Jewish Journal

Wafa Sultan: ‘America is my God’

by Danielle Berrin

October 23, 2007 | 1:46 pm

Wafa Sultan is on a mission to debunk what she calls the Islamic ideology of hate. Since 9/11, the Syrian-American psychologist has spoken out against the Muslim world calling them “hostages of their own belief system.” She believes Islam has polluted the subconscious of millions of Muslims who are indoctrinated into a culture of toxic religious and political ideology.

Those are powerful words coming from a woman who was born and bred in that system, but even more, they’re courageous: “I sometimes hear Osama Bin Laden walking behind me in my bedroom and I wonder why he doesn’t shoot me; but most of the time, I am at peace about my decision to speak out.”

Now, she is urging the western world to join her and help liberate Muslims from Islamic teachings that are their only access to knowledge.

Since her fiery speech on Al Jazeera in February 2006 caught worldwide attention, Sultan has been promulgating her criticism of Islam from college campuses to international governments. She has met with leaders in Israel, Australia, Qatar and will soon travel to France. Last night, she appeared at Sinai Temple to tell several hundred people “what the west needs to know about Islam” and how she believes her message will resonate 200 years from now.

What The West needs to know

“Americans went into the wrong country [Iraq]! They should have gone to Saudi Arabia!” said a vehement Sultan, who explained that the underlying foundation of Islam is to spread the religion—and if necessary, impose it by force. No one is supporting that cause more than Saudi Arabia, whom she insists are the masterminds behind Islamic terrorism. When she was young, she remembers a few mosques scattered around town and attributes the now 5,000 religious structures in Syria to Saudi investments. Adamant that the growth of Islamic fundamentalism has been fueled by Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth, Sultan wonders why the U.S. is turning their head.

What The West should do

“Take action!” Sultan urged the audience to educate themselves about Islam and engage the Muslim community in dialogue. She recommended the website FaithFreedom.org and credits the internet with allowing for a breakthrough in the hermetic Muslim world. Young Muslims, ages 16-25 are reading her essays which advocate increased exposure to other cultures, religions and ideas.

Listening to her polemic, one wonders what quality enabled Sultan to escape her religious prison and how she mustered the courage to denounce Islamic terror. Though she credits her husband, whose encounter with a Christian man expanded his theological purview, she is sustained by her belief in God and in American democracy: “America is my God. Americans take it for granted because they do not know the difference,” but Sultan says she does, concluding, “I was born in hell and now I’m in paradise.”

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Written by Danielle Berrin and Dikla Kadosh

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