Saturday, December 02, 2006

Stepping Out From Muslim Silence

In my discussions with liberal democrats, I have found that they usually tend to follow the lead of their political leaders without considering why conservative republicans still support President Bush, and the war an terror in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Several days ago, I posted a link to YouTube videos of OBSESSION: THE NEW DOCUMENTARY ABOUT RADICAL ISLAM’S WAR AGAINST THE WEST.

Funny thing.

Not a peep about it from the liberals who usually post here.

Why not?


[addendum: Google has now finished taking over YouTube. They immediately removed most conservative orientated content, including clips of this video. Sorry folks! I have no control over internet censorship!

You can buy the movie on dvd, just check the web. Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West]

"Obsession" is one of the most powerful, expertly crafted and undeniably important films I’ve seen this year. This courageous, utterly gripping expose’ deserves the attention of every American — and merits serious consideration for the Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary."

— Michael Medved Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Film Critic, "Eye on Entertainment"

Go Here to view a 12 minute film clip!

Now we see another brave woman stepping out of the echo of Muslim silence to state the truth about how women are terribly treated by radical Islam. She risks her life to do so, too!

In this Reader's Digest article, called Breaking the Silence, Wafa Sultan was stunned when she was asked to be interviewed by the infamous Al Jazeera TV network.

An excerpt:

Wafa was stunned. She was not a professional writer, much less a scholar on the Middle East. Though she had grown up in Syria, she had called California home for 16 years, and her days were now completely devoted to her family.

Then again, she did have strong opinions about Islamic extremism, and she was utterly unafraid to express them. So if Al Jazeera wanted to talk to a wife and mother in Los Angeles about this important subject, sure, why not? Wafa accepted. What no one could have guessed was that she was about to become a controversial new voice in the Islamic world -- and for many moderate Muslims, a model of courage.

A model of courage. Definitely!! When you read her story, I guarantee that you will think so, too.

Wafa Sultan grew up in Baniyas, Syria.

One day, Wafa sat in a lecture hall with 200 other students, listening to her professor of ophthalmology, Yusef Al Yusef. Suddenly she heard the crack of gunfire and then saw her teacher crumple to the floor. A group of men stood next to the body, guns extended, shouting, "God is great! God is great!" in Arabic. The killers, Muslim extremists, quickly ran out, leaving the students staring at their dead instructor.

Deeply troubled by this fundamentalist violence, Wafa was further shaken when she became a doctor in a large hospital. Newly married to an engineering professor, she came home from work with disturbing stories of treating victims of domestic abuse. Women would walk in with black eyes, bruised backs, broken bones. Wafa could mend their wounds and listen to their complaints, but she couldn't discuss openly what she saw as the root cause: a culture that demands total deference to men, amplified by extremist beliefs.

She and her husband moved to Los Angeles CA.

She took part in the social life of the local Muslim community, yet insisted that her children "live the American life." They were taught English from the start, and while they can understand Arabic, the younger two don't speak it to this day. But the culture Wafa left behind was never far from her mind. She started writing opinion pieces on women, Islam and radicalism for the local Arabic press. Wafa was careful not to be openly critical of religion, instead questioning an interpretation of Islam that seemed to breed terrorists and wife-beaters.

Even so, some thought Wafa had gone too far. After one editorial came out, she received a phone call from a man who warned that "even in America, there are limits." The person on the line claimed to be from a prominent Islamic organization. Intimidation of this sort made Wafa nervous and her editors more timid.

Then came September 11. Watching the World Trade Center towers fall on her television screen, Wafa felt enraged and emboldened. "I don't care anymore. I will write what I want," she told David. Too few people were speaking the truth about radical Islam and she, for one, would stop holding back.

This is still true, for the most part, today. Who could blame her if she did hold back? With death threats being hurled towards her and her family every day, she still presses on to share the hard, bold truth.

Earlier this summer, Wafa said she was "in hiding" with her family due to threats she still receives daily. Most are via the Internet. "I will be your killer," reads one e-mail. Another message, left on her answering machine, said, "Oh, you are still alive? Wait and see." Fiercely protective of her children, Wafa tries to shield her youngest daughter from the menacing messages, though the girl is aware of them.

Wafa has also paid a price within the Muslim community in Los Angeles. Before she became a known activist, she had a busy social life with other Middle Eastern women. Today, few of her old friends remain. "They begged me to stop," she explains of the women in her circle. Some feared for her life; others reviled her message. Wafa summarizes their reaction this way: "You can't make any change, so why are you risking your life?"

Her answer is that she is uniquely positioned to reform the culture she came from. She is educated, a gifted writer, a captivating speaker and -- unusual for a Muslim reformer -- a woman. Most crucially, she has the courage to say things that others are thinking but won't express.

Amen Wafa!

She is now focused on a book she's writing, titled The Escaped Prisoner: When Allah Is a Monster. Asked if she will soften her stance to appeal to a broader audience, she replies, "Not under any circumstances." After half a lifetime trapped in silence, she has found her voice.

That's a book that I want to read!


ebsfwan said...

The one accurate point this film makes is that there are extremists out there. Fair enough - but I knew that.

The film makes 2 main points:

1. There is a global, co-ordinated Islamic fundmantalist threat. Bollocks. There are a number of muslim countries but are they all acting in a co-ordinated fashion? No. This is like saying there is a global, co-ordinated Christian threat.

2. Islam is just like Nazism. Bollocks again. Whatever similar ideologies these two groups may have the Muslim world simply does not have the military muscle to impose that kind of threat. The West has approximately 20 000 nuclear weapons. The West has all the armies. Iran has, maybe, the chance of building one or two. If it ever used them it would be committing national suicide.

I guess the makers of this film knew that it would appeal to Christian fundamentalists. Nothing sells quite like hate.

The problem with extremist Muslim (religious) thinking is that it is stuck in the middle ages. The world has moved on.

Christinewjc said...

I think that attitudes like yours are, unfortunately, short-sighted and at the same time, truly misguided and naively sad.

Perhaps you might not feel so comfortable if you had seen the entire film (or the special on Fox News Channel). Walid Shoebat lived this kind of life until he repented and became a born again Christian. Now, he has made it his life's work to warn the West about the relentless jihad aspirations of radical Islam.

Did you even watch the 12 min. excerpt? Did you see the brain-washing of children going on? These are not staged, ebsfwan. They really happen in mosques and schools of radical Islam.

This film isn't the only source that reiterates the truth of the threat. You can see several books and articles on the subject here.

Lastly, perhaps if New Zealand had been attacked in a 9/11 type scenario, you would feel very differently about these "extremist (can't you even say terrorist?) Muslim thinking (they've done more than your eyes to the suicide bombings, beheadings and terrorist plots, man!)that is stuck in the middle ages.

The fact that they haven't moved on is where the threat begins.

Jody said...

Christine, Wafa Sultan is an atheist.

Christinewjc said...


So? I can't agree with her efforts to combat radical Islam while disagreeing with her own personal religious beliefs?

I remember reading about her quite a while back, before the article in Readers Digest and before I learned that she is writing a book.

Besides, if Walid Shoebat can be converted to Christianity, who says that Sultan one day won't be converted too?

ebsfwan said...

Actually, your response is naive. The documentary is an hour. Watch the whole thing.

The muslim world is a lot bigger than the evil terrorists.

Extremism in religion is wrong because if you are working for God you can do no evil. Extremism is not limited to just the muslims. We have right wing neo nazi groups in the world. We have the IRA. Is it fair to say that all Christians are evil because of the actions of a few Christian leaders?

I watched the whole documentary and it's propaganda. I thought it was full of logical fallacies but I can see how it would sell well to people who want to live in fear.

Wafa Sultan is a courageous lady and I applaud her. All the muslims I know denounce the terrorists as not representing Islam.

You cannot tar a whole religion just because of the actions of a portion of it. It's like saying all christians are evil because a few christians went around blowing up civilians in Ireland.

Christinewjc said...

Wow Ebsfwan,

I'm starting to doubt some things about your sincerity here. I could be wrong, but as this discussion progresses, it increasingly appears to me that your left-wing bias is causing you to refuse to perceive certain things as they truly are.

1. Where did I (or even the film, for that matter) say that it represents all Muslims? As a matter of fact, the film says in it's introduction (paraphrased) that "most Muslims are not representative of this radical threat. The film isn't about them. It's about a radical fringe element that uses Islam to promote their sick worldview in a jihadist war with the West."

2. I did watch the whole thing (before Google censored the YouTube version at Alain's site).

The film shows actual footage of Muslim terrorists and extremists spewing their hate. You are correct that it's propaganda. It's propaganda being spewed by the radical Islam elements!

3. Logical fallacies? How so? Where? A documentary with actual footage of imams encouraging jihad and groups yelling in Arabic "death to America" could not be "staged" by the USA. Is that what you think?

4. There is a difference between living "in fear" and living in unadulterated reality, Ebsfwan.

However, you are, of course, entitled to your own opinion. It just surprises me, that's all. But come to think of it, I really shouldn't be shocked by your reaction at all. If New Zealand's university staff is as liberal- leftist as here in America, then that explains a lot about your indifference and accusations on this issue.

5. Where did I "tar an entire religion" in my post or comments?

6. Nazi Germany started out first as an idea, then as a small faction, and then it grew into a huge monster. As it spread unchallenged by the West, so did the danger and deaths rise for Jewish people, who were their main target for ethnic cleansing.

Some people don't learn the lessons of history. Unfortunately, they seem to keep making the same mistakes...

ebsfwan said...

I've always thought of myself as a centrist but maybe I'm a left wing nut. :)

The best way to dilute the fundamentalists is to give the normal people a taste of the good life that we experience. You don't want to blow things up if you've got it good.

Christinewjc said...

Ebsfwan said, "I've always thought of myself as a centrist but maybe I'm a left wing nut. :) "

That is so ironic that you said that! I know you were probably just joking, but many leading conservatives have stated that some far-left liberals really do consider themselves "centrists", despite the fact that their agenda is really far out there in the left-field ozone layer! ;-)

You also said, "The best way to dilute the fundamentalists is to give the normal people a taste of the good life that we experience. You don't want to blow things up if you've got it good."

It's interesting that Nonie (in the Obsession film) analyzes the fact that many Muslim Arabs can't see that they are often to blame for their own, miserable lot in life. They tend to blame everyone else but themselves! The inability to take any responsibility for the poor and sad conditions they find themselves in, within this life, is one of the chief reasons why they have created the excuse to commit jihad against the West and the "infidels" in the first place!

Cottshop said...

google and youtube were blatantly pro-terror and anti-Christ/GOP- I have been refraining from even hosting their videos as much as possible on my site- I've also noted that most of the ads from google ads are pro-left anti-right ads as well- really concidering taking them off altogether.

ebsfwan said...

I got this definition here:

"Broadly speaking, liberalism emphasizes individual rights. It seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on power, especially of government and religion, the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market economy that supports relatively free private enterprise, and a transparent system of government in which the rights of all citizens are protected. In modern society, liberals favor a liberal democracy with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law and an equal opportunity to succeed."

I am a liberal based on that definition. I don't have a problem with that at all. Which part of it do you disagree with?

ebsfwan said...

This cracked me up in our newspaper today:

"...despite their political and religious differences, ultra-orthodox Jews joined militant Palestinian Muslims in fierce opposition to the November gay pride parade in Jerusalem. One activist said, "Only this onslaught of homosexual radicalism could bring together such disparate voices."

And you thought there was no hope for coexistence in the middle east. :)