freedom fighter bookI didn't want to read this book. That's part of the problem – we tend to look away from some of the uglier aspects of the world situation...

Freedom Fighter
Majed El Shafie
235 pages
Destiny Image Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7684-0313

I didn't want to read this book. That's part of the problem – we tend to look away from some of the uglier aspects of the world situation. They're distasteful, ugly, and inconvenient - but they're calling out to us through the haze of our daily activities and the gloss of so-called 'reality' programming. We know that – if we look – we're going to be responsible for what we learn. That's why I decided to read this book – because I knew why I didn't want to...

"One Man's Fight For One Free World" is the book's accurately worded sub-title – accurate because it's not just the story of the suppression and persecution of religious minorities throughout the world, but it's also the story of one man's undaunted efforts to raise awareness of the situation and to rescue as many victims as he can. That man is the author, Majed El Shafie – an Egyptian Muslim, born to a prominent family of judges and lawyers, whose conversion to Christianity resulted in his arrest, torture, death sentence, and subsequent escape to Canada (via Israel), where he worked to raise awareness of the plight of religious minorities everywhere.

The writer's own story is compelling but is only one of several real-life stories throughout the book's pages, the most gut-wrenching of which is the story of the two and a-half year old Pakistani girl, Neha, who was brutally raped to punish her family for converting to Christianity. The story of Neha and her family is told in segments throughout the book and climaxes with the family's eventual rescue through the efforts of the author's One Free World International organization.

Freedom Fighter covers conditions in Egypt, China, Afghanistan, Israel, Iran and Iraq, Africa, and Pakistan with detailed accounts of what's really happening to those who practice 'minority' religions – often revealing horror stories despite the outward appearance of tolerance (China allows state-sanctioned 'Christian' churches) and flagrantly-ignored laws. This is not a tunnel-vision look at Christian persecution (although that is the main focus) but covers the terrible treatment of Falun Gong, Jews, Bahai's and other faiths under the thumb of the radical Islamists.

El Shafie educates the reader to some of the politics behind the scenes and lays out the facts in such a way that you will rethink what imported items you might (or might not) buy from now on. His thoughts on how the free nations need to require a measurable standard of human rights for minority religions before sending economic aid to offending nations makes perfect sense – to the cause of freedom, if nothing else.

The last section of the book contains addresses made before government bodies by El Shafie, along with practical suggestions on how you can help the cause on an individual level as well as through One Free World International. Most of all, awareness and education are the goals of this book. I think Majed would join me in saying, 'don't look away.' The book is an eye-opener.

"...along with the right to life, religious freedom and freedom of conscience are the first and most fundamental of human rights. The ability to believe (or to choose not to believe) is something beyond our material existance, in accordance with our individual conscience, and to manifest that beliefe in practices and observances is one of the most essential distinguishing characteristics of the human race..." - Freedom Fighter, page 120

(Freedom Fighter, the book, is a companion piece to the award-winning documentary of the same name, which is available on DVD)

- Bert Saraco

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