October 11, 2007
Ayaan Hirsi Ali proves that even stupidity is dangerous
Today I was mulling over how the average person might view Ayaan Hirsi Ali based on the image she has cultivated for herself. A commenter on Brian Whitaker's blog captured this perception quite well:
Below is a segment from an colunm written a couple of days ago by Sam Harris & Salman Rushdie. It from the LA Times.
"Hirsi Ali was immediately forced into hiding and moved from safe house to safe house, sometimes more than once a day, for months. Eventually, her security concerns drove her from the Netherlands altogether. She returned to the U.S., and the Dutch government has been paying for her protection here -- that is, until it suddenly announced last week that it would no longer protect her outside the Netherlands, thereby advertising her vulnerability to the world.
Hirsi Ali may be the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust. As such, she is a unique and indispensable witness to both the strength and weakness of the West: to the splendor of open society and to the boundless energy of its antagonists. She knows the challenges we face in our struggle to contain the misogyny and religious fanaticism of the Muslim world, and she lives with the consequences of our failure each day. There is no one in a better position to remind us that tolerance of intolerance is cowardice."
Try telling Ayaan Hirsi Ali that Islam Is not fascism.
There are two problems here. One is that (ill-informed) people apply the actions of a few murderous whackjobs to an entire religion. The second is that Ayaan Hirsi Ali actively encourages this misconception by making grossly uneducated assertions about Islamic tenets/beliefs, which are then lapped up by people who don't know any better.
Matthew, obviously intending to make my blood boil so I'd finish the Infidel review, alerted me to a recent Reason interview with Hirsi Ali (comments are here). It's full of bizarre, often hilarious, statements about her political views (apparently she's a "classical liberal" like our dear Lounsbury), the need to "crush" Islam and the importance of free expression (except where Muslims are concerned). Some choice tidbits:
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”?
Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.
Not that I'm predicting Muslim genocide here, but anyone who has read case studies on Rwanda, Nazi Germany, etc will realize that one of the precursors to genocide is the ramping up of "existential conflict" rhetoric suggesting that annihilation of another group is the only way to save ourselves. Reason observes that Hirsi Ali is advocating a position that even Daniel Pipes won't touch:
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.
Moving on, the interviewer probes Ayaan's opinions on free speech and civil liberties:
Hirsi Ali: We can make fun of George Bush. He’s our president. We elected him. And the queen of England, they can make fun of her within Britain and so on. But on an international level, this has gone too far. You know, the Russians, they don’t burn American flags. The Chinese don’t burn American flags. Have you noticed that? They don’t defile the symbols of other civilizations. The Japanese don’t do it. That never happens.
Reason: We should be able to piss on a copy of the Koran or lampoon Muhammad, but they shouldn’t be able to burn the queen in effigy. That’s not a double standard?
Hirsi Ali: No, that’s not what I’m saying. In Iran a nongovernmental organization has collected money, up to 150,000 British pounds, to kill Salman Rushdie. That’s a criminal act, but we are silent about that.
Reason: We are?
Hirsi Ali: Yes. What happened? Have you seen any political response to it?
Reason: The fatwa against Rushdie has been the subject of repeated official anger and protests since 1989.
Hirsi Ali: I don’t know
Banning freedom of speech...to save freedom of speech! Brilliant!
She also thinks that the Jewish and Christian concepts of God are much better than the Islamic version:
[Hirsi Ali:] The concept of God in Jewish orthodoxy is one where you’re having constant quarrels with God. ... Jews should be proselytizing about a God that you can quarrel with. Catholics should be proselytizing about a God who is love, who represents a hereafter where there’s no hell, who wants you to lead a life where you can confess your sins and feel much better afterwards. Those are lovely concepts of God. They can’t compare to the fire-breathing Allah who inspires jihadism and totalitarianism.
Right, because when my dear old grannie whispers bismi-llahi ar-rahmani ar-rahimi to herself, she is in fact wishing death upon all those dirty infidel crusaders. That line, which opens almost every sura in the Quran, means "Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful" not "Allah, the Most Badass, the Biggest Asskicker."
Sure, there are radical Muslims whose religious views condone violence. However, my grandmother and over a billion other Muslims don't spend their days plotting the downfall of Christians and Jews. Also, I think at one point the Pope was okay with Christians sacking infidel cities (like Greek Orthodox Constantinople, haha). But history and context have nothing to do with human conceptions of God, do they?
Eteraz actually has a pretty good article debunking the idea of a Muslim hive-mind, have a look at it once you've finished laughing at the Reason interview.
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Madamoiselle Magan / Ali has some serious issues.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at October 11, 2007 02:58 PM
Indeed, but her facile reasoning and hopelessly impoverished grasp of politics/history/Abrahamic religion is overlooked because hating Islam is fashionable. Recall Matthew's account of her National Press Club speech.
A commenter at Reason compared her to Ann Coulter.
Posted by: eerie at October 11, 2007 03:24 PM
That might actually be a good article/interview to pass around and show people just how nutty she is. It's amazing how much sympathy your average middlebrow Joe Liberal still has for her.
One point I have trouble grasping is why AHA and her neocon knights believe she needs round the clock protection in America or else she (and the enlightenment with her) is sure to die, and for how long they think she's going to need it. I remember meeting Taslima Nasreen some years ago, she certainly had death threats out against her but didn't walk around with bodyguards, and ditto AHA's fellow refusenik Irshad Manji (in fact, in this interview, Manji makes a point of refusing bodyguards: http://www.hour.ca/columns/3dollarbill.aspx?iIDArticle=13183)
Note that Manji's taking up a position at NYU soon. I guess she wants a piece of the action too.
Posted by: SP at October 11, 2007 03:50 PM
That line, which opens almost every sura in the Quran, means "Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful" not "Allah, the Most Badass, the Biggest Asskicker."
Ahh yes, the 101 Names of God.
Posted by: Anonymous at October 11, 2007 09:03 PM
I like the Reason interview, especially where the first commenter out of the box describes her as a bit unhinged. I like it more because she says clearly what I've always imputed, that she and certain others are really united in the beilef that Muslims simply need killing and brutalization and repression.
AHA is a secular fascist. Of course, there is also a fair share of people who gush "oh she gets death threats!" as if that makes her less of a fool or a fascist.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 11, 2007 10:49 PM
Speaking of a "the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust", I'm aware of at least one case of a French (Arab) businessman having found political asylum from France in the USA a few years ago (late 90s if memory serves). Nothing really political, it was more of a personal vendetta from an attorney general who was dating the guy's ex-wife and was persecuting him. It made quite some noise at the time.
If anyone is interested in how extreme this women is please read her interview with Reason Magazine.
I can sympathize with her story, but she is so filled hate and anger at Islam and Muslims that she is incapable of being reasonable, measured or practical. She wants to amend the Constitution of the United States to unaccomodate Muslims.
Posted by: bikhair at October 12, 2007 01:10 AM
Ahh, Reason comment threads on Islam. The pain.
Posted by: Tom Scudder at October 12, 2007 01:20 AM
The Westerners who present AHA as a brave freedom fighter have no excuse, since there is enough material around for anybody who wants serious knowledge about Islam in any language. So they know, and she knows, that all this is all about hating people, and making money.
Posted by: sanaa at October 12, 2007 01:56 AM
Shaheen - There's also Ali Boureqat (and possibly one or two other Boureqat brothers), a French citizen from Morocco, who fled from France to the US. The story seems fishy in some ways, but my best guess is that he was involved in one of the Moroccan coup attempts in the 70s (he denies it). Anyway he was "disappeared" in Tazmamart prison for nearly two decades under rather unpleasant conditions, until released in 1991 (after US pressure for a cleaner human rights record on king Hasan*). He was then exiled to France, but after he kept campaigning about Tazmamart, democracy & drugs smuggling, etc, harassment continued, and (he says) French services joined in. So in the mid-90s, he was granted asylum in the US from persecution in France, and AFAIK still remains there. I had the pleasure to meet him once, for an interview, and he then claimed that French secret services had been threatening him and breaking into his apartment etc etc, and that he was still taking heat in the US, but I don't know what is true or not in that case. He seemed rather paranoid at that stage, but who can blame him.
*) Ahh, the nostalgia ... Bush SR. Judging from their politics, I can't see how those two are even related. Barbara must have been screwing the neocon pool guy or something.
Posted by: alle at October 12, 2007 05:25 AM
I think the most important part of the Reason interview was when AHA answers "I don't know." because that pretty much sums her up.
She has no clue. She really doesn't know. Except for her traditionalist upbringing in Somalia & Kenya, she's never been to an Arab or Muslim country, EXCEPT for a visit to Mecca where - why doesn't anyone ever bring this up? - she had a Malcom X moment of sense of community & lack of prejudice.
From her "interpretation" of what Islam is all about, she seems to never have done any readings, let alone studies, of Islamic philosophy & theology, of Muslim intellectual production, or Sufism.
She "agree[s] with John Bolton that talking to Iran is a sheer waste of time." -- Based on WHAT? Her hatred of Islam as a religion???
So let the AEI give her protection ...
Posted by: MSK at October 12, 2007 09:33 AM
Until recently, Pierre Falcone, international arms dealer and fugitive from French justice, lived in some style in Phoenix, AZ with his Brazilian beauty-queen wife. He attempted to establish political influence, donating to Republican causes and in some versions visiting the Bush ranch.
Earlier this year, his wife was deported from the US after being busted employing illegal immigrants. They are now reunited in Beijing.
Posted by: Alex at October 12, 2007 10:11 AM
MSK, you're 100% right. You'd think someone with a polisci degree might have some facility with critical thinking, but she has none. She's very tribal in outlook (ironically) and utterly stupid.
Even Irshad Manji has grown intellectually since The Trouble With Islam.
Posted by: eerie at October 12, 2007 11:17 AM
She thinks there is no hell in Catholicism? Oh my, she has not heard of Dante's Inferno then. It surprises me that someone who hates her religion enough to smear it in public (I did not realize before that she did not mean just radical Islam) knows so little about other religions she praised in comparison.
Most Christians, apart from the more liberal congregations, do not share the universalist concept of salvation.
Posted by: Michel S. at October 12, 2007 01:05 PM
Michel, it gets even better. From the Reason interview:
Hirsi Ali: It’s not about respect. It’s about power, and Islam is a political movement.
Reason: Uniquely so?
Hirsi Ali: Well, it hasn’t been tamed like Christianity. See, the Christian powers have accepted the separation of the worldly and the divine. We don’t interfere with their religion, and they don’t interfere with the state. That hasn’t happened in Islam.
Dumber than a bucket of hair, she is.
Posted by: eerie at October 12, 2007 01:32 PM
I must say I find some of the quote clipping in the post somewhat disengenuous and a bit odd considering the interview is already provocative. In the interview, when she says "I don't know" she appears to be saying it in the "I don't know, what about this?" mode:
Hirsi Ali: I don’t know. The British sailors who were kidnapped this year—what happened? Nothing happened. The West keeps giving the impression that it’s OK, so the extremists will get away with it. Saudi Arabia is an economic partner, a partner in defense. On the other hand, they—Saudi Arabia, wealthy Saudi people—spread Islam. They have a sword on their flag. That’s the double standard.
The needless omission makes her look even stupider.
She also says "Where I come from, in Islam, the only concept of God is you submit to Him and you obey His commands, no quarreling allowed. Quarreling or even asking questions means you raise yourself to the same level as Him, and in Islam that’s the worst sin you can commit," before she goes on to say that Muslim god is the flaming vagina in the Lord of the Rings. The latter statement of course is the easier one to ridicule. But then again to me it's her "the other religions are inherently better" line of argument that's more irritating (mostly because she doesn't bother countering the default knee-jerk objection).
so, by the way, what would be your grandmother's attitude towards Jews? Is it the "Love the bagels, hate the accent" kind of thing...
Posted by: aegean at October 12, 2007 02:13 PM
I didn't mean it to be disengenuous, but the quote blocks were already getting quite long. Essentially what I wanted to demonstrate was her inability to argue a position coherently or consistently.
so, by the way, what would be your grandmother's attitude towards Jews? Is it the "Love the bagels, hate the accent" kind of thing...
She has no opinion, really. Most people in my family cluck their tongues over how messy the IP conflict is, but there is no hatred of Jews, or even Israel for that matter. Same with Chechnya, Afghanistan, etc. There were no tirades against evil Zionist conspiracies while I was growing up, contrary to what cows like Irshad and AHA claim.
I don't automatically root for one side of a nationalist conflict just because they have the same religious background as me.
Posted by: eerie at October 12, 2007 05:30 PM
I missed the part about there being no hell in Catholicism on the first read.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 12, 2007 11:16 PM
her facile reasoning and hopelessly impoverished grasp of politics...
You'd think someone with a polisci degree might have some facility with critical thinking...
note to e,
Critical thinking is like masturbation: you do it by yourself, for yourself. It doesn't impress anyone else.
Political science, on the other hand, is about using language in a manipulative way so that our opinions are channeled and filtered through the little metaphors and cartoonish images floating about in culture-space. One of these filters is, "Muslims are scary as f*ck, kill enthusiastically, and hate women."
Her popularity, as it is, is due to the way she has "managed" her biography to fit what many people already believed about Islam (before they even heard of Ayaan).
People forget details and facts (and most don't pay attention to them in the first place), but not the frames that they fit in. Her strength is not in actually knowing anything, or in being right about anything, or even in being persecuted, it is in her ability to tickle the biases of her audience.
Posted by: Yuri Guri at October 13, 2007 09:04 AM
On the "nobody but Muslims burn American flags" front, a map of american flag burnings (via comments at Blood and Treasure).
Posted by: Tom Scudder at October 13, 2007 01:27 PM
Nobody but Muslims burn American flags?
She's on a roll. Must have had a phone call with author Deuteronomy.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 13, 2007 03:37 PM
I don't know why it is that the most sensible things being written about Hirsi Ali are limited to blogs, whether this one or the Post's On Faith blog:
Posted by: SP at October 14, 2007 06:12 AM
Indeed, that Post blog post makes excellent sense.
I do have a quibble about the title of this thread, though. What do you mean "even" stupidity can be dangerous? Surely it is the most dangerous thing there is?
Posted by: Antiquated Tory at October 14, 2007 01:54 PM
BTW, it occurs to me that we need some sort of category/tag for the AHA/Wafa Sultan/Irshad Manji posts, since they do generally follow a theme.
Posted by: Tom Scudder at October 15, 2007 05:16 PM
True, I usually tag them inconsistently under "gender". Perhaps I should make a roundup post like I did for the Danish cartoons controversy.
As for "even" stupidity being dangerous...I had once entertained the idea that malice caused more damage in this world than stupidity.
Posted by: eerie at October 15, 2007 06:00 PM
'Man is the enemy of what he is ignorant of'
Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib
'Aqoul seems to be a forum where the grey areas of the West and Islam should be clarified and re-examined, and that those who would explain Islam to the West - and by virtue of their names, backgrounds, and lifestories, assume authority far beyond their competence - are challenged by those most able to do so - that would seem to be the raison d'etre for this forum. Speaking of which, aren't we supposed to be reading book reviews?
Posted by: dawud at October 15, 2007 06:35 PM
"One point I have trouble grasping is why AHA and her neocon knights believe she needs round the clock protection in America or else she (and the enlightenment with her) is sure to die, and for how long they think she's going to need it. "
Because her colleague Theo van Gogh was actually murdered, and the murderer left her a note saying she was next. Whether you agree with her or not, surely this is something for her to worry about.
Posted by: yo at October 16, 2007 09:19 AM
I'm well aware that her colleague was murdered and she was threatened. Others have suffered similar death threats, and moved to other countries because of them. But what is the reasoning for why this is an ongoing threat for her in the US, and how open-ended is it likely to be?
I know a few people - journalists - who had to leave Iraq because of death threats against them. They aren't as high profile as Hirsi Ali, of course, but their employers did have to make educated guesses about their security and stopped providing them guards once they were out of the country. Presumably US law enforcement and intelligence would have a sense of real threats to Hirsi Ali in America and be in a position to judge. And since Hirsi Ali left, by her own admission, for better opportunities in America and has got a green card, shouldn't it be up to the American authorities, and not the Dutch taxpayers, to address her security needs? Is she going to expect lifelong security guard protection no matter what, unlike people who have had similar threats against them like Taslima Nasreen?
Admittedly I'm sceptical about the claims of someone so prone to exaggeration and intellectual dishonesty. I'd want to see a damn good case for her security needs.
Posted by: SP at October 16, 2007 11:44 AM
Ech. Give her the Dutch security*, just don't give her a job or let her publish books -- that way, everybody's safer. Couldn't the FBI put her in a witness protection program or something?
As for blog tags, may I suggest "moderate muslims"? And generally, more of it. Popping the inflated egos of these hypocrites is where `Aqoul truly excels.
*) Somewhere, that must be slang for condom.
Posted by: alle at October 16, 2007 01:49 PM
I think she is a little hysterical and overlooking infractions that are committed in the west as well as in the east. However, her concerns are real, and affect a non-negligible fraction of muslims.
To me, a moderate islam worth retaining would be more direct in distancing itself from radicals. A religion worth having would be one which would voluntarily fold, rather than allow a few radicals to hijack its name to murder civilians. (no such religion exists). How can 25% of the british muslim population condone attacks on their own nation? Vile racism and maltreatment on the part of the anglos is not sufficient.
The same comments apply to all religions--or even non-religious ideologies.
And why does someone have to be a "neo-con" to oppose radical islam?
Posted by: phil at October 16, 2007 08:27 PM
To me, a moderate islam worth retaining would be more direct in distancing itself from radicals.
Eteraz wrote an article about this very issue, you should read it.
If "A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing" had a poster child AHA's smile would be the photogenic centerpiece.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 17, 2007 09:58 AM
Eteraz wrote an article about this very issue, you should read it.
I understand there is also a pretty good book review of Infidel coming up that may address this.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 17, 2007 10:02 AM
Phil - AHA does not oppose radical Islam. She opposes Islam as a religion and prescribes that it be "crushed." There is something of a difference.
Your quest for a totally nonviolent ideology has no takers, by the way. That includes saintly Jains and people who were against African slavery. I assume you are a nihilist.
Posted by: tequila at October 17, 2007 12:34 PM
And why does someone have to be a "neo-con" to oppose radical islam?
Insofar as radical Islam has a meaning, like the bin-Laden types, etc., most people on earth oppose it and indeed most aren't neocons.
I believe the reference above to neocon supporters of Ayaan Hirsi Ali was to specific identifiable organized supporters of hers (which is not the same as "opponents of radical Islam" (insofar as that phrase has any meaning)) which include her employer, the AEI, which is a neoconservative operation for the most part.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 17, 2007 02:35 PM
I predicted that AHA was going to show her limitations. Fopr her there is no going back and she will be even dumber in the next interview.
Read here my analysis of the AHA phenomenon.
Posted by: Sophia at October 17, 2007 03:27 PM
As for Western Europeans having been granted asylum in the US of A, apart from the French-Algerian Ali Bourequat there was another Frenchman - an ethnic one this one - whose name I've forgotten and who had been involved in former French Interior minister Charles Pasqua's fishy drugs dealings in the 60's and 70's (the French connection IRL).
The details of the ex-Ali (Ali is the false surname she assumed when seeking asylum in the Netherlands - tens of thousands of refugees have been expelled for lesser lies) story are damning, for her and especially for the Dutch politicos who fell over themselves in acclaiming her. Lies, double-standards, ignorance and an acute sense of publicity are her companions. Her opinions are totally uninteresting, what is interesting is her reception by mainstream media and politicians.
Posted by: Ibn Kafka at October 21, 2007 09:01 PM
If you are going to be talking about West Europeans getting asylum in the US of A, you can't be overlookin' me old tribe.
Asylum, hey, why not:
A Federal immigration judge in Manhattan yesterday rejected the Government's effort to deport a former Irish Republican Army bomber who had served 12 years in prison, saying that his 1975 attack on a police barracks in Northern Ireland was not a terrorist act. . . In addition to finding that Mr. Pearson could not be deported as a terrorist, Judge Williams granted him permission to remain in the United States under two provisions of Federal immigration law. First, Mr. Pearson married a United States citizen, and his daughter is a citizen. And second, the judge ruled that Mr. Pearson has a legitimate claim for asylum because of fears of retaliation by Loyalist paramilitary groups if he returned to Ireland. . . .
Asylum, don't be daft, try citizenship for this boyo:
United States Representative William J. Pascrell, a Democrat who has been pressing the Clinton Administration to grant citizenship to Mr. Gaynor, who lives in his district, said he did not consider Mr. Gaynor's crime -- serving as a lookout in the murder of the British police officer in 1973 -- an act of terrorism. . . ."That's a chapter of Noel's life that's behind him, and I'm sure whatever he did, he did for a good reason.''
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 22, 2007 01:00 AM
Well, maybe that's one thing that has changed for the better since 9/11...
Posted by: Antiquated Tory at October 22, 2007 10:05 AM
Sophia, no offence, but I couldn't fucking tell what the bloody hell you were on about in that post .
As for the Manhattan judge.... well Freedom Fighters. I guess since he wasn't in London etc. when things went boom, it was all romantic and the like. Not terrorism at all.
Oddly, that's how many an internet "jihadi" reacts....
Posted by: The Lounsbury at October 22, 2007 12:05 PM
Slightly off-topic, but apropos of the Wafa Sultan link in the sidebar: the immigration story doesn't strike me as in the least unlikely, though it's all single-sourced (and single anonymous sourced at that). The bit that seems easiest to check is this paragraph:
As to the claim that her professor (thought to be Yusef Al-Yusef) was gunned down before her eyes in a faculty classroom at the University of Aleppo, Halabi said the incident never took place. "There was a professor who was killed around 1979, that is true, but it was off-campus and Sultan was not even around when it happened," he added.
Anyone have access to a good news/newspaper archive going back to the late 70s?
Posted by: Tom Scudder at October 22, 2007 12:15 PM
Ya she does sound a little nutty...
ok... i'm ofcourse not with murdering anyone. But i have to agree with her on one point: Today, there is no moderate Islam. Because it wouldn't be Islam. Just like there wasn't a moderate Christian church in the dark ages. If there was no split between Catholics & Protestants then the church would still be burning wishes.
I'm talking about the authority of Islam today, not the people. Moderate Muslims are just Muslims who don't practice Islam... that's all. What good does that do?
unfortunately, u can't fight extremism with moderation. That never works. You can fight it with education... by that i mean something OTHER then the Qura'n. Almost 60% of the 1.5 billion everyone keeps referring to are illiterate! So the ideal thing to do, is to educate them all, but that's in no ones interest... it takes too long, and is too expensive, and the Muslim world ITSELF doesn't give a crap... It is easier to hand a kid a bomb and tell him to go blow himself up, then to put him thru college.
So, to counter act to that, you need to have people that say: DO NOT teach religion... Why is that so bad?
You can't blame someone for saying: Stop the spread of a religion which is, in its current form, a recipe for disaster when it falls in the WRONG hands (or the uneducated hands)
The Islam all Muslims love to refer to (including myself) is the golden age of Islam, where there were BRAINS like chemists & doctors & philosophers that just HAPPEN to be Muslim. A time where there was no such thing as a Muslim "Expert" (like the sheikhs we have today). There were people that WENT TO WORK and BUILT things and were advanced in science & art...etc........
This doesn't exist today. Therefore, I'm NOT a Muslim. (I don't think i would have been a Muslim even back then... but that's another story)
So, Islam, like Christianity and all of the man made religions, have failed.
Therefore, we don't NEED it.
You don't need a religion to be GOOD.
Stop giving power to religious leader to do ANYTHING... cause it's a waist of everyone's time & is a magnet for corruption. Stop using, issuing & reissuing religious laws, cause no one can argue them or reform them... since they allegdedly came from God. Which means people like AHA will be KILLED if they voice their opinion. She wants to kill them all before they kill her. She is as extreme as they are.
Christians were able to get out of the control of fantasizm by separating Church & state, and coming up with a sect other then Catholicism (for those who HAD to have something to pray to)
Muslims need to do the same... we don't have to invent the wheel... just look at history.
Posted by: leaflesseve at October 23, 2007 06:58 AM
If there was no split between Catholics & Protestants then the church would still be burning wishes [sic].
Really no point in carrying the critique further, when you can't even get your first example right.
Posted by: Tom Scudder at October 23, 2007 10:57 AM
What are you talking about, the Salem witch trials occurred in the 12th century, at the hands of Catholic cardinals.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 23, 2007 02:41 PM
the Spanish inquisition, you mean? Sorry, I'm being inane, but being brought up Protestant means I'm well aware of the faults of the Roman Catholic Church - 'Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!'
Burning Cathars, Monophysites, old ladies with funny recipes for abortificients... that might have worked in that sentence, tho.
Not trying to help the troll, as a muslim I'm not interested in helping anti-muslim idiots (especially the kind who want the blessings which a 'Reformation' gave Europe, several hundred years of bloody warfare and a colonial/imperial legacy to boot) - but damn it, a few sentences could be more clearly written. He needs an editor, and I charge by the page.
Posted by: dawud at October 23, 2007 07:33 PM
The troll is an example of what a Jack Chick publication would sound like if he converted to atheism and started transitioning from from anti-Catholicism to anti-Islam.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 23, 2007 09:51 PM
Well, what do you know, a French socialist, Olivier Duhamel, wants Sarkozy to grant Ayaan Hirsi ex-Ali political asylum in France - see http://dinersroom.free.fr/index.php?2007/10/23/685-france-terre-d-asile-pour-les-opprimes&cos=1 ...
Posted by: Ibn Kafka at October 24, 2007 07:22 AM
Posted by: Sophia at October 24, 2007 09:10 AM
Also semi-off-topic: this report on a speech by "the heroic Nonie Darwish" (apparently a Ayaan Hirsi Ali wanna-be) is waay beyond parody. Thrill as our heroine is assaulted by Muslim Wellesly students making mean faces at her! Shudder as the Islamofascist Hamas-trained muhajabat get up to go to the bathroom!
Posted by: Tom Scudder at October 24, 2007 09:41 AM
Wow, I seriously thought that was parody for a few paragraphs.
Posted by: matthew hogan at October 24, 2007 09:53 AM
Tom, this was hilarious:
She is probably right to be. During the Question and Answer period, many of the head-scarved students expressed calculated, injured outrage. “How dare (Hillel) bring this woman to our campus? How dare she insult Islam, tell lies about Islam” etc. “We are free under Islam, how can she deny this?”
Darwish had first been asked to speak about Muslim women who live under Muslim religious law. Then, at the last minute, Hillel had asked her to talk about something, anything else—about Israel, not about Islam. Apparently, the female Muslim chaplain on campus had warned the Hillel students not to allow Darwish to “say anything bad about Islam.”
One must not expose Islam’s long record of gender and religious apartheid and if one does, one is treated as a traitor and a liar and silenced in violent ways.
err, violent ways - they apparently asked them not to say anything offensive, and that's violent? They got up, out of their seats, in a 'purposively aggressive' manner?
And that muslim women protest that she's describing Arab and muslim attitudes towards women as being alien from their own experiences, and insultingly broad-brushing Islam - that's being aggressive and hurtful?
And then she has the f***ing audacity to suggest that the female imam must be getting paid by the WAHHABI SAUDI MISOGYNIST ANTI-SEMITES (I'm not a fan of them, but there's nothing to support her allegation here), while she herself is coming on behalf of (and presumably with the financial support of) Hillel and David Horowitz's "Freedom Center" - hello? credibility?
All the same, this is wasting breath on useless people - if it wasn't for the fact that they pulled something just like this last year at our university (U of T), and the MSA then reached out to the Hillel/Jewish student groups here, saying that breeding hatred of any sort was not part of academic debate and did nothing to advance freedom, or indeed deter tyrants or oppressors, anywhere.
Posted by: dawud at October 24, 2007 12:25 PM
Nonie Darwish is one of the "experts" (ha!) retained by The Israel Project to enlighten the dark antisemitic masses about the "Palestinian culture of hate", as opposed to the Israli culture of mutual love, brotherhood and understanding - see here ( http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.887609/k.B6F3/Sources_by_Topic.htm ):
Palestinian culture of hate
Biography: Nonie Darwish speaks out against the divisive Wahabist ideology that is poisoning the Middle East and US. Raised in the Gaza Strip, Darwish grew up in conditions of intense hatred and anti-Semitic indoctrination. As an adult, she moved to America realized the full impact of indoctrinated hate she experienced and now speaks out against all around the world.
Am I the only one to find it odd that a pro-Israeli lobby group should hire people like Nonie Darwish that go around lecturing on "Muslim women who live under Muslim religious law" - a fascinating subject, no doubt, but scarcely relevant to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute?
Posted by: Ibn Kafka at October 24, 2007 12:49 PM
Nonie Darwish comes across as not terribly smart, rather nutty, and is an evangelical Christian to boot. Totally tapping the anti-Islam gravy train. There was a long interview with her in the NYT or WP a couple of months ago in which she sounded so painfully media-manufactured and fake that one was embarrassed for the interviewer.
Posted by: SP at October 24, 2007 02:35 PM
WTF is up with Jewish causes, any Jewish causes, allying with the particularly narrow-minded sort of Christian fanatic? My grandparents left Russia to get away from people like that, and frankly they were a right nuisance in SW Ohio, too.
Posted by: Antiquated Tory at October 24, 2007 03:08 PM
What kind of name is Nonie?
Posted by: Ali K at October 25, 2007 09:34 AM
I think it's from an English music-hall song.
Posted by: Antiquated Tory at October 25, 2007 09:37 AM
Nonie Darwish is lecturing on the Palestinian culture of death, and headlines her shows with having grown up in Gaza, but is she even Palestinian? After a quick Google-and-books session, it seems she is the daughter of a top Egyptian intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Mustafa Hafiz, who ran fedayeen operations out of Gaza in the mid-50s, and was killed within a couple of years of the first serious skirmishes, in July 1956 by an Israeli letter bomb.
Wouldn't that mean that:
(a) she is Egyptian, not Palestinian? And...
(b) since her father was most likely not sent to Gaza until sometime after Nasser seized power (mid-1952), and if she was born in 1949, it would seem she was only in Gaza between age 3 and 7, and in any case, not after age 7. And...
(c) even if we assume she was an unusally gifted little toddler, she was still one of the golden kids of the Nasserite military elite. How close could she have got to that scary Palestinians death-culture?
So it would seem that she spent a few pre-school years as the daughter of an Egyptian general, living in some fancy officers' villa in a sealed-off Gaza neighbourhood -- and that's the extent of her expertise on Palestinian culture, and the basis of her being brought around America for lecture tours. Well, I guess any odd Ayrab will do.
Posted by: alle at October 25, 2007 07:17 PM
It's still rather a bizarre career arc.
Posted by: Antiquated Tory at October 26, 2007 04:59 AM