Basically fundamentalism is a modern phenomenon. In the same way that Hitler evoked a mythological religion of German purity and the glory of the past the Islamists use religion to evoke emotions and passions in people who have been oppressed for a long time in order to reach their purpose.

Religion was used as an ideology as a system of control. When they forced the veil upon women they were using it as an instrument of control in the same way that in Mao’s China people were wearing Mao jackets and women were not supposed to wear any makeup.

Azar Nafisi Religion Quotes

America was based on a poetic vision. What will happen when it loses its poetry?

I see people who talk about America and then undermine it by not paying attention to its soul to its poetry. I see polarization reductionism and superficiality.

Azar Nafisi Poetry Quotes

Once we know of atrocities we cannot remain silent and knowledge inevitably leads to an urge to protect the innocent.

Azar Nafisi Knowledge Quote

This is a good time to ask apologists for the Islamic regime who degrades Islam? Who imposes stoning forced marriage of underage girls and flogging for not wearing the veil? Do such practices represent Iran’s ancient history and culture its ethnic and religious diversity? Its centuries of sensual and subversive poetry?

Azar Nafisi History Quote

Those in the west who dismiss the repressiveness of laws against women in countries like Iran no matter how benign their intentions present a condescending view not just of the religion but also of women living in Muslim majority countries as if the desire for choice and happiness is the monopoly of women in the west.

Azar Nafisi Happiness Quote

You need imagination in order to imagine a future that doesn’t exist.

Azar Nafisi Future Quote

When I first left Iran at the age of 13 Iran had become such a shining star – it was the point to which all my desires and dreams returned.

Azar Nafisi Dreams Quote