Wafa Sultan: A Couragious Saint

I’ve just been treated to something that I find quite remarkable, uplifting, encouraging, positive and a whole bunch of other things.

Go and watch every second of this 5-minute video right now. Watch it again. It’s from a Al-Jazeera TV broadcast on 2/21/2006, archived by MEMRI.

Here’s the transcript, by the way.

The clash we are witnessing around the world 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. It is a
clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and
dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and
the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between
those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human
beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations.
Civilizations do not clash, but compete.

I don’t think I can disagree with a thing she says. She’s right on the mark, and she’s saying it to the face of a whole primitive culture of men who believe her status to be about on a par with their livestock.

That is courage, laddies and gentlemen. Raw courage. Can you imagine what sort of horrors could befall her for speaking such blasphemy?

On another note, I gotta hand it to Al-Jazeera if this is in any way representative of their programming and format. Notice how there is time for the complete, integrated, in-context delivery of whole concepts. You just never see that on sound-bite-TV here in the US.

If you want more, here’s a debate she had with an Algerian cleric in July of last year. It’s OK, but certainly not as tight as the other one.

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  1. Candace on March 3, 2006 at 14:00

    Wonderful! Thanks very much for posting this.

  2. Rich on March 4, 2006 at 12:29


    Rubbish. Now, there is no one more hostile to the utter stupidity of _all_ religions on _all_ levels than I, but I'm not about to sit here and sound even more stupid by not drawing critical and important distinctions between all the world's major religions.

    Judaism, Christianity (Catholic & Protestant), and the various Eastern religions have all–to varying degrees–become modernized, on the whole.

    The reign of Christianity has been in steady decline since the fall of the Roman Empire. Sure, there are agitations, here and there, and we'll never be completely rid of nutbars; but it is important to draw the distinction that in the Western world, religion takes a back seat to politics, and in the Muslim world, it is typically the opposite, with a few exceptions.

  3. Kyle Bennett on March 4, 2006 at 13:33

    the various Eastern religions have all–to varying degrees–become modernized

    Christianity has become bastardized, and so to has Judaism to a lesser extent (It was the more intellectual of the three to begin with, so it didn't have as far to go). They've gratuitously reinterpreted some fairly clear doctrine to fit into the demands of a rational world. It's a good thing, too, because Christianity used to be nearly as vulgar and violent and intolerant of infidels and heretics as Islam is now – just with fancier trappings.

    Christianity faced popular resistance, both within and from without, and so it had to change to survive when it was forced to finally take a backseat to politics. It's little credit to the Roman Church that it did, it was just survival instinct. The credit goes to those who forced it to change – to Western Culture. Let the Church enjoy unmitigated power once again and I have no doubt it would eventually revert to the same dark ages that Islam lives in now. Catholics of today – mostly very decent people – would be horrified by what their Church's doctrine really demands.

    We can only guess how long Islam will continue to darken the world before it ultimately gets put on the same leash – or chooses not to survive.

  4. Rich on March 4, 2006 at 17:14


    You conflate belief with truth. I would say:

    '…as religions became bureaucratic – they lost touch with consistency of beliefs they held due to political pressures.'

    Truth is established by gathering facts of cold hard reality and integrating them into the widest possible context.

    To state it another way: Truth, as a static absolute, is established via a dynamic human reasoning process that is unwaveringly honest.

  5. allan on March 4, 2006 at 16:53

    I'll go and take a look at it now.

    I would say however that as religions became bureaucratic – they lost touch with any truth they held.

    The industrial age gave voice to bureaucratic economies of scale. However there are still many outside of the overly organized religious sphere that hold to what they regard as truth.

    Those that retained or have discovered a commitment will gain voice once again as individually empowering technologies proliferate.

    Such as your blog.


  6. Monika on March 4, 2006 at 09:46

    Yes, but there is a religious reason for the two eras. The 'western' side is, culturally speaking, a Christian side. It's the fruit of 2,000 years of increasingly dominant Christianity.

    And the middle east is, of course, a Muslim side. It's the fruit of 2,000 years of increasingly dominant Islam.

    Culture is religion externalized. (Rushdoony)

  7. Emily Supanich on March 13, 2006 at 18:04

    I was pleased to hear a person speak the truth about the middle East, I always wondered why the women of the middle East were not speaking up, I knew in my heart that it had to be a women such as Wafa Sultan who would have the courage to speak up. In times past the Christian religon held people down and that's where they stayed for many centuries. Although we were born here in America,my mother who was not educated always told us that " You can have a great American education, but if you don't have common sense you don't have anything. Go for it Wafa, I believe in you.

  8. Abraham Habash on March 14, 2006 at 14:00

    Dear Sir:
    I have for over fifty years wondered if I shall live long enough to see an enlightened and courageous enough Arab woman to confront the religion- based Muslim Arab establishments. I could not hope for more than one who would campaign for the basic rights of Muslim women. Wafa Sultan preaches more than the liberation of only women; she preaches the liberation of the total Arab mind from its 7th Century fetters.
    Abraham Habash

  9. Jon Barnes on March 18, 2006 at 17:10

    Thanks for finding that 5 minute clip and thanks for sharing it. Only once in awhile is one exposed to that kind of clarity.

    That woman has amazing incite and AMAZING COURAGE! I'm blown away.


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