There is no doubt that many Islamic societies, especially in the Middle East, are in deep trouble for many reasons: political, historical, social, economic and religious. Revolutionary Islamism is seen by a growing number of Muslims as the only answer to failed secular dictatorships and corrupt, oil-rich elites, as well as to the economic and military domination of the United States. And European Muslims, often confused and alienated, feel its fatal attraction. Hirsi Ali is quite right that this force must be resisted. Enlightened reform of religious practices that clash with liberal democratic freedoms is necessary. But much though I respect her courage, I’m not convinced that Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s absolutist view of a perfectly enlightened West at war with the demonic world of Islam offers the best perspective from which to get this done.
H/T Pieter at Peaktalk.
One thing that bugs me about Ayaan Hirsi Ali is that she's so anti-male. When it comes to men, you will rarely hear her give credit where it's due or say anything good about men in general, let alone her own father, who seems to have passed on to her those special genes for constantly being on the run leaving a trail of havoc in the political scene wherever he goes. I don't believe for a single minute that she's fighting on behalf of anybody's plight but her own selfish self. She just loves being in the spotlight and she'll do anything to satisfy her constant need for attention. Her reverse extremism really sucks!
If anything, I think she's incredibly crafty at riding the wave of popular opinion jumping from one extreme to another in the face of adversity in whichever society she happens to find herself at any given time. With that said, I don't doubt that if she happens to find herself in an all male society sometime in the future (God forbid, but one just never knows with AHA), give her a chance and she will find ways to grow herself a penis I'm sure....I mean come on, she has already proven she's got the balls!
Another good one from Pieter.
This time it is Hitchens who takes on Buruma and Garton Ash who have relegated our good Dutch-Somali heroine to the absolutist corner and questioned her ‘enlightenment-fundamentalism’.
My response to Mr. Hitchens....
You're right, AHA is no fundamentalist, but an extremist yes! The way I see it, fundamentalism seems to imply an ideology based on certain values (often derived from religion), regardless if those values are good or bad in the eyes of apposite extremists, they're values nevertheless. Add to that the fact that Ms Ali has publicly renounced all forms of religion, I suggest you take a step back for a minute and reevaluate your own views Mr Hitchens. If you ask me, AHA's opinions are based on nothing other than her own experiences which only transform into value at the cash register. People with similar experiences as Ms Ali are a dime a dozen Mr Hitchens, look around you, there are plenty of people suffering even worse fates than Ms Ali, men and women alike. Maybe you just don't notice them as much because they're not as fortunate in finding the proper marketing strategy as she obviously has....or maybe you don't notice them because they're not looking to market themselves, they're just busy going on with their lives merely longing for peace and prosperity, while working hard, doing everything they can to ensure their own survival.
You say "She has never used or advocated violence", I say if you take a look at this video, you'll discover how she tries to pull the wool over your eyes with her carefully chosen words, but if you pay attention, you'll see that Ms. Ali clearly states that we should have whacked Saudi Arabia simply because the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.
When asked about Islam, Ms Ali says:
"It's not a religion of peace and immediately after 9/11, they should have said: it's not a religion of peace, we're up against Islam and 17 or 16 men out of 19 of the attackers came from Saudi Arabia and we have to face Saudi Arabia, but instead we went to Afghanistan!"
Don't you think that statement is a bit extreme Mr Hitchens?
Well, no need to question her sanity, but I think that before you go on to recommending her for sainthood, please take the time to examine her motives.
I see too many contradictions in her MO. She may not be violent, but she's certainly forceful.
She works for a conservative think tank, which in itself suggests that she upholds certain conservative values to even qualify for that position.
My question is: What exactly are those values?
If it's anything related to capitalism, I personally don't see anything wrong with that, if it's money that makes her happy...heck, I don't care, she is certainly entitled to the pursuit of her own liberty and happiness, but she clearly states that she doesn't believe in God (therefore sending a message to anyone who actually does believe in God, but we don't have a problem with that) and she has repeatedly taken a stance against US foreign policy, she's against US military action both in Afghanistan and Iraq...she says she believes in freedom, but she does not believe in freedom of religion, especially when it comes to that of Muslims (as you can see in this same video), however, she does advocate imposing that Muslims only adhere to a certain set of beliefs from "their religion" which are compatible with democracy....OK fine, which democracy? And it's not so much her imposing a set of rules on Muslims that I object to, it's the fact that she discards the whole entire religion of Islam saying that "it's not a religion of peace" and by doing that she rejects me personally as a "cultural Muslim" and my whole entire family for that matter, and millions of others who are practicing Muslims, who never did anything to harm anybody for the sake of their religion.