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.

Subtly Confined and Consumed

I remember how we young Iranians based our allegiance blindly on Ayatollah Khomeini’s verbal claim that Islam would fill in all of the inconsistencies in our society and take us to democracy. His comment exploited a major blind spot of the younger generation at that time in Iran; we who yearned for democracy, yet did not know that the very heart of Islam is incompatible with democracy. Ayatollah Khomeini’s proclamation of democracy was indeed a seductive ploy for him and his committed mullahs to reach for power and in fact entirely block the road to democracy. As a result, we became our own enemies by surrendering ourselves and our country to Ayatollah Khomeini who later made our own motherland a prison for us. For those of us who were able to run away from Iran and take shelter in the West it is truly heartbreaking and worrying to see that aggressive ideologues of the West are deceiving people with similar forms of socio-political pretenses, aiming to blind our societies, grasp long awaited authoritarianism and destroy the freedom we have. We never imagined seeing this in the West before our migration. Through my doctoral study, I had already discovered the uniqueness of Christian values and how its dynamic, considerate and creative leadership style was able to equip Western citizens to manifest the most successful lifestyle on earth.  This gave us a vision for our migration to the West and a hope that the West would certainly have something strong to bind us new-comers to its existing citizens and them to us so that together we could value freedom, integrate and do whatever we could to protect our new country from potential threats. 
Instead, we are shocked to see how far astray the West has gone, undermining its golden values and welcoming the values of foreign models that have long gone bankrupt in their respective lands. In particular, multiculturalism has given rise to the paradoxical dilemma of constraining certain discussion and expression with the straight jacket of political correctness, while giving free expression and liberty to anti-Christian sentiments. To mock, despise and discredit the Judea-Christian foundation of Western culture and society has become the popular discourse while subtly and naively these anti-Christians display tolerance toward insolvent cultures which erode freedom and fairness. Now many westerners, particularly a large number of young people, have fallen into traps of aggression and thereby find themselves bullying Christianity without knowing that their actions have been selling out their own freedom to the home-spun presentations of the self-styled guardians in the West. Amazingly, these people call themselves the promoters of freedom without realizing that they have been seduced, exploited and consumed for the destruction of freedom. They are unaware that their minds have become restrained with beliefs and patterns which are not compatible with freedom. 
What will the future be for a society that is highly exposed to such unawareness and incomprehension? The old proverb says:
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. (Proverb 21:16, KJV)
Lack of understanding confines people and makes them passive, unresponsive and irresponsible. That’s why the Bible equates the lack of understanding with death. Understanding is a gateway to freedom. Jesus said:
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32, MKJV)
Neglecting the significance of understanding, following leaders and beliefs blindly, walking in their ways irrationally and sightlessly are roadblocks to freedom. This is what is happening in our societies and many of our contemporaries are acting as barricades to freedom. They are wrapped in perplexity, made slaves to the indefinite calls of opportunists and thereby are unable to walk in the path of freedom and live victoriously. It is true when the Bible says:
If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8)
Can uncertainty wake people, bind them together as a nation, give them a reasonable vision and authorize them with strength to win the battles that threaten their existence and freedom? No. Only clarity and understanding can build up souls in truth so that they can understand who they are, why they are on earth and in which direction they need to walk. 
There is no doubt that many of our people are deceived and abused. It is our responsibility to inform them in any way possible so that they can free themselves from following false examples. There have always been people throughout history who loved their own personal aspirations more than the interest of their nations. There have also been courageous people who tirelessly informed others and fought for the protection of their nations’ freedom. The liberty we have in the West has not come to us accidentally. Lives were burned by selfish leaders in the squares of the West for their courage in protecting their nations’ liberty. With their sacrifices, they taught their generations that leaders may ignore their own personal rights, but they may not turn their back on the rights of their nations. These children of freedom could not sit idle and allow egocentric leaders to sacrifice the rights of people to their own individual interests. We need to follow their examples. Ignoring the interests of our nation is like turning our back on our own families since our families make up our nations. 

We need to follow the standard of Jesus Christ. He knew that it was costly to love the world and engage people in avoiding blind obedience but recruiting them to discover the truth. Yet He paid the price and fulfilled His love for the world. This is what we need to do if we truly love people and long for them to become free.