Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wafa Sultan on Al-Jazeera TV, (Via: MEMRI)

Choice excerpts:

"...those cartoons ... are a reflection of his knowledge. Westerners who read the words of the Prophet Muhammad 'Allah has given me sustenance under the shadow of my sword' cannot imagine Muhammad's turban in the shape of a dove of peace rather than in the shape of a bomb. The Muslims must learn how to listen to the criticism of others... The reactions of the Muslims, which were characterized by savageness, barbarism, and backwardness, only increased the value of these cartoons, and gave them more importance than they merited, simply because they proved that these cartoons were true..." (WS)

"God help me. First, Islam is too great to be harmed by the publisher of the cartoon, or by that woman who is talking over there ... (Tal'at Rmeih)

"How come freedom of expression in the West is sacred only when it comes to degrading the Muslims? Are they allowed to talk about the Holocaust? Are they allowed to talk about Christianity? That is the question. Cinemas were burned down in the West when they talked about Christ." (Dr. Faysal Al-Qassem, Moderator)

"There is a gang that controls [the West], and you are not allowed to criticize Israel or the Holocaust. Anyone who criticized the Holocaust was placed on trial. Noam Chomsky wrote one line about the Holocaust in a book, and the book was recalled from the market. Bernard Lewis – that great philosopher – said something about the Holocaust and was placed on trial. (Tal'at Rmeih)

Of course no book by Chomskey was ever recalled for saying even the worst things about anybody. Bernard Lewis is not a philosopher, but a historian and the holocaust he was disputing (not that it happened but the intentionality of genocide) was the Armenian genocide for which was tried in France. The irony is that Bernard Lewis is much vilified in the Islamic world and the Far left as the debunker of Edward Said's Orientalist theory and as an intellectual father of the "Zionist" neo-cons.

But historically verifiable facts are not Tal'at's strong suit while inventive imagination is, fully noticeable when he states:

"What did the American president say to the U.S. forces sent to the Philippines? He gave them two orders: 'Kill all people above the age of ten, and convert [the rest] to Christianity.'

...I am defending a magnificent past of a magnificent nation, which was the cradle of knowledge and civilization, at a time when the most that people in the West could do was to catch a rabbit and scurry back to their caves. This nation has made the greatest contribution to civilization and humanity. Our religion is not complete without recognition of other religions. We are the ones who have called for tolerance and respect for religions."

Depressing, really.

I'm reminded of Illya in the film "Never on Sundays", the energetic prostitute who is devoted to Greek Tragedies, except that she had a very unusual interpretation for them. No tragedy ever ended in.. well.. a tragedy. All the characters made up and went to the beach. And she could even prove it...


Update: Mick Hartley comments:

It is clear that she has no problem denying the holy books, but she is adamant about not denying historical documents. Well exactly. That's it in a nutshell. It's a viewpoint that clearly outrages both the moderator and the pompous Tal'at Rmeih - especially coming from a woman.

It also exemplifies the kind of mindset we are up against, a mindset that equates religious myth with recorded and verifiable historical events

Al-Jazeera later apologized to its viewers, for Wafa's insults to Islam.


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