Hirsi Ali earthquake

(Note: Be sure to see Maureen C.’s comments below.)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has completely changed her tune on Islam. In an interview with Reason magazine, the things I’ve always criticized her (and other wishy wishy Islam critics) for not saying, she’s suddenly saying, and all at once, and more. Well, she doesn’t mention immigration, but she does say that Islam must be resisted “in all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.” She says that Islam must be defeated.

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.

This is the person who called for the outlawing of political parties in Europe for taking the anti-Islamic position she’s taking now. This is the person who just a couple of months ago said that the promotion of sharia in the West is fine by her, so long as it’s done peacefully. Now she says that Islam must be resisted in all forms. Now she says that all Muslim schools in the U.S. should be shut down. (Even I have never said that.) Now she says that the granting of religious freedom to Islam is a mistake, an artifact of the Enlightenment period when no one imagined Islam being in America, and that the constitutional freedoms for Islam will end.

This is the person who used to denounce all religion (namely Christianity) as theocracy and just a year ago compared Catholicism to Nazism. Now she speaks somewhat positively of Catholicism and of Western religion generally.

Also, she says right out that Daniel Pipes is wrong when he says that moderate Islam is the solution. She says there is no moderate Islam.

The leading Islam critics have always tiptoed around Pipes, though they privately disagreed strongly with his “moderate Islam is the answer” nonsense. For a member of that group to state openly that Pipes is wrong is unprecedented.

Something has happened to Ali, something has broken open inside her (or come together inside her).

Maybe it’s the fact that she has to leave the U.S., and the reality of being unfree for the rest of her life, of not being able to live where she wants, of living under the fear of Islam for the rest of her life, has really hit her.

Or maybe it’s the fact that, leaving America, she doesn’t have to conform herself to the neocons any more.

Here is Rod Dreher summarizing and excerpting the Reason interview, which is not online yet.

- - -

When the interviewer asked her if she thought Islam could bring about positive social change in the same way that religious Protestants helped end US slavery, and Catholicism helped end communism in Poland, she responded sharply:

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’?

She doesn’t really answer, except to say that Islam must be resisted at every opportunity, “in all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.” She said that she believes we are headed to that point “because the West has been in denial for a long time.” We didn’t deal with the problem when it was easier, and now it’s much worse:

Hirsi Ali: …There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive, who don’t all follow the rules of Islam, but there’s really only one Islam, defined as submission to the will of God. There’s nothing moderate about it.

Reason: So when even a hard-line critic of Islam such as Daniel Pipes says, “Radical Islam is the problem, but moderate Islam is the solution,” he’s wrong?

Hirsi Ali: He’s wrong. Sorry about that.

Later in the interview, the Reason interviewer points out that she’s in favor of civil liberties, but would appear to deny them fully to Muslims in the West. She responds by saying that to save civil liberties, you have to restrict them on those who would take them away from everyone. She even goes so far as to say that all Muslims schools should be closed down in the US. She says that the Western constitutions that allow freedom of religion are products of the Enlightenment, and were written at a time when no one could have conceived of the jihadi threat. She says passing constitutional restrictions on Muslims is going to happen because the problem of Islamic extremism is not going to go away, and in fact is going to get worse—though sensibly, she acknowledges at length that there are some pretty strong reasons why America doesn’t have the same problem as Europe (e.g., Muslim immigrants to America want to assimilate, there’s not a welfare system for them to grow dependent on, white guilt is different in the US, etc.).

She concludes that the West’s arrogance is its own worst enemy “because in the West there’s this notion that we are invincible and that everyone will modernize anyway.” And, she says, this mistaken notion that if we “indulge and appease and condone,” everything will work out in the end.

“The problem is not going to go away. Confront it, or it’s only going to get bigger.”

end of Dreher excerpt

- end of initial entry -

Brandon F. writes:

“Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?”

Hilarious. What a polite journalist.

Mark P. writes:

You wrote something very disturbing:

“Or maybe it’s the fact that, leaving America, she doesn’t have to conform herself to the neocons any more.”

Could it be possible that “moderate” Muslims are actually engineered by neocons? Could it be that Muslims like Ali actually do know the score but are silenced into a Daniel Pipes-like conformity?

LA replies:

That really is a disturbing thought.

James N. writes:

I don’t think “moderate Muslims” are engineered by neocons. But globalizers of all stripes greatly overvalue the thin crust of higher- IQ, Westernized individuals who exist, not just in the Islamic world, but in every other (non)developing country on earth.

We have constantly been misled by our belief that these societies can be turned into facsimiles of ours by the process of making more and more of their denizens like the few who make it to Harvard, or Oxford. But of course, this is impossible. What is the median for us is the 99%ile for them. Most of their bovine or lupine peasants could not, in ten generations, become even slightly Westernized.

It’s actually NOT a small world, after all.

Karen in England writes:

I wonder what provoked this about turn in her expressed views. But she is right. Islam itself has to be defeated and not this imaginary “radical Islam”. I think this should be sent to Melanie Phillips for her comments.

Ali hasn’t mentioned the immigration disaster, though and crushing Islam without deporting Muslims would not be sufficient to eliminate the threat they pose.

Maureen C. writes:

You wrote: “Ali’s main emphasis has not been on protecting the West from Islamic extremism, but on using the West as a laboratory in which to promote feminism among Muslim women.”

Hirsi Ali’s agenda in seeking more freedom for Islamic women is larger than it seems. Treating women as human beings thrusts a knife in heart of the inequities scripturally endorsed in the Koran. In seeking more freedom for women, she challenges the Koran’s role for women as chattel—on a par with fields to be plowed or horses to be acquired. If the Koran can be discredited in this area, it can be discredited in its justification of the subjugation and enslavement of all infidels as well as the jihad it endorses to ensure that slavery. When women are freed, Islam can’t remain what it is anymore—a desert code of predator ethics.

Sura: “Your wives are like fields to be ploughed by you, so approach your fields when and how you will ” Surah 2:223 Sura 3:14: “Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons, heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses…”

LA replies:

Maureen, You’re making a strong point, but go to VFR now and see what Ali is saying.

Maureen writes back:

Holy Moly, Lord be praised. She has seen the “whole” light—apparently the cruel plight of women under Islam was her wake-up call—and she has transformed her personal suffering into a much larger perspective on Islam’s threat to all of Western civilization. Hallelujah.

Jeff in England writes:

This shows why we must not give up on people like Hirsi Ali or Melanie or several other varieties of Suspect. They are not yet saying what needs to be said about Islam (immigration restriction), but they are not that far from more developed views either. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be criticised and you have done that eloquently (and I’ve done some myself) but we must never forget they are allies, and, in Hirsi’s case, at the risk of her life.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 01, 2007 08:47 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):