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.

While the Mouth Broadcasts Peace, the Heart Plans for War!

Surely, across the world each day, the word ‘peace’ is spoken more often than so many other words. In Hebrew the equivalent word is ‘Shalom’ which was chosen to be used more than other words as a daily gesture of declaring peace with God and neighbors. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, proclaimed the connection between his ministry and the ministry of Biblical prophets. He borrowed the word ‘Shalom’ (Salam in Arabic) to be a part of daily conversation among Muslims similar to its usage among Jews.
The word ‘peace’ is used copiously among Muslims in  Islamic nations of the world. It is a way of greeting each other. More than a billion Muslims use the word ‘Salam’ any time they see each other, wishing peace for one another. Even the radical Muslims greet each other with the word ‘peace’.
How could intolerance, discrimination, hostility and war grow increasingly among Muslims even though the word ‘peace’ has continually been the currency of their daily conversations? Why do Muslim nations have less peace with each other in comparison to other nations who do not use the word ‘peace’ daily as Muslims do? How could this most desirable peace be hard to achieve among Muslims even though it is declared more than a billion times a day? Is there anything hidden from the eyes of Muslims that does not allow their inclination for peace to be practical? 
The majority of Muslims have a familiar, standard response to these questions. Most of our contemporary Muslims are brainwashed from childhood that it is America or Israel that has deprived them of having peace among themselves. Whatever happens in Islamic countries, the blame goes on Israel and America. Some people long for freedom, but leaders accuse them of spying for Israel or America. Any opponent to any leader is accused of Zionism or Americanization in Islamic countries. Even though I hated Israel while I was a political prisoner, I was still called a Zionist since I fell out of Ayatollah Khomeini’s favor. It has become a fashion among various Muslim sects to blame each other with being Israeli or western agents. 
No Muslim has a chance to think deeper and to see that Muslims wouldn’t be hostile towards each other if they had a solid foundation in peace. The enemies of peace may have been able to disturb them from time to time, but would be unable to utterly destroy the peace among them if their religion was compatible with peace. Iranians have an idiom that says, “If my dog was a good dog, jackals wouldn’t be able to hunt my chickens.” In a similar way, if the peace in Islam was an authentic peace, it would shine among Muslims and would shield Muslims from their so-called enemies. But the peace in Islam has achieved more bloodshed than actual peace in the 1400 years of its history, even in the centuries when Israel and America were not present. The problem is at the root of Islam which gives more weight to lip service than truthful words. Muslims cannot achieve peace by just announcing the word ‘peace’ without a solid standard in true peace. Peace cannot be achieved without the leadership of the Prince of Peace Instead of searching for the Prince of Peace, Muslim leaders are rather busy with lip service, speaking softer words while their hearts are preparing for and in the service of war.
In the face of hostilities perpetrated by various committed Muslim groups in different parts of the world, some Muslims have been broadcasting that the word ‘Islam” means ‘peace’. They have been trying to convince people in the West that Islam is inherently against violence. 
Anybody who understands a little bit of Arabic knows that the word ‘Islam’ has in no way any connection with the word ‘Salam’ which means peace. Islam means submission or surrendering which is the central focus of Islamic doctrine, calling all to surrender before establishing their belief in Islam. As the Quran states in sura (chapter) 49 verse 14 that faith comes after surrender. In other words, the world ‘Islam’ means such a surrender which leaves no chance for anyone to make an intelligent, willing decision.
Suppose the word ‘Islam’ meant peace; wouldn’t this shock people if they discovered that more than 60% of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, was about hatred, discrimination, belittling, hostility and bloodshed towards those who do not practice Islam or reject it? Wouldn’t then people have a right to call Islamists hypocrites? Imagine that more than 60% of a religion’s principles are about ignoring or denying the rights of others while it is still called the religion of peace! 
The problem with Islamists is clearly expressed in the Bible: 
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. (Psalm 55:21, NKJV)
As long as Islam is called a religion of peace, despite encouraging immature children to fight against their guardians (sura 9 verse 23); Muslims to kill their non-Muslim relatives and neighbors (sura 9 verse 123); and to kill non-Muslims for the sake of their beliefs (sura 8 verses 38-39), Muslims can neither have peace among themselves nor with others no matter how loudly they speak about peace. Hiding the truth about Islam is against peace in itself. This is where our politicians in the West have naively adopted the Islamists’ lie of calling Islam the religion of peace, thereby closing the doorway to peace. 
How can we know the authenticity of a claim without referring to the ideology, belief or motivation behind it? Do people not deserve the opportunity to weigh up someone’s confession against the primary source of his beliefs and ethics, which supplies the food of his heart and shapes his relational values?
True peace must first start in the heart, not on the tongue. The vast majority of individual people groups in the world call themselves peaceful. The leaders of Communist China, Shiite Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia, Russia, America, Europe, Africa and others all call themselves peace-lovers or peace-makers. All beliefs, including Islam, are called peaceful. Which of these nations can be trusted? Which mouth can be believed? It is a fact that what comes out of the mouth alone is not reliable evidence for assessing truth or falsehood. The very nature of ‘the mouth’ is its propensity for hypocrisy, pretending to have something which is not true. That’s why the truth about a thing cannot be measured by the words of a person’s mouth alone, unless we know the beliefs and standards that support those words. If a person’s beliefs sanction the idea that the end justifies the means or lying and deception are legitimate under some circumstances, the words of that person cannot serve the cause of truth or peace. 
To have a belief in ‘truth’ is vital for everyone so that it can unite heart and mouth for thinking, talking and acting in truth and peace. Efforts have to be made in order to discover the truth; the truth that sets one free from every sin, including the sin of disunity between heart and mouth - namely hypocrisy. That’s why Jesus said:

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32, NKJV)

Restless and Vocal until The Motherland is Liberated

Someone has been praying, crying, longing and taking necessary steps for nearly 30 years for his motherland not only to receive the light of freedom, but also to shine. He would love to boast of his motherland one day honoring freedom of rights, speech and belief. He himself was terribly persecuted in his motherland and was very close to losing his life, but fortunately found a way to save his life and escape. 
While tears poured from his eyes, he said that he had seen many lands more beautiful than his motherland in many parts of the world, but had missed her because of his family, friends and some good memories. He longs for the walls of separation and hostilities to be brought down in his motherland. Then people will experience in a practical way how beautiful a country can be if there is freedom in every area.
It is amazing that he calls his county of birth “motherland”, his mother’s land, even though it is an Islamic country ruled under the Islamic law. This phrase does not match Islam which gives less right to mothers than fathers. The father is the second ruler after the government in order to make sure that everything in his household is in line with Islam. He is called the owner of his wives (Quran 53:2), hence the mother is called the property of her husband. He can go everywhere he likes, but she is asked to sit at home quietly and not to go out (Quran 33:33). She brings children into the world, but does not have any right over her children if she is divorced. After the divorce she also does not have any right to visit her children who grew in her heart; children belong to their father. As an inheritance mothers receive only one eighth of their husbands’ wealth, including lands, in Islam. In such a restricting, harsh and masculine culture, it is amazing that a country is called the “Motherland”. 
This word, like some other influential words, has been a powerful tool for many exiled Iranians, in particular Christians, to voice their longings to their fellow men and women. They have been writing poems and songs; reciting, singing and broadcasting them via every media channel they can in order to express their restlessness for their motherland. The mindset in Iran had never been Christianized under the rule of moderate kings as much as it is now under the rule of the tyrannical Islamic Republic of Iran. Just express your concern about your motherland in a poem and read it on a radio or TV program or put it on a website. It will shake many. 
The word “motherland” is from the pre-Islamic era and it has remained in usage until now in Islamic countries. The ancient culture attributed the honor of ownership of the country to the most compassionate one in the family, the mother. Only a compassionate heart is able to cultivate and look after the land well.
In some other nations, countries are also called “Fatherland” because of the patriotic nature of their cultures. It encapsulates the way people can love their birth places and want to protect them from enemies. No matter what a birth place is called, it is a wonderful testimony of God that is left among various people groups whereby they can relate their birth places to the hearts of their parents in a loving way and care for their well-being. This will help them not to forget it as they do not normally forget their mothers and fathers. 
Maybe the love for motherland or fatherland and a heartfelt devotion for its well-being are gifts from the Creator of the universe. Maybe He wanted to endow people with compassionate, earnest and tireless longing so that they could seek the best for their nations to the extent that their deliverance could also become the means of deliverance for others. As we say, “To be blessed is for blessing others.” 
It is no wonder that the prophet Isaiah cries restlessly not only for the salvation of Jerusalem but also for her righteousness and salvation to shine like a burning lamp among others:
For Zion's sake I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until its righteousness goes out as brightness, and her salvation as a burning lamp. (Isa. 62:1, MKJV)
These words reveal the height of Isaiah’s longing, prayer and mission for his land and nation to revive and further become the salt (righteousness) and light (burning lamp) for others. Not only did he want his nation to be liberated in spirit, but also to become a light of liberation for others.
Why would a person have a big picture in mind and a heart for his/her country and nation to become a bridge of blessing to other nations? Isn’t it enough to see that your own family, community or country has achieved success and is doing well? Why worry about the wellbeing of other nations?
Longing for true freedom, or having it, includes others too. True freedom can neither be limited by an individual’s nor a family’s nor even a nation’s motives; if it is limited, then it is not true freedom. When a heart becomes free, it changes and then spreads its light as a shining lamp to its surroundings. In a similar way, a city with freedom shines to other cities or a country to other countries. One reason that many people from various nations have been moving or desiring to move to the West is because of freedom in the West. True freedom is extraordinarily good and influential. It creates compassion or care in you and thereby enables you to see the miseries of others and to take initiatives for their liberty with the uttermost of your efforts, no matter who those others may be, friends or foes. It shines and changes people from all walks of life and makes them blessings to others too. So, any person touched by this freedom should not rest or become silent if his/her nation and others are experiencing any kind of darkness or misery. Any person should not rest or become silent until the splendor of his/her salvation reaches near and far. 
As it was in Isaiah’s time, faith in the true God is misunderstood by many. The values of Christ are unknown or misunderstood and thereby are not given a chance to shine in many places. Ignorance and misunderstanding will not go away unless the values of Christ are made clear to the extent that they become lights for people at home and abroad. This will not happen unless the followers of Christ become compassionate towards those who are drowning in ignorance and confusion and help them to see and receive the light. One great hindrance to the Gospel is that we, as the followers of Christ, have retreated and do not feel restless for the darkness around us. The darkness will be removed if it becomes the subject of our continual prayers and efforts. 

We are the vehicle of Jesus Christ’s sincere concern for our nation and others. He has called us to promote our position in Him and spread His light through our unceasing prayers, through our own individual mission and through encouraging others to take the light to coming generations until many take refuge in Him.