Fatemeh Moradi is an Iranian woman born into a religious family. She was raised in the city of Arak, which is a very closed type of traditional town. From early childhood Fatemeh was forced to observe Islamic rules and traditions and being a girl, she suffered from all the limitations imposed on girls by her family and society. When she started her school, the impositions became even more pronounced and she had to wear the hijab and participate in school religious activities as well as prayers and the Islamic regime’s propaganda despite her dislike for such impositions. See Exhibit A-1
As Fatemeh was growing up, she could not help but question all the limitations that she had to bear just because of being a Muslim born girl who lives in an Islamic society. She saw so many contradictions in the ways that Islam was presented to them and the way that her freedoms and rights were stepped over. Whenever she would ask any questions about such contradictory issues from her family or teachers, she would be harshly hushed up and scolded upon. See Exhibit A-2
When Fatemeh was in high school, she had developed a strong resentment regarding Islam and the unjust treatment of women in it, that she decided to change her name from Fatemeh (which is an Arabic Islamic name) to Aylar and when she proposed that to her family, they became furious about the suggestion and told her that it would be blasphemy to change the holy name of Fatemeh with any other non-Islamic name. See Exhibit ?
Fatemeh’s family used to take some trips abroad during the years that she was living with them and whenever they were on such trips her father used to force them to wear their hijabs even though they were in countries in which hijab was not mandatory. See Exhibit ? During their trips she observed that in all those countries people (specially women) were enjoying such freedoms that they could only dream of and that made her even more critical of Islam and its lack of providing any freedom for its followers. See Exhibit ?
During one of their trips abroad, Fatemeh and her sister went to a photo studio and took some pictures without their hijab, and later, when her father found discovered those pictures, he destroyed them and punished them for removing their hijab. Their father was very harsh towards his daughters, and even in Ramadan on those days that they could not fast due to having period, he would forbid them from eating anything just because their brother was fasting. Fatemeh and her sisters always hated the way they were treated just because of their gender. See Exhibit ?
Fatemeh used to take advantage of any possible way and opportunity to show her opposition to the discriminations. She recalls during her university years, she used to wear colorful hijab, which caused her card to be suspended several times Herasat (the Security). Each occasion she was forced to go to the Herasat and give an undertaking and apologize for her misbehaving to get her card back and be able to continue her education. She had many unpleasant encounters with the university security office members for her attitude towards the imposed discriminations and finished her university with much difficulty due to such events. See Exhibit ?
During her trips abroad she used to sneak out of her family group and go to the nearest church and spend hours sitting and contemplating. Somehow, she had developed a deep fondness for church and Christ, having seen the loving attitude of Christians and the freedoms and peace that they had.
In 2010, Fatemeh met her husband and found him to be very open minded. They bonded well and were married October of 2010. Her marriage brought some relief for her by way of escaping her family’s rules. She was very lucky to be able to have her marriage of choice since her elder sister was put through an arranged child marriage at the age of 17. Fatemeh’s parents made her sister marry a very traditional Islamic family and she suffered so much by her husband and his family’s strict rules of hijab and Islamic rituals.
Fatemeh and her husband took a trip to Vatican City, in October of 2016. While there, she spent a great deal of time in the cathedral and amongst the Christians and became even more eager to learn about Jesus Christ and his message.
Due to her many travels and tours around the world she had picked up the hobby of writing books about travel and tourism and had already gained skills writing and publishing books. She published two books, one entitled ‘Istanbul the Cradle of Civilizations’ and the other ‘Her First Trip to China’.
When she returned to Iran, Fatemeh started investigating and studying the Koran and finding the controversial faults in it. She was always very good at in depth studies and academic investigations, so she exerted a very focused effort to come to know the Koran’s true message and what it contains. She studied both Arabic and Farsi translations of the Koran and discovered many contradictions throughout it. She made an extensive written review of such flaws and other findings.
Fatemeh started sharing her compiled written review of the Koran’s contradictions and flaws with a close friend and asked her to read them with her husband and provide feedback. Fatemeh’s research notes were organized to be a publishable book, but she dared not to even attempt to publish it, knowing that the Islamic regime and society would be furious about it. Her friend and her husband read the material and were amazed by the contents and encouraged Fatemeh to circulate them amongst trustworthy contacts. She figured by sharing it with friends, she could contribute to informing some people and shed some light on the minds of those who are interested.
Fatemeh organized her research paper in the form of a book and made copies of them and started sharing with some trustworthy friends. At work she had a few friends who were like minded and trustworthy as well and she gave a copy to each one of them as well. She felt very happy that finally she could help open some people’s eyes to solid facts about an imposed religion that her country has been suffering from for centuries.
Meanwhile Fatemeh’s husband kept warning her that what she is doing was very dangerous and if she gets exposed, she could risk her life. See Exhibit ?
She kept telling him that she was aware of the consequences, yet she would be careful. She could not help but wanting to share the truth that she had discovered.
Meanwhile, her next trip plan was to go to North America and visit Canada, so her husband and she applied for visitor visa to Canada and had received it in 2017, but due to the high cost of currency they had not embarked on that trip.
Around July of 2019, Fatemeh received a frantic call from one of her friends at work who said that she had forgotten that she had left her copy of Fatemeh’s book in her desk drawer and one of their co-workers, who is very religious, and fanatical, had stumbled upon her book while looking for a document in her desk. Fatemeh had left work early that day since her son was not feeling well and she had to pick him up from day camp early. Hearing that news gave Fatemeh a big shock and, knowing the fanatical colleague, she knew she would be in big trouble. Fatemeh called her husband right away, and he tried to calm her down, by suggesting she take few days off work with the excuse of her son’s illness and then asked her to take their son and go to his parent’s home.
While at her in-law’s home, her husband arranged to book their tickets to Canada as a measure of security since they already had the visitor visa to Canada. Fatemeh kept getting updates from her friends at work, and they told her that the security of their company had searched her desk. Fatemeh also called her neighbor to get an update and she reported that there were some civilian clothing agents at their residence inquiring about. See Exhibit ?
Fatemeh was also receiving messages from the security office of her work to report in person. See Exhibit ?
She and her husband decided to leave Iran immediately since the matter was getting very complicated. Despite her father in-law’s battle with cancer and her husband’s need to stay with him, they had to leave and save their family.
On August 5th, 2019, they left Iran and came to Canada. When she contacted their family in Iran, she found out that the agents have gone to her in-law’s home and her family’s home asking about her whereabouts. Fatemeh decided to wait and not return until the situation calms down, but she has been getting updates by her family and neighbor that the agents have been frequently visiting and inquiring about her. See Exhibit ?
Fatemeh has come to conclusion that she should make a refugee claim to protect herself and her family. Fatemeh is asking the Canadian government to grant her refugee protection since she is wanted for expressing her opinion and her religious choice.