I believe God is wiser than we imagine. I believe that God has humor, and that God created humor in order to keep out the devil. She is not a god who would waste her time making millions of rules. My God is not vain and has nothing against being depicted and even ridiculed.
I love my freedom, the freedom that was granted to me by my parents when they bravely defied gravity and fled from an Iran ruled by religious fanatics. They saw us as heretics and infidels, because my parents belong to the Bahâ’î religion which is not tolerated by the otherwise “so very tolerant” Islamic state. But we escaped and came to Denmark, .
I shall never forget the fear and terror we felt after the birth of the Islamic state in 1979 in Iran.
In Paris under an apple tree there sat a kind old man. Mild and softspoken - but with a steely look in his eyes... He promised freedom and tolerance. He promised a future of growth and development. He seduced many in the east and the west. His name was Khomeini.
Khomeini arrives in Iran
The victory of the revolution became a historical fact. The Shah had left the country. All political parties had fought side by side against him with a common aim and hope. A naive hope. That hope was democracy. Real democracy, real freedom where the voice of the people could be heard.
Shortly after Khomeini arrived in Iran.
Naive and babbling intellectuals appointed him the leader of the revolution. The ayatolah was born The intellectuals allowed religion to interfere with political life. Khomeini brought with him fanaticism, fundamentalism, terror, war, death and destruction and, last but not least, hatred. Non-islamic books were to be burned. Voices critical of Islam were silenced and such voices had always been numerous in the long history of Iran.
I will never forget the faces of my manipulated and religiously brainwashed friends as they went off to war, believing they would arrive in Paradise. In the name of God you must kill the infidels. In the name of God you will achieve martyrdom. The suicide bombers were funded by the mullahs of Iran.
Every family was awarded a refrigerator for each martyr they had contributed. Many of my friends were killed. Their families received many refrigerators. Their life was not worth more than a refrigerator.
Khomeini created a new world.
The dark middle ages were once again a reality. Not in Europe this time, but in Iran. My teachers at school were replaced by imams who were illiterate and not even able to speak an understandable Persian. But they were definitely good at preaching Islam and reciting the Qur’ân. They forced the children to hate the jews ánd the infidels, and they made us shout death to the world.
We were taught that everything was allowed in the fight aginst the infidels. We were taught that Islam was God’s final message for mankind. We were taught that good muslims are fundamentalists. That no muslim can ever call himself a democrat. That no muslim should accept being oppressed by the putrid philosophy of the West. We were taught that no one can question the Qur’ân, since it is the word of God himself.
The brutality of the islamic regime
We were told that concepts such as democracy or personal freedom were modern trends created by the infidel. We were brainwashed into hating them. We were taught that lying in the struggle against the infidels was a duty. There is nothing wrong with lying publicly if the lie saves or promotes the islamic cause. This tactic is called taqiyeh/taqiyat.
Khomeini steam rolled forward and banned without scruple other parties which had actually participated in winning the revolution. Democrats, nationalists, communists - all were fair game. Women were brutally told to cover themselves. Sexual apartheid became a fact. Time was turned back a thousand years.
The only party permitted was the islamic party. There was only one truth, one law, one opinion. Only Islam and the Islamic sharia-laws. Dissident views had no place in this world. Writers, critics of the regime, actors, artists, musicians, composers, film makers, homosexuals, scientists, atheists, yes, everyone who did not live up to the ideals of the One Truth were jailed and butchered. Executed. The luckiest were able to escape, and for that reason there are now around 5 million Iranian refugees all over the world.
Every night my whole family gathered around the radio, the only breathing hole, the only spark of light in the lives of millions of Iranians. We risked our lives searching for the sound of freedom. My mum and dad fought a brave battle against the system by stubbornly tuning in to the waves of freedom on the air: BBC and The Voice of America
We listened breathlessly to every single word, every detail, and even the slightest variation of emphasis on a word. Perhaps they were sending us secret messages? Perhaps there were codes hidden in the sentences read by the DJ? Each and every song could be an incitement or an invitation to join a demonstration.
If the DJ played “Somewhere over the Rainbow” my whole family, and maybe also millions of other Iranian families, would try to read a higher meaning into it. Maybe the song was a green light for the final uproar against the slaughterers, who in the name of God had hijacked power in Iran.
The cruelties of the mullahs knew and still do not know any bounds. Human rights wre violated over and over again. Religion, which in this case means Islam, was the law. After the revolution all that counted was the word of God. What can you do when God has spoken? What is the use of democracy when God, the almighty, has already taken the trouble to give answers to all questions great and small? What is the use of dialog? What is the use of freedom of speech? No use at all. The mullahs preached that their main goal was to export the islamic revolution to the rest of the world. Their goal was - and still is - the destruction of Israel and the destruction of America in order to build the perfect islamic state.
Soldiers, no presents
While we still lived in Iran we felt sure that the rest of the world was looking at Iran with tears in its eyes. We were sure that all mankind, or at least the peoples of the Western world where democracy and freedom are the pillars and foundation of society, would come to our rescue.
Then still a small boy who could not avoid growing up very quickly, I woke up every morning and ran in excitement to the window to look at the new day, for the new day would surely bring me a present.
Every morning was like a “Christmas Morning”, and every morning I would turn away from the window, disappointed. There was no present for me. Not this morning either. And what was this present for which I was waiting so impatiently?
My present was to see soldiers. Yes, tanks and soldiers - American, French and English soldiers - who during the night had swiftly and effectively carried out a coup and had removed the mullahs and Khomeini and put them in jail.
Just like in Second World War where the allies freed Europe and liberated the countless prisoners of the concentration camps. It was this picture I dreamt of every single night and hoped to see every single morning. I have not yet received my present. But over the years I have learnt that in life you sometimes have to make your own presents.
When we arrived in Denmark just after escaping from Iran I saw a big group of demonstrators with banners. They were walking slowly through the street and shouted something I could not understand. Since all my thoughts were still circling around Iran, I came to the conclusion that the demonstration had to be against the mullahs and for the Iranian people and their freedom.
Yes, it had to be that. Of course! The Danish people and other Westerners could see how horrible and inhuman these terrorists were, and that was why they had come out into the streets to show their sympathy with the oppressed people in Iran. I went over to thank them for their act of solidarity.
After I had heartily thanked them on behalf of the then 36 millions of Iranians, a friendly but somewhat bewildered demonstrator looked at me and said: Iran? What is that? I began to panic and explained to him about our country and I asked him what the demonstration was for if not for Iran.
He said very proudly: We are fighting for 5 weeks of holiday instead of 3.
Each country has its own problems.
Free to chose
Now I live in Denmark and have done so for almost 25 years. I have learned the language and learned the traditions and customs of the country. I have a career as an actor and writer... But first and foremost I have created a life for myself as a human being.
I have created the kind of life I wish to live. That is to say: I have been free to chose. For many this is nothing sensational, but it was for me. And it still is. Freedom means being able to decide one's own life. To be able to choose on one’s own. To be able to think and make one’s own decisions as a free human being.
I enjoy the benefits of the free traditions of this country, and I wish that everyone in the world could enjoy these benefits too. I wish that all my friends from those days back in Iran, the friends who were less fortunate than me could and turn their backs on the islamists and flee like I did. I wish they could live in a free country and have a chance to fulfil themselves and develop their talents as free people just as I do.
Neither I nor my family wanted to leave Iran. If the barbaric islamists had not hijacked the country and brainwashed the ignorant population, I would have been living to this very day in Iran in peace and harmony and I would have written several books in my own language.
I think that the solution to the problems of the world can be found by looking at the planet as one country. A tiny little country for example like Denmark. If a city in Denmark were to be hit by a natural disaster or environmental problems, hunger or street battles or whatever, then the rest of Denmark would react instantaneously.
Not two hours would pass before the city would be in the spotlight of the media and both the government and the people would think it quite natural to send help to the city in crisis and “salvage” that city.
I really wish (just to take an example well known to you) that Denmark would regard Iran as a little provincial city belonging to Denmark. If this was so, these dirty and barbaric islamists would not be able to destroy Iran the way have been doing for more than 20 years. If we were one single country we would feel some sort of togetherness and belonging a and certain responsibility towards our next of kin. Ours, ours and ours. What they do with theirs is not our headache. We tend to think in terms of "them" and "us". There are those people down there, and then there are us up here in a world apart. That is the real problem, all these “ours” and “theirs”. All this “us and them”.
No. Now the time has come for us to act. In order to avoid a couple of spectacular nuclear wars and ensure our own survival we are forced to consider everything as ours. It is all ours. The responsibility is ours. If only the whole world would react against injustice, terrorism and fanaticism, if only people with democratic minds and traditions - in the West or in the East - would speak up more firmly.
Democratisation of the Middle East and especially Iran is a necessity for the survival of mankind. I hear that one commercial agreement after another is made with (an) Iran which constantly violates all human rights. When I ask: “Why on earth do you have to deal with murderers?” the answer is: “Critical dialogue”.
“Critical dialogue”? I have never found out what “critical dialogue” really is. For me “critical dialogue” with Iran or China is the same as letting Josef Frizl run about freely while turning a blind eye to the prisoners in his cellar... and then doing nothing more than havng “critical dialogue” with him once a week.
Politicians stand up and deliver beautiful speeches about human rights and issue one condemnation after the other. But a moment after they sign the most profitable economic contracts with the same despots and tyrants, and mullahs, they have just condemned.
Is Danish export of cheese and halal chicken really more important than human lives? Is the so called “Critical dialogue” really more important than a human life? Is a politician’s career and popularity more important than a human life?
The answer is: Obviously yes!
So, I have a suggestion. Let us give the Kurds, the Tibetans, the Iranians, the Africans, the Kosovo Albanians, the Indians, all women in Pakistan and Afganistan, every Buddhist in any Islamic society, yes, all people who are being oppressed and risk execution, let us give all people of the world Danish citizenship, then I am sure that we would not be indifferent.
Then I am sure that the “critical dialogue” would gain an entirely different meaning. So, in order to salvage the world, give all people of the world Danish citizenship or American, or German, or Swedish, or French. Let us be one country, one democratic and free country. Let us share a common responsibility.
The foundation of spirituality
Psychopaths must be fought. No matter whether they are serial killers, mullahs or little Hitlers. No matter whether they are called Khomeini, Josef Stalin or Josef Fritzl.
How can you fight psychopaths? Well, with force and with education. Force in order to remove the infected abscess, the psychopath, the Hitler or the mullah. And then education in order to prevent people from being fooled by the seductive power of persuasion of the psychopaths.
Political correctness is choking the life out of me and out of everyone else. If the mullahs had had blond hair, they would have been tackled entirely differently. It is the bad conscience of the West and misunderstood humanism, which has been holding back criticism. No one has ever been called a racist for criticising Jehova’s Witnesses.
Khomeini has been dead for a long time. But his ghost and sombre philosophy of life live on. Fanaticism is alive. In the Denmark of today I see the same radical messages I saw in Iran. This time neither in Persian nor in Arabic, but in perfect Danish. I recognize their well formulated and sleek language and their smooth innocent faces. Their message about tolerance... I see more and more Qur’ânic schools popping up. More and more children are sent to these schools.
Imported imams from the darkest places in the Middle East are entrusted with helping young ethnics to become integrated. The majority of these so called experts can’t even speak Danish. In my view this is a grotesque situation. We allow the future citizens of Denmark to be reared and brought up by fanatics and religious conservatives.
It is a matter of attitudes. It is a matter of principle. The democratic world is forced to take a stand. - - - To take a decision about what kind of world we want to develop. The Iranian people has had enough of the fundamentalists and their religion. The people have had enough of the mullah regime.
The Islamic state with all its power-greedy mullahs is hopefully living its last days. The Iranian people yearn for freedom. They need help. I sincerely ask the press and the media here in this country to focus on the new development in Iran and the demands of the Iranian people.
I, a citizen of the world who once, 37 years ago, was born in Iran, want to help the Iranian people by bringing their message to the West. I wish one day within a foreseeable future and with my good Danish friends to be able to travel to Iran in order to start a school movement there.
The schools are to be named The Democracy Schools. This is the only way in which one can prevent terror and fundamentalism in the future. One must put an end to religious brainwashing and schools which educate fanatic extremist robots - and start building schools of worldly enlightenment capable of educating creative, communicating and above all, happy people with a zest for life. Enlightenment is the foundation of spirituality.
The Iranian Dream, The Dutch Iran Commitee, The Press Centre in the Hague, 3/30-2009. The Iran committee will try to raise awareness in the Netherlands about the threats of the nuclear program of the mullah regime and the severity of their human rights violations.