Tonight's Saturday Night Cinema is "Not Without My Daughter," a cautionary tale for infidel women. Love jihad. This film would never be made in today's sharia-compliant Hollywood.
In August 1984, Michigan housewife Betty Mahmoody accompanied her husband to his native Iran for a two-week vacation. To her horror, she found herself and her four-year-old daughter, Mahtob, virtual prisoners of a man rededicated to his Moslem faith, in a land where women are near-slaves and Americans are despised. Their only hope for escape lay in a dangerous underground that would not take her child...
"From the first day that he told me I couldn't come back, I considered myself a hostage," Betty writes. Mahmoody's husband separated her from her daughter for weeks on end. He beat her and threatened to kill her if she left the house or tried to call for help. One afternoon, Betty Mahmoody managed to slip away from the house unnoticed and went to the embassy for help. "When I told them my situation they said that from the moment I married an Iranian, I became a citizen under Iranian law. There was nothing they could do for me."
Several people sympathized with Betty's situation and offered advice. One person told Betty that an escape would be much easier if she left her daughter in Iran. Mahmoody never considered the option. She would not leave without Mahtob. Months went by and Betty Mahmoody watched her daughter grow more despondent and her husband's mood swings more severe. She continued to search desperately for a way out. Finally, someone agreed to help.
The escape route was risky and treacherous. Betty and Mahtob were driven at night from Teheran to the desolate mountains in the north. Once there, they hid out in a farmer's barn waiting for the most terrifying part of their escape. They now had to cross the ice and snow-covered mountains that border Iran and Turkey. "We had to walk up some of the mountains because they were too steep for the horses," Mahmoody explains. "And I was so exhausted. When we started to go up the last mountains my legs just gave out. I was paralyzed from the waist down." The guides dragged Betty and carried Mahtob the final yards to their freedom.
Betty Mahmoody's story of fortitude during her two years in Iran is awe-inspiring. Betty and her daughter are happy now, although Mahtob still suffers some effects from the terrifying ordeal. They live in the U.S. under assumed names as Betty's husband still threatens to get Mahtob back. However, Betty is no longer afraid of him. "We have so much freedom. I want people to read this story and appreciate their freedom. When they see the American flag or the Statue of Liberty, I want those things to mean to everyone what they now mean to me."