Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wafa Sultan on Al-Jazeera

Arab American psychologist Wafa Sultan on Al-Jazeera launches a fearsome attack on Islam. I like her approach, the way she judges according to what people actually do rather than what they think is due to them. It's not about rights - it's about the respect due to those that create the things that everyone else makes use of.

Watch the video at Little Green Footballs. A partial tapescript here. [My emphasis throughout]

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?

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.
Here is the rational response she gets.
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.
At least he didn't start talking about decapitation, rotting heads, etc, though no doubt the poor woman will get enough of that.

(via Wheat and Weeds)

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