What Hirsi Ali wants

KPA writes from Canada:

I’m not sure how much of Hirsi Ali’s media appearances you’re following, but here are more of her views exposed in an interview with Fareed Zakaria on PBS’s Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria.

Of course Zakaria exalts her to the maximum, as though she is goddess incarnate for the salvation of Muslim women.

It is interesting to note that she divides Muslims into “those in Muslim countries, and those in open societies.”

She talks almost exclusively about Muslim women, and lists a whole set of countries—US, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan—establishing her global feminist movement.

Reformation of Islam needs to occur within those Muslim countries (for freedom and equality for these women), but not in the open societies, where those freedoms and equalities already exist. So, Islamic reformation is a political and social movement, according to her argument. And not only that, it is a feminist one, since it is these Muslim women who would bring about these changes.

The most interesting and revealing comment of her whole argument is that she differentiates between Muslims and Islam:

“Islam is a set of beliefs….Muslims are individuals” [“those Muslims born into Islam”—as she describes herself] who can be persuaded to change their minds [their beliefs]. She’s more explicit about this one later on where she says that the Koran is not the word of Allah, and that is what these Islamic Muslims need to be exorcised from.

I am almost tempted to say that she got this from her “enlightened” education which might have included Kierkegaard’s “Practicing Christianity.”

But, her task is that of a political and social reformation, which has nothing to do with religion, and is focused on some global movement of emancipated Muslim women.

Finally, just as I had suspected, she mildly denounces Americans for what she perceives as their interest in Islam as a foreign policy, rather than an immigration issue. I think where she’s going with this one is that Muslims should be just as much a fabric of American life as any one else, assisting the likes of her with doing all the necessary global Islamic reformations, including accepting and accommodating Muslims women (Islamic or not) like herself.

Essentially, though, she is using these open societies to lead this recreation of Islam, as she sees it. Therefore, Muslims like her can live in their recreated Islam under the auspices of an open society, whose sole purpose is to aid her in conducting this world-wide reformation.

LA replies:

I think KPA has figured out Ali very well. Ali has no interest in defending the West from Islam. The West doesn’t exist anyway. The West is just “open societies,” a left-liberal formula connoting the replacement of traditional culture and nationhood by a world-wide open field of radically liberated individuals. The West has no interests of its own. It exists only for the purpose of helping spread the “open society.” With regards to Islam, it does this by being completely open to Muslim immigration, and by helping Muslims such as Ali in the feminization and opening up of the Muslim societies. The Muslim world is unable to “open” itself; it needs the West for this.

KPA replies:

One more thing I forgot to mention, at the very end, Zakaria makes a bold and ignorant analogy between the “massacres” conducted during the Reformation years by Christians, and the Sunni-Shiite blood bath that’s going on in Iraq (and has a long historical precedence to it.) I wonder where these people get their historical information.

Also, Ali’s final comment compares her “survival” with that of Holocaust survivors, and she ends with a voice of a little girl, appealing to her weak femininity instead of this bravado of feminism that is at the back of all her arguments.

That is the danger of these women.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 01, 2007 08:57 AM | Send

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