By Masih Alinejad

Masih Alinejad is a journalist and the founder of My Stealthy Freedom, a campaign to oppose compulsory head scarves in Iran. She can be found on Twitter: @MasihPooyan.

I am an Iranian, a journalist, a campaigner against Islamic extremism and a 40-year-old mother. I was forced to flee Iran’s media crackdown with my teenage son, Pouyan, in 2009. I came to the United States as a green-card holder in in 2014 after being a political refugee in the United Kingdom for five years. Due to my work, I cannot go back to Iran.

After seven years of being in exile due to Iran’s repression, I feel as if I am facing another crackdown, thanks to President Trump. His executive order to suspend the flow of refugees into the United States for 120 days, and to halt immigration for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days, could prevent me from seeing Pouyan, my only child, who is a now a student in the U.K. We feel as if we are both in limbo. I am unsure if he can come see me, or if can I go visit him, without being deprived of the right to come back to the United States. If were unable to return, it would be the end of my life here as I know it. When I think about not being able to see him, I feel sick.

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By Masih Alinejad

Masih Alinejad is an Iranian journalist living in New York and creator of the My Stealthy Freedom campaign on Facebook.

During an interview last month with TV host Charlie Rose, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif asserted that Iran doesn’t “jail people for their opinions,’’ a comment that was met with howls of protests from Iranian activists and journalists who have tasted the hospitality of Iran’s prison system. A photoshopped image of Zarif with a long wooden nose was circulated online. Journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amouei, who was jailed in the 2009 crackdown, challenged Zarif’s claim in an open letter on Facebook:

“I testify that [President Hassan] Rouhani’s government and his foreign minister are lying about this issue,’’ he said, noting that he was subjected to psychological and physical torture while being held “because of his opinions and articles written in the country’s newspapers.”

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Last weekend, I was raped by three men in London. Under the influence of mind-altering drugs, I had removed items of clothing, and the men raped me in front of my son.

That is what the Iran state TV reported in a short news segment about me.

Iranian television, which is controlled by the hardliners, uses George Orwell’s 1984 as an operating manual. Fact and fiction are blended to create a parallel universe at odds with reality as you and I know it.

For the record, I was never assaulted or raped or took any mind-altering drugs.

Why the smear campaign against me? I started a Facebook page, called My Stealthy Freedom, where I asked women about their desires to be without the veil. I was bombarded with selfies of women without their scarves.

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