Authors: Wafa Sultan
A God Who Hates
“ Wafa Sultan paints a scorching, unforgettable portrait of Syrian Muslim society, especially the degradation of its women, and lyrically appreciates her adopted American homeland, which she calls ‘the land of dreams.’ But she also worries that Middle East customs are encroaching on the West and writes with passion to awaken Americans to a menace they barely recognize, much less fear.”
—Daniel Pipes, director, Middle East Forum
“ Like thousands of others, I first encountered Wafa Sultan on a stunning YouTube video. Here was a woman on Al-Jazeera TV, eloquently and courageously defending Western civilization, individualism, and reason against the barbarity and mysticism of radical Islam. Her performance was mesmerizing. She was articulate, self-confident, and outspoken. She stunned the audience, the interviewer, and the pathetically outmatched Imam who opposed her. Now Wafa Sultan has written her life story in this powerful book. She exposes the ugliness that is Muslim society in the Middle East, while unapologetically defending the Western values she adopted when rejecting the religion of Islam. If you want to understand this courageous woman, who continues to fight for her beliefs in spite of death threats, and to understand her views on the conflict between Islam and the West, this is a must-read.”
—Yaron Brook, Ph.D., president and executive director,
Ayn Rand Institute
A GOD WHO HATES
A God Who Hates
The Courageous Woman
Who Inflamed the Muslim World
Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS
This is a true story, though some names have been changed.
A GOD WHO HATES.
Copyright © 2009 by Wafa Sultan. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.
Book design by Jonathan Bennett
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
A god who hates : the courageous woman who inflamed the Muslim world speaks out against the evils of Islam / Wafa Sultan.—1st ed.
1. Women in Islam. 2. Islam—Relations. 3. East and West. I. Title.
First Edition: October 2009
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
To my dear husband and children
whose selfless love has sheltered me
when no other place seemed safe.
Lastly, to the memory of my beloved
niece Mayyada, who cut her life short
by committing suicide to escape the
hellish marriage imposed upon her
under Islamic Sharia Law: May her
tragic account be an eternal inspiration
to all who are privileged to live in free
societies. May her story encourage all
those who have been subjugated to
tyranny—especially women—to become
well informed and to persevere beyond
fear and intimidation. And a challenge:
To those whose spirits uphold the
principles of justice and freedom of
speech—May Mayyada’s story, and that
of many more whose stories have never
been told, embolden you to speak up
against the unjust and immoral treat
ment of women in the Muslim world.
There is a saying in Arabic: “A single flower cannot create a blooming field.” Likewise, without my many dedicated and supportive friends I would not have been able to bring this book to fruition. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all and each one of them. I trust they know who they are; so, for me to mention their names is unnecessary. I do not wish to place their lives in danger in the same way my life is threatened.
Al Jazeera media network hosted me for three programs on their famous series,
“Al Itjah al Mouakes”
(The Opposite Direction). After the third interview, the station apologized to the Arab world for allowing me to “insult Islam” and as a consequence cancelled all rebroadcasts of the program. Nevertheless, my three interviews on Al Jazeera introduced me and my message to millions of people, and for that opportunity, I am wholeheartedly grateful to Al Jazeera.
Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) played a major role in spreading my mission as well. For that I would like to extend my appreciation to them. MEMRI team labors diligently to break the language barriers in order to accurately represent information emanating from the region and in doing so, offer an unbiased journalistic forum so the rest of the world may better appreciate the true nature of the perilous situation in the Middle East.
Finally, I would like to thank my dear readers in the Arab world whose responses, positive and negative, have encouraged me to persevere and overcome the grave challenges that must be faced in confronting hatred and religious intolerance.
MOST MUSLIMS, IF
not all of them, will condemn me to death when they read this book. They may not even read it. The title alone may push them to condemn me. That’s how things are with them. They don’t read, or, if they do, they don’t take in what they read. They are much more interested in disagreement than in rapprochement and they are—first and foremost—supremely interested in inducing fear in others with whom they disagree. They may even threaten to condemn
just for reading this book because, in their cruelty, they have learned something about how to control others: Nothing tortures the human spirit more effectively than making someone a prisoner of her own fears. I am, though, no longer afraid. Why? Let me tell you a fable that might explain how I confronted my fears of speaking out against the radical mullahs of Islam.
There once was a strong and inquisitive young man who loved to travel. In his thirst for knowledge, he moved from place to place and traveled from town to town, drinking in wisdom and recording everything that happened to him.
Eventually, he came to a beautiful village slumbering at the foot of a mountain surrounded on all sides by green hills where gentle winds blew intermittently, delighting the mind and refreshing the heart. In this beautiful place, he was shocked to see that the inhabitants of this village were sad. They moved sluggishly, dragging their feet. To him they appeared no more than moving phantoms, without body or soul. The sight of these phantoms terrified him. He became determined to discover what made them so and set off to see a fabled wise man who lived alone, in a hut, cut off from the village and its inhabitants.
When he met the wise man, he asked what secret lay behind this great paradox. He asked why these people lived in a state of subjugation and dejection in a village where everything would seem to suggest that the people would be blessed with happiness and well-being. The sage came out of his hut and pointed toward the top of the mountain. “Look at that peak. An enormous ogre sits up there. From where he sits, he raves and shrieks, filling people’s hearts with fear by threatening to gobble them up if they leave their homes or do any kind of work at all. The people, terrorized by his shrieks, can live only by stealth. Only their survival instinct keeps them going. They steal out like mice in secret to gather enough to keep body and soul together. They live day by day, waiting impatiently for the moment of their death. Their fear of this ogre has sapped their intellect and depleted their physical powers, reducing them to despair and hopelessness.”
The young man thought for a while and said, “I’m going to the top of the mountain. I will talk to this ogre and ask what makes him threaten and frighten these people. I will ask him why he wants to prevent them from leading their lives in peace and safety.”
“Go up to the top of the mountain? No sane person would risk his life by daring to meet the ogre. I implore you not to do it for the sake of your life, young man!” But the young man would not be dissuaded. He was determined to do what he believed had to be done. And so, with slow but sure steps, he started on his way to the peak.
When the young man reached the peak, the ogre did, indeed, seem large at first; however, what he found as he walked on astonished him. The closer he got, the smaller the ogre became. By the time he arrived he found that this great ogre who terrorized many was smaller than his littlest finger. The young man flattened his hand, held out his palm, and the tiny ogre jumped onto it.
“Who are you?” the young man asked.
“I am Fear,” the ogre replied.
“Fear of what?” the young man asked.
“That depends on who you are. How each person sees me depends on how he imagines me. Some people fear illness, and they see me as disease. Others fear poverty, so they see me as poverty. Others fear authority, so they see authority in me. Some fear injustice, others fear wild beasts or storms, so that’s how I appear to them. He who fears water sees me as a torrent, he who fears war perceives in me an army, ammunition, and suchlike.”
“But why do they see you as bigger than you really are?”
“To each person I appear as big as his fear. And as long as they refuse to approach and confront me they will never know my true size.”
I sometimes feel like that young man, a person who rebels against the wisdom of her time. I once lived in a village much like the one he discovered, for three decades. My love for it became an addiction from which I possessed neither the ability nor the desire to escape. The ogre, for a time, held me in his thrall, but no longer. Being enslaved to my own fears of the demon was a terrible time in my life, but I don’t regret the experience. For me, all things happen for a reason and that experience only made me stronger. I was not born in that village in vain and I certainly did not leave it in vain. I left with a purpose not unlike that of the young man. I feel, on most days, that I must climb the mountain again and again with slow but sure steps and confront that ogre who, for me, is the horror of radical Islam. I do it to show the people of that village how small and cowardly he really is.