…it wouldn’t be any of the American political hacks whose antics I blog about. I certainly wouldn’t waste a wish on any overpaid athlete, artist, rock-n-roll star, or movie idol.
If it were possible to turn back the clock I would like to meet George Orwell and especially Ayn Rand, although I’d approach both with trepidation lest the reality of their human frailties destroy the myth that surrounds them. Better not to know.
No, if I could meet any one person tomorrow it would be Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Most of the people who read this blog also read enough others to know who Ali is. Caroline Glick says this:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is arguably the bravest and most remarkable woman of our times.
Why, she wondered were she and her mother and sister prohibited from leaving their apartment without a male relative escorting them? As an adolescent in Nairobi she wondered why the enjoyment she felt in the company of boys was sinful.
Why did her mother need to suffer the humiliation of polygamy? Why could she not choose her own husband? Why was she told by one and all that her normal human impulses to seek love, respect and compassion and think for herself were sinful and evil?
try as she might, she could not accept that her own will had no inherent value. She blamed the preachers for the terror she saw as a Muslim girl, believing they must be distorting the Koran. “Surely,” she writes, “Allah could not have said that men should beat their wives when they were disobedient? Surely a woman’s statement in court should be worth the same as a man’s?”
According to WikiPedia:
Hirsi Ali wrote the script and provided the voice-over for Submission, a film directed by Theo van Gogh, which criticized the treatment of women in Islamic society.
The film’s release sparked much controversy, and became violent when radical Islamist Mohammed Bouyeri, a member of the Hofstad Group, murdered Van Gogh in an Amsterdam street on November 2, 2004. A letter attached to Van Gogh’s body with a knife was primarily a death threat to Hirsi Ali.
Hirsi Ali has said that although she deeply regrets the murder of van Gogh, she is proud of the film and does not regret having made it. “To feel otherwise would be to deny everything I stand for.”
After the murder of van Gogh, Hirsi Ali went into hiding in the Netherlands, and even spent some time in New York, until January 18, 2005, when she returned to parliament. On February 18, 2005, she revealed the location of herself and her colleague Geert Wilders, who had also been in hiding. She demanded a normal, secured house, which she was granted one week later.
On November 16, 2005, she reported being seriously threatened by Sachemic Faa. This imam, who worked in a mosque in The Hague, announced on the Internet that Hirsi Ali would be “blown away by the wind of changing times” and that she should anticipate “the curse of Allah”.
“Before I came to Europe, I’d never heard of the Holocaust. That is the case with millions of people in the Middle East. Such a conference should be able to convince many people away from their denial of the genocide against the Jews.”
She also said that “so-called Western values” of freedom and justice are universal; that Europe has done far better than most areas of the world at providing justice, because it has guaranteed the freedom of thought and debate that are required for critical self-examination; and that communities cannot reform themselves unless “scrupulous investigation of every former and current doctrine is possible.
Wow. What a woman. What a human being.
Two questions to the Black Shards readers: How many of us would dare do the things that Hirsi Ali has already done? And once having made the most brutal, heartless, and violent of enemies, would you continue to speak the truth?
I would like to think so. Yet I have to admit that each time I click the Publish button at Black Shards to send another post that’s critical of Islam and its perverse, murderous theology into the public record there is a moment of doubt in which I wonder if there will be a price to pay for having this mind of mine and choosing to use it.
I pondered that question last month when I received a rambling voice message on my phone during which the caller babbled in some foreign tongue that was assuredly not Spanish, French, or German.
Twice Black Shards has gone down within hours of such a post. Is the site being deliberately targeted? Doubtful when so many more eloquent voices are making the world aware of modern Islam and what the consequences of our failure to contain it will be. Perhaps my hosting vendor is simply incompetent. Or perhaps not…
How much greater must the courage of Hirsi Ali be than mine? It’s difficult to imagine, really.
When Hirsi Ali speaks about the abominable practices of Islam her words literally resound with the ring of truth. What she’s saying is right and no amount of her enemies’ hatred can take away the power of her singular mind and steadfast purpose.
Both are needed now as much as any time in history, particularly for Muslim women who cannot and will not submit to the tyranny of their religion.
Hirsi Ali said:
“I do not seek to offend religious sentiment, but I will not submit to tyranny. Demanding that people who do not accept Muhammad’s teachings should refrain from drawing him is not a request for respect but a demand for submission.”
Submission is exactly what Islam is all about. She also said:
A culture that celebrates femininity is not equal to a culture that trims the genitals of her girls.
A culture that holds the door open to her women is not equal to one that confines them behind walls and veils.
A culture that spends millions on saving a baby girl’s life is not equal to a one that uses its first encounter with natal technology to undertake mass abortion simply because baby girls are not welcome.
A culture with courts that punish a husband for forcing his wife to have sex with him is not equal to a culture with a tribunal that decrees a young woman be gang-raped for talking to a boy of an allegedly higher caste.
A culture that encourages dating between young men and young women is not equal to a culture that flogs or stones a girl for falling in love.
A culture that insists on holding open a position for women in its Supreme Court is not equal to a culture that declares that the testimony of a woman is worth half of that of a man.
Of course, other Muslim women have had the courage to stand up for their beliefs and their rights as human beings. Too often these women have ended up dead for daring to hope that they might live a life free of theocratic domination, as in last year’s case of Safia Amajan:
Safia Amajan promoted women’s education and work – a fairly ordinary job in most places – but in the Afghanistan of a resurgent Taliban it was a dangerous path to follow. She was a target, and yesterday she was gunned down outside her home.
Five years after the “liberation” of Afghanistan by the US and Britain, with promises of a new dawn for its downtrodden women, her murder was a bloody reminder of just how far the country is slipping back into a land of darkness.
And the very recent case of Zakia Zaki:
Zakia Zaki, the owner and the manager of Peace Radio in Parwan province, was shot seven times by pistol and automatic rifle fire in front of her 8-year-old son inside her house in the town of Jabalussaraj, said provincial Gov. Abdul Jabar Takwa.
And just days earlier:
Another female reporter, Shokiba Sanga Amaaj, was shot inside her house in Kabul on Friday by two male relatives, said Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal, the Kabul police director of criminal investigations.
All the more reason to admire Hirsi Ali, I say.
The world needs more of her kind and far fewer Muslim bully boys.