Betty Mahmoody Message Board
whatever posts on 8/11/2009 6:14:28 PM
Betty Mahmoody tries very hard to show respect to the Iranian culture in her book. She does not overgeneralize about the Iranian citizens. As a matter of fact she is quite explicit when she describes how she was aided by very good Iranian people. She also describes in her 2nd book how when she got back to America she did not want Mahtob to be ashamed or regretful of her Iranian ancestory. See kept that part of Mahtob's heritage alive for her daughter by still preparing Iranian meals, etc...
L posts on 8/1/2009 4:15:14 PM
I think that one person's experiences should be valid. People complain about generalities, but unfortunately generalities of all types are often valid in a lot of people. She wrote of her own experiences and what she felt. She has a right to that, whether or not anyone likes it or not.
tara posts on 8/1/2009 11:45:29 AM
Its not what Betty wrote regardless of the exaggeration but how she did it. She married into one muslim family during a controversial time in Iranian history and yet she generalises the whole Iranian culture as a stereotype of her husband and his family. It is as if i married a Catholic man in the United States who has a history of violence and crime and wrote about all Americans as criminals and the religion as one encoraging violence. Look at the KKK's who still exist in America today. They are a Christian group who kill people that are different from the colour of their skin to their religion. What she did was not right in expressing 'her experiences' to that of the whole Iranian culture. Finally, it is the stupidity of the public who believe everything they see and hear on the media without really knowing anything for themselves!
Edward E. Knight posts on 7/22/2009 10:24:31 AM
I don't know how often you check this post. I will leave this message for you and others that happen upon. Recalling our conversation last Spring in Ovid, I place this post.
American media for what ever reason or rational has been, except for NPR, silent on the extreme situation the Baha'is of Iran now find themselves.
Recently I was handed a copy of the Sentinel project. In brief it deals with the issue of genocide now approaching the entire, what remains, Baha'i population within Iran.
If you want this report, please email me.
Anonymous posts on 7/13/2009 8:23:44 AM
Betty you are a beautiful strong couragous loving mother! thank you for sharing you story that has brought me so much hope. God bless you an Mahtob!
Chip posts on 7/2/2009 4:21:51 PM
It is required by Muslims to cleanse themselves (i.e. shower) at the bare minimum at least once a week. Otherwise, one's weekly jummah Friday prayer (very important) is not accepted by God. Muslims also have to take cleanse their arms, hair, feet, and face at least five times a day (before each prayer). Unlike Americans and Euros, Muslims also have to thorougly cleanse their bodies everytime they have to go to the washroom. You are not allowed to just use toilet paper to clean yourself.
The use of perfumes and cologne to mask body odours and not take showers has historically been a European phenomenon. You just have to reread your high school or college history books to realize that.
Alexa Hailey posts on 6/26/2009 5:36:17 AM
There are some unbelievable comments written here. Keri has a degree in History and has studied Islam and this gives her the knowledge to be able to comment on the personal hygiene of Moslem people. Betty Mahmoudy lived with the problem and I have worked with the problem. It's very unpleasant and is usually heavily disguised by loads of strong musky perfume. Like any nationality, some people like to be clean and others are not so bothered. If she had read the book, she would realise that only certain parts of the body need to be washed each day before prayer.
As for the blonde haired blue eyed Irish American who didn't have the issues suffered by Betty Mahmoudy. You were just very lucky, that's all and you were probably totally unaware of what was going on around you. Ignorance is bliss.
Betty Mahmoudy told a good story and a convincing one. Her husband who has now also benefited financially from the story has criticised Betty for turning the experience into a profitable enterprise. Such is his hypocracy.
judy shock posts on 6/22/2009 12:14:47 PM
Betty, I don't know you for yourself -- unfortunately I can only relate to you as Sally Fields portrayed you. Reading your own story, it was not shown in the movie that you actually confided in attorneys about going to Iran with your husband. I knew from the movie that you were skeptical -- but had no idea you were so nervous that you actually seeked advice from a lawyer, and actually thought he would kidnap Mahtob if you did NOT accompany him. According to the movie, you had TOTAL trust in him until that one day in the bedroom when he turned into a man you did not know. That was an important factor, and somehow should have been included in the movie -- it shows that EVEN before going to Iran with him, you did not have total faith and trust in your husband keeping his word and keeping you and Mahtob safe. Kind of dissapointing actually -- should have been in the storyline. But, I've watched the movie several times and have nothing but total admiration for your courage and undying love for your child. May God bless you and Mahtob -- and bless others who are in this same situation. It is truly horrific.
Keri posts on 6/22/2009 2:34:25 AM
First off, I have to say that I have a degree in History and have thoroughly studied the religion of Islam. I definitely understand why Iranians and Muslims are offended by some of what Betty Mahmoody has written because it goes against the very principles of Islam. The things I am talking about are claims such as the one that Betty's Muslim relatives only showered once a year. I know that to be untrue because Islam places importance on cleanliness, especially when it comes to prayer. I do not know if the family she lived with was not following the basic principles, but based on what she wrote, I have to think that they probably were. I am thinking those type of claims might have been exagerrated. However, I fully and wholeheartedly believe that she was tricked into going to Iran. Dr. Mahmoody's accusation (in his documentary) that she flew out of Iran and made this up for the almighty dollar does not make sense. When she left Iran, she would have no idea if her story would even sell. And, to make it more unlikely, her daughter backs up her story about fleeing from Iran and refuses to have contact with her father. I hear alot of argument that Betty Mahmoody wrote this book to fuel American hate for Iranians and Muslims. I do believe that some of her claims are exaggerated and do paint Muslims in a bad light. However, I can understand her anger with Iranians, especially her husband and his family. Most of us cannot imagine what it is like to be held prisoner, against our will. Honestly, if none of the abuse happened, I would still side with her. It must be horrible to be ripped away from everything you know and be forced to stay in another country. People can argue all they like, but there were laws that prevent women from leaving the country without their husband's consent. As a mother, I cannot imagine that I would willingly move to a war zone with my children. I have to believe that some coaxing, bribery, or lying had to take place. The truth is that I have read the books, watched the movie, and seen Dr. Mahmoody's documentary. I think a big part of the problem was the cultural differences. Betty Mahmoody did not understand Islam or its principles. She didn't understand the Iranian culture. In Iran, they live differently than we do in the United States. There were probably events that Betty Mahmoody considered to be hateful or abusive that are normal parts of Iranian culture. Women in Iran do not have the same freedoms that we have here in the United States. To them, this is not considered abuse. It is considered the way of life. I hope everyone can remember that there are two sides to every story. The true story probably lies somewhere in the middle of the two accounts. I felt like both accounts are extremely biased, which is always the case. I just wish people would not use this situation as justification for hate because that does not accomplish anything. What Betty Mahmoody experienced was the fault of her husband and his family. The blame cannot be bestowed on all Muslims or Iranians.
Deb posts on 6/20/2009 3:21:40 PM
I thank my lucky stars that I never married the Iranian man I was so totally in love with 30 years ago. this was a time when most of the Iranian men I knew were against the Shah. The Iranian women I knew were mostly in favor of the "capitalist regime". To my knowledge this Iranian man is still in the U.S., but I haven't heard from or about him in over 20 years. So I don't know if he returned when Khomeini came to power or not. I know one of his brothers returned to fight against the Shah. Anyway, throughout our long relationship, I allowed myself to be treated terribly... hitting, belittling, infidelities, etc. He never told me he loved me. It wasn't until I love was lost that I was able to separate myself from him. Then he was so willing to declare his love and want to get married. Fortunately, I didn't have the feelings for him. A few months, or years.(I can't remember which)I fell for an Afghan who spoke Farsi and had been an acquiantance of the first man. This guy's lack of respect and treatment made the first guy seem like a Romeo. He ended that relationship in a most cruel manner. I've not been the same since. I dated for several years afterward, but only white Americans. I have a definite mistrust of Middle Eastern men. I can no longer say that I am not a biased person.I remain a single woman to this day, unable to trust any man, and, for all intents and purposes, a spinster (although not in the traditionjal sense). My purpose for this post is to thank Betty Moody and the "Not Without My Daughter" filmakers and actors, particularly Sally Field, and Alfred Molina (he's so fine...even with 4 mechanical tentacles) for their exceptionally realistic portrayals of a strong, intelligent American woman and her religiously fanatical Muslim husband. Thanks Betty...you are a phenomenal woman.I hope to hear you speak some day.
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