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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Wafa Sultan provides a valuable addition to the body of literature that reveals life in Moslem societies, in her case the seemingly secular state of Syria. Nonie Darwish writes about Egypt, Brigitte Gabriel describes her childhood in Lebanon whilst Ayaan Hirsi Ali exposes her homeland Somalia, part of her childhood spent in Saudi Arabia and the situation of women amongst Europe's unintegrated immigrant communities. A God Who Hates is a blend of autobiography and an analysis of what ails the culture.

Sultan's book confirms the opinion of the aforementioned authors, an position that contradicts the "narrative" of the mainstream media and academics in Middle Eastern studies departments of a "religion of peace" given a bad name by a few radicals. It is more ideology than religion in which the position of women is rather grim, as Sultan reveals the degradations suffered by her grandmother, mother and sisters. Women are considered inferior throughout these societies - helpless victims of Sharia law that opens them to abuse.

The author insists that the hatred emanates from the Islamic scriptures and tradition. Like Ali Sina's psychobiography Understanding Muhammad, she analyses the personality of the prophet, the god and the influence of the nomadic desert existence that gave birth to it. Sultan confirms what Ayaan Hirsi Ali reports about the antisemitism she encountered in Saudi Arabia, a phenomenon seemingly universal in the Arab World. This observation is also echoed by Nonie Darwish in Now They Call Me Infidel.

Of particular concern are her citations of the qualities of the deity in the Koran as Avenger, Compeller, Death Bringer, Harmer, Humiliator & Imperious and her theory that these appellations have been internalized and are being acted out by the followers of the religion. Her portrayal of the raging, bellowing deity that terrifies the believers into submissive despair is tragic and frightening. She makes a convincing case that the belief system itself is responsible for the intolerance, misogyny and social ills that plague Muslim societies.

Sultan demonstrates how a variety of evils result from the fear-based ideology. Ordinary believers are caught in the mental vise of its harsh tenets. She discusses the famous interview on Al-Jazeerah TV and the impact it has had on the Muslim world. She is grateful to her adopted country for the sanctuary, freedom and joy it gives her. Her description of the small things that she appreciates is very moving and shows how much we westerners take for granted. She encourages the USA to resist the proliferation of radical Islamism and to take a pro-active approach in combating it.

In the concluding chapter Sultan criticizes Colin Powell's remarks made during the US presidential election campaign of 2008. On "Meet The Press" Powell claimed that nothing would be amiss with Americans electing a Muslim President. She points out Powell's perilously limited understanding and the political correctness behind it that renders rational discussion of the ideology's destructive aspects virtually impossible.

I highly recommend this often harrowing but ultimately uplifting account of a journey to physical and spiritual freedom along with Ayaan Hirsi Ali's The Caged Virgin and Infidel, Brigitte Gabriel's Because They Hate and They Must Be Stopped, Now They Call Me Infidel and Cruel and Usual Punishment by Nonie Darwish as well as The Force of Reason by Oriana Fallaci.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 11, 2013
Wafa Sultan is one of the world’s most influential and outspoken women, having great courage to reveal her candid opinions about Islam, and especially how most women and girls are unjustly—even inhumanely—treated in Moslim culture. Her main contentions focus on Islam’s founder, Mohammad, whom she regards as a warrior and plunderer who lacked the meritorious spiritual qualities required to act as a mentor for today's Arabs. She recites numerous examples from the Koran and Islamic writings, purportedly dictated by God through Muhammad, of his actions and sayings as recorded by his followers, which give weight to her argument that Islam is a religion of fear, suppression, intolerance, suspicion, abuse and murder. Having been raised a Moslim in Syria where she lived until emigrating to the U.S. at age thirty-three, she would seem to have the qualifications and experience to provide true insight on Islam.

Liberal Christians, Unitarians, New Agers, universalists and the politically correct have long touted the auspicious truism that all religions are founded on the “do unto others” axiom; hopefully, they keep insisting, believing the aphorism “say something often enough and it becomes true.” Sultan challenges modern liberal humanitarians, politicians, academics and positivists to examine the stark facts about Islam literally, historically and culturally. After doing so can they in good conscience include Islam as a being a valid benevolent, moral and peace-loving religious organism that can contribute to mankind’s enlightenment, progress and democratic stability? This is perhaps a challenge which can only be given by an Arab Moslim to those who have not been raised in close contact with that culture. Clearly and emphatically she remonstrates that Islam is unworthy of being held high as a valid doctrine for mankind and should not be put on an equal footing with other world religions. “Our Muslim societies are governed by a religious law that imposes itself by force and relies on fear as a means of perpetuating and protecting itself. Islam, as I have already emphasized, was born in an arid and desolate environment where people had to struggle to survive. It adopted the customs of that environment and that era, absorbed them, and then refused to allow them to change with the times.” (pp 204-5)

This book can be an eye opener to the uneducated and naïve about the depths of Islamism’s depravities and it reveals numerous detestable literary citations. However, everything is not as monochromatic in this world as Sultan presents it. There are millions of “reformed” and peace-loving Moslims and I know some of them. For example, the Shia Ismailis, residing in nearly thirty countries, allow several layers of meaning in interpreting the Koran which offer nuances that are adaptable to modern times. An excerpt from the [...] website: “Bridge-building between cultures and religions through dialogue and cooperation is an important means to promote a peaceful and humanistic society. In September, the Ismaili Centre, Lisbon played host to a lecture that was part of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Summer School programme.”

In order to claim validity for our age religions must show themselves to be living organisms willing to make progressive steps both in the spiritual as well as the material realms. Those religious branches and individuals who hold to outmoded doctrines—especially the fear-mongering and violent ones—will sadly continue to be part of the problem, not the solution.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2014
Ms. Sultan writes not only with unusual courage but from the best vintage point. She has the personal experience to give the right picture of the culture and the analytical skills to explain the driving forces that formulated that picture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2013
Captured me right from the start. Simply fascinating. A woman that went over and above to write her story and get her truths out to the world. I only hope her a peaceful life in her future, wherever she may be.
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on September 22, 2015
Wafta Sultan describes how anyone that questions the Islamic religion is immediately accused of discrimination or being an apostate and subject to death in many cases. She points out that the Koran is written in a form of Arabic that the common man cannot read. Being restricted from any questioning of why they must live the way they do, results in an ignorant society. She then follows with many examples of how women are treated in their society and it becomes obvious that a decent God could not let this happen. She digs deeper into the dynamics of Muslim family life where mothers support and perpetuate such treatment of their daughters. She makes the reader understand how women are trapped and how men feel entitled to behave as they do. Since the Koran allows such treatment, men feel no shame or need to change. This is sick.
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on July 10, 2015
A very insightful book that can only be written by someone who lived on both sides of Islam. Many of our opinions are formed not only on what we read but what we experience. My immediate neighbours are apparently religious Muslims. They wear traditional clothes and the women wear full burkas. When they moved in I said hello a few times. No reply at all. It's been two years and we've never spoken a word to each other. It must be another world in that house. I wonder what the women put up with in there. Welcome to America, it was fun while it lasted.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 29, 2014
This is a fantastic book. The intelligence,wit and wisdom of Wafa Sultan shines through on every page. Many people can and have written about their lives and passion for their goals and desires, but only a few can do it so eloquently and in such a compelling manner as Wafa Sultan. I can understand why the praise has been heaped upon her by the reviewer's at the beginning of the book.
She is deserving of all the accolades. Thank you Wafa for writing this exceptional book.
I would recommend this book, without hesitation for everyone.
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on May 29, 2015
I appreciate the author's ability to give a true account based on her own background and experience, as to what Islam is really all about and what a barbaric and hateful ideology this is. It has enslaved people for centuries and continues to do so. Women especially are slaves to this way of thinking and we as free women in the western world ought to be fighting, not so much for equality here in the West as for even a smidgen of the wonderful freedom that we enjoy, for the women of the Muslim world.
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on May 14, 2015
An eye opening experience to read this from an educated Muslim's perspective. Shocking and thought-provoking. A must-read for those who wants to understand the current world's problems with past and present religions and modernism, struggling to survive.
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on July 26, 2015
Very well written, an insight into a culture that is now that well known. More moderate Muslims have to speak out again the radicals. Wafa Sultan has to be congratulated for this book.
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