Hirsi Ali’s destructive program for the West
Writing in the Times of London, Ayaan Hirsi Ali attacks Islam, and holds up what she sees as the only alternative to it: the “open society”:
Those who love freedom know that the open society relies on a few key shared concepts. They believe that all humans are born free, are endowed with reason and have inalienable rights. These governments are checked by the rule of law, so that civil liberties are protected. They ensure freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, and ensure that men and women, homosexuals and heterosexuals, are entitled to equal treatment and protection under the law. And these governments have free-trade practices and an open market, and people may spend their recreational time as they wish.Furthermore, Ali defines the West simply as the open society. This is what we are, according to her, a society defined by nothing but rights and their protection and the ability of people to do what they wish. But such a society is not a society at all, since there is nothing that holds it together as a society. “Society” originates from the Latin word socius, which means companion or friend. Companions have beliefs and allegiances in common. The denizens of the open society have nothing in common with each other—except the fact that they’re all equally free to believe and do what they want. The open society is thus to society what the open marriage is to marriage: a contradiction in terms, an impossibility. Yet this is what Ali insists the West is and must become ever more so.
For Ali, the West must be the polar opposite of Islam. Because Islam enforces an oppressive code of behavior, the West must have no common ethos at all, except the ethos of the open society. Because Islam claims to be absolutely true but is false, the West must not affirm anything as true, except for the “truths” of the open society. Because Islam is a bad religion, the West must get rid of its own religion, Christianity, which Ali describes in the same negative terms in which she describes Islam. Because Islam sees women as a lower order of being, the West must have total sexual equality, both between men and women, and between heterosexuals and homosexuals. Because Islam requires absolute obedience to its specific and detailed rules, the West must get rid of its own particularity; it must not see its own members as actually belonging to the West, but merely as consumers and enjoyers of rights and recreation. Thus Ali writes of Muslims in the West that they “have come to the West to enjoy the benefits of the open society, in which they have a vested interest.” She doesn’t say that they have come to the West to join the West, to belong to the West, to be members of the West, but that they have come to enjoy the benefits of the West. The open society is an open market, a combined consumers’ paradise and equal opportunity commission open to the world, including those same tens of millions of Muslims whom the West out of its belief in openness admitted within its borders in the first place and who now threaten the West.
In brief, to set up the West as the opposite of Islam, Ali must define the West out of existence. But she has it all wrong. The opposite of Islam is not the hyper-liberal, suicidal entity known as the open society, which has no cultural particularity, no substantive moral or spiritual truth, and no allegiance to itself, and thus is completely incapable of opposing Islam and is doomed to be conquered by it. The opposite of Islam is the traditional West—Christian, white, and free. And led by men.
A reader writes:
Excuse my possible grammatical and vocabulary mistakes as English is not my first language. My name is Theodora and I live in Romania:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 04, 2006 08:36 AM | Send