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A god who commits followers to a dessert of despair
on 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.