnoush's hero, a courageous Iranian woman who refuses to be silent even while suffering in prison.





        The theme of our book is that beauty comes from brokenness. Women have suffered immensely for thousands of years and have been broken yet remained strong. From this brokenness has emerged a defiant spirit that has been rejuvenated, rising up from the ashes of suffering to confront the cancer eating away at their dignity and self-worth. One such survivor is a woman that I admire greatly for her courage and determination to not remain silent but to rise up against a dictatorship government. That survivor is Golrokh Iraee.

        Golrokh is a writer and a political activist serving a six-year sentence for charges related to an unpublished story she wrote criticizing the practice of stoning in Iran. Golrokh was arrested on September 6, 2014 along with her husband Arash Sadeghi, who also is a committed political activist.

        After their arrest, authorities violently ransacked the couple’s home without a search warrant. They confiscated personal possessions such as laptops, CDs, and papers. Among the papers was a notebook that Golrokh used as a personal diary. The diary contained a fictional handwritten story in which a female character watches the Stoning of Saraya M, a 2009 Persian-language film depicting the true story of a woman stoned to death for adultery in Iran.

        Golrokh was interrogated about the contents of the diary and her story. During her initial interrogation, she was repeatedly pressured to confess under the threat of execution. She was questioned in a room adjoining the location where her husband was detained and she could hear him being tortured through the walls. Golrokh was placed in solitary confinement for three days and endured twenty days without access to a family lawyer or court proceeding.

        Golrokh was convicted in May 2015. She was charged with “insulting Islamic sanctities” for the diary entry and spreading propaganda against the system for two separate Facebook posts as well as possession of alleged anti-government propaganda in her home. She was convicted in absentia and sentenced to six years in prison. Her husband Arash, on the other hand, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of spreading propaganda against the system for interviews he conducted about human rights issues and prison conditions. In addition to the charges he was also convicted of spreading lies in Cyberspace for Facebook posts about political prisoners and insulting the Supreme leader of the Islamic Republic
.
        Golrokh continues to speak out publicly to protest the Iranian government from her jail cell. She has written several open letters from prison, including one in which she refused to participate in the May 2017 presidential election, criticizing a staged tour of Evin prison for foreign ambassadors.

        In January 2018, Golrokh faced additional charges for allegedly insulting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and reciting a political poem. She was subsequently beaten by prison guards and transferred to Shahr-e-Rey prison after she refused to go to court. In February 2018 she began a hunger strike which seriously impacted her health and in April she was transferred to the hospital in critical condition.

        Golrokh is a courageous Iranian woman who is standing up against the dictatorship government that has brought death and destruction to her Persian homeland. She symbolizes the freedom and courage of all Iranian women. She refuses to be silent!


*Update on Arash Sadeghi....

        Arash is suffering from bone cancer and the Iranian authorities are denying him adequate medical care. Please speak out and keep Arash in your thoughts and prayers!



Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Go and sin no more."



The ministry of Jesus challenged the accepted social norm of the way women were treated. Instead of shunning them publicly, Jesus reached out to women with compassion and respect which brought anger and ridicule from the religious elite.
My new blog explains the cultural status of women and how Jesus pulled them up out of the gutters of discrimination. The following article is an excerpt from my new book, "Broken yet beautiful: Rising up from their ashes." You can purchase my book in both kindle and paperback on Amazon.com




  There is a wonderful promise tucked into the collection of Hebrew poetry, also known as the Psalms, that is for the oppressed. It is a special promise of deliverance for the hurting and the scarred, that have suffered under the yoke of bondage for centuries without any relief.
“He will rescue the poor when they cry to Him:
He will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them
He feels pity for the weak and needy, and he will rescue them.
He will redeem them from oppression and violence,
For their lives are precious to him.
(Psalm 72:12-14)

        God understands the pain and sufferings of humanity, because he left his royal throne in heaven and clothed himself in human flesh. He became one of us and suffered immensely in body, soul, and spirit on a wooden cross for our salvation. He is not a distant far away deity, but a personal, loving, compassionate God who promises one day in eternity to “wipe all tears from our eyes,” and abolish all pain, suffering and death forever… (Rev. 21:4)

        At the perfect time, God stepped out of eternity and became a human being in Jesus Christ. The great event of the incarnation was God entering into humanity for the purpose of delivering us from the pain and guilt of sin and restoring us from our brokenness to beauty once again. For centuries, women had suffered under the yoke of oppression and discrimination and now God himself was going to come into humanity and rescue them from the slime and filth of gender abuse. Jesus was a man of great humility and compassion and as the “God of justice” he confronted the evils of discrimination and racism that had enslaved women for far too long. Jesus came to announce the arrival of the kingdom of God and in this kingdom, there would be no oppression, discrimination, or racism permitted, but instead there would be compassion, equality, and genuine kindness, that once had filled the paradise of Eden. Jesus had come to liberate women from the chains of gender abuse and restore them once again to their dignity and worth as image bearers of God.

        The view of women in the culture of Jesus’s day was both sad and deplorable. Women were treated as second-class citizens by the religious establishment:

“The oral law of Jesus’s day,” “Let the words of the law be burned rather than committed to women!” “The woman,” says the Law, is in all things inferior to man. Let her accordingly be submissive.”
(Apion 2:210)

“Praised be to God that he has not created me a gentile: Praised be to God that he created me not a woman.”      (The thanksgiving prayer of a Jew)

               A Rabbi considered it beneath his dignity to speak in public to a woman.
          

        This was the mood of the Jewish religious culture and it was very hostile to the average woman. It was into this culture that Jesus came to restore the value, dignity and worth of a woman.




        In the Gospel of John, Chapter 8, verses 3-11, the Bible unveils a heated scenario between the Pharisees and scribes concerning a woman caught in the act of adultery. They immediately bring the woman to Jesus with motive of testing him. To the religious leaders the woman was merely property owned by her husband and her vile act had brought disgrace upon him. However, it is interesting and perhaps deliberate that the man caught in the offense was conveniently missing. Why hadn’t he been brought to be stoned along with the woman? It is also worth pointing out that the religious leaders were really not interested in upholding God’s moral law, they were instead intent on exposing Jesus as a false prophet and discrediting him. The adulterous woman had become their perfect propaganda tool to confront and discredit the Son of God. Filled with passionate rage they looked Jesus in the eyes and asked the question:

        “Will you have her stoned as the law required?
        The religious leaders were referencing Deuteronomy chapter 22 and verses 23-30.

        The religious leaders had devised an elaborate scheme to expose Jesus as a false prophet. If he agreed with the law in favor of the woman being stoned, then they would point out that he was betraying his reputation among the crowds as being a compassionate rabbi. If, however he spared the woman’s life, they would cry out that he was disobeying the law of Moses and was therefore a false prophet. The religious leaders were convinced they had cornered Jesus into an impossible trap to escape from.
        Jesus knowing the intent of their deceitful hearts, bent down and began writing with his finger in the sand. While theologians have debated for centuries what exactly Jesus was writing, it is possible that he was writing down their individual sins. However, there is a pertinent passage in the Book of Jeremiah that is more likely referring to what Jesus was writing, a passage that speaks of God’s judgment upon a rebellious religious establishment.

        “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountains of living waters.
                                           (Jeremiah 17:13)
        The text should literally read, “those who turn aside from my ways, will have their names written in the dust and blotted out.”

        In writing in the dust with his finger, Jesus was instead pointing the accusing finger of judgment upon the corrupt religious leaders. Jesus stood up and in a precise and confrontational tone pointed his finger of judgment at them exposing their hypocrisy.

        “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her!”

        With this confronting declaration, Jesus forever silenced the mouths of the religious elite. They were unprepared for this heart-piercing confrontation. Their hypocrisy had been exposed and one by one they let the stones fall from their hands and departed.

        In one of the most beautiful scenes in all of the Bible, the adulterous woman was left alone with Jesus. No doubt she was still shaking with fear and anxiety. Yet Jesus shows tenderness, respect and compassion for this woman. He treated her with great value instead of condemning her for her sin. The religious leaders had treated her as damaged goods with malicious contempt, but the Son of God reached out and showed her mercy instead. He showed respect first by acting contrary to the rabbinic code of that day, He spoke to the woman.

        “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

        “No one Lord,” The woman replied.

        “Neither do I condemn you, “Jesus reassured her, “Go and from now on sin no more.”      
        This is a beautiful illustration of the compassion and respect that Jesus demonstrated toward women. He confronted the abusive religious leaders, exposed their hypocritical hearts, and stood in defense of this adulterous woman. Jesus did not deny that she had sinned but instead of condemnation he extended grace and mercy toward her. When I read about the horrific stories on the internet of Muslim crowds stoning women to death in Middle-Eastern countries like Pakistan, engaging in honor killings, I immediately think of this beautiful account in John’s gospel. I can picture Jesus standing in defense of these helpless women and pointing the accusing finger back at them. Jesus is the “God of Justice” a defender of the honor of women. He refused to align himself with the false Rabbinic code of his day and instead lifted women out of the gutters of discrimination, restoring to them their dignity as equal image bearers of God.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

"The major differences between Islam and Christianity."



This is the latest blog written by my dear Iranian friend Mehnoush. Mehnoush is a human rights activist from Iran currently living in Sweden awaiting a decision for her residency. Mehnoush writes powerful articles about the struggles of  Iranians for freedom and democracy. In this new article she contrasts the major differences between Christianity and Islam. I have made some corrections with her English and sentence structures but what you are about to read is still in her own words.



"The Difference between Islam and Christianity"


     Christianity is not a religion, but instead it is a love relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In comparison to Islam, Christianity is not a religious duty filled with man made rituals and endless laws that must be followed to the letter, but instead it is a passionate experience and encounter with the God of the universe who has revealed himself in Christ.

      The Christian God is a god of love and his followers do not curse unbelievers or spread death and violence upon other nations. Instead Christians trust in Christ alone and pray that he will turn hopelessness into hope, failure into success, sadness into happiness, war into peace, curses into blessings, captivity into freedom, hatred into kindness


 and darkness into light. Christians gather every Sunday in church and pray God’s blessings and peace upon every person in every nation of the world. We bless instead of curse.

       Christians have a settled peace in their hearts from trusting in Christ alone who has fully paid for all of their sins, forgiving their guilt and shame. However, Muslims don’t have the same assurance that Christians have that their sins are forgiven. Instead they are relying on their perfect obedience in fasting, praying, and almsgiving to measure up to the standard Allah has prescribed for them. They struggle to perfect themselves through the principles of Islam by following the straight path and have no peace. Instead of having a love relationship as children of God, they view themselves as slaves of Allah who commands perfect obedience.

    In Christianity, we all reach an inner peace and knowledge of God experimentally. However, followers of Islam are only supposed to obey Islamic rules and principles and they never get to know God; a Muslim will always stay a slave and is asked to bow down before God. While we Christian people are not slaves; we are all God’s children.

      Muslims claim that Islam is a religion of peace but history tells a very different story. There have been centuries of violence and bloodshed where unbelievers are told to convert or die. In contrast, Jesus never conquered by the sword but instead invited his followers to come and find rest in him. “Come to me, you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28). There is a huge difference between the invitation to salvation as found in Christianity and “convert or die,” that is practiced in Islam.

      If there is one verse in the Bible that perfectly sums up the major differences between Islam and Christianity, it is the most well-known and beloved verse that most ever Christian can recite by heart.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)


       God stepped out of heaven and came down to us giving us mercy instead of judgment. He didn’t come to bring a new religion, but instead he came to give us life and a new relationship. This is the greatest difference between Christianity and Islam.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

"Jesus and the Samaritan woman."



During his earthly ministry, Jesus went against the accepted social norms of his day and reached out with respect toward women, speaking publicly with them, healing them, and showing compassion. Jesus is the perfect standard for us to follow in how we ought to treat women. This short article is adapted from my new book, "Broken yet beautiful: Rising up from their ashes."
My book is available in kindle and paperback on Amazon.com





John 4:3-4
“He left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria.”

        “And he had to pass through Samaria,” This is very important to understand. Jesus deliberately chose this route. He was a man on a mission to break down the hostile and divisive walls of racism that had existed for centuries between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Samaritans were despised and hated by the Jews. During the Babylonian captivity when pagans had entered the land and mingled with the Jews, the result was a deadly mixed race. The Hebrews of the Northern Kingdom and the Assyrian settlers had intermarried poisoning the pure race during of the captivity in 722 b.c. The worship of Yahweh had been corrupted by heathen practice, creating a major rift between the Jews and Samaritans. The Samaritans had offered to rebuild the temple and were refused by the Jewish people, so as a result they had built their own temple on Mount Gerazim in protest. The Jewish people were known to say, “May I never set my eyes on a Samaritan!”

        However, Jesus had deliberately chosen the route that took him through Samaria so that he could break down the divisive barriers of racism and bring hope and healing to the hardened hearts that had been corrupted by sin for so many centuries!

        Weary from his long journey, Jesus decided to relax sitting next to Jacob’s well, located in the Samaritan town of Sychar. Just as Jesus had sat down, a young Samaritan woman arrived with her bucket to draw water from the well. This woman specifically chose the same time every day to draw water from the well knowing that she would be alone. Her reputation among the other village women had been tarnished because she was living with man out of wedlock. In order to avoid the stigma of confrontation, the Samaritan woman secretly came alone. However, today she was not alone.

        As soon as the woman arrived at the well, Jesus startled her with an unusual request.

        “Give me a drink.”

        The fact that Jesus was talking to a woman and not just any woman, but a woman from the despised and half-breed Jewish race, was shocking to her.

        “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans) Jesus in talking to the Samaritan woman, broke through two barriers, one steeped in bigotry and the other in gender discrimination. When the Pharisees saw a woman approaching, they would close their eyes and as a result were always constantly running into things. Thus, they were nicknamed, “Bleeding and bruised Pharisees.”

        However, as we have seen so far, Jesus deliberately chose to go against the accepted racial norms of the day and broke with the accepted precepts of gender abuse. Jesus had traveled a long distance to keep a divine appointment with a woman who had been shunned by her female peers and ostracized by the Jewish race.

        “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

        Jesus reaches out in compassion to this shunned woman and invites her to drink of the water that will go beyond just quenching her thirst, but instead will fill her soul with refreshment and healing. Yet this woman does not yet grasp what Jesus is exactly saying.

        “Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob?”

        Jesus immediately corrects her perception and gently guides her into the spiritual truth that he is offering her.

        “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up into eternal life.”

        The words of Jesus had penetrated the anxious soul of this woman and gave her a craving for what he was offering.

        “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to drink water.”

        Before Jesus graciously gives her the living water, she must first be gently prodded by the convicting grace of a Holy God who knows everything about us. Jesus in respect and politeness points out the prevailing sin in her life that she needs to recognize before experiencing the refreshing taste of living water.

        Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband, and come here.”

        The woman answered in shame, “I have no husband.”
        Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, “I have no husband,” for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

        The Samaritan woman is astonished and recognizes Jesus as a prophet. However, she skillfully tries to avoid her sin by turning the conversation toward the subject of correct worship. The woman points out that she knows when the Messiah comes he will reveal all things to them. Jesus looks her intently in the eyes and proclaims, “I who speak to you am he!”

        Dropping her water jar in shock and amazement, the Samaritan woman rushes back into town announcing in jubilation that she has found the Messiah. As a result, many believed her testimony.

        This is a beautiful and profound story of God’s grace toward women. The Samaritan woman was one of the first persons that Jesus revealed his Messianic identity to. She had come to the well on an ordinary day and left transformed by the true living water that had cleansed her from all of her guilt and shame. She also became a passionate evangelist, commissioned by the Son of God, to take the message of living water to her village. The first evangelist was a woman who had the reputation of being a harlot and now was heralded as a beautiful bearer of good news!

        Christian author and Apologist, Ravi Zacharias has a powerful commentary on this beautiful story in John’s gospel:

        “The Samaritan woman grasped what he said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She had come with a bucket. He sent he back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them!”

"The Male Guardianship Law in Saudi Arabia."


While it is true that Saudi women have been finally given the right to drive, yet the most oppressive law still remains on the books against them. The Male Guardianship Law still keeps Saudi women in chains and while there seems to be a movement for reform in the kingdom, the movement needs to seriously address this most oppressive law! The following article is adapted from my new book, "Broken yet beautiful: Rising up from their ashes."   My book is listed on Amazon.com






     





      On Sunday June 24, 2018, the world witnessed an historic milestone take place in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After decades of protests, the driving ban against women was finally lifted and for the first time now, women can legally be issued driver’s licenses and sit proudly behind the wheel of a car without going to jail again. While this is a major, historic accomplishment in a nation hostile to the rights of women, still it is a very long road ahead for women to finally experience true freedom. Most every Saudi woman will tell you that until the Male Guardianship Law is finally repealed, they will still be under the domination of a man.

        Before explaining the restrictions on women because of the Male Guardianship law, I want to first educate you on a little of the history of Saudi Arabia and a form of Islam known as Wahhabism. Wahhabism was born through a radical 18th century Muslim reform movement. The purification of Islam took place through the efforts of Muhammad ibn al-Wahabband and was formally adopted by the Saudi Family in 1744.

        Members of Wahhabism call themselves Unitarians with a strong emphasis on the absolute oneness of God (Tawhid). They reject the practice of visiting tombs, venerating saints, advocating a return to the original teachings of Islam incorporated in both the Quran and Hadith. They also stress a literal belief in the Quran and the establishment of a Muslim State basely sole on Sharia Law.

        The Wahhabis occupied Mecca and Medina at the end of the 18th century, bringing everything under their control. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was created in 1932, assuring the religious and political dominance of Wahhabism. Many of the sites associated with the early history of Islam, (homes, graves or companions of Muhammed) were demolished in order to purify the holy religion.

        Both Britain and the United States subsidized Saudi Arabia in 1945 right after World war II and enabled them to join the United Nations. While the driving ban has been lifted, more than likely for economic reason rather than women’s rights, there is still a great chasm for females to cross until they have obtained equal rights. The rules for the Male guardianship Law still prohibits so much of women’s freedoms despite a few glimpses of hope on the horizon.

        In 2015, women were able to cast ballots for the first time during municipal elections but couldn’t speak to male voters or couldn’t have men and women mixing in their campaign offices. The late King Abdullah issued a decree in 2011 that gave women the vote and two years later, ordered 20% of seats in consultative council to be set aside for women.

        In 2015, there were more Saudi women studying in universities than men and a few years earlier in 2012, Saudi Arabia sent two women to the Olympics.
                                             
What Saudi women cannot do.
1)   Saudi women cannot divorce, travel, get a job or have surgery first without permission from their male guardians.
2)   Saudi women cannot mix freely with members of the opposite sex.
1.     In 2013, authorities ordered shops that employ both men and women to build “separation walls,” to prevent sexes from co-mingling.
3)   Saudi women cannot appear in public without wearing a full length black abaya, which is supposed to protect a woman’s modesty in public.
4)   Saudi women cannot conduct certain businesses without a male sponsor. If a woman wants to own her own business, she has to call at least two men, who can testify of her character in order to have a loan approval or a license.
5)    Saudi women cannot apply for a national identification card or passport.
6)   Saudi women cannot eat at restaurants that don’t have a separated designated family section. Women are also required to use a separate entrance from men.
7)   Saudi Women cannot retain custody of their children in a divorce.
8)   Saudi women cannot get a fair hearing in court. (Surah 2:282) The Quran teaches that their testimony is only worth half that of a man’s
9)   Saudi women cannot receive an equal inheritance


                                                                

        In April of 2017, The United Nations elected officials from Saudi Arabia to sit on a commission for women’s rights. This is insulting to the women of Saudi Arabia who are constantly living under the oppressive dictatorship of men. It is absurd that a group of men sit on a panel that supposedly promotes women’s rights, shaping global standards on gender equality and empowerment of women.
UN watch director, Hillel Neuer rightly points out,
Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from birth to death. Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like electing an arsonist to become the town fire chief!”  The panel will serve a four-year term from April 24, 2017 until April 2021.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

"Let's be the voice for Iranian refugees!"



This is the latest blog from my dear Iranian friend, Mehnoush. Mehnoush understands and feels the pains of refugees,because she herself is one who is currently residing in Sweden waiting for a very important interview to determine her residency. In her new blog, Mehnoush takes you behind the scenes of the lives of refugees and "puts a face on them," telling their painful stories of escaping from Iran to find refuge in another country where there is hope for freedom and a new life.





  The highest number of refugees belongs to the countries in which obligatory Islam, absolute poverty, dictatorship and war are easily recognized. A refugee is the oppressed voice of a person who has left his/her own land for the very elementary human rights including freedom and independence. In recent years, a remarkable number of Middle Eastern refugees, especially from Iran, have been obliged to leave their lands.

   In Iran, they determine your name, nationality and religion five minutes after your birth and that’s why you spend the rest of your life defending the things you have not chosen yourself. Spiritual and mental pressure, lack of freedom of press and expression in addition to the suppression of human character and values is day to day life in Islamic Iran; therefore, the only option left to everyone is leaving motherland and seeking refuge from a supportive country. It is noteworthy that women and girls have undergone the highest amount of mental and spiritual suppression and harm in Iran in terms of arranged marriages, compulsory Hijab, rape and freedom suppression.

   There are many Iranian refugees found in Sweden, especially young women and girls who mostly speak out their deep grief. Some days ago, an Iranian woman shared with me her own painful story. She was forced to marry an old man and suffer unbelievable pains in terms of her sexual relationship, pregnancy and child birth. She told me that her husband regarded her as the servant of the house and the slave of his bed. After giving birth to three girls  and being forced to live with them in a village, she finally decided to escape and reach Sweden through the mountains and the sea with hundreds of difficulties to seek refuge.

   Also, there was another Iranian woman refugee who told me her husband beat her so badly that when she got to Sweden, she was suffering from broken ribs, teeth and hands. She told me if she hadn’t escaped to Sweden, that she would have committed suicide in Iran. 

   

     Another girl told me about the suppression of her religious views and that she was dismissed from university due to her Bahá'í Faith and the regime threatened her with imprisonment for writing a letter of complaint.
  

     Yes, these are the lamentations of some of the battered Iranian girls and women who have been oppressed by both the Islamic government and traditional cruel families. Please join me in being the voice of the suffering refugees who have no alternative left but to flee their homeland for a country that will give them safety and freedom.