Dealing with Islam Bashers like Wafa Sultan
I would expect an Islam basher, to at least have some cooked up logic or basis for the hate, Wafa Sultan is simply a bellyacher. She must have had a traumatic childhood, which I understand, and I do feel the anguish she has harbored and certainly would extend my sympathy and condemn those shameless rascals. Instead of blaming the wrong doers, Wafa Sultan has chosen to blame their religion.
My biggest surprise was that the "hate speeches were allowed to spew out from the synagogues". Why did the Jews allow such hateful speeches from a sanctuary of God? A few Mosques used the pulpit to do that, they have all been guarded by the assertive moderate majority, no more crap will be allowed from Mosques, at least the one’s I know. At this time no Mosque in United States is allowing hate mongers to speak from their grounds.A few years ago in Los Angeles, several Jews walked out of a synagogue when Wafa Sultan was running her mouth. I was proud of those Jews who walked out. We do not want hate to multiply and do more harm to the society.
I am also pleased that Dr. Pipes spoke up, although it suited him to let Wafa Sultan do the Islam bashing.
A documentary is in the order depicting how the Neocons have made hate mongering as their fund raising tactic. I have personally witnessed and written about such incidents. “Frighten the crap out of those dumbos with money and out they open their check books” to write to the crap motivators. The Neocon Jews do it, the Neocon Christians make a killing with Islamophobia and the Neocon Muslims also resort to this technique and just recently the Hindu Neocons have figured out how to fill their pockets, one French fellow has bulldozed them with the idea of a Hindu Holocaust Museum and the suckers have opened their check books.
Wafa Sultan does not give a crap about any one, let alone Jews, she has found that she can make big money by frightening those suckers and asking for the donations.
What can we, the ordinary people from all faith do about it? We should attend these events and remind the people to think twice, is their money aggravating the situation or making it better for them? Are they funding hate or peace?
Mike Ghouse is a frequent guest at the media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. He is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. His work is reflected at 3 websites & 22 Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
March 12, 2010
From an ex-Muslim, true Islamophobia
The National Post, Toronto
The words stung me like a jolt of electricity: "Muhammad was a child rapist." As if the slur were not sufficient, the speaker then insinuated my Islamic faith was filth. "I am 'clean' of Islam," she sneered to her Toronto audience. As far as hate speech goes, the shoe was suddenly on the other foot.For years, radical Islamists have cited freedom of speech to defend their attacks on Christians, Jews, Hindus and liberal non-observant Muslims.
A hateful tone is never far from the surface -- although great care is taken to couch this cancer in ambiguity and double-speak. Take for instance the Toronto imam caught on videotape praying to Allah for the "defeat of the kufaar," a thinly disguised reference to Christians and Jews.As a Muslim, I learned very early in life to walk in my adversaries' shoes to feel their pain. This is why I have not shied away from calling a spade a spade and outing the segregationist hate mongers within my community, an effort that has paid dividends in the slow decline of overt anti-Semitism and Hindu-hatred in the public religious discourse of Western Muslims.But last week, it was not a Muslim cleric whose speech traumatized me; it was the words of an ex-Muslim.
Even a hardened secular Muslim such as myself was deeply hurt by what I heard that evening. I also was disappointed that the speech was at a synagogue, and the audience almost all Jews.
Dr. Wafa Sultan
The speaker who caused me this anguish was Wafa Sultan, the Syrian-born American who shot to fame after her appearance on Al Jazeera Television in 2006, where she tore into the arguments of cleric Ibrahim al-Khouli about the ills of Muslim society. The 30-second clip went viral and won great acclaim even among Muslims who respected her for her candid and honest critique of what ails us as a people.However, instead of using her newfound fame to challenge the established theocracies and corrupt kingdoms of the Middle east, Sultan veered off the deep end and could not resist the temptation of becoming the poster child of Islam haters, joining their ranks with the fervour of a convert.
Inside a Toronto synagogue last week, where she was debating with Prof. Daniel Pipes whether moderate Islam was a Western ally or a Western myth, Dr.Sultan wasted no time in lashing out at her former faith. Catering to the fears of her predominantly Jewish audience, she said, "Muhammad was a Jew killer." To further inflame the crowd, Wafa Sultan delivered an astonishing account of how the Prophet had slaughtered Jews and then raped the wife of the defeated Jewish tribal chief.
The vitriol was so severe, it was left to the two Jewish speakers at the debate, the moderator Avi Benlolo and Prof. Pipes to praise Muslims and mention the fact that moderate Muslims were rising up against extremism. Benlolo specifically mentioned the recent 600-page fatwa by the Pakistani cleric Tahir ul Qadri denouncing suicide bombing and terrorism.
However, Wafa Sultan would not have any of that. She chided both Benlolo and Pipes for their naivete. "There is no moderate Islam," she wagged her finger at Pipes. There was only one Islam, she claimed-- the Islam of rape, murder and hate.
To his credit -- and this will surprise many of his Muslim naysayers --Daniel Pipes reminded his Jewish audience that Islam was not the bogeyman it has been made out to be. "Remember, for over 1,000 years, whenever Jews needed a place for sanctuary, they got it in Muslim lands ...
The problem is not Islam, it is Islamism," he told them.I left the synagogue deeply disturbed. In the fight against Islamofascism, Wafa Sultan's hatred of Islam was cultivating the very forces she claims to be exposing. When a questioner asked her "What is the solution?" she just shrugged her shoulders. Perhaps the answer she had in mind was too outrageous even by her own standards: Force Muslims to convert or die. Five hundred years ago, Isabel and Ferdinand "cleansed" Spain of Islam and Muslims, but we are still here. Surely, we can think of more productive solutions -- and devote our attention to more productive minds -- than this.---------
-Tarek Fatah is the author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State. His next book, Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti- Semitism (McClelland & Stewart), will be launched in October 2010.