I was born into a religion that I did not choose or practice. In fact, no one in our household ever practiced Islam, and particularly, we were warned by our parents never to go near any mosque or other such place. It was considered taboo in Persian culture.
From the moment Islam penetrated the Iranians’ lives, it clashed head on with the existing order. It clashed with people who had lived and believed in the monotheistic religion of Zoroastrianism for millennia. It contradicted Persian ideals, traditions, and culture, as is obvious from the splendid pre-Islamic Iranian festivities and celebrations such as the Persian Nowruz.
During the period I lived in Iran, I noticed that most middle- and upper-class families in Iran considered those who participated the Islamic rituals or prayers in a mosque or in any public place thugs. They did everything they could to make sure their children stayed away from such places. Keep in mind that most Iranians still consider Islam an invader upon their culture.