Wafa Sultan

With a hat tip to our friend the Big Hominid, we direct you to a remarkable video clip, of the apostate Muslim gadfly Wafa Sultan engaging in a heated debate on al-Jazeera television.

Sultan characterizes the struggle between jihadis and the West:

The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.

This is a brave woman. Apparently this clip has been making the rounds for a while, but I hadn’t run acroos it before, and perhaps you haven’t either. See it here.

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4 Comments

  1. The promotion of Dr. Sultan corrosponds to another mediaeval practice; that of catpulting a plague ridden corpse into a besieged city. Who benefits from the predictable outrage? The Israelis perhaps, who are supposed to be the dark force behind the MEMRI group who publish this clip. Rabbi Stein of L.A. deplores her elevation and rejects the idea that there can be no raproachment between Islam and Judaism
    http://www.ncpa.info/news/view_newsdetails.asp?id=258

    Posted August 28, 2007 at 5:17 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Michael,

    That’s a colorful metaphor, and of course it is, I’m sorry to say, still common enough to see the Jews put forward as a “dark force”, operating behind the scenes to advance their hidden and malevolent agenda. (Perhaps there is something about the use of video clips in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.)

    While there are undoubtedly several moderate Muslims in the world, to the extent that they are moderate, support women’s rights, etc., they are obviously not the ones Dr. Sultan is addressing herself to. It is refreshing to see that there are now women who are gaining the courage to speak out against the oppressive culture in which they were raised, and from which they fled for the sake of their own freedom and dignity.

    With all due respect to Rabbi Stein of L.A., he was not raised as a female in Syria, and his criticism of Sultan, while striking all the “right” notes — of religious pluralism, mutual respect, etc., carries little moral force. In particular, it overlooks the fact that the Muslims against whom Sultan directs her vituperation care not in the least for religious pluralism or Western liberal interreligious dialogue of the sort Rabbi Stein is promoting.

    Posted August 28, 2007 at 9:46 am | Permalink
  3. Hi Malcolm,
    Nothing in the least dark about MEMRI. Its ‘elders’ include, director Yigal Carmon I.D.F. Intelligence Branch 68 -88.
    Prominent members, Dr.Nimrod Raphaeli – Iraqi born Israeli &
    Prof. Menahem Milson of Hebrew University.
    You may hum the M.I. theme if you like.
    cf.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_East_Media_Research_Institute

    For all that Dr.Sultan may be brave, for all that she may be right, is this why MEMRI promotes her? Cui Bono? I suggest that reform of Islam must come from within. Have a look at http://www.altmuslim.com
    There are lots of rabid Rabbis and Mad Mullahs. Let’s try a different approach.

    Posted August 28, 2007 at 5:43 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Well, “dark” was the word you used.

    Whether the Israelis are benefiting from Ms. Sultan’s outspokenness is really beside the point, as far as I am concerned; if they are, then so much the better. I merely applaud her courage.

    Given that women are chattel in much of the Islamic world, that dissent is, shall we say, not well-received, and that the price of blasphemy or apostasy is often death, I think it is naive to imagine that fundamentalist Muslim culture is about to reform itself “from within” anytime soon; any woman daring enough to make public expression of her dissatisfaction in such surroundings would have good reason to fear for her life.

    To be sure, the efforts of moderate Muslim groups to attempt an interfaith dialogue are laudable, but they aren’t the problem. Fulsome professions of mutual respect are fine and dandy among those who are tolerant enough to exchange them, but Ms. Sultan is addressing those segments of Muslim society that deserve not to be respected, but to be countered with all the vigor that the civilized world can bring to bear.

    Posted August 28, 2007 at 6:11 pm | Permalink