Lately I have read many blogs and articles referencing Wafa Sultan, the secular ex-Muslim Syrian-American psychologist now receiving death threats. She recently spoke from Los Angeles on Al Jazeera, where she argued with the host and Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli about the Samuel Huntington Clash of Civilizations theory, scolding Muslims for treating non-Muslims differently and for not recognizing the accomplishments of non-Muslim society while using its wealth and technology. If she had incorporated a little history into her psychology doctorate, she may have learned that the Muslim world has given us many innovations that we take for granted in daily life. We know that she already knew this but probably considered its inclusion counter-productive in her attempt to slander Islam. Wafa Sultan’s view does not surprise me as she has already stated her apostatasy from Islam,
“I lost my trust in their god and began to question all our teachings. It was the turning point of my life, and it has led me to this present point. I had to leave. I had to look for another god.”
Although the Qur’an states,
“Those who reject Allah, and hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, then die rejecting Allah, Allah will not forgive them (Qur’an: 47:34.)”
Therefore this woman is another example of Muslims who have made their fame and fortune through supporting that which is against Islam, such as Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It appears that these are the ones they call moderates. Those that slander Islam are considered heroes, and those that support it are considered extreme. I do not see what makes Wafa Sultan an expert on Islam, particularly when she generalises the entire Muslim community in her speech. With a display of extreme colonial undertones, when referring to the Muslim world she says,
“It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality.”
I remember learning in history class that the white man invaded Africa to “lead the black man out of the darkness and into the light”. Wafa Sultan speaks in a similar fashion, ignoring that barbarity and primitiveness exist in the USA where she lives, a country that executes prisoners, invades other countries to torture and slaughter the inhabitants. This woman who is educated to the doctorate level states, “the Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations,” when it is very clear that there has been a continuous series of atrocities throughout history, with their root in the ‘Christian Atonement’ theory.
Wafa Sultan is merely using psychology, her chosen subject, to become accepted amongst non-Muslims and increase her status. I find her points very one-sided and an attempt to bring Islam into disrepute. Although Jews have stolen the entire land of Israel, murdered many Palestinian children, and openly fired inside mosques, Wafa Sultan states,
“The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling” … “We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people.”
We need only to refer to the exploits of Arial ‘The Butcher’ Sharon to show how out of touch these points are. Underneath all the headline points in her words, the message is that Islamic extremism merits condemnation until it is eradicated. An excellent message, which is overshadowed by her belittling statement that Muslims must earn respect by benefiting humankind. She ignores that 1. Muslim does not equal Terrorist, and, 2. If people want the respect of Muslims, then they must stop making these silly points. If it is the case that Wafa Sultan wants to impress the Christians, Atheists, and Jews to raise her profile and increase sales for her proposed book, The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster, to do it at the expense of the entire Muslim community shows her lack of good character. She does not deserve to die for her opinion, but is she a heretic and infidel? Well, she has denounced her religion because gunmen of the Muslim Brotherhood killed her professor in front of her. If this is not a weak level of justification, then I don’t know what is, as she has evidently blamed Allah and Islam rather then blaming the gunmen. One of my university lecturers is now addicted to crack cocaine, but even if his supplier was the Ayatollah himself, it would not be any justification for me to leave Islam.
If witnessesing the death of her professor at the hands of terrorists left Wafa Sultan to start “questioning every single teaching of our holy book,” then why bother criticising the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders that she believes have distorted Islam, as people to be corrected. As the holy book pre-dates these people, if Wafa Sultan believes it to be a distortion, then she only has to provide her evidence. Rather then striving to correct those that distort Islam as she claims, Wafa Sultan’s real intention is instead to express her view that the fundamental teachings of Islam are distorted, and Islam is not the religion provided to man by God. If she truly believes that the distorted religious teachings of Islam prompt young people to commit suicide, and that somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs, then why is she not highlighting the distorters AND the distortions. It would have been more accurate for her to say that the Qur’an does not promote suicide, and therefore vulnerable Muslims should be informed of this fact. Instead Wafa Sultan’s intention is that Muslims should be corrected until they become non-believers like her. The reality is that Wafa Sultan “had to leave (Islam)” .. and .. “look for another god” because she did not believe, and now she prospers by rallying the anti-Muslims with her cry of “Fear Muslims! Fear Arabs! Fear Islam!”
Evidently, Wafa Sultan distorts the facts in order to fit a politically motivated inaccurate view of Islam. The world is full of good Muslims who understand Islam as a religion of peace, and it is a minority of Muslims, like the members of Al-Qaeda, that have misinterpreted the Qur’an. I am therefore not surprised that in response to Wafa Sultan’s distortion of these facts, clerics throughout the Muslim world have condemned her, and her telephone answering machine has filled with dark threats causing her to go into hiding.