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Aynaz Anni Cyrus was born and raised in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Before she reached 15-years of age, she’d endured hundreds of lashings and was imprisoned close to 14 times. Her crimes included wearing nail polish and singing too loudly in public.

But that wasn’t the worst of what Aynaz suffered in her young life. Aynaz was also repeatedly raped by family members, police officers and prison guards until, at 13-years of age, her father decided to sell her off in marriage. He pocketed $50USD in exchange for his daughter.

According to Aynaz, her new “husband” soon took to beating her.

“He had me for over a year,” she said. “And every day, if he wasn’t beating me, he was raping me. If he wasn’t raping me, he was beating me, or sometimes he was doing both.”

One day, after enduring a beating so bad it left her with a dislocated shoulder and a bruised and bloodied face, Aynaz managed to escape to a nearby courtroom. Aynaz begged the judge to save her, explaining that sooner or later her “husband” was going to kill her.

The judge “was looking down at his papers,” Aynaz recounts. “Very calmly he looked up, with a smile, and said, ‘Well, young lady, maybe if you start obeying your husband he wouldn’t have to beat you.'”

“Now go home, and make him happy,” the judge added.

The judge wasn’t a madman, according to Aynaz. He was simply following the teachings of the Quran, in particular, chapter 4:34, which states:

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike [scourge, beat them] them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.

In contrast, the Apostle Paul commands husbands to love their wives with a self-sacrificial love, the kind of love that Jesus displayed when he suffered and died for his people on the cross.

Husbands are to, “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25). They are to “love their wives as their own bodies… For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Eph. 5:28-29).

This is, in fact, the exact opposite of what we see in Islam. In the Quran, a husband is to strike his wife if she persists in wrong. In the Bible, husbands are to imitate Christ, who was himself willingly struck down for the wrongs of his bride, the Church.

The true and living God commands husbands to love their wives, regardless of their “faults” or “sins”, because Christ has loved his church, despite the fact that we all sin against him daily.

It’s clear that not all ideologies are equal, and our culture should stop pretending they are. Despite being labelled an “Islamophobe”, Aynaz says she has every reason to fear Islam.

“Islamophobia? Under Islam I was raped, I was put in prison, I was lashed, I was beaten, I was sold into marriage, I was literally broken down into pieces and I had to build myself back up.

“Do you really think my fear is irrational? I have every single right and reason to fear this ideology,” Aynaz said.

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