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Friday, July 29, 2022 

Betty Mahmoody's experiences in Iran could not be told today

William Kilpatrick says the 1991 film based on Betty Mahmoody's terrifying experiences in Iran, Not Without My Daughter, couldn't be made today for quite a few reasons, and definitely not in Hollywood:
Normally, when you watch an escape story, you’re viewing an escape from a situation that existed in the past—a slave escapes from the South to the North in the 1860s, an American POW escapes from a German prison camp in World War II, a German family escapes from East Germany to freedom in West Germany.

But in the 36 years since Betty Mahmoody and her daughter made their perilous escape from Iran, not much has changed in that country, except that it is now on the verge of becoming a nuclear power.

And that’s a good reason to watch the film. It reminds us of just how fanatical the rulers of Iran are. Ruthless Ayatollahs still rule the country, women who don’t cover their hair still go to jail, and freedom of speech is non-existent. Meanwhile, like Khomeini, Iran’s rulers seem determined to export their reactionary ideology to the rest of the world. Although Russia and China are currently grabbing all the headlines, Iran continues to expand its reach and its arsenal. Meanwhile, it is forming alliances with Russia, China, Venezuela and other anti-democratic countries. According to a recent FrontPage article, Venezuela is becoming a forward base for a possible Iranian aerial attack against the U.S. mainland.

These are all good reasons to watch a film that provides insight into the mentality of a fundamentalist Islamic society. Another reason for watching is that it’s a well-made, well-acted movie, full of suspense and fast-paced action. If it were not based on actual events, it would still rate as a top-notch thriller. But it is based on facts, and they are facts that we can’t afford to ignore.

Yet we do consistently ignore the facts about fundamentalist Islam. Why? Because they clash with the diversity narrative that has long shaped our own society.

At about the same time that the film arrived in theatres, multiculturalism was becoming an ironclad doctrine in our society.

The multicultural dogma holds that despite the rich diversity of cultures, all cultures are essentially the same when it comes to basics—all believe in equality of the sexes, freedom of speech and religion and, of course, peace.

Yet, Not Without My Daughter portrays the Islamic Republic of Iran as a place of almost absolute oppression: glowering portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini look down from almost every building, the sound of ominous chanted prayers booms out from loudspeakers, and the humanity of women is blotted out by a dark wave of ankle-length chadors and tightly-fitted hijabs.

It was too much for the critics. While admitting the “undeniable” power of the film, Roger Ebert complained that no attempt is made “to explain the Muslim point of view,” and he pleads with his readers to “remain alert to prejudice and single-minded vitriol.”

Other reviewers were less even-handed. Entertainment [Weekly] magazine called the film an “atrocious political-exploitation thriller;” and The Washington Post said it had “the subtlety of a World War II propaganda film.” A 2016 reviewer of the film described it as “Islamophobic” and wondered why it still endures.
This was surely predictable, and with that kind of PC mindset, it shouldn't be shocking if Ebert's supposed arguments against censorship in filmdom have failed to be influential since. That aside, what's particularly offensive about the critical reaction of liberal reviewers who despised the film is that in their repellent mindset, Mahmoody and daughter otherwise don't even exist. They couldn't have cared less if the twosome had been wiped off the face of the earth by the mom's atrocious ex-husband, and they practically confirm spousal assault is acceptable to them, selectively or otherwise. In a similar vein, even victims of 9-11 don't exist to those horrific reviewers, or worse, they consider their relatives and movements like 9-11 Families for a Safe America "bigots", "xenophobes" and other obscene, repellent words that're actually a substitute for vile profanity like the F-bomb and the S-bomb, and even the 2 B-bombs intended for both sexes.
Despite the Iran hostage crisis, 9/11, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, the multicultural myth prevailed. Despite the bombings of elementary schools, commuter trains, and concert halls, many Western citizens couldn’t come to grips with the possibility that there existed cultures where women went about with their faces masked and where men marched in lock-step conformity to a cruel and fanatical ideology. Yet the majority of Islamic societies share more in common with Khomeini’s Iran than with Western nations.
One of the worst things about such ignorant leftists in the west is that they really do have lenient views on physical/sexual violence, and that can explain why they have no genuine interest in solving these real world problems. I knew some people like that myself 2 decades ago. What was really disgusting was that more than one not only never read the Koran, he actually seemed to think it upheld the 10 Commandments' opposition to killing, and never researched it or acknowledged Sura 47:4, which contradicts his misinformed viewpoint. The same leftist later embraced a book rife with anti-female gender bigotry. Is it any shock then that such people could have accepting viewpoints of the Religion of Peace despite all the violent content inside?
Critics of Not Without My Daughter maintain that the father’s rededication to Islam after only a few weeks in Iran is implausible; yet, in no time at all, countless Americans voluntarily masked themselves and fell in line with the new woke ideology and its claim that men can become women and vice versa. As with Iranians, many Americans don’t subscribe to the new set of beliefs, but they know they’d better act as though they do.

America used to be the home of the brave and the land of the free, but it’s quickly becoming a nation of lock-step conformists. As we move deeper into the era of mass psychosis, it becomes increasingly difficult to deny that such things can happen in other societies. If Americans so quickly yield to the imposition of masks and a mindless ideology, then surely the same can happen in Iran.

But the oppressive nature of Islamic cultures is still denied. The multicultural myth that all cultures are okay in their own way still has a firm grip on our society. Our fear of being thought “Islamophobic” is greater than our fear of Iran’s nuclear weapons.

Which brings up a question. Could a movie like Not Without My Daughter be produced today? Probably not. How do we know? Because current instances of Islamic oppression and persecution, no matter how frequent and widespread, are carefully hidden from our sight. As far as the mainstream media is concerned, they are non-stories.
Personally, I'm wondering if conservative sources like Ben Shapiro's studio for small films at the Daily Wire would be willing to do what Hollywood definitely no longer will. I hope in time any right-wingers getting into showbiz will prove they've got the courage it takes to tackle challenging issues the left's virtually been shutting out. But until then, there's another source of apologists for Islamofascism that have to be considered:
Could a film like Not Without My Daughter be made today? It’s not likely. The United States Council of Muslim Organizations would denounce it as blatantly “Islamophobic” while it was still in the planning stage. And they would be joined in their condemnation by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops and various other church and civic organizations.
See, that's another chilling problem we have: even various Christian movements are taking the side of cowardice in the worst ways possible, the anti-Christian persecution in the Muslim world notwithstanding. It's also the case in Europe for many years now. And it just shows how Christianity's collapsing under the weight of PC. Even the Reform Judaist movement would surely take the same route, and let's not think some Orthodox Judaist movements wouldn't do the same. The Satmar, as ultra-Orthodox Judaists, have certainly proven likely to do so in the past, so let's not think they couldn't today. And that's exactly why these sad states of affairs occur that lead to meaty issues being blacklisted from discussion in showbiz.

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