Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Profile of a courageous Arab-American woman

By Aussiegirl

This woman is certainly one of the bravest woman I have ever read about. She says that the defining moment for her, "the turning point" of her life, was when gunmen of the Muslim Brotherhood burst into her classroom and gunned down her professor before her eyes, shouting "God is great!" as they fulfilled their twisted Islamic destiny and brought death to yet another human being. But what about all the other students who were with her in the classroom and witnessed the assassination? Was this moment a defining moment for them too? Or was it only something about Wafa Sultan, some thread of discontent that even she wasn't aware of, some thread of imagination, that suddenly snapped and set her on a path she couldn't have imagined taking up until that moment. We all are ultimately mysterious, even to ourselves.

FrontPage magazine.com :: Profile of Courage by MEMRI

"Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.

"Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.

"In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.

"She said the world's Muslims, whom she compares unfavorably with the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence.

"Dr. Sultan said the world was not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism, a battle that the forces of violent, reactionary Islam are destined to lose.

"In response, clerics throughout the Muslim world have condemned her, and her telephone answering machine has filled with dark threats. But Islamic reformers have praised her for saying out loud, in Arabic and on the most widely seen television network in the Arab world, what few Muslims dare to say even in private.

[...] "Perhaps her most provocative words on Al Jazeera were those comparing how the Jews and Muslims have reacted to adversity. Speaking of the Holocaust, she said, 'The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling.'

"She went on, '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.'

"She concluded, 'Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.'

[...] "DR. SULTAN is 'working on a book that - if it is published - it's going to turn the Islamic world upside down.'

"'I have reached the point that doesn't allow any U-turn. I have no choice. I am questioning every single teaching of our holy book.'

"The working title is, 'The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster.

[...] "'The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilizations,' Dr. Sultan said. '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.'

"She said she no longer practiced Islam. 'I am a secular human being,' she said.


At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Piano Girl said...

Profile in courage, indeed! One can only hope that her bravery in speaking out will encourage other moderates to do the same thing.


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