Archive for Ayaan Hirsi Ali

ThinkProgress: The American Enterprise Institute’s Islamophobia Problem

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton recently wrote a 2 part report on the Islamophobic views held by some of the “prominent” think tankers at the neo-Conservative American Enterprise Institute.

One such think tanker is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In the first part of the report below Gharib discusses Ali’s recent speech in which she sympathizes with terrorist Anders Behring Breivik and shifts blame for his massacre onto the “advocates of silence,” i.e. liberals. Gharib also tip us for flagging the speech.

(Make sure to check out the second part of this report as well here.)

Conservative Think Tank Scholar Promotes Claim That Norway Terrorist Attacked Because He Was Censored

by Ali Gharib (ThinkProgress)

In a speech earlier this month, a scholar at an influential think tank and flagship of contemporary Washington conservatism, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), gave voice to one of the justifications for Norwegian anti-Muslim terrorist Anders Breivik‘s attacks, explaining that Breivik said “he had no other choice but to use violence” because his fringe views were “censored.” While accepting a prize this month from the German multimedia company Axel Springer, Somali-born Dutch AEI scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke on the “advocates of silence” — those she admonishes for purportedly stifling criticisms of radical Islamic extremism.

In the speech, flagged by the website Loonwatch, Hirsi Ali noted that she herself appeared in Breivik’s 1,500-word manifesto (Breivik reprinted a European right-wing article saying Hirsi Ali should win the Nobel Peace Prize). While she denounced Breivik’s views as an “abhorrant” form of “neo-fascism,” she then postulated that Breivik was driven to violence because his militant anti-multicultural views were not given a fair airing in the public discourse.

After speaking about how the “advocates of silence” repress discussion about radical Islamism, Hirsi Ali said:

Fourthly and finally, that one man who killed 77 people in Norway, because he fears that Europe will be overrun by Islam, may have cited the work of those who speak and write against political Islam in Europe and America – myself among them – but he does not say in his 1500 page manifesto that it was these people who inspired him to kill. He says very clearly that it was the advocates of silence. Because all outlets to express his views were censored, he says, he had no other choice but to use violence.

Watch a clip of the speech:

Hirsi Ali’s exclamation that the “advocates of silence” stifle discourse so effectively that Breivik was driven last July to kill 77 people — 69 slaughtered at a summer youth camp — is contradicted even by her own speech. In closing, Hirsi Ali said, “The good news is that recently the leaders of established conservative parties in Europe have broken the pact of silence,” citing comments against multiculturalism by the leaders of Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Hirsi Ali has herself been a Dutch parliamentarian, a frequent contributor to mainstream U.S. and international publications, and author of a New York Times best-selling autobiography. Dutch anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders enjoys considerable success in Hirsi Ali’s own Netherlands. Views against multiculturalism don’t get censored, though some of the most bigoted ideologies are often driven to the margins in free societies.

Neither AEI nor Ayaan Hirsi Ali replied to requests for comments about her talk. But a public affairs official at AEI wrote to ThinkProgress, “AEI does not take institutional positions on policy issues. When our scholars speak, they speak for themselves.”

In her speech, Hirsi Ali said that “to speak out against radical Islamism is to be condemned as an Islamophobe.” But as detailed in the Center For American Progress’s report on Islamophobia, “Fear, Inc.,” the Islamophobe label applies not to those who rail against “radical Islam,” but rather against Islam as a whole. Not surprisingly, Hirsi Ali is herself in this latter category — yet another indication that Islamophobic views are not censored. In a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine, Hirsi Ali called for Islam to be “defeated.” The interviewer asked: “Don’t you mean defeatingradical Islam?” Hirsi Ali replied bluntly: “No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Sympathizes with Terrorist Anders Behring Breivik

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by loonwatch

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali‘s autobiography is one in which she is the perennial victim of “Islam” and Muslims. When she first burst onto the scene in Europe she was received enthusiastically, as a “brave” woman who was informing the West about the dingy, backward and oppressive “Mooslims.” Ali positioned herself as the standard-bearer of Enlightenment values, affirming the superiority of the West over the Muslim East, confirming the wild-eyed-Orientalist essentializations and fears about pending Islamization.

Ali has always been a useful militant voice for the anti-Muslim movement, expressing vividly the racism and hate that they could only ponder in their minds but dare not speak. Take this sample of her extremism, in an interview with Reason Mag,

Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?

Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy. 

Reason: Militarily?

Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

Ali is still used as a potent symbol by the acolytes of the anti-Muslim movement whenever they want to trot out the horrors of Islam, (remember her article on “The War on Christians”) and as their vision of what a “Muslim should be.”

Unfortunately for Ayaan H. Ali, her personal story is full of lies. She never saw war in Somalia, her family fled to Kenya. She was not forced into marriage, but willingly consented to it. She was never threatened with death or honor killing by her family.

Even though Ayaan H. Ali’s compulsive lying and long and detailed radical anti-Muslim activism is catalogued and a matter of record, she is still a darling of the Right. In this respect she lines up well with the fake ex-terrorists/fake ex-Muslims: Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, Ergun CanerWalid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zacharia Anani‘s of the world who routinely fleece crowds for untold sums, in return for providing the service of bashing Islam and making the crowd feel better about themselves.

Just as Walid Shoebat was recently paid to tell a crowd of Texans about the evils of Islam, and to once more recount the false story about how he transformed from terrorist to Jesus-freak, Ayaan Hirsi Ali was invited to Germany to receive the Axel Springer Award, to recount her “escape” from Islam.

Sympathy for the Devil

In her acceptance speech, Ali expressed her sympathy for terrorist murderer Anders Behring Breivik. Her writings were included in Breivik’s manifesto and she took the opportunity of the speech to try and distance herself from his actions while squarely putting the blame for Breivik’s massacre on his targets.

[T]hat one man who killed 77 people in Norway, because he fears that Europe will be overrun by Islam, may have cited the work of those who speak and write against political Islam in Europe and America – myself among them – but he does not say in his 1500 page manifesto that it was these people who inspired him to kill. He says very clearly that it was the advocates of silence. Because all outlets to express his views were censored, he says, he had no other choice but to use violence.

Firstly, notice the weaselly double-talk on behalf of Ali, she says she is only against “political Islam,” but the fact is, as we showed above, she wants “Islam crushed.”

Secondly, who exactly are the “advocates of silence” that are part of the grand conspiracy of aiding “Islam” in “overrunning” Europe? Presumably the Leftists, as David Vickrey writes sarcastically,

Yes, the “advocates of silence” left Breivik with no other choice than to hunt down teenagers systematically.  Who wouldn’t be driven to desperate acts by this terrible “leftist” conspiracy?

Shockingly, and perhaps because Ali gave her speech in English rather than German the crowd responded with a standing ovation. Vickrey notes,

Maybe because Ayaan Hirsi Ali was speaking English her words didn’t provoke outrage among the German listeners.  On the contrary, her speech was met with a prolonged standing ovation.  The first to leap to his feet and clap was the writer Henryk Broder – cited by Anders Behring Breivik numerous times in his manifesto as an inspiration.

However all was not lost, there was a voice of reason that stood up in the crowd,

Fortunately for us, however, a voice of reason was in the audience, and his reaction was reported in Cicero:

„Träume ich oder passiert das gerade wirklich?“, fragt raunend Daniel Gerlach, Chefredakteur der Zeitschrift Zenith, der im Publikum sitzt. „So reden rechtsradikale Verschwörungstheoretiker. Das ist der Gipfel, den Massenmord durch Breivik damit zu erklären, dass die islamische Gefahr in Europa von dunklen Mächten verschwiegen worden sei.“ Gerlach scheint einer der wenigen Zuhörer im vollbesetzten Festsaal zu sein, die über die Rede entsetzt sind.

(Am I dreaming, or did this really just happen?” asked an astonished Daniel Gerlach, editor-in-chief for the magazine Zenith, who was sitting in the audience.”This is how right-wing conspiracy theory believers talk.  This really takes the cake, explaining Breivik’s murderous rampage as the result of mysterious dark powers keeping quiet about the dangers of Islam in Europe.”  Gerlach seems to be one of the few listeners in the packed hall who is shocked by the speech.)

Breivik, like many in the Islamophobic right was an admirer of Ali’s, and there is no better way to conclude than the way Vickrey did,

In his 1500-page manifesto, Breivik expresses his deep admiration for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, writing that she deserves the Nobel Prize.  For the time being, she will have to make do with the Axel Springer Bild-Zeitung Prize.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “Change the Constitution to Eliminate Muslim Rights”

Posted in Loon People, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by loonwatch

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s quite radical anti-Muslim statements are not only coming to light but people are realizing that she is really a neo-Con…finally! She supports the curtailing of our civil liberties and imperial adventures to “civilize” the Mooslims.

While Josh writes an excellent piece, he nonetheless shows that he was overcome by the same beliefs of Ayaan’s “oppression and victimization” before his post that many others have been duped into believing. Ayaan’s story has in large part been proved to be false. She never witnessed war in Somalia, she was never forced into a marriage with her cousin, nor was she threatened by her relatives with an honor killing.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali should not testify before Rep. Peter King

by Josh Rosenau

I started writing this post hoping to craft an argument that Ayaan Hirsi Ali – a Somali-born atheist (formerly Muslim), a former member of the Dutch Parliament, a screenwriter threatened with assassination for helpng Theo van Gogh (who was assassinated) criticize Islam’s treatment of women, a feminist critic of Islam who has won acclaim across the political spectrum in the US and Europe – ought to avoid testifying in forthcoming hearings on Islamic terrorism out of enlightened self-interest. The hearings have never been about anything but attacking Muslims in America, continuing the crusade against the Murfreesboro mosque and the lower Manhattan Muslim community center (not at Ground Zero, not a mosque), and committee chairman King is a widely-reviled bigot.

I wanted to observe that the noted feminist would be speaking at the behest of an opponent of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I wanted to argue that committee chairman Rep Peter King (R-NY) was a torture advocate, self-described as “most fervent fan” of the civil liberties-choking Patriot Act, and was so friendly to the IRA before they foreswore violence that he proudly called himself “the Ollie North of Ireland.” He told Politico in 2007: “We have – unfortunately – too many mosques in this country,” and surely she wouldn’t want to be associated with his regressive, repressive, illiberal agenda!

I wanted to say that no one who had survived the horrors of Somalia, who had been through enormous difficulties in escaping an arranged marriage and immigrating to a western democracy could want to support the reactionary, repressive, anti-immigrant buffoon who would be inviting her to testify. However nuanced and thoughtful her opposition to Islam, I wanted to argue, Hirsi Ali’s words would be twisted by the committee and by press coverage and used to justify scapegoating moderate American Muslims, including those who havehelped foil terrorist plots(which King denies ever happens). I wanted to push back againstThink Progress’s description of her as a reactionary on par with King.

I wanted to echo Christopher Hitchens’ summary of her views, and to say that Rep. King would not be interested in promoting this message:

Hirsi Ali calls for a pluralist democracy where all opinion is protected but where the law does not—in the name of some pseudo-tolerance—permit genital mutilation, “honor” killing, and forced marriage.

I wanted to say that King’s agenda is a monomaniacal crusade against Muslims, ignoring terrorist attacks like the bomb detected before detonation at Spokane’s Martin Luther King Day parade, the Glen Beck-inspired kooks who have launched multiple murderous attacks,anti-abortion terrorism, the attack on Rep. Giffords, Oklahoma City, the “Minutemen” vigilantes, and other decidedly non-Muslim terrorists. I wanted to say that Hirsi Ali would not possibly support such a distraction from real terrorist threats, and I wanted to note that someone who has lived in the US for longer, and has more experience with violent extremists here, would be a more effective messenger in that effort to broaden the hearing’s scope. I wanted to respect her as much as many of my favorite bloggers seem to do.

Alas, I made the mistake of researching Hirsi Ali before posting, and my lines about her nuanced and sophisticated take on the situation, my attempts to see the best in her view, were consistently foiled by her actual words. I simply cannot say that Hirsi Ali’s views would be twisted to match King’s, because I think they are already aligned.

Here, for instance, is an interview with libertarian magazine Reason‘s Rogier van Bakel:

Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes? Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims. Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam? Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”? Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy. Reason: Militarily? Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

(All emphasis original.)

I don’t claim to fully understand the path she’s describing, in which Islam is defeated – all of it (but not really the peaceful moderate part that apparently doesn’t exist) – then some part that wasn’t entirely defeated comes back to reform Islam’s legacy. It’s weird and self-contradictory, but let’s ascribe this to the difficulty of laying out complex ideas on the fly. Regardless of details, though, her message is clear: Islam must be defeated, crushed, with muscle, with the military, as an idea, and in the minds and bodies of 1.5 billion Muslims.

We’ve talked a bit about violent rhetoric lately, and I have a hard time seeing how the already threatened Muslim populations in the US are going to be safer when – in a House committee with CSPAN cameras and other media crowded around – a woman who looks like part of their community says that Islam is America’s enemy, that it must be “crushed,” that “you” (America? Americans?) must “flex your muscles” and “you” say “this is a warning” to Islam and to all Muslims. I think a lot of American Muslims already see their neighbors flexing muscles at them and giving these sorts of ill-defined threats. I can only see harm to my friends and neighbors coming from such rhetoric, and I’m sure it’s exactly what Peter King will want to hear.

I think he’ll also want to hear her reactionary views on civil liberties:

Hirsi Ali: The Egyptian dictatorship would not allow many radical imams to preach in Cairo, but they’re free to preach in giant mosques in London. Why do we allow it?Reason: You’re in favor of civil liberties, but applied selectively?

Hirsi Ali: No. Asking whether radical preachers ought to be allowed to operate is not hostile to the idea of civil liberties; it’s an attempt to save civil liberties. A nation like this one is based on civil liberties, and we shouldn’t allow any serious threat to them. So Muslim schools in the West, some of which are institutions of fascism that teach innocent kids that Jews are pigs and monkeys—I would say in order to preserve civil liberties, don’t allow such schools.

Reason: In Holland, you wanted to introduce a special permit system for Islamic schools, correct?

Hirsi Ali: I wanted to get rid of them. …

Reason: Well, your proposal went against Article 23 of the Dutch Constitution, which guarantees that religious movements may teach children in religious schools and says the government must pay for this if minimum standards are met. So it couldn’t be done. Would you in fact advocate that again?

Hirsi Ali: Oh, yeah.

Reason: Here in the United States, you’d advocate the abolition of—

Hirsi Ali: All Muslim schools. Close them down. Yeah, that sounds absolutist. I think 10 years ago things were different, but now the jihadi genie is out of the bottle. I’ve been saying this in Australia and in the U.K. and so on, and I get exactly the same arguments: The Constitution doesn’t allow it. But we need to ask where these constitutions came from to start with—what’s the history of Article 23 in the Netherlands, for instance? There were no Muslim schools when the constitution was written. There were no jihadists. They had no idea.

Reason: Do you believe that the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights—documents from more than 200 ago – ought to change?

Hirsi Ali: They’re not infallible. These Western constitutions are products of the Enlightenment. They’re products of reason, and reason dictates that you can only progress when you can analyze the circumstances and act accordingly. So now that we live under different conditions, the threat is different. Constitutions can be adapted, and they are, sometimes. The American Constitution has been amended a number of times. With the Dutch Constitution, I think the latest adaptation was in 1989. Constitutions are not like the Koran—nonnegotiable, never-changing.

Every reactionary movement and every anti-democratic demagogue through history has made claims like “we have to destroy the Constitution to save it” or “we must restrict civil liberties to preserve them.” And yeah, that includes Rep. King, as it includes his hero“Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy. I cannot take seriously anyone who would argue with a straight face: “Asking whether radical preachers ought to be allowed to operate is not hostile to the idea of civil liberties.” It’s the very archetypical attack on civil liberties!

Like Hitchens, I wanted to believe Hirsi Ali just wants “a pluralist democracy where all opinion is protected,” but she doesn’t. She wants a pluralistic democracy where opinions like her own are protected, and that’s a problem, because then it stops being a democracy, and it isn’t pluralistic. Her right to get up and speak in Washington can only exist when a radical imam can speak freely down the street. I wanted to believe her claim that she is not against Muslim people, but against Islam – especially against Islam as a political movement. I don’t believe that any more. Maybe she and King deserve each other.

Similarly, I wanted to believe that Hirsi Ali would not wish to lend her support to Peter King’s anti-immigrant agenda, since she herself has seen how hard it is to get refuge in the West from repressive regimes, and she shows how much an immigrant can achieve under such circumstances. And yet I find that she worked with a reactionary, anti-Muslim Dutch politician to restrict immigration from the Muslim world, and continues to advocate for restrictions on immigration.

I wanted to see the good in her that so many liberal secularists do, but I can’t.

I think she and Rep. Peter King deserve each other.

 

Spencer Dew: An Atheist’s Idealized Christianity

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by loonwatch

Hey Loonwatchers, there are Spencer’s out there who aren’t loons when it comes to Islam! Spencer Dew reviews Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s most recent book and sheds some much need light on her agenda driven Islamophobia. A real eye opening review.

An Atheist’s Idealized Christianity: The Dangerous Theological Fantasies of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

By Spencer Dew
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born former Dutch politician based now at the American Enterprise Institute, draws on her own harrowing childhood and journey from Islam to atheism (or, as she calls it in the subtitle of her most recent book, Nomad: From Islam to America, a Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations) to argue that Islam poses a grave threat to Western civilization, which she identifies as rooted in the legacy and ideals of the Enlightenment, specifically in individualism, free expression, and rational inquiry.Yet Ali’s work is as much an argument for a specific understanding of Christianity as it is a specific understand of Islam. Ali holds to radically distorted visions of each religion such that Christianity emerges as a private, more or less secular set of beliefs about divine love while Islam emerges as a monolithic, oppressive system of group-think. Christianity is rational and science-friendly; Islam is a continuation of a perverse pre-medieval mindset.

Ali, of course, is an atheist, and she frequently cites 9/11 as the tipping point in her own rejection of religion, claiming in her new book that “I found it impossible to ignore [bin Laden’s] claims that the murderous destruction of innocent (if infidel) lives is consistent with the Qur’an. I looked in the Qur’an, and I found it to be so. To me this meant that I could no longer be a Muslim.”

Building a Straw Horse

Religious terrorists justify their actions via scripture and tradition: from racist militias citing Genesis to Muslim groups drawing on the words of the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet. Ali, however, insists that the exegesis of Islamic terrorists is correct, true to Qur’anic intent and the history of Islam. She dismisses Muslim protests against such justifications as naïve and uninformed. “Most Muslims do not know the content of the Qur’an or the Hadith or any other Islamic scripture,” she argues, going on to insist that while “the much-quoted edict promoting freedom of religion is indeed in the Qur’an… its authority is nullified by verses that descended upon the Prophet later, when he was better armed and when his following had grown to great numbers.” Her own vision of Islam thus shapes her interpretation.

Likewise, in the face of repeating Qur’anic refrains about the compassionate nature of the divine, Ali argues that “Muslims who say that Allah is peaceful and compassionate simply do not know about other concepts of God, or the concepts they do have are wrong.” Nevermind that Islamic thinkers have, since the dawn of the tradition, had much to say about the paradox of a God at once compassionate and just; Ali’s interest here is in constructing a straw horse. Thus, while she holds that “uncritical Muslim attitude toward the Qur’an” poses a threat to civilization, she simultaneously opposes any exegetical work that offers alternatives to her own (and the terrorists’) simplistic, violent interpretations—theological work she dismisses as “reinterpreting the Qur’an so as to tone it down.”

Idealizing Christianity

While Ali is eloquent in her admiration for the ideals of the Enlightenment, she is equally indebted to the Reformation. Recognizing that some humans may still need religion “as a source of comfort,” she is willing to allow them that, yet she rejects what she sees as more problematic manifestations of religion, notably “religion as a moral gauge, a guideline for life,” which function she sees as applying “above all to Islam.” Acceptable religion, in other words, is “protestant” with a small ‘p’—individual piety— something, Ali argues, that should remain in the individual heart and house, but not seek to effect political change.

In contrast to her monolithic fantasy of Islam, Ali offers a vision of Christianity that is equally fantastic, a religion of individualism and critical reflection where the old superstitions have been replaced with humanist abstractions. “Nowadays,” she writes, “God is referred to as ‘love’ or as ‘energy,’ and those who believe in Him have done away with the concept of hell.” While she admits that there are certain “freak-show churches” opposed to, for instance, the theory of evolution, Christianity is presented by Ali as, all for all, a force for the good. Indeed, in her new book, this atheist calls on “the community of Christian churches” to act as “a very useful ally in the battle against Islamic fanaticism.”

One terrifying aspect of Ali’s developing thought on Islam, however, is that “Islamic fanaticism” is no longer presented as an extreme but as the norm. While in earlier writings, Ali made parallels between Christian fundamentalists and their claims about the Bible with “fundamentalist Muslims [who] consider the Qur’an a perfect, timeless representation of the unchanging word of God,” she has now revised her thinking and insists that “Anyone who identifies himself as a Muslim believes that the Qur’an is the true, immutable word of God. It should be followed to the letter.” While some Muslims may not “obey” in this way “they believe that they should.” Thus, seemingly “moderate” Muslims among us are in fact a potential threat, wolves in Western clothing, their religion necessarily in conflict with the ideals of the contemporary Western state. As she chillingly phrases her stance: “Can you be a Muslim and an American patriot? You can if you don’t care very much about being a Muslim.”

A War Between Theologies?

Thus, atheist Ali, in her crusade against Islam, turns to her idealized vision of a Christian community. Arguing that the world is undergoing a clash not so much of civilizations but of theologies, Ali actually begins to resemble none other than the fundamentalist Islamists whom she credits with prompting her religious turn, who likewise frame the current moment in terms of a war between theologies. “I feel we now need a Christian school for every madrassa,” she writes, basing this policy prescription on the assumption that Christian schools “teach not only the full range of sciences and the humanities, but also about a God who created reason and told humankind to let reason prevail.”

Convinced that radical jihadist interpretations represent the true intent of the Qur’an, Ali perceives her own mission as a public intellectual as alerting non-Muslims to the danger in their midst while persuading Muslims to “admit that the Prophet Muhammad’s example is fallible, that not everything in the Qur’an is perfect or true.” In this regard, however, she has arrived at

a theory that most Muslims are in search of a redemptive God. They believe that there is a higher power and that this higher power is the provider of morality, giving them a compass to help them distinguish between good and bad. Many Muslims are seeking a God or a concept of God that in my view meets the description of the Christian God. Instead they are finding Allah.

“Many Muslims… need a spiritual anchor in their lives,” Ali writes, but since Islam must be as she insists that it is, this atheist thinker has, oddly, become a sort of proselytizer for her own idealistic vision of Christianity. “This modern Christian God is synonymous with love,” she writes, “His agents do not preach hatred, intolerance, and discord; this God is merciful, does not seek state power, and sees no competition with science. His followers view the Bible as a book full of parables, not direct commands to be obeyed.”

It is unlikely that many American Muslims will find Ali’s hateful characterization of their own religion convincing—let alone her dreamy musings about a utopian Christianity. Ali may well be preaching, so to speak, to the choir, but it is a choir poisoned by distorted visions of Islam and a dangerous recapitulation of the terrorist fantasy of the world as a battleground between religions and gods.

 

T.V. Truth Moment: Tavis Smiley Takes Out Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2010 by loonwatch

Tavis Smiley, the popular PBS talk show host had Ayaan Hirsi Ali (accustomed to an ignorant American media that usually fawns all over her, and rarely engages her in challenging dialogue) on his show for a classic TV truth moment.

Ayaan was visibly taken a back and unprepared by the facts that Smiley stated to her. I don’t know why Ayaan was so surprised, if she had done a bare minimum of research she would have seen the veracity of Smiley’s statements.

Watch it here:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH0YYic_JpY&feature=player_embedded 350 300]

Our website has copiously documented the violence perpetrated by people in the name of the Christian faith as well as the rise in militant Christian supremacist ideology. In fact one of our most popular pieces, “All Terrorists are Muslims, except the 94% that aren’t” stated the facts about terrorist attacks in the United States, which empirically backs up the statement by Smiley,

Americans continue to live in mortal fear of radical Islam, a fear propagated and inflamed by right wing Islamophobes.  If one follows the cable news networks, it seems as if all terrorists are Muslims.  It has even become axiomatic in some circles to chant: “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all terrorists are Muslims.” Muslims and their “leftist dhimmi allies” respond feebly, mentioning Waco as the one counter example, unwittingly affirming the belief that “nearly all terrorists are Muslims.”

But perception is not reality.  The data simply does not support such a hasty conclusion.  On the FBI’s official website, there exists a chronological list of all terrorist attacks committed on U.S. soil from the year 1980 all the way to 2005.  That list can be accessed here (scroll down all the way to the bottom).

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group From 1980 to 2005 According to FBI Database

The right-wing blogosphere has been up in arms over this, Frontpage Mag has dubbed Tavis a “Moron,” Greg Hengler of TownHall says Smiley is a “so-called Christian” who,

[s]ees the world through a left-wing lens–not a Christian one. This is the only way one can explain such idiocy. If leftists continue to succeed in maligning Christians and excusing or exalting Muslims, we can only hope that American pop culture and education will destroy the character of their people as it has done to ours.

It looks like the truth hurts, I hope that Tavis Smiley can stay strong amidst the flood of hate and calls for retractions and apologies that will be hurled his way by people who are upset that their hero Ayaan Hirsi Ali was so badly given a dose of truth and reality. I would encourage everyone to write or email Tavis and his show, commending him for his strong stance against disinformation and bigotry.