Criticizing Islam

Mohammed as a roundabout dog: cartoon by Lars Vilks


Mohammed as a Swedish roundabout dog (rondellhund): cartoon by Lars Vilks

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s response to western apologists

While blogging with a very articulate lady from the UK, an evangelical atheist and retired high-level worker for the Labour Party–in other words, to the left of most American liberals–I was struck by her efforts to let Saudi Arabs off the hook for their religious and political backwardness.  This spotless UK liberal considers Christians deluded and dangerous reactionaries, but is an apologist for a culture that led directly (14 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis) to 9/11:

“Given the huge gulf between rich and poor . . . I do not think you can altogether blame the Saudi people for their political plight.”

“Oppression can make cowards of us all.”

“It took centuries for Europe to break free of religious oppression.”

And it made me wonder: why, in the west, does a UK liberal, in 2010, berate Christians, but apologize for Salafists–Wahhabi Muslims?   And then I discovered Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch woman.  Here she is, answering audience questions at the University of Wisconsin:

The entire session–40 minutes.

Below, the last two questions and answers.

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It does my heart good to see and hear a woman from a strong Islamic background come right out and insist that westerners bring the same critical thinking which they offer to Christianity and Christians, to Islam and Muslims.  Especially when, in many liberal European circles, it is not politically correct.

Can anyone imagine a European or North or South American country, baying for blood because a newspaper in a Muslim country had published a mocking cartoon of Christ?  Can anyone imagine a European or American country supporting the assassination of the cartoonist?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a true intellectual and free-thinker.  With her insight, her analysis and her courage, she puts the western–and the eastern–apologists for Islam to shame.

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