Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Daughter of the Enlightenment

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Dutch legislator who has rejected her Muslim faith to become an outspoken advocate for "European values." It's a cause that some of her opponents want her to die for.

NYT Magazine reports Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was born in Somalia and has been a member of the Dutch Parliament since January 2003, had endorsed the view that Islam is a backward religion, condemned the way women live under it and said that by today's standards, the prophet Muhammad would be considered a perverse tyrant. She had also announced that she was no longer a believing Muslim. The punishment for such apostasy is, according to strict interpretations of Islam, death.

jdubner blogged When I saw the article and the byline, I admit, I was somewhat skeptical. I expected a hagiography of the immigrant woman who, for the crime of speaking out against the treatment of women in traditional Muslim societies, earned a death warrant impaled on the slain body of her friend, the provocative commentator Theo van Gogh. But Caldwell defied my expectations. He painted an accurate picture of her role in the great Dutch debate over multiculturalism, all the while giving fair treatment to Ali’s liberal detractors. I, for one, have mixed feelings about her. And while the article was appropriately sympathetic to the plight of a woman driven into hiding for the simple fact that she threatens conventions of conservative Islam by speaking her mind, I still have a hard time endorsing someone whose insulting comments about the person of Muhammad are not dissimilar to the kind of insults hurled by Jerry Falwell.

Pieter Dorsman blogged It's not a total coincidence that the 'value debate' in Holland has primarily been conducted by a gay professor, an unruly film director and a Somali immigrant, two of whom are now dead. There simply is no appetite among the ordinary Dutch to engage themselves in a debate about their future by changing political parties from within and find an appealing and electable leader of whatever political stripe to steer the discussion in the direction of results.

Yourish blogged Muslim ERA Watch: Via Charles Johnson, an excellent profile in the Times Magazine of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali Dutch woman who is under constant death threats for her criticism of Islam.

LGF blogged An amazingly sympathetic portrait of Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali

lowandslow commented What a woman. WOW.

realwest commented What a courageous woman. And if the freckle faced young "man" was indeed 24 or older, he needs to a) find his soul and b) assuming he finds it, look deep within it.

Alone in NY commented Can someone explain why this brave freedom fighter is not the poster child of the women's movement in this country?

Gagdad Bob commented Are you sure this is from the NY Times? Their fact chuckers must be asleep at the switch.

Final Historian commented Anyone want to take bets on how long before CAIR demands this be pulled? I am guessing 2 days.

mich-again commented awesome read and thank you NYT for bringing her to the spotlight. If the Leftists who read the NYT can recognize that her cause deserves support, then maybe the R&L in the USA can finally find some common ground. When that happens, look out!

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