Wafa Sultan attempts to educate the distressingly self-righteous (and ignorant) Colin Powell, or Courageous Truth Confronts Pious, Craven Drivel-Mongering.
Key extracts presented below, but of course please read her statement in its entirety:
If we consider the Islamic texts, their content and the devotion that so many Muslims – including in America – attach to them; if we consider the tragic upshot of these teachings in terms of our current world’s security, is it not a duty for each one of us to view Islam not frivolously but in a most serious manner?
There was an episode during the current Presidential election that greatly disturbed me. It was former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s interview on “Meet the Press.” For me this interview was a defining moment. He expressed his displeasure at some of his colleagues’ accusations that Obama might be a Muslim, and stated: “And what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim?”
…If Powell doesn’t understand what may be the dire consequences for being a Muslim, then who should understand? The man, who once held the post of American Secretary of State, asserts categorically that there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim, even though the country he led has been suffering immensely from Muslim terrorism and has paid a high price because of it.
I appreciate that Powell, who has been nurtured by the American moral code, refuses to judge people on the basis of their religious affiliation. That is his right. But he does not have the right to nonchalantly disregard people’s apprehensions of Muslims, especially at those of us who have lived in Muslim countries. We have risked our lives to escape from them, and are now risking our lives again to speak up against the harm they cause, induced by Islamic theology and culture. In order to understand my perspective one would have to be a woman, living in Syria, my birthplace, or any other Arab Muslim country.
…[As for Mr. Powell], does he understand that Islam is not just a religion but a political doctrine that seeks to impose itself on non-Muslims even by force? If he does, why should people not be doubtful?
This is not an Islamophobic prejudice I present. Muslims, like any other national group, can be either good or bad, and the best among them do not act in accordance with Islam’s political ideology, either because they are not familiar with it, or because they have deliberately progressed beyond it. But how are we to scrutinize the good from the bad when a high level political official like Mr. Powell undermines the questioning of any concerns related to this issue?
Certainly, Mr. Powell knows that Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, is most revered among Muslims. Does Mr. Powell realize that it is incumbent upon every devout Muslim male to emulate Muhammed’s ways? If so, has Mr. Powell studied the life of Muhammad as it is recounted in the original Arabic sources, as I learned it in my schooldays?
…Did Mr. Powell ever contemplate that what he heard from countless Muslims he met throughout his career was not necessarily what they truly meant? I always considered Mr. Powell one of the giants of American politics. To me he was as majestic as the American eagle. But in that moment, sadly, I saw the eagle topple from its lofty peak and tumble down in front of me like a little sparrow; and with it tumbled many of my convictions.
After the events of September 11th, I watched a press conference with an American general whose name I can no longer recall. In the course of the conference, he shared that he had read the Koran twice. One of the reporters asked him, “What conclusion did you reach after you had read it?” He bowed his head for a moment before replying, “We have to defend ourselves.”
It is clear to me and many others who have lived in Islamic countries that a military man – a general – understood our perilous situation better than Mr. Powell – a politician – who held a high level government position. Had Mr. Powell done any thorough research into the study of Islam, as the general did, he may also have come to the conclusion that his question, “What’s wrong with being a Muslim?” was indeed unwarranted.