What a dismal life so many Muslim women endure. Islam is a man’s religion and women treated so poorly. How can Western women reach out to Muslim women so that Muslim women have choice?
So few Muslim women speak out against their condition.
In A God Who Hates Wafa Sultan describes her grandmother’s life. Her husband, the grandmother’s husband, took a second wife after his sons died. The grandmother had to walk ahead of the couple and later had to serve the wife and stay in the background.
Some current info about Wafa Sultan follows:
Counterpoint: In defence of Wafa Sultan
Posted: March 12, 2010
By Joanne Hill
“Tarek Fatah has used the National Post to present a one-sided, inaccurate and potentially dangerous editorial about statements made by Dr. Wafa Sultan during her March 3rd debate in Toronto with Dr. Daniel Pipes.
“Mr. Fatah’s article is not an unbiased report: it is an opinion piece full of loaded terms such as slur, attack, hateful, anguish, Islam haters and vitriol. He misquotes Dr. Sultan and presents as fact a conclusion that is not supported by any of her statements: a conclusion that I believe puts her life in danger.
“I am a freelance reporter; I covered the debate between Dr. Pipes and Dr. Sultan for the Jewish Tribune. I have an audio recording of the entire event, including the Question and Answer period, so I can state with complete accuracy what was and was not said by Dr. Sultan.
“Mr. Fatah assumes the authority of a mind-reader to reveal what he claims is Dr. Sultan’s hidden intention. Given his first-hand experience of the eagerness of some Muslims (or “Islamists” if he would prefer) to issue death threats against anyone who is perceived as threatening Muslims, there are three reasons why I find it disturbing that he would attribute to Dr. Sultan this motivation: “Perhaps the answer she had in mind was too outrageous even by her own standards: Force Muslims to convert or die.”
This is disturbing, first of all, because Dr. Sultan said nothing that would lead the listener to come to this conclusion. When asked during the Q&A, “How do you get Muslims to reform? Do you expect them to convert to another religion?” Dr. Sultan replied:
“Give them the freedom to choose: that’s all I’m asking for. Give them the freedom to search, to ask, to be exposed to different sides, different values, different lifestyles. I can tell you from my very own experience, what has helped me to reform myself is being exposed to Western values and being free to express my conclusion. I always compare between my life under Islamic Sharia and my life as a free woman in America and I write about that on my website in Arabic. So when you expose people to different [sic], and you give them the freedom to choose, that’s all we need in the Islamic world. I’m not asking [them] to convert to a different religion; I’m asking to grant them the freedom to choose, the freedom to be, to follow whatever path they want to follow. That’s all.”
Second, this is what Dr. Sultan said at the conclusion of the Q & A:
“I’m not speaking up against Islam to please anyone but my conscience. We suffer a lot under Islamic Sharia. It is not fair. Enough is enough. We need to live our lives as human beings. I want you to know I’m not here to incite anyone against Muslims. Muslims are my family: my Mom, my brother, my sister. You know, I cannot peel off my own skin. I feel sorry for them because they are victims of a very hateful ideology. Really, if you take a look at any Islamic country, what do you see? Nothing but miserable situations, especially women who are living in this society. So I am speaking up to save them, looking for a better future for them. And believe it or not, when it comes to my readers in the Arab world, I feel it is easier for me to address my thoughts than to penetrate the Western mind. People in the West live by the Western ethical code which doesn’t allow them to judge people based on their religion – and there’s nothing wrong with that-but they need to know that Islam is not merely a religion: it is also a political ideology and that’s what I am fighting. That’s what I am speaking up against. And I hope one day, the future for our generation in the Muslim world will be much better than the life I lived under Islamic Sharia in Syria.”
And third, the terrible, secret motivation which Mr. Fatah attributes to Dr. Sultan is in fact a commandment made by Mohammed to his followers regarding non-Muslims:
“Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war… When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (Source: Sahih Muslim Book 19, Hadith #4294.)
There is more.
Contrary to what Mr. Fatah writes, Dr. Sultan did not say: “Muhammed was a child rapist.”
Rather, she said: “As a married man, Mohammed raped Aisha when she was nine; he was 54.”
If Mr. Fatah is hurt by this statement, perhaps he should consider the source: Islamic doctrine. I challenge Mr. Fatah to deny this.
When she said, “There is no moderate Islam,” Dr. Sultan stated quite clearly, more than once, that she was quoting the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who said in 2007 in response to the term “moderate Islam”: “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”
Again, perhaps Mr. Fatah should take umbrage with Mr. Erdogan unless he, like the people who took Macleans Magazine to the “human rights” courts, would suggest that it is no longer permissible in Canada to quote Muslims when they have said something unpleasant about Islam.
I was paying close attention throughout the debate and at no time did I see Dr. Sultan sneer. She did not say, per Mr. Fatah, “I am ‘clean’ of Islam.”
Dr. Sultan was speaking of the long, difficult process of breaking free from a religious upbringing that has been embedded in one’s psyche from childhood. She said, “It is not an easy process: it is very tough. I still behave, in many ways, as a Muslim. I debate in a way [that] I am right and everybody else is wrong.” This drew laughter and applause from the audience. Dr. Sultan continued, “So it’s under my skin. I don’t follow a specific religion. Of course I believe in God and I am empowered by Him.”
Mr. Fatah writes that he was “traumatized” by Dr. Sultan’s words. If this is truly the case, I would suggest that Mr. Fatah’s sensitive feelings render him too delicate for this Western society in which he has chosen to live, because we in the free world are not required to continually couch our statements in qualifiers or cushion our strong words. Dr. Sultan spoke plainly and strongly about her personal experience as a woman raised in an Islamic country under Sharia law. Contrary to Mr. Fatah’s characterization, she was funny, down-to-earth and as far from hateful as one can get.
Besides, even if Dr. Sultan does hate Islam, what business is that of Mr. Fatah’s? Is she not entitled to her express own opinion? As a Christian, I was irked when Dr. Pipes said that Christianity “started on a much lower base” than Islam. But so what? Only a fool would deny the history of crimes committed by Christians against Jews.
Why was Avi Benlolo required to spend at least 20 minutes after the debate placating the hurt feelings and smoothing the ruffled feathers of a self-described “hardened secular Muslim” who is supposed to be on the side of freedom of religion and freedom of speech?
I see at the bottom of Mr. Fatah’s article that his upcoming book is entitled, Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti- Semitism. On the night of the debate, Mr. Fatah informed Avi Benlolo (in my presence) without a trace of irony that his new book was going to be called, Why We Hate Jews.
Unlike Mr. Fatah, I will not presume to know his motivation in saying that to Mr. Benlolo or in writing his misleading editorial about Dr. Sultan. I will say, however, that I believe he owes Dr. Sultan, this newspaper and its readers an apology and a retraction.