Wat vind je van deze vrouw?

memriBy: MEMRI

Arab-American Psychologist Wafa Sultan: There Is No Clash of Civilizations but a Clash between the Mentality of the Middle Ages and That of the 21st Century
Following are excerpts from an interview with Arab-American psychologist Wafa Sultan. The interview was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 21, 2006

Wafa Sultan: 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.
[…]

Host: I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims?
Wafa Sultan: Yes, that is what I mean.
[…]
Host: Who came up with the concept of a clash of civilizations? Was it not Samuel Huntington? It was not Bin Laden. I would like to discuss this issue, if you don’t mind…

Wafa Sultan: The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: “I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.” When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to stop this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels.

My colleague has said that he never offends other people’s beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves? Once, he calls them Ahl Al-Dhimma, another time he calls them the “People of the Book,” and yet another time he compares them to apes and pigs, or he calls the Christians “those who incur Allah’s wrath.” Who told you that they are “People of the Book”? They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to call them “those who incur Allah’s wrath,” or “those who have gone astray,” and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others?
I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others’ right to believe in it.

Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli: Are you a heretic?
Wafa Sultan: You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural…
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli: If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you, since you have blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran…
Wafa Sultan: These are personal matters that do not concern you.
[…]
Wafa Sultan: Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don’t throw them at me. You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people’s beliefs are not your concern, whether they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs.
[…]
Wafa Sultan: 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. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. 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. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. 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.

________________________

ONDERSTAANDE BETREFT DEZELFDE VROUW, MAAR EEN ANDER TV-DEBAT DAN DE CLIP VAN HIERBOVEN

LA Psychologist Wafa Sultan Clashes with Algerian Islamist Ahmad bin Muhammad over Islamic Teachings and Terrorism

The following are excerpts from a debate between Wafa Sultan, a psychologist from Los Angeles and Dr. Ahmad Bin Muhammad, an Algerian professor of religious politics. Al-Jazeera TV aired this debate on July 26, 2005.

Wafa Sultan: Why does a young Muslim man, in the prime of life, with a full life ahead, go and blow himself up? How and why does he blow himself up in a bus full of innocent passengers?

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.

When you recite to a child still in his early years the verse: “They will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off,” regardless of this verse’s interpretation, and regardless of the reasons it was conveyed or its time – you have made the first step towards creating a great terrorist…

Bin Muhammad: The guest from America asked how a young man could blow up a bus. If only she had asked how a president could blow up a peaceful nation in Iraq. How does a president help the arch-killer of occupied Palestine? Why doesn’t she ask from where Hitler was brought up – Hitler, who murdered 50 million innocent people. Why doesn’t she ask where the people who dropped two atom bombs on Japan were educated? Who killed three million innocent Vietnamese? Who annihilated the Indians? Who maintained imperialism to this day? Who waged the Spanish civil war, which exacted a toll of 600,000 in 36 months? Why don’t we ask these questions? Who has over 15,000 nuclear warheads – Muslims or the non-Muslims? The Muslims or the Americans? The Muslims or the Europeans? We want an answer. Where was Bush educated – if education is really what makes a person a criminal?…

Wafa Sultan: Murder is terrorism regardless of time or place, but when it is committed as a decree from Allah, this is another matter…

The Crusader wars about which the professor is talking – these wars came after the Islamic religious teachings, and as a response to these teachings. This is the law of action and reaction. The Islamic religious teachings have incited to the rejection of the other, to the denial of the other, and to the killing of the other. Have they not incited to the killing of Jews and Christians? If we ha
d heard that a tribe in a distant corner of China has a holy book and religious teachings calling to kill Muslims – would the Muslims stand idly by in the face of such teachings?

The Crusader wars came after these Islamic religious teachings. When these Islamic teachings were delivered, America did not exist on the face of the earth, nor was Israel in Palestine…

Why doesn’t he talk about the Muslim conquests that preceded all the wars he is talking about? Why doesn’t he mention that when Tariq bin Ziyyad entered Andalusia with his armies, he said to his people: “The sea is behind you, and the enemy is in front”? How can you storm a peaceful country, and consider all its peaceful inhabitants to be your enemies, merely because you have the right to spread your religion? Should the religion be spread by the sword and through fighting?…

Bin Muhammad: Who invented slavery in recent centuries? Who colonized the other – us or them? Did Algeria colonize France, or vice versa? Did Egypt colonize England, or vice versa? We are the victims…

I am not saying that killing innocent people is nice. I say that all innocent people should be protected. But at the same time, we must start with the innocent among the Muslims. There are millions of innocent people among us, while the innocent among you – and innocent they are – number only dozens, hundreds, or thousands, at the most…

Wafa Sultan: Can you explain to me the killing of a hundred thousand children, women and men in Algeria, using the most abominable killing methods? Can you explain to me the killing of 15,000 Syrian civilians? Can you explain to me the abominable crime in the military artillery school in Aleppo? Can you explain the crime in Al-Asbaqiya neighborhood of Damascus, Syria? Can you explain the attack of the terrorists on the peaceful village of Al-Kisheh in Upper Egypt, and the massacre of 21 Coptic peasants? Can you explain to me what is going on in Indonesia, Turkey, and Egypt, even though these are Islamic countries which opposed the American intervention in Iraq, and which don’t have armies in Iraq, yet were not spared by the terrorists? Can you explain these phenomena, which took place in Arab countries? Was all this revenge on America or Israel? Or were they merely to satisfy bestial wild instincts aroused in them by religious teachings, which incite to rejection of the other, to the killing of the other, and to the denial of the other. When Saddam Hussein buried 300,000 Shiites and Kurds alive, we did not hear a single Muslim protesting. Your silence served to acknowledge the legitimacy of these killings, didn’t it?…

What do you want from me? To speak evil of the American society? I’ve never said that America is the eternal city of Plato, but I did say it was the eternal city of Wafa Sultan. The idealism of American society was enough to allow me to realize my humanity. I came to this country with fear.

Bin Muhammad: Along with the Indians? Along with the Indians? What was left of the Indians? What do you have to say about the Indians?

Wafa Sultan: Christopher Columbus discovered American in 1492. America was founded in 1776, approximately 300 years later. You cannot blame America – as a constitution, a regime, and a state – for killing the Indians.

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2 gedachten over “Wat vind je van deze vrouw?

  1. In de New York Times van 11 maart staat het volgende interview:

    March 11, 2006
    The Saturday Profile

    For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats
    By JOHN M. BRODER

    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.

    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.

    “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.

    Dr. Sultan, who is 47, wears a prim sweater and skirt, with fleece-lined slippers and heavy stockings. Her eyes and hair are jet black and her modest manner belies her intense words: “Knowledge has released me from this backward thinking. Somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs.”

    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.”

    Her views caught the ear of the American Jewish Congress, which has invited her to speak in May at a conference in Israel. “We have been discussing with her the importance of her message and trying to devise the right venue for her to address Jewish leaders,” said Neil B. Goldstein, executive director of the organization.

    She is probably more welcome in Tel Aviv than she would be in Damascus. Shortly after the broadcast, clerics in Syria denounced her as an infidel. One said she had done Islam more damage than the Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad, a wire service reported.

    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.”

    Dr. Sultan grew up in a large traditional Muslim family in Banias, Syria, a small city on the Mediterranean about a two-hour drive north of Beirut. Her father was a grain trader and a devout Muslim, and she followed the faith’s strictures into adulthood.

    But, she said, her life changed in 1979 when she was a medical student at the University of Aleppo, in northern Syria. At that time, the radical Muslim Brotherhood was using terrorism to try to undermine the government of President Hafez al-Assad. Gunmen of the Muslim Brotherhood burst into a classroom at the university and killed her professor as she watched, she said.

    “They shot hundreds of bullets into him, shouting, ‘God is great!’ ” she said. “At that point, 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.”

    She and her husband, who now goes by the Americanized name of David, laid plans to leave for the United States. Their visas finally came in 1989, and the Sultans and their two children (they have since had a third) settled in with friends in Cerritos, Calif., a prosperous bedroom community on the edge of Los Angeles County.

    After a succession of jobs and struggles with language, Dr. Sultan has completed her American medical licensing, with the exception of a hospitalresidency program, which she hopes to do within a year. David operates an automotive-smog-check station. They bought a home in the Los Angeles area and put their children through local public schools. All are now American citizens.

    BUT even as she settled into a comfortable middle-class American life, Dr. Sultan’s anger burned within. She took to writing, first for herself, then for an Islamic reform Web site called Annaqed (The Critic), run by a Syrian expatriate in Phoenix.

    An angry essay on that site by Dr. Sultan about the Muslim Brotherhood caught the attention of Al Jazeera, which invited her to debate an Algerian cleric on the air last July.

    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.”

    Her remarks set off debates around the globe and her name began appearing in Arabic newspapers and Web sites. But her fame grew exponentially when she appeared on Al Jazeera again on Feb. 21, an appearance that was translated and widely distributed by the Middle East Media Research Institute, known as Memri.

    Memri said the clip of her February appearance had been viewed more than a million times.

    “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.

    The other guest on the program, identified as an Egyptian professor of religious studies, Dr. Ibrahim al-Khouli, asked, “Are you a heretic?” He then said there was no point in rebuking or debating her, because she had blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and the Koran.

    Dr. Sultan said she took those words as a formal fatwa, a religious condemnation. Since then, she said, she has received numerous death threats on her answering machine and by e-mail.

    One message said: “Oh, you are still alive? Wait and see.” She received an e-mail message the other day, in Arabic, that said, “If someone were to kill you, it would be me.”

    Dr. Sultan said her mother, who still lives in Syria, is afraid to contact her directly, speaking only through a sister who lives in Qatar. She said she worried more about the safety of family members here and in Syria than she did for her own.

    “I have no fear,” she said. “I believe in my message. It is like a million-mile journey, and I believe I have walked the first and hardest 10 miles.”

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