Dec 9, 2007

A response to Ayaan Hirsi Ali

This was originally written on EB&G in response to the New York Times op-ed by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, basically complaining, yet again, about "tEh eViL mUsLiMs aNd hOw tHeY hAtE oUr fReEdOmS", or words to that effect, with all the usual NeoCon fury and lack of nuance or reality:

I think we can all agree what is happening is barbaric by anyone's standards. That's the point. It was raised in order that the main assertion by the writer, which apparently the majority of Muslims are extremists of some form, goes unchallenged.

She even uses a familiar form of argumentation for it - state fact about the world, through omission and distortion of evidence create another claim, and link the two in a causal relationship.

You see, if you look at the tagline of the article, the author in question is an "academic" (and I use that term loosely) working for, oh what a surprise, the NeoCon American Enterprise Institute, and a member of the racist Dutch party, The Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy, who intended to close the Dutch border to Muslim immigrants had they won the 2002 elections.

What makes the above deliciously ironic is that she lied about her name, age and country of origin when applying for asylum in Holland.

Ironically, she was also a Muslim up until 2002, the year she ran for Parliament in Holland, yet somehow claims that Islam is incompatible with democracy. This irony is compounded when you realize her homeland, Somalia, was destroyed by secular warlords who hate Islam as much as she does.

In fact, here are her full views on Islam: 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."

Funnily enough, so do her NeoCon masters, who have raised nihilism to a level that any religion could not hope for, and legitamizes world violence, but hush, we're not meant to do comparitive political philosophy! We have to keep pretending that Islam is a monolithic movement and not distinguish between its Jihadist, conservative and liberal strains. If we start doing proper political analysis, the whole war of the civilizations thesis falls apart!

She also thinks all Muslims should be screened for potential terrorist links before getting a job.

In short, she is a high profile Muslim hater on the payroll of AEI, a group whose intellectual dishonesty leads them to bribe scientists to argue against human caused global warming, as well as support all major policy initiatives of the NeoCons. Hell, their scholars list is like a whose-who of criminals and frauds, from Michael Leeden of Iran-Contra to Charles Murry of The Bell Curve infamy.

The fact is, if you protest as Muslim in a Middle Eastern country about this sort of thing, you can expect to end up in jail as well. In western countries, Muslim protests are routinely denied coverage in the national press - or worse - linked to extremists regardless of the reasons for protest.

For example, Indian Muslims staged a protest outside the Saudi embassy, which thus far has only been reported in the Malaysian Sun. Oh, I note the woman in question is in fact a Shi'ite, something that I haven't seen in other analyses of the trial. Has anyone mentioned that Shiites are second class citizens in many Arabic countries, especially those of a fundamentalist bent like Saudi Arabia, and thus are often disproportionally punished, for feared linked with revolutionary Iran and Hizb'allah in Saudi Arabia?

And more importantly, why should every damn Muslim in the world drop everything they are doing to protest against something that the oh-so enlightened scholars at the AEI don't like? I don't see the majority of Americans or Brits protesting the Iraq war, so I call you all murderers and exponents of an extremist doctrine by proxy - until you get out there and prove otherwise. You see how that works now? Since President Bush has proven he has no problems with executing mentally retarded prisoners, until the majority of American protest at his actions, I'm going to consider all Americans retard murderers until they prove otherwise. Why aren't the AEI protesting the use of torture and kidnap by the CIA....etc

This is exactly how these people operate, on a hypocritical double standard that, if employed against our own countries, would cause them to implode into a frenzy of deceit and hatred. But as we all know, its far easier to deplore the terrible crimes of far away countries from a comfy office (and get paid for it) rather than look into the crimes taking place far closer to home (usually while being labelled a traitor and being character assassinated in the press).

I have to say, I'm surprised so far I am the only person who has dealt with the article in its entirety. I thought some of you would have caught the rhetorical trick that was being used, and refuse to be led down the garden path laid out by the AEI NeoCons. Instead, you seem content to focus on what is already agreed by anyone with a brain and some compassion - that whipping someone to death for the "crime" of being raped is evil and disgusting. But is it more evil than labelling an entire religion as being mostly the same, the publication of said allegation in a major paper and the lack of rebuttal in her assertions from any of the mainstream media?

Why isn't that question being asked?


Phree said...

Damned good post.

This, and posts and articles like it, reinforce that I, and the majority of Americans, need to run rampant in our search for information. Hopefully anyone with a semi-working brain and seed of common sense will know that media portrayal of ANY information is bias and sketchy at best, down right quarter truth sensationalism at worst.

I, like many of my fellow dolts on my home soil, know only enough to instinctively argue with people like Igraine, while she and people of her ilk scream louder because they are rabidly sure they are backed by pseudo-facts and a pseudo-compassionate god.

Thank you for once again showing me how little I know so I may endeavor to actually know more. Seriously.

Isha' said...

After surfing through hundreds of mindless posts that links to that
article, I'm thankful to have found this!

Feministe also has a nice piece:

Agent Cain said...

Thank you, both of you. I have to say, Isha, that the article you linked is far better structured than my argument. I have to admit mine was done on something of a rush, and normally I would have taken it apart more, instead of relying on more personal attacks. But, time constraints etc

Incidentally, the Guardian's Comment Is Free also has an article on this exact op-ed as well. It can be found at