Friday, March 07, 2008

Tal'at Rmeih vs Wafa Sultan

MEMRI reported (video here) The following are excerpts from a debate between Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan and Egytian Islamist Tal'at Rmeih, which aired on Al-Jazeera on March 4, 2008.
Wafa Sultan: The Danish cartoons have managed to break down the first brick in the wall of that prison, and to open up a window, through which the sunrays enter, after a lengthy darkness. The Danish newspaper exercised its freedom of speech. Liberties are the holiest thing in the West, and nothing is more important. But if Islam were not the way it is, those cartoons would never have appeared.
Tal'at Rmeih: "God help me. First, Islam is too great to be harmed by the publisher of the cartoon,

Then why did all of the Muslims riot and wy were the artists's lives threatened?
or by that woman who is talking over there.
Then why did Al Jazeera apologize.
The truth is that everything she said is 100% false, I'm sad to say. It seems to me that the American and Zionist intelligence agencies have begun to produce people who are hostile to their own nation."
Moderator: "Don’t you think that you are treating the viewers like fools? You present some trivial reactions as barbaric. Have you forgotten that the country in which you live destroyed Iraq in its entirety, killing 1.5 million Iraqis and driving five million out of their homes?
Taqqiyah alert: Both numbers are very exaggerated, and many in Iraq now blame Islamic Clerics, and now reject Islam
Didn't you see the dozens of children annihilated in Gaza, in a holocaust, as Israel itself admits?
That was a translation error by Reuters.
When a man blows himself up, he becomes a terrorist, but when you annihilate an entire people, whole countries, it is considered a humanitarian act?! Who are you kidding?"
Wafa Sultan: "Why are they upset about what is going on in Gaza, while the Koran says to them: 'They shall kill and be killed.' So here they are – killing and being killed. What's wrong with that?"
A very good point
Tal'at Rmeih: "Leave the Koran out of it. If you want to talk politics, go ahead."

Moderator: "I beg you to stick to politics. He talked only about politics."

Wafa Sultan: "Dr. Faysal, you know that you cannot separate Islam from politics. Islam is not a religion, but politics.
You must let me express my views the way I want. When you called me, you didn't say I was not allowed to discuss Islam or the Koran. Islam says to them that they will 'kill or be killed', and here they are—killing and being killed. So what's wrong with that? They want to be martyred and to meet their black-eyed virgins, and Israel is merely helping them get what they want. What's wrong with that? If you want to change the course of events, you must reexamine your terrorist teachings, you must recognize and respect the right of the other to live, you must teach your children love, peace, coexistence, and productive work. When you do that, the world will respect you, will consider you in a better light, and will draw you in a better light."
And parents need to love their children, more tha they hate someone else.
Moderator: "Can you denounce the Zionist massacres in Gaza? That's a simple question. Do you have the courage to do so?"

Wafa Sultan: "I can denounce the Palestinians and the Israelis alike. Hamas chose this path, and you have to pay the price for your choices. When you decide you want peace – I am sure that Israel wants peace, but as long as you keep reciting those teachings, which are full of hatred, rancor, and terrorism, you will be unable to make peace with others. You must recognize and respect Israel's right to live. You must teach your children love, peace, and coexistence. Only then will there be peace."

Tal'at Rmeih: "Allah be praised, we have an identity and a culture."
And your culture is one that prefers death.
Wafa Sultan: "How can someone who believes in killing people who do not pray possibly criticize liberties in the West? This is a farce. What past is he defending? Is he defending the invasions and lootings?"

Tal'at Rmeih: "I am defending the past of the Islamic nation, which was the beacon of knowledge for the entire world…"

Wafa Sultan: "…polygamy, beheadings, chopping of heads and feet on alternate sides, accusing people of heresy, and drinking camel urine, as a cure for all ailments – is this the past he is defending?"

Tal'at Rmeih: "No, 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.
And the west progressed to where it is now the cradle of knowledge and civilization, while the Muslims just live in their caves, and can't even catch a rabbit.
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."
Only we see that in Islamic countries only Islam is really respected, and other faiths are suppressed as they are "tolerated". Would Muslims be willing to be considered as second-class citizens in the West, and would they be willing to pay the Jizya
Al Jazeera reported Al Jazeera has apologised for "offensive" remarks made by a guest during a live debate about the reprinting of cartoons in Denmark said to insult Prophet Muhammad. In a statement on Wednesday, Al Jazeera expressed its "deepest apologies" for comments made by Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-born US-based academic, which "offended Islam".

Did Al Jazeera also apologize for statements made by its own moderator as well as Tal'at Rmeih that were offensive to Jews and Christians?

Neptunus Lex blogged The final paragraphs seem to demonstrate that one of the debaters is looking towards the future while the other is living in the past. Al Jazeera - which had the temerity to carry the interview live - is forced to apologize for having done so. Thus, progress.

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