March 6, 2007

Hitch on Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been labeled a "fundamentalist", an "absolutist", and even a "bombthrower" of all things, in the various reviews of her book "Infidel". I guess this is the price she pays for violating Multiculturalism Rule No. 1.

Christopher Hitchens comes to her defense: Ayaan Hirsi Ali is no fundamentalist:

In her book, Ayaan Hirsi Ali says the following: "I left the world of faith, of genital cutting and forced marriage for the world of reason and sexual emancipation. After making this voyage I know that one of these two worlds is simply better than the other. Not for its gaudy gadgetry, but for its fundamental values." This is a fairly representative quotation. She has her criticisms of the West, but she prefers it to a society where women are subordinate, censorship is pervasive, and violence is officially preached against unbelievers. As an African victim of, and escapee from, this system, she feels she has acquired the right to say so. What is "fundamentalist" about that?

He is especially put out by the hit job done on Hirsi Ali in a Newsweek article by Lorraine Ali, who says that...

"It's ironic that this would-be 'infidel' often sounds as single-minded and reactionary as the zealots she's worked so hard to oppose." I would challenge the author to give her definition of irony and also to produce a single statement from Hirsi Ali that would come close to materializing that claim. Accompanying the article is a typically superficial Newsweek Q&A sidebar, which is almost unbelievably headed: "A Bombthrower's Life." The subject of this absurd headline is a woman who has been threatened with horrific violence, by Muslims varying from moderate to extreme, ever since she was a little girl. She has more recently had to see a Dutch friend butchered in the street, been told that she is next, and now has to live with bodyguards in Washington, D.C. She has never used or advocated violence. Yet to whom does Newsweek refer as the "Bombthrower"? It's always the same with these bogus equivalences: They start by pretending loftily to find no difference between aggressor and victim, and they end up by saying that it's the victim of violence who is "really" inciting it.

Roger Simon, who refers to the magazine as "that cultural-artifact-of-another-era-now-dentist-office-clutter Newsweek", also had some thoughts on their review.

UPDATE: See also Dennis Prager

Posted by dan at March 6, 2007 7:56 PM