The Heretic Infidel

Not many people could muster enough bravado to duke it out with an Islamic cleric in an all out, no holds barred debate in front of public television and emerge a winner, at least in the eyes of those people who had been keeping silent for many years, except for Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-American psychiatrist, activist for Muslim women rights and fearless anti-terrorism crusader. Dr. Sultan, who is also a Muslim seems unwary of the retribution that fundamentalist Islamists might exact on her, with her use of unconstrained yet candid and forceful language that prompted the cleric to call her a heretic on the airwaves.The world had been waiting for someone who could confront the issue head on minus the fear of political incorrectness and harsh backlash and Wafa Sultan chose to do it. We still remember the fatwa and the $5 Million reward the Ayatollah Khomeni of Iran offered for the head of Salman Rushdie when the latter published his controversial novel Satanic Verses, considered an affront to the religion of Islam. Fearing for his life , Rushdie was forced to hide for many years and re-emerged only when the tension had subsided. Dr. Sultan’s crusade against terrorism seems unabated by the pleas from friends and family who fear for her safety.

You may have already seen this but here’s the video of that famous debate on Al-Jazeera TV in Qatar.


When It is Thy Time To Go

When you hear a person slip on a banana peel and break his head and die we refer to such as a freak accident, something unusual and senseless that wasn’t supposed to happen. But accidents do happen and the more unlikely it becomes, the more we feel the pain of the tragedy . We dread to see it happen to any human being for that matter. A case of a misstep that resulted in a mishap. Our hearts are filled with a deep sense of loss and our thoughts murmur – ” if only he slowed down and looked he could still be alive today”. Now here’s another scenario. A man driving a car with a passenger in the front seat safely stops at a railroad crossing waiting for the train to pass. He made sure the car was at the right distance from the level crossing. All of a sudden, a speeding Mercedez Benz slams the rear end of his car pushing it onto the path of the moving train. Whammm… Lights out. Theory No 1. It was a Mafia hit. The hit man driving the Mercedes planned the “accident”. Theory No. 2 The driver of the Mercedez was talking on his cell phone, lost his orientation and totally forgot he was driving. Theory No. 3 The driver of the Mercedez was drunk. Whatever – but the outcome was regretfully sad indeed. The driver of the Mercedez deserves to be hanged but does it change the outcome? The man stopping his car on the level crossing did everything right. There was no misstep, no miscalculation on his part. There was absolutely no reason for this to happen. It was just his time to go.


40 Responses

  1. Yeah, I believe so – when it’s one’s time to go – there’s no stopping. Even when you are in the safety of your home, even when you protect yourself with a bubble suit – pag oras na, oras na.

    Dr. Sultan reminds of Winnie Monsod. Don’t know if you are familiar with her. She’s a TV talk show host, an economist, a political analyst, married to a former Commission on Elections chairman. She once ran for the Senate but lost. A great debater, once hosted the show “Debate” with Oscar Orbos, former executive secretary during Cory Aquino’s term. I am her fan… πŸ™‚

    Welcome back, BW! You were so missed!

  2. Saludo to Dr. Wafa Sultan! Sensible argument! Way to go girl!!!

    Boy that long respite you took must’ve released some deep thoughts from your colorful mind! Wow man, faith is so unprdictable, It seems like your mind was set free of the stressful thoughts and somber thoughts set in place of the usual while you were out there in the woods during your vacation! Sarap ano!

  3. hi, bw! nothing can stop the Creator from getting what He had just lent.

    sad that my sound card is not ok. 😦

  4. I looked up the story of the mercedes driver and the railroad tracks and it looks like he has a history of driving erratically. He has since been charged for the deaths (manslaughter, I believe). It reminds me of the stories of drunken drivers who get into car accidents killing the other driver while leaving the drunk driver with just scratches. Like you said, we can do everything like take precautions, but if it’s your time, you really can’t do anything about it. What a morbid note to end on. πŸ˜‰

  5. kpjodrkpThis death reminds me of someone in the Philippines who stayed inside his house during the midnight New Year festivities because he avoided firecracker accidents. Bad luck for him because a stray bullet landed on his head while he’s in his room reading. Indeed, if it’s your time to go, you go.

  6. – the comments here are enough to agree with you. ;p

    “…and the shadow of the day, will embrace the world in gray.

    …and the sun will set for you.”
    – Shadow of the day sung by Linkin Park

  7. There was this story from the book Chicken Soup for a Mother’s Soul about a mother who’s son went to a party. She told her son not to drink because he’s going to drive after. The son was obedient,he had fun with his friends but did not drink. When he was about to go home he called his mother to inform her that he’s on his way home and that he is safe to drive. The mother was relieved and told him to take care. On his way home, he encountered a drunk driver who hit his car. The son was dead on the spot.

    We are the drivers of our lives but uncontrollable factors will always be present. Yeah no matter how careful we are if it’s our time, we have no choice but to go to the light.

  8. accident happens when it least expected. kaya dapat ingat lang talaga. lalo na dito sa pinas, dami na klaseng sakit. halimawa lang bumaha at may sugat ka sa paa at nagkataon na nabasa ng tubig na may kasamang ihi ng daga, pwede ikamatay ito ng taong may sugat sa loob lamang ng isang lingo.

  9. Dr Sultan is phenomenal! I can’t wait to hear more of the work she does.

    Glad to hear from you again BW. πŸ˜€

  10. Like what Alternati had said, Dr. Sultan is phenomenal of some sort for I think she’s the first moslem to ever muster enough courage to state what she had said on that Al-Jazeera broadcast. But she is treading on risky ground that I hope she’d be careful in her movement for she could be of help more alive than not.

  11. Times a changing isn’t it? Bravo to Dr. Wafa Sultan!!! Well, some of these Muslim women need to be heard. They’ve got brilliant minds. It is refreshing to read this. For once someone has to say something. And she just did it.

    hmmm…the many faces of death.

  12. Rhodora – Thanks.. yes, I remember Winnie Monsod briefly as a cabinet minister of Cory Aquino. So has she evolved into one heck of a talk show host and political analyst. That’s great for her to be a vanguard of investigative journalism. For one she knows the ins and outs of Pinoy politics !

  13. Noypetes – right on. People had been waiting for somone to speak up ! In the debate she might have been a little too extreme but my take on it is it was one heck of a wake up call. My hibernation in the mountains was great bro πŸ™‚ As I said I promised to do nothing that would make me think so maybe a CNTRL-ALT-DEL was pretty useful hehe πŸ™‚

  14. Bing – true although there are people who cannot help question the ” fairness” of it all. BTW, no need for your sound card. The debate is subtitled in English anyway πŸ™‚

  15. Wil – so did a bit of search eh ? I did too and also found that the front seat passenger was a woman. It could have been the driver’s wife, which made it even more tragic 😦

  16. Abaniko – very true indeed. Your example was one improbable event, hence extremely tragic in the end. There’s no hiding when it’s your time to go.

  17. Verknsy – you said it.All we can do is play the numbers game by doing our part and hope the odds will be with us. Case in point the guy did do his part but he did not have control of forces around him.

  18. Iskoo – very tragic kung mangyayari ang sinabi mo. Ihi ng daga, kagat ng lamok na carrier ng dengue – we are always surrounded by risk much that we won’t readily accept it 😦

  19. Major Tom – she is definitely treading on risky waters. I’m quite certain moderate Muslims aren’t in agreement with her generalizations but she was harping on fundamentalists who tend to see the work as black and white. She was also expressing her anger if you notice which stems out of her tragic personal experiences when she was back in Syria .

  20. Ipanema – she is definitely one voice from among the many Muslim women who beg to be heard. It is a wake up call to the world. She does carry a heavy baggage with respect to oppression of women in many Muslim societies and this is where her crusade seemed to have started.

  21. Boy, that is some feisty woman, taking on a narrow-minded cleric on live television. It’s true though, that these Islamic fundamentalists have their heads so far up their asses that they think it’s still the middle ages.

    That “freak accident” only tells us that we too are responsible for the life of another human being, and that every precaution we take is not just for our own safety but for others as well…

    Oh btw, I think that bounty on Salman Rushdie’s head is still in effect, he’s still in hiding to this day…

  22. This issue reminds me of the plan by the Provincial Government to introduce Sharia and other religious or traditional law to settle civil and family disputes within the community but was later decided that there will only be one law for all Ontarians, mostly because of the β€œfearless protests” of the Progressive members of the Muslim community, particularly that woman (can’t recall her name, but she is a personality or have some kind of show with TV Ontario) who admitted to also being Gay which is Taboo in the Muslim faith. She also received threats to her personal safety.

    Safety tips to those who drive with manual transmission car. When stopping in a traffic light or railroad crossing, always make sure that the brake lights are activated by stepping on the brake pedal. Since most cars are automatic that when stopped , the brakes are always on (unless shift to park or neutral) some drivers behind who may not noticed you on dead stop may keep going and realized too late when they don’t see the brakes lights. I had been rear ended a few times, before I applied this trick and it works…

  23. Snglguy – she is quite feisty indeed when it comes to making her point with extremists I guess. I watched her interview on CNN and she sounded very composed and confident and quite articulate when it comes to double sided questions.

    Definitely pays to be conscientious of our actions and its impact on others. It makes this world a lot safer to live in. I had the impression that the fatwa was rescinded by the Iranian govt after Khomeni’s rule. Rushdie was also a conferred knighthood by Queen Elizabeth this year which became controversial to Islamists. It opened a new can of worms and resumed the threat to Rushdie’s life again I would think.

  24. Vic – I remember that rally/ protest by Muslim women when the govt of Ontario announced to reconsider the request to recognize the Sharia law for Muslim Ontarians. That protest did work.

    Thanks for the tip Vic for manual cars. It is always better to have that brake light on whenever you stop !

  25. Good to see that there are still courageous people around!

  26. Sidney – you bet. And a woman at that πŸ™‚

    Hey, welcome back to Pinas. I’m sure you’ve been re-invigorated with your long vacation in Europe !

  27. Very ironic! When it’s time, it’s time. We should always be prepared for our own time. Always.

    Dr. Sultan is a very brave woman.

  28. i admire women with balls. horoay for their kind.

    a female friend of mine in college died of rabies at 26 years old. full of life, vim and vigor, and rich with the promise of a immensely fruitful career as an artist, her life was cut short when she died from rabies borne out of a scratch from her puppy.

    nothing is more unsettling than dying unexpectedly, quickly and freakishly.

  29. Toe – you said it. How many times are our hearts broken when read and hear news such as this. A few weeks ago a mom and her son, new immigrants from China was run over by an erring van driven by a drunk driver. They were walking on the walkway and the van jumped from the street right into them. THese people didn’t even know what hit them. So tragic 😦

  30. Daniel – Wafa Sultan is one of a kind – a rare breed. I hope she succeeds in what she does πŸ™‚

    Now that’s very tragic – a seemingly harmless scratch resulting in a fatal rabies infection 😦 It is always prudent to have pets immunized even if it costs a bit of money.

    Thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  31. i can’t watch the video now… sorry..

    but re the accident. it’s a very sad news. after all the precautions… saaad… bad nung driver ng benz

  32. *BW, there’s something to be collected in my blog. thanks. πŸ™‚

  33. Tin-tin – let me guess, you’re blogging from the office? hehe πŸ™‚

    I know what you mean. The driver of the Benz is really bad 😦 Justice needs to be served and he is being charged with the death of the two people.

  34. Ipanema – thanks. Darn, for some reason our office restricts us from posting on blogger 😦 No problem with wordpress and others though ! I’ll drop by today πŸ™‚

  35. I do agree with you — when it’s time for you to go, you go. It’s as simple as that.

  36. Eric – that’s what they say. It’s like a thief in the night daw 😦

  37. “Its just time ! “That’s what i’ve been telling myself lately with all these deaths I’m hearing about.

  38. Leah – I know what you mean. With the recent news about freak and unusual accidents in the local paper we just accept the fact that there’s not much we can do when it’s time to go 😦

  39. hi i wonder if youve heard of orianna falacci

  40. Baldagyi – yes, I’ve heard of her. I believe she wrote articles and books that were considered anti-Islam. She wasn’t a Muslim though like Wafa Sultan.

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