Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Heretic: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Jihadis?

7160429382_471f68b22e_k

When I started reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Heretic: Why Islam Needs A Reformation Now, I kept returning to the front cover just to be sure I wasn’t accidentally reading one of her previous books. Once more we are reading a blog post that has metastasized into a book, dull and listless despite repeated attempts to display vision, argument or even evidence. This isn’t just one of the worst books ever written about Islam. It’s one of the worst books, period.

Heretic is essentially a shoddy plea for a Reformation to save Islam from extremism, except that, according to Hirsi Ali, Islam is extremism, which should mean there’s no hope—and, oh yeah, Islam already had a Reformation, which is one of the chief causes of the extremism her Reformation will ostensibly put an end to. Such a bad argument only deserves attention because it receives it. Yes, Jon Stewart might’ve gone after her outrageous claims, but she was still on The Daily Show in the first place. Her books are sometimes the only ones you can find in sundry bookstores across America.

Otherwise well-meaning souls might skim through and, in case they don’t crumple to the ground from the boredom, knocking their heads against the musty green carpet that is Barnes & Noble standard (the Times New Roman of bookstore flooring), they’re liable to wonder, ‘maybe she has a point.’ Hirsi Ali is like a bad Wikipedia entry: the less you know, the more you’re persuaded. Except warmongers don’t collaborate with Wikipedia pages to make foreign policy decisions that destroy other countries, bankrupt our own, and leave everyone on the planet more vulnerable than before.

bug_00

As we proceed, feel free to remind yourself, as often as necessary, that Harvard’s Belfer Center has appointed Ayaan Hirsi Ali a Fellow in ‘The Future of Diplomacy Project.’ Such peacemaking potential is found in her breakdown of the world’s Muslims into three categories: ‘Medina Muslims,’ who are the neighbors you don’t want; ‘Mecca Muslims,’ the delusional neighbors you’re statistically more likely to have; and ‘the Modifier Muslims,’ who, up until yesterday, were trying to take your home and now claim they’re interested in a timeshare.

First, and ‘most problematic,’ are the ‘Medina Muslims’ (though she started with ‘fundamentalists,’ before mooting and dismissing ‘Millenarian Muslims’—it takes her time to settle on ‘Medina Muslims.’) Medina Muslims want us to be ruled by ‘sharia’, or ‘Islamic religious law,’ one of countless indicators she’s in over her head. Hirsi Ali believes roughly 3% of the world’s Muslims are Medina Muslims, but that’s ~45,000,000 too many. She and I are in concord. The belief that ‘sharia’ exists to be forcibly imposed must be rejected.

Second are ‘Mecca Muslims,’ who practice Islam the way Hirsi Ali thinks Christians and Jews do, which is really the wrong way, because it’s contrary to Islam. Mecca Muslims refuse to recognize that ‘Islam is not a religion of peace’; that groups like ISIS haven’t ‘hijacked’ the faith, they are the faith.

That most Muslims disagree, that most of those massacred by ISIS are other Muslims, or that most of the men and women taking up arms against ISIS are Muslim doesn’t deter Hirsi Ali. Indeed no evidence can, because that which rests on no evidence cannot be undermined by any evidence.

And how successful will a Reformation be in a religion grounded not in church or hierarchy but in argument descended from law? Doesn’t matter. Hirsi Ali herself is a ‘Modifier,’ part of a small class of Muslims who agree with the extremist Medina Muslims about what Islam is—but want nothing to do with it. Unlike the Martin Luther whose Reformation she so ineptly evokes, she is no passionate believer, struggling to reclaim her faith.

In one section about halfway through the book, which should’ve been titled Insurgent: Now I’m Going To Try To Blow Up Islam From the Inside, Hirsi Ali is too candid by half, revealing what her purposes are: ‘it is unrealistic,’ she confesses, ‘to expect a mass exodus from Islam.’ If you can’t defeat Islam, change it. But what if the change you propose means your Reformation will be dead on arrival?

Here are two of the five theses Ali believes are essential to her Reformation:

(a) Rejection of ‘the Prophet Muhammad’s semi-divine and infallible status along with the literalist reading of the Qur’an, particularly those parts that were revealed in Medina.’

(b) Rejection of ‘Sharia, the body of legislation derived from the Qur’an.’

Though not any kind of scholar of any kind of Islam, Hirsi Ali must know that no Muslim would accept these conditions. Not just because they’re anathema, but because they’re nonsensical, something even National Review editor Rich Lowry agrees is obvious.

Hirsi Ali condemns readings of the Qur’an used to justify violence, intimidation, and censorship, and then argues for censoring the Qur’an. Because ‘Islam’ causes ‘extremism,’ an assumption that’s never proved, nor the terminology even defined. Islam in turn is what the Prophet Muhammad did (as per the claims of extremists, not any other Muslims). The way to stop extremism then is to eliminate or modify the personality of the Prophet Muhammad, either directly (i.e. through the use of force) or, as Hirsi Ali now proposes, indirectly (because her other books failed). This is the root of her Mecca-Medina dichotomy.

Just the “before” Muhammad, please

Before 622, Muhammad was a persecuted Prophet in Mecca. After 622’s exodus to Medina, he began to establish a state, which included the building of an army. Hirsi Ali’s Reformed Islam enjoins the former, and forbids the latter, which is akin to accepting as Judaism that which came before the Red Sea was parted, and rejecting that which happened after.

This proposal is neither original nor productive; it has been repeated for years now on the fringes of anti-Muslim discourse, though it never caught on since it is so obviously useless. Why, after all, would anyone listen to her? If you believe God guided Muhammad, you’re not going to believe Ayaan Hirsi Ali has the authority to supersede that connection.

And even if you decide to reject the extremist narrative, the extremist narrative rejects you. ISIS doesn’t just refuse my Islam, which is rooted in an authentic Islam—it wants to kill me. Some of the greatest interpreters of Shariah have set themselves in opposition to extremism, but to little direct effect. That’s because ISIS is not primarily or secondarily a religious movement, though even if it were, radicals summarily dismiss mainstream Muslim scholars as we’re tainted by compromise, insufficiently rigorous, and evidently insincere (a point on which Ayaan Hirsi Ali and ISIS agree.) But it gets worse. Not only is her Mecca-Medina distinction tried and found entirely unwanted, it’s a product of an ahistoricism which renders her argument almost entirely incomprehensible and frequently astonishing.

A few weeks back, I was invited to a speak at a lovely mosque in San Antonio, a gorgeous Moorish structure standing on damp grounds, set back on a quiet dead end road, so far away from the street I could imagine we were in a forgotten corner of Andalucía. (We had no mosques like this when I was a child, and I badly wished my future children would be able to grow up as part of one.)

The façade was dusky peach, and trapped the spirit of sundown. On each side were two great gazebos, where folks ate and talked late into the pleasant night; there was a beach volleyball pit and a full basketball court. The occasion was more stressful: an Open House, an invitation to explain Islam in America to a general audience of San Antonians.

Afterwards, a garrulous visitor asked me how I reconciled Muhammad’s teachings with American life; since Muhammad was primarily a political leader and a general, was it not impossible for me to be loyal to a secular society? “I don’t have that problem,” he volunteered, “because my Savior never engaged in those kinds of actions.”

Of course, no American Muslim I know has these conversations, not in many years—the debate in favor of democracy was long ago decided. But clearly some people think we haven’t made up our minds, assuming that because people somewhere else are questioning democracy, we must be, too. (The next time this question comes up I’m going to ask whether we can trust American Christians because of Russia’s.)

Make Islam into Christianity, he—along with Hirsi Ali—is trying to say, and all the violence goes away. Which is superficially compelling.

Sure, Muhammad wasn’t like Jesus, who preached briefly and, in his life, rather unsuccessfully. He wasn’t like Moses either, who died without reaching the Promised Land. If there’s any Biblical figure Muhammad recalls, it’s David. Both start as humble figures of noble ancestry, and end as powerful rulers. When Muhammad was born, Arabs were divided into hostile tribes. Justice was collective, and turned out rather like revenge. In place of this, Muhammad advocated for an ummah, a ‘super-tribe,’ a union of peoples based not on bloodline, class, or gender, but fidelity to a common and universal worldview.

Islam might not be an ethnicity in the way Judaism is articulated today, but Islam creates all the same a powerful sense of peoplehood, rooted in this historical achievement. People resort to lazy memes, like ‘religion divides people.’ Sure, but it also unites people. Whereas the Arabs were once torn apart by interminable feuding, today nearly 1 out of 4 of the world’s inhabitants are Muslim. The social glue of Muhammad’s grand experiment was zakat, an obligatory tithe of 2.5% distributed to the neediest regardless of their clannish identities. An analogy to affirmative action wouldn’t be entirely unwarranted: sometimes you have to force diversity in the hope that it becomes second nature.

Before Muhammad, moral obligations went as far as one’s relatives. Because of him, they theoretically extended to all humanity. Building such a community challenged the old elite, which first forced Muhammad from Mecca, and then necessitated a long and drawn-out conflict with the very people who had forced him out.

What happened to that state after Muhammad’s death is, though not religiously normative, nevertheless relevant. It expanded by force (although it did not compel, or even solicit, conversions—those happened in significant numbers many centuries after the original Muslim conquerors had disappeared), and naturally it was not a liberal or secular democracy. But it also brought together peoples who’d never had a common worldview, or shared humanity, before.

Muhammad was not like Jesus, born into a society with a powerful government. He was born into a place with no unifying government. An orphan from birth, who soon lost what little family he had, knew intimately the vulnerability the unattached suffered their entire lives. He created a system to put an end to that.

Would it have been better if Muhammad had simply said “mine is a kingdom not of this world,” and allowed the Arabs to continue massacring one another? Muslims esteem Muhammad and his companions—his Apostles, really—not because they realized the best of all possible worlds but because we know full well how far they came from where they began.

Otherwise we might as well ask why Muhammad hadn’t told the Arabs about the oil under their feet or, for that matter, why Jesus didn’t clue in the Apostles to the possibility of penicillin. What I mean is, what about the centuries when Europe was weak, feeble, and generally far more intolerant? When we ask questions determines the answers we get.

Should we hold Jesus to blame for avoiding the pressing issues of his day, for refusing to try to reconcile Judaism and the wider Gentile world? Would anti-Semitism never have taken root had he, a Jew, made more of an effort to preach about the pressing worldly issues of the day? The question is impossible to answer and, more than that, it’s not a particularly interesting question, either, except as a historical exercise.

To definitively maul a religion based, not just on present conditions, but on remarkably selective, unsophisticated readings of the past—built on faulty assumptions and unsound conclusions—is to imagine that there is no value to the entirety of a religious tradition. But this has long been the position of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose sundering of the Meccan from the Medinan would have consequences she hints at without being able to fully process.

Jerusalem… Why didn’t I think of that?

Let’s say we rid ourselves of the Medina Muhammad. Let’s say Islam is and only should be what Muslims did in Mecca. If somehow the majority of the world’s Muslims accepted this, here’s what would happen: The present Israel-Palestine conflict would turn a thousand times worse a million times faster. Because, before his exodus, Muhammad’s followers identified Jerusalem as their holy city. The move to face Mecca in prayers only happened after 622, which is to say, per Hirsi Ali’s ‘Reformation,’ it never happened. 1.6 billion Muslims ditching Mecca in favor of Jerusalem would mean 1.6 billion Muslims who would then expect the right to arrive at the Temple Mount for worship, pilgrimage, study, and residence.

Great idea! Far from Saudi Arabia holding a commanding position in the Muslim world, a new battle would open up between Fatah, Hamas, Iran, Turkey, and everyone else who claims to speak for Palestine—not to mention Israel, which is occupying Palestine. In case you think this merely a misstep, a case of not thinking through the consequences of arguing for a radical revision of a religion, here are 7 more:

1) Hirsi Ali describes the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group which has opposed her work, as “an organization subsequently blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.”

Exactly.

2) “Muslims … use cell phones and computers without necessarily seeing a conflict between their religious faith and the rationalist, secular mindset that made modern technology possible.”

Driving on an interstate highway? You can probably thank the Nazis for that. What about nuclear power, radioactive isotopes, etc.? Guess who got us started there. First man in space? Circumnavigation of the globe? Printing press? Modern artillery? Gunpowder? Hirsi Ali juxtaposes Islam with secular rationality, without ever realizing that ‘secularity’ and ‘rationality’ are complicated phenomena, and Nazism and Communism are just as secular and rational as liberal democracy.

3) Ali contemptuously dismisses Muslims who clamor for the ‘correct’ interpretation of Islam—these voices annoy me, too—by telling us ‘there is no Muslim pope.’

But despite this, there is only one Islam. Don’t take her word for it, though. Take her word for it:

4) “Changing central aspects of Islamic doctrine became even more difficult in the tenth century.” Or: “Unlike Islam, Christianity has never been a static religion.”

5) In a screed concerning overly high Muslim birthrates: “If a man can marry up to four wives and have multiple children with each of them, the numbers grow quickly.”

This is a noxiously common and baldly racist meme, up there with claims about how unhygienic ‘foreigners’ and ‘immigrants’ are. Hirsi Ali’s all about secularity and rationality, but draws the line at math. Wasn’t algebra invented by a Muslim? (Yeah.) And aren’t Muslims all terrorists? (Creeping Shariah.)

A man with four wives will not have any more children than four men married to four women. Gender ratios in Muslim societies are pretty much 1:1, most Muslims being humans. They’re not 4:1. If polygamy were widespread, which it’s not, most men would be unable to find partners and not have children of their own.

Polygamous societies would probably have fewer children, then, since those rare men who had multiple wives would have to balance the expense of children with the cost of supporting several spouses and several homes.

There are three types of Muslims: those who are good at math and those who aren’t.

6) “Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws … make it illegal to declare belief in the Christian Trinity.”

This really was too much. I reached out to Pakistan’s Honorable (Ret’d) Justice Majida Rizvi, the first female Supreme Court Justice in Pakistan (that’s a big deal), and she dismissed this allegation out of hand. ‘There is no truth,’ she said, ‘in the statement.’

Pakistan has “millions of Christians living and practicing the religion,” she wrote, and “hundreds of Churches in existence and active.” This is not to deny real discrimination against Christians, but it is not legal and not derived from Pakistani law.

Furthermore, violence against Christians, as unacceptable as it is, isn’t exclusive to Christians: extremists target Muslim houses of worship, too, and Muslim religious processions, shrines, and the many scholars who speak out against an extremist narrative.

Not only does Hirsi Ali not understand Islam, she doesn’t comprehend South Asia, which is where most of the world’s Muslims live.

7) Chapter 2: ‘Why There Has Been No Muslim Reformation’

Chapter Two

By ‘Reformation,’ of course, Hirsi Ali means the Protestant one. Enabled, she argues, by new technology (printing press), ongoing urbanization, and the support of states resentful of Papal domination, the Reformation upended Europe, opening the door to secular, rational societies. About four hundred and fifty years and several continental genocides later, but hey. Now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali insists, Islam must have its Reformation. Now.

Except Islam already had a Reformation.

Its Air Force is bombing Yemen.

At first I thought Hirsi Ali didn’t know this. Then I thought maybe she ignored it. But now I realize she is unable to know it. Her guiding theoretical assumption—that Islam does not change—gives her no room for understanding the novel menace of Wahhabism. In fact, Hirsi Ali cannot understand any developments in Muslim communities because rather than see them as developments, she presumes they are all fundamentally repetitions on the same pattern. If Dr. Hirsi Ali were your doctor, you’d be dead. But she’d tell you it’s not a problem, though, because you’ve always been dead.

Take, for example, this sentence (which, if I found in an undergraduate paper, would cause me to ask the student to come to office hours): ‘The ferment we see in the Muslim world today is due to Islam itself and the incompatibility of certain key facets of the Muslim faith with modernity.’

Imagine a book by a Harvard Fellow, critical of black culture, that ignores slavery, Jim Crow, white supremacist movements, white flight, etc; or a monograph about anti-Semitism that ignores the Holocaust. This is Hirsi Ali’s M.O.

We wouldn’t tolerate it from an affiliate of a prestigious university in nearly any other context. Forget bias, it’s blindness. The same percentage of Algerians died in that country’s war of independence against France as Germans did in World War II, except instead of finding themselves under a benevolent patron arrived from afar, Algerians found themselves under new despotism—assisted by the French from afar. And this is somehow irrelevant to extremism? It doesn’t excuse extremism, but it certainly is relevant to the conversation that many radical movements turn to violence as a result of a narrative of victimization and vulnerability.

It’s the reason they’re able to attract young men and women who fall for the simplistic explanation: Islam is under attack, and where others have failed you must succeed. They make them believe they’re heroes in a ‘cosmic war’ and then turn them into villains. Fueling some of this radicalism? Islam’s Reformation.

Her apparent solution is part of the real problem. For those who care about keeping America safe, about improving conditions for Muslim communities, about helping European societies enfranchise and empower their immigrants, about better foreign policy choices, this is not your book.

In the late 18th century, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab launched a theological revolt against Sunni and Shia orthodoxies. He won the backing of the nascent Saudi state, and thereafter went to war with the closest thing Sunni Islam had to a Papacy, the (Ottoman) Caliphate. Wahhabism took aim at the religious hierarchies that had built up over centuries, while offering nothing with much substance, sophistication or spirituality in their place. It even looks like the Reformation as Ayaan Hirsi Ali defines it and prefers it. Muslims of the time generally viewed Wahhabis as heretics at best; the Ottomans dispatched Muhammad Ali, modernizing governor of Egypt, to put down this blasphemous uprising.

But the collapse of the Ottomans not soon thereafter—thanks to several inestimably boneheaded decisions—provided the Reformation its second chance. With political instability and instant urbanization, Wahhabism had huge numbers of unmoored young men to target, backed up with the ridiculous resources of the Saudi state, magnified in light of the general poverty of much of the Muslim world.

The institutions that could’ve powered a Muslim rebuttal to the worst excesses of Wahhabism collapsed in the transition to the contemporary world, leaving Muslims naked before a narrative, not of literalism, but of what Caner Dagli more accurately calls ‘exclusivism’.

Shorter version: Solution author advocates already exists, and is cause of problem author claims solution will remedy.

One of the worst practices I’ve seen in Muslim communities is forcing our most promising students into anything but religion, and the least promising into religion. We got the religion we paid for, and now we’re paying for it—believe me.

American media sometimes does the same: We don’t value people who tell us what we need to know, or otherwise wouldn’t hear, but lavish attention on what would be easiest for us to believe, or drives ratings. Short-term gain+Fox News+Ayaan Hirsi Ali=long-term pain. (See: Operation Iraqi Freedom.)

Things don’t look very bright for many parts of the Muslim world. Now, more than ever, we need to put our heads together and find viable solutions to serious problems. Which is the most unfortunate takeaway of Heretic. While I share Ali’s concern for the present direction of much of the Muslim world, she and I differ on solution—and origin.

What Islam needs, if anything, is a Counter-Reformation. A revival and rethinking of the institutions that attracted our best minds, and helped shape them into leaders, artists, thinkers, dreamers. But to do that, we need to get the cobwebbed and sclerotic autocrats out of the way.

There can be no progress without freedom.

And there can be no freedom if we are stuck believing in people, like Hirsi Ali and her ilk, who don’t believe in the kinds of analysis that leave room for debate, discussion, and growth. I know from personal experience how hard it is to fight the mentality that produces and sustains extremism.

Case in point: I don’t think Hirsi Ali is deliberately misrepresenting Islam. I think she’s doing the best she can. In her insistence that secular analysis must not be applied to Islam, that somehow the religion must be kept immune from reasonable and rational discussion, Ayaan Hirsi Ali most closely resembles the Muslims she claims use cell phones while shunning the worldview behind them. You could say that she’s undergone a schism, but that’s all. Islam needs a Reformation, Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

You first.

  • Yousuf Zub

    Nice article. Hirsi Ali is losing credibility every day, if she had any.

  • glddraco

    100 percent spot on.

  • GregAbdul

    Glad they are letting you post your articles. Hirsi is a demagogue. Real Americans don’t chase or promote demagogues. As far as our Prophet….he is the proverbial elephant. We reach out and we touch and we feel what is inside of us and we project it onto him. I get mad at this one Imam for his khutbahs because he is always trying to make our Prophet sound like Jesus. He goes on and on with how forgiving he was. One day, an Imam who is not so into to turn-the-other-cheek Islam was there, he went right up and spoke to us and said “when the Prophet entered Mecca after the conquest, he forgave most of the people, but he asked for five people….and had them beheaded.” It was so refreshing! We are not Christians. Our Prophet was a warrior. Funny. Americans love American warriors. Me, I love Malcolm X. But I love him because he was an instrument that led me to the teachings of Our Prophet. Islam says God alone knows the heart and only He can change the heart. Our Prophet is not the cause of evil existing in the world. God created EVERYTHING. Evil is a test and I don’t remember anyone getting 100%. I know Christians think they are beyond sin. I praise Allah. I am not beyond sin. I beg and I pray to be forgiven and shown the right path…and I thank Allah that we have this example, this wonderful example of Muhammad…and NO…we will NEVER abandon him…even though the polytheists hate us for it.

    Peace and blessings be upon the messenger of Allah!

  • Yeah, beheadings are sooo refreshing, aren’t they?

  • Jim Reed

    Islam has the same problem as Christianity. It is just people believing what they have been told to believe.

  • DKeane123

    “letting you”?

  • GregAbdul

    sorry….revise it any way you wish…”I am so glad that RD is publishing you. Bottom line. I think they like Mr. Haroon and so do I.

  • GregAbdul

    we are sucker weak minorities that you get to order us what to worship like you did the black slaves and when your ancestors went down to South America and slaughtered the natives and their religions.

  • claynaff

    You’ve made some good points, and you’ve added to my understanding. I entirely agree that Islam at its dawn was progressive. However, the anger that animates this piece has perhaps pushed you to make some dubious arguments as well. None more so than this: “Nazism and Communism are just as secular and rational as liberal democracy.” That’s plainly untrue — Nazism and Communism were based on doctrines that proved false (a natural hierarchy of races in one case and the superorganism of the proletariat in the other). Liberal democracy, by contrast, is a based on a sound intuition, now backed by scientific insight: human nature is such that a distribution of power among institutions committed to preserving individual freedoms while respecting majority rule best satisfies the utilitarian principle of maximizing happiness. I credit you with knowing that.
    However, even with the most charitable reading of your intended meaning — that scientific progress occurs even in totalitarian societies — I must say that rattling off examples does not make a case. The facts are that in its short existence the Nazi regime effectively snuffed out the great German heritage of science (we may be thankful that Hitler disdained the atom bomb), and successive Soviet regimes gradually sucked the life out of Russia’s scientific community as well. Lysenkoism, for example, killed off Soviet biology and contributed to mass starvation. (See Tim Ferris’ The Science of Liberty for more.)
    It is likewise true that Islam long ago buried its own garden of science, and what discovery has since emerged in the Muslim world has been in spite of the religious and governmental authorities. Hirsi Ali may not have the answers, but a (new) reformation involving a reframing of beliefs is surely required if Islam is to be reconciled with science and human progress.
    Clay Farris Naff
    Science & Religion Writer

  • GregAbdul

    Nazism and Communism are theologies? He’s not mad….you are refusing to listen to reason. “Liberal democracy [as opposed to conservative?] by contrast is based on sound intuition…” Like Chicken Hawk’s gut when he invaded Iraq? Russia was smart and “scientific” enough that they built the bomb shortly after they had knowledge of US capabilities and the US was not advanced and “scientific” enough to stop them. Is there an official list somewhere that says who is the most scientific? When the third world has a rain forrest and the greatest bio-diversity on the planet, and they cut down the forrest to make roads and to pour concrete in the name of economic progress, is that being advanced? Economic factors have always driven America. Slavery was about science? The white American racist GOP and their obsession with taking money from the sick, the elderly and the poor…is that about science? You are deluding yourself on the noble nature of the American political process.

  • DKeane123

    I also find that this focusing on the roots of Islam to be a distraction. Should we focus on Christianity of the middle ages or the Jews of the BC era when discussing modern problems facing these religions? Are today’s Christians somehow more or less legitimately “Christian” than the preceding historical versions? We are not dealing with the historical Islam in the world of today, and any discussion of who holds the keys to the real Islam doctrine gets bogged down in a theology debate that has a difficult time progressing into anything meaningful. Mostly because they don’t have a legitimate process for doing so.

    Excellent post, thank you.

  • Jim Reed

    The question of legitimately Christian is complicated because the religion is based on a series of splits allowing narrower segments to attribute all the flaws of Christianity to the others, and establish itself as the true church of Jesus.

  • DKeane123

    Interesting question. Which is more credible? Her experience within Islam (and afterwards in Europe) or a thesis on the origins of Islam and how they counter current world events? Note, we should also think about whether her experience is an significant outlier or representative of some norm. I don’t have the credentials to answer that question.

  • Jim Reed

    America could have been the scientific superpower, except we killed our supercollider and passed the position of top science back to the europeans, and backslid into Christian doctrines like creationism. Maybe we were just taking a break and waiting for a savior to come and lead us to Mars.

  • DKeane123

    “In her insistence that secular analysis must not be applied to Islam, that somehow the religion must be kept immune from reasonable and rational discussion.” Having a rational discussion on any philosophy that has magic as a core belief is difficult. Did Muhammad fly to heaven on a horse? Did Jesus return from the dead? Are homosexuals sinners in the eyes of God? Do you have engrams implanted by thetans causing you mental anguish? These all have real-world implications, and a rational discussion of them will be impossible as long as the response is “this old book says so”.

  • Jim Reed

    It is not an impossible situation. We can start with Jesus, and establish a careful reading of the New Testament shows he was not an actual person. Once that one has been cleared up, I think a lot of the others might just fall by the wayside.

  • wigon

    Mr. Naff, I’m not sure if you realize it or not, but you are essentially repeating old stereotypical colonialist attitudes towards the Islamic world. Perhaps you are not doing so intentionally however. As they say, “it’s in the water.” Even terms like “third-world” that we commonly use in the West, put Western nations at the top of the hierarchy simply because we can. In your case, you are ignoring the “garden of science” as you put it, that did exist for a very long time in the Islamic world. This goes to show that science and Islam are not exclusive of each other. The question that must be asked is “What changed?” The next question is “What should change look like in Islam in the modern world?” The answer to the first informs the answer to the second. However that final answer is not for you or for apostates like Hirsi, to dictate to the Islamic world. The answer is for Muslims to decide as communities and individuals.

  • Wigon

    That is the problem with all ideologies (religious and secular) through which humanity exhibits the same herd-like patterns of social behavior.

  • Wigon

    No worse than the executions that we carry out in the United States on a regular basis. It should also be noted that beheadings at the beginning of the religion of Islam were normally done with a very sharp sword and not by some dude sawing away on the neck with a knife like you see in extremist videos. I once lived in Saudi Arabia where I observed beheadings of criminals with a sword in Riyadh’s central square. It is very quick and not much worse (although bloodier) than American executions.

  • DKeane123

    Dogma kills hampers science in any of the “worlds”. Anytime there are unquestionable truths (Christians, Nazi’s, communists, Muslims, and so on), science has the potential to wither on vine.

    As far as the historic Islam, glad there is a rich history of science (mathematics and astronomy being the big ones I think), but it doesn’t really have much relevance when everyone is trying to stake their claim to the proper interpretation of a really old and violent book (OT included).

    I like the end there, where you basically say that outside criticism should be ignored by default – regardless of the merits of the argument.

  • Jim Reed

    They have to decide for themselves, but we can help with that process. Isn’t that why they sometimes post here on RD?

  • DKeane123

    Couple of thoughts:
    – “They do it too”, is never a good reason for something.
    – United States Executions are not mandated by a holy book and therefore can be changed.
    – In the United States, you can essentially only be put to death for the murder of other people (not saying I agree with this). This list of crimes on the books in Saudi (and other places) is horrific.
    – The last two sentences are pretty scary rationalizations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Saudi_Arabia#List_of_crimes

  • Jim Reed

    By polytheists I guess you mean those who believe in the trinity?

  • DKeane123

    Sorry – but the old book says he was a real person. Your reading is a heresy because my old book says it is.

  • What were they executed for? Apostasy? Witchcraft? Blogging?

  • Jim Reed

    Your mistake is you can’t just believe what is says. You have to also consider why it says what it says. Those stories were written in the last part of the first century. Before that, in the middle of the first century you can read the writings of Paul. Here you have this earlier Christianity where Jesus is a spirit being that Christians were finding in old testament scriptures. This Jesus didn’t say any of the things said by that Jesus you are talking about from later in the century. He didn’t work the miracles that were later recorded. He is just a religious concept from scriptures and visions. Consider the timing of when things were said and why. Don’t just believe whatever was said by the later church that the religion eventually turned into. That also turned into a bad influence on Islam, because they also just believed the Jesus stories without thinking about it, and once a religion goes down the path of believing in contradictions there is no limit to how screwed up it will eventually become.

  • Yousuf Zub

    When I say “credibility,” I mean her credibility as an expert on Islam, not her credibility as a human being. Yes, she had a bad experience and we should listen to it. But that does not make her worthy of being given positions at “think tanks” or Ivy League institutions.

  • Yousuf Zub

    I don’t think we should necessarily focus on the roots of Islam per se, but rather the history and development. Look at how Islam was practiced in the Abbasid days, in Andalusia, the Mughal Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and so on. Contrast that with the 18th-century puritanical movement that came out of Saudi Arabia (sometimes known as “Wahhabism”).

    The classic example of this is the Bamiyan Buddhas. That region of the world produced some of the greatest scholars and philosophers of Islam throughout history; none said that the statues should be destroyed. Same for the Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Indian relics. But then modern-day puritans came and destroyed them.

    Viewed through this lens, the trend we’ve seen in recent times is clearly an aberration. So rather than trying to “reform” Islam into something new, maybe we should try to undo the “reform” that was brought by the Saudis. I’m not sure exactly how to accomplish this, but one way could be to decrease the influence the Saudi royal family has in the Muslim world. Or just wait until their oil runs out, but we’re all f’ed in that case anyway.

  • Hypocrite

    She can be both based on the society in which she lived. But you know there are so many evidence to show she lied multiple times. Nevertheless, I think FGM, patriarchy, etc… should be abolished whether it is a product of Islam or anything else. But Hirsi has continuously preached violence against Islam. This in itself might seem benign, but you cannot kill a religion, you can kill a people. This is what she is spreading. She is no less dangerous than her opposite pole ISIS and co.

  • Craptacular

    “That most Muslims disagree, that most of those massacred by ISIS are other Muslims, or that most of the men and women taking up arms against ISIS are Muslim doesn’t deter Hirsi Ali.” – Haroon Moghul

    “ISIS doesn’t just refuse my Islam, which is rooted in an authentic Islam—it wants to kill me.” – Haroon Moghul

    VS.

    “…but Islam creates all the same a powerful sense of peoplehood, rooted in this historical achievement. People resort to lazy memes, like ‘religion divides people.’ Sure, but it also unites people.” – Haroon Moghul

    “Whereas the Arabs were once torn apart by interminable feuding, today nearly 1 out of 4 of the world’s inhabitants are Muslim.” – Haroon Moghul

    How do you reconcile these statements? Does islam divide or unite? What are you basing your opinion on?

    And, finally, I could find nothing about your views on blasphemy or the open exchange of ideas (freedom of expression), which I feel is the most important concept at this juncture. We have to agree to stop killing each other over words and images in order to have a dialogue. Where does blasphemy fall in your counter-reformation?

  • Adis Duderija

    i have not read the book but i respect Haroon and his integrity. for the real reformists read this academic article: https://www.academia.edu/4501956/CRITICAL-PROGRESSIVE_MUSLIM_THOUGHT_REFLECTIONS_ON_ITS_POLITICAL_RAMIFICATIONS

  • Mohammad Patrick Ročka

    Very good article that saves us the trouble and the money of purchasing or support this poorly written her book; BUT The best answer and/or response to Aayan Hirsi Ali may still be yet to come .

    We have here in the US literally ten’s of thousands if not more of integrated, educated, religiously observant and articulate Somali-Americans, about half of whom are women, with especially large Somali-American communities in the Seattle, San Diego and Minnesota metropolitan areas with smaller Somali communities in St Louis and Ohio. These Somali-Americans, as far as I know, immigrated to the US from the same original country and conditions as Ayaan Hirsi Ali without lying on their Immigration forms or receiving special accommodations fro the US Government to immigrate after being caught lying on their immigration forms in Europe, unlike Aayan Hirsi Ali.

    So far, the American Media has continued to rely solely on this single source in Aayan Hirsi Ali and failed to seek even a second source by interviewing or asking any other Somali-American if any of these statements in all of the books and interviews and talks by Aayan Hirsi Ali about Islam or the conditions in Somalia and Kenya are true or factual.

    Even CAIR failed in its media opportunities to bring a Somali-American to the debate or discussion and instead sent a male representative each time who debated and discussed poorly.

    IMHO Nothing would shut Ayaan Hirsi Ali down like a Educated, Articulate and well spoken observant Hijab wearing Somali-American Woman speaking out against her and calling her for her lies.

    There are some videos in Dutch that do this in part but we have yet to see something made here.

  • You really think that the execution of a mass murderer is equivalent to beheading some journalist that you kidnapped?

    You have a demented moral compass.

  • GregAbdul

    I mean anyone who believes the God of Abraham is not One…..as in believing God is three or four or whatever….three does not equal One.

  • GregAbdul

    so you have better excuses for state-sponsored killing than the Saudis? It must be that advanced Western civilization thing…

  • GregAbdul

    you are very right…but the American media especially plays this game…the only Muslims they want to hear from are Muslims who don’t practice Islam.

  • GregAbdul

    Islam unites AND divides. We are almost 1/4 of the world population, yet we fight amongst ourselves. In Islamic history, there is a tradition of the open exchange of ideas. That is how Muslims ended up being the ones who preserved the Greek philosophers during the Dark Ages. But because we are divided, there are those who believe in a one size for all Muslims…. outside of the time of the Prophet, that has almost never been the case.

  • GregAbdul

    magic? rational is you don’t start your soliloquy by insulting those who don’t believe as you do. You have a faith and we see it as pathetic. You believe live has no meaning outside of your brain’s limitations.

  • GregAbdul

    you can prove a negative? Doesn’t sound very rational to me. Can you prove the Prophet Muhammad didn’t exist too?

  • Ali

    Actually Hirsi is a liar 🙂
    Her credibility to anyone who read how she lied, how her father and family in Europe replied to her lies, how the Netherlands had a committee that reached the conclusion that she lied makes her credibility zero.

  • DKeane123

    Reference please?

  • DKeane123

    Thank you for proving my point above. So is that a “yes” from you as far as winged horses?

  • DKeane123

    Also, if you could reference where she was found to be a liar, that would be good information.

  • Jim Reed

    No, you can’t prove Muhammad didn’t exist, because of the history. History is also the reason you CAN prove Jesus didn’t exist. What do you know about Jesus? You believe at least in part the gospel stories, and they were written toward the end of the first century, one copying another and adding more to the story. Now go back a little in history and see where these stories point. Before you reach that point at the beginning of the century, you get to the middle of the century where there is a lot of writing about Christianity, and it is a different Christianity from the later gospel stories. Christians of that day were finding references in the old testament of a Christ. The most serious ones were having visions of this Christ. That is what Christianity was about, and the preachings and teachings and stories of Paul. In later decades this was eventually replaced by new stories of the preachings and teachings and stories of Jesus. Think about it. You can’t just go by what billions of people say because they learned it from others who were saying that. If you go down a path of correcting false stories, it might lead you to finding and correcting more and more false stories, and in the long run that will be the arc of history. Believing something that is false merely because at the moment it is convenient will always decay into bigger and bigger problems over time.

  • Jim Reed

    Abraham was not real either, and you can show this through science. The problem is the history of the nation of Israel. If this nation had spent 40 years wandering in the desert, there would have been tons of evidence that is not there. Archaeology shows the wandering story is false, and this is an example of proving a negative. No wandering in the desert means the exodus didn’t really happen, and if there was no exodus there was also no actual Moses. With no Moses, you pretty much have to say all of the previous biblical characters, such as Abraham, didn’t exist either.

  • Mohammad Patrick Ročka

    Ms Hirsi was forced to step down from Dutch parlimeent when her citizenship was revodked because it was discovered that she lied on her immigration documents. The story she made up about why see was seeking asylumwas a lie, although she continues to peddle that same lie to us americans and not tell the truth that she was/is an illegal immigrant to Europe who broke the law in order to get Dutch citizenship
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/mp-may-be-deported-over-claims-she-lied-to-win-asylum-478265.html

  • DKeane123

    The problem goes deeper – As long as zealots and fundamentalists can point to a book that supports their actions, we will have this problem. In my opinion, the all loving Abrahamic God really screwed up by putting so much racism, homophobia, misogyny, and violence on paper. Thankfully, I’m not beholden to any of those ideas – although i am concerned that many feel their God to be so weak, that they need enforce those rules in absentia.

  • Mohammad Patrick Ročka

    and a second news article, this time from Dutch news, about the Lies of Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali whose real names is Ayaan Hirsi Magan, she lied and changed her name so that dutch authorities could not find the UN files on her real status.

    http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/country-news/Ayaan-Hirsi-Ali-hero-or-phony_137558.html

  • B. R. Owens

    Could Haroon Moghul find credible “truth” in anything presented by an apostate? Ali has been sentenced to death for her comments about Islam. Moghul just keeps piling it on!

  • DKeane123

    Ah, okay – she lied on her immigration status. I wonder if she was desperate? So that means that every single other thing she says is automatically suspect or a lie.

  • Rmj

    You realize none of this is news, right? And some of it is flatly inaccurate (like the idea Jesus of Nazareth never lived).

    And yet you still insist if you just steal Christmas, Christmas won’t come?

  • Jim Reed

    A careful reading of the new testament does show the Jesus stories were a later invention, and not based on an actual person from the beginning of the first century.

    The Abraham myth concept might not be news to us, but it might be new for Muslims.

  • Does justify why the Head Imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca called out for an all out war against Christian and Shiites in last Friday’s Prayers? Even Yahoo News picked it up. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/muslim-cleric-calls-war-101500065.html
    So who is the greatest heretic in Islam?

  • Mohammad Patrick Ročka

    Ayaan Hirsi Magan/Ali not only made up a grand lie about her background in order to immigrate to Holland but she then repeated this grand illusion to rise up politically as a member of an anti-immigration party in Holland and ultimately became a member of the Dutch parliament using this same lie. She continues to repeat the same lies here in the US as she has discovered she can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time.
    and yes, if AYA repeatedly lied for her own personal, political and economic benefit then it brings everything she has said under further scrutiny. All I am asking is that the media get additional voices Somali-Americans to discuss the issues and let them hash it out instead of listening to only one source who is profiting from all this attention
    Salmon Rushdie and FGM are separate issues.
    Of course it was stupid and wrong for anyone to have issued a proclamation against Salmon Rushdie. The only appropriate response for those who opposed his book would be to publicly criticise the content of his book or boycott it.
    and I far more respect Iman’s approach to fighting against FGM as she is working within the Somali culture and with thre Somali Grandmothers who have been the ones who in the past promoted and often carried out FGM.
    One can often get much further in promoting positive change by engaging and respecting the individuals and groups one wants to effect change in instead of making blanket condemnations outside of said groups such as AYA has tended t do, for her own fame instead of for the benefit of the groups she claims to be part of.

  • DKeane123

    “grand lie” – I think I would lie too had my devout grandmother taken a knife to my genitalia and I was being taught that people who write ideas I am opposed to should be killed – and that this is all somehow God’s will. But who am I, I don’t follow any of these old and violent books.

  • Jim Reed

    Who is the greatest peacemaker? Today’s news is Obama has signed a peace deal with Iran. This could change everything. The Republican response is they almost have a veto proof majority to kill the deal and put us back on the path to war. What happens if they stop the deal? There is an interesting possibility. Russia, China, and Europe are also signing the deal along with Obama. If the Republicans can kill the deal, their veto might not necessarily apply to the rest of the world. The world could act quickly to end sanctions faster, then it will matter less what Obama and the US does. Obama could lose, and still win. That path to peace, everyone else in the world except the US, might be even better.

  • Professor Ben

    How kind of you to give such a learned critique of Hirsi Ali’s writing. Maybe if she listens to you and keeps plugging away she can aspire to write something as successful and influential as “The Order of Light”.
    Your ideas about freedom, analysis, debate & discussion are positively radical. Too bad she doesn’t advocate for any of those things in her book, huh?

  • Ortega

    Why are muslims in America giving so much status to AHA? Is it just because a lot of white Euro-Americans see her as important? That’s quite a colonised mindset to me. Personally, I find muslims who spend a lot of time attacking people like AHA and Irshad Manji just as annoying as their targets.

  • GregAbdul

    “might be news for Muslims…” because Muslims are more stupid than Christians?

    I guess it’s all a wash. We believers think atheists are not the brightest people too.

  • Jim Reed

    That is not at all what I am saying. The issue is Jesus. Do you believe in Jesus?

  • GregAbdul

    Mr. Jim…do you believe in American law that says my belief is my right and not your business? Jefferson told us we can pray to what we want…now I guess you are better than old Tom…but your campaign has not gotten too far past your bathroom mirror…yet.

  • Jim Reed

    Yes I do. But when we post here on RD we are sharing our ideas about religion. Your religious beliefs are out in the open when you describe them here. On RD we can say things that are heresy to others, because the only other possibility is to not allow heresy, but that would be a horrible tragedy in regards to seeking truth. That is what is so great about RD.

  • GregAbdul

    Muslims are giving her status? That’s not true (as nicely as I can say it). What is happening is that anti Muslims bigots give her status because of her life story. She was raised by Muslims, and obviously Muslims haters love apostates. She has NO actual upper level knowledge of Islam. She has no formal training in Islamic studies…but she has a narrative that Muslim haters love. Mr. Haroon, me and those like us are simply responding to organized lies published by modern demagogues who are against America’s founding ideas.

  • GregAbdul

    so what is your point? I am supposed to have a scientific discussion with you about my faith?

  • Jim Reed

    It is just a question. I was asking do you believe in Jesus, meaning do you believe Jesus actually existed as a human person? You can say you want to keep the answer to that private.

    I think conversations here on RD do sometimes become discussions about somebody’s faith. I don’t know that it has to be scientific, but things that go against science can be a problem in an honest discussion. Those kinds of beliefs are probably better left to a more controlled environment where heresy is not tolerated.

  • GregAbdul

    are you asking me to explain Islam to you? The best answer is you need to visit your local mosque. I try to be a good Muslim, so I don’t do my religion online. Here we are discussing a demagogue and the American response to a demagogue and hate groups. I believe in Allah and His messenger.

  • Jim Reed

    That doesn’t really answer my question. I was wondering if you believe Jesus was a real person? I think Jesus the man was a myth written up several decades after the start of Christianity.

    I don’t think the problems in America today are about atheists. I think they are about the growing split between conservatives and progressives.

  • Ortega

    She has no formal training in Islamic studies

    Exactly, so why bother responding. What psychologically is the motivation for responding?

  • GregAbdul

    when someone lies on your mother, you don’t say, “they have no formal training on what my mother is.” In America, we are all free to comment. Your point makes no sense. Muslims answer to a Muslim hater and say she is a liar. That’s a rational process and not a single teacher is telling us to be quiet and let the lies go.

  • GregAbdul

    If I say something bad about you (I get censored for a graphic lesson here…” you are probably going to defend yourself..whether what I say is true or not.

  • GregAbdul

    I am starting to get censored (no such thing as totally free speech) like you want to pretend. I am a Muslim…now if you don’t know what Muslims believe, for me, that makes you a little dense and I would suggest you visit your local mosque so they can educate you on Muslim belief. If more people would do this simple thing, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

  • GregAbdul

    We have several severe problems in America today. For me, the biggest is that the conservatives are making huge progress in dismantling the legacy of Martin Luther King. But in King’s legacy is religious tolerance.

  • Ortega

    If you go on youtube you’ll find dozens of videos by anti-Islam Afrocentrists. The only muslims who ever respond to them are black americans. Why is that?

  • GregAbdul

    I think you just said….it’s a black American discussion?

  • Ortega

    If that’s how you see it, then isn’t the discussion involving AHA, Irshad Manji, Asra Nomani etc. a “white American” discussion (which was kind of my original point)?

  • GregAbdul

    no because these discussions are not “eurocentric or white American centered. They are disinformation campaigns that have become mainstream American discourse and thus, totally rational areas where Muslims should engage in order to dispel the lies.

  • GregAbdul

    “The Jews and the Cross, I swear by Allah, they will have their days…”

    Is NOT a call to all out war. I know….I think some of you stare at hate sites too long and it affects your ability to make out the words.

  • JCF

    “I know Christians think they are beyond sin.”

    Sure, plenty (most? almost all?) Christians ACT like this, but truly, I don’t think any believe themselves to be “beyond sin” (maybe on their deathbeds ;-/).

    “Americans love American warriors.” Except those Americans who actually FOLLOW Jesus [See re Malcolm X’s contemporary, Martin Luther King Jr—but he’s only the best known. All of the “Historic Peace Churches” (Quakers, Mennonites, Church of the Brethren). Significant portions of the Mainline churches (and historic Black Churches), and Roman Catholics, and even some Evangelicals.]

    I would think I don’t have to tell you, GregAbdul, that the most important jihad one fights—and the only one I could join you in—is the struggle within one’s self to BE one’s most “compassionate, merciful” self?

  • JCF

    “three does not equal One”: except when—Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit!—it does. Mmmm, paradox: it’s a beautiful thing! 🙂

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”, RW Emerson

  • Ortega

    “Mainstream” as defined by what though? What makes something mainstream as opposed to fringe?

  • Asadullah Ali Al-Andalusi

    “”Nazism and Communism are just as secular and rational as liberal democracy.” That’s plainly untrue — Nazism and Communism were based on doctrines that proved false (a natural hierarchy of races in one case and the superorganism of the proletariat in the other). Liberal democracy, by contrast, is a based on a sound intuition, now backed by scientific insight: human nature is such that a distribution of power among institutions committed to preserving individual freedoms while respecting majority rule best satisfies the utilitarian principle of maximizing happiness. I credit you with knowing that.”

    What a bunch of positivism hogwash.

    You do know that Liberal democracies and republics are known for failing more than any other system of government in the world, right?

  • GregAbdul

    ABC, CBS and NBC are mainstream….”Afrocentric” blogs…are not.

  • GregAbdul

    Mr. Haroon has not said anything about a death sentence. He rationally shows her arguments are false…but I guess if you are not used to actually thinking and debating, the only people you can understand are demagogues

  • GregAbdul

    JC, Christianity is based on the idea that you believe in Jesus and your sins are forgiven. Hence, Christians most certainly believe they are beyond sin. It is inherent in their dogma.

    The churches you cite are fringe churches. What percentage of Americans are Quakers? The fact is, the white racist GOP is fighting to overturn the legacy of Martin Luther King and with the backing of the Supreme Court, they are succeeding. Our government invades country after country and kills millions of people. Right now the right wing is pushing for a war with Iran….hmmm…don’t see a bunch of preachers marching up and down in front of the Capitol building protesting…in fact…don’t see nary a single one!

  • Ortega

    I didn’t mention blogs I said videos on youtube. What’s the practical difference between talking to the public on the street, and talking on television?

  • GregAbdul

    I said blogs. You tube is essentially a video blog. Your argument is that there is no mainstream America? That’s subjective (not to mention false). Mr. O, the issue is, as free indvidual American Muslims, we get to decide what we do and don’t engage and everyone in a free and open society is free try to convince others to engage or disengage in any topic imaginable. We have organizations like CAIR that exist just to speak up on behalf of Muslims. I don’t think we are going to disband our PR groups and stop speaking publicly against hate because you say, “there’s really no mainstream America…” Your arguments are not too coherent.

  • Jim Reed

    The right wing wants war with Iran, and preachers are not protesting. I guess you are right about that point. It is a complicated situation. It seemed to get more complicated back around 1980, when American Christianity sold their soul to the party of the rich. It was supposed to be about showing hatred of the hippy lifestyle, but once Christianity and the Republican party got together it turned out to be about so much more. It seems to be about the rich consolidating control, and there will be lots of collateral damage along the way. The rich allied with Christianity expressed through Christian Zionism. How could anything short of a major end times war ever satisfy that monster?

  • David Asaph

    Where can we read your analysis of violence in the name of Islam and your proposed solution to the problems of misinterpretation?

  • glorybe29

    JESUS, DID preach to the gentiles..so did Paul, especially! ALL OUR CALENDARS are dated from BC ( before CHRIST) and AD( after HIM(after GOD)

  • Ortega

    That’s subjective (not to mention false).

    Being subjective precludes something from being true or false.

    the issue is, as free indvidual American Muslims, we get to decide what we do and don’t engage


    That’s the whole point though. If you’re basing your whole discourse on responding to criticisms from “white” non-muslims (or their mouthpieces) then you’re not really free. You’re letting people from outside your community decide what your “urgencies” should be.

  • Jim Reed

    We renamed those years to conform to our new standard of separation of church and date.

  • nielsc

    If we are failing,then muslim should stay away

  • john ford

    …. but, or course, Hirsi Ali exhibits the very thing she fears …. her own Westernised thinking that packages everything in order to sell the contents at a higher price

  • Lee Weisman

    Mecca Muslims refuse to recognize that ‘Islam is not a religion of peace’; that groups like ISIS haven’t ‘hijacked’ the faith, they are the faith.

    If your explaining that as how she describes this in the book she is a mad woman who needs a butt ramming.

  • Geoff, God of Biscuits

    Yes it does. Why would you say something so stupid?

  • Geoff, God of Biscuits

    Actually Hirsi is not a liar. 🙂

  • Geoff, God of Biscuits

    Because she’s not a liar–what she says is right.