First published in the Aug. 27 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.
When my family arrived in the United States, they sought a country free from oppression and open to different ideas. This is also what Salmon Rushdie, a controversial British-Indian author, believed when he came to the U.S. in order to be free from persecution.
In a speech talking about artistic freedom, he was ruthlessly stabbed by Hadie Matar, a supporter and possible agent of the Iranian regime. As Matar targeted, stabbed and almost murdered a man practicing his rights, the tyrants in Iran cheered, and their state-run media declared that only Rushdie and his supporters were “worthy of blame and even condemnation.”
How dare people say what they believe in America, right?
As the son of a family who has seen what it’s like to be persecuted by the Iranian government, I’m deeply concerned with the actions taken against Rushdie, a long-time critic of Iran.
Regardless of how crazy, controversial or bigoted a person might be, they are still entitled to an opinion and the right to voice it in this nation. No one should fear for their lives just because they are speaking out against something. How long until we become a target of a hostile regime seeking to destroy our very way of life?
I urge Congress to take a tougher stance against Tehran and to not allow any regime to misinterpret our righteous desires, love for liberty and justice as weakness, fragility or fear. Those who do should be reminded both of what America stands for and of the capabilities it has rightfully earned.