Escaping Islam - Back Cover

While the world around my birth place was gripped in turmoil, my story begins. In August of 1936, shortly before the war that brought the fall of Iran's Reza Shah, two families, each owners of valuable land on the outskirts of Tehran, collided in a bitter dispute over the source of life: water. Out of this conflict, through a combination of passion and wisdom, they became one family—my own.

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As part of our tradition, in addition to our thrice-daily prayers, there was fasting and worship in reverence to Allah. The fasting was tedious and required that no food be consumed during the sun light hours, as a showing of faith. This was my mother’s tradition as my father did not observe this reverence. I remember sitting with her on fasting days while he was working at the bank. Even as small child we were expected to follow the fast for Allah. My mother had a soft spot for her sons; so I knew on a day of fasting, she would hold me close as she always did, and would say, “It will be OK if you just have a few morsels of sweet cake.”

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In 1978 there were 45,000 Americans and 15,000 Europeans assigned to a variety of industries. There were also foreign advisors to the military. Westernization was evident and quite noticeable. Differences could be seen in fashion, films, music, television programming and the legal use of alcohol and tobacco. This growing modernized society was a huge threat to the Islamic movement.

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Our baby boy was born. He was delivered by an Iranian female Gynecologist in a private Jewish hospital in Tehran. Later during the revolution, this talented Doctor’s fingers were cut off by the militants to show their distaste for her involvement with Jews and of course, to end her career.

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In order to facilitate the national tour in conjunction with this secret itinerary, I was assigned a jet and a pilot to pick up the Iraqi General and his staff. The mission was top secret and I was responsible for creating the itinerary. My aid carried a brief case filled with money and I was given a secret code to be used for any assistance that might be needed anywhere in Iran.

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He added; “There is a lot going on behind the scenes.” “We are going to see large scale strikes in the entire country.” “These Muslim fanatics are going to start throwing acid in the faces of the women who are not wearing the Islamic Chador in public.” “They will be creating an environment of fear among all of our citizens and promoting a holy campaign of terror and disorder”.

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I called one of my close friends, with the intention of asking him to go to our Villa, to turn on the furnace. As soon as he heard about our plans, he immediately interrupted me and said” Don’t even think about coming.” “There are people here that are armed and looking for you.” He added “This morning a group of militants thought you might have already arrived.” “The demonstrators attacked your villa; broke the main door, two windows and some of your belongings were looted”.

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A tall man of large stature with unkempt beard and disheveled clothing came behind the microphone and said; “I am the commander in charge of the Main Naval Headquarters. I have not slept for three nights and if any of you do not follow my orders, I will respond to you with this!” He lifted his machine gun and fired at least fifty rounds of ammunition into the air. When he stopped firing the silence was deafening.

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As I left, I could not see the blood, but I could smell the scent of death and feel the agony that had taken place that day. There was an ominous cloud that engulfed and sickened me. It was more than fear-- it was the questioning of human existence, of survival, of power, of so many things. I looked down the street and saw my shiny red car. I walked as quickly as possible, trying not to show my panic, in order to reach my sanctuary. Somehow, I managed to open the door and slide into the seat but my relief was short lived. The sobering fact was that my family and I had to hide and immediately would not be soon enough.

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My heart was beating so fast that I reached up and loosened my collar button. There were moments when the room started to spin, but I was trying hard to keep my head up showing that I was confident about my situation.

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The bungling and disagreements that went on in the State Department under Cyrus Vance as well as Ambassador Sullivan, (with Carter’s knowledge), influenced the United States government to withdraw their support at a very crucial time. This was all that was necessary to give the fanatical opposition the opportunity to take over. In order to please President Carter, the Shah had ordered the release of the “political prisoners” who then joined Khomeini’s followers to murder and plunder. While President Carter prayed in the church at Camp David, blood flowed in Iran.

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I have lived in a country that was diligently trying to utilize their oil money for progress until I had to flee for my life-- leaving behind a country that had quickly turned into an “Axis of Evil”. Today in 2008, in spite of the embargo to boycott Iran, they are still an active member of OPEC, producing around four million barrels of oil per day, and selling it to countries other than the United States. Money flows from the Mullah’s coffers into the building of Hezbollah’s armies.

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Thirty years later I realize that the depth of nuclear development, the United States gave to Iran, is being redirected against America. I had always thought that the friendship between our two countries would be ever-lasting.

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