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Meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Tech Central Station ^ | 01/12/2004 | Hans Labohm

Posted on 01/12/2004 4:11:42 PM PST by aculeus

'Ayaan Hirsi Ali?' 'Never heard of him.' 'It's a she.' 'Never heard of her.'

Born in 1967 in Mogadishu (Somalia), Ayaan Hirsi attended secondary school in Kenya. From the middle of the nineties she studied political science in Leiden (Netherlands). In the same period she had various jobs, such as cleaning woman and mail sorter. In 2001-02 she was an interpreter and translator. In 2002 she joined the think tank of the Dutch Social Democratic Party. In 2003, she switched over to the Dutch right-of-the centre (classical) liberal party, the VVD, because of this party's firm stand on immigration issues and became a member of Parliament.

She was raised as a Muslim but has recently become agnostic. She has an incredible command of the Dutch langue and is a sharp debater. She abhors woolly, placating rhetoric, which is so typical of Dutch politics. According to a recent poll she ranks second among the most popular politicians in Holland. And her political star is still rising. Yet her political message stirs a lot of controversy, especially among Muslim radicals.

It was the criticism by the late Pim Fortuyn (the Dutch politician who was killed by an animal rights activists) of the impact of Islam on Dutch society which sharpened her awareness of the threat of Muslim radicalism. Fortuyn openly qualified the Islam as a backward religion and Ayaan Hirsi Ali shares this view. When she was still in the socialist party she wanted to put the issue high on the political agenda. But the party did not support her view, because it was afraid that it would play into Fortuyn's hands. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is especially critical of the lack of tolerance for dissenting opinions among Muslims, as well as their oppression of women.

According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the emotions incited by her statements, especially among radical Muslims, underscores the state of the Islam. (Radical) Muslims are incapable of self-reflection. Consequently, any critical remark is perceived as an offense.

She believes that the Dutch are insufficiently aware of the threat which a rapidly growing radical Islam poses for the basic values and norms of Dutch society. Because of her outspokenness on these issues she has received death threats and needs permanent personal protection.

The political controversy now focuses on the question whether a separate Islamic 'pillar' has to be created within Dutch society. This approach has been successfully applied before. It was a kind of benign sectarianism. Over more than a century, Roman Catholics, Protestants of various denominations, and non-religious groupings had organized themselves in separate 'pillars', comprising primary and secondary schools, universities, newspapers and weeklies, employers' federations and trade unions, radio and tv stations, sport clubs, holiday resorts, and all kinds of associations. There were relatively few mutual contacts between people in separate pillars. But over the years, because of growing wealth and the desire for more individual liberty, the borderlines between the pillars have worn out. And the system has not prevented the ascent of growing nationhood. Why not apply the same recipe for Dutch Muslim population? The difference is that, contrary to the other 'pillars', a potential Muslim 'pillar' lacks historical roots in the Netherlands. Therefore, a more promising road to the integration of Muslims in a modern society runs via common education as opposed to 'pillarized' education. A Muslim 'pillar' will simply perpetuate Muslim 'apartheid' within society, both culturally and as regards the labour market, and will also sustain the subservient role of women.

The hostile reactions to her statements from Islamic circles have surprised Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In response, she has declared that it was not her intention to insult or unnecessarily offend people. Therefore, she lately polished her once abrasive language, without compromising, however, on the substance of her message. She now acknowledges that Mohammed is an admirable figure, but that his ideas are due for modernization.

Can this be done? Nader Fergany, the Egyptian lead-author of the ground-braking Arab Human Development Reports insists that Islam is very rich and that there are interpretations of Islam which can easily be accommodated with the values and norms of modern developed societies.

As Rudyard Kipling once wrote:

'Oh, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet, till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment's seat.'

Do these lines also apply to the relationship between Islam and the West? What most people do not know is that Kipling's message was meant to be just the opposite, because the poem goes on:

'But there is neither East nor West Border nor breed nor birth when two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the end of the earth.'

Let's hope that there will be sufficient 'strong men' who will rise to the challenge ... spurred by the message a strong woman.

Copyright © 2004 Tech Central Station -

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: netherlands

1 posted on 01/12/2004 4:11:43 PM PST by aculeus
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To: knighthawk
2 posted on 01/12/2004 4:18:02 PM PST by aculeus
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To: aculeus
Dead woman walking.

Some adherent of the "Religion of Peace" is going to kill her soon for daring to speak the truth.
3 posted on 01/12/2004 4:18:51 PM PST by Ronin (Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit.)
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To: Ronin
Just giving up the Religion of Peace is enough for the Islamic death penalty.
4 posted on 01/12/2004 5:06:28 PM PST by expatpat
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To: expatpat
Best hope for the world: the black woman. She's smart and beautiful just like Condi.
5 posted on 01/12/2004 6:17:07 PM PST by WVNan
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To: aculeus
I salute her courage, and her honesty.

I hope she is well protected.
6 posted on 01/12/2004 9:27:06 PM PST by DarthMaulrulesok (Islam is in a clash of civilizations with the West whether we like it or not.)
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To: aculeus
Thanks for the ping!
7 posted on 01/13/2004 9:31:18 AM PST by knighthawk (Live today, there is no time to lose, because when tomorrow comes it's all just yesterday's blues)
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To: aculeus; knighthawk; Ronin; expatpat

I found this thread by searching for "Ayaan Hirsi Ali". She is the writer of "Submission" which was producer onto screne by the recently departed "Leo Van Gogh". I was just wondering is she still alive given the fact that Al Queda disposed of her counterpart. If you are curious, I found the actual 10 minute movie Van Gogh created and can send you a link.


8 posted on 11/16/2004 5:40:39 PM PST by gorio
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To: gorio

She's still alive.

9 posted on 11/16/2004 8:05:45 PM PST by expatpat
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To: gorio
I was just wondering is she still alive given the fact that Al Queda disposed of her counterpart.

The note left on van Gogh's body specifically threated her with death. She is now in hiding.

I wish her well.

10 posted on 11/16/2004 8:07:39 PM PST by aculeus
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To: aculeus

I hope they have a good Concealed Carry Law there, so that she can return fire when the Jihadis try to kill her.

11 posted on 11/16/2004 8:28:10 PM PST by Ahban
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To: aculeus; knighthawk; Ronin; expatpat

Have any of you seen the movie? It's only 10 minutes in length, I can post it on my website if you wish to see it. It is an eye opener. Quite powerful to have caused a man to lose his life.


12 posted on 11/16/2004 8:54:57 PM PST by gorio
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To: aculeus

it is interesting that you should quote kipling: i was about to send his poem "if" as a token of support. here it is:


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on !";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

13 posted on 12/08/2004 7:45:58 AM PST by ceesl
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To: ceesl


14 posted on 12/08/2004 7:53:12 AM PST by aculeus
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