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.

- end of initial entry -

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:

Regarding Hirsi Ali’s statements, as well as the public position of other apostates of Islam, not mentioning the so-called “moderate” Muslims, the problem is that even living in the West they don’t have any sense of the historical, cultural and spiritual tradition of the West. All they have learnt is the current post-modern egalitarian Newspeak, with the usual blabbering about the open society, secularism, unlimited rights, the cult of the individual and the minorities. This is their understanding of “The West” and “freedom.” Hirsi Ali once declared that her goal is to bring the “values of the Enlightenment” in Islam, thus reforming Mohammedanism the way Christianity was transformed by the free-thinkers of the Enlightenment. What a blindness, typical of many leftist intellectuals! The Enlightenment was a singularly European phenomenon and, as well as the Renaissance, was possible precisely because it continued the tradition of thinking characteristic to the European Man, “Homo Europaeus.” This tradition of thinking derives from the Greek and Latin philosophy and rhetoric, as well as from the Christian theology. In any other civilization, those values are strange and foreign forms and can be only superficially imported—and this for the best case. Mohammedanism is hopeless in this respect.

Yet as blind as Hirsi Ali and her like might be, they can spread their falsities or wishful thinking only encouraged by the current environment of the West. Recently, Hirsi Ali’s adoptive country, Holland, made the courageous step to test the aspiring immigrants regarding their compatibility with the Dutch values and way of life. A part of the test consisted of challenging the asylum seekers with images of homosexuals kissing each other. Courage indeed! Besides the hilarious idea that the Muslims who are really decided to take advantage of the Dutch benefits would be horrified by a gay kiss—and the possibility that some practicing Christians who fled from the Islamic countries where they are really persecuted to be ones indeed appalled by the image—the test leaves on a secondary plan the Dutch language, history, culture and legislation. Thus the immigrants know since their first step on a foreign soil that they’ve entered a no man’s land, without a past and a tradition, without rules and its own characteristics, only a territory of freedom and open society, where, as Hirsi Ali believes, everything equals everything, everything is permitted and everything goes. Is it a wonder why in such a destructive and oblivious context Hirsi Ali and her political and intellectuals friends are admired and listened to, even perceived as braves who defy the system? In the land of the blind the one-eyed is king. Or queen.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 04, 2006 08:36 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):