Many people have contacted me about Wafa Sultan and her fiery interviews on the Al-Jazeera (Fox News for the Middle East) network. If you’re not familiar with her, then you are defintely in for a treat.
Wafa Sultan is a secular, Syrian-American psychiatrist who resides in Los Angeles, California. Sultan was born in Syria in 1958 and spent 20 years there until an incident occured that changed her life forever and drove her to the United States and secularism. While Wafa was attending medical school at the University of Aleppo, Syria, gunmen entered the classroom and shot her professor several hundred times shouting, "God is great!" It was at this point where her brain turned on and she began to question her religion and it’s teachings. You can read a more complete story here.
Eventually she made her way the the United States in 1989 where she learned about Western culture firsthand. Sultan believes that the current conflict between the West and Islam is not a clash of religions or civilizations. She best describes her analysis in the following exerpt from an appearance on Al-Jazeera…
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.
In this next clip, Sultan spars with Dr. Ahmid Bin Muhammad, an Algerian professor of religious politics. Wafa claims that religion is the root of terrorism in the Islamic world because it is their only source of knowledge. Here’s a little taste…
In our countries, religion is the sole source of education, and is the only spring from which that terrorist drank until his thirst was quenched. He was not born a terrorist, and did not become a terrorist overnight. Islamic teachings played a role in weaving his ideological fabric, thread by thread, and did not allow other sources – I am referring to scientific sources – to play a role. It was these teachings that distorted this terrorist and killed his humanity. It was not (the terrorist) who distorted the religious teachings and misunderstood them, as some ignorant people claim.
Now I want to discuss a few points…
First, overall, do you agree that with what she has said about Islam and the West?
Second, with the huge push for religion in the classrom and public buildings, is the US headed in the same direction.
Please share your thoughts on this one.
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