Ali’s devastating view of Islam

Writing in a Washington Post online discussion page called “On Faith,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali offers a summary description of the Islamic religion as a system of oppression. She makes it clear that all the authoritative Muslim schools of jurisprudence are in agreement on the duty of waging jihad to subdue and convert unbelievers. She ends by describing the five types of Muslims:

  1. Apostates, meaning ex-Muslims;

  2. Reformers, who want to create a non-jihadist Islam (her example of Irshad Manji);

  3. Those Muslims “who support the gradual perpetuation and domination of Islam throughout the world”;

  4. Hard-line Muslims “who have defined martyrdom as their only goal”; and

  5. Muslims “who make a show of trying to reconcile Islam with modernity,” who “take selective passages from the holy books to make a case for a peaceful Islam, ignoring the many passages inciting violence, such as those verses which command the death of apostates.” In other words (though Ali doesn’t use the word), Muslim moderates.

She concludes:

It is through the first two of these five groups that progress and reform will come. As for the rest, the western world would be wise to recognize the realities of Islam, a religion laid down in writing over a millennium ago with violence and oppression at its heart.

Now let’s think about this. Ex-Muslims cannot speak for Islam because they are no longer Muslims. The invisible number of reformers, who want to create an Islam that never was, and are represented by spiky-haired lesbian Irshad Manji, are irrelevant to any development within Islam. The other three groups, making up virtually all Muslims, are remorseless enemies of the West and of all non-Islamic societies, or are, at best, apologists for Islam and concealers of the true nature of Islam.

What rational conclusion can one draw from Ali’s observations, except that all Muslims (with the exception of the apostates and the reformers), should be excluded from the West? At a bare minimum, why are Ali’s legions of conservative fans not calling for the instant cessation of further Islamic immigration into America?

Indeed, in a discussion about Ali’s article at Dhimmi Watch (a subsidiary of Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch ), in 3,000 words of comments by a host of fierce fans of Ali’s, the word immigration does not appear once.


Note: As a long-time severe critic of Hirsi Ali’s, I want to point out that this is the first article by her I’ve seen in which, instead of focusing on the oppression of women (though she does speak of it eloquently here) and thus sounding more like a feminist than a critics of Islam, or talking about the badness of some generic “theocracy” (by which she means Christianity), or talking about her own life and experiences, she focuses on the doctrines and characteristics of Islam itself, from the perspective of its jihadist agenda toward non-Muslims.

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KPA, who has written for VFR about the history of Christian-Muslim conflict in Ethiopia, writes from Canada:

I would hope that Ali does write more scholarly articles now that she must be getting quite a salary from the AEI for just that job. Although, I would humbly suggest that the article is more of a graduate student level. I still find that her thoughts are not clear on what her vision or goals are.

Firstly, I must mention that of her twelve paragraphs in this column, half of them are dedicated purely to women’s issues in Islam.

This makes me wonder if her real agenda is really feminism, after all. And that she’s preparing her ground by revealing the general nature of Islam, before going into these specifics.

But, more importantly, what I’ve always wondered about Ali’s separation of Islam and Muslim as two different entities.

She has called herself a Muslim, but not of the Islamic faith.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

[C]ontemporary usage of the terms “Islam” and “Muslim” for the faith and its adherents is a modern innovation…Early Muslims distinguished between the Muslim who has “submitted” and does the bare minimum required to be part of the community, and the mu’unum, the believer who gives himself or herself to the faith hearth and soul.

Here’s another interesting quote again from Wikipedia:

Muslims believe that Islam existed long before Muhammad and that the religion has evolved with time.

Also, her sympathetic view of the reformer’s quest such as Manji, despite what she writes about the inalienable synergies of the Kuran and the Sunna, leads me to believe that she still considers there to be a Muslim population that can rewrite the parts that she doesn’t like. So, she in a sense is a reformer.

My concerns are with where her loyalties lie. I get the feeling that they are ultimately with “Muslim” women, which she considers herself a part of, with the intention of changing (or evolving) Islam to fit their needs.

LA replies:

That sounds about right. But in this article she rose from the level of feminist / leftist / possible fifth columnist to the level of Usual Suspect! That’s quite an improvement.

KPA replies:

I’m still not wholly convinced, since she seems to indicate that “Muslim” is a worthy category with religious rather than social connotation.

And that “Muslim Women” are a group to be sanctified. Does this imply, in practical terms—more Muslim women immigration to the West from abusive Muslim countries? Since the only place where Islam can be reformed is in the West?

Spencer may not talk about restrictive immigration, but his language never includes sympathy for any group of Muslims.

I’m just not sure where she’s headed. She definitely “likes” the West, but again, why?

LA replies:

You’ve already hinted at the answer, and I’ve also said it in previous discussions: Since it’s not possible to reform Islam in the Islamic countries, she wants to use the West to create a reformed Islam. She wants to turn the West into a vast laboratory to produce liberated irreligious feminist leftist Muslim women like herself. That’s her interest in the West.

In other words, just as jihadists use the West as a vast “safe house” to carry on jihadist activities they would not be free to do in their native countries, Ali wants to use the west as a vast safe house to create a new Islam.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 03, 2007 06:24 PM | Send

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