Syrian psychiatrist on her way to Israel

Sunday, October 22, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Dr. Wafa Sultan, the Syrian-American psychiatrist who was made famous by speaking out against Islam in a television debate earlier this year, met with the Israeli Consul General to Los Angeles Ehud Danoch. During the meeting Sultan agreed to visit Israel and the two began discussing specific dates for the visit.

Sultan left Syria in 1989 and arrived in the US with her husband and her three daughters. In Syria, Sultan says, the citizens of the country are brainwashed on the subject of the Jewish and Arab worlds.

Sultan is convinced that the conflict between the west and Islam is a religious conflict, not a political one. “The problem is built within Islam and within the Koran itself. Solve the religious problems, and the political problems will be solved by themselves,” she said.

Sultan explains that for 1,400 years, Islam has been “charging forward” without anyone doubting it. “Nobody has ever dared to challenge Islam, and because of that, two generations will have to pass in order for the message to seep in. The next generation is already saturated with hate that our generation has passed on to it.” The first crack in the wall, says Sultan, was the famous caricature of the prophet Mohammad published in the Danish newspaper earlier this year.

The solution, she says, must come from international pressure exerted on the leaders of the Arab-Muslim world to change. The problem is that things are going in the opposite direction. When Sultan left Syria, there were very few private schools teaching men religious studies. Today there are more than 5,000 of them who teach the Koran to the boys of the next generation. Despite that, Sultan emphasizes that she is pessimistic as to the seriousness of the western world. ”The Arab-Muslim world must be helped by the western world through the internet, television, radio, and any other possible way, she says.”

“Nobody can get out of prison by himself, Sultan concluded referring to the millions of Muslims living under oppressive regimes. “The world needs to help those who are locked away inside the Arab-Muslim world under regimes such as in Iran and Syria,” she said.

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