In recent years, there’s been a flood of so-called “ex-Muslim” experts who go around lecturing on the “evils” of Islam and how Muslims are out to take over the West, undermine and subvert society and replace with an Islamic theocracy.
As FaithFreedomInternational puts it:
“No other cause is responsible for more deaths than Islam.”
“Islam can’t be reformed, but it can be eradicated. It can’t be molded, but it can be smashed. It is rigid, but brittle. That is why Muslims can’t tolerate criticism of it – Islamic Suppression.”
“The terrorists are not radicalized Muslims. They are real Muslims. The non-terrorist Muslims are wishy-washy Muslims. All it takes for them to become terrorists is a spark of faith.
They do this for money, as Walid Shoebat has demonstrated; for a whole lot of money in fact. The playbook goes something like this – “I was raised in a typical Muslim household; taught to hate Christians, Jews and America; I promoted Islam/part of a terrorist organization (that’s where it diverges depending on the speaker); I read the Bible; I now know the truth and I have to tell everyone (for a fee, naturally.)”
Usually, the background of said “truth-teller” is suspect, and in the case of one Ergun Caner last year. his whole story fell apart:
“In recent months, however, skeptical bloggers, such as London-based Mohammad Khan of FakeExMuslims.com, and Oklahoma-based Debbie Kaufman of the Ministry of Reconciliation blog, began unearthing documents and statements by Caner contradicting his own claims.
The Caner brothers’ own book, for example, states they were born in Sweden, not Turkey, and spent most of their time with their non-Muslim mother, not their Muslim father, after the parents divorced in the U.S.
Records indicate the family arrived in the U.S. in 1974, four years earlier than Ergun Caner has claimed.”
You don’t say?
To this nasty brew add Shahram Hadian, ex-Muslim, Christian convert and minister from Iran who recently tried – and failed – to get elected to Washington State House of Representatives. Hadian is a good example of what this “movement” represents; a legitimizing face for Islamophobia that makes use of the “Islamic threat” to somehow establish a theocracy here as a means of distracting people from their own theocratic agenda.
But first, there’s his background to consider. Like all the others, Hadian uses it to establish his credentials both as an “expert” on the true nature of Islam and as an opener to grab the attention of his intended audience – which happens to be fellow bible-thumping, Fox News-obssessed reactionaries:
“I was born in Iran , and lived there until the age of 7. In December of 1978 my family and I moved to the U.S., just two months before the fall of the government, in order to escape the incoming oppressive government. After living in the US for a few years, my family moved to Canada where I lived until 1998. I then moved back to the US (legally, after having to wait 9 years to get my Green Card!) and thereafter I had the privilege of becoming a proud United States citizen. Through my varied experiences in life, I have learned the value of freedom, and the importance of serving the community where I live.”
And like all the others, there’s a flaw in his story – the part about his family leaving “escape the incoming oppressive government.”
The 1979 Iranian Revolution did away with the dictatorship of Mohammed Shah Pahlavi and was supposed to herald a new democratic era in Iranian history. It didn’t; instead, it ushered in a dark new era, far worse than the evil it was supposed to eradicate.
But the Shah didn’t leave Iran until Jan. 1979; prior to that, in Dec. 1978, National Front’s prominent leader Shahpour Bakhtiar became prime minister, and his reforms included dismantling Savak and demanding that the Shah leave immediately.
Therefore, a possible reason they fled in Dec. 1978 was that Hadian’s parents (most likely his father) were, in some way, connected to the Shah’s government. His bio doesn’t mention what they did, but the timing is suspicious; the only repressive government at the time was the Royal dictatorship established by military coup in 1953 – with help from the CIA. It was one of the worst human rights violators at the time, while the future in Dec. 1978 was by no means set in stone. There was no way to know at that time that Bakhtiar’s government would give way to the Shah leaving in Jan. 1979, leading to an interim government in February, and then eventually to Khomeini’s regime in November of that year.
Most ordinary Iranians either were part of any one of the revolutionary groups, or weren’t involved in politics; the only people who had much to fear at that point were those that worked for the Shah, especially for SAVAK, the secret police. There’s no record online for Hadian’s family background, other than what he provides … which is vague at best. Given how he described his family’s flight – and the timeline – I don’t believe he is telling the whole truth.
More alarming than an edited bio, however, is what he preaches.
As an ex-Muslim convert to fundamentalist Christianity, he presents a seemingly convincing case to an impressionable audience that Islam is an existential threat to the Christian West. Utilizing his past life as a Muslim, he discussed the Islamic threat at length at a Tri-Cities Tea Party event:
“Islam is not going to go away. It’s going to continue to advance,” he said. “I love America and I want to protect America and its ideals and its values.”
He contradicts his stated purpose, saying at one point “If you leave here hating Muslims, I have failed.” A little later, he does just that – fails:
“Hadian also questioned some Muslims’ contention that most Muslims are moderates. He pointed to research in which 36 percent of Muslims said they believed the attacks on the World Trade Center were in some way justified.
He also said the Quran teaches adherents the goal of Islam is that “every nation in the planet on earth must become Islamic and must implement Shari’ah Law.”
He said Islam advocates are doing that partly through cultural methods, such as suppressing criticism of Islam, proselytizing through the media and internet and recruiting at universities.”
How can a right-wing crowd organized by the racist Tea Party be immune from anti-Muslim bigotry when the former Muslim speaker presents Muslims as inherently terrorist and engaged in political and cultural subversion? Saying that Islam – and not Muslims – is the enemy is shallow and dishonest, since Islam’s “goals” can only be implemented by Muslims. A Muslim is a person who adheres to Islam, so viewing Islam as some expansionist imperialist force inevitably inspires hate crimes and discrimination against those practice and identify with the faith.
Equally disturbing is his inaccurate conflation between what Islamists did in Iran in the aftermath of the revolution and what he claims Muslims are doing here in the West:
“Shahram Hadian’s family left Iran in 1978, when he was 7. Soon after the family’s departure, an Islamic Revolution swept the country, eventually imposing strict Islamic law known as Shari’ah Law.
Hadian, raised Muslim but now a Christian minister in Everett told about 100 people Monday at the Benton PUD auditorium in Kennewick how he sees those same changes taking place throughout the world, including in America.”
What happened in Iran years ago and what’s happening in the West today are two completely different things. Iran has Shari’a law because Iran is a majority Muslim country; mor importantly, Iran also underwent a revolution of which a major leader – Khomeini – as well as other Ayatollahs played a major role. Muslims are not only a minority in the West, but Islamists who want Shari’a law here are a minority within a minority.
Since Muslims are – according to someone who should know better, yet acts like he doesn’t – out to transform America into a Shari’astan from their population base of less than one percent and impose theocracy – what would America look like if Hadian took over? How would he protect America’s freedoms?
If his extra-curricular activities indicate anything, Pastor Hadian would fight on the frontlines of freedom – bikini coffee shops!
Not too long ago, Hadian was targeting coffee stands staffed by scantily clad women by staking out company vehicles that stopped for java, then calling up their bosses and reporting what their employees were up to on their lunch breaks:
“Someone is watching and putting those company names on a website. It’s sort of a public shaming, or as barista watchdog Shahram Hadian said, public accountability.
‘We’re going to put the boycott list out because people have a right to know what kind of companies and their employees are choosing to do this,’ said Hadian.”
People also have a right to privacy and to personal expression that is guaranteed by the Constitution; but then again, suppressing freedom in the name of freedom is par for the course of the Right. Any casual observer of modern Iran will see similarities between Hadian’s operation, and the sexual suppressors in the Islamic Republic of Iran he hates so much called Komiteh.
There is a difference in degree as far as Hadian and the Islamic Republic is concerned, but the essence is the same. If this is how Hadian acts in his spare time now, one can only imagine what America would be like if he and his fellow fundamentalists had their way – a Christian-style Khomeinism differing little from the Shari’a they work so hard to get others to fear.