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The Quackery Of Dr. Wafa Sultan On Muslim Church Burnings

By akramsrazor
Posted on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 11:52:22 AM EST
Tags: secularsummit, Islamophobia (all tags)

This quote culled from a vacuous Wall Street Journal writeup [HT: The Jawa Report] of the so-called Summit of Secular Islam--a gathering (covered at length on Eteraz and compared elsewhere by me to Monty Python) of Muslim-bashing ideologues and talking heads, the sublime incompetence of which is only exceeded by its pristine irrelevance--perfectly captures the ignorance, shallowness and in some cases bald mendacity of the "insider" critiques of Islam being peddled by the ex-Muslim dissidents increasingly championed by the far right as reformers.

Bret Stephens - "Islam's Other Radicals" -

Radicalism, at least of a kind, is certainly what this summit provides via Wafa Sultan. Dr. Sultan, a Syrian-born psychiatrist now living in the U.S., came to widespread public attention last year after she debated a Sunni cleric on al-Jazeera. "Only Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches," she observed. The televised clip, translated by Memri, has been downloaded on YouTube more than a million times.

Really, Dr. Sultan?

What about the miscreants who tried to torch a pro-gay church  in Virginia in mid-2005 (Virginia church burned, vandalized following General Synod actions)?

Anti-gay hatred appears to be the motive in an arson attempt on a UCC church near Staunton, Va.  St. John's Reformed UCC in Middlebrook, Va., was vandalized sometime early Saturday morning (July 9) with anti-gay graffiti. Fire was set and caused damage to a portion of the church, but did not spread throughout the entire building, according to the Rev. John Deckenback, the UCC's Central Atlantic Conference Minister.

Are we to assume this attack--clearly motivated by religious animosities--was carried out by agents provacateurs dispatched from the wilds of Waziristan by OBL? 

And what about the the Klansmen who destroyed the African-American Macedonia Baptist and Mount Zion AME churches in South Carolina in 1995 ("Forgotten Fires - The Story")

Proclaiming that black churches taught their congregations how to manipulate the welfare system and procure government subsidies, the Klan set up shop in 1994 in a field near Macedonia Baptist Church. Its members were forced to listen to the Klan's message of hate as it blared through the church windows. One of the young white men listening outside, a friend and neighbor of Macedonia parishioners, helped burn the church. On June 20th and 21st, 1995, Timothy Welch and another young man, Christopher Cox, burned Macedonia Baptist and Mt. Zion AME Church. They and two older accomplices, Arthur Haley and Hubert Rowell, were found guilty of the church burnings and sentenced to 15 21 years in prison (later reduced to 12 years for Cox and Welch for testifying in the civil suit against the Klan). Both churches have since been rebuilt.

And I guess Muslims have even figured out how to infiltrate Hindu extremist groups in India in order to ply their unique passion for burning churches ..: JOURNAL CHRETIEN [Yuletide Carol-Singers Arrested, Church Burned in India] :..

Hindu extremists burned down a church in India on Saturday (December 23), arrested carol-singers on Christmas Eve and disrupted yuletide services in several states. One Christian suffered a fractured hand, and another lost his hearing.  Extremists burned down a thatched church in Boriguma area, Koraput district of Orissa state on Saturday night (December 23), preventing church members from celebrating Christmas there. The congregation had already decorated the building for Christmas festivities, but everything was destroyed in the fire.

These are just a few examples from a seemingly endless list of such incidents.  The reality of which Dr. Sultan is blissfully (or is it "studiously") unaware is that church burnings are distressingly common, and in the USA often seem to be racially motivated.  Some observers consider it a national crisis.  Which is why the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms declared it their "top priority" last February, assigning 50 investigators to the problem.

Such facts are rather elementary historical context for a discussion of Muslim attacks on churches and are within easy reach to anybody able to type the word "Google".  A reasonably well informed observer of religious affairs around the globe knows these sorts of things happen all the time, yet this hoax of an expert on Islam's problems--inexplicably lauded by Time Magazine-- is either so poorly uninformed or so utterly biased against Islam as to declare this widespread problem unique to Muslims.

And this is hardly unusual for her (or her colleagues at the Summit).  To the contrary, such lazy, misleading soundbytes are her stock and trade, and the cause of her sudden ascent into the firmament of Beltway pundits.

According to media reports, Sultan is a psychiatrist, but when it comes to Muslim politics and history this "doctor" is evidentally a major quack.  It would appear that Hannibal Lector has taken over the asylum.  Is there anything more creepy (or un-untrustworthy) than a shrill, self-hating shrink?

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Tags: secularsummit, Islamophobia (all tags)
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Such inspiring leadership(none / 0) (#1)
by akramsrazor on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 12:42:28 PM EST

As I asked on my blog

Will someone kindly explain to me how these lightweights and  polemicists are expected to diagnose Islam's problems, much less lead Muslims to a reformation?

Svend White
its capitalism(none / 0) (#2)
by Ali Eteraz on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 01:32:53 PM EST

not scholarship


[ Parent ]

they probably can`t(none / 0) (#3)
by Boku Ore Washi on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 04:52:46 PM EST

but perhaps they can reverse inspire people who can.

By the way, and I wanted to ask Ali as well, how does the term "Reconstruction" sound to you?  Reconstructionist Jews see themselves as different from Reform in that they are keeping the essense of the faith but, for example, rendering it egalitarian.

[ Parent ]

Grrr(none / 0) (#4)
by OmarG on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 09:42:21 PM EST

Salam, sultan is on my sh** list for that "converts aren't real muslims" comment. Generally, she is coming off as quite quackish, but allow me to point out how cool America is:


Which is why the US Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco declared it their "top priority" last February, assigning 50 investigators to the problem.
 ...and the last time an *Islamic* authority set up a commission / investigation / law enforcement to tackle Muslim boneheadedness was when...(and don't talk to me about the Egyptian od Saudi police actions because they don't count since few here think they are either Islamic or legitimate). So, the whole "you guys do it, too so ha-ha" argument is not useful here. Surely, there are more conslusive ways to pound quacks than by such "arguments" and I use the word lightly this time.

government responses(none / 0) (#8)
by akramsrazor on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 05:31:07 AM EST

I don't read the US govt's move as you seem to here.  I see it as a sign of not only acting on principle but also reacting to public outrage.  All governments react in one way or another to public outrage.

In any case, though, the point here is a simple and limited one.  Not that it's okay when Muslims do bad things, but rather that bad things aren't only done by Muslims. 

The corollorary is that if bad things aren't only done by Muslims it follows that one must stop explaining everything with lazy theories about Islam or Muslims' uncivilized nature and analyze these problems as one does all  other social problems and/or crimes.  You don't treat Muslim problems as inexplicable while all other problems can be rationally understood and/or reduced with appropriate policies.

Svend White
[ Parent ]

you're sad(none / 0) (#6)
by Maleeha on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 10:07:36 PM EST
and quite pathetic.

Abhorrance(none / 0) (#7)
by Boku Ore Washi on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 10:29:05 PM EST

Your purpose is to achieve what?


More information about the fraud that she is(none / 0) (#9)
by Danial on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 12:04:26 PM EST

 A year old article but very relevant to this day. She's a liar and a major fraud. One example: the claim she made about her professor shot by Muslim Brotherhood activists in 1979 never occurred.

 And that's just the tip of the iceberg my friends.

Wafa Sultan: Reformist or opportunist?(none / 0) (#10)
by californian on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:37:20 AM EST

Actually the article is NOT one year old - the article has just been posted, if you look at the date, its for the March 2007 issue of InFocus - the largest American Muslim newspaper in California.


Here is the link again for the article on Wafa Sultan - very timely.

[ Parent ]

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