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.
What are the dividing walls and where are they? There are many barriers - philosophical, doctrinal, social, political and moral and they are in every part of life. The mastermind behind all these dividing walls is Satan. For this reason, people need someone greater than Satan to destroy his hindrances and demolish the dividing walls and establish peace. People need the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, whom the Bible describes as “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”.
Jesus is the only One who has overcome Satan and established justice victoriously in order to save people. The Bible describes His victory in amazing ways. Those who read the Gospel and discover His victory will put their trust in Him. They will no longer follow a man or even a prophet but Jesus, since victory belongs to Him only and peace and reconciliation cannot be achieved without Him.
Jesus came to this world in order to establish peace in the hearts of people and make them what they were meant to be before the fall - being with God as members of His household. Then, every good thing will be given to them.
We can see how vital it is to teach the Gospel of Jesus nationally and globally. Let us therefore embody the goal of God in manifesting Himself in Jesus Christ and act as His special vessels until all the world, including our nations, hear that they cannot succeed unless they follow Jesus. Jesus was born into this world to save the lost.
It is like a deadly poison to the leaders of Islamic countries, even to the most moderate ones, if you go to their countries and take an opportunity to talk about your non-Islamic belief. If they are moderate and decide to be a bit nice to you, they just deport you. Otherwise, they can keep you in prison for years and accuse you of spying in order to make their inhumane initiatives look remotely legitimate to civilized nations. They can kill you with monstrous hatred too. Pastor Hike Hovsepian in Iran was mysteriously stabbed 26 times, whereas he could have been killed with just one stab. They then left his body in the street to show that Christians’ freedom is a serious threat to their dictatorship. Freedom makes them panic more than anything else.
When it comes to Muslims freely taking advantage of the freedom available to them in non-Islamic countries, they seize it 100%. Otherwise they will be offended and adopt the pose of being victims of discrimination. Not only do they want full freedom for themselves abroad, but a ‘criticism-free’ freedom too. They don’t care that criticism and even self-criticism are inherent components of western freedom. That is why we see that Islamists in non-Islamic countries have continually been trying to silence their critics in order to spread their dictatorial Islam. For example, Saudi Arabia distributes millions of Qurans in non-Islamic countries each year, but a non-Muslim is not allowed to take his personal Bible to that country. The rulers of Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries are terrified that a Bible may fall into the hands of a Muslim, teach him true freedom and reveal the unjust constraints of a dictatorial leadership style. They know that when freedom comes, dictatorship must go. That’s why the word “freedom” terrifies them.
The central motive of all Islamic terrorist groups in the world is that there are some people in the world who love freedom and may become a challenge to the spread of Islam’s tyrannical leadership in the future. According to the Quran, freedom lovers must be terrified since there is no option given to any man or woman to express their opinion concerning Allah’s and his prophet’s decisions in the Quran. (Sura (Chapter) 33:36; also read Sura (Chapter) 8)
It is interesting to note similarities under Communist regimes. Communist theory regards the West’s cherished idea of the freedom for individuals to have a right to individual expression, ownership and wealth as anathema. Individual autonomy does not make sense in communist theory since the force of nature runs life randomly. A creative freedom, therefore, is nothing but a blocking enemy or a thesis that necessitates revolution through an anti-thesis. The real reason behind the establishment of the Berlin wall was to stop the flow of western freedom to the East which was in close proximity. Communism had to be protected from freedom. The destruction of freedom is the initiating step of Communism. The advanced Communist community must therefore be perpetually protected against freedom. That’s why everybody in a Communist country is under pressure to spy on others and to report if there is any hint of desire for freedom. If you know but do not report, then you are in trouble.
This is exactly what happens in most Islamic countries, in particular the radical ones like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
We also see hostility towards freedom and criticism in the midst of western societies by those who hate to be challenged. They get very nervous especially when you convey to them the words of Jesus Christ who says that it is the knowledge of the truth which sets people free. (John 8:32) They hate the knowledge of the truth since it threatens the underlying, but false, personal securities they have gained from investing in untruth. That’s why they hate freedom and even become vicious when someone speaks about it.
In most cases, the enemies of freedom have demonstrated that it was the threat to their own personal fortune, power or status that was the real cause of their panic and hatred towards freedom and freedom lovers, rather than their beliefs or ideologies.
During the thirteen year period when Muhammad, the prophet of Islam was not famous but a middle class Meccan money earner, he was peaceful. He even attended a church with his wife, just as some of our presidents and prime ministers do before elections. He referred to the Bible, in the hands of his contemporary Christians and Jews, as the light for people. The pinnacle point of his message at that time was “no compulsion in religion.
But that scenario changed after Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina, became a statesman and made a fortune. It was then that he forbade criticism (Quran 33:36) and outlawed the existence of any other religion and furthermore sanctioned that a pious Muslim had to be known to everyone as a terrorizing person (Quran 9:123). He even replaced some old verses of the Quran, which were barriers to his newly adopted anti-freedom ethics, and replaced them with new ones in order to legitimize his harsh attitudes and thereby safeguard his dictatorial fortune, power and status. So, practically, his beliefs became of secondary importance to him after gaining his fortune.
The history of Islam is full of this kind of shocking and capricious leadership style when leaders changed even the most sacred beliefs of Islam to protect their fortunes or their power. One example is the changing of the prayer direction from Jerusalem to Petra in Jordan by Muhammad, and then after his death the shift from Petra to the present Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is still the same among Muslim leaders. The Quran in verses 21 and 22 of its chapter 5 says that Israel belongs to Jews forever. In verse 104 of chapter 17 it also says that even scattered Jews will be brought to their promised land. But Muslim leaders do not care about their Quran’s sanction of the rights of Jews over Israel. This is because hostility towards Jews has created fortunes for them and will do the same for their children and grandchildren.
Mao Tse-tung, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro and their peers in Communist countries were and are the same. They too didn’t/haven’t cared much about the altruism in their Communism which was initially adopted for their nations to prosper. They all displayed very generous motives and intentions at the beginning declaring how they would invest their lives for their nations. That generosity came to an end when they became powerful.
Initially, people trusted their Communist saviours, joined them and opened the door for them to triumph. After, having experienced Communism, people have realized that it had not worked in the way they anticipated. Some decided to try something else, but were viciously killed despite still calling themselves Communists. History has never forgotten the many Communists, as well as others that were slaughtered by Stalin. If the ideology was a priority, they wouldn’t have wanted to kill their Communist peers for their criticisms. Rather, they would have acted as real Communists, gone to the corporate body of Communism, the working class or proletariat, taken a secret ballot and acted accordingly. They didn’t, because the ideology did not matter for them any more as much as their fortune and status did.
The ideology itself was also impractical to these infamous Communist dictators of history. Had they followed their ideology with integrity, their actions would have served the needs of the people rather than being ruthlessly self-serving. As a result, their regimes were based on egotism and were thus hostile to freedom. Their foreign policies were also centered on hostility to freedom, especially the western style of freedom that values time and life. If anyone from their lands took refuge in a western country, they would do everything to get rid of that person, fearing that s/he would reveal the weaknesses of the regimes in their homelands.
Opposition to freedom in western countries is also nothing more than a channel for safeguarding personal agendas and fortunes. That’s why some socialists have become millionaires in the West despite the inconsistency of that with the principles of socialism. They have learned how to make money and live by the motto:“Look like a socialist, live like a capitalist”. It is risky even if their own socialist peers criticize them. Some leftists have sacked their own leftist friends who challenged them ideologically. “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a documentary that reveals how vicious some leftists can be even towards their own leftist peers who dare to challenge them. The very principle of socialism “the end justifies the means” is turned back on its own adherents. Interesting!
So the ideology (socialism, atheism, secularism or others) is not a big deal for these enemies of freedom. However, the fortune they have made is! They use the ideology just for mischievously caricaturing their critics or opponents in order to promote uncertainty in their opposition, and allegiance to themselves, so that they can penetrate and dominate. From there they dominate and their domination must continue with recklessness and without any challenge, hence silencing critics and opposition. In other words, the ideology was used to create a market of fortune for them, a fortune that even friends cannot challenge now.
Unfortunately, the West has become a place of fortune for everybody with every kind of belief. The most hostile belief has also made its nest in the West and now has the opportunity to destroy it. Multiculturalism in the West has opened the door for Socialists, Communists, Islamists and other minorities to reject their obligation to uphold freedom of rights (a core value of the West) in order to follow their own aggressive and unfair agendas. Now, more or less every practice of every group is valid, irrespective of how brutal or abusive it may be, since it is legitimate in that particular group’s culture or belief.
Multiculturalism has given sovereignty to almost every practice in the West. But this has been ridding the West of its own Judeo-Christian values which, in a great many cases, lie at the heart of western freedom. This outcome has produced great passivity among rank and file people so that opportunists can take over and be hostile to freedom lovers. This is what we get now. The arrows of the opponents of freedom are in the ‘western air’ even before we say a word in favor of freedom. Freedom lovers are called haters, fascists or Nazis by the children of multiculturalism and have been even attacked physically by them.
Why would an atheist or socialist or Islamist call a sincere Christian a ‘hater’ since hating is a sin in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? But hate is legitimate in the beliefs of contemporary secular ideologies? History has demonstrated that attributing bad names to others is a sign of invasion or destruction that is about to happen. Late in his life, Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, called Christians and Jews animals and the worst of beasts in order to pave the way to destroy them. That’s what he did and butchered many like animals. Today, in any Islamic country (but especially in a radical one), if a Muslim is labeled ‘Americanized’, ‘westernized’, it means that his or her life is under a serious threat. This is, more or less, true in Communist countries too.
Multiculturalism has allowed all hostile cultures to penetrate and gain a strong foothold in the West. In Iran, Saudi Arabia or Malaysia you have only one enemy to your freedom – Islam. In communist countries the single enemy to your freedom is Communism. Thanks to multiculturalism, the enemies of freedom are from every corner of the world and have been brought to the West to root out freedom. Now the enemies of freedom are everywhere in the West preparing the way for multicultural hostilities. They are in our educational centers too. Even our youth in schools and universities are learning how to hate those who do not think or believe their way. Educational centers were originally built to be the places of higher understanding, tolerance, exchanging ideas, engagements and creative dialogues, but now are reduced to be the places of intolerance and hatred towards freedom of speech.
How do we handle these invasions and hostilities?
There are two ways for us to deal with the enemies of freedom; either we become worldly, as they are, compromise with their desires and receive their friendship, or, we stay honest to our faith in Christ and pay the price - since there is no benefit in having the world but losing eternal joy. Two thousand years ago, our Master saw our days and told us:
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, the servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept My saying, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. (John 15:18-21, MKJV)
We cannot expect better things from the world since it does not know Jesus and does not have the joy of His freedom. Also, we cannot persuade people with truth if we are of the world and do not speak truthfully. Therefore, we need to rejoice in our freedom in Jesus Christ which is the power for our triumph over hatred and hostility.
Secondly, we need to stand on our heavenly identity and not invest our time and money for hatred or a worldly fortune, as worldly people do. We are fortunate that we are enabled to bear the hatred of the world, while not being like the world by responding to hatred with hatred.