The great Wafa Sultan is not cowed by threats.
From Ynet, with thanks to Twostellas:
WASHINGTON – Dr. Wafa Sultan recently became a legend. Her two interviews with al-Jazeera, in which she censured Islam and the way in which it inflicts ignorance and alienation on its followers, have made her into a phenomenon: an educated Muslim that demands that the Arab world take its head out of the sand.
In a recent interview , the only time I see tears creeping into Dr. Sultan’s eyes is when she speaks of her family in a small village in western Syria, two or three hours from northern Beirut. In their eyes, she is a shameful stain on the family, which includes seven brothers and three sisters.
Her eldest brother claims that she received a million dollars from the Jews in order to denounce Islam. Her mother, age 74, refuses to speak to her on the telephone.
Her own departure from the Middle Ages was triggered by the murder of her lecturer at the Halab Medical School in 1979. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood murdered eye doctor Prof. Yusef al Yusef because he was an Alawi (like the family of Syrian President Bashar Assad), yelling ‘Allah Akbar’, shooting into the air, and driving off on a motorcycle.
Dr. Sultan called this the turning point in her life. She started questioning her life and belief system, with her husband, whom she had met at the time. She stopped fasting and praying. Her husband wandered from embassy to embassy trying to get a visa. It took them ten years to get out of Syria.
Eventually, a few weeks before September 11th, a friend suggested that she start her own website. Thus, anneqed.com was born: Meaning “the critic” in Arabic, it contains articles in Arabic and English.
Wafa received several warning phone calls from CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). At first, she says, they were able to restrain her to a degree, but after September 11th, she knew she could not remain silent. “Today I’m a completely different person. Let them do what they want.”
Dr, Sultan debated Egyptian professor of Islamic Studies Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli, who couldn’t keep up with her, asking her again and again “so you’re a heretic?” and stating that there was no point in debating with someone who insults the prophet Muhammad and the Quran.
Wafa Sultan said she has received death threats and estimates that someone will try to assassinate her, but she is not prepared to be frightened. “They weren’t able to shut my mouth the first time. In February, I took them down again. They won’t ever invite me again,” she smiles.
She believes that her mission – to “breach the walls of the prison of the Islamic world” — is difficult, but that she has succeeded in making a crack. Now it will be easier for others to come after her, she said.
Wafa told of an e-mail from a Moroccan mulla who said that he had bound her internet article into a book and told his 17 year old son that this was his new Quran. She receives e-mails from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. She receives mails from Muslim women cheering her on. Sadly, they always use pseudonyms, because they are afraid.
Earlier this week, she received an e-mail from a 23 year old Syrian student who wrote that the government had blocked her website but not her e-mails and asked her to send them via e-mail. “I know that I have a large influence on the Arab world,” she said proudly.
When reminded that producer Theo Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam for similar reasons, she responded: “I lived in fear for 32 years. 32 years of my life were stolen from me by radical Islam. Let them do what they want. I think they’ll succeed one day. It’s no big deal.”
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