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July 25, 2005

Comments

sanam

People please don't bring up the Jew-Muslim thing or the Israeli-Palestinian crisis here. It is so unrelated to the subject.

Plain and simply Dr. Mahmoody is a liar.
Though Betty may have exaggerated or overemphasized or de-emphasized certain things, and I am sure she would, because the book is written from her perspective, she is not incorrect in her observation of the deception and lies that prevail to this day in Iranian society.

My father is a Muslim and Iran and as much as I love him, he is a liar when it suits him and he has no problem making himself look innocent when it suits his purpose.

My grandmother's words of wisdom in Iran were "if you want to have a good marriage, don't be so upfront, you have to lie like your aunts do!"

Please people wake up and realize that Dr. Mahmoody is a liar, liar, liar. He wasn't even creative enough to come up with something better. He has been exposed and humiliated for what he is. I feel sorry for him. I do, but his own daughter has not contacted him after turning 18, 3 years prior to this documentary. Do you think this has anything to do with Betty?

Annie

The problem with religion these days is that it doesn't teach tolerance or acceptance of anything that threatens their own belief. EVERYONE, I mean EVERYONE is entitled to their religious beliefs but by the same token has no right to push those beliefs toward others. Betty was no dummy. She fell in love and married "Moody" on her own accord. I believe she says "7 years" of marriage before visiting Iran? I find it hard to believe that he could be half the monster she portrayed him to be without seeing even just a tiny glimps of it during their marriage. Would love to further comment but the, long story short, American's (I'm a 5th generation American myself) need to step back and educate ourselve about religion and culture before we make such horrible and IGNORANT statements based on prejudice and propaganda.

Jess

Okay lets firstly ask ourselves something here: Why did it take until 2002 for Dr Mahmoody to rebut against the claims made about him? Quite smiply, because he didn't have a leg to stand on. It also amazes me the amount of people who have been able to read this story and assume that Betty was lying. Clearly the fact that Mahtob refuses to have any contact with her father is proof enough that there is truth to this tale. And what a tale it was. I dont doubt that she was subjected to man who had lost control of his own mind, and when did this exactly happen? Well I tend to believe long before they set foot in Iran. This is not a story set out to tear down a country, it is a story told from the point of view of a Mother trapped in a nightmare with a helpless child, anyone put that much out of their comfort zone would paint just as grim a picture as Betty. Also I have read that people feel that this story is not complete somehow and that we hear nothing of what happens in Iran and when they return to America. Well I suggest you pick up a copy of the follow on "For the love of a child", reading this I would say that Betty and Mahtob didn't have the easist of times returning from Iran.

If anything people should be taking from this story is "VALUE YOUR FREEDOM" Pay attention in life, pay attention to those you surround yourself with, and the places you go. Anyone at anytime could and do end up in situations like this, and those of us reading the story rather then writing it should be grateful the shoe is not on the other foot!

jess

Okay lets firstly ask ourselves something here: Why did it take until 2002 for Dr Mahmoody to rebut against the claims made about him? Quite smiply, because he didn't have a leg to stand on. It also amazes me the amount of people who have been able to read this story and assume that Betty was lying. Clearly the fact that Mahtob refuses to have any contact with her father is proof enough that there is truth to this tale. And what a tale it was. I dont doubt that she was subjected to man who had lost control of his own mind, and when did this exactly happen? Well I tend to believe long before they set foot in Iran. This is not a story set out to tear down a country, it is a story told from the point of view of a Mother trapped in a nightmare with a helpless child, anyone put that much out of their comfort zone would paint just as grim a picture as Betty. Also I have read that people feel that this story is not complete somehow and that we hear nothing of what happens in Iran and when they return to America. Well I suggest you pick up a copy of the follow on "For the love of a child", reading this I would say that Betty and Mahtob didn't have the easist of times returning from Iran.

If anything people should be taking from this story is "VALUE YOUR FREEDOM" Pay attention in life, pay attention to those you surround yourself with, and the places you go. Anyone at anytime could and do end up in situations like this, and those of us reading the story rather then writing it should be grateful the shoe is not on the other foot!

Karen Lucero

I cannot speak for Betty Mahmoody, but I can speak for myself. I was married to an Iranian Muslim man and he was polite when he wanted something from me, and rude when he didn't. If he came home and dinner was not ready he would have a fit. He offered for me to go to Iran to visit his family back in the early 80's and there is no way I would of considered it. There is a vast difference between Iranian culture vs American, however; underneath we are alot alike. Most of the Iranian people I have had contact with over the past 25 years have proven to be kind people. Not all Iranians are alike, just as we are not. Betty went through a terriable scary experience and one cannot blame her for fearing the worst for her and Mahtab. Until one is in that situation we cannot say how we would of reacted. Betty was right saying that women have no legal rights to the child, married or not, men have custody of a child in a divorce, the law favors the men. I have been to Iran since divorcing my husband, (he beat me because his dinner was not ready)and have seen first hand some of the violence on women. Omidvaram (I hope), one day women will have more rights in Iran. Men need to understand that women are who take care of their needs, yes, most of the men make the money to support their families, but the women make the comforts of home pleasing for the men. If you are an Iranian man reading this, Lotfan (please), think before you use violence on your woman. Put yourself in their place and think how you would feel it happened to you. I know most of you are saying, I run the house, I am the man and women have no say, I am the man and you must listen to me! Perhaps some of that is true, but we are all HUMAN....and deserve to be treated as such. I hope and pray that Betty and Mahtab are okay and living a full life. As for Dr. Mahmoody, I hope he can understand Betty's fear, not only for her life,but Mahtab's. If he looks inside he will understand and forgive her. Betty only did what she thought was right at the time. As for myself, I adapted to the Iranian way of life and loved it. I have been respected by many Iranian people since my divorce and have nothing but respect for these people. I wish the best for Dr. Mahmoody, Betty, and Mahtab. Inshallah.

sam

i remember first reading this book when I was 7 years old. At the time, I was naive and thought that this book could not be true. I just recently reread the book( I have read it about a dozen times over the last 15 years), and sadly, every year as I grow older I think of the horrible conditions that this poor woman and child had to endure. I believe it all bc being older I understand there are some cultures and ppl that are extremist and permit abuse and isolation to exist unfortunately. It happened almost 25 years ago, and yet there are still whackjobs out there that try to make this woman into some lying, bad mother, racist american who is solely profitting from her 'experience'. Shame on you. Don't you understand that you cannot right a wrong if you don't admit it? For the ppl who are so willing to side with the husband, how do you know he isn't lying? I've heard outrageous claims from "he's too tiny to fight her and win" to " he sounds impressive so I belive him, blah, blah,blah". Well, duh. He was a doctor. Have you never met a dr. that was scientifically knowledgeable but was a jerk, or treated you badly. hello, you can be educated, rich, and make coherent arguments, it doesn't mean you can't be a wife batterer or a child abuser.Especially when your own child has said so on tv !

JuneBug

I believe Ms. Mahmoody.

As an American, my mother and I lived through this sort of experience with my father. I swear when I watched the film I couldn't stop making correlations between what was happening with them to what has happened to me here.

Like Mr. Mahmoody my father did everything in his power to keep my mother from her family. She wasn't allowed to use the phone, wasn't allowed to contact her family or visit them at all. When she went to the store my father would have her take my younger brother (who was an infant at the time) only and leave me behind.

He yelled at her, abused her mentally and physically all the time. Threatened her with a gun, etc.

She thought of divorce and of escaping all the time which she easily could have done if she had left without us but she refused to leave us behind.

Finally she found a way to do it and I was six years old, like Mathob and my brother was four.

My father is not even a Muslim, we aren't even Muslim and this is how he acted, this is what he did.

It's not even about the religion. It's about abusive men. Men who get stuck on this power trip and want control all the time and use abusive behaviors and threats to maintain this control.

I believe Ms. Mahmoody full heartedly because we lived it and I know what it's like. And this happened in America and fortunately for us we had family close by. I'm sure for Ms. Mahmoody and her daughter it was a thousand more times more terrifying having to escape from a country...

NewMan

Dr. Bozorg and Betty Mahmoody’s case

I used to be surprised by the things that I did not expect, or I did not know or I haven’t heard about them. I am very less surprise now, as we are all living in a certain bubble called life and we usually cannot accept other than what we have been feed in the name of religion, culture, education, patriotic and nationalistic ideas or better to say brain washing, etc.

We try to relate everything that can match to what can exist in our bubble if not it is rejected, condemned and discriminated. Observing North American mentality for around 18 years, I came to the point that ignorance degree is so high in these countries, that you can sell laterally everything to the people by media, preparing their mind by finding an opportune time and situation and then getting the message out and making people to believe.

This applies more to the USA than Canada, as there are more possibilities and access in Canada to different sources and news than in the USA. The real news does not reach people here and the public stay very ignorant to the reality and the real news. Everyone can make research and find out how generally news agency edit the news and who are behind it and how the news are manipulated to convince public to certain ideas, ideologies and beliefs that politicians and in fact who hold economic power want to.

I will suggest everyone at least look at the "Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein and many other documents, books and writings how public is being manipulated and how economic and political power holders go to the extent of even killing millions!!!

Mahmoody's case is a very small case comparing to what is happening in manipulating public mind and opinion especially in North America. I am not surprised why and how North American mentality accepts and even pursues this kind of stories.

Reading some comments above, I can see that some people relate it to their own problems, hates, family problems etc. If we can break out of our bubble, we can certainly see, this case has been used for political and economical misuse against Iranian government and hating Iranians in order to prepare American and North American and even international public opinion to lunch and support a war against Iran by arming Saddam Husain. Then Western countries sold weapons to both sides even though it has been prohibited by UN and this has been publicly affirmed by American and British officials in 1990s. Such a situation gave the opportunity to Westerns to sell the weapons in black market with much higher prices than regular prices that could be negotiated in an open market! Mahmoody case, disregarding it is a true or false story, was a great case and opportunity for creating hate against a nation that Americans needed to demonstrate as a monster in order to gain all the political advantages and public support. If Americans, including Betty Mahmoody are claiming to be civilized, why cannot they go to an international court and let everything and all the facts come out from both sides and why Dr. Mahmoody was not invited to the court and why he was denied every time he applied for a visa to the USA and all his belongings were confiscated without even he can do anything?! The answer is very simple, because it is a very political issue beyond personal life of Dr. Mahmoody, Betty Mahmoody and Mahtab Mahmoody. In fact this family has been a victim of political intentions where Betty Mahmoody could gain some wealth due to the situation and her opportunistic attitude. However, emotionally Both Dr. Mahmoody and Mahtab Mahmoody most have been abused and I am sure so was Betty Mahmoody in order to put some lies together mixing with some facts to deliver such a political tool for American propaganda for her personal gain.

I strongly feel that Betty Mahmoody is an opportunist, if even her story is partially true, she took the opportunity by publishing a story by an author (William Hoffer, who also had portrayed Turkish nation as a barbaric third world country in his Midnight Express) in order to gain personal fortune as well as serving USA political aims and supported by different American organizations without even willing to listen or even let the other side to have a voice!

Of course from Iranian government side, they have their own Political interests in such stories, where even Dr. Mahmoody claimed that he has been hurt more by Iranian officials than Americans even accusing him to be a spy of foreign countries especially USA. He is writing a book as well and I am not sure if it is out yet or it will be published in the future.

I will certainly make a very clear distinction between Iranian government and Iranians: Majority of Iranians are against the actual government since decades and the government has been in power by force and repressing any opposition with server punishments and generally by killing them, publicly hanging them and torturing everyone who goes against their political and economical power monopoly in the country. Iranian people have been the BIGGEST victim of politics between Iran and the USA. They are badly repressed in their own country and they are treated and discriminated as uncivilized, terrorists, fundamentalists etc. in the West notably in the USA.

Sometimes, the question comes to my mind that the fact that some people were born in certain counties becomes their crime! Stereotyping is one of the biggest weapons that American politicians have been using against other nations when they needed and Iranians were one of the known for last 3 decades. For example, in 9/11 event, I have checked all the published names and none of them were even Iranian and surprisingly Iranians were treated worse than the nationalities those who participate in explosion of twin towers!

Another shocking example of political manipulation of American and international public by Trio of Ronald Reagan, George Bush (father) and William Casey is planning and implementing the hostage taking of American Diplomats in Iran in 1979-1980 against Jimmy Carter in order to win the election and the hostages were released on the days when Ronald Reagan was swearing as a President of United States! People who were participated in the hostage taking event were related to some Ayatollahs in Iran who were in conspiracy with above mentioned Trio for their own political gain in Iran and controlling the country against nation's will and continuing a war that was almost to end and Saddam Hussain and Saudi Arabia were accepting to pay all the damages to Iran. I think many will remember “October Surprise” and “Iran-Contra” that was master works of this trio. Some information about these can be found on Wikipedia too.

The real issue is North American Mentality and how the public opinion is influenced and manipulated easily by politicians and their allies such as news agencies. This also applies to public opinion of most of the other nations including Iran as they have been manipulated. Iranian government has been very hostile towards Americans in their speeches and in their media and they were doing secret deals with Americans behind closed doors. Most of Iranian Intelligencia is well aware of this fact.

Leaving all these behind, the conclusion of my observation in human societies came to the point that I can firmly state that any ideology is destructive to human progress, peace and prosperity. The ideology can take many different forms: Religions including Zaratustrianism, Mazdaism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., any other ideologies, such as communism, socialism, liberalism, capitalism, etc. Most of the "ISMs" turn to be an ideology. Any ideology will become an organized organization with certain beliefs that they will claim human prosperity if everyone would follow their principles.

Ideologies have been the greatest weapon in the hands of politicians to achieve their goals as once people start believing in something they can go to the extent that they can kill and eliminate physically others who believe otherwise or they do not simply believe in their principles. Any ideology is meant to be fundamentalist!

I just pray and I put my mind, my action, my beliefs and whatever I can to free human prosperity from any sort of ideology. Until ideology is in human mind human society cannot see peace and prosperity. One way or the other there will always be discrimination, bloodshed, torture, pain and misery. The only solution I can see is human awakening, freeing himself and his society from all these ideologies by becoming more aware, conscious, understanding and trying to understand the situations as much as possible instead of making judgments and statements due to our anger, differences, greed, and most importantly due to our different beliefs and ideologies we follow!

We should remember: the differences are not for discrimination, anger and hating each other, but a wonderful opportunity and potential that we can learn from each other and from all the differences and align our efforts for the prosperity of human society as whole and not as divided angry and miserable groups hating each other, wasting our times and energy to kill each other by arguing on how we should be prosper! As the result of my lifetime experiences, observation, going through all kind of events that creates misery for human society, I am working on something that might bring some lights to our approaches towards prosperity paths.
Stay tuned and search, search and search instead of easily believing!

NewMan

k

Are you seriously going to bad mouth a woman who fought to get out of a life threatening situation and saved her child while doing it?!! Does it matter whether she was actually "beaten" or not. She was taken to a foreign country and held there against her will. Here in America we call that kidnapping. No matter what culture/religion you are. Thank god there are women in this world that are strong enough to realize that men are not superior and thank god that she can teach her daughter that.

equality

For all those idiots who think that Betty lied about her story, think again why would she lie? I know for a fact that it states in the Koran that a woman is of lesser value than a man also it states that the man may hit his wife. And Why are women put down anyways aren't religions supposed to be equal for all. I know that there has been prejudice against women in the Muslim culture like why do they always have to do what the husband says and why are they less. If you think I am making this up well I am not and if you want to find out more read a Koran which will show you all these things. And don't for one second believe the father Moody' lie in his documentary "without my daughter" because he is the one who lies not Betty or her daughter.

equality

For all against Betty
Why don't you stop being naive and face the world realistically if Islam is a peaceful religion then why can they beat a woman and why all the limits on women and as for Christine Goldberg's comment along with other peoples I congratulate you for seeing how Islam really is.

equality

For New Man
Hi I would like to tell you have you read the Koran lately and have you been in a middle eastern country? If not then you have no idea what you are talking about so if you want to confuse other people by telling them all your ideologies and beliefs on this case you should study some more and read the Koran. I know about human nature and the fickleness of the masses or if you don't know that means, it means how easily people are swayed. I know that people have a tendency to change their thought in less than a minute but at least they are believing something that is true by believing Betty's story For all of you who will post a comment I hope ypu are in favor of Betty and her daughter because or else that means you know nothing about the Muslim religion.
by equality

persian girl in norway

Maybe I am in the minority, but as a first generation American girl with Iranian parents, my mother and father took great pains to assimilate my brother and I with western culture. BUT that does not mean that they didnt instill in me my Persian heritage and culture as well.... I'd like to say I am a blend of east and west. My father used to tell me stories of how his family in Iran didn't treat their women equally as men and he was determined not to follow through with that. My father always treated my brother and I with equal respect and with equal expectations. So as for Mr. Mahmoody, I have no idea what kind of father or husband he was but.... as for my own father I have so much respect and love for him. Even my very christian norwegian husband looks up to my dad cause he's such a noble person. I love my Iranian dad!

Angellica Waters

You know, the basic story line in Betty Mahmoody's experience is probably the ONLY thing that hollywood and book companies had attained. Hollywood need stories that SELL SELL SELL and in that they dramatize them and kink things this way and turn things that way. Thus instead of having such a critical focus on Betty, maybe you can also sum dramatic events of this story to HOLLYWOOD?? If ANY one of us spoiled Americans would enter into a culture we have little to no knowledge of and do NOT feel comfortable with and do not share same beliefs on, this GREATLY impacts and affects our perceptions of the culture and environment around us in which we are not knowledgeable or accustom to! Now, How can this be wrong of Betty to express to other individuals? She was stuck in another country where she did not belong and during a time that was not that of the united states! How can any one criticize another person when they have never been placed under those circumstances? And I am sure that the perceptions are vastly different between Moody Mahmoody and Betty Mahmoody. That is a culture he is accustomed to! That is HIS family that all welcomed him with open arms. Can anyone even imagine having to experience such events? I could not, but I can see that view points on realism stem strictly from experience, knowledge and perception and how it is then expressed to the public, then lets throw in Hollywood to make the story a "seller" and blow up the box office.

Lo

How quickly things change. In the Middle Ages it was Muslim women who had greater rights in marriage, divorce, right to own property and work. Our own western culture has only recently come out in favor of women's rights. When my mother was born, women did not have the right to vote. When her mother (my grandmother) married, she lost all rights to own property, keep her own money or inheritance, or, in the case of divorce, have custody of her children(without permission from her ex-husband.) If her husband wanted to send her children to work in the mines or into servitude, there was nothing she could have done about it. There was no legal recourse that could be taken if your husband beat you. Come to think of it, until the last couple of decades, a man could not be charged with raping his wife. Anyway, the point is, a patriarchal society is the same all over the earth.

NotKAT

Ditto all you say, Yocheved, Bananagirl and the other sane replies here.

So I guess Betty was in it only for the money with her book and movie, but Moody wasn't with his book and movie?

Um, think again...

Betty and Mahtob have earned the peace they have through sacrifices we will never know. Moody has also reaped what he has sown. The scales do balance - what goes around comes around. I wish Betty and Mahtob the best...

Mike Rome

If he did hit her he is a scumbag. And I don't care what religion or nationality you are. If I see a so called man hitting a woman I always do what is right which is step in and give him a old fashion as$ whipping. And like I said before I don't care where you are from. These "men" know they are weak to begin with and that is why they go after women and not men. So Doctor iranian gay boy next time try hitting a man and see what happens.

verra

everything is described in this book is TRUE
I know people from Iran, Iraq, the dirt, lazy haze over their wives and children
can also be seduced by this or a "tarof yes zawny everywhere in the guise of a lie

Maureen

I just saw the movie again on TV and it brought back memories of the first time I saw it years ago and of the book (which I had read first.) I like the comment that said that knowing men the commentator believed Betty. I never registered, reading the book, that Iranians were dirty but understood that this was a terrible time for Iran middle of a war. Having suffered a chauvinistic Polish husband (I am American Polish Irish) and living in NYC all my life I believe Betty. What did register with me reading the book and which was not in the movie (I don't think it was) was Betty's struggle to get birth control and how dangerous that was. I have met Iranian woman who have told me of their marital abuse and the impossibilty of getting birth constrol (similar for the Irish).I found that horrific all by itself as an unwanted pregnancy that gives a man control over a woman is pretty popular all over the world (even in America). I watched Dr. Mamhoody's version and it smells to high heaven. I've met many Muslim woman who have fled from opressive husbands (in all countries) and, even though other religions (such as my own former Catholicism) repress womem, they are not usually in theocracies where this is dangerous. I never took the book or the movie as dismissal of all Iranians but this man took his wife and little daugher into a wartorn country and into a strange culture and he's full of it.

Ed

Ask any woman who has lived in Iran (and who is not afraid to speak out and tell the truth) and you will see a lot of similarities to Betty's story. It's the truth.

Ain

Fortunately Betty and Mahtob can leave in peace now and not in fear because Moody is now deceased. Pretty sad that the only peace that they can have comes after his death.

cathleen

what is important to note is when you marry an iranian man you become his property. this also pertains to any biological children. he and he alone tells you if and when you can leave the country. that can be a recipe for disaster which is what happended to betty and mahtob.

Gemma

I'm totally with Betty. If she had been lying then Mahtob would have wanted to see her father and did she do that? No, of course not, so Seyed Bozorg Mahmoody died without ever seeing his daughter again and he deserved nothing less. Those who say she could have escaped another way like plane are fools and haven't read the book as she clearly tells us that Moody stole their passports. She is an incredibly brave woman.

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