Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a fascinating woman…and someone we really should take notice of. She gives liberals a sound kicking in explaining her stance on Islam, feminism and atheism in an interview with The Daily Beast.
Changing the subject for a moment, you have also voiced some unorthodox opinions on the subject of women’s issues in the United States—
Listen, this is what I have to say on women’s issues in the United States. We are so blessed as women to live in the United States. The best place to be a woman in the world is in the U.S. The best place to be black in the world is in the U.S. Is it perfect? No. Are we confronted with threats? Yes. But it’s the perfect place to fight [them] off. Because in the U.S., we have—besides the law—the majority of the population who accept that we, as women, have absolutely equal rights to men. The best place to be black in the world is here. I cannot imagine what it is like to be a black man living in Saudi Arabia, in Iran—even where the majority of people are black, like Africa. I cannot imagine a better place to be gay than in the U.S. I know that all European countries have accepted gay marriage and here in the U.S. we’re still struggling to accept that. On the other hand, when the jihadists in Europe attack gays in the streets, the governments don’t protect them. The best place to be Jewish in the world, besides the state of Israel, is in the U.S. The best place to be Christian is in the U.S. I don’t know anything else to say in the U.S. I know we’re in an election cycle and I’m supposed to take sides, but I’m not going to.
Very good points there, and still we silence from the liberal left on the plight of women and gays in Syria and Iraq.
It’s almost a year since you were embroiled in a controversy at Brandeis, where you were invited to speak at the commencement and then disinvited because some people felt that you had made comments that were offensive to Muslims. Looking back at that controversy today, how do you think it was handled by everyone?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I’m glad you mentioned that it has been almost a year. I was working on the book, and I remember thinking: Here comes Boko Haram, they kidnapped 276 girls in the name of Islam, they have the Quran and it is sandwiched between two AK-47s, at the same time that this little Brandeis thing is in our news. There’s a woman called Meriam Ibrahim from the Sudan, and the government of Sudan condemns her to death because she married a Christian man and in Sudan, the law is that if you leave the religion of Islam, you are condemned to death. And it goes on and on, and the Islamic State [of Iraq and Syria] comes about, and by September of 2014 we’re back in Iraq saying that we’re going to destroy and chase to the gates of Hell the Islamic State.
What seemed to be a small controversy in a place called Brandeis, a Jewish university—it has these enormous geopolitical consequences. And this is a message to the people, the faculty and the students of Brandeis, but also to the other liberals who think that the best way to protect Muslims is to protect them from critical thinking. The answer is: No, actually, the best way to protect Muslims is to give them room to think critically about Islam, to reform it. And that’s the subject of this book.
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