Wafa Sultan, a courageous ex-Muslim woman who has been interviewed twice on Al-Jazeera television, has justifiably been the subject of various articles and blogs. Typical articles are those by John M. Broder and Mona Charen Both are well worth reading. They note that Dr. Sultan was Syrian-born and Muslim-raised, and that she has come to see the world’s Muslim vs. infidel problems in a different light.
“The clash we are witnessing around the world,” she says, “is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality.” Aside from Objectivist writers, I have not seen this level of insight into the current world crisis.
Dr. Sultan said she no longer practices Islam: “I am a secular human being.” Of course, her stand has brought condemnation on herself for being a heretic, and has prompted death threats from Muslims who cannot abide dissent.
I share Mona Charen’s admiration of Dr. Sultan (Mr. Broder does not express an explicit opinion). My lone quibble is with a sentence in her final paragraph. She says, “Sultan doubtless speaks for millions of Muslims who similarly deplore the barbarism that has come to dominate large segments of the Muslim world.” I think rather, if she speaks for anyone but herself, it is for Muslims who, like her, have seen that the barbarism is a result of the religion and who have therefore rejected the religion. My guess is there are few of those.