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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"A God Who Hates" by Wafa Sultan

Wafa Sultan, author of this book, lived in Syria for 32 years. She was born in a coastal town called Banias and ended up going to Medical school in order to be a doctor. The book is a combination auto-biography/ commentary on living in an Islamic society. She was born and raised a Muslim. In her mind Muslim society is a closed society that is totally dominated by fear. Islam was born out in the harsh desert environmental where a man never knew how long he would survive. To conquer these fears the Bedouin developed an Ogre so to speak that would help them submerge their fears. Fear is what prevents the muslims from questioning anything in Islam.
The First victim of Islam is the women. Women are treated like chattel with virtually no rights in their society. THey have no say in who they are going t marry. This is illustrated by the story she tells about her grandmother. Her grandmother was married of when she was young against her will to a man she did not love. Running away back to her parents home was no better. It was just as oppressive. She did end up living in her brothers house and then finally living with her daughter Wafa's mother. Wafa's mother was a second wife to a man old enough to be her father. In fact her mother was only one year older than the man's younger daughter. Wafa's mother was never truly happy despite how nice her husband was. Her father died at a young age. Financial affair were left in the care of a Christian business partner while an elder half brother saw to it that Wafa got a good education. Fortunate for Wafa that he was modern minded and got her to go to school. While in Aleppo she saw how smothering life was for a women. She people she lived with were very conservative. The wife never left home with out permission. She could never be seen talking to another man. The wife's husband always used to insult her and put her down.
In a country like Syrian if a woman has sexual relations before marriage it is a stain up the family honor. For it she can be killed. Often times as Wafa Sultan would find out the first person to touch a young woman would not be a boyfriend, rather she would be raped by a brother, cousin or even the father. Wafa found this out and a whole lot more while working in clinics for women. Women as young as nine years old would come to the office with busted Hymens and and signs of pregnancy. To abort the pregnancy and perform a hymenectomy the doctor who was very corrupt would over charge them so as to make the most money possible. The doctors also over looked the signs of abuse that was apparent on the bodies of these women, One woman came to thee clinic with cigarette burns on her body. The Husband had burned her for being stupid. The doctor agreed with the husband.
All in all Wafa grew up in a repressive society that did not respect women in the slightest. Those who did not follow Islam were looked down upon. Her arrival according to her was a blessing and she was amazed at the friendliness and honesty of the American people. According to her Muslims believe in fate and everything is in God's hands. This allows for a certain ambiguity of evading yes or no questions and it also allows them to avoid responsibility for their actions.
Wafa Sultan's book represents a series of books that are critical of Islamic society. It is am insiders views of what is going on, what is wrong and what needs to change. Bear in mind her point of view does not necessarily represent my point of view.

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Baba-Sali
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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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