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.

Who Is Ready to Help Egypt?

Millions of Egyptians, including many of those who voted for the ex-president Muhammad Morsi, a Muslim extremist, flooded the streets of Cairo and caused his presidency to come to end. They did not want their country to fall into a calamity similar to what has befallen Iran by the extremist mullahs.

Morsi was chasing the footsteps of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan, who has aimed to put the Turkish military in chains and initiate a progressive coup d’├ętat against the democratic values of Ataturk (Kemalist Ideology), disarming the freedom lovers of his country and establishing a tyrannical Islamic imperialism.

It is awe-inspiring that Egyptians were not as apathetic as Iranians were in the time of the Ayatollah Khomeini, but marched ahead in order to guard their future from the rule of Sharia, the Islamic law. The Ayatollah disarmed the mighty army of Iran with the help of President Jimmy Carter, similar to what has been transpiring between Morsi and Obama, the current president of America.

We are living in an era where no country is immune to the external influences of economic relationships and ideological intimidations. Egypt is one of those countries whose economy is highly dependent on foreign aids and whose future can therefore be shaped by inappropriate interventions of aid-givers, depending on their ideologies. One example of this ideological intervention is the homage the White House has made towards the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the desire of the majority of Egyptians. It was the support of the White House that ousted Hosni Mubarak and brought Muhammad Morsi to power as president. Morsi is ousted now as a result of millions protesting, but the White House sees the cry of freedom fighters as insignificant since its supported president is now out of a job. The White House may suspend their aid if the Egyptians do not release Morsi or leave the door open for the Brotherhood to pursue its own extreme Islamic agenda in the name of democracy.

The other alternative for Egypt if America withdraws its aid is the Saudi Arabian aid money, paid on the condition that the Egyptian government aligns itself with the Saudi Arabian norm, that is, the dominance of Islam at the cost of all beliefs, human rights and freedom.

We see how Egyptians are, and will continue to be, subject to the pressures of foreign powers, and none of these aids will help them to reach democracy and freedom.

What is the solution? Is there any alternative that can help Egyptians to protect themselves against such threats and pressures, and establish a democracy that can enable them peace as a nation?

Yes. Egyptians need to search and discover the root of the problem in their own country, culture and beliefs first. They need to examine their country’s current principles in the context of the world and courageously choose the best values of life and leadership and make them their own. Social and political justice will not be established in a society unless individuals open themselves to the truth, stand for it with the utmost desire, courage, sacrifice and conviction, and thereby resist the strongholds in their own culture and beliefs. Egyptians need twice the courage in this regard since their country is economically dependent on others and lacks an honest leadership. Egyptians need creative and participative leadership principles that value their human dignity, rights, freedom, and raise up humble leaders who can serve their nation sacrificially. This is a long term and the only solution if Egyptians aim to sacrifice and attain it.

It is hard to believe that the centralized Islamic leadership styles in Egypt can change overnight since there is no room for a democratic leadership model in the Islamic Middle-East and since leaders are culturally compelled to honor Islam. If Ataturk’s mighty army was not able to establish freedom in Turkey, if the American Army was not able to establish democracy in Iraq and if the United Nations’ Army was not able to release Afghanistan from the tyranny of Islamic leadership, no one, therefore, will be able to establish freedom in Egypt alongside the dominance of Islamic leadership unless Egyptians open themselves to the leadership values of Christ:
You know that the rulers of the nations exercise dominion over them, and they who are great exercise authority over them. However, it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be chief among you, let him be your servant. (Matthew 20:25-27MKJV) 
There was Islamic oppression in the time of nationalistic president Hosni Mubarak and he lost, and it worsened in the time of Islamist president Morsi who was also overturned. Add to this the ongoing clashes between nationalistic and Islamic leaderships, which only exacerbate the problem. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups will never give up and will always be ready to fight all other groups and even put their lives aside for the establishment of a despotic Islamic theocracy.

I recall my own experiences before and after the 1979 Revolution in Iran, where the Islamic leadership, both the nominal Islamic leadership of Shah and the hardline Islamic leadership of Khomeini, shut the door to freedom. Egyptians will face similar sorts of problems if they rely on Islamic ethics for the establishment of democracy. What needs to be understood is that it is not the power of the people or army that enables democracy, rather fundamental changes in their culture and beliefs. Even the most powerful army cannot lead a nation to democracy if the people’s beliefs are not compatible with the values of democracy.

Turkey is a great example of this mismatch. For nearly 80 years, the Turkish army had the responsibility of protecting the Kemalist Ideology (a secular democratic state policy). In one instance, a Prime Minister was sentenced to death for his plot to make Turkey a theocratic state and in another instance a Prime Minister was forced to step down for a similar reason. Now, the army has lost its power to an Islamist Prime Minister who subtly influenced and disarmed the army of its power. We have been witnessing how the present Prime Minister, Erdogan, has modified policies, placed influential army generals in prison and paved the way for the establishment of a theocratic Turkey in the future. This is because the nation has always been ready for an Islamic theocracy since Islam is actively present in the life of the majority, and politics and religion are interwoven in Islam. The centralized leadership culture of Islam has the door wide open for the rise of Islamic authoritarianism. In a similar way, the door of democracy will not be open in Egypt unless Egyptians close the door of their hearts to Islam and to its sectarian leadership style, and instead open themselves to the freedom promoting Judeo-Christian values of which the West prospered in every aspect.

Many Iranians have been suffering for thirty years due to the Islamic leadership in Iran. They protested the dictatorship of the Shah and tried to reach democracy under the leadership of Khomeini. After a year, they realized that even the dictatorship of the Shah was far better than the theocracy of Khomeini. However, it was too late for them to solve the problem since the religious army had established itself with power and no longer was there a place for criticism. Then the majority chose to stay quiet; some aligned themselves with the victorious theocrats, and the remaining opponents were imprisoned, killed or escaped. Ever since the rise of Khomeini, life in Iran has continually worsened. Now many, after years of deep dissatisfaction, see the root of all problems in their religion, Islam. They experience everything of Islam but do not see any progress. They are now waking up and opening their hearts to Christ.

Egyptians are also going to experience hardship, though in a slightly different manner, since Islamic culture is the dominant culture in Egypt. Today, there are many Egyptians who are celebrating over the collapse of Morsi’s theocracy and yearning for freedom, but sooner or later their voices will rise again, because many of their expectations will not be met for above reasons.

There is a great responsibility on our shoulders as the follower of Jesus Christ, who gave His life for the Egyptian too, to wake them up so that they do not follow Iran’s or Turkey’s paths. Our question to our fellow followers of Christ throughout the world is this; are we willing to help the Egyptians and reveal the truth to them in any possible way and through any available channel so that they do not experience the hardship Iranians and Turks have been experiencing? Are we ready to show the same courage shown by Iranian and non-Iranian Christians, who have been working faithfully for decades to open the eyes of many to the values of Islam in the light of Christ? Today, Iran is the number one country among all Muslim nations for the total number who have come to Christ. These Christians will never give up until Iran falls into the hand of Jesus Christ and is rid of tyranny.

Egypt is awaiting our help.

Licensed to Criticize, but Never Tolerate Criticism

Often, I encounter an atheist or a Muslim leader from a local neighborhood come to my host church and tell its pastors and elders that I shouldn't have been given the chance to speak, as my sharing about their beliefs may provoke Christians to hate them. This was despite my emphasis on the teaching of the Gospel of Christ which ranks hatred as a sin and commands loving unconditionally. Hatred does not work in the mission of Christ, who gave His life for all, regardless of religious or political affiliation. On the other hand, if I believed in and promoted hatred, why would I leave Islam and limit myself with the teachings of Christ who promoted love and peace?

It is astonishing that the number one enemy for the leftists and number two for Islamists, after Jews and Judaism, is Christianity. Contemporary atheism began with demonizing Christianity as “the opium of the world” and as something that serves Capitalism for exploiting the rights of the working class. It is virtually impossible for them to give Christianity a rest in their daily criticism, so innately  is it linked with its roots as a reaction against it. It is the same for Islamists. Not only does Quranic text speak evil of Christianity, their daily prayers condemn it daily. History has proven that no other belief has created more hatred against Christianity and sanctioned the slaughter of million of Christians other than the beliefs of atheists and Islamists. It is those who embrace such ideologies that are now advising the churches in the West to avoid any discussion or criticism of their beliefs as it may cause hatred! Further, they accuse their critics of hatred, racism and fascism. Isn’t it something? Especially considering the absolute intolerance of churches within areas where such these ideologies hold power.

A few years ago, Pope Benedict recently mentioned another’s criticism against Islam in one of his lectures, but Islamists were not able to tolerate it and therefore burnt several churches and killed Christians, blaming the Pope’s for their own atrocities. ‘If the Pope did not speak ill about Islam, Muslims would not be hostile’, was the logic behind their hostilities. They themselves hate, terrorize, and teach their followers to outrageously ignore and breach the rights of others, but would never tolerate if someone disfavors their beliefs or condemns their attitudes. It is an ideological principle that compels them to blame their critics with evil words and deeds, creating poisonous arguments and clashes, raising up their voices in a bid to receive more attention and pave the way for their own despotism through fear.

Their beliefs have deified the rights of their own followers over the rights of others and licensed them to hate and criticize, yet also fight against the criticism or disapproval of others. But others must keep silent. Islamists have the right to rape Christian girls in Egypt and Pakistan in the name of Islam, but if a Christian boy falls in love with a Muslim girl, the entire Christian community will be under attack. Similar attitudes have been occurring in most of our universities in the West, where there is 100% freedom to belittle Christianity and Christians, but zero tolerance towards those who uncover their irrational and impractical theories and philosophies.

Such “criticism equals hate” mentality hinders creative, open and critical thinking and prevents hearing those who tirelessly work to protect freedom and reciprocal respect. And what is the key ingredient to its success? Ignorance. For this reason, they recognize the great necessity of using every means possible to keep others oblivious, thus ensuring their success. Ayatollah Khomeini used the same game card, as did Lenin and Mao Zedong, establishing their totalitarian regimes and shedding the blood of millions, including those who once trusted them, even going to far as the kill family members who opposed.

Blame games always go hand in hand with ignorance. That’s why the utmost effort of our contemporary leftists and Islamists is to keep our nations uninformed. Now, since people are unaware and thereby unable to challenge them for their irrational accusations, they have gone so far as to blame their critics with terrorism. I have been accused numerous times of terrorism for uncovering beliefs that are an insult to sanity. It amazes me that doctrinal discussions are equated with terrorism when done by those who oppose their ideologies.

This one-way ethic is not only dangerous for Christians but it has also paralyzed the nations who are ruled by Islamists and leftists. There is, therefore, a duty on our shoulders to act as the light and salt of Christ, reveal the dangers of such ethics and call people to follow and experience the Christ who paid a great price for establishing a fair ethic based on mutual love, care and respect.