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Wafa Sultan: The Woman Who Hates Islam

March 10, 2017

Who is Wafa Sultan?

Image result for wafa sultan

Certainly one of the loudest and most hateful anti-Islam voices  has been Wafa Sultan. She claims that she grew up in a strict Muslim family, in  Syria–a country that was ruled by Sharia Law when she was there. Sultan claims that Sharia rule of law was so oppressive to the point that one of her nieces attempted suicide. Typical of most islamophobes, she continues to drum the same islamophobic motto: “I am not against Muslims, I am against Islam.” Being of Arabic descent and claiming that she was a Muslim, gives her a form of “legitimacy” among non-Muslims who are looking for anything and anyone they can use for their own anti-Islam crusade.

According to Wikipedia: “Wafa Sultan  is a medical doctor who trained as a psychiatrist in Syria, and a U.S. author and critic of Muslim society and Islam.Sultan was born into a large traditional Alawite Muslim family in Baniyas, Syria….she studied at the medical faculty at the University of Aleppo. She says that she was shocked into secularism by the 1979 atrocities committed by Islamic extremists of the Muslim Brotherhood against innocent Syrians. She states that while she was a medical student, she witnessed the machine-gun assassination of her professor, Yusef al Yusef,[7] an ophthalmologist from the university who was renowned outside Syria. “They shot hundreds of bullets into him, shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ ” 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.”[8] She worked for four years as a psychiatrist in a hospital.” (Wikipedia)

In 1989 Sultan migrated to the United States with her husband. Her anti-Islam stardom started after 9/11 terrorist attacks. Sultan wrote various  anti-Islam essays, books, authored some articles at alt-right Breitbart website, ran some blogs and websites,  and appeared on TV as an “expert” and critic of Islam. One video propagated by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute–an anti-Islam propaganda organization whose some of its founders have over 20 years experience in the Israeli intelligence community) really catapulted her into anti-Islam movement. It was 2006 “Al Jazeera’s weekly forty-five-minute discussion program The Opposite Direction. She spoke from Los Angeles, arguing with host Faisal al-Qassem and with Ibrahim Al-Khouli, a professor at Al-Azhar University in Cairo (Egypt), about Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations theory. In this video she criticised women’s situation in Muslim countries, Muslims for treating non-Muslims differently and for not recognizing the accomplishments of Jews and other members of non-Muslim society while still benefiting from using their wealth and technology. The video became YouTube’s most discussed video” (Wikipedia).

I highlighted some of the information above for you to ponder about later.

No, Really: Who Is Wafa Sultan?

Was She Really a Muslim?

Great question! Let’s take a look.

According to the Wikipedia page and other sources, Wafa Sultan was born and raised into a traditional Alawite Muslim family. What is an Alawite? Alawite,  meaning follower of Ali,  is a member of a sect that in modern times has claimed that it sprung out of Shia Islam. However, according to the research done by journalist Robert F. Worth in 19th century the Alawites believed themselves as different religion than Muslims or Christians. Worth says that Alawites believed Ali to be divine and venerated Jesus, Muhammad, Plato, Socrates and Aristotle (Worth, “A Rage For Order”). The reason why Alawites started self-referring as Shia Muslims, according to Worth, was because of fears of persecution as a religious minority. To this day, majority of the mainstream Shia and Sunni Muslims do not believe Alawites classify as Muslims mainly because their teachings, practices and beliefs contradict the religion of Islam. Alawites have the largest numbers in Syria. Interestingly enough, some of recent rulers of Syria have been Alawites.

Alawite belief system includes:

  1. Trinity of God: according to Alawites God is a divine triad that consists of three emanations of God as: Essence/Meaning, Divine Name/Veil and Divine Gate. According to Alawites, the divine triad manifested itself many times, with last triad being: Ali as Essence (Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law), Prophet Muhammad as Divine Name and Salman the Persian as the Divine Gate.
    1. According to Islamic teachings, a human cannot be divine. Even the Messiah Jesus pbuh is believed not to be divine. In fact, trinity and Jesus’ divine status is one of the main sources of theological conflict between Christianity and Islam, Muslims and Christians. Islam rejects the concept of a triune God by God saying in the Qur’an, Islamic Scripture: “O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa (Jesus) son of Marium  (Mary) is only a messenger of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His messengers, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one Allah; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector. (Surah 4:171)”
  2. Alawite religion is secret: very little known is about what Alawites really believe. Some Western researchers have been able to dig out some information, translate Alawite scripture and have concluded that Alawite religion incorporates beliefs and teachings from Gnosticism, Christianity and other pre-Islamic religions. For example, Alawites attend Mass with “consecration of bread and wine, believe in reincarnation, bury their dead in a sarcophagi above the ground, celebrate Christmas and are given Christian names and build tomb shrines” (Wikipedia). The book called Kitab Al Majmu (the Book of Collection) is the central scripture of their Alawite religion. Also, the central belief in their religion is that women do not have souls! (Wikipedia).
    1. Islam is open and according to Qur’an it is invitation for all humanity. It’s Scripture is available to all humans on Earth. Everyone can find out information about Islamic beliefs and practices rather quickly. The only divine Scripture in Islam is the Noble Qur’an. Muslims do not observe a mass. They do not believe in reincarnation. Ancient Greek philosophers, like Socrates and Aristotle, are not believed as prophets in Islam. In Islam, all human beings–women and men, as well as all living creatures have souls. 
  3. Men were created as angels who fell and became demon-like. The men must reincarnate, both as humans and as animals, until they reach perfection. Because women are believed not reincarnate, they are considered not to have souls.
    1. Islam teaches that angels and demons are different from humans. Also, there is no evidence for reincarnation in Islam. Women, like men, are believed to have souls and are judged equally for their deeds by God on the Judgement Day.
  4. It is not possible to convert to Alawite religion (the conversion is not recognized by them).
    1. Anyone can convert to Islam.
  5. Taqiyya (hiding/concealing): religious persecution and mistreatment has resulted in Alawites to hide their religious beliefs, pretend they are Muslims publicly and cannot reveal their beliefs to others.
  6. Alawites believe the universe is eternal.
    1. Muslims believe that universe is not eternal, only God is eternal. God created the universe and can/shall make it cease to exist.
  7. Alawites believe that there is no Hell or Heaven after death. Rather, both are experienced on Earth during reincarnations.
    1. According to Islam and Qur’an Hell and Heaven are real places in the Afterlife.
  8.  Alawites pray to Ali, Fatima and their children, and Muhsin. Sometimes, just mentioning these names five times a day is enough as a form of prayer.
    1. Muslims do not pray to people, and at least 80% of Muslims world wide do not pray to saints. To pray to anyone besides God (Allah) is blasphemy for Muslims. Reciting short supplications or anyone’s names does not replace formal five daily prayers.
  9. Fasting consists of reciting 3o names of men and women from Alawi books.
    1. Fasting in Islam means not eating, drinking or engaging in sexual behaviors from dawn to sunset for 30 days in the month of Ramadan.
  10. Besides the central Kitab Al Majmu, other books include: Kitab Al-Mashaykha (manual for Sheikhs), Kitab Majmu Al-Ayad (Book of Feasts), and Kitab Taalim Al-Diyana Al-Nusayria.
    1. Muslims’ Divine Scripture is the Noble Qur’an, believed as the actual Word of God. Other sources for religious practices are collections of hadiths/traditions that are not considered as Divine Revelation.
  11. Alawites worship Ali, and their proclamation of faith is: I testify that there is no God except Ali ibn-Talib the one to be worshipped, no Veil, except Muhammad, who is worthy of praise, and no Gateway (or Path), except Salman Al-Farisi, the object of love.”
    1. Muslims must not worship anyone besides Allah, as this would be blatant blasphemy and the only sin Allah promises not to forgive.

All of this information then begs a question: was Wafa Sultan really a Muslim before proclaiming herself as an atheist? If as an Alawite “Muslim” she holds beliefs that 100% are not Islamic, then the conclusion is that she never was a Muslim to begin with. So much for being an “expert” on Islam!

Was Wafa Sultan Living Under Sharia Law?

In 1970 there was a coup led by Hafez al Assad (father of the current Syrian president). He was a member of the Baath party (Arab Secular National Movement) and an Alawite by religion. Since then, Syria as a country ceased to use Sharia Law (Islamic Religious Law) as its central legal system. Due to his policies and secular ideology, sectarian disagreements turned into guerilla warfare all over Syria. One of the most prominent opposition fronts was the Muslim Brotherhood (makes one understand, then, why Wafa Sultan often calls Muslim Brotherhood anyone whom she deems too much of a Muslim!). Al Assad sought to crush the opposition with any means possible: imprisoning and killing opposition, and proclaiming membership with Brotherhood as the capital offense. Finally, in 1982 Al Assad government crushed uprisings with the Hama massacre where thousands of Muslim people were killed. This is the context of history in which Wafa Sultan lived. While there was strife among the ruling Alawite minority and the majority Muslim populace, there was no oppressive Sharia Law. Currently, Alawites are the majority in the government and military in Syria, and the Bashar Al Assad’s regime is considered secular. 

Also, you will note from previous notes here, that Alawite belief is that women have no souls. Being an Alawite herself, Wafa Sultan must have felt terrible to know that her family members and people from her religion (which was not Islam) believed her not to have a soul! I can imagine the treatment she received from them. Arabs are sometimes complicated people, and often, it is difficult to discern their religious practices from cultural customs/norms. I am sure that Alawites incorporate culture with religion as well, which sometimes can be a deadly combination driving one into madness.

Earlier, quoting Wikipedia, I highlighted how Sultan attended University of Aleppo to study psychiatry. She also worked as a psychiatrist in Syria. Are oppressed women allowed to go to school and work? And by oppressed here I mean the “terrible Sharia Law” which Sultan supposedly endured?

Conclusion: Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

So, Wafa Sultan has been lying to non-Muslims in the West about her religion, “expertise” on Islam and about living under Sharia Law. But this is not the only lie she has told. Sultan claims that she witnessed a murder of a professor in 1979 at the University of Aleppo, Syria. However, this turned out to be false. No one who worked at or attended the University of Aleppo at the time remembers the attack on a professor at the school. Also, Sultan claims that she is a “reformist Muslim.” How can you even be a Muslim, let alone a reformist Muslim, if you attack religion Islam?!

This is just a little bit about Wafa Sultan, but very important. She is a very rich lady in America who associates herself with other islamophobes like Brigitte Gabriel and Pamela Geller. Please be careful when you read her books or listen to her speak. Research, research, research!

I think that what happened here is that Wafa Sultan grew up hating Muslims and Islam. Belonging to a religious minority, and perhaps being persecuted by the majority (if at all), it is than understandable how and why her hatred for Muslims developed. But instead of fighting for justice and saying it like it is, Wafa Sultan has decided to cash in on her hatred. She will not admit that it is some Muslims who do not live by Islamic standards and which results in oppression and human rights abuses. Rather, to get rich and out of hate, Sultan claims that all the issues facing or caused by Muslims in the world is the religion of Islam. And many gullible non-Muslims in the West are buying her story and lies. She is a woman who was born and lived in culture where to be a woman is not easy. The abuse that women face all around the globe, not just in the Muslim majority nations, is real. Being a woman for many in India, Africa, Middle East means a lot of times being treated like a subhuman. And such abuse a lot of times has little to do with religion, as much to do with customs and traditions. While Islam sought to liberate from slavery and persecution, unfortunately some cultures who adopted Islam have not stood by its core teachings and values. And this is why such countries have given birth to some of the biggest Islam haters like Wafa Sultan.

Resources:

Worth, Robert F. 2016 “A Rage For Order: Middle East In Turmoil From Tahrir Square to ISIS.” 

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/02/syrian-president-alawite-what-does-that-mean-and-why-does-it-matter.html

http://www.aymennjawad.org/12686/looking-at-alawites

http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/509-wafasultan1

http://www.discoveringislam.org/alawi_sect.htm

 

 

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