The new issue of Reason contains a lengthy interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the brave apostate Muslim who fled the Netherlands and now lives in the US. Alas, it’s not yet online, but it’s definitely in a Baweresque vein. She pulls absolutely no punches. Like Bawer, she too blames the West for its craven passivity in the face of a violent threat. And she won’t have any of the false equivalence among Abrahamic religions. Though she is now an atheist and wishes everyone would be, she said that if people have to accept God, she would rather that they become Jewish or Catholic because both religions have a much more humane concept of God than “the fire-breathing Allah who inspires jihadism and totalitarianism.”
Ayaan Ali Hirsi
* She might profitably have discussed at this point those humane atheists Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, who had a bit to do with totalitarianism themselves, but — I haven’t see the interview.
When the interviewer asked her if she thought Islam could bring about positive social change in the same way that religious Protestants helped end US slavery, and Catholicism helped end communism in Poland, she responded sharply:
Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated.
Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.
Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?
Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful.
It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.
Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, ‘defeat Islam’?
She doesn’t really answer, except to say that Islam must be resisted at every opportunity, “in all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.” She said that she believes we are headed to that point “because the West has been in denial for a long time.” We didn’t deal with the problem when it was easier, and now it’s much worse:
Hirsi Ali: …There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive, who don’t all follow the rules of Islam, but there’s really only one Islam, defined as submission to the will of God. There’s nothing moderate about it.
Reason: So when even a hard-line critic of Islam such as Daniel Pipes says, “Radical Islam is the problem, but moderate Islam is the solution,” he’s wrong?
Hirsi Ali: He’s wrong. Sorry about that.
Of course it’s true, as I have noted many times: there are moderate Muslims, but there is no moderate Islam. Every school of jurisprudence and sect that Muslims consider orthodox teaches that it is part of the responsibility of Muslims to subjugate non-Muslims under the rule of Islamic law. Consequently, Daniel Pipes’s formulation is valid only when it is understood that the moderate Islam that is the solution has to be invented — it is not a traditional form of Islam. I have spoken at conferences where Dr. Pipes was also speaking on several occasions, and have heard his answers when asked about exactly this point — and he has said essentially the same thing. He has also written at his website: “Robert Spencer and I have discussed the perceived differences in our view of Islam. He and I concluded that, although we have different emphases – he deals more with scriptures, I more with history – we have no disagreements.”
Later in the interview, the Reason interviewer points out that she’s in favor of civil liberties, but would appear to deny them fully to Muslims in the West. She responds by saying that to save civil liberties, you have to restrict them on those who would take them away from everyone. She even goes so far as to say that all Muslims schools should be closed down in the US. She says that the Western constitutions that allow freedom of religion are products of the Enlightenment, and were written at a time when no one could have conceived of the jihadi threat. She says passing constitutional restrictions on Muslims is going to happen because the problem of Islamic extremism is not going to go away, and in fact is going to get worse — though sensibly, she acknowledges at length that there are some pretty strong reasons why America doesn’t have the same problem as Europe (e.g., Muslim immigrants to America want to assimilate, there’s not a welfare system for them to grow dependent on, white guilt is different in the US, etc.).
She concludes that the West’s arrogance is its own worst enemy “because in the West there’s this notion that we are invincible and that everyone will modernize anyway.” And, she says, this mistaken notion that if we “indulge and appease and condone,” everything will work out in the end.
“The problem is not going to go away. Confront it, or it’s only going to get bigger.”
Truer words were never spoken.
Western Resistance has lots of background information