Tuesday, January 20, 2015
It is my pleasure to introduce to you my dear Iranian friend, Paymaneh Sabet.
Paymaneh is an Iranian-Christian refugee currently residing in Malaysia. She is a gifted journalist and activist whose ambition is to write and speak out for her troubled country.
Paymaneh's testimony is in my book, "The Cross in the Desert."
In the following article, Paymaneh describes the painful reality of being a woman in both Iran and Malaysia......
I am guilty, not because of what I did but because of who I am, because of whom I have been created by.
I am educated. I can make money. I am a lecturer, a journalist and an actress, but none of them covers my gender. I am humiliated because I am a woman. Men look at me as a tool, as a piece of cloth, as an amusement, as a slave, as an option as a choice....
When getting married, they ask me to conform, that I will submit myself to my man for some money as the Arabs did with their servants centuries ago. And when I confirm it, everyone will clap happily for such an occasion, for such an auction.
When I sell myself, my father, mother and brothers will all be happy.
I have no rights in my country. Men consider me as a second class citizen. It is not their fault, they were taught, they were trained like this! It is not their fault, the government considers me second class. It is not their fault, their religion, Islam, treats me as second class, giving me "rights" as much as half of my youngest brother and my newly born male cousin. No, it is not their fault, they need to treat me like this to be able to go to paradise and have fun with the female angles there!
I have no place in my country as a woman. And as a person who does not want to be a Muslim, I deserve death. Unfortunately, I don't have any rights in my own country either. I am labeled a terrorist, an anti-American, anti-civilization..anti everything good! People judge and evaluate me..putting me in the same category as my government. They look upon me like the mullahs who have occupied my country and raped my women.
I am educated, skilled and talented, but none of these things conceal who I really am. I am an Iranian, without worth and value! They don't care if I stand up against my government. They don't care if I am suffering and oppressed by my government. They don't care because I am Iranian. I have no rights to live like a human being. They don't care if I am homeless and if my government wants to execute me. They are not a woman, they are not Muslim born...
It is a tragic reality. There is no place in the world for me, neither in Iran, nor in other countries, not even here, in Islamic Malaysia. Here I am low class too, because I am a woman. Also because I'm Shi'a. The Sunni Muslims in Malaysia will not accept me!
Here the situation is even worse. I cannot tell them that I'm not a Muslim. I cannot tell them that I oppose Islam. That is a crime in Islam and I will be sentenced to death, after being raped, which will then exclude me from going to paradise.
Yes, even here in Malaysia, there is no place for me!
I do not deserve a piece of land to live on. I do not deserve freedom, human rights, and happiness because I am a criminal. I am a criminal not because of any crimes that I've committed, but simply because I m a woman, an Iranian and a Christian.
A Christian who knows the truth. A Christian who is in love with her God, her Christ, who's crucifixion is denied by the Quran. A Christian, whose biggest dream is that all of mankind is saved, who has a burden to preach the gospel, which is a crime in Islam is deserving of death!
Yes, I am a criminal. I have committed three crimes, I am a woman, I am an Iranian and a Christian. I despise Islam. It has made me homeless with no where to go, no place to live and no rights as a woman.
In my own country Iran, I have no rights because I am a woman....
In other countries, I have no rights because I'm Iranian....
In Malaysia, I have no rights because I am a Shi'a and worse than that, I'm a Christian.
There is no place for me under the Lord's heaven..even animals have a home!
I am homeless..I am a refugee...I am nothing, nothing, nothing.....
But I am my Lord's precious daughter!!
About the Author.......(Paymaneh Sabet)
I am an Iranian lecturer, a teacher, and a translator. But previously, I also wrote for journals. I love writing and making short films. I love to write about romance, love stories and the greatest love story between God and His people.
It is also my duty to use my gifts and talents to stand up against the dictatorship in Iran and cry out for their freedom. I want to do my best to reach them with the gospel, inspite of the barriers and limitations. I want the world to know the true Iranian..to know their true faces and the human rights atrocities they have suffered with for the past 35 years.
My biggest dream is that Iranians will know the truth and turn their hearts to Christ for true salvation, freedom and happiness.