Masoud Banisadr

Masoud Banisadr is an author and former member of the Iranian Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MeK). He was born in Tehran, in 1953, as the son of a prominent Iranian family. In 1978, while pursuing his postgraduate studies in Engineering-Mathematics in England, Banisadr joined MeK, a political organization that played a prominent role in overthrowing the Shah in 1979. Two years later, after a failed effort to overthrow Ayatollah Khomeini’s government, MeK turned into a clandestine terrorist cult. Banisadr was fortunate in 1996 to escape and tell his story in a 2004 book, "Memoirs of an Iranian Rebel." Since then, he has dedicated his life to an intensive scholarly study of the cult phenomenon, culminating in the publishing of his new book, "Destructive and Terrorists Cults: A New Kind of Slavery" (2014).

Living and Escaping a Terrorist Cult

In this edition of The Interview, Fair Observer talks to Masoud Banisadr, a former member of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. In 1965, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MeK) was established in Iran in opposition to US imperialism. Espousing a blend of Marxism and Islam, the group helped bring about the Iranian Revolution of 1979. However, after breaking with the revolutionary government, MeK embarked on a terrorism... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

How Do Terrorist Groups and Cults Attract Followers?

Knowingly or unknowingly, we may be supporting and promoting groups like Daesh instead of crippling and destroying them. In the fight against terrorist groups or cults, we should take care not to promote them in any way or to make it easier for them to recruit. Our first line of defense should be to understand their strengths and weaknesses, in order to match their strengths and attack their... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

In IS, "I" Stands for Infection, Not Islam

We have to teach people, especially young Muslims, how to protect themselves against mind manipulation. Why are so many well-educated young Muslims turning to terrorism, with some even becoming human bombs? Is Islam itself the problem, a religion of 1.6 billion people, with a religious majority in 49 countries around the world? I do not think so. In fact, I believe destructive terrorist... Continue Reading

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