Instead of a regular Winter Is Here episode today, I wanted to share a reminder of the dangers people who stand up for democratic freedoms in their home countries face, even from the supposed safety of American soil. Last week, a man with a loaded AK-47 and over a thousand dollars in cash was arrested in broad daylight after attempting to enter the Brooklyn home of our friend and RDI Freedom Fellow, Iranian dissident Masih Alinejad.
Disturbingly, such threats are not new to Masih. Just last year, she was the target of an elaborate Iranian plot to kidnap and transport her by sea to Venezuela because of her longstanding efforts to stand up for women’s rights and protest the compulsory wearing of the hijab in Iran. The thug with an AK-47 outside her front door shows just how far those threatened by Masih’s activism will go to silence voices like hers. And it shows the frightening reach of Iran’s international campaign to clamp down on political activism and the perilous path that dissidents choose when they oppose autocratic regimes in their homelands.
A few weeks ago, Masih joined us on our other podcast, Frontlines of Freedom, hosted by our Director of Education Pastor Evan Mawarire. On his show, he focuses on what those of us who aren’t risking our lives on a day-to-day basis can learn from the extraordinary dissidents who do. His podcast is uplifting, inspirational, and offers practical takeaways that we can incorporate into our own lives. So please listen to Masih’s conversation with Evan and subscribe to his podcast.