About Daniel Shayesteh

Dr Daniel was born into a Muslim family in Northern Iran. He became a radical Muslim leader and teacher of Islam in the militant Free Islamic Revolutionary Movement, closely supporting Ayatollah Khomeini. However, after falling out of favor with Khomeini’s political group, he escaped to Turkey where there began an amazing journey to faith in Jesus Christ.

Daniel's mission is to help others understand and lovingly respond to those who do not know Christ. He is also deeply concerned for the future of Western societies, their loss of confidence in Judeo-Christian values, and their persistent naivete about the implications of the world-wide Islamic revival.

Immaturity and Ignorance Make Youth Prime Targets

Youth are generally more prone to lack of knowledge, carelessness, recklessness, risk-taking, light-heartedness and cheerfulness than other age group. Such traits that are characteristic of the developmental process of young people sees opportunists take advantage of their vulnerabilities, trying to indoctrinate and trap adolescents for their causes.  As a result, many mobs in Islamic countries are comprised of young people, while western countries contain avid followers of secular humanism, leftism and New Age. In Syria and Libya, youth are indoctrinated to achieve their freedom via guns and explosives. None is informed that rifles were not able to give freedom to Iranian, North Sudanese, North Korean or Cuban revolutionaries.

Perhaps the most concerning problems of indoctrination in the western societies today occur through universities, media, and films which encourage indifference and irresponsibility rather than preparing our youth with wisdom for a meaningful future. Universities and the media discourage wisdom since multiculturalism and altruism are regarded superior to truth. Worse yet are the many contemporary TV shows and films that introduce ill-mannered actors and actresses as good role models to our youth.

In 1979, the majority of young people were the hands and feet of the Revolution in Iran. The Ayatollah Khomeini led the Revolution with the utmost hostility toward the Shah of Iran, promising freedom and economic prosperity. He blamed the Shah of Iran for dictatorship, people’s poverty and lack of freedom, pointing towards two significant needs for which the younger generation was crying out.

At the time, we young people loved freedom but were unaware of Khomeini’s political philosophy and, therefore, unable to understand that freedom could not be achieved by burning banks, public buses or shooting our rifles in the streets. An opportunist, Khomeini knew that youth could be easily dependable; their lack of knowledge keeping them from scrutinizing and challenging his belief. His serious opposition to the Shah’s policy captured our full attention - so much so that we were unable to understand that his success in leading the Revolution wouldn’t necessarily mean that he would be able to lead the future government in a way that would honor his people. We did not know that promises do not depict the capability of a person or leader, but the values behind his/her belief. Aware of our short-comings, Khomeini was able to convince us to overridingly focus on overthrowing the rule of the Shah without showing us a plan for the future. We left tomorrow’s thoughts and deeds and focused entirely on the destruction of the Shah’s kingdom.

Fully immersed into his destructive plan, we were unable to dream of a meaningful future. The Ayatollah Khomeini was very attractive on the surface, spoke accurately into the situation of Iran, and invited both young and old to march ahead against the dictatorship of the Shah; to take part in the destiny of their country. He promised people that his efforts were only for the freedom of the country; he expected nothing from the people and promised that he would not want to have any political role in the future. Alas, he was hiding himself under the shell of his belief, trying to get himself to power for the establishment of an Islamic rule. He used the words “freedom and prosperity” in order to deceive people and attain his goal.

None of us imagined that he would later disregard his crystal clear promises and bluntly stand for the establishment of a dictatorship that was hundred times stricter than the dictatorship of Shah. The result of our initial acceptance and blind obedience was strict pain. As a result, many young people were killed while others had no choice but to flee the country.

If we did not lack a deep, reflective capacity and if our intentions sprang from the wisdom that comes from knowledge, if we knew different ideas and were able to compare them with ours, if we apprehended current world politics and were not oblivious even to the politics of our own land, if our knowledge surpassed our emotion, if we were able to distinguish between right and wrong, if we knew that our lack of knowledge would cost us, if we knew that our ignorance would make our enemy’s voice louder than ours, if we knew that another big and vengeful government was not the true solution for our country, we would not have opened the door for opportunistic Khomeini to destroy our lives and our country.
Rather than personally making sure whether or not we could have freedom under the leadership of Khomeini, we entrusted everything to someone whose future plan was very ambiguous. We were hoping and trying to make things better, but inadvertently made them worse. In the end, when Khomeini reached power, we found him not only delaying freedom but also mocking upholders of freedom. We asked him to honor his piously promised words instead of hammering the progress of freedom, but giving freedom to others was beyond his belief and proved too much for him.

Islamization in the Middle-East and Secularization in the West are both stripping off many adolescents and young adults their God-given autonomy, turning them into senseless bodies and prepared targets for opportunistic leaders. Many young people call themselves Muslims, atheists, evolutionists, New Agers, or identify themselves with many other beliefs. Yet they do not know about the internal layers of their beliefs, and are therefore unable to compare them, to discover the best way of life. They yearn for freedom and speak in favor of it, but are unaware that their beliefs are inherently against freedom. And since they do not know the true meaning of freedom, opportunists can easily target them through manipulative words, and establish their cunning plans through the consent and votes of youth.

How can young people secure themselves against opportunists?

There is no stronger advice to young people than the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that says:
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example of the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1Tim.4:12).
In other words, be a good example to all, both young and old, and do not speak or act in such a manner that gives another the opportunity to belittle you on account of your youth. Your doctrine should be the doctrine of knowledge, reason, love and purity; making you thoughtful and caring toward others. A solid doctrine can function as a light in and through your life by enlightening the minds and hearts of others, and for protecting you and your community from those who have made it their task to set traps for those who are weaker.

Islamists: Beyond Public Criticism

They believe that Islam is a perfect religion, but their relational philosophy is very immature in dealing with opposition. How is it that a group of people with a "perfect" religion deal so chauvinistically with their opposition and want to get rid of them? They attack, destroy or kill depending on circumstances. They teach their children that Islam has the best plan for life and their children actually believe them. Some of these children show interest in logic and decide to prove the superiority of their religion with reason, but they can be stopped or tortured or killed for taking the initiative to compare their religion with others, since studying other religions and free expression are discouraged in Islam.

What kind of perfection is this that fights against freedom of choice, which is the only platform to perfection? Who can become free without expressing his/her free will?

There are countless Muslims in prisons in many Islamic countries because of their desire to exercise freedom, because the so-called perfect Islam does not allow such self-determination.  Islamists group their own freedom-fighting children with ‘Zionist or American Agents’. Christians and Jews have been the groups who have stood their ground and challenged Islam more than other groups throughout history, since Judeo-Christian values allow freedom, and since Israel is the number one free country in the Middle-East.  America, also, along with other Christian nations remains free. Any Muslim who desires freedom must therefore be dealt with like a Zionist Jew or an American Christian who shows favor towards the Jewish state!

Zionists and Americans are claimed to be the prime reasons for every challenge or problem in the Middle-East. No-one will challenge a committed Muslim leader unless he is Zionist or American, or so radical Muslims believe. I was called a Zionist and American Agent when I was in prison awaiting a death sentence in Iran for my opposition to Khomeini’s suppression, yet at the time I had nothing to do with either Americans or Israel.

It is not a new thing for an Islamist to try to intimidate freedom lovers trying to exercise their freedom of choice about Islam. The war against the freedom of choice started from the birth of Islam by its prophet Muhammad:

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error (The Nobel Quran 33:36).

The Quran has already conditioned the minds and hearts of Islamists to react harshly towards those who stay away from Islam or challenge it:

You who believe (Muslims), kill any disbeliever who are close to you (relatives and neighbors) so that they may find out how harsh you are.  Allah is with those who are pious (Q.9:123).

Based on such texts, hostility and blind rage in Islamists’ behavior are integral to Islam.  The desire to force people into silence is the order of Muhammad and Islam sanctioned by Allah in the Quran, allegedly from eternity, since the Quran was designed and written in eternity, or so Muslims believe. Verses 6, 13 and 31 in chapter (sura) 8 of the Quran are speaking about those who dispute the words of Muhammad and accuse him of plagiarizing the ancient sources of other faiths. The critics are called hostile (verse 15), deaf, dumb and the worst of beasts (verse 22); those who hear but do not listen (verse 21). The instruction against these critics is the death sentence, firstly by chopping off their finger tips and then their heads (verse 12).

It is in light of such doctrine that Islamists are at war with the freedom of speech in the West, though justifying their violence with new excuses. Of course, these new excuses are the best tools they can muster for brain-washing their own followers and also for stirring up anti-Christian westerners to confuse people in the West, create conflict and chaos, and pave the way for the advancement of the Islamic anti-freedom laws. The recent invasions of American embassies in various Islamic countries are the examples of such conspiracies. Islamists used a YouTube video as an excuse for their invasion but in reality it was because of America’s religious and cultural bond with Israel and of her social fabric based on individual freedom which is a barrier for the establishment of Islam in America and the world.

Suppose the invasions were merely because of this video made by an American Coptic citizen. Why then were American embassies invaded on the anniversary of Sep 11 while the video was on YouTube for months before Sep 11, 2012?  It is foolish to believe that this violence was solely a reaction to this film. Since Sep 11, 2001, I have repeatedly been saying that there would come a day when Islamists would openly celebrate Sep 11 as a victory day for Osama bin Laden and a demonizing day for America. That day was the Sep 11, 2012 when Islamists were chanting in front of American embassies that Osama bin Laden was not one but millions. I said this because I used to be one of them and know their doctrine, hearts and minds.

The attacks on American embassies were orchestrated in a way to commemorate Osama bin Laden and those Muslims who gave their lives in the destruction of the twin-towers. The film was used as an excuse to make the politically correct leaders in the West apologize to Islamists, so that they could more freely press on for imposing their Sharia on us.

Unfortunately, the Islamists succeeded.  The best our Western politicians could do was to ignore the Islamists’ tricks and to speak in a way to denigrate courage for freedom in the West and hearten radical Muslims to be more hostile against freedom. Opportunist and anti-Christian politicians are doing everything in their power to ensure that no Islamic deception goes to waste, since Islamists are the best opponents of Christianity. Such politicians lounge around while hundreds of Christians are killed in Islamic countries every year, and while 64% of the Quran, 81% of Muhammad’s life story book and 32% of Muhammad’s instructions in Hadiths are insulting to Christians and Jews. But when a group of Muslims, rightly or wrongly, protest the slightest offense, these politicians appear before the cameras as proxies of human rights and trumpet that some individuals’ emotions have been hurt!

Since these western luminaries have been giving the green light to Islamic exceptionalism, Islamists have also become more zealous in finding new ways to impose their silencing doctrine on the nations of the world. A few years ago, Muslim ambassadors in the UN took a resolution (drafted by Muslim leaders) to the UN nations in order  make the criticism of religion (Islam) illegal among all nations. The resolution has not passed yet and is on hold. Now the signs are indicating that the recent violent protests against the above mentioned YouTube film could be a plot by Islamists to bolster support for the resolution in the UN. As Recep Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, said while speaking against the film, “When free speech is in the form of a provocation there should be international legal regulations against attacks ... on religion … There should be domestic laws, too. Freedom of thought and belief ends where the freedom of thought and belief of others starts."

In other words,  international powers are supposed to issue laws which recognize freedom only for Muslims but not for others. Muslims must be free to destroy the rights of others, but others should not have any right to defend their beliefs. Their duty is only to apologize to Muslims if they exercise their God given freedom of choice. 

In democratic countries individuals have a legal right, accept, reject or even demonize the beliefs and even the actions of another person no matter how offensive this may be seen by others. Individuals are free to exercise this freedom as long as it does not harm others physically, belittle them racially, or damage their reputation with lies.   Democracy is therefore dynamic, opens the door to everyone, regardless of their race, religion or nationality, to practice their beliefs and participate in public debate. Democracy also fosters human creativity. It is for this reason that democracy is superior to Islamic despotism, which favors sectarianism and blocks the door of creativity for people, in particular for non-Muslims and those who oppose Islam.  Islamists’ silencing doctrines are therefore inadequate and in clear opposition to our constitutional rights in the West. Freedom of speech is an inherent part of the Biblical culture which was used for the establishment of laws in the West and for the protection of individual rights. The God of the Bible respects human freedom of choice and speech. He is not like Allah who approaches people like a master to slaves, and allows them no right to question. The God of the Bible appears like a loving father, supporting people to establish a meaningful and intimate life free from tyranny.  Therefore, if our freedom of speech and our respect for people are causing Islamists to want to attack and kill us, it will be wise for us to expose the values of these blind fanatics, create awareness among people, defend and protect the fundamental aspects of our life and freedom, in unity.

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits … (Matthew 7: 15-16)