8 years ago, on this day, the turning point of my life happened, a kafkaesque ordeal that taught me what freedom means, and how everyone takes it for granted. I realised that not only was I physically detained in an obscure place waiting for some unknown fate to be decided by unseen judges, but I was also imprisoned in an ideology, a culture of submission which had kept me behind walls since birth. Remembering this day doesn’t give me traumas anymore. It gives me confidence and a great appreciation for freedom, joy in things as simple as walking down the streets or expressing my opinion as an atheist criticising dogmas.
On 14th of Feb, 2011 I was arbitrarily arrested in Iran without committing a crime. I was charged for attending a protests against the government which I had not attended. I was taken into a secret detention centre. Tough I was not physically tortured, I was subject to 10 hour long interrogations and mental torture. I was put in a solitary with one book, the Quran. Since I was a theist agnostic back then, I still had some hopes that there was a god who could help me in that situation. I read the Quran to beg god for freedom, but I had too much time there and I read the whole thing for the first time in Persian. You know, reading the Persian translation is discouraged. You must read in Arabic if you want God to answer you apparently! And I could see why. The book was full of bullshit. An inconsistent book full of self praise for a cruel misogynist angry god who wanted to kill everyone, own slaves, fuck every woman from young age and produce offsprings to follow him (quite similar to Zeus, right?), The God who gave all the rights and assets of a whole nation to one man, Muhammad. The God who killed a whole city for homosexuality. The God who killed and urged others to kill whoever doesn’t simply believe in him. The god who according to Quran had put me in that situation to test me. The very same God who was basically the culprit of all the troubles I was going through.
Those 28 days, transformed me and changed my life, yes I still live with the traumas but I see it as a liberating metamorphosis. It was the start of some years of contemplation and leading to my atheism.