My name is Farshad Kholghi, and I am a free man

30 September 2009
My name is Farshad Kholghi, and I am a free man

Farshad Kholghi

I love my freedom, which was granted me through the courage of my parents to defy grafity and flee from Iran of the fundamentalists. We fled to Denmark, because my parents belong to the Bahai' faith, a new Iranian religion favouring equality, democratic thinking and enlightenment for all. It was banned when the Islamists seized power in Iran in 1979.

Today, whenever you turn on the television and see news from Iran, it is either an awfully angry man with a full beard screaming “Death to the West!”, or an awfully angry woman, with headscarf and a full beard, shoulting “Death to Israel and the USA!”

But the Iran that I remember is something very different.

I remember a county with fundamental values different from the hateful rhetoric of the Islamists. I remember a country of music, song, poetry, festivity, creativity, wine and a thirst for knowledge and progress. There were no headscarfs, no talk of special religious laws. That country was secular. I remember a country with a strong culture.

The Iranian cultural heritage taught us universal, fundamental values: Freedom, equality and, most important of all: Freedom of expression. The most important lesson taught at school was that the earth is round rather than flat. This is the first lesson of democratic civility: The earth is round, not flat.

Iran was not a democratic country, and the king of the country, the Shah, was ruling the country with a very firm hand. There was personal freedom and equal rights for women, but no democracy. Its people wanted genuine freedom.

Once one tastes this magical wine, called freedom, addiction develops quickly. The Iranians could wait no longer. They revolted against the Shah and demanded genuine democracy, here and now. Many secular groups participated in the revolution: Communists, democrats, socialists, nationalists, liberals and others, but they were in need of a leader. Some kind of Iranian Gandhi, able to unite the nation. Apparently, it proved difficult to find a small, thin and bald man, for the person they found looked nothing like Gandhi.

In Paris, sitting under an apple tree, sat this old man in exile. Well spoken and at ease, whith a sharp glance. He promised freedom and tolerance. He promised a future of growth and development. He promised genuine democracy and pledged to resign after toppling the Shah. Religion and politics were not to be mixed. He seduced many, in the West as well as in the East. His name was Khomeini.

The supporters of Khomeini did everything to portray him as a divine figure. One day they told us: Tonight at 8 we should look at the moon.


Because the image of Khomeini was to appear on the surface of the moon. That would be the proof of him being divine and perfect.

It was scarcely suprising that his fanatical and superstitious adherents looked up, and saw him.

The real tragedy was that the well educated and intellectual lifted their heads as well, to see if it could be true. This goes to prove that it is not sufficient to be well educated and have fine titles from fine universities. What matters most is to be democratically minded and to know that the earth is round, not flat.

Roughly speaking, in the moment the well educated and the intellectual looked up to watch the moon, the revolution of 1979 turned into an Islamic revolution.

The victory of the revolution was a fact. The Shah had left the country. All political parties had fought side by side for a common goal and hope. A naïve hope: The hope for genuine democracy.

Shortly after, Khomeini arrived in Iran. Naïve and pseudo-humanistic intellectuals appointed him the spiritual leader of the revolution. The intellectuals permitted religion to blend into the political life. Khomeini brought with him fanaticism, fundamentalism, terror, war, death and destruction, and hatred.

Non-Islamic books were to be burned. Many buried their books out of fear for being arrested. Voices critical of Islam were suffocated. Many such voices have existed in the long history of Iran, and they still exist.

The Dark Middle Ages were once again a reality. But this time not in Europe, rather in Iran. My teachers at school were replaced with religious fanatics, illiterate and not even speaking decent Persian. But they were good at talking about Islam and read from the Quran. We were ordered to tear out pages from the schoolbooks. Pages which, according to the mullahs, were blasphemous and anti-Islamic. Books, whose only sinful and depraved message was that the earth is round. I had always been told that all books are holy. To me, tearing out pages from books was an act of blasphemy.

I was one of the children forced to shout: “Death to democracy and the West!” With an invisible Kalashnikov aimed at my head and an inner knife piercing my heart, I and thousands of others were forced to shout “Death to the free world”. My heart was broken, and my brain was fighting frantically to keep these hateful soldiers out of my mind.

Each day after school my parents, as well as many other parents, started washing our brainwashed brains. My parents took out my brain to place it in the washing machine, using as soap they placed in it our fundamental values, values of freedom.

Many of my friends from then were not as lucky as myself. They became brainwashed. They became victims of the Islamist hatred. They became Khomeni-Jugend. They gave their lives to Khomeini. I shall never forget the faces of my peers as they, strongly impregnated with mass manipulation and religious indoctrination, went to war in order to gain entry to Paradise. Children at the age of ten.

“In the name of God, you shall kill the infidels. In the name of God, you shall become a martyr and as reward, you shall have 72 virgins.” Each family was awarded a refrigerator for each martyr they had contributed. Many of my friends sacrificed their lives. Their families got many refrigerators. Their lives were no more valuable than a refrigerator.

The mullahs taught us that everything was permissible in the battle against the infidels. They taught us that Islam is the last and final message from God to humankind. We learned that good Muslims are fundamentalists. No Muslim can call himself democrat. No Muslim can permit himself to succumb to the rotten philosophy of the West.

They taught us that no one may question the Quran, for it is the words of God himself. Concepts such as democracy, equality of men and women, personal freedom were modern fads, created by the infidels of the West. We were brainwashed to hate infidels, in spite of me being an infidel myself. We learned that lying in the battle against infidels was a duty. It is perfectly permissible to lie in public, if that lie saves and furthers the real cause of the fundamentalists. This tactic is called taqiyeh / taqiyat.

Consciously and void of scruples, Khomeini forged ahead and banned all other parties, in spite of them having contributed to winning the revolution. Democrats, nationalists, communists – all became outlaws. Women were brutally ordered to cover themselves, to dress in sack and ashes. Gender apartheid was enforced. Time was set back a thousand years.

Only the Islamic party was permitted. There was but one truth, one set of legislation, one opinion. Only Islam and the Islamic Sharia. Dissenters had no place in this world Authors, system critics, actors, artists, musicians, composers, film directors, homosexuals, scientists, atheists – everyone not living up to the ideals of One Truth – were imprisoned, slaughtered, executed. The fortunate escaped.

My only desire was for Iran to be liberated by American soldiers. Just as Europe had been liberated in 1945. We were confident that the whole world was thinking of us and would come to our rescue. But the international society chose a different path: The path of critical dialogue.

But what does 'critical dialogue' with criminals mean? For me, it is akin to knowing Josef Fritzel and the incestuous crimes in his basement, but do nothing about it except holding a weekly talk meeting. That is what 'critical dialogue' with the mullah regime means. It has been 30 years, and the people are still being ill-treated in the basement.

We fled Iran because our fundamental values had been raped by the mullahs. Now Sharia was meant to replace our fundamental values. None of us wanted to lose our country, family, friends, our dear ones, nor our language. None of us wanted to flee. I am thinking back, recalling how I wished up to the very last minute that the gods would work a miracle that would topple the priest regime that we would not have to flee.

Many other Iranians prayed for the same miracle, that their beloved would avoid being executed, they prayed that their daughters would not be raped by Islamic executors in the political prisons. Child soldiers, aged as low as ten, prayed that they would not be killed in the war against Iraq.

There are approximately four million Iranian refugees word wide.

Many naïve persons have told me, that I've become way too Danish. That when I talk about freedom, I pander to the Danes, and to the Danish People's Party. To those, I have only this to say: If the belief in freedom, enlightenment and equality is equivalent to being Danish, then I was Danish already before arriving in Denmark. Then Iran and the entire culture and history, literature and fundamental values, are Danish as well. Many fine and clever intellectuals say that Western values should not be imposed on people in the Middle East.

There is no such thing as Western values. Sure, there is Western music, food, clothes, literature, culture, but the fundamental values are universal, in no way restricted to people of the West. Freedom of women, equal rights, freedom of expression and enlightenment are universal.

The West was one of the first places on earth which has achieved to accomplish this. This is thanks to the courageous mend and women who told us five centuries ago that the earth is round, not flat. They were persecuted, tortured and burned, but they did not give up. They did not compromise.

They continued to state “The earth is round”, and in spite of threats kept up their critical thinking, which offended many religious feelings. They did not chose to be 'considerate' to the demands of the fanatics. Consider this, if they had been considerate towards the wounded feelings of the fanatics and had submitted to their tyranny, in the name of tolerance. Then the earth would have been perfectly flat, even today.

Sixty years ago, the world was liberated from one of the most evil persons in history. Hitler – with his ugly moustache – took his own life. Unfortunately, this suicide came too late to save millions of innocents from Hitler and his partners in crime. Hitler's empire of death was on the verge of conquering the entire world. Civilization was under assault, democracy, equality, and the fundamental rights of men were on the verge of drowning in hatred.

Even the most prophetically endowed did not have the imagination to predict the Hell on earth that Hitler's reality would create. The fall of Hitler was not a result of the critical dialogue he conducted with Chamberlain. It was due to the clarity, the steadfastness and the tireless fight for freedom, that Hitler was forced into his own Endlösung.

The discovery of Hitler's concentration camps stunned the liberators. The world had no knowledge of these death camps. Nobody possessed enough evil themselves to imagine such degree of cruelty. But it was real.

How could things come this far? How could one insane person and his evil ideas seize power?

The Charlie Chaplin movie “The Great Dictator” was not created after the fall of Hitler. To the contrary, Chaplin had seen through Hitler much earlier – but was reprimanded by the courteous as being offending. For Hitler was, after all, the democratically elected leader of Germany.

Chuchill had already in the early 1930's started warning others of Hitler's evil. But was reprimanded by the courteous as being offending. For Hitler was, after all, the democratically elected leader of Germany.

Thirty years ago, the soul of Hitler made his comeback. This time Hitler had not merely an ugly moustache, he had an ugly full beard. Hitler was back in the form of a fanatical mullah.

Thirty years ago, the unpredictable path of history changed the destiny of Iran and drove the country into its most challenging trials. As a heartless tsunami, the sinister ideology of Khomeini drove out all compassion from Iran and left the formerly proud nation as a mere ruin. The nation of kings and poets, Iran, had been reduced to the hideout for mullahs and terrorists.

With barbed wire in the form of terror and stones in the form of killing, the mullahs have created the largest concentration camp on earth, named “The Islamic Republic of Iran”, and it has 70 million prisoners.

The bearded brownshirts of Khomeini skillfully – by means of terror and murder – introduced the totalitarian 'ism' of their Führer and forced Iranians to submit to the medieval laws and rules of Sharia. Just as his true kindred spirit Hitler, Khomeini has been able to throw the values of the free world into a concentration camp, and to starve out the future of humanism and freedom.

Iran was quickly transformed to the world source of terrorism. A country that constantly steals the riches of its people and spends them to sponsor terrorism and hatred around the globe. What has Khomeini contributed to the world? Khomeini contributed Hezbollah to the world Khomeini contributed Hamas to the world. Khomeini contributed the suicide bombers to the world. Khomeini gave a free refrigerator to any family who had granted this bloodthirsty regime a 'martyr'. The mullah regime continues to fund fundamentalism and terrorism.

Khomeini himself is dead, but his poison pumping heart is as alive as ever. The repeated mantra of Khomeini – his 'Endlösung' – was nothing less than the definitive export of the Islamic revolution to the rest of the world, the elimination of Israel and USA, and establishing an Islamic world empire.

The 9/11 of Iran is the day when Khomeini returned to Iran, and slowly but steadily took the first steps towards the collapse of Iran. Iranians live a desperate life of inflation, corruption, repression, gender apartheid and broken hearts. There are constant attempts at rebellion, but the Iranian people is exhausted, their spirit is, along with their hope for the future, taken captive. They are in need of support.

Democracy and peace in the Middle East is but an illusion, a sweet dream, as long as the priests of Iran can perpetuate their deadly actions with 8impunity. A successful integration in Denmark and in the West is but a naïve hope, as long as the Iranian mullah regime spends their money and many other resources to recruit new fanatics among Muslim immigrants. As long as the mullah regime, protected and abetted by the United Nations and other holy cows, are behind an impenetrable shield, the fight against terror will remain a more hopeless punishment than the curse of Sisyphus.

Iran needs help. The population of Iran needs a forceful helping hand to pull it out of its fundamentalist swamp. An antibiotics of freedom, which thoroughly will exterminate the terror makers and let the future of Iran again become a lively flowering. This long expected help that – in spite of 30 years under an obvious regime of horror – still has not materialized, will it ever come? If it will, where will it come from?

It causes pain in my heart that here in Europe I am the constant witness of indifference and a misunderstood perception of realities. It constitutes terror to listen to intellectual opinion leaders, people who have never experienced even one day of repression, even politicians who ought to side with freedom and feel strong responsibility for democracy, that they in the name of Goodness protect Khomeini and his successors' right to perpetrate their world view.

When, in the name of tolerance, one does not feel entitled to fight the mindset behind burqas and headscarfs, and when, in the name of a 'multicultural society', one supports religious law and just recently an Iranian funded grand mosque, this does not constitute tolerance. This is an act of treason, a mockery of the thousands who already have sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom.

Our sílence and lack of critical action against this criminal gang in Iran, as well as their envoys to the West, will be noted in the history books of the future. Let us not become obliged, also at some point in the future, to apologize for a shameful policy of cooperation.

I ask my colleagues to focus on the unstoppable development in Iran, where the population openly shout at the mullahs and curse the priest regime. I ask you not to do the mullahs indirect favours in the name of naïvety or 'Goodness'.

By upholding our belief in universal values and the required courage to sacrifice ourselves for these values, we can overcome the tyranny and free the slaves of the world. We need courage to ask decisive questions and expose the despots in a timely fashion. This is the only way we can avoid repeating the horrors of Hitler.

As a human, who in time was fortunate enough to flee the Hell of Khomeini, it is my most sincere prayer that my friends her ein the West will wake up and stand together. My hope is that my old friends in Iran, as soon as possible, may experience this heavenly gift that I have enjoyed in close to 25 years, the gift of freedom. Freedom in Iran means freedom in the world.

Freedom is priceless and can never be bought. Peace, on the other hand, one can purchase, by selling feta cheese or by selling out ones fundamental values. Azadi is the word for freedom in Persian. It is the most beautiful word I know. I believe the word 'freedom' rings beautiful in any language.

Freedom is not merely a word used in touching musicals such as Les Miserables or exiting action movies about World War II. Freedom is the foundation for humankind. Freedom is timeless. As are the enemies of freedom. They exist in all times and manifest either in the strict uniforms of political ideologies or religious turbans and burqas.

Since June, we have witnessed the heroic battle of the Iranians for their freedom. One of these was a young woman, only 25 years old, Neda. Neda means 'voice' in Persian.

The 20th of June, she went into the streets of Iran in order to participate peacefully in the demonstrations against repression and religious fanaticism. Neda's voiced was silenced when one of the bearded accomplices of the regime fired a shot at her heart. She fell to the ground silently, and few seconds later, blood flowed from her mouth and nose. “Stay here... Stay here...”, cried the friends of Neda, knowing she was dead already.

Beloved friends. I urge you to watch this clip on YouTube or Facebook. I ask you to watch closely how swiftly the voice of a human can be suffocated by blood. I urge you to watch closely the lifeless and bloodied face of Neda, for this is an important face. Neda's face is the face of the Iranians.

Hundreds of thousands have been killed through the last 30 years. All the political opponents, adherents of the Baha'i faith, journalists, authors, womens' rights advocates, Kurds, homosexuals and many other minorities and groups already exterminated by the Iranian regime, or face the prospect of extermination.

In these days the Islamic dicatorship in Iran is in the process of discarding the burqa and disclosing its real face. Neda is not nthe first innocent killed by the Islamists. The murder of the Iranian people has been ongoing since the mullahs back in 1979 used violence to steal the revolution in Iran.

Iranians defy death and take to the streets to demonstrate against the mullahs. Their suffering now has a face, the face of Neda. This rebellion is no longer about Mousavi or Ahmadinejad, or new elections. This is about the people's demand for genuine freedom. The Iranians shout 'freedom': Azadi. They shout: “Down with the dictator.” They shout: “Down with the Islamic Republic.” They shout for freedom.

The mullahs believe that they through violence and threats they can extinguish the dreams of the people. They are wrong.

The mullahs believe that they through lies and propaganda can deceive the world around them into closing their eyes. I hope they are wrong.

The mullahs call the demonstrators, who discard their heardscarfs knowing it can cost them their lives, 'terrorists'.

But by now, the entire world is aware that the priest regime is the root of modern-day terorrism.

The mullahs threaten our members of parliament and tell them they are being watched. But one thing the mullahs must know with certainty: Today, all of humankind is watching them. The world at large have witnessed your crimes. And the world cannot and must not turn the blind eye. You can threaten us no longer.

I hope the courage of the Iranian people will inspire us all to stand for the universal values of freedom. A battle is raging, in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. The battle rages between the secularists desiring freedom and the fundamentalists desiring Sharia. Who do we wish to support? The friends of Neda or the mullahs and imams?

I hope that Barack Obama will wake up, stand forth, and once and for all support the hope of the Iranians for freedom. Obama cannot conduct dialogue with the mullahs. He ought to conduct a dialogue with the Iranian people instead. It is not Khamenei or Ahmadinejad, he should reach out to for reconciliation, he should reach out his helping hand to the Iranian people.

Freedom can never be repressed. It will always penetrate even the most secure walls. Freedom is like a small plant which, with the patience of a Zen master, works its way up and penetrates the cement. This is what is happening in Iran. The plant has been working for 30 years, but now seems close to its target.

Long live Denmark, long live Iran, and long live Azadi, freedom.