Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wafa Sultan: "Cracks in the Islamic prison"

Here is an interview with the always inspirational Wafa Sultan which is well worth the nine minutes it takes to view -- it is demonstrably better than any nine minutes seen on NZ television thus year. She makes several important points about the nature of Islam, and what it will take to change it:
  • "We Muslim people have been hostage to our own belief systems, for too many centuries. We have been hostages in our own prison."
  • Islam itself is a prison. Salvoes from outside, such as the publication of the Danish cartoons, are the only way to effect cracks in that prison.
  • Many people who are trapped in the prison of Islam welcomed the publication of the Danish cartoons; they live in hope that such things will eventually overturn the prison walls.
  • It is important to realise that Islam is not just a religion; it is a religious movement combined with a political movement -- a political movement based on violence. The two parts need to be severed, and the violence expunged.
  • Islam can't be reformed, it must be transformed.
It reminds me of two points made by black Americans. The first is the reminder by Thomas Sowell, that cultures are not museum pieces, they are the working machinery of everyday life, and we should judge them by how well they work for those within them.

The second is an argument that Malcolm X used to make: Too many American blacks, he said, still suffer from "the slave mentality; the slave mind." "Some of you," he said, "are still in prison. The prisons of your mind."

"You got to free your own mind," he demanded of them.

Wafa Sultan appears to be saying that the belief systems associated with Islamic culture are not working for those within Islam, however by the nature of that culture, Muslims will need "voices from outside" to help free themselves from the prison of their own belief systems.

Watch the interview here at You Tube, and if you want more there are many more excellent interviews with Dr Sultan linked from the same page. [Hat tip Jeremy LeRay]

LINK: "A crack in the wall" - Wafa Sultan on the Mohammed cartoons - You Tube

RELATED: Religion, Multiculturalism, Politics-World

8 Comments:

Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

I can see a similarity in Wafa Sultan's view on Muslims and that with Maori & Polynesian in NZ. We condemned ourselves to be the unsuccessful of the society and this comes within our own mind and not from any external influences such as government social policies. We thought we're poor because we trained our subconscious thinking that we were born to be poor regardless of the educational opportunities that are available to each citizen. We thus enslave ourselves in the way we think. We need to get out of this mentality to be able to get ahead.

2/13/2007 10:04:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

"We thus enslave ourselves in the way we think. We need to get out of this mentality to be able to get ahead."

Bravo! That's precisely the point Malcolm X was making.

You should make a point of watching Spike Lee's film of Malcolm next time you're round here. ;^)

2/13/2007 11:13:00 am  
Anonymous Tim Wikiriwhi said...

Bravo falafulu!
Your words are revolutionary!
They are on the fronteer between Individualist freedom/prosperity... and Collectivist hatred/deception/bondage/poverty!

There are Powertrippers in every race who think nothing of pedalling racist lies to deceive their own kin... if by these means they think they will get money and power!...and they will use Religion too if they can!
It is not the evil Pakeha in New Zealand who halts the prosperity of Maori...nor the wicked Indian who is in the way of Fijian prosperity...but the denial of self responsibility, and the prison of self- delusion that halts these peoples from getting on with life and making prosperity happen for themselves.
It is the indigenous racist politicians who pretend to care for us...who foster racial hatred amongst us for their own ends.
Look at Zimbabwe! The blacks are worse off under their ‘self rule’ …Black leader Mogabe, than when their land was called Rhodesia!
And The U.N ought to be called the Dis-U of Nations!
You are right!
We need to tell all racist liars to go to hell and take responsibility for our own futures ...and in equality...with Honesty and dignity,(respecting our fellow man regardless of race), strive for our own goals and dreams!
We must teach our children to despise Racism and political favouritism and stand on their own two feet with self esteem!
Cheers Brother!
Tim Wikiriwhi

2/13/2007 11:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Nik said...

Wasn't Malcolm X a Moslem?

2/13/2007 11:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

Nik asked:

"Wasn't Malcolm X a Moslem?"

Yes he was. He converted to a muslim sect called the Nation of Islam - dedicated to black/white seperatism. That was part of his transformation from a petty street thug into an intelligent and passionate advocate for black civil rights and later for black self reliability and self responsibility.

The thing about Malcom X is that he never stopped thinking, never stopped learning. He was a smart guy. Top of his high school class. Sadly it was 1942 in America and the advice he got from his high school teacher was that his dream of becoming a lawyer was "no realistic goal for a nigger."

Malcom's entry into The Nation of Islam movement refocused his ability to read and learn and think. An ability he neglected after this encounter with his favourite high school teacher.

NOI leader Elijah Muhammad taught Malcolm that white society actively worked to keep African-Americans from empowering themselves and achieving political, economic and social success.

And that is an accurate description of America from it's foundation until the zenith of the Black Civil Right's movement under MLK et al. At that point in time, the majority of white Americans recognised their error & their injustice and began to change.

But the NOI movement drew no distinction between the individual white man who did recognise the black man as his equal and the rascist white shits who didn't. They were collectivist in their outlook. If you are white - no exceptions period.

After visiting Mecca in his middle age and meeting white muslims who treated Malcolm as an equal, Malcolm saw the foolishness in the NOI stance and resigned from the NOI. And went out on his own. Still a Muslim, but one who began to judge men by the content of their soul and not the colour of their skin.

And that is the key thing. Islam taught Malcolm to believe in himself and be proud of himself. That is a good thing. Malcolm taught himself that the rascism inherent in the Islam he had taken up was wrong.

And that is what Peter is saying. Culture is not a museum piece. To be useful it should grow with the people who live within the culture. Malcolm X is a perfect example of how to break out of that rigid prison that is Islam as practised in places like Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia and Gaza.

Speaking for myself, I don't give a damn whether you practice a religion or not. So long as you recognise, respect and don't interfere with my right to live and persue happiness. A dangerous number of Islamists in the places I mention above refuse to do so.

And the reason they cite is the supremacy of their faith and what it tells about what Islam about white westerners(and women, girls, Jews etc. etc. ad naseum) and what it encourages them to do to such infidels.

I understand that Malcolm got the same speal. He was smart enough to see through it. The Islam he preached after leaving the NOI began to drop the dangerous collectivist & racist, misogenous overtones. That's the difference.

Now it's been a while since I studied Malcolm X. So if I've made any errors in my summation, please feel free to correct me.

2/14/2007 03:58:00 am  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

NB:

Last sentance in the sixth paragraph should read:

"If you are white, you were racist - no exceptions period."

My apologies for any confusion.

2/14/2007 04:01:00 am  
Blogger AngloAmerican said...

Culture could be regarded as a group neurosis - a mental or psychiatric disorder characterised primarily by anxiety. We all neurotically keep to the rules and people who break those rules are in danger even when the rules are silly, even when the rules lead to poverty. It is no easy task to break out of a neurosis as the foundations are historical and so do not change. Pacific Islanders, black Americans, Maori, Englishmen etc are all deeply neurotic in their own ways. It would be interesting to study who is the most neurotic and who is the least and whether being not neurotic at all is possible or even a good thing. Perhaps people need to somehow swap one neurosis for another.

2/14/2007 05:54:00 am  
Blogger Brian Smaller said...

I am amazed that YouTube has not pulled this video. They seemt to jump on anything htat the jihadis might think offensive at a moments notice.

2/16/2007 11:24:00 am  

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