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Kire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:07 PM
Original message
For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats
For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats

By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: March 11, 2006

LOS ANGELES, March 10 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.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/11/international/middlee...


A transcript of the Al-Jazeera interview can be found here: http://www.memritv.org/Transcript.asp?P1=1050
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Please kindly read the other thread here
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

as it gives another insight on how Muslims should conduct themselves when insulted-and doesn't involved violence.
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Kire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I did
I posted this one anyway because I didn't see any redundancy. Did I miss something?
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Indeed...
I don't agree with Dr. Sultan, But I certanly wouldn't wish her any harm.

In fact I think I'd like to have a cup of tea with her and chat. I think that's what the Prophet (saw) would have done.

And I do hope that the "Muslims" that threaten her realize that they are acting in a very un-islamic way, Insha Allah.

Peace
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 02:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. I disagree with her on some points.
Edited on Sun Mar-12-06 03:17 AM by PsychoDad
nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.


That's pretty evident from the article.

I'm not sure why they call her Muslim when it's also stated, "She said she no longer practiced Islam. "I am a secular human being," she said".

Muslims are Muslims because they practice Islam. If you don't practice "Islam", submission to God, you're not "Muslim", One who submits.

But I respect her choice, and the good Doctor does bring up a number of points worthy of discussion among Muslims.

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.


IMHO, what we have today is a clash between the values of the west, and of Islam. It's often painted as religious or cultural, but it goes deeper than that, at the core it's a clash of values.

When, as an American Muslim, I look around, I like yourself can see "western values". Racism, Perpetual enslavement to interest rates. Growing alcoholism and addiction to gambling, both of which bring added social problems. The sexual exploitation of women for advertising. Soring crime rates. Oppressive poverty and obscene wealth. A political system for the betterment of the richest at the expense of the poorest and a Judaical system which shows preference to the rich while harsh and unforgiving to those whose greatest crime is the inability to afford competent legal counsel. Indeed, a nation where the poorest and helpless are abandoned to die in their attics or rooftops. Our brothers and sisters in Iraq can also look around to what "western values" have brought to them... Death, chaos and oppression. Islam on the other hand does not tolerate racism, holds that interest is wrong and oppressive to the poor. Advocates sobriety and prohibits gambling, and requires equal justice and treatment for all regardless of wealth or social standing and requires an annual redistribution of wealth from among the wealthy to the poorest.

Is there any wonder that there is a "Clash"?

It is a clash between what is right with Islamic Values and what is wrong with western values.

"I believe our people are hostages to our own beliefs and teachings," she said in an interview this week in her home in a Los Angeles suburb.


I believe our people are hostages to bid'a, innovation in our religion. Teachings not based upon Quran which have crept into our religion over the last 1400 years. I believe our people are hostages to superstition and tribalism, both of which Islam was meant to correct and lastly I believe our people are hostage to the dictatorial rulers placed and empowered by the west for the benefit of western powers.

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


Why compare the Muslims with the Jews in this context? Our histories are different as are the cultures involved. If we as Muslims as a people had to endure the diaspora and the horrors of the Holocaust might we not also be different today? To compare Muslims and Jews in this regard makes this into a Muslim vs. Jew debate.. something it's not.

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."


Perhaps the good Doctor forgets that it was Zionist acts of terror that helped force the british out of Palestine and created the modern state of Israel? Were these acts done by all Jews? Were these acts purely driven by religious zealotry? Of course not. They like the acts of terror carried out by "Islamic" Militants are on the whole politically motivated by an active minority, not the majority. The Doctor uses a broad brush to paint all Muslims as Barbarians as evidenced below...

She concluded, "Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies...."


Many people other than Muslims have resorted to violence in anger. I could use her broad brush and say that only Americans kill innocent women and children in the hundreds of thousands.... But I won't. Many people from many ethnic paths have murdered and killed for their agenda, and I'll condom all of them equally.

In the debate, she questioned the religious teachings that prompt young people to commit suicide in the name of God. "Why does a young Muslim man, in the prime of life, with a full life ahead, go and blow himself up?" she asked. "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."


Nothing in the Quran or Islam teaches such action. On the contrary, the Quran teaches against the harming of innocents and of murder in general and further admonishes us, "God does not like the aggressor."

In the end I disagree with much Dr Sultan has to say, and I think much of her viewpoint is colored by her own disillusion and anger toward what she perceives "Islam" to be. I do agree that the Militants are a reaction to modernity, but there are similar people in every nation and culture who resist change, not just in Islam... One need only look at our own history to find examples.

IMHO, What Islam needs isn't to get rid of Islam, but to get back to what Islam really is... Submission to the will of God, not submission to the west or forcing others to submit to our will.

May Allah have mercy and Guide both Dr.Sultan and myself... and the rest of us.

Peace



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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
5. Another story on Dr. Sultan
Edited on Tue Mar-14-06 09:35 AM by PsychoDad
Islam Fatally Flawed, Says Voice From Corona via Al Jazeera
Wafa Sultan, who tells a tale of terror from Syria, draws lots of Western media attention but not as much from Muslims.
By Teresa Watanabe, Times Staff Writer
March 13, 2006


She's no longer a Muslim, has never connected with progressive Islamic groups and does not know the writings of Islam's most respected voices of reform.
...
"I don't believe you can reform Islam," Sultan said. Saying Islamic scriptures are riddled with violence, misogyny and other extremist ideas, she declared, "Once you try to fix it, you're going to break it."

Sultan's Al Jazeera remarks have been widely circulated by such groups as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a Washington-based translation service founded by a former Israeli colonel, and the American Jewish Congress. She made the New York Times front page and is being plied with interview requests from CNN, Fox, "Good Morning America" and public radio. Her e-mail in-box is filled with messages from well-wishers around the world mostly non-Muslims praising her "courage," offering donations and pitching proposals to make a documentary about her life.
...

"I haven't come across any indication that people are discussing her," said Abdulaziz Sachedina, a University of Virginia Islamic studies professor who was blacklisted eight years ago by Iraqi Ayatollah Ali Sistani for his reformist ideas that women were equal to men and all Abrahamic faiths were equally respectable. "Cyberspace is almost silent."

He said he first heard of her a few weeks ago, when the American Jewish Congress sent him an e-mail with a link to her Al Jazeera interview, which was translated from Arabic into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute. Sachedina said he agreed with some of her remarks, including her criticism that too many Muslim rulers fail to protect human rights. But he objected to what he called her "vilification" of the entire tradition.



More Here:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-sultan13mar13,0...
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Hatalles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. She makes some good points...
Edited on Tue Mar-14-06 06:45 PM by Hatalles
... but I come to the same conclusion as the Professor in this article. While I do agree with some of her points, her broadbrushing is over the top. Most Islamophobes (and she is one) who claim they *know* Islam oftentimes feel the way they do because of the way they interpret the Quran... which isn't very different from the narrow reading Al Qaeda and the radicals take for that matter.

Sad to say but I don't find it very surprising she has been flooded with interviews and cable news requests... there is no short supply of Muslims around the world critical of the radicals in the Ummah, but the MSM gets to pick its darlings. Apparently there's no such thing as a critical rational forward-thinking 'Muslim'...

Here is the Muslim WakeUp thread (along with the video clip):
http://www.muslimwakeup.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3618
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