Monday, May 29, 2006

A SHRINK IN NEED OF A SHRINK

I have recently been forwarded an email by a family member containing the following LINK. The link is to an article from New York Times titled, "A voice against Muslim 'hostages' to terror". The article is about Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-American psychiatrist who apparently is being depicted (in this article) as a heroic and 'fresh' voice of reason on a crusade to reform Islam.

Rather than pontificate my views about Islam, I choose to reply by quoting directly from the article, with my responses highlighted in red. I choose to do this because like Dr. Wafa, I also claim to be a fresh voice of reason who couldn't be bothered writing the full article by himself. So, here we go….

"Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about Muslims." [And three weeks later, some largely unknown Muslims were nursing a deep anger and despair about her.]

"Today, thanks to a blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera satellite television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die." [And still another group (which includes me) who just considers her a self-righteous, hypocritical and dangerous loon who desperately needs therapy.]

"..Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders whom she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries. She said the world's Muslims, whom she compares unfavorably to the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence." [I have also bitterly criticized some Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders but I don't generalize and equate all Muslims as extremists because of few with radical views. I think Dr. Wafa has descended into a vortex of self-importance and pretentiousness.]

"Sultan said the world was not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism, a battle that the forces of violent, reactionary Islam are destined to lose." [I think she first needs to stop generalizing and understand the reason for the growth of such violent and reactionary Minority Factions of misinterpreters and extremist followers of Islam. Perhaps it might also have to do with the Neoconic, Globalist individuals who currently control the Government of the country she is currently a citizen of and who have nurtured and funded such extremists for their own benefit as and when needed.]

"In response, clerics throughout the Muslim world have condemned her, and her telephone answering machine has filled with dark threats." [Notice how the genius author of this propagandist article once again generalizes all clerics and relates them to 'dark threats' left on her answering machine, by mentioning them in the same sentence.]

"But Islamic reformers have praised her for saying out loud, in Arabic and on the most widely seen television network in the Arab world, what few Muslims dare to say even in private." [How many Muslim homes has the author been to, in order to make such a claim? And it is not Islam that needs reforming it is the people who misinterpret Islam.]

"I believe our people are hostages to our own beliefs and teachings," …."Knowledge has released me from this backward thinking. Somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs." [Apparently, she is the only Muslim ever to gain knowledge. Somebody has to free her from her miserably skewed view of reality.]

"The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling." [Yes, apparently no Zionist forces exists, no Jewish lobbies exist and most of all no European laws exist to jail any and every Holocaust revisionist who tends to question the official version of the holocaust even the slightest bit. Additionally, the Palestinians have also apparently learnt to respect Jews because of the knowledge and work of the IDF.]

"We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people." [Yet we have seen a lot of single Jews shoot Palestinian children in the head, destroy homes, bomb houses, torture prisoners and also commit terrorist attacks around the world.]

"Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them." [If she actually believes that Muslims have monopoly over extremism and riotous and distructive acts, she needs to visit the Planet Earth for holiday excursion at the least to get in touch with reality.]

"Sultan is working on a book that - if it is published - it's going to turn the Islamic world upside down." [or so she claims and also make her rich and famous to boot and likely to get her an appearance on Oprah.]

"I have reached the point that doesn't allow any U-turn. I have no choice. I am questioning every single teaching of our holy book." [And as she is such a profound intellectual with such an amazing grasp of reality, it is unlikely that she will see a flaw in anything she says or does.]

"The working title is, "The Escaped Prisoner: When God is a Monster." [I've got a better one; 'An Escaped Loon: When A Psychiatrist is a Mental Asylum Candidate]

"Gunmen of the Muslim Brotherhood burst into a classroom at the university and killed her professor as she watched, she said. They shot hundreds of bullets into him shouting, 'God is Great!' she said. At that point, I lost my trust in their god and began to question all our teachings. It was the turning point of my life, and it has led me to this present point. I had to leave. I had to look for another god." [So due to the actions of certain extremists she started questioning her own religion and searching for another god rather than address the misinterpretation of Islam by the Muslim brotherhood. Smart move, although she cannot opt for any other major religion for the same reason, because they have their own collection of extremists who have committed heinous acts, be it Christianity, Judiasm or Hinduism. Maybe Church of Scientology would be her best option, as L. Ron Hubbard makes for a interesting supreme being and he is a science fiction writer to boot!]

"The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilizations," Sultan said. "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." [So it is not about the haves and the have-nots, about the globalists against third world countries and oil-producing nations, about the military industrial complex making a fortune on wars, or about selling fear and the War on Terror to advance a ridiculous 'New World Order'.]

"I have no fear," she said. "I believe in my message. It is like a million-mile journey, and I believe I have walked the first and hardest 10 miles." [Wait till her Limo arrives after her book is published, then she will not have to walk at all..and will be chauffeured all the way to her book signing in DC and Tel Aviv.]

-----

I am not one to usually respond in an overtly emotional manner in my posts but I broke this rule for the above post. In hindsight, I should have not have addressed my response in this manner. I realized this in my discussions with a friend (Fountainhead) and I thank him for bringing this to my attention. I do not think I succeeded in making my point clear with what I consider wrong (and extremely dangerous) about Dr. Wafa's opinions.

It is like being caught in between bookends of two extremes. On one side are those extremist individuals who insist that the world respect and follow their (skewed) interpretation of Islam and on the other or those 'reformists' (like Dr. Wafa) who categorize all muslims as the followers of a religion that is extremist in nature. Stuck in the middle of these two are majority Muslims who follow Islam by understanding and interpreting the Quran for themselves (as it should be). I completely disagree with the extremist view of Islam because they are so off the mark that it is not even funny. Islam is a religion of tolerance, acceptance and love - Period! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I whole-heartedly disagree with Dr. Wafa as well because it is not Islam that needs to be reformed it is people who need reformation in their thinking...and that includes her! Her generalization of muslims and her skewed perception of Islam is wrong, no matter how horrific the incident that caused her to question her religion.

I think for any religion, especially Islam, it is the individuals responsibility to understand and learn the true meaning of their Holy Book. They are responsible for themselves and no one else. Live your life and follow your religion as to how you believe is right and mind your own business instead of trying to convert or convince others to what you feel is 'the right way'. There's no real concept of clergy in Islam in my view, (it is just been you and your God), so I'd rather not start on the subject of Mullahs or this comment would be unending.

So here ends my lecture on this subject and hopefully I will sway away from making posts of this type in the future..


10 Comments:

Blogger Unaiza Nasim said...

god blog!
love teh background color!

8:09 PM  
Blogger the olive ream said...

I didn't realize I blogged for the Almighty but if you say so. First compliment on the background colour rather than content.

Thanx!

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Moderate Enlightenment said...

Haven't you changed your background colour recently? I thought the old one was nicer...this one is more girly.. but hey, what do I know about colours..! :-)

Excellent comment on Dr Sultan though - for once, I agree with every single comment in a blog.

One question though - she keeps saying she is reforming "our holy book" etc.. so does she still think of herself as a Muslim? How strange. She doesn't like to follow Islam, so she wants to create a new and different religion but still wants to call it Islam?

Don't they have trading standards people in California to deal with this sort of thing?

I am not sure who is the bigger neocon loon - Sultan, or Irshad "Maaaadrasssah" Maaanjeee.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Shahid said...

Brilliant Omer, absolutely brilliant.

She is on the same ticket as Rushdie it seems...

1:07 AM  
Blogger Hani said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Hani said...

Apparently one of my friends in UK recently started calling herself "agnostic" (she used to be a muslim btw) just because of the way media represents Muslims!

Say tomorrow CNN starts representing all Agnostics as freaks, whats she gonna convert to next?

Its people like her and Dr Sultan who irk me. Sure we have a problem where we have a bunch of crazy fanatics trying to blow themselves up but we need to address that issue which at the surface seems rather simple but has a complexity that involves looking at who made them into fanatics, what purpose do they serve for the media as well as for the US.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Natasha said...

this woman is just impossible. every once and while we have some crazy so called 'reformer'. she's not going anywhere, she's a legend in her own mind. or in other words, a complete loser.


and thank you for visiting my photoblog :).

6:43 AM  
Blogger mAn[S]o0r said...

loved the yellow lines and couldnt agree more!

7:33 PM  
Blogger Adnan Siddiqi said...

Sultan says:

But, she said, her life changed in 1979 when she was a medical student at the University of Aleppo, in northern Syria. At that time, the radical Muslim Brotherhood was using terror to try to undermine the regime of President Hafez Assad


We just cant blame her,such incidents could really change anyone's life.It happens.I heard that a guy quit saying namaz coz he was forced so much to offer it.But it didnt mean that she starts generalising whole community.

Praising about jews.yes no doubt they rule over world due to their wisrom and knowledge and we shoudnt hesitate to admit that we lack in education and knowledge.Its also true that we muslims re very emotional and starts following a destructive path.Today what is happening in Palestine is result of frustration and depression of 50+ years and they have been given no choice at all.I stil believe that sucide bombing is not away to solve this issue.

9:51 AM  
Blogger the olive ream said...

ME, dark blue is 'girly' as a background? Maybe I am getting in touch with my feminine side..;)
Thanks for your comments and liking my post.

Shahid, thank you buddy, much appreciated. You're right she seems to reflect the elements of Rushdie-ism.

Hani, as usual you have identified the problem spot on. Thank you for your comments, much appreciated.

Natasha, thank you for comments and visiting your blog was a pleasure.

Mansoor, I am happy we are in agreement on this subject. thanx for visiting.

Adnan,

Thanks so much for your comments and I see your point. But as we understand the reason for Dr.Wafa's intellectual change towards Islam because of this one incident..we must also understand the reason real reasons behind Suicide bombings in Israel. As generations of Palestinians have grown up seeing their friends, family members being humiliated and murdered by the IDF, it is likely to assume that their state of mind is also altered. They are angry, frustrated and see no future for themselves..(and in that state of mind), when they dont care about their own life..they end up being exploited to commit suicide attacks against innocent people. I shall digress here Adnan and point you to read my original post again as I've added a lengthy note to the original, which might be of interest to you.

Thanks again for your comments.

1:44 PM  

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