Responding To: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Abandoned To Fanatics
To the Rushdies and Hirsi Alis out there:
I wonder why you allow the word Muslim to precede humanist. I mean afterall, according to you Islam is Muslim and Muslims are Islam. Just as Hitler’s followers never asked the Jews if they believed in God or not, if the time comes to exterminate Islam no one will ask you if you believe or not. I know .. I watched through the media the attempted genocide against my own people a large majority of whom had considered themselves atheist. No one stopped to ask them if they were Muslims or Atheists before raping our women, before bombing our towns, before cutting off our limbs, before slitting our throats .. all they looked at was our names. We wanted a democracy and what we got instead was a slaughtering.
From your article:
As you read this, Ayaan Hirsi Ali sits in a safe house with armed men guarding her door. She is one of the most poised, intelligent and compassionate advocates of freedom of speech and conscience alive today, and for this she is despised in Muslim communities throughout the world. The details of her story bear repeating, as they illustrate how poorly equipped we are to deal with the threat of Muslim extremism in the West.
No, Mr. Rushdie, we do not despise her nor do we despise you. However, I must ask you how you come to the conclusion that she is one of the most poised, intelligent and compassionate advocates of freedom of speech and conscience alive today? How can you say that after she has made these statements:
In a “no-holds-barred polemic” interview in the London Evening Standard, Hirsi Ali characterises Islam as “the new fascism”. “Just like Nazism started with Hitler’s vision, the Islamic vision is a caliphate—a society ruled by Sharia law—in which women who have sex before marriage are stoned to death, homosexuals are beaten, and apostates like me are killed. Sharia law is as inimical to liberal democracy as Nazism.” In this interview, she also made it clear that in her opinion it is not “a fringe group of radical Muslims who’ve hijacked Islam and that the majority of Muslims are moderate. [...] Violence is inherent in Islam—it’s a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder.”
Where in those statements lies the freedom of conscience? Does she even have a conscience is the question I have to ask. Where is the compassion?
Where Mr. Rushdie is your conscience when you make statements of the Muslim population as a whole, attributing all Muslims to extremism:
The reaction from the Muslim community was nothing short of psychopathic, and it confirmed the necessity of Hirsi Ali’s work and the reasonableness of her fears. Van Gogh, having declined bodyguards of his own, was gunned down and nearly decapitated on an Amsterdam street, and a letter threatening Hirsi Ali was staked to his chest with a butcher knife.
I suppose that Hirsi Ali’s fears are reasonable but Muslim fears have no justifications. I must not be reasonable in fearing those out there that call for bombing Mecca or exterminating Islam. I must not fear the statements of so called Muslim Humanists in the world today – no, that can’t be fear it – must be despise. I must not have any justification for my fears not even after what has happened to my own family and friends in Europe as the whole world watched. No .. my fears have no bearing because, afterall, I am only a Muslim and my goal is the complete subjagation of women and mankind. In the end they will know my Muslimness through my name, through the color of my skin, through the way I dress, through my cultural preferences. And I will not matter to anyone as you have made my goals and intentions clear without ever having taken the time to distinguish between a fanatic and a Muslim.
No, Mr. Rushdie and Ms. Hirsi Ali, still we do not despise you, oh yes maybe one or two of us do, but most of us know that to despise you would to be just like you. To be infected with the disease of all knowing would be a blasphemy and as such we find the utmost comfort in allowing Allah to be your judge in the after life. Where lies the harm in that Mr. Rushdie and Ms. Ali? As at least one of you is an atheist, I would imagine that you would feel as though you have the last laugh.
Yes my Muslim humanist friends, so many of us Muslims do stand up for free speech but what we also stand up for is the truth. To defend free speech without defending the truth without calling you out on your inconsistencies and spins would be a hypocricy. So Mr. Sam Harris and Mr. Rushdie, when you wrote this:
Hirsi Ali first fled to the Netherlands as a refugee from Somalia in 1992 after declining to submit to a forced marriage to a man she did not know. Once there, in hiding from her family, she began working as a cleaning lady. But this cleaning lady spoke Somali, Arabic, Amharic, Swahili, English and was quickly learning Dutch, so she soon found work as a translator for other Somali refugees, many of whom, like herself, were casualties of Islam. These women had been abused, mutilated, denied medical care and proper educations and forced into lives of sexual subjection and compulsory childbearing.
After attending the University of Leiden, Hirsi Ali began speaking publicly about the repression of women under Islam, and shortly thereafter she started receiving death threats from local Muslims. Her security situation eventually became so dire that she moved to the U.S. in 2002. However, she was soon contacted by Gerrit Zalm, then deputy prime minister of the Netherlands, who urged her to run for parliament. When Hirsi Ali voiced her security concerns, Zalm assured her that she would be given diplomatic protection wherever and whenever she needed it. She returned to the Netherlands with this assurance, won a seat in parliament and became a tireless advocate for women, for civil society and for reason.
The rest of her story is well known. In 2004, Hirsi Ali collaborated with Theo van Gogh on the film “Submission,” which examined the link between Islamic law and the suffering of millions of women under Islam. The reaction from the Muslim community was nothing short of psychopathic, and it confirmed the necessity of Hirsi Ali’s work and the reasonableness of her fears. Van Gogh, having declined bodyguards of his own, was gunned down and nearly decapitated on an Amsterdam street, and a letter threatening Hirsi Ali was staked to his chest with a butcher knife.
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.
I have to ask why you left out that Hirsi Ali had also left parliament before leaving for the United States in her latest travel to the US. I have to ask why you left out the Dutch government allready granting Hirsi Ali two extensions on the security services that they were paying for?
Would you, Mr. Rushdie, really rather that everyone continue to believe that she was a Dutch diplomat that should have her security paid for under these circumstances rather than just tell us all the truth? Would you rather not speak of the Netherlands paying for her security for a year as she stayed outside of the country .. an action that is outside of Dutch law? I guess it is better to write articles titled Hirsi Ali: Abandoned to Fanatics rather than explain that she still has security as long as she remains in the Netherlands.
I guess you must have overlooked the fact that it was reported that she would be taking this job in the United States just one day before in Hirsi Ali’s own words she resigned from parliament because:
“To return to the present day, may I say that it is difficult to live with so many threats on your life and such a level of police protection. It is difficult to work as a parliamentarian if you have nowhere to live. All that is difficult, but not impossible. It has become impossible since last night, when Minister Verdonk informed me that she would strip me of my Dutch citizenship. “
Apparently it is not of importance that she continued doing things, by her own admission, under durress so as not to have complications over her pending visa request to enter the United States for employment. Of course it is also of no relevance that Hirsi Ali has resorted to so many lies and deceptions for the good of
herself mankind that we should just look over all of these little irrelevancies that have played out over the years and instead we should blame the governments of the western world of being tolerant towards intolerance. We should just allow Islamophobia to grow until one day you, Hirsi Ali and I are standing next to each other – each facing the barrel of a gun for being Muslim.
In the end I will not have have been an accomplice to my own death. I will at least have that consolation. I will die a Muslim .. a traditional, practicing, human rights advocating Muslim. I still will have stood next to you with no despise. What is it that the two of you would have died for?