Islam May Not Be the Enemy, But the Enemy Is Islamic

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has earned the right to be critical of Islam.

She was raised as a devout Muslim in Somalia and Kenya.  At the age of five, her genitals were cut in a barbaric Somali ritual at the insistence of her Islamic grandmother.  In her twenties, her Islamic father gave her in marriage to a distant cousin she barely knew.  After she fled to Holland and built a life for herself as a politician and filmmaker, a Muslim killed her filmmaking partner, Theo Van Gogh, and left a note stabbed into his chest indicating she would be next.  All this and more is recounted in her 2007 memoir, Infidel.

This remarkable woman, who now self-identifies as an atheist, has published a second memoir, Nomad: From Islam to America, which I’ve just finished reading.  She’s well aware that Islamic scripture prescribes death for apostasy, and she is accompanied by armed guards wherever she goes.  But the constant threat has not blunted her views or the clarity with which she declares them.  She’s not a fan of multiculturalism:

Here is something I have learned the hard way, but which a lot of well-meaning people in the West have a hard time accepting:  All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not.  A culture that celebrates femininity and considers women to be the masters of their own lives is better than a culture that mutilates girls’ genitals and confines them behind walls and veils or flogs or stones them for falling in love.  A culture that protects women’s rights by law is better than a culture in which a man can lawfully have four wives at once and women are denied alimony and half their inheritance.  A culture that appoints women to its supreme court is better than a culture that declares that the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man.  It is part of Muslim culture to oppress women and part of all tribal cultures to institutionalized patronage,  nepotism and corruption.  The culture of the Western Enlightenment is better.

She calls for an Islamic Enlightenment:

The Muslim mind needs to be opened.  Above all, the uncritical Muslim attitude toward the Quran urgently needs to change, for it is a direct threat to world peace… The Muslim mind today seems to be in the grip of jihad.  A nebula of movements with al Qaeda-like approaches to Islamic precepts has enmeshed itself in small and large ways into many parts of Muslim community life, including in the West.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a brave voice in a fight for the soul of Islam.  Another such voice is M. Zuhdi Jasser,  head of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.  Unlike Ali, Jasser continues to be a devout Muslim — but like her, he understands the threat posed by some of his co-religionists.

As devout Muslims who are anti-Islamist we feel that Muslims have to lead the war of ideas against political Islam (Islamism) from within devotional Islam. Islamists have a well-established transnational global network of entities hatched from Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots. Whether we care to admit it or not, Islamists are at war intellectually and kinetically with western liberal democracies.

Today comes the news that: “Two New Jersey men arrested at a New York airport planned to travel to Somalia to ‘wage violent jihad,’ and also had expressed a willingness to commit violent acts in the United States.”  The two had been under surveillance for more than three years.

The scary reality is that our enemy lives among us. Thank God for Muslims (and ex-Muslims) like Jasser and Ali who are brave enough to help us understand what we face.

3 thoughts on “Islam May Not Be the Enemy, But the Enemy Is Islamic

  1. Islamists didn't spring spontaneously from nothing. They follow the Koran and the example of Mohammed. The religion itself is evil. Why that is such a hard concept to most of us is beyond me. Some actually believe it is impossible for a religion to be morally evil. They can look at the Aztecs cutting out the living hearts of infants and say “that’s okay. It’s their culture and they can do what they want.” Nobody asked the baby of course. In the west we have evolved into effeminate naïve fools and proud to be that way. We want to be “nice” to everyone, even those committed to kill us. It comes from the flighty Kumbaya left that my generation left as its legacy. We are soft and ready to be despoiled by the barbarian hordes. We actually believe “Everything I need to know about life I learned in kindergarten.” God save us from idiots.

  2. David, I'm largely sympathetic to your point of view, but I resist saying that Islam itself is evil — partly for strategic reasons. If Islam is evil, it follows that over a billion people are devoted to evil. I don't think the situation is that dire, and I don't think that's the appropriate perspective for a struggle against Islamism, or radical Islam — which absolutely is evil. Rather than go to war against a billion people, I think it makes sense to support and encourage anti-Islamist Muslims like Zuhdi Jasser and Ayaan Hirsi Ali — although of course Ayaan has renounced Islam, her position may actually be closer to yours.

    I addressed at some length the issue of whether Islam itself is the problem in "What's the Matter With Islam?"

  3. Pingback: “Islamism Is Not a Movement to be Engaged, It Is an Enemy to be Defeated” | All That Is Necessary…

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