SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

New Email Address: 6thColumn@6thcolumnagainstjihad.com.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

You've Just Got to Love This Lady! "Everyone Is Afraid to Criticize Islam"


What a mind this lady has! And what courage, integrity, honesty, justice, and rationality! She ain't hard on the eyes, either.

Of course, we are referring to the inimitable Ayaan Hirsi Ali, someone who ought to be very familiar to all of us these days. If you are new to her, follow the link to Der Spiegel and learn about her.

There is nothing quite like someone putting the cards on the table and saying things like they are. This former muslima does so brilliantly.

Here are some excerpts from an outstanding interview:

SPIEGEL Interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali: 'Everyone Is Afraid to Criticize Islam' - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News, DER SPIEGEL 6/2006 - February 6, 2006

'Everyone Is Afraid to Criticize Islam'

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch politician forced to go into hiding after the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, responds to the Danish cartoon scandal, arguing that if Europe doesn't stand up to extremists, a culture of self-censorship of criticism of Islam that pervades in Holland will spread in Europe. Auf Wiedersehen, free speech.

SPIEGEL: Hirsi Ali, you have called the Prophet Muhammad a tyrant and a pervert. Theo van Gogh, the director of your film "Submission," which is critical of Islam, was murdered by Islamists. You yourself are under police protection. Can you understand how the Danish cartoonists feel at this point?

Hirsi Ali: They probably feel numb. On the one hand, a voice in their heads is encouraging them not to sell out their freedom of speech. At the same time, they're experiencing the shocking sensation of what it's like to lose your own personal freedom. One mustn't forget that they're part of the postwar generation, and that all they've experienced is peace and prosperity. And now they suddenly have to fight for their own human rights once again.

SPIEGEL: Why have the protests escalated to such an extent?

Hirsi Ali: There is no freedom of speech in those Arab countries where the demonstrations and public outrage are being staged. The reason many people flee to Europe from these places is precisely because they have criticized religion, the political establishment and society. Totalitarian Islamic regimes are in a deep crisis. Globalization means that they're exposed to considerable change, and they also fear the reformist forces developing among émigrés in the West. They'll use threatening gestures against the West, and the success they achieve with their threats, to intimidate these people.


SPIEGEL: Was apologizing for the cartoons the wrong thing to do?

Hirsi Ali: Once again, the West pursued the principle of turning first one cheek, then the other. In fact, it's already a tradition. In 1980, privately owned British broadcaster ITV aired a documentary about the stoning of a Saudi Arabian princess who had allegedly committed adultery. The government in Riyadh intervened and the British government issued an apology. We saw the same kowtowing response in 1987 when (Dutch comedian) Rudi Carrell derided (Iranian revolutionary leader) Ayatollah Khomeini in a comedy skit (that was aired on German television). In 2000, a play about the youngest wife of the Prophet Mohammed, titled "Aisha," was cancelled before it ever opened in Rotterdam. Then there was the van Gogh murder and now the cartoons. We are constantly apologizing, and we don't notice how much abuse we're taking. Meanwhile, the other side doesn't give an inch.

SPIEGEL: What should the appropriate European response look like?

Hirsi Ali: There should be solidarity. The cartoons should be displayed everywhere. After all, the Arabs can't boycott goods from every country. They're far too dependent on imports. And Scandinavian companies should be compensated for their losses. Freedom of speech should at least be worth that much to us.

SPIEGEL: But Muslims, like any religious community, should also be able to protect themselves against slander and insult.

Hirsi Ali: That's exactly the reflex I was just talking about: offering the other cheek. Not a day passes, in Europe and elsewhere, when radical imams aren't preaching hatred in their mosques. They call Jews and Christians inferior, and we say they're just exercising their freedom of speech. When will the Europeans realize that the Islamists don't allow their critics the same right? After the West prostrates itself, they'll be more than happy to say that Allah has made the infidels spineless.


SPIEGEL: You're working on a sequel to "Submission." Will you stick to your uncompromising approach?

Hirsi Ali: Yes, of course. We want to continue the debate over the Koran's claim to absoluteness, the infallibility of the Prophet and sexual morality. In the first part, we portrayed a woman who speaks to her god, complaining that despite the fact that she has abided by his rules and subjugated herself, she is still being abused by her uncle. The second part deals with the dilemma into which the Muslim faith plunges four different men. One hates Jews, the second one is gay, the third is a bon vivant who wants to be a good Muslim but repeatedly succumbs to life's temptations, and the fourth is a martyr. They all feel abandoned by their god and decide to stop worshipping him.

SPIEGEL: Is the Koran's claim to absoluteness, which you criticize in "Submission," the central obstacle to reforming Islam?

Hirsi Ali: The doctrine stating that the faith is inalterable because the Koran was dictated by God must be replaced. Muslims must realize that it was human beings who wrote the holy scriptures. After all, most Christians don't believe in hell, in the angels or in the earth having been created in six days. They now see these things as symbolic stories, but they still remain true to their faith.

INTERVIEW: GERALD TRAUFETTER

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the most sharp- tongued critics of political Islam - - and a target of radical fanatics. Her provocative film "Submission" led to the assassination of director Theo van Gogh in November 2004. The attackers left a death threat against Hirsi Ali stuck to his corpse with a knife. After a brief period in hiding, the 36- year- old member of Dutch parliament from the neo- liberal VVD party has returned to parliament and is continuing her fight against Islamism. She recently published a book, "I Accuse," and is working on a sequel to "Submission."

Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia where she experienced the oppression of Muslim women first hand. When her father attempted to force her into an arranged marriage, she fled to Holland in 1992. Later, she renounced the Muslim religion.

2 Comments:

  • At Wed Feb 15, 11:15:00 AM PST, Blogger dag said…

    Hello George and friends.

    I'll take this chance to remind everyone that we are holding another Blue Scarf meeting at McDonald's on Thursday. I posted a letter from Claude Reichman, the founder of the French Blue Revolution, at http://nodhimmitude.blogspot.com/ and a letter from Sebastien, one of the participants in it.

    Personally, I'm not a pacifist. Nor am I inclined to wait for others to act on my behalf when the duty is mine.

    Please take a look at Reichman's post and see if you might wish to get involved in something along this line in your community. If so, wear a blue scarf and sit at McDonald's on Thursday and hope for the best. Perhaps this time, maybe next time, someone will join you, and from there you can begin to plan some effectvive resistence to appeasement. Let's not let this slide as badly as it has done in Europe.

    Our lives, our choices. If you choose to resist, please leave a notice at nodhimmitude.

    Thanks, Dag.

     
  • At Wed Feb 15, 09:37:00 PM PST, Blogger Cubed © said…

    Thank you, Dag! What an interesting idea--we hope it catches on!

     

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