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Wafa Sultan’s Moral Certainty

Rule of Reason links to a new video in which Wafa Sultan debates Egyptian Islamist Tal’at Rmeih on an Al-Jazeera TV show. The Muslim speaker and the host claim that whenever America is threatened with force, it backs down.

On the face of it, they seem unaware of the fact that the West has the military might to decimate its foreign opponents any time it chooses to do so. At a deeper level, however, they sense this danger very acutely. They sense the fact that it is philosophic and moral uncertainty which muzzles the West. Note how they implicitly grasp the need to expropriate the moral high ground: they desperately and insistently struggle to undercut the moral confidence of the West (and Wafa Sultan here as its representative).

Ayn Rand understood the philosophic cause of such a phenomenon:

“When men reduce their virtues to the approximate, then evil acquires the force of an absolute, when loyalty to an unyielding purpose is dropped by the virtuous, it’s picked up the scoundrels—and you get the indecent spectacle of a cringing, bargaining, traitorous good and a self-righteously uncompromising evil.”

The moral righteousness of Islamic fanatics is a direct consequence of the moral weakness of the West. It is the power of morality, not military power, that explains the growth of Islamic terrorism.

The good news is that the principle works in both directions. When the good asserts itself confidently, with full knowledge that its cause is righteous and just, then the evil by necessity must cringe and retreat in fear. Wafa Sultan is one shining example of the good asserting itself in just such a way. If you haven’t seen this video of her—and it isn’t one that has been circulated widely, so you may not have—it’s worth watching from beginning to end. This type of certainty, validated and backed by reason and independent thought, is what it takes to change the world.

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