Dr. Sultan and her colleagues in Former Muslims United, chose to leave Islam for personal reasons, most notably the lack of moderation.
Editor’s note: Dr. Sultan sent this note of thanks to Jewish Tribune writer, Joanne Hill, who ably rebutted the National Post editorial by Tarek Fatah:
I want you to know that this is the very first time, I feel so overwhelmed by someone who takes the stand to defend my rights publicly, strongly and very bravely against such a big lair who tried to distort what I said aiming to risk my life. I can’t thank you enough, but I will never forget what you have done for me. I have reached a point where I feel so powerless and very drained, but your honest and beautiful article has injected me with a new dose of faith and a fresh energy. To make it off for you, I promise that every time I feel discouraged I will force myself to remember this article and move forward and never to stop fighting. I was working hard trying to write an article to refute these true Muslim’s lies when I received your article. You didn’t leave any point for me to add. I love you dear Joanne from the bottom of my heart and pray for G-d to bless you.
All the love,
by Jerry Gordon, The Iconoclast, March 12, 2010
Today’s edition of the National Post published an unmitigated hatchet job by Tarek Fatah on the personal views on Islam expressed by Dr. Wafa Sultan during a debate March 3rd with Dr. Daniel Pipes on the subject of Moderate Muslims before a Jewish audience in Toronto.
Watch this PJTV interview by Bill Whittle with Dr. Wafa Sultan at the recent CPAC meetings in Washington, DC
The provocative title of Fatah’s piece, “From an ex-Muslim, true Islamophobia,” was filled with rampant hyperbole, ad hominen attacks and misquotes. And this from a person who identifies himself as a “hardened secular Muslim”. To the credit of the National Post, Fatah’s editorial was quickly and accurately rebutted by Joanne Hill, “Counterpoint: In Defense of Dr. Sultan”.
Note how Fatah set the stage for his attack on Sultan:
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 tribe.
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.
Note what Hill said about Fatah’s editorial:
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.
Hill lambasted Fatah’s over the top attack on Sultan:
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.)
The imposing figure in this swirl of controversy arising from the debate with Dr. Sultan is the Lincolnesque figure of Dr. Daniel Pipes. Pipes who has cultivated and supported the myth of moderation within Islam and the neologism of “islamism”. A neologism that defies logic in the face of the core hatred towards all non-Muslims and former Muslims in the Quranic Canon and Sharia law. Pipes is a cogent ally in the fight on counter terrorism, however for whatever reason he champions the belief that moderation and Islam are conjoined. Dr. Sultan and her colleagues in Former Muslims United, chose to leave Islam for personal reasons, most notably the lack of moderation.
Tags: Dr. Wafa Sultan, Tarek Fatah, National Post, editorial and rebuttal, Joanna Hill, Jewish tribune, Dr. Daniel Pipes, Islam versus Islamism, Former Muslims United
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Posted on 03/12/2010 6:33 PM by Jerry Gordon