Saturday, March 11, 2006


Dr. Wafa Sultan, who you can watch here if you have not already seen her interview from Al Jazeera; is writing a book- The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster. She was recently interviewed in the print media about her comments in the famous video, and has received --as you might imagine--numerous death threats from the usual medieval suspects for her courageous words about the backwardness of Islam. Here are some excerpts from the recent print interview:

"Knowledge has released me from this backward thinking. Somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs."

Perhaps her most provocative words on Al Jazeera were those comparing how the Jews and Muslims have reacted to adversity. Speaking of the Holocaust, she said, "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."

She went on, "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."

She concluded, "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."
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 terrorism to try to undermine the government of President Hafez al-Assad. 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."

She and her husband, who now goes by the Americanized name of David, laid plans to leave for the United States. Their visas finally came in 1989, and the Sultans and their two children (they have since had a third) settled in with friends in Cerritos, Calif., a prosperous bedroom community on the edge of Los Angeles County.

Video: Dr. Wafa Sultan on Al Jazeera ( After a succession of jobs and struggles with language, Dr. Sultan has completed her American medical licensing, with the exception of a hospital residency program, which she hopes to do within a year. David operates an automotive-smog-check station. They bought a home in the Los Angeles area and put their children through local public schools. All are now American citizens.
Read the entire article.

Now, why aren't the medical residency directors in this country viciously competing to get this remarkable woman into their respective programs? Like the elite colleges did for a former Taliban official?

Somebody give Yale a call and see if they could make room in one of their medical residency programs to accept this incredible woman, particularly since they joyfully leapt at the chance to get Mr. Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi (see here and here for different perspectives on that).

Dr. Sultan escaped her confinement from within the prison of Islam. In completely unambiguous terms, she represents a voice of reason and moderation sorely needed in that backward culture.

Related post: Union with An Evil God

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