My View of Islam

On holy war, apostasy and the rights of women in Islam. The undisputed definition of Islam by all her adherents … Continued

On holy war, apostasy and the rights of women in Islam.

The undisputed definition of Islam by all her adherents is “submission to the will of Allah.” This divine will is outlined in the Koran and in the teachings and deeds of Muhammad, as recorded in the Hadith or Sunna.

While the Koran is considered to be the true, undiluted word of God revealed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel, the Sunna carry less weight and have always been a cause for disagreement amongst Muslim scholars. Theologians of Islam have, however, reached consensus on the authority of a set of six volumes from the Sunna called the Sahih Sita, or authentic six.

On the issues of holy war (jihad), apostasy and the treatment of women, the Koran and Sunna are clear. It is the obligation of every Muslim to spread Islam to unbelievers first through dawa, or proselytizing, then through jihad, if the unbelievers refuse to convert. It is the obligation of the unbelievers to accept Islam. Exempted from this edict of conversion are the people of the book: Christians and Jews. Both peoples have a choice. They may adopt Islam and enjoy the same rights as other Muslims, or they may stick to their book and lead the life of a dhimmi (lower citizen). Legally, the rights of the dhimmi are not equal to those of a Muslim. For instance, a Muslim man may take a Jewish or Christian wife, but Jews and Christians are not allowed to marry Muslim women. If a Christian or a Jew kills a Muslim man, they should be killed immediately. In contrast, the blood of a Muslim should never be shed in recompense for the blood of Christians or Jews.

It is also the obligation of every Muslim to command virtue and forbid vice. Apostasy, the worst possible vice a Muslim can commit, should be punished by death. The punishment need not be carried out by a state, but can easily be enforced by civilians. When it is a question of Islamic law, justice is in the hands of every Muslim.

As for the treatment of women, in the Koran and more elaborately in the Sunna, Islam assigns to girls a position in the family that requires them to be docile, makes them dependent on their male relatives for money and gives dominion over their bodies to these same male kin.
In Islam there is a strict hierarchy of subservience. First and foremost, all humans are required to be the slaves of Allah. In Muslim societies, all children must obey their parents. Beyond this, women and girls must obey and serve without question their male guardians and especially their husbands. This decree of marital obedience is not in any way reciprocal.

A woman in Islam is not competent and must always have a guardian. The responsibility of guardianship may pass from father to brother to uncle before a girl is married off, at which point she must answer to her husband. Marriage is typically arranged, with no choice given to the girl, and there is often an exchange of money in the process. Thus, under the religious rule of Islam, it is still common today that a woman’s rights are essentially sold to a man she may not know, and most likely does not love.

As for education of girls under Islam, there is a clear program of indoctrination of inequality. Under Islam, education is the passing on of the rules of submission to the will of Allah. Intrinsic in this “education” is the dictation of gender roles. Girls are instructed in subservience first to God, then to the family and finally to the husband. There is strict emphasis on modesty, defined by virginity. A Muslim girl is taught to guard fiercely her virginity as an expression of loyalty to her creator and to her family and husband.

This form of education hampers her chances of ever becoming self-reliant or financially independent. A woman’s lack of social equality and freedom is a direct consequence of the teachings of Islam. Under Islam, a wife must always ask her husband for permission and she must obey indefinitely. This stricture is lifted in the unique event that he asks her to forsake God, wherein she is allowed the right of disobedience. While it is true that in Islam, technically speaking, women have the right to trade and own property, the condition of total obedience to guardians makes this “freedom” hypothetical, at best.

The goal of education given to girls under Islam is the achievement of control over female sexuality. The result of this indoctrination is that Muslim girls believe legitimate and often vocally defend their position of subordination. The lengths a Muslim society will go to in the pursuit of sexual control often cross into the territory of the absurd and, by western standards, criminal. In Islam the minimum age of marriage for a girl is after her first menstruation. Muhammad was engaged to his wife Aisha when she was six years old, and he married her (had intercourse with her) when she turned nine. Millions of Muslim men across the world follow Muhammad in this deed, one of the most prominent examples being the late Ayatollah Khomeini.

Under sharia law (Islamic law), such as governs in Saudi Arabia, Iran and parts of Nigeria, the civil rights of women are dramatically reduced. Threat of violent punishment in the form of whipping and stoning makes the prospect of financial independence and sexual freedom for women all but impossible. Miraculously, even in such harsh circumstances you will find women who are relatively well educated, have some say in choosing a husband and manage to earn a living. Let us be clear that these exceptions are due to the compassion and progressiveness of families who have been influenced by the West, and not to rules derived from Islam.
In the quest for reconciliation between Muslim and western societies, it is important to recognize that Muslims are as diverse as Islam is monolithic. Islam attempts to unify more than a billion people of different geographical origins, languages, ethnicities, and cultural and educational backgrounds into one religious tribe. And while I acknowledge that generally stereotyping believers is difficult since belief is subjective, for the sake of discussion I would like to distinguish between five types of Muslims.

The first group includes those Muslims who leave the faith because they cannot reconcile it with their conscience or with modernity. This group is important for the evolution of the Islamic world because they ask the urgent and critical questions believers usually avoid. Ex-Muslims living in the west are just beginning to find their voice and to take advantage of the spiritual and social freedoms available to them.

The second group is comprised of genuine Muslim reformers, such as Irshad Manji, who acknowledge the theological out-datedness of the Koranic commands and the immorality of the prophet. They tend to emphasize the early chapters in the Koran urging goodness, generosity and spirituality. They argue that the latter chapters wherein Islam is politicized and the concepts of sharia, jihad and martyrdom are introduced should be read in the context in which they were written, some 1,400 years ago.

The third group is made up of those Muslims who support the gradual perpetuation and domination of Islam throughout the world. They use the freedoms offered in democracy to undermine social modernity and, though initially opposed to the use of violence, foresee that once the number of believers reaches a critical mass the last remnants of unbelievers may then be dealt with in violence, and sharia law may be universally implemented. Ayatollah Khomeini used this method successfully in Iran. Erdogan of Turkey is following in his footsteps. Tariq Ramadan, deeply rooted in his Muslim Brotherhood heritage, is devoted to such a program among European Muslims.

The fourth group is the most obvious and immediately threatening. In this group we find a growing number of hard-line Muslims who have defined martyrdom as their only goal. This is an army of young men whipped into a frenzy of suicidal violence by power hungry clergy. These clergy have public platforms and work with impunity from institutions untouched and often funded by national authorities.

The fifth group is largely ineffective and only threatening in their refusal to acknowledge the truth. Here we find the elite clergy who make a show of trying to reconcile Islam with modernity. They are motivated by self-preservation and have no interest in true reform. They take selective passages from the holy books to make a case for a peaceful Islam, ignoring the many passages inciting violence, such as those verses which command the death of apostates.

It is through the first two of these five groups that progress and reform will come. As for the rest, the western world would be wise to recognize the realities of Islam, a religion laid down in writing over a millennium ago with violence and oppression at its heart.

Born in Somalia and raised a devout Muslim, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an active critic of Islam, an advocate for women’s rights and a leader in the campaign to reform Islam. Her willingness to speak out and her abandonment of the Muslim faith have made her a target for violence and threat of death by Islamic extremists. She is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, in Washington D.C., and is the author of the bestselling memoir “Infidel.”

  • ross

    ….And the truth will set you free !!!Finally an article that speaks the truth about this cult, well done Ayaan !!!! You are a refreshing oasis in this barren desert called islam.

  • Lynda

    Thank you for your wonderful essay. I question only your dismissal of the last group of Muslims whom you dismiss as ineffective. They try to reconcile Islam with modernity. The argument rests in the meaning of “reconcile”. Self preservation has been a great motivater for change in other religions. Why not for Islam.

  • Janet

    Thank you, Ms Ali, for finally giving the readers of these columns straight talk about Islam. Readers of the Washington Post have had to weigh through the half-truths of Ms Taylor, Karen Armstrong, Tariq Ramadan, and many others, who refuse to look reality in the face, and who wish to sugarcoat and/or deny what is actually going on.

  • Anonymous

    Concerned, Why would the NT authors concoct all these stories? To get rich (they were all poor)? To get fame (their names didnt become famous until years after their death).Their propagation of these so-called “lies” knowingly led them to their deaths by the Romans.So, logically, they were either crazy or truthful.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali:KUDOS !!!!!You should write more and more on this blogsite. I do understand that your life is in danger. You had to flee Netherlands following the brutal decapitation of Theodore Van Gogh, descendant of Vincent Van Gogh for the docu-film: SUBMISSION.In USA, persons like yourself, Dr. Ali Sina, Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq, Andrew Bostom, Daniel Pipes, Bernard Lewis, Sam Harris et. al. must get together and proclaim the truth about Islam.The problem is with the gullible Americans. They have not read the Quran/Sunnnah/Hadith. A very good comprehensive link is the University of Southern California’s Muslim Student Association website: People just (mistakenly) believe that all Abrahamic religions preach compassion and non-violence like Christianity. Unfortunately, that is no so with Islam. History of Islam shows completely otherwise. My view is that Americans do not realize that Islam and US Constitution are diametrically opposite. For a start, the concept of free speech is totally absent in Islam. You cannot say anything against Islam in an Islamic State – and shall face decapitation [Quran(005:033)]. Many Americans think that this is an exaggeration.For example it is quite disappointing to read some uninformed comments like Lynda who disagrees with you stating:”They try to reconcile Islam with modernity.”What such otherwise well-meaning persons don’t realize is that reconciliation is forbidden in Islam. Islam is to establish itself as revealed to Muhammad, from Allah via Gabriel, and bring the whole world under its own dominion (propagate Islam to eliminate kufr – unbelief). Allah’s message is reckoned as time-immemorial. So, reconciling Islam with modernity implies negating the revelation and is a heresy. Islam is not here to reconcile and hence change its position with time. Islam being, by definition, a fundamentalist belief system commands people of the future times to change their lives and style so that it conforms with the revelation. That is, one’s current life in the present times, must be changed to conform what was revealed to Muhammad. If this understanding has any merit, then I can’t see how Islam and modernity be reconciled ? To some it is a good feeling that such quixotic ideas are indeed a reality.Anyway, please continue to write. In particular, if you can present arguments against the writings of other Islamic scholars on the WP Faith blogsite, such as Muzzamil Siddiqi who states that apostacy is not punishable by death in Islam, and that Jihad (physical warfare) to propagate Islam is forbidden, then such would open up debates and questions about the place of Islam in a country such as USA.Thanks for your excellent post. Long live ! Best Wishes !

  • James

    While I respect the author’s right to excercise her freedom of expression however the contents of this article do not reflect Islam. I said Islam as many people, including this author, confuse the religion, Islam, with its adherents, Muslims. For this author to claim that one had to leave the religion in order to voice dissent, see the first group in her thesis, is a sure sign of ignorance. There is not a single verse in the Quran that commands the believers something which does not also ask them to think through, to reason, to be among those who think through things etc.I am a professional, a Muslim, and a proud father of two daughters and a son. My daughters are neither docile nor made subservient to my son. The author’s confusion most likely is caused by her lack of differentiation between culture of some those who call themselves muslims and the religion of Islam. Islam put a stop to girl infanticide for example fourteen centuries ago yet there are Muslims in places like India who practice this culture. Do we blame Islam for this as this author would have us believe?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Anon,Some observations by others:According to Reimarus as referenced in R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, “Reimarus (1774-1779) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God’s hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus’ failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing.”Early Christian economics 101:The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the “dunking”. The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added “healing” as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters for a fee/donation and “Gentilized” the good word to the “big buck” world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!!Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them “free”. The Holy Roman “Empirers”/Popes/Kings/Queens et al continued the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today’s And we know almost nothing about the authors of the NT gospels. They actually could have been well off financially. What little is known about Mark, Matthew, Luke and John is described quite well by Father Raymond E. Brown in his book, An Introduction to the New Testament”, 878 pages of Catholic approved information published in 1997.

  • Jim Carlson

    If this analysis is correct, we are probably facing the prospect of sectarian violence for generations to come.There is one bright spot in this mess: The more extreme a group becomes, generally speaking, the smaller its numbers become. And while we cannot ignore extremists, their strength lies only in their fanaticism. A death cult is always going to have very limited appeal, 72 virgins notwithstanding.

  • Janet

    James said: “There is not a single verse in the Quran that commands the believers something which does not also ask them to think through, to reason, to be among those who think through things etc.” Then why is so little free thinking and expression not allowed in Muslim countries. Can you name one Muslim country where people can freely speak their minds without fear of violence against them?I am glad to hear that your daughters are not docile. But what country do you live in and where were you brought up? As Ms Ali says, there are exceptions to the way that Muslim women are treated, but that is not because of Islam, but because of the values of the Western Enlightenment tradition.

  • Anonymous

    concerned,your “views” are based purely on speculation and slant. Objectively speaking, they are no less ground in truth than the NT narratives

  • Agsoba

    I know the writer was born a muslim, but has shown her hatred of Islam by all her actions. Her hatred of Islam is highly evident in all she writes. While i believe she’s free to express her opinion, which she may feel she’s could not do in her native somailia, I however object her bringing Nigeria into this issue. If she knows about Islam and Muslims as she claims, she’ll not drag Nigeria into the discussion.

  • Nivedita

    Great article! Thank you for calling a spade a spade! Wish more people would address the issue as you have done, being objective and to the point.

  • Anonymous

    Liar. Liar . Liar. More racist comments from an Islamaphobe. I wonder how much the American enterprise institute pays you to lie like this. Arent you the one who the immigration minister had to revoke a visa for because of falfisying immigration forms? Isnt that why you are in America? ya, you are real credible! So you mean to tell us, 2 billion muslems, hit their women, tell them who to marry and abuse them? THEN WHY DO MUSLEMS HAVE THE LOWEST DIVORCE RATE IN THE WORLD? Why is the lowest murder rate in the world in the muslem world? lowest homeless rate?lowest crime rate? I thought muslems were murderers and abusers and inherently violent? All major worlds wars started by Christians and you say Islam is violent? Give me a break!!

  • Paganplace

    Well, personally, I think that’s a very cogent and lucid analysis of some of the very real problems one can see in Islam…. as well as, importantly, a useful description of the various attitudes toward it, some more familiar to my experience than others. Certainly, it’s better than getting xenophobic and hysterical, by a long shot. People who advocate understanding and civility are often accused of being myopic and blind to the abuses and potential (and actual) threats to freedom and democracy that fall under the Islamic umbrella.Recognizing the distinctions is a step toward knowing who, in the interests of getting along in the world, can be reasoned with, and in fact, supported as they seek to modernize by their own terms.I’d have to disagree with James that his own experience absolves the *system* of Islam of its systemic problems, …my experience and that of many others in a Christian upbringing says that even in context of a pluralistic, free society, the social pressures within families and religious institutions can be downright medieval… For example, we may see it in our own society where even ‘religious freedom’ is often on the lips of those who believe ‘religious freedom’ applies only to Abrahamic book religions at most, and often, only certain brands and interpretations and agendas of Christianity.It’s become too easy to surrender the secular high ground, and simply say, ‘Islam is bad, Muslims are bad, let’s try and treat it like a foreign thing to be abolished.’ That’s not going to make a lot of friends. Or really help women. It just entrenches people, and discourages the very questioning the world needs. Eyes open, it’s important to have realistic and productive approaches to dealing with injustice. Approaches that don’t recognize the distinctions only create the kind of situations that empower violent absolutists and disempower those who can make the real changes. Why do you think they use violence in the first place. To *stop people from thinking.*

  • Drew

    This statement explains it all ‘She is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute’. Those of you really interested in the truth, the AEI is run by Dick Cheney’s wife and responsible for the Iraq war. Enough said.

  • Jim Carlson

    “the AEI is run by Dick Cheney’s wife”I just looked at AEI’s Officers and Board of Directors and Cheney does not appear anywhere.So, unless she has an alias, that statement is untrue.

  • Paganplace

    The involvement of the American Enterprise Institute definitely raises flags on the perspective, there.She still has more right to criticise the culture where she comes from. A sense of perspective, as always, is needed.

  • DB

    WELL SAID.The truth about the fetid evil cult of Islam MUST be heard.Here in this article is the truth about the evil cult of Islam that has no place in the 21st century, and certainly not anywhere in the EVOLVED Western world.Muslims are a religion, not a race, and it’s a religion that will kill you or enslave you if you are stupid enough to let it!

  • Dwight Collins

    progressive Americans welcome Islam as it is, oppresive.

  • Lee Glaesemann

    I am surprised at the level of bias and manipulation of doctrine posted by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. As a revert to Islam, I am saddened by what she has written, and, in fact, is likely printed because she confirms the widely-held stereotypes the West holds about Islam. Again and again, professional newspapers who know little about the Islamic faith antagonize and demonize all Muslims by publishing those who have left the religion. Please stop doing this, or, at least to be balanced, contacted writers such as myself for another point of view, something largely lacking when we discuss the religion of Islam.

  • Andrea

    I thought this was a great piece. Finally, someone who can be critical of Islam, but without the ferver and accusations of some of our more beloved posters on here.

  • Sharie

    Ironic that you never seem to cite a source for anything that you say.

  • Shah Ram

    Franklin Roosevelt made the deal, with the devil, for Saudi oil. The Saudi kleptos do what every warm body in Washington, Moscow, Theheran, Pakistan does: stay in power. Bridges collapse, twin towers are brought down, the DemoPublicans profit: always, either way. Now THERE’s a hedge fund.

  • Paganplace

    ” Dwight Collins:”progressive Americans welcome Islam as it is, oppresive.”Oh, yeah, that makes sense. (sarcasm)That’s why we’re always the ones supporting free choice for women and the like. Let’s not forget it’s the Christian ‘religious’ lobby always trying to impose things *more* similar to this vision of Islam that xenophobes insist is the only thing to Muslim people, and calling progressives ‘ungodly’ for doing so. Bah.

  • Anon

    Joe, I have just reported your offensive comment to Post Global. Hopefully it will be removed from this site before the end of the day.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    The tirade against Ayaan Hirsi Ali shows the truth in her contents, and yes truth hurts. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is stating the truth. The verse Quran [005:033] states, as follows:YUSUFALI: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;”Thus, NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH/ACTION IN ISLAM. Do we recall the recent Danish cartoons about Muhammad, and compare its aftermath with what happened with the fallout of Last Temptation of Christ ? How many Christians have killed since the movie was screened, other than some poeaceful demonstrations ? What’s wrong with Ayaan Hirsi Ali stating that very bluntly/coarsely ? Perhaps, as I wrote, truth hurts. What Ms. Ali is doing is to show that Islam is inherently a vicious and barbaric religion. This has tizzed Muslims (believers) off the balance and now the posts from the believers show that anti-Ali sentiment is gravitating strongly. The display of this collective attitude is shameful, from the western view, but it is also true that Islam commands its faithful to oppose anything that is unfavorable to Islam. So, its a part of the general Islamic culture. If that culture grows here insisde USA, then Salman Rushdie and Ibn Warraq will be banned, and other anti-Islam sites like Jihadwatch of Robert Spencer will be shut down. This can happen here if Islamic values are accepted, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali is just voicing concern, and warning the American Free Society of the potential dangers.And for pan-Islamic howlers, American Enterprise Institute has no connection with VP Dick Cheney or his family – to the best of my knowledge.

  • Mewsician

    Very sobering. And the U.S. is populated by vast numbers of so-called Christians whose absolutist mindset is not far removed from those Muslims described here.When will we ever learn; religion is dangerous.

  • yoyo

    AyaanWhat a wonderful essay you have written here.

  • Bill Monroe

    The Islamist community’s only retort to the author argument seems to be “Not True”. They are going to have to come up with a better argument and lead by example if they expect the rest of us to believe, and more importantly, trust them.

  • Roland Carter

    I think this is a very ignornt article and people who “hooray” it and give it “kudos” are just as ignorant.IT IS TIME THAT PEOPLE REALIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND CULTURE!!!And I know most of the people who appluad this article are Christians, but aren’t there more wars raged in the world by Christian countries than Muslim countries??? Aren’t there higher crime, divorce, etc. rates???Come on and be real. CULTURE NOT RELIGION!!!

  • Roland Carter

    I think this is a very ignornt article and people who “hooray” it and give it “kudos” are just as ignorant.IT IS TIME THAT PEOPLE REALIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND CULTURE!!!And I know most of the people who appluad this article are Christians, but aren’t there more wars raged in the world by Christian countries than Muslim countries??? Aren’t there higher crime, divorce, etc. rates???Come on and be real. CULTURE NOT RELIGION!!!

  • Shawn

    Islam, like all religions, is a lie. It’s just that simple. This is one brave woman and I wish her luck. She may need it….

  • Shaheen

    I feel sorry for people like Ayan Hirsi only because they are products of misinformation being fed to them while they were growing up. I grew up a Muslim too and I NEVER heard those views before. Perhaps the people around her were ignorant too. History (or Herstory today) is full of people/tribes USING religion to KILL & CONQUER others. We think this was the norm in the Olden days, please look around you and see what is happening in the world today. The same KILLING & CONQUERING for POWER, continues. God tried to teach humans to be Helpful, Unassuming, Magnanimus, Amiable and lastly Noble… but to no avail. We did NOT learn our lessons.

  • Shaheen

    I feel sorry for people like Ayan Hirsi only because they are products of misinformation being fed to them while they were growing up. I grew up a Muslim too and I NEVER heard those views before. Perhaps the people around her were ignorant too. History (or Herstory today) is full of people/tribes USING religion to KILL & CONQUER others. We think this was the norm in the Olden days, please look around you and see what is happening in the world today. The same KILLING & CONQUERING for POWER, continues. God tried to teach humans to be Helpful, Unassuming, Magnanimus, Amiable and lastly Noble… but to no avail. We did NOT learn our lessons.

  • mark

    Wow! Tell the troof snaggletoof. No wonder she is under threat of violence. Pretty rare to see ANYONE be so honest about Islam. I love how Bush refers to the religion in glowing terms. Get real. The main issue I would have with this lady’s philosophy is her concept of reform. Apparently, she has forsaken the belief, and yet is still working for its reform. I wonder what she thinks there is to reform? I am not suggesting that Muslims convert to Christianity any more than Christians should convert to Islam. But why in the world are such intelligent creatures as us so insistent on these ancient illogical beliefs anyway? Certainly Christianity caused as much suffering in its history as Islam, probably more, yet we still cling to these dreams. I remember seeing the video of David Koresh (or whatever his name was) spouting the most ridiculous stuff about the seven seals to his little minions, and they sat there lapping it up, giving him their money, their daughters and wives, even dying for him. What a bunch of fools we can be. Its all a crock. If we believe this nonsense, we are just as dumb as they are.

  • Ridagana

    No, Islam is not a religion to kill others. It is a religion that speaks the thruth about life. The two key Islam religions buildings so obviously are the male penis at time of erection and the female stomach giving birth to a child. The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is perhaps the most famous illustration of this reality. Out of that follows indeed fighting others because that is what life is all about, starting at school and then growing up.

  • Garak

    What Ms. Ali says is nothing new to anyone who has studied the history of religion. But what she says about Islam, the it is oppressive and violent at heart, is also true of almost every othr religion, especially monotheistic religions. According to the Old Testament, Israel was established through the genocide of the Philistines and Caananites. Christianity made all other religions illegal as soon as it took over the Roman Empire, and killed or suppressed adherents of other religions. Jewish men pray to their god to thank them for not making them been born female. Christianity denied women most legal rights for almost 2000 years. The common law notion of women a chatel is of biblical origin. Islam may be worse at some things (such as women’s rights) and better at others (such as religious tolerance) than the other monotheistic religions, but Islam most certainly is in the same camp as Judaism and Christianity. When it comes to intolerance, they’re all pretty much the same.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful article. Thank you. You got everything right.

  • Pat

    Thank you! Are you compromising your principles by aligning yourself with the American Enterprise Institute? I am disappointed to see you allied with the likes of Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld.

  • Pat

    Thank you! Are you compromising your principles by aligning yourself with the American Enterprise Institute? I am disappointed to see you allied with the likes of Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld.

  • Jacob

    Ridiculous. I agree some liberals are too “fair” toward all religions, and I despise fundamentalist Muslims as much as I despise fundamentalist Christians/Jews, but you have extrapolated your thoughts too far so that they are now only credible in a fantasy world where reforms are never possible, economic factors and cultural factors don’t affect each other, and religion exists on a separate plane from every other part of a person’s life. Do you think the fanatic Muslims are fanatic because they are indoctrinated by fanatic priests, or do you think it is because unemployment in these countries is 60%+ and they have no economic existence. I guarantee if you introduced those conditions on the West, all of those “noble” Christians would become fanatics overnight, and blame more successful outsiders for their misfortune. (think Christianity in the Dark Ages)Come on think critically people! It is not as simple as this woman argues. And to compare Erdogan in Turkey to others in less reform-minded countries is presposterous. You cannot draw such easy parallels. They only work on message boards where a long line of uninformed people are ready to drink in everything you say because it confirms their fears and what they are taught in Church and on Fox News.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    For all those who are also against Christanity, and trying to gloss over Islam.While it is un deniable that Christians have also caused much bloodshed, I would ask these persons to show if any Christian could show that the violence was directly a result of what Jesus Christ had said in the Bible or as can be found in the classical Gospels. With the violence by Muslims, indeed such motivation can be directly connected to Muhammad. (Just read the article by Khalid Zaheer on the Washington Post on this Faith form, and you shall find that indeed Muhammad’s life (sunnah) is a source of inspiration for the Jihadists.) That is the difference between the nature of violence committed by the faithful of the twi communities.The Newsweek had an article that stated that the grand mufti of Jerusalem had met Adolf Hitler in his pogrom against Jewish community. I am not a Christian, but I think it this difference needs to be understood.

  • P.M.N.krishnan

    It is great to see a person like this who can show individuality and can stand on her feet to say about their freedom. Wishing her all the best

  • James Buchanan

    Shaheen, religion is just a vehicle for power. Its an authortarian structure that promotes the controlling privilege of those within its hierarchy.The methods may change, but the heart of the game hasn’t changed.

  • Steve

    There is, without a doubt, violence and oppression in Islam just as there is on a widespread scale in the West. However, to lay blame, as Ms. Ali does, to Islam at its origins is either to be uniformed or to be disingenuous. More to the point, it feeds directly into the strong Western urge to demonize – and then violently oppress – people and institutions in the Islamic world.It is certainly emotionally satisfying, given that oppression of women is based on a belief in women’s intrinsic inferiority, to ascribe a similar core inferiority to Islam itself. But doing so is an act of revenge, not an act of understanding that leads to progress.Steve

  • phosphat

    About time the main stream media took Islam at its own word, rather than making excuses/fabrications for the acts by its more extreme members. All faiths have their martyrs, those who die in its defense. But only Islam demands its members kill in order to attain that title.

  • Come On People!

    The major three religions have evolved over time. The Islamic religion some may say has evolved less, but Judaism and Christianity all have issues with people, individuals or entire countries, strict interpretation or incorrect interpretation of their tenents. Some Muslims practice a much more liberal form of Islam and some hold to a much more conservative doctrine. Some tend to pick and choose what they will follow or not. This would be similar to the variations of Christianity and Judaism that is seen.Our current view of religion is based on our worldview, which is heavily influenced by western culture. The Middle East’s evolution of culture is about 200 years behind ours. If you look at Christianity in the 19th century you will find some of the same challenges that currently face Islam today. Witch trials, polygamy, black skin being a curse are all teachings that were widely held by some Christians, but if Christianity was condemned then and not given a chance to evolve where would we be today?Come on people. Look at the forest and not the trees, which in this case involves comparative historical analysis. Judaism and Christianity are simply at different stages in their evolution than Islam is today. The author has her right to express her views, but should be sternly challenged by religious and historic scholars for not taking into consideration that culturally 2007 in many parts of the Middle East is akin to 1807 in the in the West.

  • Erik

    Every major religion has, at one time or another, been a vehicle for murder, suicide, and oppression. It is funny that this employee of the American Enterprise Institute (AIE) focuses solely on Islam, as if Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and even Buddhism are not being used throughout the world to justify atrocities. The AIE is full of the same jokers who brought us the second Iraq war, authored the surge plan, paid scientists to deny global warming, justified the unitary executive, and advocated the pardon of convicted felon Scooter Libby. While Ms. Ali has many legitimate criticisms of Islam, her association with the AIE reveals the one-sided, xenophobic objective she has in portraying this particular religion as the only enemy. The enemy is extremism, regardless of particular religious brand

  • Frank Josephs

    Ms. Ali,You make all these assertions about what the Koran and Sunna say, but not once do you quote either of them. Why not?The answer, of course, is that in fact these texts, like that of all great religious books, are vague and open to interpretation. You, like the mullahs, assert incontrovertibility where it does not exist.Apostasy should be punished by death, you allege the Koran says, for example. I defy you to quote that passage.

  • speed123

    This is a biased commentator and I would take her blanket statements with a grain of salt…

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Come on People wrote:”….culturally 2007 in many parts of the Middle East is akin to 1807 in the in the West.”The scholars can not challenge Ayaan Hirsi Ali, because in reality, culturally the 2007 middle-east is similar to what happened there almost 1000 years ago, i.e., circa 1007 A.D.

  • Nada

    This article, much like everything Ms. Ali writes, is full of misdirected hatred towards Islam. Her particular upbringing and representations of “Islam” are not accurate and do not speak for the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. She claims that those who defend Islam only quote passages that will support their argument when she does the same exact thing. Like another commenter said, Islam is about reasoning, and wanting to submit to God because you CHOOSE to, not because you are forced. Ms. Ali’s claims are all overstretched half-truths, misconceptions or isolated incidents. She is only feeding off of the ignorance of the general population and all those who want to blame others for their own misdeeds.I am a Muslim woman who grew up both in the Middle East and in the US. I am not docile, my father, uncles and brother do not speak for me. If anything, my parents raised me to think for myself instead of following the herd. I was never beaten, forced to marry or any of the other ignorant nonsense Ms. Ali and other commenters have alluded to in this posting. For Ms. Ali to claim that she is speaking on my behalf is an insult. If I wanted a half-witted ignorant to speak for me, I would have voted Republican in the last election. I do agree that there is a vast number of so-called “Muslims” who use religion to progress their own agenda. For example, the extremists in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. But these people are not true Muslims, for they do not really understand the religion and the teachings of the Koran. Just like the number of Christians out there who go and bomb abortion clinics “in the name of God.” I would compare them to the special interest lobbies, who are more concerned with advancing their own agenda than the public good. Ms. Ali, I hope you get a lot of therapy. Life is too short to spend it absorbed in so much anger.

  • Dutch

    Working for the American Enterprise Institute, Ms. Magan? That doesn’t support the credibility of the story, since the American Enterprise Institute is in bed with the Cheney family and the NeoCons. Check:Articles like this, Ms. Magan, will strengthen the idea of Muslims that the USA is fighting Islam (in stead of just stealing their oil). Is that what you want?Verder wens ik u een prettige dag.

  • robert

    Very good article.

  • peter

    I am an apostate Catholic from St. Joseph Minnesota, abused by nuns throughout grade school, etc. I am married to an apostate Muslim from Jakarta, Indonesia. I bought her brothers their first pair of shoes, but though they were younger, they always had higher status in the family than she did. The examples of her Islamic upbringing are both as sad and harrowing as mine. But at the same time, quite different, she was never beaten, not once, though I was for the smallest infraction. Her family has utterly disowned us, but not before threatening us with an early death and “hell”. They would never have let her marry me, but for the fiction we perpetrated that I would convert to Islam. We detest these brutal religions. We and our children know how to love each other and ourselves without any help from desperate believers. It is pretty simple, loving each other is the meaning in life.

  • peter

    I am an apostate Catholic from St. Joseph Minnesota, abused by nuns throughout grade school, etc. I am married to an apostate Muslim from Jakarta, Indonesia. I bought her brothers their first pair of shoes, but though they were younger, they always had higher status in the family than she did. The examples of her Islamic upbringing are both as sad and harrowing as mine. But at the same time, quite different, she was never beaten, not once, though I was for the smallest infraction. Her family has utterly disowned us, but not before threatening us with an early death and “hell”. They would never have let her marry me, but for the fiction we perpetrated that I would convert to Islam. We detest these brutal religions. We and our children know how to love each other and ourselves without any help from desperate believers. It is pretty simple, loving each other is the meaning in life.

  • Steve

    Cheney’s wife is a senior fellow of AEI and Paul Wolfowitz is also associated. I agree with those who say this opinion should be regarded with great skepticism since it was written to serve the neocon agenda. In other words, it was written from a point of view that has been discredited and proven inept.

  • Bambousky

    This is a very lucid synopsis of some of the key tenets of islam of course written from a particular point of view. A similar article could of course be written about Christianity which has played an equal role in the subjigation of women and the incitement to violence directed at the “unbelievers”. Surtely it is time for people of various religious orientations to come together around what they consider to be the positive and humanistic dimensions of their respective faiths. What the world needs today is a new meta religion born of the moral and ethical principles that underpin most faiths. But that of course would be the most serious threat of all to insitutionalized religion in all of its forms and manifestations

  • Steve

    Cheney’s wife is a senior fellow of AEI and Paul Wolfowitz is also associated. I agree with those who say this opinion should be regarded with great skepticism since it was written to serve the neocon agenda. In other words, it was written from a point of view that has been discredited and proven inept.

  • johno

    One of the best written synopsis’ of Islam I have read to date. Most people are not comfortable criticizng Islam and muslims specifically. While the world is full of peace loving Muslims who simply want to live their lives it is extremely naive to ignore the large numbers of worldwide Muslims who want nothing more than to do away with nonbelievers and eventually impose Shira law over the entire world. Be it apathy, ignorance, or liberal guilt too many otherwise educated people give Muslim extremists a “pass” while at the same time harshly judging any improper discretion committed by our own government. How much attention did Abu Gahrib attract and how little has the kidnapping of the South Korean missionaries garnered?

  • Vijaya

    I agree, Ms. Ali. But my question is how do you reform something that is so fundamentally flawed and violent, including its founder? Ms. Ali, you are of the few women who makes sense but with all these Islamists death threats against you, I do wonder if you are able to date, walk, shop around the beautiful Washington DC?

  • Nada

    JK, I don’t know where you got those statistics, but I have never heard of most of them. Especially #2: Women have very few job opportunities in most Muslim countries. The choice is to stay married or starve (and possibly be sent to jail or stoned). Riiight. That’s why my mom, aunts and grandmothers all worked? They were in four or five different countries, so it’s across the board. Quit being such an ignorant racist.

  • Shehzad

    I do not doubt the injustice that has been done to you in the name of ISlam. I also agree that muslims need to rethink and reinterpret the religion in a different light other than the one presented 1400 years ago.

  • mian

    She is so worng about islam that it is laughable. She is saying what western world love to hear these days. She is just found a gold mine and minting it in the west. People of western culture are not idiots, i hope.

  • christian sheehy

    There may never be a truly complete understanding of what drives religion (in this case, Islam), however Ayaan has perhaps hit as close to home in her breakdown of the different faces of the Muslim faith as I have ever read or heard!Thanks Ayaan,

  • christian sheehy

    There may never be a truly complete understanding of what drives religion (in this case, Islam), however Ayaan has perhaps hit as close to home in her breakdown of the different faces of the Muslim faith as I have ever read or heard!Thanks Ayaan,

  • Ben

    Amen !Unlike any of the commenters, Ayaan speaks the truth from EXPERIENCE.The reactions to her statements reminds me of the reactions of many Western intellectuals, in the 20′s,30′s, 40′s, 50′ and 60′s, to the stories of horror and murder coming from refugees from the Communist gulags.At the time they too were dismissed as deluded, poisoned by hatred, sour grapes, biased etc. Guess what ? Now that the “evils empires” have largely collapsed it is known and acknolwedged by all but a few, still deluded “useful fools”, that these refugees were RIGHT. If fact what they reported was generally understated.I think that at the root of the problem with our assessment of Islam is the “Politicallly Correct” idea that all cultures and religions are equal. Well, they are not. Who in this day would defend the Aztec or Mayan cults that involved, among others, human sacrifice ?While it is true that Islam can reform, it is also undeniably true that, in most of its present manifestations, it a a mysogenistic, intolerant and violent cult that also practices human sacrifice (i.e. suicide/homicide bombers.So, unless Islam reforms, it and many of its practitioners are doomed to lives of violence, misery and possible annihilation by those who have thousands of nuclear weapons and will not hesitate to use them to protect their existence against Jihad. On the last point. Even if you ignore the US, just think of Russia, France, India, China. Does anyone doubt that if threatened by, let’s say nuclear Iran, thay would hestitate much before vaporizing Teheran ?

  • SNORTEMIS

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali deserves kudos for dealing with a difficult issue in such plain spoken language. I think her arguments work best when she presents them from a feminist perspective, and are less effective when she presents them from a political one.Speaking as an agnostic, I think the problem lies not so much with religion, but with human nature. If all religions were abolished tomorrow, people would simply find new concepts to align and differentiate themselves with, whether it’s nationality, ethnicity, generational lineage, etc. Some of these groups would be more violent and intolerant than others, regardless of what was causing the division. The more things change, the more they stay the same.Most people would agree that Saddam Hussein was not a tolerant and kind leader. He has since been deposed and executed, i.e. abolished. So everything should be peachy keen in Iraq now, right? Right?Islam cannot and should not be abolished. It merely needs to be modernized, very deliberately, yet very carefully, and from within. Otherwise, the extremist Wahhabi version of Islam will look even more appealing to those who think their way of life is being oppressed. Have any of the Islamophobes even thought this through that far?

  • Ben

    Amen !Unlike any of the commenters, Ayaan speaks the truth from EXPERIENCE.The reactions to her statements reminds me of the reactions of many Western intellectuals, in the 20′s,30′s, 40′s, 50′ and 60′s, to the stories of horror and murder coming from refugees from the Communist gulags.At the time they too were dismissed as deluded, poisoned by hatred, sour grapes, biased etc. Guess what ? Now that the “evils empires” have largely collapsed it is known and acknolwedged by all but a few, still deluded “useful fools”, that these refugees were RIGHT. If fact what they reported was generally understated.I think that at the root of the problem with our assessment of Islam is the “Politicallly Correct” idea that all cultures and religions are equal. Well, they are not. Who in this day would defend the Aztec or Mayan cults that involved, among others, human sacrifice ?While it is true that Islam can reform, it is also undeniably true that, in most of its present manifestations, it a a mysogenistic, intolerant and violent cult that also practices human sacrifice (i.e. suicide/homicide bombers.So, unless Islam reforms, it and many of its practitioners are doomed to lives of violence, misery and possible annihilation by those who have thousands of nuclear weapons and will not hesitate to use them to protect their existence against Jihad. On the last point. Even if you ignore the US, just think of Russia, France, India, China. Does anyone doubt that if threatened by, let’s say nuclear Iran, thay would hestitate much before vaporizing Teheran ?

  • Jerry Wegman

    Thank you, Ayaan, for your courage and leadership.Jerry Wegman

  • Anonymous

    From Anonymous: “THEN WHY DO MUSLEMS HAVE THE LOWEST DIVORCE RATE IN THE WORLD? Why is the lowest murder rate in the world in the muslem world? lowest homeless rate?lowest crime rate?”Answer: crime rate and murder rate were also extremely low under the former Soviet Union and Fascist Germany, unless you count those perpetrated by the State. People don’t commit crimes when one can have one’s hand cut-off or stoned to death for minor offenses.Lowest divorce rate: why would a man divorce his wife if he has total dominion over her? As to the wife, how would you subsist without a profession or skills?Lowest Homeless Rate: Are they all recruited to be suicide-bombers? Just kidding, Muslims do have a strong tradition on charity.

  • Anthony

    If a religion can truly be guilty of the crimes of its followers then no belief system even secularism and aetheism are free from hate. So we might as well embrace it and let the superior warriors determin our fates.

  • Brian Hughes

    I have recently had an experience where a person close to me has been abused by her husband. In order to better understand the situation I’ve been reading up on patterns of abuse and am struck by the parallels between how official Islam treats its women and how your average abusive husband treats his wife and children. It seems to me that the founders of Islam had serious insecurities and control issues relative to women and codified there abusive tendencies into a perverse religious law. I am tired and I hope the world is weary of taking permissive attitudes towards the evils of religion simply because we feel we “must respect our differences and recognize the value of long standing tradition” or any other such argument.

  • Jim

    ‘She is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute’. Did they ever say truth except propaganda? Author is on AEI payroll. She grew up in Somalia. she will say any thing to earn her keep. Islam is not a new religion that she just happened to discover. I understand she gets paid for it from AEI for these kind of writings.

  • Paul Calafiore

    I admire your courage and hope that you don’t allow anyone to silence your voice. Keep on spreading the word, the world needs your voice.

  • Sean Tucker

    While I completely understand where this very bright young woman is coming from she still has a very narrow viewpoint. The same argument can be said about christianity or any other religion. Hell, considering the crusades, the inquisition, sexism, the justification of slavery, ignoring the holocaust, wholesale oppression against brown people all over the world, discrimination against gays and the support of facist regimes christianity has a lot to answer for. Bottom line is to put one’s faith in God, not religion. Too many people all over the world confuse religion with spirituality. I am also very concerned about Ms. Ali’s alliance with the neo-cons. I can’t help but begin to question her true motives.

  • Defenes

    She is from the American Enterprise Institute. Not much more needs to be said about her credibility.

  • Jon

    Thank you for the enlightenment and an insider’s view of the madness perpetuated by the followers of this cult.

  • LG

    Ali’s book “Infidel” is a must read. And anyone else thinking his/her religion is without fault should read 2 current best sellers, “The God Delusion” by Dawkins and “God is not Great” by Hitchens. It also wouldn’t hurt for anyone of a religous mind to take a course in logic or critical thinking. Anthony (2:18 comment) needs such a course in the worst way.

  • Anonymous

    Paganplace used a very interesting word: culture. I think miss Ali’s discontent is more about her Somali culture than it is about Islam as a religion. The notion that muslims seek to convert unbelievers through pacific or violent means is rather weak, and cannot be proven. The current confrontation between islamic radicals and the West is rooted in politics, not religion. I don’t think the fanatics really care whether or not we become muslims, but what is sure is that as long as we keep the inherent imbalance in our foreign policy, we will have to deal with these fundamentalists. The so-called “intellectuals” among us are aware of this, but choose to lead us astray. Who knows what their motivations are!There are 1.2 billion muslims, and we would be very naive to believe that violence is what attracted them to their religion.

  • Mike

    Can’t wait for a similarly scathing indictment of Christianity! Just because adherents of that particular set of beliefs are no longer as bloodthirsty as Muslim extremists are today, that doesn’t mean that people who call themselves Christians aren’t as dangerously fundamentalist, power-hungry, and extreme as the “Islamofascists.”

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    I see those suffering from the three B’s (Bred, Born and Brainwashed) in their religion are out in force today. Some words of wisdom from James Somerville, Philosophy Professor Emeritus, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA”The faith of the vast majority of believers (and non-believers) depends upon where they were born and when.”It is disturbing that such religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of it all. And as per Somerville, “There is no religion in Heaven. Religion is only the vehicle to get there. It is left at the Gate.” That statement should also be published on the front page of every newspaper every day.And then for some added non-abstract thinking and realism:This for example: The book of death aka the koran bases its authenticity on Mo’s communications with that fictional character called Gabriel who was borrowed from the Christians who borrowed “him” from the Hittites and other ancient cults. Mohammed and his scribes actually borrowed/plagiarized all the good elements of the ancient religions and then added their militaristic and anti-female agenda to support their moves to conquer the lands of the “infidels” where they found the Good Words originally. How ironic!!!!And how ironic how a peaceful fictional character like Gabriel ended up giving credence to a violent religious movement called Islam!!!!

  • tim siepel md

    Wow! Great job! From what I know, right on! But you know, if you read the Torah, the early Jews were no better, and no more tolerant. They weren’t so bent on conversion, but they would certainly kill who ever got in their way. And look at the Christian behavior towards Jews in the Spain of Queen Isabella! They were no better either. So I’m not sure if the Muslims are really fundamentally less tolerant, or just less modern, than the Christians and Jews; and what does modern mean really, but fundamentally a loss of faith, and a reliance on science and rationality rather than religion. It is this ultimately that Muslims, Jews, and Christians all fear, having to face the fundamental questions of why are we here, and what is expected of us, on their own, without divine guidance. It is more frightening than they can bear!

  • George Albert

    Ms. Hirsi Ali is one of the most courgeous people in the world. Certainly she has more courage than the sniveling coward Osama bin Laden who is afraid to come out in public. And the ingnorance or bigotry of the folks on this board that critisize her is shown by the person who question how Islam can be so bad when Muslims have the lowest divorce rate. Yeah, the female Muslims have no rights and if they tried to leave or if they left and took up with another man, Islam sanctions them being tortured and murdered. That is slight disincentive to asking for a divorce, you idiot.

  • ibrahim mahfouz

    Ms. Ali makes so much sense that it is scary. Women like her give us hope in the future of Muslim women and in the possibility of meaningful dialogue between different cultures and religions.

  • Andrew Vincent Alder

    A most provocative and interesting article. What I find of even greater interest are those whose responses attempt to distinguish between “culture” and “religion”. To be sure cultural overlay will affect, if not determine, how religious precepts are manifested in different societies. But, as can be seen in the growing conservatism of some elements of Indonesian society, the cultural framework within which religious values are both expressed, and contained, are malleable. Local history and traditions are different in different parts of the Islamic world, but are capable of being influenced by a variety of factors, not the least of which is an increasingly vocal minority who demand, for example, the imposition of Sharia law in areas not traditionally under its sway, Nigeria being a case in point. Modern technology, to say nothing of an intense, expensive campaign by the Saudi government to extend to other parts of the world the Wahhabism that is its own variant of Islam is also an example of how local cultural norms can be “radicalized”. There are strains of fundamentalist Christianity that are shockingly regressive in their views of the role of women in society, just as with much of Islam, but such strains are largely marginalized, and constrained, by the larger culture. The point is that culture and religion are not separate and distinct, but are related to, and greatly influence, each other. It seems apparent that Islam, and those cultures which practice the faith, are caught in a great internal struggle. Which expression will prevail, the Islam in which cultural context moderates its more fundamentalist expression or the Islam described by Ms Ali? Both surely exist, and the question for the world is which will gain hegemony. Ultimately, only those who practice this faith will make that determination..

  • aweaver

    a question to Ms. Ali:good day.how do you (if you can) reconcile or rationalize the attitudes of many liberals in this country (Hillary and Bill Clinton being two that quickly come to mind) with the fact that Islamic dogma represents the antithesis of the doctrine of the women’s rights movement and evolving enlightened attitudes towards gender equality? The latter being a well-entrenched aspect of the liberal idealogy in this country.

  • aweaver

    a question to Ms. Ali:good day.how do you (if you can) reconcile or rationalize the attitudes of many liberals in this country (Hillary and Bill Clinton being two that quickly come to mind) with the fact that Islamic dogma represents the antithesis of the doctrine of the women’s rights movement and evolving enlightened attitudes towards gender equality? The latter being a well-entrenched aspect of the liberal idealogy in this country.

  • Magnotti

    Here’s a quick response to the few naysayers to this article. It isn’t well prepared, I don’t cite anything (though all I say is verifiable from the Koran, history, and reality), and I’m sure there are people who could do better out there. That said, let me know where I’m wrong. Anonymous: “Liar. Liar . Liar. More racist comments from an Islamaphobe.” Anonymous: “ya, you are real credible!”Anonymous: “So you mean to tell us, 2 billion muslems, hit their women, tell them who to marry and abuse them?”Anonymous: “THEN WHY DO MUSLEMS HAVE THE LOWEST DIVORCE RATE IN THE WORLD?”Anonymous: “Why is the lowest murder rate in the world in the muslem world? lowest homeless rate? lowest crime rate?”Anonymous: “I thought muslems were murderers and abusers and inherently violent? All major worlds wars started by Christians and you say Islam is violent?”Anonymous: “Give me a break!!” Roland Carter: “I think this is a very ignornt article and people who “hooray” it and give it “kudos” are just as ignorant.”Roland Carter: “IT IS TIME THAT PEOPLE REALIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND CULTURE!!!”Roland Carter: “And I know most of the people who appluad this article are Christians, but aren’t there more wars raged in the world by Christian countries than Muslim countries??? Aren’t there higher crime, divorce, etc. rates???”Roland Carter: “Come on and be real. CULTURE NOT RELIGION!!!”Shaheen: “I feel sorry for people like Ayan Hirsi only because they are products of misinformation being fed to them while they were growing up. I grew up a Muslim too and I NEVER heard those views before.”Shaheen: “Perhaps the people around her were ignorant too.”Shaheen: “History…is full of people/tribes USING religion to KILL & CONQUER others. We think this was the norm in the Olden days, please look around you and see what is happening in the world today. The same KILLING & CONQUERING for POWER, continues.”Shaheen: “God tried to teach humans to be Helpful, Unassuming, Magnanimus, Amiable and lastly Noble… but to no avail. We did NOT learn our lessons.”Shaheen: “I leave her in peace (which is the other meaning of Islam).”

  • ns

    I can’t believe The Washington Post would publish such crap. This is one woman’s view of “Islam” in which she discusses cultural practices followed by Muslims in a variety of geographical regions, with no real basis in “Islam”, the religion. In a time when Muslims (by no means a monolithic group) and Islam (by no means practiced alike by the many followers of this faith) are so widely misunderstood and otherized in this country and other western nations, and more balance and better-researched view of “Islam” would be of more benefit to readers.

  • Abbie Agner

    I want to thank the author for such an enlightening, well written article.I’ve read several articles on Islam but none informed me so well with such brevity as this one. It is excellent!

  • Seeker

    Ms. Ali dismisses the fifth group, clergy who try to reconcile Islam to modernity, questioning their honesty and sincerity and assuming they refuse to “acknowledge the truth.” In her view, they misread scripture and ignore texts that prove that Islam requires intolerance and violence. She, the apostate, understands the true faith better than do these clergy.So long as the clergy instruct the faithful to act in a peaceful way, acceptant of the beliefs of non-Muslims, what’s dangerous or harmful about them? Aren’t they rather from the non-Muslim’s standpoint a welcome presence in the Muslim community?And does it comport well with the principles of a pluralist society for an outsider to deny the bona fides of any insider who renounces intolerance and violence?

  • Andrew Vincent Alder

    A most provocative and interesting article. What I find of even greater interest are those whose responses attempt to distinguish between “culture” and “religion”. To be sure cultural overlay will affect, if not determine, how religious precepts are manifested in different societies. But, as can be seen in the growing conservatism of some elements of Indonesian society, the cultural framework within which religious values are both expressed, and contained, are malleable. Local history and traditions are different in different parts of the Islamic world, but are capable of being influenced by a variety of factors, not the least of which is an increasingly vocal minority who demand, for example, the imposition of Sharia law in areas not traditionally under its sway, Nigeria being a case in point. Modern technology, to say nothing of an intense, expensive campaign by the Saudi government to extend to other parts of the world the Wahhabism that is its own variant of Islam is also an example of how local cultural norms can be “radicalized”. There are strains of fundamentalist Christianity that are shockingly regressive in their views of the role of women in society, just as with much of Islam, but such strains are largely marginalized, and constrained, by the larger culture. The point is that culture and religion are not separate and distinct, but are related to, and greatly influence, each other. It seems apparent that Islam, and those cultures which practice the faith, are caught in a great internal struggle. Which expression will prevail, the Islam in which cultural context moderates its more fundamentalist expression or the Islam described by Ms Ali? Both surely exist, and the question for the world is which will gain hegemony. Ultimately, only those who practice this faith will make that determination..

  • You are being Maniputlated

    OK, OK, OK… For a second there I though I was reading an essay on the history of Christianity, which I would have to defend because I am christian. Whew….Thankfully the article is about those evil, nasty muslims who we should all hunt down and kill….. God willing that is.Hmmm,,,,, if we hate them all enough maybe we can stop the war for oil, stop the war for WMDs, stop trying to catch Bin Laden and just send our sons and daughters over to die without question? PRAISE the LORD! Do I hear an AMEN?Wake up fools.

  • Peter V

    Your bravery, honesty, and reason is an inspiration. I only wish others in the public sphere had the same courage.

  • ahro

    This woman has no concept of Islam nor does she show any knowledge whatsoever…From her first paragraph, it shows that she is just out to malign…….

  • ahro

    This women has no concept of Islam nor does she show any knowledge whatsoever…From her first paragraph, it shows that she is just out to malign…….

  • henry spencer

    Ms. Hirsi: Thank you very much for your very thoughtful commentary. One day while attending The University of Stockholm (Stockholms Universitet) in the early 1990′s, we were having a discussion on the roles of men and women in public economics when a guy from Jordan along with some guys from Iraq and Saudi Arabia startled us by saying they were the ones who were going to pick their daughters’ husbands. They were going to decide whether the girls worked or not, whether they would be killed or not if they ever had sex before marriage. One pointed to me and said he would kill his daughter if she ever brought home a black man. I said my daughter could marry whoever she wanted, could even have a female lover if she wanted. The guy from Jordan jumped me. He caught me good. I am 6’4″ 300 lb, I beat the hell out of that guy. I respect women. I wouldn’t be here today if one hadn’t given birth to me. I am going to our reunion in Sweden tomorrow and I plan to display Ms. Hirsi’s column. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    While Ms. Ali has written what appears to be a cogent piece explaining her view of Islam, much of the arguments that she makes criticizing Islam could be applied to forms of Christianity and Judaism. What is the role of women in fundamental Christian and orthodox Jewish sects? How do Christian and Jewish groups reconcile their faith with modernity in terms of legalized abortion, stem cell research, divorce, homosexuality? And what has been the impact of fundamental Christianity on education in terms of science and literature that is taught in public schools? In answering those questions, I see a pattern that is strikingly similar to how Ms. Ali describes Islam. While Ms. Ali is entitled to her opinion, I don’t see how her critique is unique to Islam and am bothered by the implicit characterization of Islam as an “backward” religion compared to Christianity or Judaism.

  • Thomas Baum

    You may or may not know but the god of islam is satan but what a lot of people that call themselves christians do not know is that God is not the egomaniac that some of them think that He is and what I mean by that is knowing God’s Name doesn’t necessarily add up to a bucket of snot even the demons know who Jesus is, whereas the god of islam says that Jesus is a second-rate prophet. All of us are in this together and by that I mean ALL OF HUMANITY, the True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof, it is not magic or anything like that where you can say some words and then treat others however you want no matter how condescending, condemning or judgemental and then say well I’m a Christian when so many people that call themselves christians don’t have a clue. I am an American because I was born here and it is pretty obvious that a lot of Americans sure do like to bury their heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend the rest of the world either doesn’t exist or is there to provide us with more junk. Our attention span is about down to nil, just when it is about time to wake up, did anybody wake up after the 911 Call, if people remember there seemed to be a lot of people running to different churches, trying to appease God. At that time I lived near Fenwick Island, De. and I would travel the length of Ocean City, Md and all of these signs sprang up saying, “God Bless America” and at first I thought that’s pretty neat but after awhile they disgusted me because they should have said, “Thank you God for Blessing America”. This Country has been so Blessed by God and how many people are grateful at all, the rest of the world’s people are all our brothers and sisters and so much of the rest of the world and quite a few in this country are living just barely and a lot of them are very grateful. Did you ever notice that sometimes, the more you have the less thankful you are? About all that anybody can do is the best that they can do and follow their consciences, I am not here to tell anyone what to do what I am here for is to proclaim beforehand that God wins, satan loses, a tie is totally unacceptable. Like it says even the forces of evil are inadvertently working toward the fulfillment of God’s Plan. God always sends a messenger, I happen to be the scroll-eater from the book of revelations, it wasn’t a literal scroll by the way. Dire times are coming just like it says, it doesn’t matter whether people believe the bible is true or not, IT IS TRUE, very distorted and misinterpreted by plenty who give the impression that they know what they are talking about. God is Love, Pure Love, but from what a lot of people say, you would never know it. God’s Plan covers all of His children but that does not mean that we are not responsible for what we do, we have free will, it does matter what you do and why you do it. Calling yourself a christian should mean carrying on the work that Jesus started, that means being a willing and active participant in GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION FOR ALL OF HIS CHILDREN. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus said, “I would rather you be hot or cold, lukewarm I will have to vomit you out of my mouth” these seem to be rather strong words, do they not? Something to think about, I would say. Jesus said to proclaim the gospel, the word gospel means “Good News” and when the angels announced Jesus’s birth, they said, “This is GOOD NEWS for all people” and they also said, “Peace to whom God’s favor rests”, two separate statements, both true. Like I have said Jesus is the Saviour of ALL HUMANITY. Take care. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • larry G

    I don’t know about AEI connection but I believe

  • henry spencer

    Ms. Hirsi: Thank you very much for your very thoughtful commentary. One day while attending The University of Stockholm (Stockholms Universitet) in the early 1990′s, we were having a discussion on the roles of men and women in public economics when a guy from Jordan along with some guys from Iraq and Saudi Arabia startled us by saying they were the ones who were going to pick their daughters’ husbands. They were going to decide whether the girls worked or not, whether they would be killed or not if they ever had sex before marriage. One pointed to me and said he would kill his daughter if she ever brought home a black man. I said my daughter could marry whoever she wanted, could even have a female lover if she wanted. The guy from Jordan jumped me. He caught me good. I am 6’4″ 300 lb, I beat the hell out of that guy. I respect women. I wouldn’t be here today if one hadn’t given birth to me. I am going to our reunion in Sweden tomorrow and I plan to display Ms. Hirsi’s column. Thank you.

  • A. Falih

    I do not blame the author for having such negative views on Islam. She may have been raised in an abusive family where a perverted father made her believe Islam was his excuse for raping her as a child or something. However, I take offense at the Washington Post’s decision to put such lies and hate speech on the front page of it’s website.

  • Jason A Blindauer

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Thank you for your very concise and non-histrionic explanation of Islam. With your permission, I’d like to post your piece on our website. Also, have you read Robert Spencer’s Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades? If you have I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it. Please continue to share your thoughts and ideas on this very important subject.V/RJ. Blindauer

  • yoyo

    Sorry for the accidental double post.

  • joe schmoe

    Just a list of some famous mass murdering violence loving muslims:-Ghengis Khan

  • FRANK COLLINS

    RIGHT ON GIRLFRIEND!

  • morganja

    Strange thing is that a literal unthinking interpretation of the Christian Bible is almost identical in what it commands. Yet Christianity has managed to produce western freedom and democracy. As someone who grew up in the church I can say that there are definitely vitally important subtleties that are easily missed by those who would paint our faith with too broad a stroke. I would think that Islam is similar.

  • joe schmoe

    Just a list of some famous mass murdering violence loving muslims:-Ghengis Khan

  • Dory

    I had the privilege of hearing Ms. Hirsi Ali speak in New York earlier this summer, after first reading her book Infidel, and was stunned by her articulate, courageous, and exceptionally fine-tuned approach to the subject of Islam and how it treats women and children and faces the world. She repeatedly challenged the easy conclusions made by other members of the panel with whom she appeared and the audience clearly preferred her version of the facts about Islam most of the time. She is a woman with remarkable gifts, especially when it comes to truth-telling.Ms. Hirsi Ali’s guest column is a lucid summary of various categories of Muslims and, as such, is exceptionally well-written. It is based both upon a lifetime of personal experiences and scholarly inquiries into a variety of sources.Anyone who is offended by this piece is either blindly religious, intolerant generally, uneducated in any sense of the word, misogynistic, or just plain stupid. Although I am not privy to the reasons why Ms. Hirsi Ali writes under the aegis of AEI (which at least offered her a refuge from the threats emanating from Muslims in Holland and other European countries), I do not see any influence of that dubious institution on the high quality and succinctness of Hirsi Ali’s explanations of the depredations of the Muslim religion. We owe her our gratitude and continued attention. Would that an American-born Muslim could be so clear.

  • Janeyre

    This is nothing but slavery. Are these males, that stupid? Everything is for the “male,” I can’t believe, any woman, could’/would, accept this as a Lifestyle. What a bunch of junk… Man has alway’s found a way to inslave women. They should all be viewed as “infidels.”

  • Janeyre

    This is nothing but slavery. Are these males, that stupid? Everything is for the “male,” I can’t believe, any woman, could’/would, accept this as a Lifestyle. What a bunch of junk… Man has alway’s found a way to inslave women. They should all be viewed as “infidels.”

  • bd

    Where are the liberal discussing this? It is them who will be affected the most by slow but steady approch of dhimmitude.

  • TJFRMLA

    Islam, like any other religion…is built on myths, lies, and exagerrations. Like Christianity, Judism and all the others…it is used to control and supress the masses. We may debate the minute details of all the “holy books” but the bottom line is the same, THE FUTURE WILL BE BETTER FOR ALL HUMANKIND WHEN WE START THINKING FOR OURSELVES. Clerics want to retain power just like politicians. Neither are to be trusted. We must not be afraid to let go of the false saftey net of “belief”.

  • bd

    Where are the liberal discussing this? It is them who will be affected the most by slow but steady approach of dhimmitude.

  • RE: Joe Schmoe

    Joe Schmoe, that’s like saying, “All these people had eggs for breakfast, and then they went and killed everyone. Therefore, all egg-lovers are mass murderers.” Your argument is weak because it’s unfounded.

  • Musa

    I am having hart time to understant why somebody would hate that much to a religion even dough she dosn’t know what it is. Is that just because to be able to work for some second level so called, synoist insttitutions?

  • David

    While some may consider this information irrelevant, I nevertheless find it odd that we are never informed Ali is now an atheist.

  • Paul

    I applaud AEI for their willingness to support a writer like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her reflective thinking and her courage to confront the violence at the heart of her own culture is an important contribution. I only wish that her sponsors at AEI would be as willing to confront their own ideologies and their own willingness to promote violence against innocents. Until they do that, I am sad to say, this courageous woman’s work looks to me like a part of their ongoing crusade to “democratize” the Muslim world–i.e., Iraq and Iran (?). I am waiting to read a piece by an AEI-funded Israeli scholar who confronts the injustices against innocent Palestinians and the role they play in perpetuating the mutual hatred, or an American neocon who takes on the barbaric ideology that justifies indiscriminate bombing to make the world a better place.

  • nirode mohanty

    This is a fair, honest view of Islam.Few things might be added:

  • Aisha Shabazz Muhammad

    AH SALAAM AHLAIKUM AND BLACK POWER

  • Jacob Wood

    What an honest and thought provoking article. I look forward to the Post’s future articles authored by Christianity’s critics, who speak every bit as truthfully and bravely concerning the violence, mysogany, and cruelty of yet another branch of monotheism. I’m sure they’re comming. Western news media would never project a pro-Christian bias… would it?

  • Aisha Shabazz Muhammad

    AH SALAAM AHLAIKUM AND BLACK POWER

  • Justice

    Wait a minute. This lady is free to write about or against Islam all she wants, but this Ayan was proven to be lying about her story in Somalia on Dutch Television. There was a whole list of contradictions she made about religion and her account of Somalia. She later admitted to some of them. So I’d be careful to believe her outright.

  • Nicole

    Actually for the record:Jesus nor his desciples were poor. Now to the author. I agree that the Muslim faith has gotten to be a bit worse to some. But it has always been that way. We are just seeing it here because of technology. Millions of women, young men and children have suffered for many years because of the cause of Christ and Muhammad. But that’s the point. Usually what happens in “religion” is that certain people twist the truth and make it fit their needs. They try to pull from one verse here and there and try to justify the means of their actions. i.e. people like to point out certain verses out of the bible that say certain things but then neglect to read the previous verse or verse after it. There is usually a but somewhere in ther. Yes it says it but think about the author of the text. I don’t agree with the Muslim teachings simply because it denounces that My Jesus was the Son of God. It gives him only credit for being a minor prophet. But I am not out to kill all Muslims. That is not my job as a Christian. My job is to show the Love of Christ/God and try to show them the way. But I am not going to beat them up, curse them, kill them, say I hate them, or none of that. And any Christian who professes Jesus as their Lord and Savior is dead wrong for doing this. If any of you remember from the bible (if you don’t believe the bible don’t worry) whenever Jesus healed people. Most of the time the person was an uncircumcised person (or they weren’t of the faith). So what does that tell you. Jesus loved all and he did for one what he would do for the next. All you have to do is believe.

  • MORE OF EARLY ISLAM

    635AD: Islam: Moslem capture of Damascus. by 636 are added conquests of Emesa, Heliopolis, Chalcis, Beroae, Edessa, Battle of Yermuk. Heraclius abandons Syria to the Moslems. 636AD: Kingdom of Ghassan (300-636AD): Founded about 300AD by Thalaba, the first to take the name of king. His successors rule until 636, when Djabala VI surrenders to the Mohammedans. 637AD: Arabia: Middle East, Battle of Cadesia, or Kadisiya, Moslem victory over the Persians. Omar captures Jerusalem, then Aleppo and Antioch. 637AD and later: Moslem missionary expansionism had meant that Moslems had intervened at Jerusalem from 637AD. Moslems, partly due to their existing maritime skills, were actually invited into Portugal to help with problems by 711. Later they occupied Toledo. They were on Crete by 826, taking the island from the Byzantines, another obviously maritime adventure. Moslems had intervened in Sind (India) by the early Eighth Century, but they did not dominate Northern India till the Eleventh Century. 637AD: Sasanid power in Iran is broken by Moslem Arabs. 638AD: Mesopotamia is conquered by Islam who also take Tarsus and Diar-Bekr. 639AD: Invasion of Egypt by Moslem, Amru.To 640AD: Arab forces take Palestinian cities such as Dara, Caesarea, Antioch, the isthmus of Suez. Iraq was taken by 637AD. In 639, Egypt was invaded by Moslem Arabs. In 641, Babylon (Old Cairo) was taken. Alexandria was recaptured in 645. By 700AD, Roman Africa was under Moslem control. 640AD: Islam, The Arabs invade Egypt and burn the library of Alexandria . However, the Arabs preserve the use of engineering skills known in Egypt at the time, while Europe remains ignorant. 610AD-641AD: Emperor Heraclius fails to stem the Arab threat and loses Africa, Spain and Northern Italy. 641AD: Islam: Battle of Nehavend, great victory for Islam over Persians, and many Persian nobility come to terms with Islam. Yezdegerd the king flees to a remote corner and holds a vestige of power till about 651-652. Alexandria is captured. 642AD: Islamic invasion of Egypt. 644AD: Islam: Death of Omar succeeded by Othman, a weak ruler who allows Islamic power to fall into the hands of the Koreish nobility. 647AD: Islam: Invasion of Africa by Abdallah, Arabs expel the Romans. 649AD: Islam: Invasion of Cyprus in 649, Conquest of Aradus in 650, Conquest of Armenia in 652, Conquest of Rhodes in 654, in 655 is defeat of emperor Constans by Mohammedans in naval battle off Mt Phoenix in Lycia. Circa 650AD: Revelations of Mohammed are written; they become The Koran. 656AD: Islam: Murder of Othman by a party in opposition to growing worldliness of Islam. Leader of the opposition, and son-in-law of Mohammed the Prophet, is Ali, who succeeds. Battle of the Camel. Moawiyah, governor of Syria, heads the opponents of Ali, and incites them to revenge. 657AD: Islam: Ali invades northern Syria. Battle of Siffin. The theocratic faction rebels against Ali. 658AD: Islam: Decision of the Umpires, Ali and Moawiyah, the latter wins. Peace made with the Byzantine Empire. Egypt conquered for Moawiyah. 659: Islam: Moslem conquest of Egypt. 661-750AD: The Moslem Omayyads rule in Damascus, Syria. 662-663AD: Islam: Great invasion of Asia Minor. Death of Amru.668AD: Islam: Islam advances to Chalcedon and holds Amorium for a time. 669AD: Islam: Great invasion of Sicily. In 670, foundation of Kairwan.670AD: Moslem conquest of Kabul (Afghanistan).673-677AD: Islam: Mohammedans besiege Constantinople but are driven off by Greek fire. 677AD: Islamic world: Siege of Constantinople. 691AD: Islam, In Jerusalem, The Dome of the Rock is completed for Caliph Abdul-Malik. 697AD: Sweeping Arab Moslems capture Tunisia, a state with parts of Algeria. 697-698AD: Islam, Hassan invades Africa, takes Carthage.709AD: Islam, Conquest of Tyana.711AD: Islam: Invasion of Spain at instigation of Julian, governor of Ceuta. Battle of Xerxes. Tarik destroyed the Visigothic Kingdom.711AD: Islam, Moslem forces occupy Spain. By 717, Moslem forces are trying to take Constantinople.711AD: Tariq ibn Ziyad lands at Gibraltar, begins Moorish conquest of Spain. 711AD: Omayyads conquer Sind and found first Moslem state in India. 711-712AD: Islam: Arab and Berber armies cross the Strait of Gibraltar, Africa to Spain. The Moors are the Mauri, a Berber people based at Cordoba, hence the name, Moors. 712AD: Islam, Mohammedans take Antioch in Pisidia. Great success for Moslem generals Kotaiba and Muhammed b. Kasim in Asia. 716AD: Islam: Mohammedans invade Asia Minor, siege of Amorium, the town is relieved by Leo the Isaurian.717AD: Islam: Siege of Pergamus, siege of Constantinople.718AD: Islam: Repulse of the Mohammedans from Constantinople, in revenge the Caliph excludes all Christians from servants of the state. 721AD: Islam: Death of Ibn Muhallab in battle. Mohammedans cross the Pyrenees and capture Narbonne, France, but are defeated at Toulouse, and they retire under Abd ar-Rahman. 725AD: Islamic armies have moved up the Rhone River. 726AD: Islam: Mohammedans invade Cappadocia. 732AD: “Islam versus Europe”: Battle of Tours in France. 732AD: Charles Martel (the grandfather of Charlemagne) stops the advance of Moslems between Poitiers and Tours. 734AD: Islam, Mohammedan invasion of Asia Minor.739AD: Islam, Byzantine victory at Acroinon.746AD: Islam: Mohammedan invasion of Cyprus. 751AD: Arabs win Battle of River Talas, central Asia; Islam comes to China. 755AD: Islam, Spain is lost to the Abbasids. 756-757AD: Islam, Invasion of Asia Minor, capture of Malatiya, defeat of the Byzantines in Cilicia.775AD: Islam, Continued invasion of Asia Minor.776AD: Islam, Destruction of Charlemagne’s army at Roncesvalles, on its return from the invasion to restore Hosein to power in Spain. 780AD: Islam, Capture of Semaluos by Harun ar-Rashid. In Spain, capture of Saragossa, Hosein is taken and executed. 788AD: Islam, Spain, Death of Abd ar-Rahman. HIs son and appointed heir, Hisham I, succeeds. He proclaims a holy war and finishes the mosque of Cordova. 789AD: Islam, Arabs invade Rumania.792AD: Islamic invasion of Southern France, from Spain. 807AD: Islam: Spain, After continual disorder in Toledo, Al-Hakim massacres the chief citizens. Resistance is abandoned.815AD: Islam: Spain, Rising in Cordova against Moslems put down with great cruelty. Exile of the inhabitants who go to Africa.829AD: Islam: Mohammedans from Africa invade Sicily, take Palermo. 831AD: Islam: Mohammedans being long invasion of Asia Minor. 832AD: Islam: Capture of Heraclea. In Spain in 832, Toledo rebels against Moslem rule and is suppressed again. 838AD: Islam: Moslem victory at Dasymon. Amorium captured. 839AD: Moslem occupation of Southern Italy. 847AD: Islam: Death of Wathik. State officials elect Mutawakkil. He is noted for atrocious cruelty and persecutes Jews and Christians. 852AD: Islam, Serious revolt suppressed in Armenia.858AD: Islam, Great war with Byzantines begins in Asia Minor. Mohammedans capture the Byzantine commander.860AD: Islam, Byzantine defeat near Melitene. 872AD: Islam: The Tahirites are overthrown in Persia, and War with the Byzantines recommences. 887AD-888AD: Islam: Mohammedan invasions of Asia Minor.904AD: Islam: Moslems capture Thessalonica.917AD: Sicily falls to the Saracens, “an Arabic race” based at Palermo. 939AD: Islam: Capture of Mosul. 985-986AD: Islam: al-Mansur conquers and sacks Barcelona, a port of eastern Spain. 987AD: Islam: Spain, Bermudo tries to free himself from Moorish sovereignty, Al-Mansur razes Coimbra and in 988 invades to the heart of Leon. 996AD: Islam, Spain, Moorish capture of city of Leon. Al-Mansur now takes Compostella. In Africa, Al-Mansur’s generals have victories in Mauretania. 997-1030AD: Mohammed of Ghazni rules Afghan empire; he invades India 17 times. From 1000AD: Turkey transforms Islamic Society and carries Islam into India and Europe. 1008AD: Islam: Spain, Death of Abul-Malik. His brother Abd ar-Rahman (Sanchol) succeeds to chief ministry, and he conducts a campaign in Leon.1009AD: Jerusalem: Holy Sepulchre destroyed by Al Hakim. 1010AD: Islam: Hakim destroys Christian Churches in Syria.1019AD: Islam: Moslem conquest of Punjab in India. 1065AD: Muslim Seljuk Turks invade Asia Minor. 1074AD: Islam, Suleiman, the Seljuk, conquers Asia Minor and founds kingdom of Rum or Iconium.1090AD: Islam, Hassan b. Sabba, of Nishapur, organizes a band of Karmathians called The Assassins.1192AD: India: Moslem Muhammad of Ghur captures Delhi. 1192AD: India: Sultanate of Delhi is founded by Afghan invaders. 1194-1199AD: Islam: Moslem conquest of Northern India and Bengal. 1238-1492AD: In 1238 founding of the Moslem Kingdom of Granada.1336AD: India: Hindu empire of Vijayanagar founded by Harihara I, and becomes centre of resistance to Islam. Circa 1390AD: Islam: Ottoman Turks complete conquest of Asia Minor. 1550: Islam spreads to Indonesia. NOTICE A DIFFERENCE?

  • demonfafa

    Most forms of modern Christianity, and several forms of Judiasm do not adhere strictly to the original texts their religion comes from.Religious culture has the ability to evolve beyond its scripture. Islam is no different than Judaism with the amount of “laws” and rules contained within its literature. Look at Deuteronomy and tell me there aren’t some rather crazy-sounding laws in there.I think this article does many Muslims a disserverice by lumping in all followers of Islam as barbaric, misogynistic sociopaths. I know many moderate muslims who take the more contentious tenants of their religion with a grain of salt.But of course, people can never seem to understand the concept of a middle-ground. It’s entirely possible to be traditional without ignoring the progress of the modern world. However, Christinaity is only 2000 years old, and Judaism is in the realm of 3000 years old. Islam is about 1500 years old (I think I’m fudging that number by a couple hundred or so, but the point remains the same), and still has a lot of growing up to do. Islam’s followers happen to be from parts of the world that have been sh*t upon for the last couple hundred years. You do the math: cultural immaturity plus strong faith plus being angered by the rest of the world? That equals the middle-east you see today. That and sand gets everywhere.

  • Kate Zimmerman

    I appreciate Ms. Hirsi’s views, but I agree with a few commenters here (Sean Tucker is one specifically) that we would all be wise to recognize this as very clearly her perspective, and not a full portrait of Islam. Again, as many have noted, I see just as many passages in the bible that can (and obviously have been!) used to justify violence. It’s a challenge for all religious people to move past the rigid orthodoxy of their “sacred texts”; at best it can be said that perhaps Christians and Jews are a little further along in this process, given the 700 plus year headstart.She certainly must realize the implications of her work for AEI and her publishing of this piece to the hosannas of Christians who have been waiting so desperately to hear this. (Look at David Horowitz; one apostate is somehow considered more legitimate than a thousand believers. Who’s to say the reasoning is any more valid?) Her narrow presentation is a very dangerous game; imagine what would happen if I went to Iran and published the same tract about Christianity? Where is the balance, the voice of moderation?

  • Jacob Wood

    What an honest and thought provoking article. I look forward to the Post’s future articles authored by Christianity’s critics, who speak every bit as truthfully and bravely concerning the violence, mysogany, and cruelty of yet another branch of monotheism. I’m sure they’re comming. Western news media would never project a pro-Christian bias… would it?

  • Dutch

    Yoyo, if you compare Christian martyrdom to Muslim martyrdom, you have no clue what you’re saying. And you posted that crap twice!

  • Fouad Attia

    You have mixed up facts with fictions, religious rules with some people’s traditions in your article. But that is your goal, isn’t it. If your views of Islam had even any truth, Islam would have been gone from the face of our planet long, long time ago. It seems that you want to enlighten the world about facts that you discovered, that no prior ex-Muslims did. May be through your findings, the rate of conversion to Islam would stop. I found many bold errors and I am not that expert in the religious rules: women marriage without their approval/likes/dislikes of their husbands???, forcing people to believe in God????, and that the Western culture has created the better group of Muslims????. I hope you’ll find the peace in your mind/heart now that you are free to reach your goals (hope you can tell us more), in the Western society away from Africa, where everything is just PERFECT.

  • Cotton Mather

    Islam is many Islams. Ms. Ali writes about a universal belief system. It no more exists in a uniform expression than any of its multiple cultural interpretations (Indonesian, Omani, Saudi Arabian, Kenyan, Iranian, Chinese, Malayan, Turkoman, Uzbekistan, Chechen, Druse, etc.) are one. So she is attacking interpretations in an artificial aggregate of Islamic practices that in reality diverge quite radically in history, culture, and geography. Ask her: How many Christian creeds are there, by the way? Mainstream Mormons, for instance, have renounced polygamy and adolescent girl marriage to men old enough to be their grandfathers. But Google the Mormon sect of Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada for that old time religion’s practice. Visit Boston Commons and Salem, Massachusetts, for commemorative historical plaques of the Puritan burning to the stake of witches. A pity Ms. Ali wasn’t around during the Freedom Rides in Mississippi, Georgia or the Carolinas in the late 50s and 60s. Perhaps she ought to read the Black Muslims in America by the late C. Eric Lincoln to understand why millions of black American Christians, living in a Judeo-Christian culture, in a country founded on principles of equality and freedom, abandoned a so-called tolerant Christianity for Islam, despite the horrible picture she draws of it for us.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Finally, Americans are too trusting and normally refuse to see beyond a well-topped cheeseburger. Well, such a trusting nature makes them believe that all faithful (religious) men and women are given to compassion and non-violence. Faith is blind and blindness restricts one’s critical faculty.This general characteristic explains why we see unqualified opposition to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s post. No one has shown (with proof) why Ms. Ali is wrong with her views. Washington Post, which for a few days took the position of Taliban mouthpiece by getting all the mullahs write impossible interpretations of Islam, has somehow woken up and gotten writers like Ms. Ali to write from the opposite side. I label these mullah’s interpretations impossible, or counterintuitive because:(a) the interpretations are probably followed by a muted group of Muslims;(b) other Islamic scholars have opined in diametrically opposite fashion;(c) the early historical facts about Islam do not lend any support for these feel-good, wishy-washy interpretations by these mullahs. Note that the Taliban has just executed 2 South Korean hostage in Afghanistan. If Islam was so damn peaceful, and as according to the politically correct fable, all Muslim countries are peaceful, then these Muslim countries should have raised loud and louder protests against Taliban. How much have we seen that recently ? Yes, the last time we saw that was when the Danish cartoons about Muhammad broke the news. It shows the hypocrisy of Muslims – particularly those who say that Islam does not permit killing of non-combatants and terrorism is evil etc.I would expect WP in the near future to get articles by Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Ibn Warraq and similar others on Islam. That would make the discussion fair and balanced, albeit Muslims would be unhappy and can result in a communal riot.

  • Keep on rocking in the free world

    This is an absolutely fantastic article. Ms. Ali lays bare both the promise and the threat of Islam to the world. What we do from here is up to all of us.

  • Anonymous

    Finally, someone who tells it like it is. Thank you.

  • Brent Leach

    I just read the article “ON JIHAD, APOSTASY AND WOMEN”

  • FRANK COLLINS

    I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOYED THAT, I KNOW I DID. Chronological Jihads

  • frank collins

    ok brent tell us what it really says – linking to the proper site and put it context for us. a context that will allow hate and murder to be acceptable.

  • Sid

    What a load of crap. You have no clue what you’re talking about. At least try to educate yourself about what islam actually says and what radical and uneducated people or governments do. While it is true that islam views the role of men and women in the family and in the society different from each other, there is no rule in islam that says women should not be educated or always be dependent on men. In the Islamic Iran that you mentioned, which you obviously have no clue about, there are more girls are accepted to universities than boys. And where did you pull this out of, that Ayatollah Khomeini had a nine year old girl as wife? It is people like you, ignorant and uneducated, give islam a bad name. Born in some poor, backward country among mostly illiterate people, you just look at the behavior of your family and people around you to learn about islam and its values and know what islam really is. Then, all of a sudden, you feel that you’re qualified to render an expert opinion about islam and pass judgement to all muslims around the world. Please stop this nonsense.

  • Sid Tootoon

    What a load of crap. You have no clue what you’re talking about. At least try to educate yourself about what islam actually says and what radical and uneducated people or governments do. While it is true that islam views the role of men and women in the family and in the society different from each other, there is no rule in islam that says women should not be educated or always be dependent on men. In the Islamic Iran that you mentioned, which you obviously have no clue about, there are more girls are accepted to universities than boys. And where did you pull this out of, that Ayatollah Khomeini had a nine year old girl as wife? It is people like you, ignorant and uneducated, give islam a bad name. Born in some poor, backward country among mostly illiterate people, you just look at the behavior of your family and people around you to learn about islam and its values and know what islam really is. Then, all of a sudden, you feel that you’re qualified to render an expert opinion about islam and pass judgement to all muslims around the world. Please stop this nonsense.

  • MPBERRY

    I am a Christian. The article would have been more helpful to me if it had include chapter and verse of the Koran that supported her comments. Much of the so-called Islamic doctrine is determined by secterian law. Much of that is contrary to the word and intent of the Koran.At one time the ‘christian’ church conducted torture (The Inquisition) under the guise of rooting out heresy. Many European-Americans in the southern U.S. and the Ku Klux Klan have a’christian’ doctrine that overtly encourages persecution, murder and subjegation of African Americans. Their doctrine is contrary to the word and intent of the Bible.Christian and Islamic doctrine that is contary to the Bible/Koran should always be specifically noted as such. This avoids confusion about the true intent of the Bible/Koran.

  • Mountain Dweller

    I think this article is garbage. And full of lies. There is nothing wrong with having Multiple wives-at the same time, Stoning your transgressors, and blowing up anybody who doesnt share your point of view religously or politically. Signed,Taliban Glee ClubPS > Anyone know where you can get a used solar powered air condition unit.

  • Thomas Baum

    To A. Falih: Here in America we still have freedom of speech, at least for now. I have met God and I have also met satan. God is a Trinity and Jesus is who He said that He is, God-Incarnate, Jesus actually said that in a few places if we have ears to hear and eyes to see. Since Jesus did say that, He is either telling the Truth or He is lying. Considering that the god of islam says that Jesus is not only a mere prophet but a second-rate prophet at that, then the god of islam is calling Jesus a liar and at the same time claiming Him as his prophet, why would someone want a liar for a prophet and call themself god if not for the fact that he is only a god wanna-be. Think about it. I also posted something at 2:40 PM. I didn’t ask to be chosen by God but I did say YES. I am the New Testament Moses, God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • frank collins with quotes

    Qur’an Chapter 2 Verse 65:Ishaq: 250 Tabari VIII: 28Qur’an Chapter 5 Verse 14: Qur’an Chapter 5 Verse 41:Qur’an Chapter 5 Verse 82:Ishaq: 262Qur’an Chapter 5 Verse 51: Qur’an Chapter 3 Verse 28:Ishaq: 364Sahih Muslim Book 037, Number 6665:

  • Arif

    Finally! Finally an honest assessment of “True Islam” Ayaan Hrisi Ali you are the undisputed Queen!

  • MPBERRY

    I am a Christian. The article would have been more helpful to me if it had include chapter and verse of the Koran that supported her comments. Much of the so-called Islamic doctrine is determined by secterian law. Much of that is contrary to the word and intent of the Koran.At one time the ‘christian’ church conducted torture (The Inquisition) under the guise of rooting out heresy. Many European-Americans in the southern U.S. and the Ku Klux Klan have a’christian’ doctrine that overtly encourages persecution, murder and subjegation of African Americans. Their doctrine is contrary to the word and intent of the Bible.Christian and Islamic doctrine that is contary to the Bible/Koran should always be specifically noted as such. This avoids confusion about the true intent of the Bible/Koran.

  • MPBERRY

    I am a Christian. The article would have been more helpful to me if it had include chapter and verse of the Koran that supported her comments. Much of the so-called Islamic doctrine is determined by secterian law. Much of that is contrary to the word and intent of the Koran.At one time the ‘christian’ church conducted torture (The Inquisition) under the guise of rooting out heresy. Many European-Americans in the southern U.S. and the Ku Klux Klan have a’christian’ doctrine that overtly encourages persecution, murder and subjegation of African Americans. Their doctrine is contrary to the word and intent of the Bible.Christian and Islamic doctrine that is contary to the Bible/Koran should always be specifically noted as such. This avoids confusion about the true intent of the Bible/Koran.

  • Recovering Catholic

    I don’t read anything in Ms. Ayaan’s article that could not apply to Catholicism during the reign of the Inquisition. Over the past 500 years, both the religion and its adherents have evolved so that the most oppressive and aggressive practices are now banned. The point is, religions are malleable and more influenced by culture, economics, and the like than they are by their source documents (Bible, Koran, etc). For those who have posted that the history of Muslims offers no hope, read a little bit about the Moors in Spain – cultured, peacable people who were ravaged by the Catholics (as were the Sephardic Jews).

  • reverb

    You Are Being Manipilated:You are a fool.

  • ishrat

    writer is ignorant or have less knowledge of Quran

  • apostasy is enlightenment

    One day I wondered why there was no Bhuddist presence in India (apart from Tibetian refugees).Meanwhile, I feel sad for Indonesian women (I am married to one and I can not even go to parts of Sumatra anymore without dressing up and acting muslim. Indonesia is a false country built by the CIA to combat communism, but in most places, various religions and local cultures had existed side by side for centuries. But due to ongoing Islamist militancy, this is fast disappearing.

  • Cotton Mather

    The Christian Origin of Racism: Atheist Abolitionist Serpents in Slaves’ EdenThe Christian god ordained slavery in the Bible. Therefore, criticism of slavery is criticism of the Christian god, which is blasphemy—even atheism.That’s the basic argument Christians threw at abolitionists before the Civil War. Scholars say that the “Abolitionism is atheism” claim gained prominence among the clergy—particularly in New England—in the 1830s. For example, Episcopal clergyman Calvin Colton collected anti-abolition arguments in an 1839 book, Abolition as Sedition.The origin of the argument, however, lay in the eighteenth-century French Revolution, which declared the equality of all while denying the existence of gods, and even earlier in the American Declaration of Independence, which announced that “all men are created equal” while offering only deistic references to divinity. Although Christians were among the critics of slavery, so were many deists or Unitarians—atheists in Christian eyes—such as Benjamin Franklin, Tom Paine, and John Adams and even slaveholders themselves such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Nineteenth-century abolitionists such as Abraham Lincoln and Robert Ingersoll likewise were considered atheists.Thus, in a November. 21, 1861, sermon, Thomas Smyth, minister of the Second Presbyterian Church of Charleston, attacked the Declaration of Independence, according to scholar H. Shelton Smith in In His Image, But . . . Smyth summarized the argument like this: “God is introduced to give dignity and emphasis . . . and then He is banished,” said [Thomas Smyth]. It was this very atheistic Declaration which had inspired the “higher law” doctrine of the radical antislavery men. If the mischievous abolitionists had only followed the Bible instead of the godless Declaration, they would have been bound to acknowledge that human bondage was divinely ordained. The mission of southerners was therefore clear; they must defend the word of God against abolitionist infidels.In an 1860 defense of slavery, “Cotton Is King,” President E.N. Elliott of Planters’ College, Mississippi, claimed: The agitation of the abolition question had commenced in France during the horrors of the first revolution, under the auspices of the Red republicans. . . . It is here worthy of remark, that most of the early abolition propagandists, many of whom commenced as Christian ministers, have ended in downright infidelity [i.e., atheism]. Let us then hear no more of this charge, that the defenders of slavery have changed their ground; it is the abolitionists who have been compelled to appeal to “a higher law,” not only than the Federal Constitution, but also, than the law of God. This is the inevitable result when men undertake to be “wise above what is written.”He later charged that, “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, their wresting the Scriptures from their plain and obvious meaning to compel them to teach abolitionism. Finally, the duty of all Christians: from such withdraw thyself.”That’s exactly what the Christian South tried to do. You might argue that 2 Corinthians 6:14–17 and Ephesians 5:6–7 ultimately triggered the Civil War.R.H. Rivers, professor of moral philosophy at Wesleyan College, Alabama, claimed in an 1860 book, Elements of Moral Philosophy, that his god established slavery. He wrote: “We maintain that God’s law is always right, and that whatever God established is right, not because he established it, but we maintain that God established it because he saw that it is right.” Rivers declared, “no one should place conscience above God, or above his law . . . [man does not have a] higher law in his moral nature which is above God’s revealed law.”Bishop Stephen Elliott of Georgia claimed in an 1862 sermon that the American Revolution had laid down principles contrary to biblical revelation: Carried away by our opposition to monarchy and an established Church, we declared war against all authority and against all form. The reason of man was exalted to an impious degree and in the face not only of experience, but of the revealed word of God, all men were declared equal, and man was pronounced capable of self-government.Elliott demanded a theocracy because “subordination rules supreme in heaven and must rule supreme on earth.” He claimed Boston was the source of “every accursed heresy” from false clergy and that Southern clergy had “never corrupted the gospel of Christ” by claiming a “higher law.” He helped write an 1862 pastoral letter for the General Council of the Confederate Protestant Episcopal Church that described abolitionism as a “hateful infidel pestilence.”One prominent Southern Methodist, August B. Longstreet of Georgia, called abolitionism “one of the most frightful, disgusting monsters that ever reared its head among a Christian people.” Another Methodist, Whitefoord Smith, told the General Assembly in South Carolina that abolitionists abandoned Christianity for a “higher law” that succumbed to “the doctrines of devils.” In 1861, the North Carolina Christian Advocate blamed the impending war on “‘the demon spirit of abolitionism.’ Southern Methodists had ‘tested it fully, and found it to be heartless, inhuman and Christless.’”One of the most widely reprinted demands for secession was a November 29, 1860, sermon at the First Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, when the Reverend Benjamin Morgan Palmer declared it a duty to defend slavery. He criticized abolitionist ideas, then: Last of all, in this great struggle, we defend the cause of God and Religion. The Abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic. The demon which erected its throne upon the guillotine in the days of Robespierre and Marat, which abolished the Sabbath and worshipped reason in the person of a harlot, yet survives to work other horrors, of which those of the French Revolution are but the type. Among a people so generally religious as the American, a disguise must be worn; but it is the same old threadbare disguise of the advocacy of human rights. From a thousand Jacobin Clubs here, as in France, the decree has gone forth which strikes at God by striking at all subordination and law. . . . This spirit of atheism, which knows no God who tolerates evil, no Bible which sanctions law, and no conscience that can be bound by oaths and covenants, has selected us for its victims, and slavery for its issue. Its banner-cry rings out already upon the air: “liberty, equality, fraternity,” which simply interpreted, means bondage, confiscation, and massacre. With its tricolor waving in the breeze—it waits to inaugurate its reign of terror. To the South the high position is assigned of defending, before all nations, the cause of all religions and of all truths. In this trust, we are resisting the power which wars against constitutions and laws and compacts, against Sabbaths and sanctuaries, against the family, the state, and the church, which blasphemously invades the prerogatives of God, and rebukes the Most High for the errors of his administration. . . .In the 1845 “Letter to an English Abolitionist,” James Henry Hammond—a U.S. representative, a U.S. senator, and South Carolina governor—offered standard Bible-based defenses of slavery. He blamed abolitionism on: a transcendental religion . . . a religion too pure and elevated for the Bible; which seeks to erect among men a higher standard of morals than the Almighty has revealed, or our Saviour preached; and which is probably destined to do more to impede the extension of God’s kingdom on earth than all the infidels who have ever lived. Error is error.Hammond concluded: And to sum up all, if pleasure is correctly defined to be the absence of pain—which, so far as the great body of mankind is concerned, is undoubtedly its true definition—I believe our slaves are the happiest three millions of human beings on whom the sun shines. Into their Eden is coming Satan in the disguise of an abolitionist.It’s safe to say that never were people happier to be expelled from Paradise than were America’s slaves.

  • Joe

    People, people….Ms. Hirsi is a convicted fraud and liar. Tell me why should I believe a fraud like her?

  • Santiago

    “For those who have posted that the history of Muslims offers no hope, read a little bit about the Moors in Spain – cultured, peacable people who were ravaged by the Catholics (as were the Sephardic Jews).”-Recovering CatholicHow did those Moors get into Spain old boy? Did they perhaps invade Spain in a show of peace? Why would Spanish Christians show any sympathy for muslim invaders of their land? You are completely ignorant about the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Penninsula in the 8th century A.D., but you will make an excellent dhimmni slave.

  • Richard Hein

    Nearly everything that you have written could be found in the old and new testaments of the bible. You can take any of these commandments literally, such as:Exodus 21:15 – “He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.” (NASB) Exodus 21:17 – “He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.” (NASB) You can prove nearly anything you want, whether it be of hatred and domination or love and healing from either the Bible or the Koran.For all that has been said of the murderous excesses of blood-thirsty Muslims, any rational person can state with utter certainty that far more people have been murdered by people who did it in the name of Jesus Christ than of Mohammed. They do it from an incomplete understanding of Christianity, just as the Muslims do from an incomplete understanding of their religion.Both groups are wrong. Both groups use scripture to rationalize their crimes against humanity. To banish one religion while omitting any mention of another is to sadly miss the mark, the very definition of sin.

  • ishrat baby you got to finish 4th grade

    learn from those that are hear. you stupid statement provides nothing to the debate.watch and learn:i dont say what islamics have to believe – i quote the koran and it says what they have to believe. you keep thinking you are dealing with christians and the bible and how they can pretent it means anything they want it to mean. islamics have no such ability as the koran forbids it.as i have previously said – who cares what is in the heart of a man trying to kill you or your family? the last line only concerns islamics and tells them that their fake god will know they are just lying and dont really mean it.first the proposition then the basis.

  • HeyYOU

    I have GREAT RESPECT for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. If only the men in the cult of Islam were as truthful. The ONLY thing Muslims understand is absolute overwhelming brutal force. Witness the reign of Saddam in Iraq. Now its too late. The only thing that will save the world from Islam is God. Selah. “And He will slay the enemies of Israel with the breath of His mouth.”

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Sid Tootoon:Funny name and funny brain !Anyway, this is what happened in Islamabad, Pakistan. The report appeared about a year ago in CNN.A Pakistani man was convicted of killing his daughters and he confessed it was an honor killing. The judge asked what was his motivation ?Then as he watched his wife weeping, he told her to keep quiet and entered thge room where his two younger daughters slept. He then put his palm over their mouths and decapitated them one by one. He did this, as he said, because he was afraid that when they grew up – reaching puberty -they would also do the same like their elder sister.The judge was horrified, but the man calmly stated that he would do this again and again, because he had his honor as a Muslim to protect. Also, according to Sharia law, his wife was the only witness, and that ain’t enough. One man equals two women. So, in the Sharia law the man was freed due to lack of witnesses as honor killing was permissible in Pakistan tribal areas. I think this is exactly what Ayaan Hirsi Ali is referring to: Islam is a potent tool and is very easily intermingled with tribal norms to commit the most hateful heinous crimes and then being blessed by the religious dictates. Get the drift ?

  • Shawn

    Here’s a CRAZY idea….why don’t people just stop, think, and stop believing religious nonsense? There, problem solved….WAKE UP YOU SHEEP! God save us from religion.

  • cliff carson

    Great article! Now is there any estimate regarding the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, as to how many fall into categoriess 1,2,3,4 and 5?

  • cliff carson

    Great article! Now is there any estimate regarding the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, as to how many fall into categoriess 1,2,3,4 and 5?

  • Shawn

    Here’s a CRAZY idea….why don’t people just stop, think, and stop believing religious nonsense? There, problem solved….WAKE UP YOU SHEEP! God save us from religion.

  • A. Barbara

    I have just finished Ms. Ali’s book, a must-read for everyone. Captivating, shocking, and haunting, this book has changed my view of Islam. As a Jew, I have tried desperately to banish any anti-Muslim thoughts ever since 9/11, for fear of being like those who killed so many of my ancestors. But the truth about the radical Islamist movement cannot be hidden any longer. While Jews were scapegoats for a multitude of problems that had nothing to do with them but more to do with the failures of the governments at that time, they were persecuted mercilessly. But the Jews never went out killing others who did not share their faith in the name of their religion, did they ??? This is the bare truth about the violence inherent in Islam – and the so-called moderate Muslims are doing nothing to fight their radical brothers, and for this I feel intense anger. How exactly have so many of a supposedly “peaceful” faith been convinced that suicide bombing is a great mission and that their Jihad against the West is their life’s goal ? And so many educated Muslims have embraced these philosophies that the rest of us can only conclude that Islam is in fact NOT anything close to a peaceful religion. Maybe if all those Muslims would worry more about their own societies, their failed economies, and the poverty of their own people, they could actually accomplish something and contribute good to the world !

  • lets talk crusades

    from frank One of many sacks of Rome, that of the year 846 was the only instance of Muslims sacking the capital of the Christian church.hey lets talk crusades.846 Muslims sacking the capital of the Christian church. During the 8th and 9th centuries, the Arabs (known by mediaeval Italians as the Saracens) had begun to expand into Southern Italy during the Muslim conquest of Southern Italy. These newcomers, sailing from their bases in North Africa, had conquered Sicily and had begun a steady penetration of the peninsula. To prevent a second such incident, in 852 Pope Leo IV commissioned the construction of another wall (so-called Leonine Wall) around an area on the opposite side of the Tiber from the seven hills of Rome. This enclosure has since become known as the Leonine City.additionally – The Islamic conquest and domination of Sicily, as well as parts of southern Italy, is a process whose origin must be traced back in the general expansion of Islam from the 7th century onwards.The first attacks from Islamic ships to Sicily, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire, occurred in 652: they were Arabs from Syria, led by Mu’àuia ibn-Hodeig of the Kinda tribe, and remained on the island for several years. The Byzantine exarch of Ravenna Olympius also came to Sicily but were unable to oust the invaders, who returned to Syria after collecting a large booty.A second expedition occurred in 669. This time the strong, ravaging force consisted of 200 ships from Alexandria. They sacked Syracuse and returned to Egypt after a month of pillaging. After the Umayyad conquest of Africa (complete around 700), attacks from Muslim fleets repeated in 703, 728, 729, 730, 731, 733 and 734, the last two times meeting with a substantial Byzantine resistance.The first true conquest expedition was launched in 740: in that year the Muslim prince Habib, who participated on the 728 attack, and his son Abdurrahman, after a successful siege of Syracuse, were ready to conquer the whole island when they were called back to Tunisia by a Berber revolt. A second attack in 752 aimed only to sack the city.In 805 the Imperial patrician of Sicily, Constantine, signed a ten years truce with Ibrahim I ibn al-Aghlab, Emir of Ifriqiya, but this did not prevent other Muslim fleets from other areas of Africa and Spain to attack Sardinia and Corsica in 806-821. In 812 Ibrahim’s son, Abdallah I, sent an invasion force to conquer Sicily. His ships were however pushed back first by the intervention of Gaeta and Amalfi, and later by a tempest which destroyed much of them. However, they managed to conquer the islands of Lampedusa and, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to ravage Ponza and Ischia. A further agreement between the new patrician Gregorius and the Emir established the freedom of commerce between southern Italy and Ifriqiya. After a further attack by Mohammed ibn-Adballad, cousin of Emir Ziyadat Allah I in 819, no news of subsequent Muslim attack to Sicily are known until 827.The conquered Sicilian population was subjected to the typical discrimination against the Infidel found in most Muslim dominated lands.****They were permitted freedom of worship, but only if they accepted the inferior status of a dhimmi.****As dhimmi they were subjected to extra taxation — the jizya (poll tax) and the kharaj (land tax), which ensured that they were contributing to the upkeep of security and protection that the Muslim armies were providing them. There were restrictions on repairing or building new churches. The dhimmi could not bear arms or ride a horse and were required to wear distinctive clothes so that they could be easily identified as dhimmi. Some converted to Islam in order to leviate the additional taxes that they had to pay. This situation resulted in the spread of Islam among the inhabitants (whether by honest conviction or economic and societal compulsion). However, many Greek Christian communities managed to survive as dhimmi until the arrival of the Normans — especially in the hill towns of Northeastern Sicily. These Sicilians generally welcomed the Norman invaders.isn’t 500 years of being attacked, sacking rome, enough to warrant a response? not if your islamic.

  • Anonymous

    Very enlightening. Speaking of enlightenment…

  • Subhash Paradkar

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is trying to reform a community behavior of people of Islamic faith. One needs to recognize that all people of Islamic faith do not follow Koranic commands and like Bible or any other holy books, these commands are interpreted by intellectuals like her to adjust to the society or countries where people practice Islam. Moslems in India are heavily influenced by India’s Hindu culture with “one god worshipped in many ways” and “one-world family concept”. Many countries where Islam and Christianity came because conversion as a foreign religion did not have fundamentalist followers based on what is happening in dictotarial regimes in Middle-east. It is the poverty, lack of education and access to knowledge about science and technolgy, fear of violence induced by parents, tribal leaders, politicians, and police states, and ill treatment of women has worried Islamic faith leaders. This type of social and domestic mistreatment has been true with caste system in India, south east asia, or color and class system system in America and Western countries. Same God is called as OM, Allah and heavenly father. God does not want us to treat each other with violence in our thoughts, words and actions.So, you can abandon any religion and that will not solve the problem. We need to have family planning, good diet, meditation, education and commitment by rich countries not to exploit cheap labor, and by educate poor people not to use color, caste and poverty as a crutch against wealthy, but to work hard and smart with faith in the divine power within to live a simplistic healthy and happy life style.All those who suffered poverty, war,intimidation hunger,trauma,loss of lover ones, violence and discrimination need emotional healing from Past and less anxiety about future. Instead of financing suicide bombers and their families, if Oil Rich countries like Saudi, Iran and Iraq support economical development and education for Moslem children, we can save 400 Million Moslem children under 15 who are trained by Madrassas and their families/leaders to hate Christians, Jews and Hindus. Inner transformation is required on everyone’s part. We need to train children to be good human beings first, then only we can be god fearing and loving people. 50% world’s popualtion makes less than $2 a day and no religion or intellectual group has addressed this fact. Gandhi once said, “Poverty is worst form of violence”.

  • Jay

    Grim. In America many immigrants come to this country thinking that they will hold onto their cultural heritage, require their children to adhere to the customs of their native country and raise them as good ( fill in a country). Then the children watch TV, listen to our music, pick up our slang, idioms and mannerisms. The parents rebel, punish, restrict their movements all to little avail. Voila, another American is born.On a world stage the outcome of this struggle will also go the same way. I read often that the number to satellite dishes in Iran (among many) is enormous. They listen to music, political reporting, advertisements of products that they must have

  • tom

    nice piece of fictional writing….harry potter was also a nice fictional piece…this culture needs to just go and figure stuff out for themselves….reading OPINIONS of one person or another shouldn’t get you so riled up…she has figured out that hating islam is the in thing and will make her money…good for her….but don’t try to pass this off as truth…those that don’t care to learn the true islam should not be reading this…stay in your religion or way of life and perfect that…don’t worry about what others are doing….

  • 4th watch

    James, Assigning blame of Islam’s idiocies to its follower’s (cultures) is in itself the surest sign of ignorance. Christians and people of other faiths or of no faith at all in these same (cultures) do not participate in the atrocities, interfamilial and nationally, that you attempt to absolve Islam of. Shifting culpability of these crimes as you attempt to is absurd. You defend the indefensible by placing your (Islam’s) burdens on innocent people’s backs,that is a shameless crime. If people and religions would take responsibility for their actions both would become more valuable to humanity and to God.

  • NMAIF

    This essay certainly verifys my impression of Islam. Where Muslims go, violence follows. The ones who try to be peaceful are seen as expendable bodies by the fanatics.

  • You are being manipulated

    re REVERB:1)Do some research on this lady and her past. This lady is a tool and we are being manipulated. If you can’t see this you are a fool.

  • Not a Camel Jockey

    All of you American Muslims who say this article is wrong/lies, please go and try and live your life as you are living in Muslim dominated countries like Pakistan, Iran, Afganistan. I am guessing, you would be in prison or worse within 10 days. Your religon is for crazy people.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Jay:You’re somewhat off the mark. These middle-eastern nations want to “MODERNIZE” but not what we call ‘WESTERNIZE’.To do what the west has achieved, you need free societies where debates/arguments can prevail. Not submission to an antiquated religious dogma. So, yes, Saudi Arabia you can find mobiles, condos, expensive cars, laptops, satellite phones and TVs – all goodies from the west. But, how many Islamic country have risen all by their own efforts to catch up with the West – in terms of thinking ? Nada ! That explains it, perhaps ?

  • Carmen Ribeiro

    This article is great. Congratulations to the author for been so brave and speaking the truth with such knowledge and wisdom. As a woman, I am proud of her. Proud of her courage, her honesty, the way she address the issue – speaking from experience…

  • Joe Paradis

    The courage you must have; the insight you do offer; may the good you surely bring protect you.

  • frank

    subash you are either a liar or a fool.

  • Forgiven

    “In the quest for reconciliation between Muslim and western societies, it is important to recognize that Muslims are as diverse as Islam is monolithic. Islam attempts to unify more than a billion people of different geographical origins, languages, ethnicities, and cultural and educational backgrounds into one religious tribe.”Islam was given for the Arabian Peninsula only, it was never meant to be exported to the rest of the world. If anyone looks at the history of the region they will understand the need for submission to God. Unfortunately as is usually the case man corrupts what God gives him and so Islam became what it is today.”On the issues of holy war (jihad), apostasy and the treatment of women, the Koran and Sunna are clear. It is the obligation of every Muslim to spread Islam to unbelievers first through dawa, or proselytizing, then through jihad, if the unbelievers refuse to convert. It is the obligation of the unbelievers to accept Islam. Exempted from this edict of conversion are the people of the book: Christians and Jews.”Again, the reason that Christians and Jews are exempt is because Islam was never meant for them. Just as zealots of Christianity have created their own brand of religion, so have Muslim zealots. It is the job of all true believers to live in peace with one another, this is the will of God. To love God first, and then to love one others as we love ourselves. This is nature of God in any religion, if man followed those two our world would be a much better place as God designed it…From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth; from the laziness that is content with half-truths; from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth – oh God of Truth deliver us!— UnknownThe Disputed Truth

  • Joe

    Malcolm X used to be a Christian….if you fundie fools are going to take Ayman Hirsi’s intepretation of Islam, why shouldn’t muslims accept Malcolm X’s intepretation of Christianity? At least Malcolm X wasn’t only the Saudi payroll. The knife cuts both ways.

  • Recovering Catholic

    Santiago:My point exactly. Between the 8th century and the 15th century the Moors had EVOLVED. It’s possible even for Muslims to do. The Catholics got around to it too, after a good deal of brutality and plundering. And, please, who hasn’t invaded Iberia? Romans, Visigoths, Celts, Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin through proxies, even the U.S. maintained a large, and unpopular military prescence there until recently. Why should the Moors miss out on the fun? And by the way, if any of your descendents were from Andalucia, you are almost certainly descended from Moors yourself, as I almost certainly am as well.

  • Will

    Ms. Ali’s association with the AEI is less than a year old, and has nothing to do with the views she expressed in the article. She’s been expressing her views on Islam for years, long before her recent move to the US.I might say those trying to attack her ideas because of her very recent association with the AEI have a weak argument, except they have no argument at all. If such statements reveal their knowledge of Ms. Ali and her history, then they must really enjoy public displays of ignorance.

  • Robert Peterson

    In the pursuit of cheap publicity, you are trying to gratify your own sense of self-importance by simply taking Quranic text out of context and branding many of pre-Islamic cultural practices of many countries including your native land as “Islamic”. By the way, when did Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey ever tried to use democracy to “undermine social modernity”? What you call “modernity”, many God-0fearing Christina, Jews and Muslims consider it to be “pornography”. Please stop calling yourself a former “devout Muslim”. I would respect you more if you were to be honest with yourself and criticize Islamic scripture as an atheist.

  • Recovering Catholic

    “And by the way, if any of your descendents were from Andalucia,”I meant anscestors…

  • E favorite

    Anonymous – your conclusion that NT authors were either crazy or truthful sounds like CS Lewis’ conclusion that Jesus was Liar, Lunatic or Lord.There is another explanation, for Jesus and the Bible – it’s a Legend, a series of myths – like the greek and roman myths from which it was borrowed.Think about the story of the emperor has no clothes. Everyone knows the story has a valuable lesson, and everyone knows that it’s just a story – a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Anderson. The little boy who revealed the naked emperor is not worshipped as the son of God – he’s just the hero of a story. Anderson is neither crazy nor a liar — he’s an excellent storyteller.

  • Brent

    Frank:

  • Anonymous

    With respect to the author, I believe she underestimates the wide scope of inequities which permeate each and every culture, particularly ones of strongly religious natures. Each and every society has had what others might consider extremes; early South American cultures had violent ritual executions, the states of middle Europe strict order, most Africa a very honor based culture, and many have until very recently condoned slavery The ancient Greeks were quite similar, as was Western society not yet a single century ago. Although the nations adhering to Islamic law do display gross violations of women’s rights, the last thing our country should be doing right now is trying to find fault with the Middle East. We should not forget that around the world, images of violent racial suppression at Birmingham (during the civil rights movement) shocked and stunned other nations, and prompted the smugly satisfied Soviet Union to resoundingly denounce us. Years later, Americans have, to a considerable extent, changed their thinking. We would be foolish to assume that Islamic nations will simply do the same without the same intense inner pressure. But the problem is that their system is perhaps even more suppressive of protests than ours was of the ones decades ago. What should be done, then, to aid the cause of women’s rights? It makes little or no sense to threaten violence, and sanctions have proven ineffective of bending the will of the both famously and notoriously stubborn people living under these laws. There is no democratic protest right given over to these women; perhaps, therefore, there is no solution. We do have the hopes, however, that more prosperity by Western business methods will bring greater Westernization, which would be helpful in this case, acting as a new force for the improvement of women’s rights. Should this fail, changing times and cultural politics in the region might disable the radical core governments and prompt more moderate and liberal leaders, even if they should be dictators, who will be more, though probably not very, tolerant.Racial politics, however, have still not quieted down in the United States, and even here women often express the feeling that they will always be seen primarily as future mothers. We have taken nearly a hundred years to change our gender politics this far; higher and ideal equality could take much longer. We have little reason to believe that such the Middle East, in such a quagmire of gender politics, will advance at a rate comparable to ours. It could be a long wait before we see meaningful improvements.But that is the nature of history. Time being the great equalizer, its passage numbs us to past injustices, making us forget how bigoted all of our cultures have been in the past, the wide scope of inequities that has existed. We cannot forget that some cultures have come and gone, lasting hundreds of years, without ever resolving the injustices inherent to their systems. The fact that our modern climate offers pressures on these countries and their religion to submit to gender equality in greater degrees is a sign of hope that, with good fortune, women’s rights will come to Islam, and soon.

  • just1gurl

    You are a brave women to speak such truths to “infidels”. The fanatical oppression, vicious and cruel mob justice and treatment of dissenters, the plotting and darkness, and the growing manipulation by the “clergy” of the youth of so many countries is a subject so horrific, yet the media of our “free” country won’t speak about for the fear of being politically incorrect. Unfortunately where there should be discussion, the media tends to twist any concern into presumed hatred, further alienating the already disenfranchised and pushing them into the arms of these violent ways. I hope for you safety and the encouragement of your soul in such a lonely stand. Bless you.

  • Mark Smith Arlington, VA

    You are brave to tell the truth. Many of us in the West have no idea what life is like under sharia, myself included. But with your personal witness and warning, you issue a clarion call we must heed if we are to survive.

  • Jane

    I wonder if the author has any comments about societies with large Muslim minority populations, such as India, where the Muslims are sources of social unrest and even violence. Are there any lessons for the West and our liberal immigration laws for Muslims?My daughter in law teaches in Fairfax County and the schools are inundated with Muslim immigrants who want their daughters to sit away from boys, who won’t let their children sing Hanakah songs at school because they are Jewish, or participate in birthday celebrations (because cupcakes are from infidels or something). Can we send those people back to wherever?

  • Anonymous

    With respect to the author, I believe she underestimates the wide scope of inequities which permeate each and every culture, particularly ones of strongly religious natures. Each and every society has had what others might consider extremes; early South American cultures had violent ritual executions, the states of middle Europe strict order, most Africa a very honor based culture, and many have until very recently condoned slavery The ancient Greeks were quite similar, as was Western society not yet a single century ago. Although the nations adhering to Islamic law do display gross violations of women’s rights, the last thing our country should be doing right now is trying to find fault with the Middle East. We should not forget that around the world, images of violent racial suppression at Birmingham (during the civil rights movement) shocked and stunned other nations, and prompted the smugly satisfied Soviet Union to resoundingly denounce us. Years later, Americans have, to a considerable extent, changed their thinking. We would be foolish to assume that Islamic nations will simply do the same without the same intense inner pressure. But the problem is that their system is perhaps even more suppressive of protests than ours was of the ones decades ago. What should be done, then, to aid the cause of women’s rights? It makes little or no sense to threaten violence, and sanctions have proven ineffective of bending the will of the both famously and notoriously stubborn people living under these laws. There is no democratic protest right given over to these women; perhaps, therefore, there is no solution. We do have the hopes, however, that more prosperity by Western business methods will bring greater Westernization, which would be helpful in this case, acting as a new force for the improvement of women’s rights. Should this fail, changing times and cultural politics in the region might disable the radical core governments and prompt more moderate and liberal leaders, even if they should be dictators, who will be more, though probably not very, tolerant.Racial politics, however, have still not quieted down in the United States, and even here women often express the feeling that they will always be seen primarily as future mothers. We have taken nearly a hundred years to change our gender politics this far; higher and ideal equality could take much longer. We have little reason to believe that such the Middle East, in such a quagmire of gender politics, will advance at a rate comparable to ours. It could be a long wait before we see meaningful improvements.But that is the nature of history. Time being the great equalizer, its passage numbs us to past injustices, making us forget how bigoted all of our cultures have been in the past, the wide scope of inequities that has existed. We cannot forget that some cultures have come and gone, lasting hundreds of years, without ever resolving the injustices inherent to their systems. The fact that our modern climate offers pressures on these countries and their religion to submit to gender equality in greater degrees is a sign of hope that, with good fortune, women’s rights will come to Islam, and soon.

  • anonymous again

    All major religions (maybe except Buddhism, I don’t know) have blood-soaked pasts and have been responsible for or at least used as justification to perpetuate terrible atrocities and injustices. And lots of now-respectable religions and sects had extremely dubious origins. Wasn’t the Anglican/Episcopal Church started, more or less, because Henry XIII wanted to dump his first wife, for example?

  • Anon

    It is too bad that you choose to interpret a religion that between 1 and 2 billion people practice in such a negative light by focusing on the way they are practiced in harsh societies in which roughly 15% of those billion+ live. I would echo the sentiments of others that your word – already on shaky grounds for lying in your visa application – should be taken with a heap of salt. You can find the subjugation you speak of in every religion, but that does not make it part and parcel to the religion.

  • Mike from New York

    I’ve read several comments now from Muslims attacking Ms. Ali and what she had to say. But what you don’t seem to realize is the most damning of what she said wasn’t opinion but fact. It shows how afraid Muslims are of having their religion scrutinized. They don’t want people to know the truth so they attack her character.Listen, it’s not Ms. Ali’s fault that Muhammad was a pedophile. It’s not Ms. Ali’s fault that the Quran lays out a slave’s life for the Muslim women. It’s not Ms. Ali’s fault that the Quran preaches murderous violence against those who worship differently than you. You’re just upset that she’s letting more people know how disturbing your religion is and how disgusting the people are who follow it.

  • Olu Aiyegbusi

    This is an interesting article but very biased. As a Bahai, it saddens me that people have wrongly interpreted the word of Muhammad. The word Islam is derived from the Arabic word for peace. I am saddened by how a lot of the world especially Non-Muslims use the brush of fundamentalists to judge the whole religion. It is akin to judging Christianity by the words and actions of the Ku Klux Klan. Some many wrongs have been committed under the guise of religion and it has NEVER been at the behest of God but rather for mans own selfish wants. This article is an example of that. Please do not judge someones religion by the actions of a minority especially if that faith is one of the chapters of Gods great single unfolding religion.

  • wolf

    As a non-American (call me an alien..) staying in the USA for the past few months, I am surprised by the level of Xenephobia in this country. Yes, you were (according to the official story) attacked by muslim extremists on 9-11, but not all muslims are extremists, most of them are just people (often poor) trying to live their lives.How many muslim countries have you xenephobes visited?? I’d say the answer in most cases is zero. It’s easy to fear something you know nothing about.Don’t forget folks, that you are currently militarily OCCUPYING a muslim country – causing chaos, mayhem, death and destruction in the process. Your government is also propping up fascist regimes in several other muslim countries. From an outsiders perspective, this doesn’t look so good. Kinda looks like a Crusade…The author of this article obviously has an agenda, and as such it should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Anonymous

    Guys, please. Every single time I’ve ever visited this blog, people have been intolerant, angry, and ignorant. I don’t understand why having a little privacy as to your identity gives so many people the desire to hit and run, typing out obscenities and insults as quick as can be and never looking back.This is a very sensitive issue. Religion being the opiate of the masses and all, people feel very inclined to defend their individual religions strongly. Not that there’s anything wrong with that guys; I mean, there are often far worse things to defend. Just remember that you could set someone off like a cartoon keg of dynamite spewing the invective and vinegar-filled rhetoric that all the other countries around the world know and just completely love us for. The biggest intolerance of all, I think, is being displayed right here. Assume that the people you talk to might feel like they could just cry when you start screaming at them about their points of views (they probably won’t, but it is a good perspective to keep…and some people ARE very sensitive about religion).Now, back to the show.

  • Karl

    There’s a seeker born every minute.

  • Joe

    Well Mike from New York….It was Ms. Hirsi’s fault when she decided to lie on her visa application, then got caught and deported from Netherlands. People like you and her are the real disgusting people. You’re just jealous because Islam is the fastest growing religion in the US.

  • Stephen Coffman

    Unfortunately, Islam (like other major religions) has been “hijacked” by those who seek personnel gain.The written Koran is in contradiction to the original Koran. Muhammad warned of what would happen if the Hadith, Sunna, and even the Koran was written down.Yet, Islam is corrupted by the misuse of the written word.

  • Mike from New York

    What does that have to do with anything about what is being discussed, Joe? Again, because you can’t defend your disturbing religion against charges that it treats women as slaves, you attack the character of one woman who refused to be a slave.

  • kartit

    everyone who contibute to this discussion is very very stupid

  • Larry Huntley

    Every American should have to read this to understand what we up against.

  • Larry Huntley

    Every American should have to read this to understand what we up against.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe that Islam itself is a violent religion. Instead, I believe that Islam is a religion like all others with fragments that can be deliberately or accidentally misinterpreted by their flesh-and-blood followers. Remember also that it is not the poorer Muslims who often become violent or terroristic but, statistically, more educated and middle class ones. This is probably because of several reasons.1. There will be a weakened religiosity in a person who needs nothing like religion to give them hope of a better existence in God’s heaven.2. They see a world tormented by American interventions into cultures which, while flawed (like every culture, as has been pointed out), are fully functional and in no way inclined to be “straightened out”. 3. They have a higher tendency to look less closely at their religion and, rather than interpreting fully the deeper meanings that someone living in want might see more clearly, simply see justifications for the rage against oppressors that their education has given them.The main problem with Islam is that it preaches to what is probably the largest group of impoverished people, living in squalor and working hard to survive in this world. Inequality will always be rampant in these conditions.

  • GK NY

    Excellent article! (But — The connection to the AEI diminishes the author’s credibility a bit because of the AEI’s perceived pursuit of “American Empire” rather than Enterprise.) Wish the liberals of the world could understand just how repressive Islam is in light of traditionally accepted human and women’s rights.

  • jacob

    to all those involved in this debate:does it really matter how one of us classifies or defines another?the truth is that we are all connected to this world and eachother. we are all composed of the same matter, the same energy drives our intentions. the pain of life lies in these classifications and divisions. wipe them away and we are all the same; pathetic bags of flesh trying to survive, evoking larger and larger egotistical fortifications to shield us from the realities of life and especially death. all prophets and gods or lack there of are the same. they are us and we are them. all manifestations of life are a reflection of our true selves. just by existing we are involved.why is it then that we will kill over books and words? are they really enough? please stop allowing these mere concepts to congeal in our brains and cause us to blindly seperate from ourselves. they are just ideas. reality is staring into the eyes of an actual living being and seeing what is the same humanity, confusion, and vulnerability that we know we ourselves embody.thank you for this discussion.

  • Peace

    What is the real faces of islam? As we know them they are Sunnis and Shiites and their leaders are the ayatollahs, the saudi princes/kings, the Wahabis, and the bin Ladens. They order their followers to go kill others and they have the quarn as their source of their power or mandate. I have never heard them preach peace among people.Look at the fact on the ground: they kill each other; they blow themselves to kill others.

  • jacob

    to all those involved in this debate:does it really matter how one of us classifies or defines another?the truth is that we are all connected to this world and eachother. we are all composed of the same matter, the same energy drives our intentions. the pain of life lies in these classifications and divisions. wipe them away and we are all the same; pathetic bags of flesh trying to survive, evoking larger and larger egotistical fortifications to shield us from the realities of life and especially death. all prophets and gods or lack there of are the same. they are us and we are them. all manifestations of life are a reflection of our true selves. just by existing we are involved.why is it then that we will kill over books and words? are they really enough? please stop allowing these mere concepts to congeal in our brains and cause us to blindly seperate from ourselves. they are just ideas. reality is staring into the eyes of an actual living being and seeing what is the same humanity, confusion, and vulnerability that we know we ourselves embody.thank you for this discussion.

  • commentator

    lol do you really believe that this article will serve any of its intended purposes? just as more ppl converted to islam after 9/11 more ppl will be intersted in islam after this article.

  • jacob

    to all those involved in this debate:does it really matter how one of us classifies or defines another?the truth is that we are all connected to this world and eachother. we are all composed of the same matter, the same energy drives our intentions. the pain of life lies in these classifications and divisions. wipe them away and we are all the same; pathetic bags of flesh trying to survive, evoking larger and larger egotistical fortifications to shield us from the realities of life and especially death. all prophets and gods or lack there of are the same. they are us and we are them. all manifestations of life are a reflection of our true selves. just by existing we are involved.why is it then that we will kill over books and words? are they really enough? please stop allowing these mere concepts to congeal in our brains and cause us to blindly seperate from ourselves. they are just ideas. reality is staring into the eyes of an actual living being and seeing what is the same humanity, confusion, and vulnerability that we know we ourselves embody.thank you for this discussion.

  • Azhar

    Ms. Ayaan is obviously a person who has become antagonistic to a faith which she never really understood and did not have the ethics level required to practice. This would be similar to the priests involved with child molestation, not sufficient ethics to follow a moral code! Now, the question really is what has Ms. Ayaan done to Islam or Muslims that she is not willing to talk about but the guilt of which is driving her to vilify a great religion? Muslims believe in the same god as the other major religions of the world and are required to believe in all the Major Prophets throughout time. The moral code of Islam is also similar to that of other religions. I read once that Ms. Ayaan had converted to Christianity from Islam. There is nothing wrong with this decision; however, I wonder how long it will take before she starts to vilify this great religion due to her lack of understanding of why religion exists in the first place and a low level of ethics to follow a moral code?Ms. Ayaan needs help but it is difficult to help a person who is so full of hate most of which stems from her actions in life which if investigated would revel some horrendous crimes!

  • kartit

    gooood that is very clear

  • twenty-twenty

    Apparently, many on this thread already follow this list, but to the uninitiated, read carefully:10-point system to Counter anti-Islamic claims: 1) Accuse the writer of lying, ignorance and hate.

  • kartit

    gooood that is very clear

  • Dale Cowart

    The people that are against the war and those whom for political reasons have to take an unreasonable position against GWB cannot hear or allow to be heard the words of Ms. Ali. If our current conflict is doing anything to help women’s rights and is bringing about the kind of reforms that facilitate a reasonable dialogue between the people of nations and religions, then the people in America that hate the president cannot stir up the irrational emotion whereby they have been able to manipulate the public opinion. Some people just have a cup half full of hate and they don’t really want to help women or anyone else. That is a very sad condition.

  • Ray

    Thank you Ayaan Hirsi Ali for having the courage to speak the truth. Were that there were more people in this world like you. You are a gift to the entire human race.

  • Mapuel Nziengui

    Well, the article is well done, however, do not much about Islam philosophy or ritual…

  • JMACSR

    Good rational, factual treatment of an often politicized topic.

  • Reverb

    You Are Being Manipulated:I have done more than enough research in several languages concerning this issue. You are a fool if you cannot see what is the Salafist agenda. Do you even know that term? What a surprise that Hindus, Buddhists, Animists, Christians, Jews, secularists, and atheists all have problems with the religion of peace, and many of these conflicts predate the founding of the US.

  • kartit

    that is enough

  • Tomba

    People and their religion are so damn stupid.

  • ron

    She is correct…better her tell Congress about what Islamists think than the Islamist Congressman from Minnesota

  • John Evans

    Really an excellent piece.The idea of a religion based in violence is very disturbing. I will read the Koran myself.

  • John Evans

    Really an excellent piece.The idea of a religion based in violence is very disturbing. I will read the Koran myself.

  • Anonymous

    Since Ali is now at the American Enterprise Institute, she has zero credibility.

  • MZ

    How credible can her thoughts be, she had falsified immigration form, resulting in revoking of Visa. To impress the new bosses at AEI, this is what she can come up with !!! People be aware, having a bad experience at home can change ones perspective, but it necessarily does not reflect the local community, forget about the global community.

  • A Hermit

    It appears to me that Islam, like Christianity, like Judaism and Hinduism for that matter, has been used as the justification for all kinds of abuse and evil.But speaking as an atheist and ex-Christian I have found in the Christian religion there are as many varieties of believer as there are individual people. I can only imagine, and my admittedly limited experience of the Muslim faith tends to confirm it, that the same is true in Islam. I sympathize with Ms. Ali’s distaste for the extremists in her former faith; I have butted heads with Christians cut from the same cloth. But to demonize the more than a billion people worldwide who call themselves Muslim is an injustice.And that it is being done here on behalf of the hateful anti-peace activists of the American Enterprise Institute, the people who brought us the Iraq disaster (an attack on a secular Arab country, not on radical Islamists) I’m afraid I’m inclined to take this article with a large grain of salt, just as I do with the overwrought anti-religious hysteria of people like Chris Hitchens. Painting with such a broad brush is always a mistake. It seems to me such over-generalizing hurts the cause of the reformers, whom we should all be seeking to assist. They are the ones who will solve the problem of extremists, not the warmongers of the AEI.RegardsA Hermit

  • scorpion

    “Can we send those people back to wherever?”-JaneIndeed we can Jane. It is only a question of will.

  • Think it through.

    Ms. Ali cannot speak for islam as KluKluxKlan cannot speak for christianity.

  • evrwndr

    Pakistan — 1 female Prime Minister/Chief ExecutiveUSA — ZERO female President/Chief ExecutiveLet us hope that a Christian USA elects one.

  • Anwer

    I think Ms. Ali is completely misguided and does not have a in-depth knowledge of Islam. We need to set this discussion aside and pray for the people who lost their lives in bridge tragedy. Ms. Ali is doing nothing but increasing the rift between muslims and other religion.

  • Susan Barone

    This woman is a personal and professional fraud. She is magnet for Islamaphobes and Christian Fundies aching for the Apocalypse. Her willing audience reminds me of PT. Barnum’s immortal words.

  • Susan Barone

    This woman is a personal and professional fraud. She is magnet for Islamaphobes and Christian Fundies aching for the Apocalypse. Her willing audience reminds me of PT. Barnum’s immortal words.

  • burly

    I am tired of all these Wa Post articles about Islam. They don’t change anyone minds, aren’t insightful and only feed division. These holy books say a lot of crap, it doesn’t mean the Muslim next door to you is going to harm you. Can we get a similar article about Christianity from an atheists? Is this article really promoting discussion and news, or just more anger and hate? What Ali writes isn’t the truth. It is one version of many truths. And what is her solution? Are we to kill all Muslims and forcefully convert them to Christianity? I can’t believe the Post prints this crap.

  • Ex-Moslem

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the most courageous women I have ever known. She is an inspiration to every woman especially to women that live in Islamic societies and are treated as less human and second class citizen God Bless this beautiful woman.

  • rm

    Ayman Hirsi Ali and the likes of her believe in the theory that lies repeated thousands of times will become the truth. She repeats the same lies without a single reference. She accuses the fifth group of taking selective passages — while she does exactly the same.If Islam and Muslims were like what Ayman Hirsi Ali claims, then why is that India after being ruled for 500+ years by Muslims, still has an overwhelming majority Hindu population. Why does Malaysia enjoy close to 50% population that is not Muslim. Why is that the best times for Jews was in Muslim Spain? Why was there no sword used in Indonesia to create the largest Muslim country?At a minimum Newsweek and Washington Post must allow an equal response from a Muslim scholar.

  • DutchMan

    @ANWER

  • Amjad Wyne

    I truly feel sorry for Hisri. She was either raised by horrible parents or she has suffered a lot at the hands of others but her account of Islam is both inaccurate and misleading. May be she is unaware but the prophet of Islam actually worked for his wife…His wife owned the business and he led the trade caravans for her. Similarly, Muslim countries, within the last ten years have seen more female heads of states than the entire Europe in the last one hundered years. What is interesting here is not what Hisri says but the large number of bafoons that are sending Kudos to her.

  • Samar Dahmash Jarrah

    If Islam is truly such a hateful religion like Ms. Ali claims, then why do thousands of educated and western Americans convert to Islam every year? Most who convert are women. If Islam is so bad to women then why would a free western American woman give her rights and become a Muslim?If Islam is to be spread through proselytizing and Jihad then how come there are still millions of Christians and Jews in all of the Islamic countries? Shouldn’t Muslims have started proselytizing and jihad at home first!I hope that readers well see through the lies spread by the ilk of Ms. Ali who was stripped of her European citizenship for lying under oath!

  • anonymous

    Congratulations on spreading Islamaphobia.Americans are starving for more, politically correct reasons to condemn Muslims, look down on them, and see them as enemies. Now they can say, “We were right! She was a Mulsim. She is saying they are bad too.” What are you doing for the women who are still suffering the way you did as a child and young adult? I hope you are doing something other than spreading hate.I am NOT a muslim. I have no Muslim friends or family. I am simply against condemnation of any one group of people.

  • val

    BRILLIANT!!!!

  • Mapuel Minzamba

    Well, the article is well done, however, do not much about Islam philosophy or ritual…

  • Amjad Wyne

    I truly feel sorry for Hisri. She was either raised by horrible parents or she has suffered a lot at the hands of others but her account of Islam is both inaccurate and misleading. May be she is unaware but the prophet of Islam actually worked for his wife…His wife owned the business and he led the trade caravans for her. Similarly, it was she who asked him to marry and not the other way round and he was dependent on her and not the other way round. Finally, Muslim countries, within the last ten years have seen more female heads of states than the entire Europe in the last one hundered years. What is interesting here is not what Hisri has to say but the large number of ignorant bafoons that are sending Kudos to her.

  • Karen D.

    It is really unbelievable that the WP, which prides itself on being a reputable media outlet, would publish such ugly, hateful garbage. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a proven fraud, an anti-Muslim bigot and has no real knowledge of Islam. The vast majority of what she writes consists of false and incorrect information. It really is very sad that any mainstream media outlet would give her their platform from which to spew her poisonous hatred. A double thumbs down on this one, WP!

  • Shukri

    Ms. Hirsi Ali is unfortunately a known liar. She was stripped of her Dutch citizenship and kicked out of the Netherlands because of it. Judging by this article, she hasn’t been able to drop her bad habits.

  • Johannes

    This woman reminds me of a Jew in Germany telling Hitler that all Jews should be sent to Auschwitz. She is the pits.

  • Her Lao

    I giggled as I read through your piece, Ms. Ali.Fact is, while Islam is no more than a mirror image of all superstitions, it is truly a super-symmetric reflection of major and actively proselytizing superstitions.The ONLY ONE major difference between, say, mega superstitious Christianity and mega superstitious Islam is that the period during which Arabs rose to be the guardians of mathematics and science — it’s a broken set of centuries, not all in one clean stretch, sometime after the decline of the scientific Greeks and at the rise of the science-illiterate Romans — there’s little or no broad sweep renaissance or reformation on civics, governance, jurisprudence, and other broad epistemologies.Arabs played one of the most crucial roles in the keeping alive of and furthering in specific fields like mathematics and astronomy, but religion (Islam) came to overshadow every sphere of life, thus making Arabs and Moslems static in terms of thinking of and instituting progressive institutions.At the start of Europe’s Renaissance, for instance, both religions were incredibly violent, arbitrarily so. Both through individuals and through village religious leaders, in both religions, any person considered having evil spirit of some kind or having done something that p-ssed god or sacred religious doctrines could be put to death immediately.Famous thinkers and scientists were often times allowed to “recant” their evil thoughts and be saved. But the ordinary citizens were simply stoned, tortured, or burnt to death.But towards the 1700′s, Christianity was forced to grudgingly accept broad, algorithmic, scientific reasoning. For example, Bruno and others were readily burnt by the Church Inquisition arm in 1600, Galileo and others, two generations later, were allowed to recant. And even if scientific books that said the sun was the center of the “universe”, NOT THE EARTH, as God said to the Church, were being published, so long as the authors and publishers were not directly challenging Christianity, the Church and other religious leaders took a live-let-live approach.Islam and Arab, unfortunately, didn’t go through those “reformations.” Indeed, once the reign of mathematics and astronomy was picked up by the European again around the 1500′s, Islam and Arabs retreated quick far back into isolationism, EVEN as it swept eastward to conquer much of far-flung south Asians, who TODAY comprise the numerical majority of Moslems, with the Arabs in the Middle East being only a small chunk… (And then there are the northern and northeastern Africans, too, yes…)I guess the “point” is, there’s not much comfort an intelligent could take from any of these mega superstitious beliefs and practices; and Islam has done no more and no less harm to people, particularly women, than Christianity or any other major and minor superstitious belief… They are all gibberish nonsense that have a lot of power and influence because indoctrination over hundreds of years work like virus who have had time to learn to adapt (to resist drugs) through evolutionary mutations…

  • persian princess

    Thank you Ayaan for finally writing the truth about Islam. I admire you for your honesty and strength. As for the comments posted, it seems to me that those condeming her on this post fall into two categories. First and foremost are the muslims who continue to lie to the world and perhaps even to themselves about the ugliness of this war loving and blood thirsty religion, and secondly we have the non muslim leftist without any real knowledge of Islam. For the second group and perhaps even for the first group my recommendation is please go and pick up a copy of the Quran and read it for yourself, and then be honset with yourself and others about these religions. As a women from a muslim dominated country who has been hijacked by Islam for the last twenty years in the form of a government and for the past 1400 years in the form of culture I should know what real Islam is about; a religion of aggression, and war.

  • E. F. Pettingill

    Another example of a religion that is based on the premise that because one has a penis one has the power. Not true then!!! Not true now!!! Not true ever!!! Be wary of those who worship a diety that accepts blood sacrifices of human beings.

  • Gabe

    Reality

  • Gabe

    Reality

  • msf

    What courage to state the truth. You are wonderful.

  • Liberated Female

    Another example of a religion based on the premise that the followers who have a penis also have the power. Not true then! Not true now! Not true ever! Beware of all those who follow a diety who accepts blood sacrifices of its followers and blood sacrifices of the innocents that they murder and rewards them with virgins to commit fornication.

  • The Logic

    Miss Ayaan Hirsi AliAnd we also know why you hate Islam/Muslims:Because of the genital mutilation you went throught when you were a child in Somalia and so you can’t have an orgasm, we can understand your frustration, thought having some sex would cool you down for sure and make you a peacefull person, but it’s useless in your case, I am sorry for that, I can imagine how you bad and desperate you feel…

  • The Logic

    Miss Ayaan Hirsi AliAnd we also know why you hate Islam/Muslims:Because of the genital mutilation you went throught when you were a child in Somalia and so you can’t have an orgasm, we can understand your frustration, thought having some sex would cool you down for sure and make you a peacefull person, but it’s useless in your case, I am sorry for that, I can imagine how you bad and desperate you feel…

  • Ben

    The biggest problem with Islam is that it has never gone through a Reformation as the Catholic church did(and I’m not a fan of the Catholic church). Islam may have been relevant 2000 years ago but fundamentally it adheres to outdated prejudicial, bigoted, sexist and racist beliefs.Ironically, it took a woman to expose it. The men, who have it all in that religion, wouldn’t dare speak up. Before any more of you post negative comments of the author, try reading some of the Koran. More importantly, try reading Sharia law.

  • The Logic

    Miss Ayaan Hirsi AliAnd we also know why you hate Islam/Muslims:Because of the genital mutilation you went throught when you were a child in Somalia and so you can’t have an orgasm, we can understand your frustration, thought having some sex would cool you down for sure and make you a peacefull person, but it’s useless in your case, I am sorry for that, I can imagine how you bad and desperate you feel…

  • suresh sheth

    It is these preachings of Koran that hard line followers take too literally and massacre millions of people (as it happened in India by repeated Islamic invasions spanned over thousand years beginning with one in 725 AD) in the name of enforcing Koranic teachings. Unless and until moderate Muslims revise Koran to delete such extreme preachings, fundamentalist Muslims will continue to inflict untold sufferings on humanity and only way to fight it would be for other religions to preach similar extremism just in order to survive against such Muslim onslaught.

  • twenty-twenty

    Apparently, many on this thread already follow this list, but to the uninitiated, read carefully:10-point system to Counter anti-Islamic claims: 1) Accuse the writer of lying, ignorance and hate.

  • Mohamed

    Pakistan is 100% muslim country. They elected women as there prime minister. Will America elect ever women or black to the white house?… I doubt it….Regardless, of religion or country of origin women have always been servent one way or the other to men…Facts: more 50% of americans are women and less than 30% are elected to public office. Uuuum what does this say about the greatest democratic country in the world?….Ayan is better off fighting for women rights across all religions….

  • Chris Everett

    Thank you for your eloquent exposition of Islam. However, I disagree that progress will come through any but the first group you describe, namely those who have left the faith. Any pool of believers, however seemingly benign, will produce some number of extremists whose faith in their own imaginations spur them to violence and evil. While it may be true that Islam is particularly virulent now, all brands of so-called divine revelation have had their day and will continue to do so in the future. Religious belief itself is the problem, of any stripe and any degree.

  • Juma kamiya

    I think you make yourself that understand something about Islam, you do not know anything, just compare the western freedom that you are talking, who were responsible slavery, exploiting human. Go Rwand ask how many people were kelled in the church, I thing you just little kid confused, lost your identity. May Allah guide you!

  • Maurie Beck

    Samar Dahmash Jarrah – If Islam is truly such a hateful religion like Ms. Ali claims, then why do thousands of educated and western Americans convert to Islam every year?I could say people convert for the same reason that some folks addled with superstitious beliefs convert to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. However, that would be a cruel and occasionally untrue characterization. Religion is a powerful force for many people and there is recent evidence that in humans, evolution played a large role in the origin and maintenance of religious beliefs. However, the fact that large numbers of people believe in god is not, in itself, evidence for the existence of god.

  • Liberated

    Another example of a religion that is based on the premise that because one has a penis one has the power. Not true then!!! Not true now!!! Not true ever!!! Be wary of those who worship a diety that accepts blood sacrifices of human beings.

  • daniel

    I agree with the guy who said if this analysis is correct then we are in for a long fight which will require economics, the military, diplomacy–everything we can think of. Hell, we have to ask what exactly will be the relationship between the U.S., Europe, Russia, China and India with respect to this issue. Will the above countries unite and contain the problem or will the Islamic situation only increase our differences which in themselves are dangerous? Difficult situation to examine and put in clear light.

  • Rob

    As always Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks truth to power. In this case the power of Islam and its followers. We all know what happens to people who speak truth to power, especially in places where the concept and practice of liberty is foreign. That of course is the central problem with these doctrines of oppression. Whether they are religious, economic, cultural, or political, they seek today, as in the past to oppress people to their values,ideas, and ethics. Those of use who understand liberty and it’s essential truth for humanity hear loudly the words of Hirsi Ali. They speak volumes. Islam today is just the latest incarnation of humanities long struggle to be free. Sooner or later Islam will change or it will not survive. This must be a truism if we believe that liberty is the essential nature of humanity – which it certainly must be if reason and history are to be judged. The only remaining question is – how many people must suffer before this happens.

  • doug finlay

    Ms. Ali speaks with eloquence and authority. She adds clarity to a debate muddied by groups like CAIR and clerics that say one thing in English, and the opposite in Arabic. I hope her voice is heard by those in power.

  • Dave Livingston

    It is interesting that Ms. Ali slavishly quotes the grotesquely exaggerated claim of the numbers of Moslems in the world, of “more than a billion.”This figure commonly repeated without critical examination is false, a political statement pushed by Islamists rather than a rewflection of reality.After all, many Moslem dominated countries, such as Algereia,Lybia,Mali,Turkmenistan (6 1/2 Million),Tunisia (9.9 Million), Morocco (30 1/2 million) and Saudi Arabia (22.1 million) are largely thinly populated desert.The largest in population Moslem countries are Indonesia,(200 Million plus), Pakistan, 150 million Plus), Egypt (73 1/2 million), Turkey (71 million plus).No matter how one adds it up it is difficult to reach the billion figure.

  • A. Falih

    To Thomas Baum,Islam teaches us that Jesus (peace be upon him) was a Prophet and messenger of God, just like Mohammed and Moses and all the others (peace be upon them all).At any rate, I hope you can take the time to get to know Islam as it is explained by a true believing Muslim. You can reach me by email on [email protected] if you ever need to get an opinion on something.

  • Robert Wissa

    I appreciate the truth in Ayaan writing. I wish that the media and the people would grant people like her the opportunity to voice her & their concern. It is about time that we learn the truth about Islam from people that lived and practiced the religion. I am a Christian lived in Egypt until I was 23 years old where I had the majority of my friend in that time were Moslems. That was back in the sixty’s when Egypt in that time was considered one of the modern (Moslem by name) country in the Meddle East Although as a Christian I was discriminated against but not as severe as when things changed dramatically after Sadate freed the Moslem brotherhood from prisons and the true Islam ruled Egypt, now the country is 2 century backward, women rights denied freedom and respect of personal rights is totally controlled with Islam Shariea, jihad had been declaiered in Egypt against peaceful ( Moslem by name) Egyptian, Christian and any thing that belong to freedom and democracy and have a touch of western civilization until the country was on verge of civil war ten years ago, or until the Moslem brotherhood cretins Mobark regime. Now the country has no other choice except fighting the Moslem brotherhood and their aim of declaring the shraie as the low of the land and applies the same Iran Khomieni rules. I hope it is not late for that now.

  • JMK

    Most venerate or honor the founders of our religions, yet few would want to copy their lives or live in the same house. This would be intolerable. Saints are always right. Prophets always find fault with those who don’t agree with them. Those who claim to offer infinite love or mercy probably aren’t the ones who pay the grocery bill or rent. And martyrs are better off dead, provided they don’t make others join them. Perfect people are, as a rule, impossible. Those who are obsessed to emulate them are more likely to cause hell than bring heaven. Zeal and rage go hand in hand, as do bliss and intoxication. Public piety is not an index of goodness. Those who claim tham as their “favrit filosifur” dodge more questions than they answer.

  • Rudolph, Newark

    Hirsi Alli is very dangerous. In the Netherlands she managed to create intense hatred between the white Dutch and the many Muslim immigrants (dead, prison, fear, religion, you name it). That country though was too small for her so she moved out, was kicked out, whatever and on to the US. We’re having problems in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza, Ethiopia, etc. Just the right size for her to stir up the soup. She loves it and people will get killed that listen to her. Be very careful.

  • Juan D Nakasone

    Dear Miss Hirsi,

  • SlyDog

    some idle thoughts….

  • Alimasi Omari

    DanielThat the batle which can be won, because Allh Himself Who brought this religion and He is the only one will defend it. Go ahead start fighting, but I feel sorry, you will suffer here and the hereafter.

  • Noah

    Maurie, Educated western young men and women convert to Islam for the same reason that educated children of reform and conservative Jews join the Orthodoxy: They are very simply looking for meaning in the world. It’s pretty easy to do that by devoting yourself to something that millions of people already believe is “true”.

  • madigan, md

    Bravo, Mohammed was a bandit and his legacy

  • nathan

    I know this is only a blog, but the writer makes very strong claims that have vast social impact, as evidenced by the comments below. Why, then, are there no sources to back up the claims. As an American who converted to Islam, it is obvious to me that the write confuses culture with Islam. The Islamic world is vast (1/3 of the world) with a diverse array of cultural practices surrounding this religion. How can the author claim that the problem is religion as opposed to culture? Culture and religious interpretations must be changed in many places, to be sure, but it is not the religion itself, but rather many practitioners and cultures who misuse it. As a rational person, I require evidence to back up claims which I am asked to believe. The author quotes no verses from the koran, no passages from Sunna or Hadiths. While I am not the most well-read Muslim around, I have not come across any passages like this in the actual books I have read. I have only found them on websites and blogs and my books’ wording have tended to be different, helping me understand the differences in translation from Arabic to English that can cause confusion, harm, and negativity. The author does not even provide any passages to compare. As such, this article, unfortunately, amounts to little more than propaganda. That is unfortunate given that the authors unique experiences and insights. Rather than educate those Muslims who corrupt the practice on the true nature of Islam and work for reform, this article simply tells outsiders that it is a hateful, vile religion. Sadly, this is quite the opposite of the description of the author’s goals at the end: “an advocate for women’s rights and a leader in the campaign to reform Islam.” This article nearly brought me to tears, as it is so destructive of people’s understanding of Islam. The author has a RESPONSIBILITY to accurately portray the religion and accurately separate religion from culture if she is to preach to Americans in the post 9/11 world. To ignore that responsibility is to breed misunderstanding and even hatred on both sides. The consequences of this are the wars we are currently witnessing. I wish the author would look at more constructive ways to channel her devotion to reforming Islam, and perhaps educate outsiders, especially Americans, about the true peaceful nature of the religion, as practiced by the many and as exists when stripped away from the corrupt. She should continue to educate us all, non-Muslims and Muslims about the cultural problems that need to be corrected and the abuses of Islam that need to be rectified, so that we can all join in a campaign of social justice work, rather than verbal warfare of hatred.Salam (Peace)

  • A. Falih

    DEAR ALL,IT SADDENS ME TO SEE THAT MOST OF YOU IMMEDIATELY AGREE WITH THE IDEAS PRESENTED IN THIS ARTICLE ALTHOUGH YOU MAY HAVE NO OR LIMITED PREVIOUS INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT.THIS IS A TYPICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENON WHERE PEOPLE TEND TO BELIEVE WHAT THEY WANT TO.I URGE ALL OF YOU TO SET YOUR EMOTIONS ASIDE AND LOOK AT THIS MATTER OBJECTIVELY. IF AFTER PROPER CONSIDERATION YOU STILL HATE ISLAM WITH ALL YOUR GUTS, THEN SO BE IT. BUT PLEASE, BE OPEN MINDED AND LIVE UP TO YOUR SOCIETY’S REPUTATION OF ACCEPTING EVERYONE.DON’T LET YOUR MEDIA SPOONFEED YOU WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO THINK. THINK FOR YOURSELVES. ASK PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE. GET TO KNOW A MUSLIM. AND THEN MAKE YOUR OWN JUDGMENTS. AFTER ALL, THAT IS WHAT MADE AMERICA GREAT!

  • gigabug

    Well said. The threat of an aggressive, intolerant and expansionist Islam is real and growing. The search for “moderate” arabs in the Muslim world for wealthy Western capitalists to do deals with is a futile exercise is self-serving denial. The democracies of the Western world will eventually wake up to the true nature of the enemies of our civilization. Will it come in time to save us?

  • SAM

    If cherry picking about Islam is allowed in this article and saying the Islam propogates violence then lets talk about our invasion of Iraq and put all the blame on Christianity!!! How about that! Now everyone gets defensive. We all know it is not Christianity that is invading Iraq so is Islam. Just think. Because if that is the case, how would you tell and Iraqi who has lost his home, family everything on a pack of lies and we are so soooooo arrogant that we sum it as” Mistake”, what are you kidding me!!!

  • Jerry

    Ms. Ali’s ideas pre-dated her arrival to the U.S. and AEI. As for her AEI affiliation, where else do you think she could find an organization to support her efforts – the ACLU? The DNC? And even here, she is still under guard due to death threats. Does someone on the left like Chomsky or Kucinich fear for their lives due to their opposition to the Establishment?I believe she missed one other category of Muslims – the “cafeteria” Muslims that do cherry pick out of the Koran and Sunna what they want to believe so they can lead their own version of productive, peaceful and moral lives, much like “cafeteria” Catholics do in the U.S. But that doesn’t make those Muslims “true” Muslims because the Koran is the IMMUTABLE, ETERNAL Word of God and “true” Muslims have to accept it as such.The problem with this concept of the IMMUTABLE, ETERNAL Word of God is that the Surahs in the Koran are not presented chronologically – they’re listed according to the length of each Surah, with the longest Surahs listed first, and the shortest last. Why, I don’t know. But if you re-arrange them in chronological order, the 5th and 9th Surahs were the last Surahs, and they are the most bloody-minded and aggressive Surahs in the Koran. And the Islamic concept of “abrogation”, wherein the more tolerant, forgiving Surahs of the early Meccan period of Mohammed are superseded by the more violent, late-Medinan period of Mohammed’s prophethood, means that militant jihad is an abiding requirement of Muslims for all time. The people who accent Culture and not Religion have only a partially valid point. Culture AND Religion do affect people’s belief systems. However, here’s the problem – Muslim societies whose cultures are partially governed by Islam are, in effect, also partially governed by a very intolerant religion. In Southeastern Asian countries, Islam does not have as strong a hold on their populations as Arab countries due to those cultural differences and are thus more tolerant. Cultures governed by Christianity have, at their base, a very forgiving, “turn the other cheek” religion, and are thus more tolerant. Those countries with Islam as their core governing principle are highly intolerant. Having lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, I can attest to this assertion whole-heartedly. People who try to equate a whacko such as Koresh (who almost all Christians looked at as an absolute freak and deserved what he got) and a couple of Christian fundamentalist abortion doctor murderers (who Ms. Ali has pointed out have been prosecuted and sent to prison for life in our culture) as morally equivalent to Osama, Zawahiri, Zarqawi, Khomeini, et. al. are ridiculous. They ignore the fact that with education and history, many of the non-Islamic cultures have overcome their religious bigotry, whereas so many Islamic societies haven’t been able to do so. More, with modern communication technology, ignorance is now excuse. What it comes down to is “It’s the religion, stupid!”Finally, regarding the issue of Islamic societies being better able to protect the rights of women better than other societies and religions. What a crock! My wife, who is Swiss, only got the ability to vote 20 years ago. The Swiss rationale for denying the women a franchise? “Oh, they can influence their husband’s votes behind the scenes!” Unless, of course, they were single! Dumb!As for Ms. Ali, fleeing an arranged marriage, made it to a tolerant country, Holland, where she worked for women’s rights and got elected to Parliament in that capacity. As for her “lying” on her immigration application on where she originated, she told the authorities a long time before the “charges” about the “lie” were made, and before her election to Parliament. Charges which were subsequently dropped under the firestorm of negative publicity against the Dutch government from that spurious persecution.Last point – prior to 9/11, the average person didn’t know anything about Islam. Despite living and working in Saudi Arabia, I admit I didn’t – I just observed an incomprehensible, misogynist and aloof Wahhabist society that even my roommates Mohammed and Mustafa also found weird. Now, in just the last 6 years, we’ve started to play catch-up on learning about that religion and its effect on the societies it influences. And that catch-up effort won’t stop. Ms. Ali and many others will see to that.

  • Oh boy

    Hey, Muslims, just because she was deported from the Netherlands does not mean your religion was not founded by a pederast. Just because she was mutilated by a Muslim does not mean that Islam doesn’t preach the virtual enslavement of women. This woman has more courage in her pinky than all of Islam in its collective souls. You can attack her character all you want, and you have. Congratulations, you brave Muslims.But you can’t change the facts that outline your disturbing religion and the 1.2 billion disgusting people who follow it.

  • Kevin

    Finally someone who has something real to say about the other mass delusion called ISLAM. I am so tired of hearing Muslim apologist trying to tell us what their delusion (religion)is all about. You know what – WE DON’T CARE. All we want is for your insanity to stop. So we can go back to our lives. We don’t care that you think we have no virtue. We don’t care what you think about anything. We just want you to show some reason and some sense and stop your insane behavior. – This religion called ISLAM has morphed into some form of mass death worship society. Well if death is what they want than that is what they will get if they keep this insane behavior up. The rest of the world is not going to tolerate this kind of insanity forever. Someday they will go to far and in retaliation someone will wipe them off the map.

  • J B Davis

    Ms. Ali, thanks for this information. I am involved with a Inter Faith Group here in Central Ohio, and this kind of information will help me to understand the Muslim Faith better.Peace,

  • Jimmy the Dhimmi

    I’m suprised the WAPO published this. Usually any criticism of Islam is whitewashed.

  • T A M N Y , T . D .

    A Solzhenitsyn for the Twenty – First Century !AYAAN HIRSI ALI , martyred by the brutal authoritarian misogyny of Islam , has done the non – Muslims of Europe and America the great courtesy of warning us about Islamic Tyranny .I am proud that ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN and Ayaan Hirsi Ali chose to spend their respective exiles in America . I hope Ms . Ali can raise the consciousness of Americans , regarding Imperial Islam , no less effectively than did Solzhenitsyn about the menace of Communism .

  • bob

    after days and days of having an onslught of spineless propoganda and kitnan (look it up on Google) you finally have a writer who is not afraid to speak out on this military/political regimen with religious overtones called Islam.

  • Anon

    I am inclined to take her commentary on Islam quite seriously. Not so much because it is negative, but more so as it corroborates what I have seen in my interactions with this mostly closed door community.Somehow, it seems that it is imperative that moderate Muslims MUST take their rightful place in this world by owning up to the resposibility of bringing their community into harmony with the rtest of the world. We can all have differing beliefs, but no Hitler, Milosevic, Khomeini or Bin Laden should be allowed to represent their communities. Muslims must prevent this from happening, in their own interest.

  • Anon

    I am inclined to take her commentary on Islam quite seriously. Not so much because it is negative, but more so as it corroborates what I have seen in my interactions with this mostly closed door community.Somehow, it seems that it is imperative that moderate Muslims MUST take their rightful place in this world by owning up to the resposibility of bringing their community into harmony with the rtest of the world. We can all have differing beliefs, but no Hitler, Milosevic, Khomeini or Bin Laden should be allowed to represent their communities. Muslims must prevent this from happening, in their own interest.

  • aisar

    too much hatered.thank you jim carlsonplz learn Islam, and not ABOUT Islam

  • Go Figure

    Reading the comments it is once again obvious how there truly is nothing more pathetic than those tragic figures in the free West whose hatred of Christianity so overcomes their faculties of reason that they are incapable of rationally judging Islam for what it is and for the grave threat it represents to everything they presumably love. If they had even a thimble full of empathy for anyone other than themselves they would appreciate the evil of Islam merely by knowing what it has done to the Christians and Jews of the Middle East who existed for hundreds of years before Islam was even created over 600 years after the death of Christ. The absurdity of attempting to suggest that Christianity is “just as bad” much less that TODAY it is just as big a threat truly requires a level of ignorance that makes one ponder if those so disposed even realize they are alive. It actually is depressing reading some of the commentary here. What chance does the West have of surviving when the average citizen is so completely clueless and mired in meaningless multicultural mush. They have no clue how their freedoms evolved out of the Judeo-Christian teachings and how Islam will most assuredly destroy those freedoms if not directly confronted and stopped. It is my belief that there will in the end be too many fools in the West and that Islam will never be stopped, it will eventually destroy America just as it is going to destroy Europe, just as it destroyed so many other civilizations in the past. The wonderful Ayaan Hirsi Ali deserves much praise for attempting to warn the West but the brainwashing of liberalism has destroyed too much. The endless carping about all the so-called evils done by the West has worked. It has destroyed the will of the West to survive.

  • T A M N Y , T . D .

    A Solzhenitsyn for the Twenty – First Century !AYAAN HIRSI ALI , martyred by the brutal authoritarian misogyny of Islam , has done the non – Muslims of Europe and America the great courtesy of warning us about Islamic Tyranny .I am proud that ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN and Ayaan Hirsi Ali chose to spend their respective exiles in America . I hope Ms . Ali can raise the consciousness of Americans , regarding Imperial Islam , no less effectively than did Solzhenitsyn about the menace of Communism .

  • ha

    to the muslim idiot who wrote this:WEll, in pakistan, bangladesh, turkey you are murdered if you are not muslim, and if yuo are a woman yuo are raped with no chance to see your rapist convicted because every male there thinks you are a free prostitute.How progressed!!!!! Those women in power in those countries really do so much for their gender (/sarcasm)

  • Anonomous

    What a great essay — it highlights a troubling notion for me: How will Muslims reconcile their sacred text with modernity? The New Testament contains very few, if any, utterances from Jesus that cannot be reconciled with our liberal world. The Old Testament — more problematic, but the actual “Words of God” that are quoted are pretty uplifting. (The actual “laws” in the OT are all uttered by men, and not by God). Ditto the Buddha.The Koran, however, is problematic . . . How can someone reconcile clear, absolute and clarion calls to subvert women, fight wars, and subjugate non-believers with the notion of peace? It requires more than just intellectual flights of fancy — it requires dismissing or rejecting words that are supposed to come from God Himself. (or at least from an Angel). How can Islam turn away from its own sacred text or at least explain away about 75% of what is written? Seems most major religions aren’t saddled with that burden.

  • Karen Lugo

    If only all of us who hold Western civilization and its heritage of individual liberties and Enlightenment principles dear would read Ms. Ali’s book, Infidel. She speaks as the most authoritative voice in the world today on the intransigence of the enemy we face and the irrational hostility the Islamists who hate us harbor. I can only thank her for the leadership she has provided, at great personal cost, to aide us in understanding the the enemy we face.

  • TJFRMLA

    SLYDOG:

  • Jerry

    Andrew Vincent AlderExcellent post. I tried to put into a lot of words which you put into so succintly. Thank you.

  • jon h

    A very brave woman. I believe Ayaan Hirsi Ali was very fair in her assessment of the Muslim world. If anything she did not descibe the reality of the violence committed against Muslim woman such as the removal of the clitoris and legally supported rape. Many Muslims would desire the westernization of their religion just as Jews and Christians today enjoy a 21st century interpretation of their respective faiths. Praise tolerance!

  • Alicia

    I am sorry to come so late to this very long discussion, but just want to add that Hirsi Ali is a true heroine, and her book is moving to the top of my reading list. Her mention of the “5th type” of Muslim active in the world today is unfortunately all too true. I would consider this group the most dangerous after the Islamists (the 3rd group) because they are apologists for many appalling actions that are taking place in the name of Islam today. Every criticism of bad behavior is met with the same, “Yes, but…” response.

  • jon h

    A very brave woman. I believe Ayaan Hirsi Ali was very fair in her assessment of the Muslim world. If anything she did not describe the reality of the violence committed against Muslim woman such as the removal of the clitoris and legally supported rape. Many Muslims would desire the westernization of their religion just as Jews and Christians today enjoy a 21st century interpretation of their respective faiths. Praise tolerance!

  • twenty-twenty

    Apparently, many on this thread already follow this list, but to the uninitiated, read carefully:10-point system to Counter anti-Islamic claims: 1) Accuse the writer of lying, ignorance and hate.

  • Islam

    Why are people so insistent on confusing the religion and the actions of Muslims? This is like confusing Christianity with Hitler’s actions, not only because he is Christian, but because he *DID* use Christian-based arguments to do what he did. MUSLIM HATERS: You have hearts so dark to be able to do what is good for you (which is fighting the correct fight, which I guarantee you is not and should not be fighting Islam — it is fighting extremism and terrorism). Wake up from your stupid dark-aged mentality which was not effected except by the Church’s criminal propaganda and demonization of Islam and Muslims. I have nothing against your freedom to express your views — the very views that will render you as extinct as dinpsours. Enjoy Hersi Ali. You deserve her and she deserves you. To all the atheists I say: Do not pretend that only religions cause war and hatred. The “religion” of atheism can cause the same harm to humanity as did religions! Should I start counting the number of “secular” atheist regimes that caused the death of millions of people? Arguably, USSR (historically), secular fascist regimes, and Saddam where atheists who caused the death of so many people.It is the stupidity of humans (atheist or otherwise) which causes mass murder, and certainly sometimes aided by religion — but not *only* religion.

  • yoyo

    Several years ago I spent some time in Jodhpur

  • Jerry

    Anonymous,Regarding the status of women within very restrictive Christian and Jewish cultures – that’s permitted within our culture, as long as they are free to leave without sanction by the prevailing culture. I don’t agree with the brain-washing that the children face who are born into that culture, and lead to its perpetuation. But at least there’s a legitimate outlet for the disaffected. While we do put limits on the government’s intrusion into certain family arrangements, we also set limits, mostly for an eye to providing freedom and rights to elements of those arrangements.

  • Joe

    Can anyone tell me why Islamophobes who are applauding Ms. Hirsi’s article are so eager to overlook the fact that she’s also a convicted fraud who got deported from Holland?

  • Edgar

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s credibility has already been disproven and she cannot be considered at any level a specialist or expert, much less a reformer in Islam.The main reason why she was removed from office as an MP for Netherlands as well as her citizenship there was because she lied on her application of Asylum application. According to a book review published in the New Statesman: ” …author and academic Jytte Klausen, who knows Hirsi Ali, recently claimed: “She wasn’t forced into a marriage. She had an amicable relationship with her husband, as well as with the rest of her family. It was not true that she had to hide from her family for years.”In the same book review it says regarding her works, “In reality, it is a smash-and-grab aggregation of inconsistencies, platitudes and poor scholarship.”The reviewer further states, “Hirsi Ali also suffers from historical amnesia. She is so caught up in her undergraduate political science training that she can’t see beyond Kant, Spinoza and Voltaire. “Reading works by western thinkers,” she says, “is regarded as dis respectful to the Prophet and Allah’s message.” Who says this? Nor does she add that the catalyst for the Enlightenment lay in the knowledge-transfer from Muslim civilisation to Europe through Andalusia. The notions of female personhood, independence of wealth and right to education are as old as Islam itself. The biographies of scholars and saints during the classical age include thousands of female ulema (religious scholars), with many leading universities being established by wealthy women of means.”With that being said, she cannot be counted on as being reliable in any critiques she has against Islam and Muslims. She is an opportunist riding the “I hate Islam and Muslims” wave to sell more books and considered a person of importance in circles of power and prestige.

  • Anonymous

    Roland Carter,Please prove your assertions.

  • Seymour Paine

    Ms. Ali is a gem and the world should be grateful for her words. Islam is a grave danger to the world and the sooner we awake to its evil, the better we will be. We are already fighting a war for our survival, unfortunately, most of the world doesn’t know it.

  • Jerry

    Anonymous,Regarding the status of women within very restrictive Christian and Jewish cultures – that’s permitted within our culture, as long as they are free to leave without sanction by the prevailing culture. I don’t agree with the brain-washing that the children face who are born into that culture, and lead to its perpetuation. But at least there’s a legitimate outlet for the disaffected. While we do put limits on the government’s intrusion into certain family arrangements, we also set limits, mostly for an eye to providing freedom and rights to elements of those arrangements.

  • yoyo

    JonI just reported your offensive comments

  • richard morris

    It sounds like the U.S. military intervention in Iraq and the installation of democracy in the heartland of Islam are unwelcome because Western values are deeply rejected by Islam. If the West saw Saddam Hussein as ruthless dictator, true believers saw his rule as faith based. It is no wonder that the Pope recently warned that Christians were being mistreated by Muslims. If Muslims see the invasion and occupation as a religious conflict that harkens back to the Middle Ages Crusades, then the U.S. military cannot succeed in winning hearts and minds. This analysis helps explain why so-called friendly Muslim nations tolerate the radical and violent actions of al-Queda

  • This is Jihad

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali,Thank you for bringing clarity to what Islam is really about. Ignorant America (and I love my country the USA) needs to understand that what you are saying is the truth. Your article is long overdue as we have been forced to listen to Muslim propagandists and ignorant Westernized Muslims who do not know the true nature of Islam. You have lived it and you know better then any of these mislead but precious souls. Thank you for risking your life and speaking the truth so that we ignorant Americans will not be deceived. You are a true hero!

  • QC

    It is about time we reading other perspective on IslamThe whole track record behind the mantra “religion of peace” just does not work and Ayan Arshi Ali is exposing exactly what we need to be aware of to understand the discrepancy between the message that is being bang and repeated every day and the acts of Muslims. It seems that all we here from the term “moderates” is that there is something called a real islam and something that is not. The only thing that really does count is this: Too many of the Muslim community leaders are blatantly lying to us, destorting facts and hiding the issues and especially the problems in their very own communities that needs to be addressed.Doctors who are suppose to symbolize the success of what it means to be integrated into a new society, who have given the oath of not killing are now wadging the Muslim Holy war based on their scriptures… DOCTORS UNIVERSITY DOCTORARES !!! So all that crap about poverty, defensive jihad or injustice or all the likes is just lame … There is only one time we have seen the Muslim voice united, Moderates and radicals and even lay muslims… it was during the Mohammed Cartoon incident… No other time have the Muslim community united to claim an outrage in the name of HUMANITY. No mention of Darfour, the Killings in Southern Thailand, the Riots… No Alwasy we have to read that it is caused by something else..I never heard, during the cold war of someone needing to be a communist to comment on communism. We were able to see, witness and understand the impact of the soviet regime without being a soviet…. Why the heck are the media bying into the fact that there needs to be a Muslim to talk about Islam ? Cant we see the first to suffer our Muslims themselves from the regime the themselves put in place ? Have we ever seen one single Muslim country where their laws have been implemented used as a Successful case ? NONE ! Even Turkey is getting back in the fold of theocratic like ideological dictum.There is now a rage of honor killings in the West, some will even be bold enough to go to court to ask leniency based on cultural relativism… They often come from countries where such acts are not penalized by the law… When these people immigrate here they have a legal clean-slate while in reality we can never know…Plus, I am still bitter with the overall Muslim community for not being more proactive and vocal in cleaning their house and their s**t. Almost every major leader preaching Islam entering North America seems to be teaching something that will, in the future lead to racism, intolerance of other religious bigotry and of course double standards for women…. What happened to equality as a main issue amongst feminist activist ?? It seems with recent event that it is time to stop giving Islam a previledged treatment and criticize it more and more and more and make their leaders, moderates or not accoutable and not accept anymore excuses. 6 years after 9-11 its about time we wake up and stop wasting our troops to “save” people who dont want to change and assume the responsibility of FREEDOM !

  • Rachid

    Pretty Much most what you said about Islam is a lie you need to learn more, talk about your religion frist!!!

  • salim akrabawi

    While some of Ms Ali thoughts about her interpretation of Islam is true, the majority of her points represent her life experiences as a young Moslem woman raised in Somalia and no more. I hope that none of the readers of her essay will take these experiences, sad as they were, as a description of the totality of the experiences of more than 1 billion Moslems over 1400 years. Doing this will be as naive as describing the totality of Christian experiences over more than 2000 years as no more than what is seen through the eyes of a lapsed Mormon teenager woman who experienced the horror of forced marriage and polygamy and came out to talk about it on Larry King Live. Islam needs to go through the reformation, especially when it comes to women’s rights, but so do other religions including conservative Jeudism and many many Chrisitian faiths. But this is not the forum about them. It is about Islam. My experience as a Moslem raised in Jordan was much different. After my father died before I was born, my illiterate mother, who was only 20 when he died in 1940, was able to take care of the three of us with the help of her family. We were all poor but she managed to live independently, raised all of her boys to be college graduates and we all prospered. She dropped the Hijab in Jordan in the late 1950s and no body bothered her or us. She immigrated to the United States when she was 50 and lived with me until she died in 1991. We were taught to respect life, women, and our neighbors the Christian Arabs who lived safely among us. This nonsence of seperating people based on their religion did not exist in our houshold or our community. My mother and two brothers celebrated my marraige to my Methodist sweetheart and welcomed her with open arms in our extended family and I had 15 uncles and aunts and many nieces and nephews. I raised my three children as Christians in my adopted country here in the USA because there was not a doubt in my mind this was the best for them and my Jordanian family loved them as much as their own. My wife would go to Church every Sunday with the kids and my mother, when she was alive and lived with us in the States, would face Mecca every day and pray five times in our houshold. I can go on and on talking about my experience as an American Moslem Arab but there is not enough space on this page.

  • Patriot

    Know Islam, no peace. Know peace, no Islam.

  • Maimunah Ikramullah

    I read your artical My View of Islam and felt very sad for you. Through out the whole artical I could taste your bitterness towards the cultural male domination but you can not blame that on Islam. If we were raised in a sociaty where the culture dominats every aspect of your life including your faith it is our respolsibility to separate the two and try to understand the true message of Islam. Male and females are equal in Islam, yes they both have different roles and duties which are very importanat for a healthy family structure. I pray for you that may Allah give you strenght to make peace with your bitter experiences and show you the straight path, inshallah.

  • Gordon Allen

    Ms. Ali has no intellectual credibility to be regarded as “Muslim scholar”. She is, rather, a “bombthrower,” and this article is “single-minded and reactionary,” written to appease her right-wingers masters. It’s very unfortunate that the main stream media to publish pseudo-intellectual rubbish to validate their Muslim stereotypes without counter-points.

  • Jerry

    I don’t know ANYONE who governs their opinions on other cultures based on JOSHUA’s pronouncements from the Old Testament from 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 years ago! Try to wing that one by the Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists and Reformist Jews on how to deal with the world (Snort!). Here’s the difference between the Bible and the Koran – the Bible (as I was taught by Catholic Brothers) was inspired by the Holy Spirit, but was not the literal word of God. The Koran is the LITERAL WORD OF GOD! Christians can interpret (with a grain of salt) the content of the Bble. Muslims have no such latitude.

  • Patriotic

    Know Islam, no peace. Know peace, no Islam.

  • Forrest Waller

    Thank you so much for the honesty and the wise advice. I hope you prosper in all ways in your new American home.

  • Anonymous Muslim:

    To all who wonder about the meaning of “Allah” its the arabic word for “God”. Both Arab Christians and Muslims refer to God as Allah in arabic the same way the french refer to Him as Dieux etc.

  • Anonymous Muslim:

    To all who wonder about the meaning of “Allah” its the arabic word for “God”. Both Arab Christians and Muslims refer to God as Allah in arabic the same way the french refer to Him as Dieux etc. Peace be upon all of us

  • This is Jihad

    Anonymous Muslim,What does the following mean?Qur’an 9:29-30They mean that Christians and Jews can either convert, pay the Jizya tax, or die just like Ayaan Hirsi Ali explained. You have no leg to stand on.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    All I see from Muslims is the koran says this, Allah says that. Not really my Muslim brothers and sisters!!!!!-The koran is simply the hallucinogenic/palgiarizing/militaristic/anti-female writings of Mohammed’s scribes. Nothing more!!!!!!And when Muslims come to realize they suffer from the three B’s (Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam) caused by these unethical scribes, peace will finally prevail in at least one religion.And it is time we “pink slip” all the clerics, imams, priests, rabbis and “holy” men for feeding us all this “mumbo jumbo” all these milleniums.

  • Grant

    I find the comments that accuse Ms. Ali of hatred or immoderation quite amusing. I have heard her speak on many occassions, and not only does she not appear consumed with anger or hatred, she is one of the most rational, reasonable, objective, and softly-spoken commentators I have ever heard. I am proud that Ms. Ali has finally found a home in the United States. If the other nations of the world withdraw their hospitality from her and other such clear-sighted thinkers, we will welcome them here with open arms, and our nation will be all the better for it.Ms. Ali, keep up the good work and never, never let the obfuscators and intimidators of the world silence you or dilute your message!

  • Anonymous

    The media keep portraying her as a “brave” person standing up to the Islamist menace, or the lofty and condescending one who demands white people immediately liberate brown people even if the brown people don’t feel in chains, the bully or the bullied, pillar or “neo-con” pawn? She reminds me many SELF-HATING figures before her. She is a polarizing and just the Clarence Thomas of Islam!

  • Jerry

    Jon,What evidence do you have that she was DEPORTED from Holland by a Dutch government sanction?

  • Anonymous

    There is no bitterness from Ms. Hirsi Ali. There is no way to explain Islam gently. She is being neutral but truthful. In western values, Islam is a vile and ruthless beast. The head of this beast needs to surgically removed. All those who spit on their freedom and disrespect the west need to go live under Islam and get a good taste of it. Then come back hopefully with more respect for their own home and country.I did.Recovering liberal here.

  • Kenley McCormack

    10-point system to Counter anti-Islamic claims:1) Accuse the writer of lying, ignorance and hate.

  • Anonymous

    There is no bitterness from Ms. Hirsi Ali. There is no way to explain Islam gently. She is being neutral but truthful. In western values, Islam is a vile and ruthless beast. The head of this beast needs to surgically removed. All those who spit on their freedom and disrespect the west need to go live under Islam and get a good taste of it. Then come back hopefully with more respect for their own home and country.I did.Recovering liberal here.

  • Mahamed Yusuf

    I agree everything she said and i wish she will live long to finish the work she started. By the way I’m muslim but wonder everyday how to reform it.

  • God will Turn out the Light on Islam

    Anonymous,No, all the prophets do not accept Islam. In fact the Apostle John instructed believers concerning false prophets who deny that Jesus is the Son of God. He said that that person is an antichrist. The Qur’an denies that Jesus is the Son of God therefore Muhammad is a false prophet and an antichrist. John said:I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.Muhammad said:“Say: He is Allah, The One and Only. Allah, the Eternal, Absolute. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.”” (Qur’an 112:3). John said:”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).So as you can see Muhammad contradicts the prophet and apostle John.

  • Jerry

    Salim AkrabawiThank you for sharing that. I don’t know where you live, but in this country:In the late ’60′s , when I used to visit my French Canadian grandfather before I went to a Catholic high school and would go to church every day. After, I would ask what he would do for the day. Sometimes he would say he said he would be going to the “Jew” to buy something, and to the “Syrian” to buy some vegetables. That offended me on some level I didn’t understand, but I accepted it.Another day, when our church was being renovated, he took me to a “Mass”, but at a Greek Orthodox church down the street. Needless to say, I was confused because I couldn’t understand a flippin’ word anyone was saying during the ceremony, nor the rituals, and told him so. He just turned to me and said “Pray as you would in our church. This is a house of God” We prayed. The point is, this was one of the most bull-headed men I’ve ever known (he thought De Gaulle was the savior of America). But despite his instinctive categorization of people into their ethnic heritage, he interacted with them.To this day, I don’t know what to make of him (a WWI vet).

  • This is Jihad

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali,Thank you for bringing clarity to what Islam is really about. Ignorant America (and I love my country the USA) needs to understand that what you are saying is the truth. Your article is long overdue as we have been forced to listen to Muslim propagandists and ignorant Westernized Muslims who do not know the true nature of Islam. You have lived it and you know better then any of these mislead but precious souls. Thank you for risking your life and speaking the truth so that we ignorant Americans will not be deceived. You are a true hero!

  • Anonymous

    Remember This,Thanks for your reminder and we would all do well to remember or we will all watch our freedom disappear. The politically correct police are attacking our freedoms every day. It is not politically correct to tell the truth about Islam.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    I would request the following persons be invited to speak up on their views about Islam, in addition to the article by Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. 1. Robert SpencerAnyone else ?No wonder that a female (renegade) Muslim she has touched the raw nerves and I see nothing except scurrilous epithets hurled at her for being bold and outspoken. Islam is a very “organic” religion. It is surely very uncomfortable of any forms of criticism. This is because Islam survives by threat of damnation in Hell from a monochromatic diety (Allah) who commands his faithful to commit genocide and metes out the most heinous punishments if people exercise their free will. (Sam Harris haws made an exhaustive list of the Quranic verses that contains these injunctions.) The more Islam is put on the debate floor, the more weak it would become. It is stated that many are converting to Islam, and this includes prominent Americans such as Robert D. Crane who was Nixon’s advisor. However, this euphoria should be short-lived, because any form of outrageous expansion (that is the sudden large growth in following) is akin to cancer. It apears that Islam thus would soon cease to exist.

  • Mohamed Ghabour

    Here she lies again. Ayaan Hirsi Ali out of the miserable experiences of hers, her sister’s, and her mother’s as she grew up in Somalia. Her grandmother had her and her sister genitally mutilated against the wish of her father. It is through that cultural prism that she sees Islam. Then there was a chance for a new financial gain as well. She exploits the anti-Muslim sentiment increasing after 9/11 and after daily losses of American lives in Iraq to collect a salary from American Enterprise Institute, and sell books and articles. She is a new addition to an old bash and cash team.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Scott:Excellent articulation ! If you have a petition site please let us know and we should sign the petition for US to CONSTITUTIONALLY de-recognize Islam as a valid recognizable religion in USA.Again, thanks for sharing the views. I am in full agreement with you on this.

  • bwanalu

    The big question now is how to bring reforms in Islam. I have the following suggestions

  • bwanalu

    The big question now is how to bring reforms in Islam. I have the following suggestions

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Mohamed Ghabour wrote:”There is no punishment for Apostasy in Islam.”That’s phoney baloney. Either you are a compulsive liar or totally ignorant. Ever read Quran (005:033) that states:”The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;” (YUSUF ALI’s translation)The words ” … wage war against Allah and His Messenger… ” apply to anyone who lives in an Islamic State and who opposes Islamic views/teachings and challenges Muhammad’s credibility as a prophet. This is reckoned as apostacy/heresy in Islam. The punishment for apostacy is exactly as in this verse. So, why are you misleading others, claiming yourself to be a Muslim, when you obviously cannot quote anything authentic from Islamic sources to justify your position ?

  • Michka Schummer

    Isn’t this lady the same person who was expelled from Holland for falsifying her story?Furthermore just because she is the victim of the barbaric society she was born into does not make the entire world of Islam guilty for what she experienced. The rave acclamations she is receiving from WP readers, besides their ignorance and lack of first hand knowledge of Islam, is a reflection of hatred they have towards the developing world, and the depth of frustration for losing the war to a bunch of b… naked Arabs.In a country where we decapitate Black men at the back of our trucks we should think twice before throwing stones. Can we go around denouncing Christianity for such crimes?I am not a Muslim but I did live and work in Muslim countries of South West Asia, South Asia, and South East Asia, and it is such a shame that you folks are blinding yourself to the truth about other people’s beliefs.

  • Tony

    Mulems are a touchy lot … Just ask rushdie or the pontif.. But I think they need to do some serious soul searching.. I am not (as a christian) saying my faith has not had a past filled with horrible actions. Similarly its very far from pefect today. But there is inherent immaturity within Islam that is unique. Woman are NOT equal is Islam, Infidels are NOT Equal in Islam. One just need look at the Islamic world to see that there is some major issues with regards to its backwardness. Muslems living in the west tend to wear rose coloured glasses when decribing their faith from the safe confines of the west. Islam is tolerated – even welcomed in the west – but Muslems have to accept that free tinking people will examine this religion – and they will have to accept that a lot of what is found is horrible. Repeating the silly mantra that Islam is Peace has lost all its meaning. Hirsi ali speaks the truth. Where the Cresent rules, oppression, ignorance, bigotry, and sexism are in the main standard. Ive traveled in the middle east & notwithstanding many gracious people, I wouldnt live in that environment for anything due mainly to the crushing of free thought. Islam cannot accept mans free will (& womans)

  • ahmed from bahrain

    There is no doubt that there is an element of truth in what Aayan says. It is also fair to say that her experiences are the result of her own upbringing within the society she had lived.I am 57 years old and was brought up in a strictly Muslim family and society in Bahrain. Within my family there were uncles and cousins stretching to Lebanon, Iran and Iraq. I have also lived and still travel to Malaysia and meet and mix with many Muslims (Christians and Buddhists too). Throughout my own family and life, I have never heard/seen of any such inhumanity metted out to the weaker individuals within my family or society. Sure there are many incidents that I read about which are inhumane and which are inflicted by Muslims and their rulers, just as any that are inhumane and unjust like mass murder based on lies and invasion of other countries whilst professing to be a follower of Christ whose doctorine contradicts the actions of its followers. Abuse of women and children is also rife in many democratic societies.It seems that Herchi comes from a feudal and tribal society. Similar societies exist in Saudi, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and most African countries. Her experience should not be a reflection of Muslims in general. To the contrary, The Quran states clearly that it is for this very reason (abolishing feudalism) that Isalm comes- yet it is also true that religion has been twisted to suit further domination of cult rulers within such Muslim tribal communities.This has been the norm in most Islamic countries where the rulers have made union with so-called religious schoolers to dominate the masses and keep them ignorant in order to rule upon them. Hence we see feudal rulers like Al-Saud who keep Wahabi sects firmly in control of mosques and religious schools in order to dominate and make more fatwas so that individuals can not think for themselves, thus the king keeps his throne for as long as he can. The mullahs are funded by the ruling family. Each one is given a fat salary, many houses they can rent and cars with drivers, etc. The question then becomes can such a man of God voice his opinion against injustice? There is no guessing what the resulting society can become. Whereas both Quran and Mohammed has forbidden men of cloth to seek comfort in the lap of kings, exactly for this reason. Strangely enough Bush wants to sell billions of WMD to the Saudis and Condi Rice is doing her tour of duty trying to create devisions and turn one side against the other in order to sell more weapons, create more wars (against Iran this time) and thus create more demand for US weapons. In other words USA is fueling the unrest. Follow the money trail!My experience within my own family and society has been a loving one cherished by understanding, nurturing and respect. A few young women have university degrees and others have married wide and scattered around the world by choice. This is another face of Islam. It is incumbent upon those in power to seek areas that unite us and shun areas that divide us. It requires courage and letting go of fear and not being ruled by emotions. Both sides must rise above themselves. This is not to say that we must refrain from crticising each other but for any criticism to be constructive, it must be honest, fair and have the intention of building upon humanity as opposed to collectively attacking adherents of the faith.Change is inevitable ever since man knew himself. Embrace it.Let there be peace.

  • yoyo

    Mohamed GhabourI have read Ms Ali’s book.She makes her points

  • GreenViews

    Ms. Hirshi you 15 minutes of fame are over.You can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. Obviously Ms. Hirisi got caught in her lies to get her Dutch citizenship. What else has she lied about? She lies about Islam. The Dutch people and government stripped her of her citizenship and drummed her out of the country. The Islamphobes in the USA welcomed her. She is a blot on the pristine and holy soil of the USA and needs to be deported back to her refugee camps.A book can and should be written about the lies and bigotry of Ms. Hirsi. It is hard to tell the lies from the truth in her ever changing stories. Many believe that Ms. Hirsi was not a born Muslim and may have been used by certain entities who continue to sponsor her to malign the religion and spread hatredThe title of her book itself is inaccurate, but surely the title is provocative and sells. The Quran calls Christian and Jews “People of the Book”, and not called “infidels” which is a crusader term used for Muslims. The Muslim term for “non-people of the book” (pagans) is “Kaffir.” Apart from Jews and Christians, many Muslim rulers recognized Zoroastrians and Hindus as “people of the book”. Ms. Hirsh has used the current geopolitical blowback to malign one of the greatest and fastest growing religions in the world.Steve Colbert said it best, when he challenged Ms. Hirsi about her claim that Christians do not “submit” in Christianity. He asked Mr. Hirsi about the ten commandments and asked her if that wasn’t submission. Steven Colbert also challenged Ms. Hirsi when she said that Islam believes in hell and Christianity does not. Colbert asked her “which Bible do you read”?Any scripture can be misquoted. We can pull out Deuteronomy, Numbers or discuss the anti-Semitism of Paul She misquotes the Quran, and lists allegorical stories (and specific responses to the polemics of Abu Jehel during the battle of Badar) out of context. Bringing historical context to the quote from the Quran is important. The enemy of the Muslims had said “Do not kill them (the Muslims), but capture them so that you make known to them what they did, their ridiculing your religion and shunning Al-Lat and Al-`Uzza (two idols).” This is a historical quote.In Jewish or Christian terms, the discussion of the Amalkites and the Lord’s direction to annihilate them. The Old Testament says: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Sam. 15:2-3). This is a quote from the Old testament.Misquoting scripture can spread hatred. This is out of the Christian Bible. “Women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says.” (1 Cor 14:34) or I Thessalonians 2:14-15: For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all men.” Obviously quoting scripture out of context proves nothing. Islam and Muslims are just as good and just as bad as Hindus, Christians, Jews, or Sikhs. Thugs and murderers trained by the CIA turned on us. We do not question Christianity when the Hoootoos massacred millions in Africa?Ms. Hirsi mixes tribalism, African custom and her own mistreatment as an excuse to malign an entire religion. Similar abuses happen in Christian countries in Africa–Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, and all over Africa. The abuse has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity. In fact millions of women face rape and abuse in the West also. 15 million Christians were murdered in the first European war (WW1). Fifty million people were killed in the 2nd European (Christian) Tribal war (called the 2nd world war). Vietnam, Korea adds millions more to this number. Buddhists massacred millions in the killing fields of Cambodia and Vietnam. Hindu Tamil Tigers have had suicide bombings for decades before the Palestinians had even heard of it. Rajiv Gandhi the prime minister of India was killed in one such suicide bomb.My America is great and fantastic. American s wonderful people. Americans are curious about Islam. The sale of the Quran went up exponentially after 9/11. Today it is the fastest growing religion in the world and in the West and in the USA. . It is sad that Ms. Hirsi and others exploit a bad situation to make money. Then the hate mongers come out of the woodwork.Ms. Hirsi failed in Europe. She has failed to malign Islam and may God Bless her!Picking on Islam is fashionable today, however spreading bigotry and hatred should never be in vogue. Build bridges of harmony and shun hatred.

  • GreenViews

    Ms. Hirshi your 15 minutes of fame are over. We have heard all this nonsense before. Yawn! Yawn! Yawn!Don’t pollute the prestine shores of the land of the free and home of the brave. Why don’t you go back where you came from?You can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. Obviously Ms. Hirisi got caught in her lies to get her Dutch citizenship. What else has she lied about? She lies about Islam. The Dutch people and government stripped her of her citizenship and drummed her out of the country. The Islamphobes in the USA welcomed her. She is a blot on the pristine and holy soil of the USA and needs to be deported back to her refugee camps.A book can and should be written about the lies and bigotry of Ms. Hirsi. It is hard to tell the lies from the truth in her ever changing stories. Many believe that Ms. Hirsi was not a born Muslim and may have been used by certain entities who continue to sponsor her to malign the religion and spread hatredThe title of her book itself is inaccurate, but surely the title is provocative and sells. The Quran calls Christian and Jews “People of the Book”, and not called “infidels” which is a crusader term used for Muslims. The Muslim term for “non-people of the book” (pagans) is “Kaffir.” Apart from Jews and Christians, many Muslim rulers recognized Zoroastrians and Hindus as “people of the book”. Ms. Hirsh has used the current geopolitical blowback to malign one of the greatest and fastest growing religions in the world.Steve Colbert said it best, when he challenged Ms. Hirsi about her claim that Christians do not “submit” in Christianity. He asked Mr. Hirsi about the ten commandments and asked her if that wasn’t submission. Steven Colbert also challenged Ms. Hirsi when she said that Islam believes in hell and Christianity does not. Colbert asked her “which Bible do you read”?Any scripture can be misquoted. We can pull out Deuteronomy, Numbers or discuss the anti-Semitism of Paul She misquotes the Quran, and lists allegorical stories (and specific responses to the polemics of Abu Jehel during the battle of Badar) out of context. Bringing historical context to the quote from the Quran is important. The enemy of the Muslims had said “Do not kill them (the Muslims), but capture them so that you make known to them what they did, their ridiculing your religion and shunning Al-Lat and Al-`Uzza (two idols).” This is a historical quote.In Jewish or Christian terms, the discussion of the Amalkites and the Lord’s direction to annihilate them. The Old Testament says: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Sam. 15:2-3). This is a quote from the Old testament.Misquoting scripture can spread hatred. This is out of the Christian Bible. “Women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says.” (1 Cor 14:34) or I Thessalonians 2:14-15: For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all men.” Obviously quoting scripture out of context proves nothing. Islam and Muslims are just as good and just as bad as Hindus, Christians, Jews, or Sikhs. Thugs and murderers trained by the CIA turned on us. We do not question Christianity when the Hoootoos massacred millions in Africa?Ms. Hirsi mixes tribalism, African custom and her own mistreatment as an excuse to malign an entire religion. Similar abuses happen in Christian countries in Africa–Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, and all over Africa. The abuse has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity. In fact millions of women face rape and abuse in the West also. 15 million Christians were murdered in the first European war (WW1). Fifty million people were killed in the 2nd European (Christian) Tribal war (called the 2nd world war). Vietnam, Korea adds millions more to this number. Buddhists massacred millions in the killing fields of Cambodia and Vietnam. Hindu Tamil Tigers have had suicide bombings for decades before the Palestinians had even heard of it. Rajiv Gandhi the prime minister of India was killed in one such suicide bomb.My America is great and fantastic. American s wonderful people. Americans are curious about Islam. The sale of the Quran went up exponentially after 9/11. Today it is the fastest growing religion in the world and in the West and in the USA. . It is sad that Ms. Hirsi and others exploit a bad situation to make money. Then the hate mongers come out of the woodwork.Ms. Hirsi failed in Europe. She has failed to malign Islam and may God Bless her!Picking on Islam is fashionable today, however spreading bigotry and hatred should never be in vogue. Build bridges of harmony and shun hatred.

  • The true Islam

    The Quranic conditions in which killing is tolerable—The decisive verses. STONING TO DEATH THE MARRIED MAN OR WOMAN WHO COMMIT ADULTERY

  • The true Islam

    Why Jesus (PBUH) & Mohamed (PBUH) were sent to The people?Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the prophets who surrendered (unto Allah) judged the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah’s Scripture as they were bidden to observe, and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers.(5-44)And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil). (5-46) Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers. (5-47)In my studies for the Quran and Sharia, I have noted that many famous Sharia books depend on the “Hadith” in finding the Islamic laws. The Hadith are stories that show how prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) and his companions implemented the Laws of God (Allah). Surprisingly, the Moslem scholars and others religious leaders (Shafi, Ben-hambl, Ben-Timia) have instructed Moslems to follow the Hadith laws, even when it contradict a Quran Verse—The True God Laws! Some of the results of such teaching are:

  • The true Islam

    FORCING RELIGION UPON PEOPLE96-2. Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: 3. Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,- 4. He Who taught (the use of) the pen,- 5. Taught man that which he knew not.5-87. O ye who believe! make not unlawful the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you, but commit no excess: for Allah loveth not those given to excess.

  • Abu Nawas

    This “On Faith” has become a neo-Nazi site.Just replace Muslim with Jew.Shame on the Washington Post and shame on Newsweek.

  • Odgeni

    Well, well, well. So much for ‘Islam’ means ‘peace,’ eh. Submission. The way Democrats are undermining every initiative President Bush has put forward to protect us from adherents to this savage and bloodthirsty ‘religion,’ one has to wonder if they are complicit in the oft-expressed jihadist intent (see CAIR on this, too) to have America, from the White House on down, dominated by and in submission to Islam. If we will not submit, we must fight. Few of the short-sighted Democrat slackers in Congress are prepared to fight. Thank God for the Second Amendment.

  • The True Islam

    The Common Goal of Extremists—Evil—is “To Make Humans Kill Each Others”. Hitler & Ben Laden are evils whom promoted the killing of other humans. Hitler killed Jews due to a historical reason—the killing of Jesus. Ben Laden promotes the killing of others due to their religion affiliations—Moslems or Christians or Jews.

  • The President Speach To Moslam

    President Bush Rededicates Islamic Center of Washington

  • Mohammad Ali

    Time for a pop quiz! (Try your best to answer the questions yourself, then at the very bottom for answers. Don’t cheat:)1. Since when have Muslim women had the right to own property?Answers:Thanks. You can score a free copy of the Quran by calling 1-877-Why-Islam. Judge for yourself.

  • Dr S Banerji

    All believers can find passages in their chosen or inherited Scriptures, to rationalize conflicts between organized religions and contemporary secular realities. Peace and order in today’s world require that faith is closeted within the self. All invasive or intrusive actions towards other world citizens born out of any calling from an intangible force, must be condemned without qualification.

  • Odgeni

    Well, well, well. So much for ‘Islam’ means ‘peace,’ eh. Submission. The way Democrats are undermining every initiative President Bush has put forward to protect us from adherents to this savage and bloodthirsty ‘religion,’ one has to wonder if they are complicit in the oft-expressed jihadist intent (see CAIR on this, too) to have America, from the White House on down, dominated by and in submission to Islam. If we will not submit, we must fight. Few of the short-sighted Democrat slackers in Congress are prepared to fight. Thank God for the Second Amendment.

  • Joe Hauptmann

    Thank you for this article. As to the comments, Hubert Humphrey said “The right to speak does not include the right to be taken seriously.”Most of the actions taken by Jihadists have parallels in Christian history. Perhaps Islam will evolve, perhaps not. The point is that Jihadists have a firm foundation in orthodox interpretation of the Koran. They are the ones active now and the majority of the Muslim community may not approve, but neither are they combating their teachings or actions. The fact that many or most Germans did not like the Nazis was not important when it came time to fight the Fascists.I believe that the Western Ideals are worth fighting for and worth dying for. I believe that Jihadism is a threat to these ideals. I hope that Islam will undergo its Reformation, but I’m not willing to ignore the threat waiting for it to happen.The fact that the life of a Christian or a Jew under Sharia Law sounds a lot like the life of a black in southern America in the 1920′s is a condemnation of America, but does not give sharia a free pass. Then was then, now is now. We live in today’s world and should not let the evil of my nation’s past prevent us from fighting the evil of today.

  • Charles Santori

    For someone who is against Islamism all Ali does is tell non Muslims about the religion of Islam.As such she can be accused of doing negative da’wa but da’wa none the less.It is not necessary to teach non Muslims Islamic theology in order to explain the dangers inherent in radical Islam.Incidentally -Theo van Gogh was doing a much better job warning the Dutch about the dangers of Islamism then she has or will ever do. Van Gogh would singlehandedly take on Islamists in debates and in writing and was warned to be careful even before he made Submission. Ali is a self proclaimed atheist ex Muslimah ex anti semite (who told a Dutch interviewer that she is a “masterful liar”) In another interview she called orthodox Jews “fundamentalist fanatics” . She revels in talking about herself and recounting stories of her experience with female genital mutilation ad nauseum (more a tribal then Muslim custom) which might or might not be true along with many of her other stories which she has repeated in variations to the media and whose facts vary depending on whether they are in Dutch or english. She is a a relentless self promoter and in doing so diverts attention from the issue of radical Islam to herself and makes the world believe that it is the West’s problem to stop female circumcision instead of finding ways to survive the Islamist onslaught.Ali is the product of affirmative dhimmitude. Its time she gave credit to her ghostwriters and all of the people who are funding and supporting her like the people at the AEI and her handlers in Holland without whom she would be nothing. Its also time that Theo van Gogh was given some credit for fighting Islamism and warning people of the dangers,instead of being mentioned in passing as Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s death note receptacle. In addition no mention is made of Geert Wilders who was also threatened but had the courage to stay in Holland and start a political party while receiving 40 death threats a day -while Ali showed her thanks to the country which gave her a future by deserting it like a rat on a sinking ship – and running away from Holland before Van Gogh’s body was even cold.According to two mainstream Dutch papers Ayaan Hirsi Ali always uses ghostwriters including for her auto biography. Another article said that all her writing on oppression on women in Islam was written by non Muslim feminist journalists. When she got into parliament in Holland her acceptance speech was written by the Mayor of Rotterdam. This column is supposed to be “On Faith” if so why doesnt Ali show some good faith and give credit to whoever really wrote the piece which the WPost published above?

  • Bill Nahay

    I feel most fortunate to have discovered this brave woman’s stance and well-educated articulate truth in this article.She is a welcome breath of fresh air. I sincerely hope her employer has security around her 24/7.

  • Janet

    To Greenviews – if what Ms Ali writes is so “yawn, yawn yawn” , why do you take up space on this site maligning her? Obviously, you are angered by what she says, not bored.BTW, in case you have not noticed, a lot of us here in the land of the free and home of the brave, really think Ms Ali has a point. We are glad she is now writing in English, because most of us don’t read Dutch.And then there is your smear that she is not a born Muslim and used by certain “entities” to promote bigotry. Wow, you really are getting desperate, stooping to such lies.Islam, one of the greatest religions of the world? The whole point is that many of us disagree that it is one of the greatest religions, for all the reasons that Ms Ali lists.As for building “bridges of harmony”, maybe you should begin with yourself.

  • This is Jihad

    GreenViews,You do not speak for me I am happy to read the post written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. You do not know what you are talking about. The Qur’an rejects what is taught in the Bible about the person of Jesus Christ. The Qur’an says a few nice things about the people of the book and then it says the following: “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!” (Qur’an 9:30)It instructs faithful Muslims to slay the “infidels.”

  • Anonymous

    Greensprings,Here are your talking points:10-point system to Counter anti-Islamic claims:1) Accuse the writer of lying, ignorance and hate.

  • Larry Johnson

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a very brave woman who dares speak the truth of the most credible kind: from direct, personal experience. People like her need to speak up, not only to reform Islam, but to counter the “useful idiots” (President Bush included) who keep mouthing the politically correct mantra that Islam “is a religion of peace,” when it so clearly is not.

  • Mike

    The author has stated her case with the opinion that:”The western world would be wise to recognize the realities of Islam, a religion laid down in writing over a millennium ago with violence and oppression at its heart.”But what she did not mention is that violence and oppression have been at the heart of ALL man-kind since the dawn of time. As are the traits of kindness, respect and tolerance. We are ALL capable of both sets of emotions. It does not matter whether you are African American, Native American, Korean, Arab, European, Australian, and so on. And it does not matter whether you are Buddist, Jewish, Muslim or Christian. I am sure that if one does enough searching, one would find stories in recent history of acts against women. Within Christianity, one example is the small minority of Mormans who believe in many of the extreme sets of beliefs that extreme orthodox muslims believe in, multiple wives, obeidience, oppression and so forth. And the same would hold true of the other faiths.There are extremes in every religion. Perhaps the author should have inserted “extreme orthodox Muslim” for every time she typed “Muslim”. If the goal of the article was to pursue tolerance and understanding, then the author has failed miserably. If the author’s intent was to stereo type a group of people then perhaps she could write more books. Here are a few examples:The Irish are alcoholicsIf we are to have tolerance and understanding, we must bridge the gap. If on the other hand the intent is to create an even bigger divide, then the best pretext to war is to dehumanize the enemy.Clearly the author’s experiences were tragic and should not have been permitted. But what ever her circumstances, she should be applauded for having courage and recognizing that she has the inalienable right to a better life. Having said that, its unfortunate that the author has not been able to present a more balanced view.

  • khaled

    who cares about ur view!!!!

  • Janet

    To Charles Santori,I have heard Ms Ali interviewed several times on the radio. She has no need of ghostwriters, she herself is extremely articulate and understandable. And yes, some orthodox Jews are fundamentalist fanatics. That does not make Ms Ali or myself, anti-semites.Her “handlers” in Holland? You really are stooping low trying to malign herWhere are the links to articles that you are talking about that her speech was written by the Mayor of Rotterdam, and her articles by feminist writers? Be careful, I have friends who speak Dutch, so don’t send me some links in Dutch, and think you can hoodwink me.

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Ali’s Assay is a laundry list of unreferenced accusations and half-truths and out-of-context, in which she presents as certified Islamic edicts without a single citation of the Koran or Hadith. In reality, it is a smash-and-grab aggregation of inconsistencies, platitudes and poor scholarship. She’s just pawn of much discredited AIE neo-cons. It’s been that she’s

  • Sharon

    Sharon – This is a short, interesting piece by a Somali woman named Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who emigrated to Holland and ended up serving in the Dutch Parliament. She’s considered one of the most influential people in the world today . . . Worth a look, if you have the time. llh

  • FreedomLover

    This article is a breath of fresh air! How tiring are the platitudes of “Islam is a religion of peace” when any literate person can read the Koran and the Hadith and see that it isn’t true. Thanks, Ms. Ali, for your courage.I believe that if apostates of Islam can be protected, Islam will crumble. Most Muslims (as we see from various comments to this article) have no clue about how dismal their own holy texts are. The apostates know Islam the best.

  • FreedomLover

    This article is a breath of fresh air! How tiring are the platitudes of “Islam is a religion of peace” when any literate person can read the Koran and the Hadith and see that it isn’t true. Thanks, Ms. Ali, for your courage.I believe that if apostates of Islam can be protected, Islam will crumble. Most Muslims (as we see from various comments to this article) have no clue about how dismal their own holy texts are. The apostates know Islam the best.

  • jan

    in my view the learned writer is badly informed about the the relegion of islam. How come almost 2 billion follower can be ignorant. Islam is the relegion of peace and tranquality. she should seperate the culture and relegion in the specific regions.

  • Why the Quran is The Words of THE GOD

    Why the Quran is the book of God? Verily We created man from a product of wet earth; (23:12) Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging; (13) Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators! (14) Then lo! after that ye surely die. (15)O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth). (22:5)How did mohamed know that the sun and the moon float in an ORBITAnd He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit. (21:33)How did he know about the big bang, and water is the source of life.Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (21:30)How Mohamed knew, 1400 years ago, that we will be flying through the sky using The ENERGY (With authority). [55.33] O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority.

  • Why the Quran is The Words of THE GOD

    Why the Quran is the book of God? Verily We created man from a product of wet earth; (23:12) Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging; (13) Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators! (14) Then lo! after that ye surely die. (15)O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth). (22:5)How did mohamed know that the sun and the moon float in an ORBITAnd He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit. (21:33)How did he know about the big bang, and water is the source of life.Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (21:30)How Mohamed knew, 1400 years ago, that we will be flying through the sky using The ENERGY (With authority). [55.33] O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority.

  • Why the Quran is The Words of THE GOD

    Why the Quran is the book of God? Verily We created man from a product of wet earth; (23:12) Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging; (13) Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators! (14) Then lo! after that ye surely die. (15)O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth). (22:5)How did mohamed know that the sun and the moon float in an ORBITAnd He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit. (21:33)How did he know about the big bang, and water is the source of life.Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (21:30)How Mohamed knew, 1400 years ago, that we will be flying through the sky using The ENERGY (With authority). [55.33] O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority.

  • Hamid

    I think she has been really badly treated in Somalia and is recounting the Somali version of Islam in this article.No woman’s rights are compromised in Islam, if this does not exist in Somalia that is not Islam’s fault.

  • wondering

    Has there ever been an Islamic Peace Movement the way that there have been various American, European, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish peace movements? And yet the irony remains that the West does dominate the world and that the current methods of ecological destruction were developed in the west.Finally, can we recognize that we are now living in a post-modern age which can accept both the political enlightenment of modernity and the human reality of mystery as expressed in spirituality?

  • Ali Abdi

    Unfortunately, this article is based finction rather than facts and reality. The author completely misrepresents the basic pillars of Islam and long history that contradicts these arguments. The author should try to gain basic undertanding of the teachings of Islam before coming to such eronious conclusions. This is important for anyone trying to make positive contributions to society. Unfortunately,this doesn’t seem to be the author’s objective. Rather this baseless story is being used to divide people, invite hate and create confusion in the community.

  • Why the Quran is The Words of THE GOD

    Why the Quran is the book of God? Verily We created man from a product of wet earth; (23:12) Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging; (13) Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators! (14) Then lo! after that ye surely die. (15)O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth). (22:5)How did mohamed know that the sun and the moon float in an ORBITAnd He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit. (21:33)How did he know about the big bang, and water is the source of life.Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (21:30)How Mohamed knew, 1400 years ago, that we will be flying through the sky using The ENERGY (With authority). [55.33] O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority.

  • Ali Abdi

    Unfortunately, this article is based finction rather than facts and reality. The author completely misrepresents the basic pillars of Islam and long history that contradicts these arguments. The author should try to gain basic undertanding of the teachings of Islam before coming to such eronious conclusions. This is important for anyone trying to make positive contributions to society. Unfortunately,this doesn’t seem to be the author’s objective. Rather this baseless story is being used to divide people, invite hate and create confusion in the community.

  • Why the Quran is the words of The God

    How did Prophet Mohamed knew that the earth is not flat, but an Egg Shap?

  • Jihadist

    My fellow Muslims,Don’t be so harsh on lovely doe-eyed and soft-spoken Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is a much understood and admired Islamic reformer and living “martyr” of Islam in the west. Poor Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali have no say and sway in the Muslim world, so leave the lady alone and let her be employed in the American Enterprise Institute. After, Ms. Ali needs to earn a living and to tell the west what they want to hear as the premier expert on Islam and Muslim in the United States. She is a woman of great conscience, bravery and truth. So they informed us. We have to believe them. They are being kind to us in telling us what to think and how to think. Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali,I wish you all the best in your reformation of Islam from the American Enterprise Institute through the American media focussed on the American public. I have no idea how it will get through to the Muslim world, unless the American Enterprise Institute succeeded in persuading the Bush Administration to take over all Muslim countries and force the Ayaan Hirsi Ali reformation of Islam on Muslims at gunpoint. Thank you and best regards

  • Why the Quran is the words of The God

    How did Prophet Mohamed knew that the earth is not flat, but an Egg Shap?

  • Naveed Khan

    Dear Ms. Ali,Let me first introduce myself and then I will provide an answer to your observations and interpretation about Islam.I was born and raised in Pakistan and have lived in USA for last 30 years. I am married with 3 children. I have married only once and my Wife is from Pakistan as well. As far siblings are concerned, I have one sister and two other brothers. I grew up in a moderate Muslim Family, where we had to observe all the tenets of Islam.I really can not even come close to your observation about the status of Women in Islam. I was neither taught that, nor did we observe that, nor did I ever see anyone in our family observe that. I must say your interpretation of treatment of Women of Islam is based on your unique experience and it has no truth in it.I am disturbed as to the purpose of your venom and misguided propaganda against Islam. I only wonder what are you trying to achieve? This malice and falsehood about Islam will not bring you fame. It will not endear you with the people who hate Muslims either. You are a talented writer, I would encourage you to write about other ills in the society. Islam is a beautiful and fair religion, it does not need reformation yes many amongst do.with regards,

  • Anonymous

    Jihadist:Malaysia: Secular state or Islamic state?Here we are still free to debate..Your thoughts?

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, this article is based on finction rather than facts and reality. The author completely misrepresents the basic pillars of Islam and long history that contradicts these arguments. The author should try to gain basic undertanding of the teachings of Islam before coming to such eronious conclusions. This is important for anyone trying to make positive contributions to society. Unfortunately,this doesn’t seem to be the author’s objective. Rather this baseless story is being used to divide people, invite hate and create confusion in the community.

  • frank

    Take Ms. Hirsi Ali’s comments 50 years ago, and substitute the world “communist” for the word “muslim.” The West’s appropriate response becomes clear – containment of most rigid Islamic States. As we would not import communist sympathisers into our societies, so we should not welcome any ardent Muslims into Western Society. And like Communism, it’s inherent ideological contradictions IF clearly compared to Western Society, will eventually force a change in their ideology.

  • Mohammad Rao

    I am sorry that Ayaan Hirsi Ali gives statments regarding the Prophet which have no basis whatsoever e.g the one in which she says that the Prophet had intercourse with Ayesha at the age of nine. Leading and qualified historians on Islam have said that Ayesha was engaged to the Prophet at an early age , but she did not come to his house as his wife till well after puberty. Mohammad (pbuh) had no child from Ayesha. If he had intercourse with her when she was nine, and seeing that Ayesha was his constant companion , it is sensible to think that intercourse might have happened again. But Ayesha never gave births to Mohammad(pbuh)’s child.

  • tufail

    Ms. A.H Ali states:Ms. A.H.Ali is wrong following reasons:1. Northern part of India was under Muslim rule for centuries. How do you explain Muslims remained as a minority in north India?

  • Rezaur Rahman

    Ms. Ali provides a us with her version of “Islam for Idiots” in a couple of paragraphs. I respect her right to hold her views and reject/criticize Islam. That however, does not mean what she has written is factually correct. There is absolutely no evidence that the following “When it is a question of Islamic law, justice is in the hands of every Muslim.” or that “Marriage is typically arranged, with no choice given to the girl..”. Many abhorrent practices take place in some countries, both Muslim and non-Muslim. That does not mean they are ordained by the religion of that land or by their laws. Yes Muslims need reform and there are many unacceptable practices in Muslim dominated countries. But correlation does not mean causation. If Ms. Ali knew the basics of providing a logical argument, she would know better. There are more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, including myself. Does Ms Ali really think she has discovered

  • David

    Hmmm.First of all, why all the furor over Islam? The woman wrote a book, an article, made certain claims based on her own experience, and understanding of Muslim tradition and sources. It attacks Islam.Ok.I was raised a Christian, one might say, and eventually chose faith in Christ for myself. The scandals over the Catholic priests are horrific, as are isolated instances of similar occurences by “Christians.” Ok – they’re Christians.But nowhere is anyone forced to rebut the claim that child molestation is sanctioned, even ordained, in the New Testament or Christian tradition. Muslims are at great pains to explain why violence is so routinely justified on religious grounds, especially from the example of Muhammad himself.I’m not into maligning Muslims. I live and work in Muslim country, a very nice one, overall [Oman, to be exact]. Omanis are extemely tolerant people by nature and tradition. We have an openly functioning Christian church there. Christians have made great contributions to that country. The first hospital was established there in the 50′s by an American Christian doctor. He is now the “first” honorary foreign citizen of Oman.That said, the government restricts the freedom of non-Muslims. We cannot “approach” anyone to present our beliefs [this routinely happens to me coming from the other direction.] If you loan a Bible to a citizen [i.e. Muslim] you will be expelled from the country if this is discovered. I have seen this.And this is a very friendly, “enlightened” Muslim nation.Muslims will not extend rights to others which westerners, for all their obvious faults, extend to them. They can practice their religion as freely in Amsterdam or New York as they can in Islamabad. Christians remain under threat in many Muslim countries for daring to think of such things.Muslims may attack me for saying so, but I have lived in more than one Muslim country, and it is virtually the same everywhere, with very few exceptions. No one can dispute this. This is a fact. I do not understand the glossing over of this by honest Muslims.It’s just the old double standard. It’s blatant hypocrisy. Christians, or anyone, can be hypocrites too. They’ve just stopped legislating it, and forcing it on everyone else.I will continue to work in Muslim countries. I also admit that I am rather more free to say these things here than I can to Muslims. I have never met one I felt comfortable speaking to this way. The offense is too great. Perhaps I am also too timid. But that doesn’t change the legal facts.I take that back. I did discuss religious freedom, free speech, etc. in a college class. The students were respectful to me. Finally, the only one who would speak said, “It’s ok to think things like Thomas Paine, that religion and revelation are false or unprovable, but you shouldn’t speak about it.” He was rather reasonable about it. I suggested that his idea stemmed from the danger of offending people, of insulting them. He said yes. There are limits, even with the most open, it seems.I have many Muslim friends, and we have many common goals. Getting an education, taking care of our families, seeking some benefit between ourselves in spite of all these controversies. They have been loyal to me, and good friends. But I still feel uncomfortable speaking certain things such as this. I have to choose friendship over truth, at least in my case.Back to the lady’s essay and book: I can write a book like that about Christians, say about the right wing supporters of Israel, and some may not like it, but I won’t be under a death threat from anyone. Even Jews [imagine...] respect others’ rights to differ. They’re just smart in exercising their own rights and influence [I'm not referring to inside Israel here].The fuss over Islam = these idiot meddlers like the American government, crass western culture, oil money, Muslim inferiority complex, seeds of violence in early Islamic history. If people like this woman didn’t have access to the West, you’d never hear of them. They would be effectively [effectively] silenced.Live your life, do your best, be honest, don’t hide from anything, including your own insecurity and fear of the truth. The conflict will intensify – extremists and militarists on all sides will see to it. Love is the only antidote – and love that humans do not naturally have, the kind that can suffer wrong, and not retaliate. The power of true peace, not that imposed by others. These will be isolated lights, but they will be there, and they will grow. Eventually, they will win. But there will be a lot of hypocrisy, violence, and injustice along the way.In the meantime, people must testify to what they know, and interpret it the best they can. This is what the Somali woman did. The best response to her is to prove her wrong by your own example. I’ll see what I can do.

  • Fouad Attia

    [109] Quite a number of the People of the Book wish they could turn you (people) back to infidelity after ye have believed. From selfish envy, after the Truth hath become manifest unto them: but forgive and overlook, till Allah accomplisheth His purpose: for Allah hath power over all things.

  • Bansharia

    Political Islam is a threat to freedom. Sharia law contravenes the Universal Declararion of Human Rights. We must fight sharia, if we do not want to be under Sharia rule. This is not a partisan issue. This is not right against left. This is simply a fight for freedom and human rights. For those who want to see with his/her own eyes what is being said by Islamic authorities, how non-Muslims are perceived by Islam, visit MEMRI TV Project at

  • Arif

    Many Muslim “scholars” have come here and explained the concepts of Jihad, womens rights and other rubbish about islam. Ms. Ali has in one article exposed Islam for what it is. Look at all the comments she has generated in such a short while. There is much truth in what she says. Islam is violent and she explained why. Muslims take notice we know your motives and we know your scripture. We have read your Koran with an open mind and have the same conclusion that Ms. Ali has come to; Islam is a violent cult.

  • Islamist

    Jihadist LOL What a hoot Ayaan’s piece and the posts from some non-Muslims are. Yes, let’s hear what these “experts” have to teach us in on Islam and Muslims. Some posters, apparently are overnight experts after reading Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s books and from her media interviews. Shall we invite Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Indonesia and Malaysia to tell us how to reform ourself? Oh wait, we have no female genitalia mutilation or forced marriages, and our Muslim women go to school, can drive, can vote, can have jobs too, even as a current Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia and as a former President of Indonesia. Does the US have a female President or female Chairman of the Reserve Bank as yet? Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to settle for our own homegrown reformers and thinkers like Chandra Muzaffar, Farish Noor and Sisters in Islam et al. so we can reach that level Ayaan/AEI wants. Which is quite low really. Cheers

  • anti-CAIR

    An aging man, I have Ms. Ali’s latest book at my bedside. It’s fascinating. And her appearance on the pages of the Washington Post reminds us that the truth about Islam is getting out, and not only among conservatives.Islam is a political belief system but is protected as a private religion by civil rights law. That protection is wrong, and the law should be changed to express the long-term danger posed by adherents. When our politicians accept CAIR as political allies, for example, they are giving credibility to mere deceivers. We need to undertand the danger of allowing Muslims to convert felons in prisons. And we need to see the danger of Muslim immigration.These interrelated problems are more easily dealt with if we’ve removed Islam from the list of creeds protected by civil rights law.For details on what Islam truly is, read Hirsi Ali, Robert Spencer, and Andrew Bostom.

  • Marcus

    Ms Hirsi AliI believe that you are honest about your views. Your title “My view of Islam” is very appropriate. It is apparent that most of what you are saying comes from your life’s experience. But here’s the question: If everyone were to use their own personal experience as a model for explaining their religion, how many interpretations there be? And which would be correct? I should say that I consider most religions to be highly popular and well developed myths. Islam says you will rot in hell if you don’t accept Allah. Christianity says you will rot in hell if you don’t accept Jesus. In both religions fear of God is a central theme. Unfortunately the coercive foundation of these religions is what makes them so popular. Both religions are antithetical to freedom of thought. The more more fundamentalist forms of Christianity and Islam (notably American conservative Christianity and violent forms of Islam) have especially negative impacts on society. But that said, In my opinion, most people, muslims, christians and jews, whether they are religious or not, conservative or liberal, are reasonably good-hearted. So I think, even though your article, which fans the flames of hatred, is especially destructive, there is hope in the long term. Another thing: please be aware that the AEI is as steeped in bias, repressive thought and innocent blood as the avant-garde of the islamic extremists. Please, please do your homework and find some new friends.Best regards, M

  • Kingofkings

    Over the past 2-3 decades, we are seeing some Therefore, based on the law of supply and demand, we will be seeing many more opportunists ready to sell their faith for a price

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ahh, The Jihadist has blessed again with more “let us not address the true issues”. Again and again Muslims like The Jihadist are asked to address the flaws in the foundations of Islam but they never do. But let us persist in asking because of its importance. Was not Mohammed, an illiterate, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating scribal biographers who not only added “angels” and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers?? Does not this agenda continue as shown by the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers , the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers , the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani koranics, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases and the Filipino koranics with the resulting misery being sponsored by the Third Axes of Evil aka Islamic Iran and the Islamic “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia???And isn’t the book of death aka the koran based on Mo’s communications with that fictional character called Gabriel who was borrowed from the Christians who borrowed “him” from the Hittites and other ancient cults?? Did not Mohammed and his scribes borrow all the good elements of the ancient religions including Judaism and Christianity but then added their militaristic and anti-female agenda to support their moves to conquer the lands of the “infidels” where they found the Good Words originally??? Do you find that ironic??And is not ironic how a peaceful fictional character like Gabriel ended up giving credence to a violent religious movement called Islam????

  • yoyo

    The least attractive quality of male muslims

  • Clyde

    There is NO ONE MORE SELF-SERVING than Ms. Magaan Ali (her real name).In order to gain “Dutch citizenship” and A FREE PASS TO EUROPE, she BETRAYED HER OWN FAMILY, CONCOCTED A STORY ABOUT HER FALSE VICTIMIZATION BY HER FATHER, and BACKSTABBED HER OWN SOMALI PEOPLE.THERE IS NO ONE MORE ARROGANT, SELFISH, AND EVIL THAN THE DUPLICITOUS “HIRSI ALI,” WHOSE OWN NAME IS A LIE ACCORDING TO HER OWN WORDS ON DUTCH NATURALIZATION PAPERS.NO WONDER SHE GOT KICKED OUT OF HOLLAND ONLY TO BE EMBRACED BY THE NEOCONSERVATIVE American Enterprise Institute (AEI).DESPICABLE!!!!1

  • sly

    Having seen her interviewed and read numerous stories about her, its hard to take Ali seriously. Despite what was certainly a harrowing experience in Somalia, she comes across as anyone who hates where they come from. While in her case its no doubt deservedly so, I find that she (admittedly) generalizes Islam into a caricature. Much as too much could be made of Christian excesses over the years, Ali tarnishes the millions of muslims who have moderate views. She should talk with America’s muslims. I suspect she’ll have a broader perspective then. And, in point of fact, no religion is actually changed by ‘apostates’. Even Christ didn’t change Judaism. Instead, as you see Pope Bernardin doing now, the religions turn inward. You might establish a new religion by leaving an old one (Christ, Buddha) but you certainly won’t reform an old one by leaving it…And, oh by the way, can you imagine a more extreme place to grow up than war torn, “Black Hawk Down” Somalia??? Its a wonder she survived a all. I imagine this explains her extremism.

  • Jihadist

    Islamist:)Yes, it is obvious here that Muslims don’t want Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but some in the west do want her, regardless, to spark the “Reformation and Englightenment of Islam”. Are we being enlightened as yet on Ayaan “Not Wanted by Muslims” but “Most Wanted by the West” as the Martin Luther of Muslim Reformation? Oh, wait, Martin Luther was a believing Christian when he seek to reform Christianity. I still have no idea why they still insist on shoving Ayaan Hirsi Ali down Muslims’ throats when the reaction to her is well, very hostile from Muslims, even those living in the west. So many dim bulbs. If Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali thinks Islam is to be reformed by ex-Muslims and Muslims living in the west for the whole Muslim world, well, well, well. I can’t recall any Muslim NGOS or states in the Muslim world inviting Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak on Islam. Irshad Manji was, and politely listened to as a token representative Muslim from the west in international conferences on Islam. Best regards and bye mate, they’re calling my plane.

  • sly

    Why are we confusing religion & culture??? Prior to the Enlightenment ‘The West’ was much the same as ‘The East’ as far as religious freedom goes. Anyone remember the Spanish Inquisition? The Salem witch trials? What differentiates the West from the East is our political culture. And what differentiates America from Europe is our economic & political culture which encourages upward mobility & assimilation.The difference in religion & culture is important. Case in point, Somali muslim cab drivers believe they can’t even give rides to people carrying alcohol, yet their Pakistani muslim counterparts have no problem with it. Clearly there’s a distinction between religion & culture. Likewise, what religion believes in freedom of speech? Much less freedom of religion? In this country women were killed for being witches. In Europe protestants were killed for being apostates. Freedom of speech & freedom of religion is hallowed in the country because of our POLITICAL CULTURE not because of our religion. Had Somalia had a similar political culture I doubt Ms. Ali would be the same woman.

  • Anonymous

    The term “muslim scholar” is a contradiction in terms.

  • Anti-Muslim

    Listen to the shrill cries of the muslims when their filthy slave religion is depicted by one of their own. Yes my dear muslims, there are many in the West who want to deal forthrightly with your religion of peace. Sooner or later you will all see the light.Cheers

  • Compare

    Anyone notice how similar the messages of marcus (an athiest) and Mike Ghouse (a muslim) are?

  • Jim M

    Ms Ali:I pray that voices like yours can make a difference. Please don’t underestimate the impact of what you are doing and how important it is to people like me that are otherwise ignorant of the REASON why people believe what they believe, and are willing to strap a bomb to their child because of it. Thank you.

  • genital mutilation

    Someone above claimed that female genital mutilation does not occur in Muslim Indonesia and Malasia. Maybe this guy is not a real Muslim?It is going on right now all over the Islamic world. My wife had her lips cut off by her grandmother, she witnessed her niece lose all. Do you think my wife and I are liars? Do you think Indonesian “culture” is why this happens? Think. Study. Learn.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like people are outing themselves on this thread.If she really is FOS, then why call her ‘evil’? Why are people worked up about it? Why does she get death threats and need bodyguards? (No exaggeration, one must take seriously a multi-page death threat against you, stabbed into the chest of your dead colleague by his murderer.)Why wouldn’t she merely be irrelevant?What about her is so damned threatening?Everytime I see someone lose it online about this woman it confirms what I believe about those who are against her. It reveals far more about them, than it does about her.

  • bob

    thanks so much for writing this. great article, its a long uphill battle and its evident by how much personal slander is directed at Ms. Ali. Unfortunately Ms. Ali must endure much more than personal slander in her fight for truth against islam’s aggression and violence.

  • The Realist

    The most tolerant practitioners of Islam are the Sufis. Afganistan, before the British came, were largely Sufis. It is no accident that Sufis are now persecuted throughout Muslim lands. They were in Iran in great numbers before the Islamic revolution of Ayatollah Khomeni. As “modern” Islam has become more “holier than the rest of us”, the more peaceful and gentle Muslims disappear. They are killed off and put in prison along with the most eloquent and intelligent freethinkers. Hirsi has no native community to support her. Certainly not in Somalia, and increasingly impossible in Holland. If she is an infidel, it is because her religion has grown too small for such a large spirit. She is to be much admired for her courage and perseverance.

  • awake

    Ali speaks the truth. As an apostate from Islam, a crime punishable by death in most Islamic Sahria run countries, none successful at the moment by the way, she has the courage to say what most will not say abou the intolerant misogynistic ideology of Islam. Don’t take my word on it. Do the research yourself, for the Qur’an is not a classified document, and draw your own conclusions. a goos start is http://www.jihadwatch.org, with the esteemed Robert Spencer at the helm. He also wrote a few books on the subject as well.I highly recommend that all non-Muslims research Islam for themselves, and draw their own conclusions. Nearly all Muslims on this thread have expressed their personal disdain for Ms. Ali. In my opinion, there can only be two answers for that. Either Ms. Ali is a liar, or Muslims hate the dirty little truths about their own ideology. In my experience, Muslims hate the truth, especially when we infidels know it.Don’t make a judgement by what you read here. Do the independent research yourself. The Qur’an is online and it’s free. You will interested in what you will learn, if not downright disgusted, that is.www.jihadwatch.org is highly recommended, by me. Have a look. you can always write it off as a “hate site”, if you are so inclined to do so. There is no harm in perusing, at least not harm as you or I have come to understand, with beheadings as an obvious example od harm, one that just pops right into my “little hate filled head”.Regards,awake

  • Islamist

    Compare, yes on Marcus and Mike Ghouse, but it could be just a coincidence. I’ve only been reading On Faith since “Muslims Speak Out.” Some posts are hysterical. It’s getting more and more ridiculous as this gets longer. Good day.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    I told you. The Jihadist and those like her continue to duck the hard questions. With the Jihadist she is always going the mountains or catching a plane right before she gives us more Islamic “no substance, no solution, wishy wash”. But she does live in that almost Islamic state of Malaysia and must be careful what she says. “Me wonders” if the On Faith moderators should simply restrict comments to those made from citizens of countries where there is freedom of religion and speech.

  • tes

    This is a very stupid analysis. The author is preaching to her hate-Islam choir and you can see from the reponses that ignoarant hate mongers happily swallowing it all. She doesn’t back up her analysis with any single Quranic verse or sunnah. Right there that should tell you she is just making things up. I can understand her anger towards muslims same as I can understand the anger christian women felt during the witch burning days but you need to be rational about where the blame lies, and not write blindly and pretend it to be the truth. True muslim countries are far behind the west. But that’s just a matter of time folks!!!! From 8th century to the 16th century the muslims were far ahead. Come back a century from now and for all I know they are ahead again. Its just a matter of time.

  • tes

    This is a very stupid analysis. The author is preaching to her hate-Islam choir and you can see from the reponses that ignoarant hate mongers happily swallowing it all. She doesn’t back up her analysis with any single Quranic verse or sunnah. Right there that should tell you she is just making things up. I can understand her anger towards muslims same as I can understand the anger christian women felt during the witch burning days but you need to be rational about where the blame lies, and not write blindly and pretend it to be the truth. True muslim countries are far behind the west. But that’s just a matter of time folks!!!! From 8th century to the 16th century the muslims were far ahead. Come back a century from now and for all I know they are ahead again. Its just a matter of time.

  • tess

    This is a very stupid analysis. The author is preaching to her hate-Islam choir and you can see from the reponses that ignoarant hate mongers happily swallowing it all. She doesn’t back up her analysis with any single Quranic verse or sunnah. Right there that should tell you she is just making things up. I can understand her anger towards muslims same as I can understand the anger christian women felt during the witch burning days but you need to be rational about where the blame lies, and not write blindly and pretend it to be the truth. True muslim countries are far behind the west. But that’s just a matter of time folks!!!! From 8th century to the 16th century the muslims were far ahead. Come back a century from now and for all I know they are ahead again. Its just a matter of time.

  • tess

    This is a very stupid analysis. The author is preaching to her hate-Islam choir and you can see from the reponses that ignoarant hate mongers happily swallowing it all. She doesn’t back up her analysis with any single Quranic verse or sunnah. Right there that should tell you she is just making things up. I can understand her anger towards muslims same as I can understand the anger christian women felt during the witch burning days but you need to be rational about where the blame lies, and not write blindly and pretend it to be the truth. True muslim countries are far behind the west. But that’s just a matter of time folks!!!! From 8th century to the 16th century the muslims were far ahead. Come back a century from now and for all I know they are ahead again. Its just a matter of time.

  • tess

    This is a very stupid analysis. The author is preaching to her hate-Islam choir and you can see from the reponses that ignoarant hate mongers happily swallowing it all. She doesn’t back up her analysis with any single Quranic verse or sunnah. Right there that should tell you she is just making things up. I can understand her anger towards muslims same as I can understand the anger christian women felt during the witch burning days but you need to be rational about where the blame lies, and not write blindly and pretend it to be the truth. True muslim countries are far behind the west. But that’s just a matter of time folks!!!! From 8th century to the 16th century the muslims were far ahead. Come back a century from now and for all I know they are ahead again. Its just a matter of time.

  • tess

    This is a very stupid analysis. The author is preaching to her hate-Islam choir and you can see from the reponses that ignoarant hate mongers happily swallowing it all. She doesn’t back up her analysis with any single Quranic verse or sunnah. Right there that should tell you she is just making things up. I can understand her anger towards muslims same as I can understand the anger christian women felt during the witch burning days but you need to be rational about where the blame lies, and not write blindly and pretend it to be the truth. True muslim countries are far behind the west. But that’s just a matter of time folks!!!! From 8th century to the 16th century the muslims were far ahead. Come back a century from now and for all I know they are ahead again. Its just a matter of time.

  • Rugo Omari

    Magan I think you see what is happening in Iraq, did Iraqis came here to fight you, but you followed them there to kill them. All the lies about the inteligence we know about it. Did Prophet Muhamad make any one slave, humana exploitation and these you were praying in the same church, worshiping the same God. May Allah guide you.Thanks.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Mr. Ghouse,Since The Jihadist and her ilk still will not address the real issue at hand i.e. the flaws in the foundations of Islam, maybe you could answer in their behalf since you live in a freedom of speech and religion country and they don’t. Part 1- Do you believe the koran bases its authenticity on Mo’s communications with that fictional character called Gabriel who was “borrowed” from the Christians who borrowed “him” from the Hittites and other ancient cults. Part 2- Do you believe Mohammed and his scribes borrowed/stole all the good elements of the ancient religions and then added their militaristic and anti-female agenda to support their moves to conquer the lands of the “infidels” where they found the Good Words originally??? Do you see the irony of this????Part 3- Do see the irony in how a peaceful fictional character like Gabriel ended up giving credence to a violent religious movement called Islam?????Part 4- Do you believe Mohammed was an illiterate, hallucinating Arab, who had embellishing/hallucinating scribal biographers who not only added “angels” aka “pretty wingie flying talking thingies” and flying chariots to the Koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers?Part 6- Do you also receive financial aid from Islamic flawed states like Iran or Saudi Arabia or other sheiks or religious groups/leaders in foreign countries like the Georgetown “Gee isn’t Islam great” group???

  • M Singh

    A woman who hates her own religion, God only knows what else more she hates. Not to be free and walk with bodyguards as she does, what a way to live. Perhaps all those who hate Islam cannot wonder why the key to the famous mosque in Jerusalem was goven by the Rabbis to a uneducated shepard like The Great Muhammad. No, Islam does not need a overhaul. We humans need to overhaul ourselves and our intellect when we throw dirt on a great religion as Islam. Bt the way I am a Sikh. We fought numerous battles with the Muslim Mogul rulers of India because they persecuted the Sikhs and Hindus. But many a Muslim was a brother to Sikhs too. STOP THIS HATE OF ISLAM and STOP PEOPLE THAT PERPETUATE THIS HATE, PEOPLE LIKE AYAAN.

  • M Singh

    A woman who hates her own religion, God only knows what else more she hates. Not to be free and walk with bodyguards as she does, what a way to live. Perhaps all those who hate Islam cannot wonder why the key to the famous mosque in Jerusalem was goven by the Rabbis to a uneducated shepard like The Great Muhammad. No, Islam does not need a overhaul. We humans need to overhaul ourselves and our intellect when we throw dirt on a great religion as Islam. Bt the way I am a Sikh. We fought numerous battles with the Muslim Mogul rulers of India because they persecuted the Sikhs and Hindus. But many a Muslim was a brother to Sikhs too. STOP THIS HATE OF ISLAM and STOP PEOPLE THAT PERPETUATE THIS HATE, PEOPLE LIKE AYAAN.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    M. Singh, spoken like a real sardar (turbaned Sikh).:-)

  • Hassan Javed

    “The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.”It is a pity that the Americans have to be reduced to listening to someone like Ms. Ali to understand contemporary Islam. If I am not mistaking, she is the same person who lied to Dutch authorities and provided her wrong name, age and even the country where she came from to apply for an asylum. Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

  • Doffen duck

    Islam is pure fasicmeONE religion, ONE politicm that’s the way it is, simple as that !

  • Faisal

    Dear Readers,Just Why?Ms. Ayaan has been proven a liar once, beyond doubt and kicked out of Netherland.I fail to understand why people even bother to read her views.Her testimony can never be taken for truth.As the bible says:”Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not, neither will they understand’I rest my case.

  • Faisal

    Dear Readers,Just Why?Ms. Ayaan has been proven a liar once, beyond doubt and kicked out of Netherland.I fail to understand why people even bother to read her views.Her testimony can never be taken for truth.As the bible says:”Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not, neither will they understand’I rest my case.

  • Faisal

    Dear Readers,Just Why?Ms. Ayaan has been proven a liar once, beyond doubt and kicked out of Netherland.I fail to understand why people even bother to read her views.Her testimony can never be taken for truth.As the bible says:”Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not, neither will they understand’I rest my case.

  • LAFN

    Islam put an end to female infant infanticide?Too bad they didn’t put an end to child marriage. What kind of 50 year old man fantasizes about a six year old girl, has sex with her when she is nine years old, and then calls himself a prophet? No wonder those people are SO MESSED UP!

  • Muslim Woman

    I am a Muslim woman who is from Egypt and lives. I like to let everyone know that I live alone by myself, my brothers and father don’t harass me, I don’t wear Hijab and I don’t pray. But when I read the Miss/Mrs Ali article I found it very hard to swallow for a Muslim modern woman like me. Her article is very racist, very untrue and she is after the money. I can bet my life and my Muslim superior way of life on it that she is after the fame, the money and the amusement she is getting from those who hate Muslims and want to use her as a tool. She will, one day face her maker :) GOD ALIMIGHTY, only then she will know life is too short and lust is short and ISLAM FLAG WILL ALWAYS WAVE FROM EAST TO WEST AND SOUTH TO NORTH.Thank You

  • sid

    I found your five group classification interesting. I have friends in groups one & two. Please give an estimate of the percentage of Muslims, world wide, which make up the five groups.

  • Saeb Ahsan

    Hirsi Ali has already proven herself as a women who sells away her soul for the corrupted interests in the world. Lets face it, she lied about her personal life, to get her way into Holland and into the Dutch Parliament. It is extremely insulting that News Agencies can record what such an individual with no credibility, and no real experiance of Islam, nor of the dialogue with Muslims. It is completely irrespossible for anyone to consider such a person as a “expert” on Islam.

  • Proud American Kafir

    First of all I give credit where credit is due. I can’t believe the Washington Post would print the views of someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. For the most part the Post is one of the most liberal, leftist publications in America and they usually are on the side of the jihadists. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a great woman. We should all admire her tremendous courage. As a former member of the so-called “religion of peace” she speaks the complete truth. All non-muslims need to read her words and realize what we are up against. islam is an evil idealology that seeks complete conquest of the world for the sake of allah. The west had better wake up soon and face the truth. Sadly I feel its too late.

  • Ian

    It’s about time the West woke up to the threat from Islam.

  • Cotton Mather

    Ms. Ali, like the seven mythical blind scholars, discovers an elephant but can only describe it as the part that she touches. But Islam is more than its parts. So is American culture. Unfortunately, Ms. Ali is addressing her concerns to the wrong readership. Western foes of Islam will never change the distortions of Islamic beliefs and practices of the Islamic minority that Ms. Ali deplores. She ought to have raised her concerns with Muslims in a Muslim forum. That is where the real debate ought to take place. Although I am not a Muslim, I find them more knowledgeable about their history than Americans. Try discussing slavery with the average white American. Duhhh? Try discussing white racism with the average white Christian American. Duhhh! In complete denial, and sooo defensive. If you want to get a white American’s back up, ask them what do they know about the history of white racism? Duhhh!

  • MOHAMED

    IF YOU THINK THE WORLD WILL NEVER COME TO UNEND,THEN WAIT,SURELY YOU WILL SEE HOW ALLAH IS GOING TO PUNISH YOU.

  • Robert

    Joe Said:”Can anyone tell me why Islamophobes who are applauding Ms. Hirsi’s article are so eager to overlook the fact that she’s also a convicted fraud who got deported from Holland?” Perhaps because what you said is incorrect and in any event irrelevant? If you have a problem with what someone says then it is up to you to argue for your own viewpoint. Whether someone is an employee of the American Enterprise Institute or the Communist Party USA or whatever doesn’t make their arguments or viewpoints incorrect. Hitler was a vegetarian and hated smoking, but his position as head of the Third Reich does not automatically negate these principles. Principles stand or fall on their own merits, not because someone who propagates them might be considered unsavory by one section or another of the populace. The fact that so many of those who have commented hear seem ignorant of these principles is sad.

  • Sam Deakins

    Perhaps the Republicans and Democrats in DC need to read this column and take note. Dubya and his ROP mantra are leading us down the wrong path.

  • Jawid fakhri

    “On the issues of holy war (jihad), apostasy and the treatment of women, the Koran and Sunna are clear. It is the obligation of every Muslim to spread Islam to unbelievers first through dawa, or proselytizing, then through jihad, if the unbelievers refuse to convert.”On the issues of “Democracy”, “Human Rights” and “Market Economy” western ideology is clear. It is the obligation of every Westerner to spread “Democracy” to the darkest corners of the world first through soft power, or propaganda, then through crusade, if the uncivilized refuses to accept.Comparing these two texts, we come to the conclusion that both Islam and the West are trying to dissimminate their ideologies. As far as writers are concerned, the differnece is which payroll you are on.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Dear Islamists “from above”,It is apparent from your comments that you were bred, born and brainwashed in Islam. You also reside in an Islamic state where the internet is restricted to only Islamic falsehoods. You also live in fear of Islamic truth and death squads. You have not read “Infidel” because it is has been banned. And we should listen to your ranting and raving?????See the initial five steps above to cleanse Islam and get back to us when you finish.

  • Jawid fakhri

    “On the issues of holy war (jihad), apostasy and the treatment of women, the Koran and Sunna are clear. It is the obligation of every Muslim to spread Islam to unbelievers first through dawa, or proselytizing, then through jihad, if the unbelievers refuse to convert.”On the issues of “Democracy”, “Human Rights” and “Market Economy” western ideology is clear. It is the obligation of every Westerner to spread “Democracy” to the darkest corners of the world first through soft power, or propaganda, then through crusade, if the uncivilized refuses to accept.Comparing these two texts, we come to the conclusion that both Islam and the West are trying to dissimminate their ideologies. As far as writers are concerned, the differnece is which payroll you are on.

  • al

    Cotton Mather: Sorry the debate is not about race or rasicm, but about a belief system which is indepedant of any race/colour.Please find another forum about your issues on race and stop disgression from this debate.

  • al

    Cotton Mather: Sorry the debate is not about race or racism,It is about belief systems; which is independent of any race/color!Please find another forum about your issues on race and stop digressing from this debate.

  • WILLEM

    oh dear ms ali you have once again shown us that ALL religions should be avoided like the plaque. they cause us all kinds of grief like all the wars going on right now! from palestine to iraq.

  • al

    Cotton Mather: Sorry the debate is not about race or racism,It is about belief systems; which is independent of any race/color!Please find another forum about your issues on race and stop digressing from this debate.

  • Asim

    Hirsi,I will take only one item to expose your ignorance and show the justice and fairness of Islam: you say “Muslims can marry xtian and jewish women but not the other away around.”I refer you to Mohammad Asad’s book “The Road To Mecca,” who was a young journalist-an Austrian jew-travelling on a train in 1920,s from Egypt to Palestine, when he overheard a conversation between a Muslim cleric and a xtian Priest on the same topic-and where the Muslim cleric outlined the reasoning sanctioning the marriage of a Muslim male to a xtian/jew but not the other way around. This incident was the catalyst behind Mohammad Asad’s conversion to Islam, who became a diplomat-Pakistan’s UN ambassador-and a scholar of Islam with many publications.Similarly, your other claims show just as much naiveté and ignorance: like all distracters of Islam, you take bad examples that have little or nothing to do with Islam, such as Saudi Arabia-and Taliban-, Saudi is ruled by a feudal reactionary corrupt tribal gang of thieves that have nothing to do with Islam or the blessed example of the Prophet: just one example about the so called “prince Bander’s” stealing hundreds of millions of dollars as “commissions” from British Aerospace on weapons’ sales to saudi arabia-when such money should have gone to starving Muslims in Somalia.

  • Kelkyen

    Anyone ever see an angel interviewed on a news program? Ever read that article the angel from the sky wrote for Newsweek, and had some pictures taken for the article?We had two world wars, anyone have a copy of the speech the angel Gabriel gave after Churchill? Was Gabriel at the Potsdam Conference? Has a supernatural entity ever appeared before the UN and given commands? The UN represents the whole of humanity, surely some divine being wouldn’t pass up a chance to set us strait. Maybe even a little suggestion? Its 2007, far too many people have cellphones, alot of them with cameras. I haven’t seen one pic or movie of any supernatural critters. I mean, in every holy book you can’t throw a stone without tagging some angel on the head. Where are they now? Maybe they are in the Andromeda galaxy, and can’t make it back here. Maybe they are hanging out in Uranus… Maybe they never existed?Maybe when you die, you just die?Maybe you’ll never see your dead loved ones again. Maybe no god loves you. Maybe those who were made to suffer will never get a reward. Maybe, just maybe, you wasted all that money you gave to your religious leaders on that donation plate.

  • Anonymous

    The large number of comments show how people go for Sensationalism rather than truth and sunstance:otherwise why listen to a neocon fraud like Hirsi.

  • chris

    Great article. I wish more people would write about the real threat. The writer does an excellent job of telling the truth about Islam. The problem with Islam is that it doesn’t tolerate self examination and criticism. This is not good…if the religion does not change we may actually have a holy war one day. I’m not talking about this childs play that is going on today… I’m talking about a real war!!

  • Anonymous

    The large number of comments show how people go for Sensationalism rather than truth and sunstance:otherwise why listen to a neocon fraud like Hirsi.

  • Brian H

    Willem;

  • Sam Deakins

    Perhaps the Republicans and Democrats in DC need to read this column and take note. Dubya and his ROP mantra are leading us down the wrong path.

  • Rugo. A.

    Sheik Yer MamLet’s talk about slavery, colonization crimes in the world, children malustation in the churches, rape and genocide in Rwanda, where there was no any killing in any Mosques,contrary any one who was lucky to get into the Mosques Muslims or not were protected, however there were so many bodies brought from many churches, but you don’t see all these, why? because of being ignorance of world affaires. Are you not blood sucking Iraqis blood, under accusations base on lies? General rule, any foundation base on lies will fall soon or later as what we are seing happening in Iraq, and other places to come very soon. May Allah Guides!

  • Rugo. A.

    Sheik Yer MamLet’s talk about slavery, colonization crimes in the world, children malustation in the churches, rape and genocide in Rwanda, where there was no any killing in any Mosques,contrary any one who was lucky to get into the Mosques Muslims or not were protected, however there were so many bodies brought from many churches, but you don’t see all these, why? because of being ignorance of world affaires. Are you not blood sucking Iraqis blood, under accusations base on lies? The general rule saying; any foundation base on lies will fall soon or later as what we are seing happening in Iraq, and other places to come very soon. May Allah Guides!

  • Leave Iraq Now

    Optimist ForeverAEI is not a government insitution. It is privately funded. But while on the topic of erections…The only 80+ year olds with erections are those many many deluded and brainwashed jihadist who for over the past 1350 years foolishly sacrificed themselves for the cause of Allah. According to the learned scholars at Al Azhar University, not only do martyrs get to romp endlessly with 72 virgins, they are gauranteed INFINITE ERECTIONS!!! And this was declared before viagra!

  • JB

    If a Christian or a Jew kills a Muslim man, they should be killed immediately. In contrast, the blood of a Muslim should never be shed in recompense for the blood of Christians or Jews.So if I read this right, Muslims feel that they should be in a higher place in society than everyone else. And that all people from other religions are less somehow, like animals are in current society. Is that correct? This kind of thinking, that somehow your religion makes you superior to all others in a society is a HUGE problem, and as such, Islam and Sharia law will dominate in the USA only after they pry the gun from my cold, dead fingers. Hopefully the US will see the errors that Europe is making right now and then make sure that we don’t make the same errors. The biggest problem in Europe, especially France, is that people there are still buying the “poor downtrodden, misunderstood Muslim” bit that all Muslims portray so very well. They’ve got the liberal media, that is to say the media in general, working overtime to make excuses for them and it won’t be long before our lawmakers will follow suit. You see, it’s not their religion, it’s only the radicals that cause problems, except that you can see from the above article that this is NOT the case. No, if you believe what is written above, and it was written by “moderate” Muslim, not a “radical” Muslim, then you can see that the “religion of peace” as they are constantly referred to will be peaceful as soon as everyone is a Muslim, either by “choice” or by having their throats cut.

  • Al.

    So many posts, but not one person tackles the writers on factual content?

  • Brian H

    Sorry, no virgins. The word is a transcription error, missing a diacritical mark on the word for ‘white raisins’, a great delicacy at the time. Think of a bottomless box of Sun Maid. Yum!

  • Al.

    So many posts, but not one person tackles the writers on factual content?

  • IshaQ

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali,If you think you know Islam well then I think you are wrong. You have no knowledge of Islam/Teaching you are Ignorant lady with wrong views about Islam. You got mislead and your misleading people. In my view you should go back to Somalia and start learning Islam/Quran with some GOOD scholar of Islam.’O’ Allah make her(Ayaan Hirsi Ali) GOOD Muslim and give the true knowledge of Islam (Ameen).

  • Abdul Malek

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali has in her 5 groupings of Muslims left out hundreds of millions of Muslims – the simple ones, the humble ones, the happy ones – who find solace, comfort and inspiration and hope throught their belief in Allah, in the message of the Holy Koran and in the example of the life of the Prophet Muhammad.Religion is not only an intellectual excercise Ayaan. How much more arrogant can you get?

  • hijabihoodlum

    525 comments? no way i’m sorting through all that. as a muslim (the mainstream kind) born and raised in virginia, let me just say that ayaan hirsi ali is an atheist (which she herself states she became in 2002). she had a difficult childhood but that gives her no right to attack an entire religion. she’s telling us that only atheists and poser muslims can “fix” islam? and that people like me are somehow extreme/inadequate? give me a break.

  • hijabihoodlum

    525 comments? no way i’m sorting through all that. as a muslim (the mainstream kind) born and raised in virginia, let me just say that ayaan hirsi ali is an atheist (which she herself states she became in 2002). she had a difficult childhood but that gives her no right to attack an entire religion. she’s telling us that only atheists and poser muslims can “fix” islam? and that people like me are somehow extreme/inadequate? give me a break.

  • Faithless in US

    Speaking of morning wood… The reason behind it, for me, is her story of perseverance and near-heroic survival. Not unlike a holocaust survivor, she did what she must do in order to merely live.Life in Africa is tough enough without having your labia scissored off and sewn shut. Living in Saudi Arabia is tough enough, even if you’re an Arab. Life in Holland under constant threat of murder and having your friends butchered for the high crime of authoring a script, is as un-Dutch, un-European as it is unreal and unacceptable. To have emerged from this with any part of her psyche remotely intact is indeed remarkable. She swam away from the festering cesspool and mire that is Islamic stagnation in Africa, then bathed in the light of Reason and found Faith wanting.She is welcome to my country, my neighborhood, my house any time.–FIUS

  • Leave Iraq Now

    This is in todays’s news. I think what Shiek Fadlallah is doing here is a good thing.Beirut — Lebanon’s top Shia Muslim cleric Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah issued a fatwa, or religious edict yesterday, banning so-called honour killings as repulsive acts that contradict Islamic law. He denounced “honour crimes in which men kill their sisters, daughters or other [female] relatives on the pretext of committing acts against decency and honour.”Mr. Fadlallah said in a statement that he was issuing the edict amid reports of an increase in the practice across the Arab world. _____Now why would the good Sheik have to issue a fatwa to STOP honour killings if they were not going on and presenting an issue for the people in the Arab world? Is it Christians committing the honor killings? Jews? No. It is muslims. Muslims on this board would rather spend time denying that problems like honor killings even exist. If you deny there is a problem , how is it going to be corrected?I applaud the Sheik for acknowledging and tackling this problem. Muslims should as well.

  • Alicia

    salim akrabawi: I thank you for sharing your personal story and memories of your mother. I agree that Hirsi Ali’s own experiences shaped her view of Islam just as your own life experiences shaped yours. What I want to say to you is that it is not necessary to believe that Islam is monolithic to believe that Islam represents a genuine danger in the world today, a danger that far exceeds the danger represented by, say, the Christian Right in America today. I would compare it to the Spanish Inquisition if the Spanish Inquisition were spread across the world and armed with modern technology. I don’t blame Jesus for the Spanish Inquisition, nor do I blame Mohammed for the problems in Islam today. However, it requires willful blindness to ignore the problems, it seems to me.

  • Cleo Jakowski

    Excellent article. We need voices like hers here in Politically Correct La-La Land America. The propaganda displayed in the other articles (all written by men by the way) are a keen display of “taqyia” – otherwise known as the right/obligation of Muslims to lie and cheat to non-Muslims with religious sanctity.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Aayan

  • Khazar Nesimi

    Dear Aayan

  • Don Wood

    This has been extremely provocative. I thank the author and would like to be on a mailing list of this most informed woman.Thank you Ms. AliDon Wood

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    With the large number of commentators on this thread, it is a great time to re-open our “Mo Poll”.Here it is:1. Mohammed the Great Hallucinator Of Mythical “Pretty Wingie Flying Talking Thingies?2. Mohammed, the Great Prophet/Fortune Teller?3. Mohammed, the Great Profiteer?4. Mohammed, the Lover of Many Women Young and Not So Young?5. Mohammed, the Man of Many Myths?6. Too much Time in the Sun, Mohammed?7. Mohammed, Man-Made by Many Militant Men??Place your vote now!!!! A drawing will be held. The winners will get a free trip to Mecca, City of Legend, Myths, Virgins and Flying Carpets. Air transportation provided by Flying Chariots owned and operated by Seraphim East. The tour guides will be “manned” by the Suicide Imams of TTAE (The Third Axis of Evil).

  • Ahmed

    The falling apart of the family system of the West, the high amounts of divorces, the abusing of women as sexual objects in the name of freedom are enough proofs that the Western system has failed. Islam is the natural way, Allah created man and women equal but equality is not that women compete with man. that attitude itself shows that man is superior and women as inferior. but equality is that each one fulfills their responsibility. A man is responsible for earning a living and a woman is responsible for taking care of the family and raising children (the moral degradation of the children here is an ample example of the women failing to fulfill their responsibility). The west has given rights to women just about 50 years ago but Islam has given special status to women 1400 years ago.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    With the historical Jesus, no poll is required as many contemporary NT scholars have evaluated the existing scripture and concluded:from: (Note: Four of the NT scholars are On Faith panelists)Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past Jesus the Hellenistic Hero Jesus the Revolutionary Jesus the Wisdom Sage Jesus the Man of the Spirit Jesus the Prophet of Social Change Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet Jesus the Savior

  • Seeker of Truth

    Come on Ms. Ali say something new, you are awfully repeating your self over and over again. The same language same topic over and over again let me tell you Its boring. Looks to me you are trying to please people who are giving you bread and butter and you are just making merry of the current situation. You are one smart coockie.

  • Khazar Nesimi

    Mustafa Hamid

  • David M

    Trackbacked by The Thunder Run -

  • Khazar Nesimi

    Mustafa Hamid

  • David M

    Trackbacked by The Thunder Run -

  • Anonymous

    In the west a woman can take on any job that she chooses to have. She may marry, or not. She may have sex, or not. She may work, or not. She may read anything, buy anything that she can afford, worship any God, OR NOT. She may own property, be CEO of her own company, raise babies and do it all at the same time, or not.Contrast that with being required to not only cover her head as a sign of respect to God, but completely cover herself in a hot country to the point where she can’t even expose the skin on her hands. She may not drive. Her testimony in court is not equal to a man. She can be beaten by vice police for being seen even speaking to a man that is not her husband. She can’t even shake hands during a business meeting. In some countries, she’s been beaten by the government for being raped and becoming pregnant as they’ll call that ‘adultery’ or ‘fornication’.Now tell me again where women are equal in Islam? You can twist that sucker any way that you want to but there is not a speck of either appeciation or equality there. (Not when the courts in question are not secular but RELIGIOUS shar’a courts.) It’s ONLY about control. Unless you’re talking about men who say ‘hey, I really appreciate women being slaves and I’m the top dog. It works for me’. (I bet that it does.) I’m sure that Ms Ali is not bothered being referred to as a prostitute by those who cannot stand that she’s operating as a free person on the planet. Must really twist their bloomers to see and hear her speak and they cannot do a darn thing about it. That she is out of arm’s reach of that ‘freedom’ of her former religion. The religion that supposedly isn’t compulsory that certainly would insist on some compulsory behavior from her.Welcome to America, Ayaan. The home of the free and the land of the brave. You certainly qualify as BOTH in my book.

  • Seeker of truth

    Ms Ali

  • Me

    Khazar Nesimi:I predict concentration camps, harrasment and expulsion of all Muslims, irrespective of observance, from Europe in 20 years. I predict carpet bombings of the ME and denial of humanity to over a billion peopleFrom your keyboard to God’s ears!I am tired of reading about the horrific violence inflicted on native European people at the hands of “immigrants”-violence which the perpetrators seem to believe is a form of jihad, to make the European populations “feel themselves subdued”. I certainly HOPE Europeans get fed up and expel those who feel entitled to rape, rob, beat, enslave, mutilate, and kill those who do not belong to their “religion”.

  • Leave Iraq Now

    to ME and other Europeans, soon to be Eurabians, who read this.Many in the U.S. are ignorant of what is going on with the islamification of Europe. Not a single presidential candidiate mentions it. Shoeless George Bush and Condi still think islam is the religion of peace.I know this thread is about Hirsi Ali but confirming the rise of islam in europe by a short post here might open some eyes.

  • Mike

    Clearly this woman lacks the intellect and the ability to make a distinction between a culture – albeit primitive – and its interpretation of the holy scripture from the purity of the message. Dignifiying her with a posting on anything remotely close to the subject of religion is an insult to all monotheistic religions and to this great newspaper. She’s a victim of her own self inflicted oppression. I pity her.

  • ICBM

    “I predict concentration camps, harrasment and expulsion of all Muslims, irrespective of observance, from Europe in 20 years. I predict carpet bombings of the ME and denial of humanity to over a billion people. I lived here long enough to recognize the hypocrisy of the West, which rivals and exceeds the one found in Muslim countries.”Hopefully we will help you to realize your fears and make them a concrete reality, not only in Europe but more importantly, here in the US. There are no greater hypocrites or cowards than muslims who scream for holy war and then soil themselves when it is served up to them boiling hot. Sooner or later, you will get what you so richly deserve and then you can all snivel to your heart’s desires, and no one will care.

  • Samira

    This piece is a real shame. I do believe in honest dialogue but this is just a hardline one-sided argument with little substance. I can easily open up a Qur’an, my books of women’s fiqh or encyclopedia of Islamic jurispudence to explore, extend and counter her arguments. Her categorization of Muslims is simplistic at best. Hirsi Ali lists “her” understanding of Islam then jumps to link these horrors to contemporary Muslims with little real analysis of contemporary Muslim institutions or thought. As usual, Muslim women are never to speak for themselves because they are too stupid, subservient and brainwashed in her analysis. They are not intellectuals, activists or writers. This piece is not only the usual rhetoric she pours out but it is also deeply sexist. Hirsi Ali has moved to America and she has brought with her a hate-sprewing, xenophobic and anti-democratic attitude. She will be suprised to find that most Americans don’t agree with her as recent polls point out. They are curious about Muslims, they want to know Muslims and they believe that many Muslims are good citizens. Hirsi-Ali represents an extremist attitude and like all extremism it most be countered with true dialogue, research and tolerance.

  • Jacob Cohen

    Having recently watched this woman on the Bill Maher show a few months ago, I was struck by her out look on contemporary issues. Her main goal is; “I have to defend my beliefs at any cost, even if it means embellishing.”Unfortunately, she will find a very big following among people who are used to having world news and events summarized into 60 second sound bites. She is clearly very intolerant and has determined that nothing good can come out of Islam, so you very much can not have a meaningful discourse with her. For instance she suggests that the way forward with Muslims is to let them know that their religion is one of violence, etc… In other words insult them first, then let them know that what they stand for is wrong. After that, let them know what Western values are, and if they wont accept, the doors are open. The last part, she doesn’t actually say that they are to be kicked out, but this is strongly implied.She is just as guilty as those she levels some of her criticisms against. She claims that she had a change of heart after 9/11; she was struck by the horror and so on and decided to go all out against Islam and Muslims.How is that different from a kid on the West bank who witnesses atrocities committed against his people and decides that he’s forever enemies with the Israel and all of it’s allies, especially those that invest billions heavily in defense equipment? On the issue of detainees in Guantananmo, she just breezes it off as part of the consequences of the War on terror, not caring about the possibility that most of the detainees might be innocent. So long as it seems to ensure the safety of the American people, then their innocence is inconsequential. She has further stated that America should have attacked Saudi right after 9/11 because 14 (or so) of the Hijackers were from Saudi. Conveniently ignoring the fact that they trained in Afghanistan. Never mind that the Saudi government has had deal with various attacks of its own. Her statement seems to suggest that the Saudi government may have trained or aided these people. She then (again) suggests that this is a war if civilizations (East vs West).I have listened to people with reservations about Islam, and I have to say that she is the most dishonest and foolish that I have come across. She speaks with a trace of deep seated anger (look at her childhood). She is rather very emotive.For those hoping to be engaged in some enlightened discourse with this lady, you would be very disappointed. I am very sure that those that heap praise songs on her know this fact very well and are only just using her as a viable mouth piece for now. Open your mind people. Pay attention to the bigots in the White House and what they’re doing to our world.

  • Anonymous

    Mustafa Hamid said: “All my fellow readers not intimately familiar with Islam – I would beseech you to talk with more Muslims!!! – Islam is at its core a message of peace, love, humanity, and living a life of harmony and balance. I am sure you will find this in your interactions with the common muslim you meet on the street.”I appreciate the heartfelt nature of what you are saying here. However, personally, I don’t have an issue with ordinary Muslims or with the Prophet of Islam, but with the appalling things which are being done in the name of Islam in the world today. Possibly the best analysis of this crisis I have read is Paul Berman’s book, “Terror and Liberalism” which is an analysis (from the left) of the nature of the Islamist threat to world peace, order and security and of the ways in which Islamism (as distinct from Islam itself) and Liberalism are on a collision course. I recommend the book to every person on this discussion board. Berman places Islamism in the context of other forms of totalitarianism. And he suggests that the battle against Islamism is analagous to the battle against Stalinism in which many social democrats and liberals participated after WWII.

  • Khazar Nesimi

    To ICBMI am glad we agree on something…To all of the rest.. there is one ultimate Judge for Whom our souls shall wait until the final Hour. Then everything that Humanity have done or will have done will be realised. Innocence and guilt are in the eyes of the beholder on this earth, but they are ultimate in His eyes. I am no judge, but maybe centuries of murder and mayhem visit upon humanity by the scourge of the progress will be looked upon. I have left US with no regret to snivel in my rat infested hole, long time ago…

  • Alicia

    That was me, who posted just above about Paul Berman’s book, “Terror and Liberalism.” I didn’t mean to post anonymously.

  • Azhar

    Ms. Ayaan is obviously a person who has become antagonistic to a faith which she never really understood and did not have the ethics level required to practice. This would be similar to the priests involved with child molestation, not sufficient ethics to follow a moral code! Now, the question really is what has Ms. Ayaan done to Islam or Muslims that she is not willing to talk about but the guilt of which is driving her to vilify a great religion? Muslims believe in the same god as the other major religions of the world and are required to believe in all the Major Prophets throughout time. The moral code of Islam is also similar to that of other religions. I read once that Ms. Ayaan had converted to Christianity from Islam. There is nothing wrong with this decision; however, I wonder how long it will take before she starts to vilify this great religion due to her lack of understanding of why religion exists in the first place and a low level of ethics to follow a moral code?Ms. Ayaan needs help but it is difficult to help a person who is so full of hate most of which stems from her actions in life which if investigated would revel some horrendous crimes!

  • Khazar Nesimi

    SamiraTHe people who rejoice in Mrs Hirsi’s analysis are themselves narrow minded bigots, who, want to confirm their own deep seated prejudices. It is for precisely the same reason that the jihadists are intolerant, for there is no possibilty to convince them otherwise, and so she is a convenient mouthpiece. No doubt, true in her emotions, she perhabs naively believes that her hosts hold the values they profess they express.

  • Nadia

    I am a bit confused as to what kind of Islam you were brought up with. Anything involving hate has never been anything taught in the true Islam.. The meaning of Islam is Submission.. and the submission is only to Allah (God). Islam was spread strictly by example.. beginning with the honesty of those in trade. We are taught in Islam that if somebody does not believe what we believe we do not force them in any way shape or form.. and if anyone claims you should they have diverted from the teachings of the prophet Muhammad (SAS). Like any religion there are fanatic and it seems to me the author was exposed and surrounded by an extreme situation of fanaticism.I am proud of my faith and proud to discuss it with anyone who asks because I know I shed a light on them because of what society has brought them up to believe through media and hollywood etc..I was born and raised in America by a Palestinian father and an Irish mother who converted to Islam on her own, through years of study, and not by force. Islam brings me peace and NEVER encourages otherwise..Wasalamu alaikum …

  • Aishah Schwartz

    My comments published at Naseeb Vibes (Mar. 13, 2007)

  • Mary Cunningham

    My View of MuslimsI will follow on from David. I am a Catholic, born, strayed and joyously returned, renewed and stronger in the faith than before. I live and work in London, and have worked and been friends with Muslims since I left my postgraduate studies. I never thought they were much different from me, even after 9/11, even after the invasion of Iraq (from the start I thought it doomed). My view of Muslims has become more wary. What changed me was the attack on the London Underground in 2005 and, even worse, a nasty encounter in September,2006 after the Pope’s remarks on the inherent violence of Islam. I had gone to Mass at the Westminster Cathedral that Sunday in memory of my mother who loved both the Cathedral and the Latin Mass. When I came out the police (who will not let the right wing British National Party get within a mile of a mosque) had allowed an angry mob of Muslims to come almost right up to the door of the Cathedral. They were ranting and raving and screaming awful things, waving placards calling for Benedict to be beheaded, and shaking their fists at us. The police—useless gits–were just standing around and not doing anything—shameful!Read somewhere that the definition of a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. Well, actually have been a libertarian kind of conservative—live and let live I say—but I did feel as if I’d been mugged. Certainly I’d been threatened.I’d never believed that Islam is the religion of peace, the historical evidence says otherwise, but I did trust British Muslim leaders not to encourage violent mob behaviour. Wrong! Also, the craven London police should have not allowed such a mob to harass believers. They should have been kept further away, like a mile or so. There was a huge protest about it the following week, and the police rushed to ‘protect’ Catholic places of worship. Too late I would say. Anyway, that is my story. Maybe others will add their’s.

  • IB

    Despite the stereotypes, Muslim women have always played a vital role in the Muslim community, and not only in traditional roles. Early Muslim women served the community through scholarship, teaching, nursing, and other important activities. Among them: Asma bint Abu Bakr – a noble woman known for her intelligence and generosity ,Aishah bint Abu Bakr , she was a great teacher and writer , Hafsa bint Umar ,Khadija bint Khuwailid who was a great Business woman ,Nasibah bint Ka’b – and I can go on and on…Obviously Madame Ayaan Hirsi , you are very ignorant! I pity you Ayaan Hirsi because you need a lot of help , But again how can we help someone not only ignorant but also extremist!!!!!!.

  • IB

    Despite the stereotypes, Muslim women have always played a vital role in the Muslim community, and not only in traditional roles. Early Muslim women served the community through scholarship, teaching, nursing, and other important activities. Among them: Asma bint Abu Bakr – a noble woman known for her intelligence and generosity ,Aishah bint Abu Bakr , she was a great teacher and writer , Hafsa bint Umar ,Khadija bint Khuwailid who was a great Business woman ,Nasibah bint Ka’b – and I can go on and on…Obviously Madame Ayaan Hirsi , you are very ignorant! I pity you Ayaan Hirsi because you need a lot of help , But again how can we help someone not only ignorant but also extremist!!!!!!.

  • Maggie Millington

    Well done Ayaan, so well written,so truthful, please take care .After writing such a frank article I worry for you, but do recognise the desperate need for people like you to speak out.Also thank-you to the Washington Post for having the courage to do the right thing & allow free speech to be put into print.We nonMuslims must speak out about what is happening too, cowering behind the PC brigade will get us nowhere, if we don’t show our feelings, we are just as guilty as the silent majority of Muslims worldwide. I don’t have any answers but I do have a wish , & that is the modernisation of the Qu-ran.

  • Joe Schmo

    IMAGINE THIS:Imagine that Washington Post solicits John Wayne Gacy’s opinions to be published in its paper titled: “In Defence of Heterosexuality”.Her views would be torn to shreds in my 7th grade English class.

  • colin nicholas

    Muslims are indoctrinated into believing the patently ridiculous.Like our ancient ancestors who believed that there were treegods,raingods,skygods,

  • hussnan

    the information given by this woman are totally fake and only are bound for publicity of herself. One should not believe anything about Islam till he has full knowledge about Islam. Muhammad (pbuh) did’t marry aisha in the age of “six”. in Islam the christians and jews and all other non Muslims are given more rights than Muslims. They are treated equally. In the era of Umar bin Abdul Zaiz a Muslim was executed because he killed a non Muslim. Muslims are never asked to convert the non Muslims by force. Islam is the religion of peace and the informations about Islam must be carefully checked before having them online.

  • hussnan

    the information given by this woman are totally fake and only are bound for publicity of herself. Muhammad (pbuh) did’t marry aisha in the age of “six”. in Islam the christians and jews and all other non Muslims are given more rights than Muslims.killing of a non Muslim has equal punishment. Muslims are never asked to convert the non Muslims by force.

  • Anonymous

    Full knowledge of Islam is as pointless as full knowledge of astrology,or full knowledge of palmistry.It isn’t actually knowledge at all.

  • Maggie Millington

    Well done Ayaan, so well written,so truthful, please take care .After writing such a frank article I worry for you, but do recognise the desperate need for people like you to speak out.Also thank-you to the Washington Post for having the courage to do the right thing & allow free speech to be put into print.We nonMuslims must speak out about what is happening too, cowering behind the PC brigade will get us nowhere, if we don’t show our feelings, we are just as guilty as the silent majority of Muslims worldwide. I don’t have any answers but I do have a wish , & that is the modernisation of the Qu-ran.

  • arildno

    Thank you so much for your clear, concise analysis, Ayaan!You are a blazing torch for hope, humanity and freedom in this sadly muddled world of ours.

  • Bushra

    A highly inaccurate, biased and hate- filled article written by someone who holds absolutely no credibility in the eyes of anyone who possesses even a little bit of knowledge about Islam, the religion of over one billion people in the world today.When it comes to Islamic law, the author is no expert- Muslim scholars spend their entire lives studying the rules and principles of Islamic law and still consider themselves to be amateurs on the subject. The author is guilty of the ‘selective passage’ choosing that she accuses Muslims of doing in her fifth categorization of the group (all of which I find to be extreme generalizations).The list of rights granted to Muslim women is a long one, and the author has clearly made incorrect interpretations of some of them in order to support her article.I am an educated, accomplished and proud Muslim woman. And unlike the author, I did not get to where I am today by selling out on my religion for fifteen minutes of fame.

  • Alicia

    I would like to ask several of the Muslim posters immediately above a couple of direct questions:Do you believe that Islam (in America, or elsewhere, for that matter) ought to be relegated to the private, personal sphere of life, even as it informs the lives of those who practice it, and do you believe that there should be full separation of Church and State, and that Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, etc., etc. ought to be treated equally under the law?If you believe this, I will defend to the death your right to practice your faith.On the other hand, if you believe in the Islamist idea that there should be no separation of Church and State, and all should be (now or eventually) under Islam, I will fight you to the death to defend the rights of myself and non-Muslims.I hope that makes my position clear.

  • Cleo Jakowski

    The anti-Hirsi Ali posts are incredible, especially from the Muslims themselves. Can’t an individual have a different idea of religion than yours? She has had different experiences affecting her vision of Islam, just as you have. She has the right to express her views just as you do. And the Washington Post is her medium. Get used to Muslims speaking out more and more in a free society. But this self righteousness among Muslims who cannot accept another viewpoint is nauseating and trivial. If Hirsi Ali thinks Islam is evil, that is her prerogative. First Amendment rights dominate in the USA last I read. I would bet the above anti Hirsi Ali all have CAIR on their speed dial so they can report any and every little infraction against this so called religion of peace and tolerance. When you have to sue to keep people quiet, your religion is pretty weak in the first place.

  • yoyo

    AyaanWhat a wonderful essay you have written here.

  • Anonymous

    Full knowledge of Islam is as pointless as full knowledge of astrology,or full knowledge of palmistry.It isn’t actually knowledge at all.

  • Anonymous

    Full knowledge of Islam is as pointless as full knowledge of astrology,or full knowledge of palmistry.It isn’t actually knowledge at all.

  • Dennis J. Cavanaugh

    As I understand the Koran, it requires that its religion be a dominant part of governments in Muslim countries. Separation of church and state is not allowed in countries where Islam rules.

  • Charles T. Williams

    Ayaan Ali is yet another courageous, articulate voice confirming that the religion of Islam is incompatible with the modern world. It is a religion of self-delusionment propped up by wanton, mindless violence with respect for neither justice nor reason.www.charlestwilliams.com

  • jan

    i think the learned writer is so badly informed about the relegion of islam. how come 2 billion followers of a relegion can be ignorant. if islam spread by the mean of force so how come today islam is the most fast growing relegion in Europe and America?. i suggest the learned writer should study more about any relegion before try to make score by blaming others.

  • Mena

    Such negativity and pessimism will get us no where in this day and age. I think what Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs to take more part in is interfaith dialogue. She obviously has a bone to pick with Muslims and the religion of Islam. If she was as educated as she appears to be then I can only hope, for her sake, that she stop denying the fact that she is a Muslim.

  • evrwndr

    OH MY! So much hate going around. In my extended family (we are Muslims,and this is true), through marriage, we have extended our hands (and given our hearts)to Christians (black & white), Jews (white), Hindus (brown), Buddhists (yellow), and Atheists (all colors). In our family reunions there is a TRUE rainbow of humanity, and we DO get along. BTW, did I mention that we also have a few gay/lesbian sprinkled in. To us, we all belong to ONE race — the Human Race; and to ONE religion – whatever makes u tick. Lately, we are trying to recruit some Wicans/Druids. That should complete the circle.

  • Mark

    I don’t know what other responders have said, but if what you say about Islam is true, and i believe it is, then islam is the work of the devel.

  • Alan Boyle

    A very informative (and chilling) description. Written by someone who has lived it, it has much gravity and helps explain what is going on today. Keep up the good work.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Yasmin,Is there some misinformation of the facts in the following????This Islamic agenda continues as shown by the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers , the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers , the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani koranics, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases and the Filipino koranics where said agenda is being in general sponsored by the Third Axis of Evil aka Iran and also by the “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia.

  • yoyo

    According to what I was told by Indonesians when

  • Pam Meloy

    I have read with great interest all of the posts on this thread. I have nothing to offer that hasn’t already been said. THE BELOW POST SAYS IT ALL. CLEO YOU ARE RIGHT ON!!!!Posted on August 3, 2007 13:29 Cleo Jakowski:

  • Ted Peterson

    You are beautiful and very intelligent. I love what you’re doing and would love to talk with you! Fellow infidel here. :)

  • Alicia

    I am still waiting for a direct answer from the Muslims who have made recent comments to my questions above regarding separation of Church and State, and the equality of all religious people (including those without religion) under the law. Do you believe in separation of Church and State, both now and in the future?

  • awake

    Hussnan wrote:Everything this Islamist stated is the inversion of the truth, diametrically opposite to the truth. This type of taqiyya used to work wonders on the infidels, but in the computer internet age, information about Islam and it’s canonical texts is available and the kuffar are not so easily deceived anymore.Why never ceases to amaze me is the vigor of rebuttal by Islamists aginst someone who criticizes their faith, comparative to the tepid, if at all existent, condemnation of Islamic terrorists who evoke Allah’s name with each atrocious act committed.Here’s a little time-line for the daft among us:1993 Islamic terrorists attempt to blow up the WTC, years before the US involvement in Iraq.9/11 Islamic terrorists hijack planes and slam them into commercial skyscrapers, killing over 3,000 people7/7 Islamic terrorists blow up trains in EuropeIslamic militants engage in ethnic cleansing of black, tribal African Muslims in Darfur. Hundres of thousands killed.Ethnic Albanian Muslims plan attack of Fort DixGuyanese Muslims plan attack on JFK fuel pipeline.Sunni versus Shiite violence in Iraq as a daily occurence.Islamic Taliban militants abducts 23 South Korean hostages, killing two currently.DOES ANYONE SEE A PATTERN HERE?The common defence is that these people are not practicing true Islam. Hogwash. Without a unifying voice, each Islamists interpretation is valid to them and more importantly acted upon their individual interpretation.Read the Qur’an, people. For Islamists to suggest that there is nothing that needs to be addressed in the Islamic community is preposterous.How about starting with ceasing the attacks on Ali, who is merely stating the obvious, and get to work on the chronic misunderstanders of your own faith…Islam. It is becoming an epidemic in YOUR global community.Do I expect such action??? Of course not, for in your eyes, there is no problem.

  • Khazar Nesimi

    To AliciaAs a muslim I believe that all religions ought to be relegated to the private sphere of life and I believe in full sepration of Religion and State in secular societies of the West, inascmuch as their cultural rights are recognized(hijab, ability to pray, respect of the fast and food diffences). When in Rome do as Romans do, however and I do believe in it firmly. All of attempts to undermine this tradition should be suppressed and I support it!.

  • Anonymous

    Folks:Read the Qur’an; read the Ahadith; read Ibn Ishaq’s biography of Muhammad; read some standard Sharia law texts; read some history (ex: look up devshirme).Get a clue, people.

  • G D Wymer

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali has succinctly, eloquently and, particularly for her, bravely stated a position on Islam, and further on religion in general, that clearly demonstrates why all humans need to seriously consider their beliefs in the light of the realities of each generation.

  • maria

    Islam people should act as humans not as animals.

  • G D Wymer

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali has succinctly, eloquently and, particularly for her, bravely stated a position on Islam, and further on religion in general, that clearly demonstrates why all humans need to seriously consider their beliefs in the light of the realities of each generation.

  • maria

    Islam people should act as humans not as animals.

  • AyyA

    Ms Ayaan

  • shirley henderson

    I had to print this off because my computer is at my home residence and I amstaying for the season at the campground on Lake Erie and come into town about 2x a wk to check computer and pick up mail, etc. Thank you so much for this.

  • Joe Cotton

    A fine and informative article.

  • Alicia

    Thank you, Khazar Nesimi, for responding to my questions and comments.You said:”However I believe that if traditional society belives in a different idea of the state, this should be supported as well!. These questions are disingenious because you imply there is only one idea of the Rule of the Law, that is above human questioning. I beg to differ, and believe in multiple options for societies to set themselves up. You have chosen one, let others choose something else.”My questions were honestly meant, even if you regard them as disingenuous. I’m not a cultural relativist, but that doesn’t mean I believe that traditional societies that have rules that are different from those in which I believe ought to be overthrown. However, there are some practices that ought to be condemned as evil, even if they are upheld in the name of tradition, religious or otherwise. I would include persecuting minorities, executing apostates, homosexuals, or adulterers, honor killing, slavery, second-class citizenship, etc. as practices that should be considered abhorrent to all humanity. Does that mean I think that traditional societies which practice any of the above ought to be overthrown? No. But, neither should they be applauded or tolerated for those practices, instead, they should be criticized.

  • Leave Iraq Now

    “The goal of education is to achieve control over female sexuality.” Are muslim women (and men) throughout the world not taught to read the Koran in arabic? To memorize it by rote at very early ages?Muslim women in Saudi cannot drive.Muslim women cannot be seen with, or sit close to another non-relative male (like a certain Quater princess on an Italian airline) and men can sit wherever they please and talk to whomever they please.Muslim women cannot marry non-muslim men.Note the great numbers of Saudi males allowed to get a western education in the U.S. and Saudi women are not, unless they have a chaperone. Muslim women in Iran are now being arrested for not being muslim enough, for not dressing more modestly ( meaning they don’t put bags over their heads).Muslim women cannot obtain a divorce as easily as muslim men. All the men have to do is say “I divorce you” 3 times and presto- you are divorced. A women has to prove her case.In many muslim countries woemn who don’t viel are consdiered marked targets, after all, they refuse to be covered, and therefore are “asking for it”. As one famous Mufti of Australia recently said, such woemn should be consdiered “uncovered meat”.If a muslim woman is raped, it is most likely that she will become the criminal for “asking for it”. She evidently put herself in a vulnerable position. It was, therefore, her fault. This is quite prevelant in Pakistan.So, is this not true? Dare to challenge?Whether these practices take place universally throughout Islam is not relevant to me and I don’t believe these are universal practices. What is relevant that where it happens, there is not peep out of the remaining peaceful, tolerant and so-called moderate muslims to have it stopped. Where is the outrage for that cruelty? There is no outrage in these pages of comments from any muslim about inequality of women is Islam. All they do is deny it exists, anywhere. So we are told, when we criticize, that we hate and we lie and we get our information from the news. That is the only argument they can resort to.There are books YASMIN ANIDUDDIN. Books about Islam. Books that you can’t hide and keep from publics view. There are many other ex-muslims who can confirm Hirsi Ali’s criticism. Are they all liars? These books are on the internet and in bookstores and in libraries. I should qualify, in western stores and libraries. Questioning Islam by a muslim is balsphemy, yes? So you won’t find any criticism of Islam in a muslim country. Infidels are reading these books and learning about the ways of Islam. The ways that it is practiced and in the ways you try to hide by calling us names and liars and misinformed, and by remaining silent by pretending these practices don’t exist.For intereted infidels, try this booklist for starters:

  • F. Mehar

    This is absurd. This isn’t even worth my time, but just want to point out a few notes.Ayaan Hirsi needs to do some proper research about Islam. The issue about women’s marital rights:Islam gives full rights to women to consent to marriage or reject the suitor. The woman is asked 3 times by the imam during the Nikkah ceremony whether she consents or rejects the proposal. The woman has the right to ask for a MEHR (a sort of Pre-nuptial)during the Nikkah ceremony and the man has to fulfill the demands and pay up before they are intimate. The man has to provide here with everything, even to the point that she can demand pay for nursing his children. Islamically there is never a money exchange between the groom and the bride’s family; it might be culturally induced in some places. In Islam it is an obligation on each female and male to be educated. Now, again culturally induced practices cannot be labelled Islamic in places where it is convenient to say that it is the word of God. It is a cultural issue and not a religious issue.I would urge you all that you may go ahead and read Hirsi’s post, but also please read the religious teachings of Islam.

  • Mystic

    Sadly, you’re not a torch for hope, humanity and freedom in this sadly muddled world of ours as Arildno declared. You’re a beacon of hatred, animosity and racism. All of which Islam is not though your remedial understanding of the religion leads you to support your petty views.I can with all honesty say that what you’ve described is a cult, not the Islam of 1.2 Billion followers, the Islam that preaches peace and harmony, the Islam that has broken down cultural barriers, the Islam that elevated the status of women at a time when women were second class citizens with no rights, the Islam that brought light and wisdom to a time of darkness and evil, the Islam that whether you like to believe it or not is the fastest growing religion in the world and for good reason.I’ve studied this religion at length and under no circumstances will I allow 60 second sound bites and the propoganda media machine which clearly has influenced everyone who’s posted anything negative about this religion to continue this smear campaign. You’ve shown your lack of intellect and depth and most importantly, your intolerance. You want to sincerely learn about the religion, open a book, speak with a muslim. Let’s not fall victim to the propoganda and unfounded accusations that americans are lazy and naive. Let’s not be these lazy americans that the whole world claims we are. The lazy americans that don’t read. The americans that are naive and ignorant and have no clue as to what goes on outside their city limits. We as americans have an obligation to be fair and give everyone the benefit of the doubt and prove to the world that this great country is truly a melting pot of ideas, cultures, religions and tolerance.Study this religion with an open heart and an open mind as I have and you’ll be amazed at the treasures that await you.

  • Khazar Nesimi

    AliciaThen we have some similarity in opionions after all. I am against cultural imperialism on both sides of the argument actually. I personally not a great fan of executing anyone to say the least, as I believe my tradition is against violence to non-muslims, but that is beside the point. I do understand that for some there are deeply held beliefs. For instance honor killings and female circumcision may not have much to do with religion per se, but these are cultural/tribal practices. People who were born into position of sufering should accept them, and people who were not should accept it too. It is not unfair, it is Fate (or God’s choice if you wish).

  • IB

    Mystic..thanks for your comment!

  • Anonymous

    Here is the standard Shafi’i definition of Jihad taken from the Umdat al-Salik (The Reliance of the Traveller in english) which is a standard reference on Islamic Sacred Law:pp. 599-603O9.0 JIHAD(O: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from jihad,“We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.”(1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);(2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);(3) “Fight the idolaters utterly” (Koran 9:36);and such hadiths as the one related by Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:“I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah”;and the hadith reported by Muslim,“To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.”Details concerning jihad are found in the accounts of the military expeditions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), including his own martial forays and those on which he dispatched others. The former consist of the ones he personally attended, some twenty-seven (others say twenty-nine) of them. He fought in eight of them, and killed only one person with his noble hand, Ubayy ibn Khalaf, at the battle of Uhud. On the latter expeditions he sent others to fight, himself remaining at Medina, and these were forty-seven in number.)THE OBLIGATORY CHARACTER OF JIHAD09.1 Jihad is a communal obligation. When enough people perform it to successfully accomplish it, it is no longer obligatory upon others (O: the evidence for which is the Prophet’s saying (Allah bless him and give him peace),“He who provides the equipment for a soldier in jihad has himself performed jihad,”and Allah Most High having said:“Those of the believers who are unhurt but sit behind are not equal to those who fight in Allah’s path with their property and lives. Allah has preferred those who fight with their property and lives a whole degree above those who sit behind. And to each, Allah has promised great good” (Koran 4:95)If none of those concerned perform jihad, and it does not happen at all, then everyone who is aware that it is obligatory is guilty of sin, if there was a possibility of having performed it. In the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) jihad was a communal obligation after his emigration (hijra) to Medina. As for subsequent times, there are two possible states in respect to non-Muslims.The first is when they are in their own countries, in which case jihad is a communal obligation, and this is what our author is speaking of when he says, “Jihad is a communal obligation,” meaning upon the Muslims each year.The second state is when non-Muslims invade a Muslim country or near to one, in which case jihad is personally obligatory upon the inhabitants of that country, who must repel the non-Muslims with whatever they can.0.9.2 Jihad is personally obligatory upon all those present in the battle lines (A: and to flee is an enormity) (O: provided one is able to fight. If unable, because of illness or the death of one’s mount when not able to fight on foot, or because one no longer has a weapon, then one may leave. One may also leave if the opposing non-Muslim army is more than twice the size of the Muslim force).0.9.3 Jihad is also (O: personally) obligatory for everyone (O: able to perform it, male or female, old or young) when the enemy has surrounded the Muslims (O: on every side, having entered our territory, even if the land consists of ruins, wilderness, or mountains, for the non-Muslim forces entering Muslim lands is a weighty matter that cannot be ignored, but must be met with effort and struggle to repel them by every possible means. All of which is if conditions permit gathering (A: the above mentioned) people, provisioning them, and readying them for war, then whoever is found by a non-Muslim and knows he will be killed if captured is obliged to defend himself in whatever way is possible. But if not certain that he will be killed, meaning that he might or might not be, as when he might merely be taken captive, and he knows he will be killed if he does not surrender, then he may either surrender or fight. A woman too has a choice between fighting or surrendering if she is certain that she will not be subjected to an indecent act if captured. If uncertain that she will be safe from such an act, she is obliged to fight, and surrender is not permissible.WHO IS OBLIGED TO FIGHT IN JIHADThose called upon (O: to perform jihad when it is a communal obligation) are every able-bodied man who has reached puberty and is sane.….THE OBJECTIVES OF JIHAD0.9.8 The caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya) – which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself – while remaining in their ancestral religions) (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax (O: in accordance with the word of Allah Most High,“Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden – who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book – until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled” (Koran 9:29),the time and place for which is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace). After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace), which is the divinely revealed law of Muhammad. The coming of Jesus does not entail a separate divinely revealed law, for he will rule by the law of Muhammad. As for the Prophet’s saying (Allah bless him and give him peace),“I am the last, there will be no prophet after me.”this does not contradict the final coming of Jesus (upon whom be peace), since he will not rule according to the Evangel, but as a follower of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)).0.9.9 The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim (O: because they are not a people with a Book, nor honored as such, and are not permitted to settle with paying the poll tax (jizya)) (n: though according to the Hanafi school, people of all other religions, even idol worshippers, are permitted to live under the protection of the Islamic state if they either become Muslim or agree to pay the poll tax, the sole exceptions to which are apostates from Islam and idol worshippers who are Arabs, neither of whom has any choice but becoming Muslim (al-Hidaya sharh Bidaya al-mubtadi (y21), 6.48-49)).

  • Janet

    To all those posters here who assume that those of us who appreciate Ayaan’s article are just a bunch of rubes brainwashed by the Western media, or a bunch of hate-filled Islamophobes:You can comfort yourself with this idea, but the fact is Ayaan exposes the lie that Islam, as it is now practiced, is the religion of peace and tolerance. Many of us can see for ourselves what is going on around the world in all Muslim societies, which is the lack of freedom of religion and expression, and a lack of human rights. Some Muslims have commented that they grew up in families that were loving, and in which the women were educated and respected. If that is the case, why are you coming here to dispute with those of us who have criticisms of Islam? Instead of arguing with those who think that Islam is a less than perfect belief system, and a less than perfect social system, why are you not trying to reform your societies to more closely resemble the families in which you grew up? You can read the news as well as us, you know what is going on in Saudi, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq etc etc. Spend your time countering the intolerant and repressive forms of Islam that are more and more gaining a hold in those countries. Many of us who are critical of Islam are also very critical of our American foreign policy and the role it has played, and is playing, in the problems of the world. Instead of circling the wagons when foreigners criticize certain aspects of American foreign policy, we agree with them, and work to elect other leaders, and change the foreign policy. The more you try to defend and rationalize the glaring problems in the Muslim world, the more Westerners will not listen to you, but to Ayaan and those like her.

  • Cotton Mather

    To “Al. Post 6:55 a.m. Sorry the debate is not about race or rasicm, but about a belief system which is indepedant of any race/colour. Please find another forum about your issues on race and stop disgression from this debate.”Thanks for telling me that racism is not about a belief system, when it clearly is an unfounded generalization, in other words, a belief system, a false belief system, just like Ms. Ali’s interpretation of Islam and the American General who was reprimanded for saying that Americans would win the Iraqi War because his Christian “God was bigger than the Muslim’s God.” And if you don’t believe that racism is not involved in this discussion, then you are not well-informed; and I apologize for getting your back up by mentioning racism. But, if you haven’t noticed, Ms. Ali is a black person of but not still in a Muslim society. Her essay is titled “My view of Islam,” emphasis on the “My view” in her title. She is addressing mostly American non-Muslims. She is not addressing Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. But perhaps she ought to visit the NOI, tell them what she thinks of Islam, and while she’s traveling, visit also the Muslims held in Guantanamo Prison, some of the detention centers set up by the CIA for torturing Muslims, some of the Immigration and Naturalization detention centers for aliens under deportation, and take in a few native American reservations as well, and tell them how blessed they are. And you, Al, ought to read more about the religious justifications of racism and slavery. As a great American writer once wrote, “The past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past.”

  • Phil Schelin

    There are many voices crying out the same message –”The West” is asleep by underestimating the threat of the militant Muslims and yet it’s the leaders of the WEST that are failing to tell the truth about this threat right in their own back yards.

  • kevin apland

    It’s heartening to read such a clear headed and informative article. One can only hope it will get the thoughtful and respectful attention it deserves!

  • Khazar Nesimi

    JanetWho says that Muslims do not dispute and fight on injsustices happening amongst their midst daily. They are criticising Islamic practices, and deem them un-islamic, or shun them. We do not think the same, you know. There is a great deal of debate inside the Islam, from most exteme and hostile to welcoming and accomodating to the world.However last thing muslims need is the invasions, pillaging etc, under the guise of helping us. I agree that jihadists inficted terrible carnage in the west, but so far greater suffering occures in some muslim countries. There is a fight in Islam, but we do not need help. In other words, leave us alone and let us suffer and fight in silence. I dislike when people say that moderate Muslims are West’s allies etc. I am nobody’s ally but my own, and I am nobody’s slave but God’s.

  • Naradar

    The only place where the benign form of Islam exists is India. Muslims in India have specially entrenched rights. generally there is harmony – but there are also Hindu extremists who cause mayhem now and then. Ayaan was subjected to genital mutilation and it was condoned by her parents. I cannot comprehend how anyone who has had such an experience can retain faith in a religion that sanctions such activities. The Judeo Christian faiths are all barbaric. Hinduism has its warts. It is only the mentally castrated who need religion.

  • Naradar

    The only place where the benign form of Islam exists is India. Muslims in India have specially entrenched rights. generally there is harmony – but there are also Hindu extremists who cause mayhem now and then. Ayaan was subjected to genital mutilation and it was condoned by her parents. I cannot comprehend how anyone who has had such an experience can retain faith in a religion that sanctions such activities. The Judeo Christian faiths are all barbaric. Hinduism has its warts. It is only the mentally castrated who need religion.

  • Naradar

    The only place where the benign form of Islam exists is India. Muslims in India have specially entrenched rights. generally there is harmony – but there are also Hindu extremists who cause mayhem now and then. Ayaan was subjected to genital mutilation and it was condoned by her parents. I cannot comprehend how anyone who has had such an experience can retain faith in a religion that sanctions such activities. The Judeo Christian faiths are all barbaric. Hinduism has its warts. It is only the mentally castrated who need religion.

  • Naradar

    Sorry for multiple posts. This site has big issues.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    A country has a natural right to reject the religion of some nature that is a threat to the collective identity and ethos of that State. The religion is Islam and the State is United States of America. Muslims of this forum, apparently would be happy to see their more orthodox brethren, the Taliban, take care of business (Ayaan Hirsi Ali). Because she is in USA, they cannot do the obvious for defending their faith (Islam) and have resorted to obtuse name-calling. How simplistically convenient !Academic discussion and pedantic views aside, that are just useful only in polarizing public opinion, the emise of the Great American Empire is nearer and nearer. Has anyone thought if Muslim population multiplies here in USA, how would that population growth be correlated with the incidence of home-grown Muslim terrorism ? Already such terror cells are active in Britain, Netherland, Germany – as far as news go. Why allow that to happen in USA ? I understand that it is un-American to view person guilty unless the judicial system declares thus; however, it is also true that potential terrorists, who can come to USA as graduate students, engineers, doctors and other hi-tech professionals, are just looking for a loophole. Recall the Glasgow incident ? Kafeel Ahmed, the suicide bomber, had a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (Computational Fluid Dynamics). What’s preventing the same from happening here ? Would Americans like to see blasts happening in shopping malls, McDonalds, Burger King, JC Penny and other places with bodyparts flowing around ? Already this debate is presenting two sides of the coin, and as usual some gullible Americans are calling Ayaan Hirsi Ali fraud and etc. If this confusion intensifies, it is simply a matter of time that America will become another bastion of the Al-Qaeeda.

  • Alicia

    Thank you, Khazar Nesimi. Point taken about cultural imperialism, but I also find that cultural relativism is impossible in practice. I believe that all cultures are equally worthy of respect and study, but that doesn’t mean all practices which arise from those cultures ought to be encouraged or celebrated. After all, believing that one’s own religion or is closer to the truth would be impossible if there was no such thing as progress or positive change or a “fuller revelation” from God. The same goes for cultural progress such as establishing the rule of law. But I enough of a conservative to believe that traditional cultures may need to listen to their own internal voices for change.

  • Phoney Baloney

    You do know that Ms. Ali is in the right-wing think tank, the American Enterprise Institute? I realize that her criticisms of Islam derive from bitter personal experience; but the AEI is run by people like David Frum and Richard Perle. They are not interested in rational thought or spiritual experience. They are mendacious, ruthless Zionists, who have backed the same theocratic charlatans that have been lying my country into a war for 5 years now.In Saudi Arabia, a woman is subject to arrest for leaving her home without a male family escort. The AEI, to which Ms. Ali has, I think we can comfortably say, “sold out,” is now and has always been an advocate for maintaining the Saudi royal family in power, so that Americans who get rich from them (the Bush family, and Exxon-Mobil, which is the principal backer of the AEI) can continue to exploit the Saudis’ oil wealth. The same, of course, is true of U.S. mutual fund managers and investment bankers who trade on the $6,000,000,000.00 of wealth that the Saudi royals have invested in U.S. capital markets. This is wealth which, instead of being used to build universities and to create sustainable economic growth in Saudiyya, is used to purchase urgent necessities such as luxurious private yachts and gambling nights in Monte Carlo at $25 million per hand. The unspeakable immorality of the House of Saud does not bother these individuals, who are members of the AEI, or contributors to AEI, or whose interests are propped up on a pack of lies invented by the AEI. (David Frum was Special Assistant to the President, and as such he coined the phrase “Axis of Evil.” He seems quite proud of it.)For Ms. Ali to go over to their side seriously impeaches her credibility. They will, in short, promote anyone who will credibly demonize Arabs, so that these neocons can continue to subsidize Israel’s killing, maiming, imprisonment, harassment, economic subjugation, and daily humilation — daily — of 4,000,000 Arabs who have no vote in the government that sends the Apache helicopter gunships to shoot them.

  • Big, Fat, Republican Lie

    You do know that Ms. Ali is in the right-wing think tank, the American Enterprise Institute? I realize that her criticisms of Islam derive from bitter personal experience; but the AEI is run by people like David Frum and Richard Perle. They are not interested in rational thought or spiritual experience. They are mendacious, ruthless Zionists, who have backed the same theocratic charlatans that have been lying my country into a war for 5 years now.In Saudi Arabia, a woman is subject to arrest for leaving her home without a male family escort. The AEI, to which Ms. Ali has, I think we can comfortably say, “sold out,” is now and has always been an advocate for maintaining the Saudi royal family in power, so that Americans who get rich from them (the Bush family, and Exxon-Mobil, which is the principal backer of the AEI) can continue to exploit the Saudis’ oil wealth. The same, of course, is true of U.S. mutual fund managers and investment bankers who trade on the $6,000,000,000.00 of wealth that the Saudi royals have invested in U.S. capital markets. This is wealth which, instead of being used to build universities and to create sustainable economic growth in Saudiyya, is used to purchase urgent necessities such as luxurious private yachts and gambling nights in Monte Carlo at $25 million per hand. The unspeakable immorality of the House of Saud does not bother these individuals, who are members of the AEI, or contributors to AEI, or whose interests are propped up on a pack of lies invented by the AEI. (David Frum was Special Assistant to the President, and as such he coined the phrase “Axis of Evil.” He seems quite proud of it.)For Ms. Ali to go over to their side seriously impeaches her credibility. They will, in short, promote anyone who will credibly demonize Arabs, so that these neocons can continue to subsidize Israel’s killing, maiming, imprisonment, harassment, economic subjugation, and daily humilation — daily — of 4,000,000 Arabs who have no vote in the government that sends the Apache helicopter gunships to shoot them.

  • Alicia

    “But I am enough of a conservative…” (Posting in a hurry.)

  • Anonymous

    If you want to see some hate speech read the Quran (or the Bible). It’s disgusting. Religion is just a bunch of nonsense. There is no good reason to believe that there is a god or a heaven or a hell. I’m happy that this is the case.

  • gundars zentelis

    Dear Ayaah Hirbi Ali,

  • Richard Lee

    I admire your bravery and ability to

  • Richard Lee

    I admire your bravery and ability to

  • G Jones

    Jesus is a myth. Mohammed is a myth. God is a myth. Heaven is a myth. Myths have been used by humans since the dawn of language, in order to help human beings feel comfort in the face of the great unknown. To kill or die for a mythical figure, and/or for the manipulated manmade tenets within the myth, is absurd. All religions are nothing more than mass cases of delusion. And with the potential that human intelligence offers, this is simply sad.

  • Khazar Nesimi

    Aliciaplease visit

  • Jim

    This is a bitter portrayal, from a bitter woman who has done very well for herself by indulging in Islam Bashing. I know many Muslims who will read this article and wonder what planet it came from. It just so happens to align perfectly with Western stereotypes, and so will be recieved as “the truth finally and courageously spoken”. Just remember, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”. That curtain would be the AEI.

  • Leave Iraq Now

    The following is Hirsi Ali in another article today commenting on the attempts by the Turkish government to return it into a Islamic State:” “The proponents of Islam in government such as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Abdullah Gul and their Justice and Development Party have been remarkably successful. They have understood and exploited the fact that you can use democratic means to erode democracy.”To repeat becuase it is critical. “…use democratic means to erode democracy”.Hirsi Ali is warning western liberal democratic nations that it is the very freedom we have that is the greatest threat.Islamist know that. Westerners are surprised to hear this becuase it is assumed that only those who want to change the world into islamic caliphate only fly airplanes into buildings and strap suicide belts on to themselves and kill innocents in the name of Allah. In her article above she says:”It is the obligation of every Muslim to spread Islam to unbelievers first through dawa, or proselytizing, then through jihad, if the unbelievers refuse to convert. It is the obligation of the unbelievers to accept Islam.”We will be our own worse enemies if we don’t listen to what this women is telling us.

  • Omar

    Mohammad said, “whoever changes his religion, kill him.” He also had his critics assassinated, including those who composed insulting verses against him like Abu Afak and Asma Bint Marwan (murdered in her sleep while nursing her new born child.) Her personally participated in the beheading of between 600 and 900 war prisoners of a local jewish tribe. He financed his campaigns with booty and slaves while making it explicitly permissible for his men to take and keep female sex slaves for themselves as “right hand possessions.” He also ordered muslims to fight until everyone everywhere submits to Islamic law (in accordance with the three choices, conversion, submission or war) – effectively creating a perpetual state of conflict/war between muslims and the rest of the world. In fact, the world of the infidel is known explicitly as “the house of war,” or Dar al Harb. Furthermore, the Islamic law that many muslims would like to impose effectively denies freedom of speech and conscience (especially when it comes to those who renounce or criticise Islam) and, for all intents and purposes, treats non-muslims like second class citizens, in accordance with the rules of Dhimma. Generally, those rules of Dhimma 1). forbid proselytizing and ‘too-public’ worship, 2). place restrictions on building and/or repairing holy places, 3). limit marriage rights for non-muslims and muslima, while giving muslim men unrestricted right of access to ALL women 4). force Islamic norms relating to dress and gender aparteid, 5). prosecute converts and apostates; and 6). punish statements and actions which are seen to “defame” or criticise Islam, Mohammad or the Quran. Additionally, such rules also generally exclude non-muslims from important policy positions within the government, effectively deny non-muslims the protection of the police and courts when the opposing party is a muslim, and limit their economic opportunites and/or grant greater opportunities to muslims.As a result, once population of muslims reaches a certain level, the effect on non-muslim population is usually de-facto forced emigration. E.g., Pak, Bangladesh, most of middle east . . .

  • Layla

    To Ayaan,Thank you for your opinion piece.I am a woman with a foot in both worlds. I have no particular ax to grind with the east or the west, with Christianity or with Islam. But I have learned through the school of hard knocks that followers of present-day Islam do seem to be more prone to violence than people of other faiths. I don’t necessarily believe it is because of the tenets of Islam, but perhaps because something in the present-day practice of it has broken down. This is what I would hope the so-called moderate Muslims would examine and seek to rectify. Clearly, at the very least, there is an image problem.Anyway, I want you to know I applaud your courage, Ayaan, especially for speaking out against violence against women. It is rampant in some parts of the Muslim world, so I commend you for having the guts to challenge the status quo and to discuss taboo subjects like honor killings without attempting in any way to justify them, as some so-called activists have. Women can sometimes been their own worst enemies, and some of the women supposedly leading the charge against violence against women in the Muslim world have gotten caught up in their own cults of personality, have stooped to some pretty low grades of infighting and undermining each other, and have thus lost their way. Meanwhile, their sisters continue to suffer–some even die–at the hands of their perpetrators. This, to me, is just wrong.To everyone, Some of you have pointed out the growth of Islam in America. It is the fastest growing religion in the country. But ours is a country of the separation of church and state, so converts here can live with the confidence that they will probably never have to live with Shari’a law. I think this is an important distinction to make. In most countries where Islam is practiced as a majority faith, at least some element of it is either officially or unofficially part of the justice system. There may be the official penal code, but underpinning or underlying it is Shari’a law. I think it is safe to assume most Americans would not stand for such a barbaric system of justice. Thankfully, it is unlikely they’d ever have to.As a closing thought, I find it sad that too few people can discuss the problems that are so obviously (to most of us) facing Islam with logic, reason, and a cool head. Not every Christian is ignorant about Islam (and vice versa, of course). Not everyone who is questioning the faith is an Islamaphobe. Not everyone assumes every Muslim is a terrorist. Not every American is without a passport. But when you lash out at people who are merely questioning and trying to understand, unfortunately, you very much reinforce a certain ugly stereotype and undermine your own case for the faith and the peace-loving nature of it.

  • Margaret Dobrowolska

    Sam,Thank you for sending me the list of books.

  • muhammad umar

    that’s right! That’s your personal view. My personal view is that the author is a victim of the innovations in religion that started when the rightly guided caliphs disapeared. See I grew up here in america and converted to Islam a while ago. I seen how brothers pretend to imposse their countries traditions as part of the religion. There is a problem sister but the problem is not Islam, is the additions in religion. Brothers changed Islam, from a liberation force to an opressive one. I don’t have any doubts that people have come saing the same things I’m telling you, but study Islam hyistory and the qur’an and sunna from the source not from a country tradition. Believe me I fight against the same things you do (women opression, female circumsition, racism, fanatism) but Islam is not an enemy is a solution.

  • Alicia

    Thanks for the link to your blog, Hazar. I’ve marked it as a “Favorite.” I particularly like your self-description. I do think I am a conservative in that conservatives recognize the limits of what is achievable by individuals or societies. My view is that there is something that we call reality but that no one exactly has a handle on what that reality is. It might be God, it might be nature, it might be science, it might be whatever. Since we all might have a little piece of the truth but at the same time be mostly wrong about the world, it is a good idea to try to be humble about what we know. That’s why I try to read and value as many different perpsectives as I can. I don’t believe truth is relative, which means I believe in taking a stand about those things I regard as evil. But I do believe that human understanding is limited. Thanks. I’m about to shut down my computer for the weekend. I appreciate your responses.

  • Margaret Dobrowolska

    Ayaan,

  • Janet

    Muhammad Umar,You have been hoodwinked into converting to a religion that supports and always has supported fanaticism and oppression. Read more of the history of Islam and the life of Muhammed, and see for yourself. That is what so many of us have done, read for ourselves, and that is why we have drawn the conclusions that we have.

  • atheist supporter

    Ayaan,I’ve just finished your book, INFIDEL, and commend you for the courage it took to write it. I understand and support your positions on religion and Islam. But, please, re-think your working for the American Enterprise Institute. I am very liberal, politically, and I do cringe a bit knowing how progressives are going to disregard much of your message simply because you work for a conservative thinktank.Thank you.

  • Asim

    Fellow Muslims,

  • dublin

    I wonder why washingtonpost has also joined the game of demonizing the muslims by shameless generalizations and lies. Ayaan Hirshi Ali is an extremist who doesn’t represent ANY muslim yet her view is promoted in a prominent national newspaper. The German society was asking itself after the Holocaust “How did we let the Jews be demonized to the point of genocide?” I hope America doesn’t follow the same path as the Nazis.

  • Bill the Lightseeker

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ENQUIRER AND WASHINGTON POST:Based on Washington Posts actions in selecting this so-called expert on Islam, I wouldn’t be surprised if they decide to publish Jeff Dahmer’s article on promoting vegetarianism that he wrote before his death (to please those whom he needed to please)

  • Michael Winter

    This is a well written article. What I find appealing is that while Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a victim (if you will) of the “machine” of Islamic suppression, she maintains a cool analysis while cataloging the various injustices inherrent to the faith. I wrote a book called “Branko’s Ride” (amazon) that explains Islam from the view of a 40 year old ustascha Croatian prison guard in 1941 “nazi-fied” Croatia. He was tolerant of their religeon, and in my naivette, I went with it. The book is a biography of a self-made millionaire Croat immigrant named Barry Dujlovich, in Chicago, IL. Point being- her article, in conjunction with the writings of Sam Harris in “End of Faith”, have opened my eyes to this menace. I suppose though, Christianity is (almost) an equal menace. I will note that while christianity can be earmarked to millions of deaths, to spread christianity,by violence if neccesasary, is not and never was a “goal”.

  • Michael Winter

    This is a well written article. What I find appealing is that while Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a victim (if you will) of the “machine” of Islamic suppression, she maintains a cool analysis while cataloging the various injustices inherrent to the faith. I wrote a book called “Branko’s Ride” (amazon) that explains Islam from the view of a 40 year old ustascha Croatian prison guard in 1941 “nazi-fied” Croatia. He was tolerant of their religeon, and in my naivette, I went with it. The book is a biography of a self-made millionaire Croat immigrant named Barry Dujlovich, in Chicago, IL. Point being- her article, in conjunction with the writings of Sam Harris in “End of Faith”, have opened my eyes to this menace. I suppose though, Christianity is (almost) an equal menace. I will note that while christianity can be earmarked to millions of deaths, to spread christianity,by violence if neccesasary, is not and never was a “goal”.

  • Michael Winter

    This is a well written article. What I find appealing is that while Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a victim (if you will) of the “machine” of Islamic suppression, she maintains a cool analysis while cataloging the various injustices inherrent to the faith. I wrote a book called “Branko’s Ride” (amazon) that explains Islam from the view of a 40 year old ustascha Croatian prison guard in 1941 “nazi-fied” Croatia. He was tolerant of their religeon, and in my naivette, I went with it. The book is a biography of a self-made millionaire Croat immigrant named Barry Dujlovich, in Chicago, IL. Point being- her article, in conjunction with the writings of Sam Harris in “End of Faith”, have opened my eyes to this menace. I suppose though, Christianity is (almost) an equal menace. I will note that while christianity can be earmarked to millions of deaths, to spread christianity,by violence if neccesasary, is not and never was a “goal”.

  • Jack the Commonsense Guy

    She works hard for her money.

  • Janet

    BTW, I keep seeing people on this site claim that “Islam is the fastest-growing religion”. The fastest growing religion, where? In the US, in the world? You can google it, and find out otherwise. In fact, paganism might be the fastest growing religion in the US. Muslims cite this statistic that Islam is the fastest growing religion as if that means that it must be the “best” religion, otherwise why would so many people be converting. But there are different reasons why the population of Muslims might be increasing in the US, and it is not necessarily conversion. It could be due to increased immigration and/or higher birthrates. In any case, the situation is not clear cut, as a visit to google will tell you.

  • A Hermit

    My Grandfather liked to paraphrase scripture (which he always joked, was best understood in the original German…)One of his favourites was Genesis 31:9 which declares (in Grandpa’s tongue in cheek translation) that Man shall live by the sweat of his Frau…RegardsA Hermit

  • Asim

    Omar,Why the hell would a jew take an Arab name such as Omar or ex-Muslim? All the same,here is historical account on the treacherous tribe of Ban Qurizah which u keep repeating on evry thread:1// On the treachery/treason committed by the jewish tribe of Banu Qourayzah in Medina against the infant Muslim state of the Prophet in the 7th century, here is the true story by all historical accounts: Before some of the posters here go back 1400 years to talk about the justice administered to the treacherous Jewish tribe of Banu Qorizah in Medina, they should look at the recent genocide of Muslims in Bosnia, Lebanon and the on going genocide of course in Palestine:Eight thousand Bosnian Muslim boys and men were handcuffed, blindfolded and led to by Serbs Orthodox Christians and with full knowledge of the UN Dutch military unit (Protestant and Catholic Christians) to a forest in Bosnia just outside Sbernicha: they were murdered in cold blood, en masse genocide-summary executions; thou those innocent victims were European Slavs and citizens of ex-Yugoslavia, their only crime was that they were Muslim. This did not happen 2000 years ago, it happened in 1991.The total number of Muslims murdered by the Christian Serbs in that war exceeded 250,000 including mass rape of children and women in the heart of and while “Civilized Christian Europe” looked on. The number would have been much higher were not for the intervention of USA to protect whatever remained of Muslim population.Now back to the treacherous jewish tribe of Banu Qurayezah:During the reign of the Prophet in the city/state of Medina early 7th century, every one was a full citizen with full civic and religious rights: the new Muslims, Christians, the Jews and the Pagans of Arabia. The Quran states unequivocally that” No Compulsion in Religion).The Prophet who just established the first Islamic city/state in Medina, had signed a treaty with-among others-the Jewish tribe of Banu Qorizah-to defend the new state and where the treaty stipulated that the members of this tribe being citizens of the new Islamic city-state agreed never to ally themselves with the enemies of the infant Islamic state nor to carry arms against it in exchange for granting them-the Jewish tribe- the aforementioned full citizenship rights including guarantying their protection and security. However the Jewish tribe conspired with enemies of the Islamic state and committed treason, treachery and violated the treaty by joining the enemies of the state against the Muslims.

  • Asim

    Omar,Why the hell would a jew take an Arab name such as Omar or ex-Muslim? All the same,here is historical account on the treacherous tribe of Ban Qurizah which u keep repeating on evry thread:1// On the treachery/treason committed by the jewish tribe of Banu Qourayzah in Medina against the infant Muslim state of the Prophet in the 7th century, here is the true story by all historical accounts: Before some of the posters here go back 1400 years to talk about the justice administered to the treacherous Jewish tribe of Banu Qorizah in Medina, they should look at the recent genocide of Muslims in Bosnia, Lebanon and the on going genocide of course in Palestine:Eight thousand Bosnian Muslim boys and men were handcuffed, blindfolded and led to by Serbs Orthodox Christians and with full knowledge of the UN Dutch military unit (Protestant and Catholic Christians) to a forest in Bosnia just outside Sbernicha: they were murdered in cold blood, en masse genocide-summary executions; thou those innocent victims were European Slavs and citizens of ex-Yugoslavia, their only crime was that they were Muslim. This did not happen 2000 years ago, it happened in 1991.The total number of Muslims murdered by the Christian Serbs in that war exceeded 250,000 including mass rape of children and women in the heart of and while “Civilized Christian Europe” looked on. The number would have been much higher were not for the intervention of USA to protect whatever remained of Muslim population.Now back to the treacherous jewish tribe of Banu Qurayezah:During the reign of the Prophet in the city/state of Medina early 7th century, every one was a full citizen with full civic and religious rights: the new Muslims, Christians, the Jews and the Pagans of Arabia. The Quran states unequivocally that” No Compulsion in Religion).The Prophet who just established the first Islamic city/state in Medina, had signed a treaty with-among others-the Jewish tribe of Banu Qorizah-to defend the new state and where the treaty stipulated that the members of this tribe being citizens of the new Islamic city-state agreed never to ally themselves with the enemies of the infant Islamic state nor to carry arms against it in exchange for granting them-the Jewish tribe- the aforementioned full citizenship rights including guarantying their protection and security. However the Jewish tribe conspired with enemies of the Islamic state and committed treason, treachery and violated the treaty by joining the enemies of the state against the Muslims.

  • a

    oops, Genesis 3:19, not 31:9…sweat of bis brow…

  • Janet

    Asim -And what the heck does that have to do with the Serbs and the Bosnians? Do you bring that bit in just to whip up people’s emotions? No one on this forum has defended what the Serbs did. But Muslim after Muslim continues to defend what Muhammed did. That is the difference. It is called self-criticism and self-analysis, not believing that your culture and tradition is always correct. That is the product of the Western Enlightenment, looking at oneself and one’s culture with some degree of objectivity.

  • Sunil Srivastava

    Read William Durant in “Our Oriental Inheritage” on Islam and its conquest of India, almost 1227 years back.He says, no where in the History of the World, did any place, people and region, suffered so much and for so long at the hands of Muslim Invaders who carried out their Zihad in the name of Allah.What Bigotry and Blasphemy. All the terrorists of the world from Islam, forget that their fore-fathers religion was Hindu, a.k.a, Proto Type Indo European Religion.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Funny how Asim supports the slaughter of the Banu Quraizya Jews in the hands of Muhammad and his fellow head-cutters. For a start, Muhammad was insulting the religious traditions of the Jews and threatening them and asking them to convert. Anyone would have gotten mad. Just ask your damn self Asim: aren’t you upset that non-Muslims are constantly badgering Islam ? Isn’t that the reason why you are coming to the defense ? If yes, then the same mindset worked with these Jews. They wanted to be left alone and not be messed up with. Your beloved prophet one and only one Mr. Muhammad did not intend to leave them alone. He was constantly instulting them anbd telling all that a he has received the revelation of a new religion and all else is false. Why should suddenly the Jews who have been practicing their ancient religious rituals for such a long time, would abandon those practices and convert to that new religion ? What was the motivation other than Muhammad’s decalarion that the faith is new and that he was the prophet ? They thus did what they did when they felt the threat to their existence from Muhammad. Anybody in their right mind would do that. Your fellow Muslims are butchering anyone they don’t like just like that. For examples, look at your fellow Muslim Talibans in Afghanistan. So much for accusing the Banu Quraizya Jews for conspiring against Muhammad. Because Muhammad had them killed, that is 800 Jews in one day, and children and women sold as slaves, that day was when Islam won by brutal and most conniving tactics. Yes, Muslims rejoice because that day the intolerance had taken a religious form: all the scriptures would now be bloodmarked.

  • yoyo

    Islam is responsible for the growing trend

  • John the Coolguy

    WHAT’S THAT WHITE STUFF WOMAN?I saw this woman more than once while she was with her supporters at the AEI – she always had some white stuff around her mouth. Some said it was a result of seizures. Others said it came from someone else. I’m not sure what they meant.

  • Morticia

    Ayaan, I am originally from the Netherlands but live in Australia now. I have followed the newspaper articles about you and think that you are the bravest woman I know. This piece of writing is clear- thank you for explaining the 5 different kinds of Muslims, it will help me greatly in debating the issue with others.Be safe and well and I hope to read much more about you and your opinion. Please never give up fighting for what you believe in.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Well, responded to Asim Janet. Asim’s mindset is typical of a Muslim orthodoxy. The Quran [005:033] clearly makes it obligatory for any Muslim to retaliate against anything and anyone that would be critical of Islam and propagate such anti-Islamic views. Suicide bombing, as we know today, is being justified by the following verse. Quran (004:095) that states:”Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-” [YUSUF ALI] This verse does not predict suicide bombing very explicitly. But it states that anyone who martyrs himself (or receives hurt) in the cause of Allah (Islam) actually receives more goodies from that Muslim deity, Allah. The central piece of Islam (as found in Quran) is violence and intolerance against unbelief (kufr) and unbelievers (kafir). This is obsolete in today’s multipolar world. Islamic doctrines need to be ostracized from civilized/secular societies. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is getting all the flak for such views.

  • Cleo Jakowski

    TO: Deb Chatterjee/Janet:

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ahh, the Three “B”ers are out in force again this evening i.e. those Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam. And as is typical they refuse to address the key issues concerning the flaws in the foundations of Islam. Instead they give a constant harangue about the AEI!!!! like the AEI is responsible for Mohammed and his henchmen and scribes who stole/plagiarized anything good in the ancient religions to include Judaism and Christianity and then added their militaristic agenda to the “book” to “inspire” the uneducated nomads to plunder and pillage the lands of the infidels. The agenda continues. If it does not end real soon, Islam can “kiss” their holy places goodbye.

  • Laurence Warner

    Thank you for this brief but very imformative article. I learned more about Islam in five minutes reading this article than in seven years since 9/11 listening to the blowhards on the network news.

  • Anonymous

    Providing we don’t get blown up first,the modern world will continue to move ahead,slowly,bit by bit.

  • Anonymous

    Providing we don’t get blown up first,the modern world will continue to move ahead,slowly,bit by bit.

  • Anonymous

    Confucious;He say

  • B2O2

    That was a powerful and eloquent essay. Now if the Washington Post had the guts to allow someone to write a similar one about the oppression and various other damage wrought by the Christianity cult, humankind might actually take a long-delayed step forward. Until then we will all pretend that we are actually living in the 21st century, when we’re really in the 15th.

  • Balan

    In India Muslims resort to one more method for dominance. The boys of Muslims romance with Hindu Girls and at the time of marriage they come up with the Koran. She has to convert.The poor girl succumbs and been forced into their tribe with veils, Madrassa, Shahada,Arabic and what not? Another method is to increase in numbers by resorting to One Child/Year/Productive Wife. So the numbers will naturally increase and they have reached 160 Millions now.But to be true Indian Muslims are being more Indianised/ more Hinduised because of the Powerful day to day influence of Hindu cultures, Hindu ways of thinking and Hindu scripures. All Indian langauages are of Sanskrit origin and strong influences of Hindu Philosophy is there in Indian Langauages. Arabic is an entirely alien language with different pronounciations and styles which is actually alien to Indians.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Yo, Victoria and the other “wish-wash head in the sand” Islamics,Wake up!!!! Your religion has flaws. Address them and bring peace to the world. We don’t need more prayers to Allah and Mohammed, the Prophiteer. We need action. Clean up the koran now!!!!

  • Asim

    Deb Chatterjee and Janet,Like the holocaust,the genocide of Bosnian Muslims was not for any reason except that they were Muslim.Jonthan Pollard the spy recived a life sentence for being an jewish agent for isarel-when he should have recieved the capital punishment-but AIPAC middling prevented it and obstructed justice.

  • Anonymous

    Most recently,Muslim women were heads of states in Turkey,Pakistan,Bangaldesh and Indonesia,even before the US which still did not have a woman president yet. In the US and only since 911, over 200,000 two hundred thousand women converted to Islam.Surely Islam treats women decently and instituted their sacred rights over 1400 yeras ago-long before the fade of womens’ rights ever existed.

  • carey bruns

    thank you for your courage

  • Fouad Attia

    The current interest in Islam proves it. It is the final and complete message from God to humankind. Some say Muslims force nations to convert to Islam, treat women so badly stripping them from their inherit rights, commit injustice upon non-Muslims, etc. They are wrong. History proves it: (1) Worship places of the different religions were kept open AND protected. (2) Women worked, raised children, became heads of states and CEO, and asked and received divorce and remarried without losing any of their rights. (3) Those who converted to Islam KEPT it as their religion even after the disappearance of the Empire.For the person who asked why one city in Saudi Arabia Mecca is kept isolated from Non-Muslims is for it is an order. May be as a reason to unify Muslims, introduce Islam to others, or for another reason that we simply don’t know at the current time. To elaborate further: Protection of the most respected place from people who might damage it. A way to introduce Islam to others – ignite the curiosity among non-Muslims (like what you have just done) making them interested to know and ask questions. Keep the respect and seriousness of its status in the hearts/minds of Muslims. Please note that Muslims don’t worship idols, stones, etc, and Mecca is a unifying locus (just one) – worship place – for us on this planet – but we don’t worship it. . There is a Wisdom that might not be understood to many. May be a reason to unify the World-Wide Muslims against their enemy (if there were any), may be a reason to every single believer where there would be NO DOUBT in hearts and minds of Muslim men and women in identifying a War Against Islam. And finally, God Knows Best.

  • Jack The Commonsensense Guy

    THE SHORTEST ROUTE TO BEING DECLARED AN EXPERTAlthough it might take years of serious studying and analysis before being deemed an expert, we are seeing in the western countries over the past 25 years that the surest route to being declared an expert on Islam is to defame the religion in the most vile terms. And oh how they are outdoing each other to please their masters, or payers; the likes of Rushdie, Manji, Ayaan, and Wafa.Brace yourself for more.THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND…..

  • Billy Drew

    I place this lady in the category of John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Jack the Ripper for hurting the feelings of a far greater number of people than the serial killers. To place her in the category of Hitler or Milosevic would insulting to those two. This woman would be happy to see implement the Final Solution if given the opportunity.

  • dran

    As Many said, THIS ARTICLE IS JUST THE STEREOTYPES OF THE WEST ABOUT ISLAM…it didn’t add anything, except it rephrased the stereotypes…Im proud to be Muslim, and Will be…If you want to Talk about ISLAM..bring your proves from the Quran or the teachings of the prophet(pbuh), but don’t go around and look what the muslims do and judge Islam according to that, thats very weak observation…If you want to bring people’s culture and compare that with Islam, you will see difference, but the problem is, people think that cultures people adopt is what Islam teaches, HOW IGNORANT…I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU…If you really what to know WHAT ISLAM IS ALL ABOUT, READ THE QURAN and Im sure you will throw these stereotypes out of the window…thanks for reading

  • Roberto

    Execellent essay. I would like to add one more group to the list presented by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Ban religion now before it’s too late.Roberto Rivera

  • sebastian

    After living and working in Saudi Arabia for 12 years, I wholly agree with this lady’s remarks. They are entirely to the point, balanced and extremely well informed. I just hope the incurable liberals in the West won’t discredit her. She’s said nothing that isn’t true. She deserves carefully to be heeded.

  • Leave Iraq Now

    to YASMIN AMINUDDINYou ask:If you needed to know about US Jurisprudence, would you consult an attorney or call up an Ex Convict?It would depend actually.In the movie “Catch Me if You Can” , Leonardo DeCaprio plays a professional forger who steals millions of dollars over many years, and is quite good at what he does. It is true story. The forger was Frank Abagnale. He was captured, convicted and jailed. But guess where he works now? As a consultant for the FBI. Becuase of his superior knowledge about the tools and methods of those who mean to do harm, he has much value.In war, a captured enemy soldier can be of great help towards providing intelligence about troop movements, goals, and strategies of the enemy that can win battles, and wars.There is value and credibility inherent in the information provided by ex-convicts and captured soldiers. Their information can be priceless.Hirsi Ali and other refugees from the mental straightjacket that is Islam now live in the lands of infidels. They are here to warn us of the dangers of jihad, local and global. She was trained to become yet another of so many, soldier of islam. We have one of your soldiers of Islam and she is in our camp now. And try as you might, with killing her collaborator and issuing death threats, she will not be silenced. And you can’t stand it. Hirsi Ali was born into Islam. She lived it and breathed it for many years. She was brainwashed at an early age to hate infidels, especially jews. Nonie Darwish is another ex-muslim born into islam. Her father an officer in Egyptian military who participated in the six day war. She lived in Gaza with him for a while.I imagine you were call her a liar as well.Walid Shoebat was in the PLO. He lives in the west now and tells us about the goals and tools of jihad. He writes books about his experiences and people, mainly infidels, are reading and learning.There are a few more, but not many, that we in land of infidels read to learn about the tools and goals of Islamists such as you. We admire the courage it took for them to break free from the tyranny of islam. They will not be silenced and you hate that.And some day our leaders will take the time to read these books written by ex-muslims and will reach out to them for guidance. They will learn about all the tools of da’wa and jihad from people like Hirsi Ali and we, the infidels, will be safer for it.

  • Cleo Jakowski

    To: Fouad Attia

  • Janet

    I went to the following URL:In the introduction it states:Who says? This is circular reasoning. Readers are supposed to take it on faith that the Quran is the word of God, because God himself says it is? Or rather Muhammed says it is? I cannot accept this.Then I read the following piece of arrogance:Just like that, the holy books of all other people’s are dismissed and superceded by Islam. No wonder Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists have problems with Islam. Furthermore, from the time that humans have been on this planet, thousands and thousands and thousands of years, there have been holy men who have come to give their teachings to every culture in every part of the world, and now we are told that this process has now come to an end with the advent of Muhammed? That he is the last and final one? This is a recipe for endless war with non-Muslims. When any one person or group thinks they have the last and final and most true Truth, be they Muslim or Christian or Communist, unless they are stopped, they will try to force their beliefs on others.Then the introduction says:Now on to the first verse, the Al-Fatiha:

  • Julie

    EVERYONE’S interpretation of their religion is based on one’s own personal experience, which is based on where, when and to whom one was born. Very few break the spell……..

  • Julie

    EVERYONE’S interpretation of their religion is based on one’s own personal experience, which is based on where, when and to whom one was born. Very few break the spell……..

  • Anonymous

    I have 5 sisiters and 5 brothers. Grew up in South India and in malaysia. I dont know what kind of Islam my parents practised but definitely not the kind the author grew up in. My mother, a stay- at home housewife was no docile woman in servitude to her husband or the male members. My sisters are not either. I guess Islam is practised differently in different cultures. I personally have been an atheist since the age of 19. I just plain dont believe in GOD.

  • Susan Hedgpeth

    Love you, keep speaking the truth!

  • ICBM

    “But perhaps she ought to visit the NOI, tell them what she thinks of Islam, and while she’s traveling, visit also the Muslims held in Guantanamo Prison, some of the detention centers set up by the CIA for torturing Muslims”-Cotton MatherActually Cotton I would love to personally send you not to soft and cushy Gitmo but to one of the detention facilities in Ethiopia where the Ethiopian security services will instruct you in the evils of Islam. But one day perhaps you won’t have to go so far. There is plenty of land available in North and South Dakota for detention facilities for you and your muslim friends. Are you clear on what I think of Islam? Enjoy the future.

  • aaron

    great article aayan.we need to do what we did to nazism. eradicate and destroy it!

  • Janet

    I guess John Quincy Adams never heard of political correctness.

  • Khazar Nesimi

    to AaronI dare you.”we need to do what we did to nazism. eradicate and destroy it!”

  • Arif

    Some ill-informed person wrote this…”:thou 911 was a disastor but since that date over 200,000 two hudred thousand Americans,mostly females,converted to Islam.”So, 200,000 American women collectively said, wow! look at what brave muslim men can do, they can fly planes into buildings! they must have the right religion. Lets turn to Islam….Allah hu-Akbar!

  • Muneer

    As a muslim who lived half of my life in the middle east and the other half in the U.S. I Disagree wth everything Ayaan wrote about. I think she out to attack muslims and Islam. Muslim is a religion of over 1.5 billion people, with different cultures and traditions. I lived in a conservative muslim family, I had friends who mostly were muslims, I went to schools with muslim teachers, and I have never learned or experienced those things that Ayaan talked about in her article. I did not feel my sisters were treated different than I was treated. I never heard an imam speaks ill of christians or jews. And I never heard an imam says that it is a duty to kill non-believers. If Islam was so unfair to women, why is that a lot of women in muslim countries do not cover, when it is the command from the quran!! If muslims hate chrsitians and jews why is it most muslim households watch the western movies, and consume and display products and culture symbols from the west. Why is it that many muslims travel to western countries for vacation, school and other reasons. The fact is that the majority of muslims do not have ill feelings for non-muslims and they regard chrsitians and jews and any human beings westerners with high respect and compassion. What gets me is how some westerners who already hate Islam, will believe anything and promote any misinformation about it. Just because she (Ayaan)was a muslim does not make her a source for the truth and accurate information about Islam. Does everyone who claims to be christian or jew, become an expert and a source for accurate information about those mainstreem religions. Go and ask the millions of muslims how they view and treat women, and how they regard christians and jews or disbelievers. and you will surprised of what you will hear. Go to the mosque in your neighborhood and meet muslims, and ask them questions, because only then you will hear the truth.

  • Philip Saenz

    Dear Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sweetheart, you really have a lot of courage going against the Religion of Pieces. I truly fear for your life. I’ll pray for you. If the Religion of Pieces destroys you, it will once again prove their violence, and not the Religion of Peace. Take care.

  • Philip Saenz

    Dear Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sweetheart, you really have a lot of courage going against the Religion of Pieces. I truly fear for your life. I’ll pray for you. If the Religion of Pieces destroys you, it will once again prove their violence, and not the Religion of Peace. Take care.

  • Fouad Attia

    To; Cleo JakowskiJust a stonewall brain you have. Currently, there are areas restricted to some people and open to others in the USA, the West, etc. Don’t you know that there are rules of how/who/when to visit certain areas of the White House. Don’t you have rules and regulations when you issue a visa to a country? Do you say there is discrimination here or not???? Of course you’d not say anything fair and blanaced. That’s my conclusion.Don’t you know that America allows visitors from certain specific countries “almost all of them” western without a visa just a passport, while looking into who and when and why for other world’s citizens – and normally rejecting their visas. Don’t you see any regulations here or your brain is so full of arogance and stones.When you have the entire earth available as a non-Muslim except the Mecca place, you consider this discrimination. Why are you interested in visiting a place of worship of a God that you don’t believe in?The last thing I say to you who reject Islam, respectifully: You have your religion(s), and we Muslim have religion. You won’t worship what we worship and we will not worship what you worship. We don’t force anyone to believe in what we believe so back off and stop your non-sense arguments. END OF STORY.

  • Cleo Jakowski

    Fouad:

  • Abdul

    BORING!

  • B. Curtis Eaves

    Ayaan Hirsi, I am most impressed by you. Your cause is invaluable. Organized religion is a curse to mankind. You are much more brave than me. May I wish you the best. Curtis Eaves

  • Anthony Clark

    I have not heard a more concise view on the abolishment of organised religion since Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris!! I am buying this book tomorrow!!

  • Bill

    This woman should be granted the Nobel Prize for Peace since she seeks to remove the philospohical burqa that gullible Westerners wear when considering Islam. Newsweek’s reporter dared to call her a bomb-thrower in a article a few months ago – thus causing me and many others to cancel our subscriptions. The smiling Ms. Ali should have been on the cover of the special issue on Islam – instead of all the sullen self-abused Muslims.

  • Omar

    Shadia Kanaan said: “Such a blatant attack has to come from a self-hating muslim who THINKS she can speak freely and with no impunity [sic] (emphasis added)”. My, what a telling choice of words! And guess what, Shadia . . . Ms. Ali actually CAN speak freely and with impunity.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Shadia,Allah/Zeus/Mother Nature have blessed Ms. Ali with courage and fortitude. With the same kind of courage and fortitude, please respond to the real issues, the flaws in the foundations of contemporary religions as previously noted and in your case the specific flaws in Islam:As a refresher:Mohammed was an illiterate (as noted by Karen Armstrong), hallucinating Arab i.e. he had “visions of a pretty wingie fictional thingie called Gabriel, and he also had embellishing/hallucinating scribal biographers who not only added “angels” and flying chariots to the Koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers. This agenda continues as shown by the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers , the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers , the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani koranics, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases and the Filipino koranics with most of this misery being funded and supported by the Third Axis of Evil aka Iran and also the “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia.We await your response!!!!

  • Hans Besseling

    A Dutch translation of this clear article should be distributed on a large scale in the Netherlands!

  • Dean Barrett

    Islam is not so much a religion as it is a fanatical brotherhood and when it acts that way it should be treated as such. Let’s stop making excuses for Islamic barbarism and demand they treat us as we treat them. In Saudi Arabia churches are not allowed, no crosses, not even the Red Cross can put out a cross. So why do non-Muslim countries allow Saudi money to build mosques? People are growing tired of Islamic hypocrisy. Islamic crusades, which slaughtered millions, began in the 7th century; so why speak only of Christian crusades?

  • Shayad

    You people will forever think you are better than everyone else. You criticize everything good to justify your own wicked ways. As soon as people started believing that Jesus was some sort of god, what did they do to him? They crucified him. You people always try to destroy all that is good. Consider the question of why there is always oppression? It is always because USA refuses to stay out of everyone else’s business. USA invades and terrorizes and all you could do is criticize Muslims for defending themselves. Ever since the dawn of creation there were always wicked and cynical people like you who contribute nothing to good and devote yourselves to destroy all that is good. Whether you believe it or not, God exists, and you will be held accountable for all your wicked actions so go ahead. USA lost the war in Vietnam and ran out with their tails between their legs. USA failed to assassinate Fidel Castro 52 known times; Central “Intelligence” Agency needs a name change. Washington has Americans living in fear of imaginary threats that they created so that they could stay in absolute power. Americans cannot even speak badly of the Government and they call themselves free. Land of the free and they are silenced by their Government, their President is a Dictator. By the way, according to the oxford dictionary, President Bush is the personification of Terrorist. Bush is the Hitler of today. Just remember that there is one thing common between all bullying empires; they always fall down. Prepare yourselves America, the mass flooding is just the beginning, your time will come. First you attacked Cuba, now all of a sudden just because Venezuela speaks the truth about your bullying President; you want to attack him too. Americans are weak, they cannot handle the truth, and this is the way the Government wants you to be so that they could do as they please as long as they have you living in fear. Your media spreads lies about life in Cuba and Venezuela, life there is very good but of course your government wants you to think otherwise so that they could justify any wickedness they want to do against those people. Look around you, it is not just Muslims being oppressed by American Bullying Government. America is the cause of all war and oppression.

  • Shayad

    Jon Meacham & Sally Quinn, it is either that you are both illiterate or just choose to remain ignorant. The Quran states that there is no compulsion in religion so stop lying about things you clearly have no knowledge about. Also in Islam, women have more rights than men, and women have a right to their husbands’ wealth; men do not have any similar rights to their wives wealth. Stop lying about things you know nothing about. I would suggest you actually read the Quran before you talk crap but its style is beyond your capacity to comprehend.

  • Concerned the Christian Now Liberated

    Shayad,Your response to the flaws in the foundations of Islam?? When might we expect it???

  • Cleo Jakowski

    TO SHAYID:

  • Katie

    This Thread changed my opinion.I always had the impression that Islam might be misunderstood as many on this thread have expressed. When I read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s essay, I found it both inflaming and polarizing but would expect that based on her experiences. However, as I read through this thread (as much as anyone can) what stood out are the hateful responses against her, but instead of discrediting her, they pretty much make the case for her. This is what the attacks on her essay sound like to me. “She’s a liar. She’s in it for the money. I shouldn’t listen to her. I don’t understand Islam. She doesn’t understand Islam. I am Ignorant.” And then there is that tone. “If I find any fault with Islam, then I am ignorant, I don’t understand Islam and I should shut up” Basically, many of the characteristics of Islam that she describes in her essay, where I really thought she was exaggerating, have surfaced here. I may not understand Islam but the more I read here, the more it looks like a religion that produced cultures that have a very hard time dealing with criticism or self examination. I think her opinions are as valid as anyone else’s, because of her experiences. She lived as a practicing believing Muslim in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. She ran from her family because she refused an arranged marriage, she saw the extent of wife abuse among Islamic Somali women while working as a translator in hostels for battered women. Then when she takes all of these experiences and vocalizes them in a book, she get’s death threats, when she puts it into a film, more death threats and the director is killed. Killed by Mohammed Bouyeri to fulfill his duty as a Muslim. (I suppose he didn’t understand either) Sure, go ahead, tell me, no I’ll tell you, I’m not Muslim, I don’t understand and am Ignorant on all things Muslim or Islamic. But here’s what I can understand. Death threats. Death threats and a dead Van Gogh. That gives her enough credibility for me. I can understand her story; I understand that many here want here silenced, to make her invisible. I can recognize anger rising at truth. I can understand that many women and children all over the world are battered, beaten, burned and raped. All she did was try to tell some of those stories in the context of her own life and experiences. I can understand intellectual oppression when I see it, and darkness. And no, Muslims are not alone in this kind of oppression, no one is innocent, but Ayaan Hirsi Ali knows who is responsible for it in her life.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn:I thank you both for allowing me to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights on this blog which, as an American citizen, I am entitled to. Thanks, as Cleo Jakwoski rightly asserts, for giving me the opportunity to voice my concerns about Islam in the midst of the political correctness that has engulfed most of the mainstream media.Please continue this thread of discussion, and I hope that you shall, in the near future, invite Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina, Sam Harris, Christopher Dickens, Salman Rushdie, Samuel Huntington, Francis Fukyama and similar others to discuss objectively the characteristics of Islam which makes it inherently incompatible with the free, secular society of the West.Keep up the good work !- Deb Chatterjee

  • Sam Itani

    This author is out of touch with reality, and her writings represent a wicked soul that is confused, tormented, restless and cannot find peace neither within herself nor wirh her surroundings. So she lashes out like a rabid dog. This article is full of wicked lies and inappropriate and subhuman thinking.I wonder why would this journal’s editor tarnish the journal reputation by allowing such a hateful person to place her insane writings in this journal. This is not freedom of speech. This is an attack on the freedom of religion. If she was abused and maltreated wherever she grew up that does not mean that Islam preaches what she is confabulating.I hope the editor will post our rebuttal of this nonsense.

  • John Rutley

    Absolutely agree with your analysis. I lived and worked in the Middle East (mainly Saudi Arabia where the Wahabi sect is the ruling power) and witnessed the extremes of the regime. Regards

  • Cleo Jakowski

    TO SAM ITANI: I came back in here to get Deb Chatterjee’s author recommendations and found your post. Yet another shining example of Islamic tolerance and free thinking…This is what you are telling non Muslims: When you agree with what is said about Islam/Muslims, then that is free speech. But when you disagree, like you stated above, it is not freedom of speech, rather it is an attack on freedom of religion (YOURS)…Um, hello, what exactly is freedom of speech? Since when are you the First Amendment police? I have every right to say what I want about your religion of peace. Listen up Sam, I find your religion scary. Very scary. If Islam is such a confident and stable religion, why must Muslims scare people, sue people, into respecting it. Why do you threaten to kill those who leave this religion of peace? It is just so hypocritical. By Threatening those who disagree with you or those who draw silly cartoons or write books about a man who married a minor and identifies with the concept jihad doesn’t do much to counter Hirsi Ali’s claims…Doesn’t any of this resonate with Muslims??? The hypocrisy is just so mind blowing. I am rendered speechless by the sheer idiocy of the arguments I have read on this forum by Muslims who in one breath state Islam is a loving peaceful, religion, and in the same paragraph make all sort of accusations at those who disagree. Why not first refute paragraph by paragraph what Hirsi Ali said before calling people names. That would be interesting. That is what we in the west call a “dialogue”. However, thus far 99.9% of Muslims on this forum have slandered the author and posters. I was told I had rocks in my head, that I am arrogant, blah blah blah because a muslim didn’t like my posting. If an author writes an article criticizing Christianity, which is the norm in left wing media, I would not go to the streets screaming for blood in the name of Christ. I am comfortable with my religion and don’t really care what people think. I wish Muslims, no, make that Islam, would grow up.

  • ender

    History of Abrahamic Religion101.I’ve read the Koran and it really does make the murderous exortations to its followers that Ms. Ali claims. Muslims then try to deny this, and blame the translations, but to the fundamentalist, it is forbidden to translate the Koran, though a majority of muslims do not read Arabic. They build their own logic puzzle and prove the inherent racism of their tribal god and his pimp mohammed.

  • Norma Kassim

    This is not a view from a Muslim. How can she be an advocate to reform Islam, when she herself is not a Muslim? She is as what she wrote about herself.

  • Janet

    Katie said – “the more it looks like a religion that produced cultures that have a very hard time dealing with criticism or self examination.”That seems to be the crux of the situation.

  • Mark Molen

    Thanks for publishing this very interesting and informative article. You could also say that there are different types of Christians. 1. Those that believe that the earth is more than 7,000 years old and believe that the Bible is also violent and inhumane in lots of places. These Christians may put stock in the more peaceful “Sermon on the Mount” type teachings. 2. You then have the intolerent and self righteous Christians who believe that we are in “the last days” and are looking for an apocalyse and a “rapture”. Many of these folks have been co-opted into the gun lobby and militias. I could also divide this further but edges are very telling. The fact is religion has outlived its usefulness and promotes uncivilised, primative and dangerous behavior and tribalism.

  • Darrell

    Ahh, the usual bleating from liberal drones … she’s a neo-con shill, never mind the life she lived prior to coming to the USA, one that these brain-dead lib-bots can’t even imagine…These useless liberal morons have abandoned their ability to reason and learn from history. While I’m glad we live in a society where they’re free to speak as they please, every time they do so, they prove Mark Steyn’s dictum: “The liberal’s two most feared enemies are history and reason.”

  • katie

    It’s about the death threats. If she is a liar (And name calling proves nothing.), if she really were a liar, or a shill, there wouldn’t be any death threats would there. There wouldn’t be any suicide bombings, cartoons would just be cartoons and this is the most important part, Muslims would be more outraged by the death threats then they would be by her existence. The resounding silence proves everything she says about Islam is correct. Muslims have allowed it to be correct. You’re blaming the wrong person.So address the death threats. Let’s have a card carrying Muslim who believes she is lying about Islam then explain the death threats. Or at least address the Murder of Theo Van Gogh. You think she’s a liar, prove it. I mean REALLY prove it. Don’t worry; based on her article, I will expect the silence and just more empty name calling.I am free to say that the popes would rather let millions of Africans die then allow them to have condoms, and so has blood on his hands. People will disagree, some will be enraged, I will be called names and maybe the odd sociopath might want to kill me, but the Catholics will not issue any kind of death decree on me. The pope will not throw me to the wolves. Because of the death threats and the mass support(silence) for the death threats, Islam looks more like mafia then religion.

  • doggirl

    I have read Ms. Ali’s book and was horrified by her story. As a female, I am hereby grateful of my citizenship in the western world with its freedoms and democratic beliefs. I am curious how many people fall into the five different levels of Islam? My guess is the vast majority are aligned with catagories 3 and 4.

  • Elliott

    Anonymous rhetorically asks us why Muslims have the lowest divorce rates.Now, I’m guessing here . . .. . . “Honour” killings?

  • doggirl

    I would like to make a correction to my earlier post when I stated that Ms. Ali has “aligned herself with the American Enterprise Institute, knowing it is a group of neo-cons…” I was wrong in assuming she has “aligned” herself with any particular political group and to assume all particiants of the AEI are neo-cons. I would like to apologize for my presumptions. The truth is I do not know Ms. Ali’s political views, nor, in my opinion do her political views have any relevance to her childhood experiences as a Muslim and to the story she has risked her life to make public. I am appreciative of her efforts. Mr. Bruce Fein, a constitutional scholar and adjunct for the AEI was interviewed by Bill Moyers last night on PBS.(pbs.org/moyers/journal/08102007/profile.html)Mr. Fein, I believe it would be safe to say, is not a neo-con. He spoke candidly and passionately pertaining to the constitutional imperative of impeaching Bush and Cheney. While Mr. Fein’s interview has nothing to do with this blog or Ms. Ali, I am mentioning him because after listening to Mr. Fein, I realized not all spokesmen for the AEI are neo-cons.

  • klaas de vries

    brave!and true

  • Billie Blytmann

    Ayaan is very brave and I hope she has many Muslims that will listen and join her. But the future looks very dismal considering the millions that follow the ancient ideas of Mohammad. I wish her good luck and thanks for enlightening more people to the dangers of one of the largest and dangerous dogmas on this earth.

  • victoria

    well, i stayed away from looking at this thread as it was getting very hateful and ugly- it is an indication of the quality of the guests audience that most of the posts are islamophobic, and xenophobic- and many openly malicious and hateful. i could argue or defend my religion, but i am not a masochist to purposely put myself in a situation wherei am being overtly lied about and offended- i am not a fool to argue with a fool- i also notice a dearth of any moderate or tolerant voices here- frankly- the vitriol here is frightening to us without such anger in our hearts. this will make sense to the reasonable, and of course inflame the angry-peace

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  • ender

    Victoria – if you want to see something really ugly and hateful take a look at 1.5 million dead Christian and Animist Sudanese slaughtered for Oil in the name of Allah. Islamist have murdered over 6 million Africans in the last 20 years, and the world is to fn politically correct to demand that Muslims police themselve and their gov’ts and make it stop.

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  • nstssj

    “Just close your eyes and take two giant steps backward.” That is a quote from Margaret Atwood on how easy it is to revert to a society that treats women as beasts of burden. The more accepted this kind of thinking becomes, the more it becomes “normalized,” the closer it comes.

  • nstssj

    “Just close your eyes and take two giant steps backward.” That is a quote from Margaret Atwood on how easy it is to revert to a society that treats women as beasts of burden. The more accepted this kind of thinking becomes, the more it becomes “normalized,” the closer it comes.

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  • frank velazquez

    when are people going to wake up to the stupidity that organized religion. a pox on all thier houses

  • frank velazquez

    when are people going to wake up to the stupidity that organized religion. a pox on all thier houses

  • doggirl

    Ender: Thanks for the Koran quotes. They are straight from the horses mouth and indicate to me how violent and dangerous this book is.Victoria: Please explain to me how you can ignore the violence of Islam? When we (people in the West) learn about beheadings, forced marriages, female mutilation of private parts, submissive roles of women, stonings, etc…Please explain to me how an Islamic country can have an authentic democracy when equal rights, justice and civil liberties are ignored? When you say bloggers–on this site– are “islamophobic and xenophobic and openly malicious and hateful” don’t you really mean we are fearful of people who belive these acts are acceptable? Why would we not be fearful of a religion that practices genocide in Darfur, head drillings in Iraq (between Shia vs Sunni) and carving up the private parts of little girls? When you sign off on this blog with “peace” where is the peace in the actions I have described above that is perpetrated by Islamic people?NSTSSJ: Your Margaret Atwood quote is welcomed. As a female, I am keenly aware of the plight of many Muslim women in the world. Ms. Ali is a perfect testimony of the “normalization” of treating women as beasts of burden and only a baby step removed from slavery. It is a chilling and terrifying thought.

  • doggirl

    Ender: Thanks for the Koran quotes. They are straight from the horses mouth and indicate to me how violent and dangerous this book is.Victoria: Please explain to me how you can ignore the violence of Islam? When we (people in the West) learn about beheadings, forced marriages, female mutilation of private parts, submissive roles of women, stonings, etc…Please explain to me how an Islamic country can have an authentic democracy when equal rights, justice and civil liberties are ignored? When you say bloggers–on this site– are “islamophobic and xenophobic and openly malicious and hateful” don’t you really mean we are fearful of people who belive these acts are acceptable? Why would we not be fearful of a religion that practices genocide in Darfur, head drillings in Iraq (between Shia vs Sunni) and carving up the private parts of little girls? When you sign off on this blog with “peace” where is the peace in the actions I have described above that is perpetrated by Islamic people?NSTSSJ: Your Margaret Atwood quote is welcomed. As a female, I am keenly aware of the plight of many Muslim women in the world. Ms. Ali is a perfect testimony of the “normalization” of treating women as beasts of burden and only a baby step removed from slavery. It is a chilling and terrifying thought.

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  • Athena

    Ms. Ali, thank you for your courage in speaking out about the rights of women in Islam, and lack thereof. You are a very brave person. May the Goddess bless and protect you, so that you can continue to speak truth to power.

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  • Anonymous

    I thought that the only true book of Islam was the Quran. What are the passages in this book that incite violence?

  • Oussama Itani

    A rebuttal to Ayaan hirsi ali’s reprehensible views on IslamFirst let me say that the contribution of the author is tarnished by misconceptions, misunderstandings and lies. Whether she ever belonged to the Islamic faith or not it is sad for her she never understood Islam and I am sure her fellowship at the American Enterprise Institute, in Washington D.C. will not help her either!First misunderstanding: She wrongly states: “Sunna/Hadith carries less weight and have always been a cause for disagreement amongst Muslim scholars”The truth is that every messenger of God was sent to a nation to explain and teach the message of God. The Sunna carries a great weight and is complementary to the Quran, the same way the teachings of Jesus, Moses, David, Solomon and other messengers of God to their nations were very important and complementary to the scriptures, Torah and the Bible. It is very logical that any revealed Book of God needs a teacher to explain it to the believers of the time. The best teachers of the universal message of God, which is the same by the way regardless of time and people, are the messengers of God and not students of debate and “so called thinkers” who have their own biases in explaining and judging the message of God. In contrast to her erroneous statement, Muslim scholars who have a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of Islam and the biography of the prophet and his teachings do not have disagreements as far as the fundamentals of Islam and the Sunna of the prophet. The source of disagreement comes from false and pseudo-scholars who have a paucity of knowledge and have a meager understanding of the Sunna, and some contemporary pseudo-journalists who are possessed and obsessed with the love of showing off. Respectable scholars who refer to the Quran and to the fundamentals of the Sunna do not have any disagreements. I wonder if the author of this shameful article knew anything about the great scholars of Islam such as Abu Haneefa, Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Imam Malek and imam Shafe’ei who despite minor differences of opinions, they revered each other and spread a wealth of knowledge from their times until now. More to come…

  • Oussama Itani

    Second Misunderstanding: The lesser Jihad is to defend the self, the family, the nation (including all citizens of the nation Muslims as well as non-Muslims). Jihad is not about waging merciless wars. If the nation is attacked or threatened it is only logical that it should defend itself. The Persian Empire was a big threat to the Muslims as well as to the Christians and Jews (People of the Book) in Arabia. Therefore the call for defense (Jihad) was a must to prevent their extermination.The term People of the Book is neither an insult nor a disparaging term. It was recognition and an honorable term given to Christians and Jews because Muslims believe in all the messengers of God and in the authentic Holy Books the Torah and The Bible. The author has erroneously stated that the People of the Book were second class citizens in the Islamic state. On the contrary, they were treated fairly and justly as long as they did not conspire against the state. Muslims paid Zakat, Non-Muslims paid Jezya, which actually was less than what Muslims paid, and in return they were exempt from serving in the Muslim army. God says in the Quran (translation): There is no compulsion in accepting religion: A concrete and eternal evidence of tolerance and peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims who are not attacking the Muslims.”Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and justly with those who do not fight you because of your faith nor drive you out of your homes: For Allah loves those who are just. (Quran, 60:8)”More to come…

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  • Oussama Itani

    Justice in the Islamic State:More to come…

  • victoria

    it is not necessary to talk to muslims about ms hirsi- her friends speak volumes

  • victoria

    peace to you brother and thank you for bringing an element of sanity to these threads

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  • Cleo Jakowski

    oussama itani:

  • Highplains

    Thank you, Deb Chatterjee. I think the scales are finally starting to fall . . .

  • Julie

    Oussama Itani Do you think most of the anti Islamist posts here are because of Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote a book or because of 9/11?Who do you think has done more to Tarnish Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Osama Bin laden? Have you ever called bin laden an opportunist or a liar in any On Faith thread?Have you or would you ever openly, publicly criticize someone like bin laden or the British doctors with the same level of anger you use for Ayaan Hirsi Ali I know what you think of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but what do you think of Osama bin laden, or the British Doctor terrorists? Have you held them to the same level of accountability just as vocally? Which is a greater offense to Islam? Using terrorism to kill as many people as you can in the name of Islam, or having and voicing an opinion independent of the Islamic status quo?You can’t be seen through all the smoke and you can’t be heard through the explosions, it’s not authors like Ayaan Hirsi Ali that are your problem, you’re being eclipsed by the terrorists.If you want to educate me, explain muslim behavior. What is the source of the silence, why don’t Masses of Muslims speak out about Muslim driven terrorism? Is it fear or is it support. Do they just not identify with them or is the media not giving them enough press?

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  • doggirl

    Vitoria and Oussama Itani, etc…Several recent posts on this thread, including my own, have contained direct questions to you that you have not answered. Instead, we are innundated with Koranic quotes and lectures on the purity of Islam. None of us posting these questions are able to have a conversation with you because it is a one-way discourse. We question and analyze the state of your religion and encourage you to participate in honest discussions, while you opine incessently about your interpretation of your holy book. Your avoidance does not bode well (for you) in light of the fact you are proving our point. Your beliefs are based on dogma and they represent your lack of realism and ability to even debate the issues of your religion and answer simple questions. This situation is analogous to one of you asking me “What are the most important values you cherish in the Western world?” And me responding (ineffectively) by quoting the Bible, “Then shall the King say unto him on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34I would be avoiding your question by answering non-sensibly and ineffectively resulting not in a conversation but a diatribe of dogma. Do you see the similarities?

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  • Remi Mosuro

    Illiteracy is bad, but little education is more worst.This girl is dangerous….she’s mixing a lot of fiction and half truths with Islam. Their is an African say “if you see a bird dancing in the foot path…look behind the leaves and you will see its drummer”.When her sponsors are through with her…they will discard her just like they did in Holland.

  • There is already a Julie here I’m reposting this as Julie Bee

    Oussama Itani and the like mindedI’m sure peaceful Muslims can interpret Islam in a peaceful way but there are a growing number of non peaceful Muslims interpreting in a violent way. You say that Islam if interpreted correctly is not violent, what confuses me is why a book writer has all your attention when the Doctors in London do not. (Unless it’s on another thread somewhere) You can post the entire Koran if you like but you can’t be seen through all the smoke and you can’t be heard through the explosions, it’s not authors like Ayaan Hirsi Ali that are your problem, You’ve been eclipsed by the terrorists.If you want to educate me, explain Muslim BEHAVIOR. What is the source of their silence on terrorism? Why don’t masses of Muslims speak out about Muslim driven terrorism tarnishing Islam? Is it fear or is it support. Do they just not identify with them or is the media not giving them enough press? Which is a greater offense to Islam? Using terrorism to kill as many people as you can in the name of Islam or having and voicing an opinion independent of the Islamic Status quo? I know what you think of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but what do you think of Osama Bin Laden or the British Doctor terrorists? Have you held them to the same level of accountability just as vocally?Have you or would you ever openly, publicly criticize someone like Bin laden or the British doctors with the same level of anger you use for Ayaan Hirsi Ali?Have you ever called Bin Laden an opportunist or a liar in any On Faith thread?Who do you think has done more to Tarnish Islam, Ayaann Hirsi Ali or Osama Bin Laden? Do you think most of the anti Islamist posts here are because of Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote a book or because of 9/11?What I’m having a hard time integrating is that all the posts calling her a hatful liar seem to have more patience and empathy for Mulims who misinterpret Islam violently then they do for authors like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It comes accorss as if it’s more important to muslims that Islam look great then that it actually be great.

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  • victoria

    also, its extremely easy to just go to the muslims speak out forum located at the bottom of the main page- out of 22 guest voices- an overwhelming 22 speak out on jihad (the western misconception) and all of the issues you’ve raised theres a plethora of good and real information from actual scholars and world renowned muslims- go to the boards and see- it couldnt be easier.

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  • God is Love

    Is the Qur’an God’s Word? Prove that it is.

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  • Nakia

    Deb Chatterjee: if you take the words of Maududi and Qutb as definitive of Islamic intellectual traditions, then you deserve to be lied to. Maududi and Qutb represent a genre of political propaganda with a religious gloss for authenticity, not reasoned, humble, honest attempts to discern the will of God. If you’re looking for the latter, try Tariq Ramadan or Khaled Abou El Fadl or starters. They both know far more about the traditions they represent than Maududi and Qutb ever imagined.

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  • doggirl

    Victoria:You continue your evasiveness to direct questions posted on this thread. When you instruct me to “read the posts with attention and an open heart the answers are there…” what you are saying is all that is required is to read your version (or some “authoritative” version of Islam) and my questions will be answered. You are not dialoging with any of us. You are preaching your beliefs and dogma. We (I) do not believe in your dogma because it is myth and it is not based on any kind of evidence. You must prove to us (me) that your beliefs are substantiated by some kind of facts. If you will not or cannot answer simple questions about Islamic beliefs relating to specific questions on this post them you are playing mind games— words are being thrown into the mix and laid our randomly and non-sensically. Deb C and Julie Bee for example have posted remarks that you have ignored and misconstured. While we are all speaking English words, it is as though your words have completely different and foreign meaning to ours. If the word “apple” to us means a round, red, green or yellow fruit that grows on trees and your difinition of “apple” is a chocolate candy bar, then our ability to have an honest discourse is becoming next to nil.

  • doggirl

    Victoria:You continue your evasiveness to direct questions posted on this thread. When you instruct me to “read the posts with attention and an open heart the answers are there…” what you are saying is all that is required is to read your version (or some “authoritative” version of Islam) and my questions will be answered. You are not dialoging with any of us. You are preaching your beliefs and dogma. We (I) do not believe in your dogma because it is myth and it is not based on any kind of evidence. You must prove to us (me) that your beliefs are substantiated by some kind of facts. If you will not or cannot answer simple questions about Islamic beliefs relating to specific questions on this post them you are playing mind games— words are being thrown into the mix and laid our randomly and non-sensically. Deb C and Julie Bee for example have posted remarks that you have ignored and misconstured. While we are all speaking English words, it is as though your words have completely different and foreign meaning to ours. If the word “apple” to us means a round, red, green or yellow fruit that grows on trees and your difinition of “apple” is a chocolate candy bar, then our ability to have an honest discourse is becoming next to nil.

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  • highplains

    Nakia: You advise us to look to Tariq Ramadan for his authentic, humble efforts to discern the will of God.Now, just to be clear, would that be the same Tariq Ramadan who said he was in favor of a “moratorium” on stoning? (Not because it’s unislamic or even unjust, mind you, but rather because “conditions aren’t right for its implementation. . . ?”)

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  • tony55398

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  • victoria

    doggirl- well, the only questions you addressed to me were not really questions but accusations. how can you possibly presume what i ignore or address? i dont ignore the violence in islam anymore than i ignore the violence from any quarter. is that simple enough? how can i be evasive and ‘preach’ at the same time? ive said very little here- as your opinion is your subjective own, and i respect it i do expect the same in return. as youve descended into personal insults with no basis- i find it hard to imagine you are interested in any honest dialogue, but looking for a target and excuse to express what is already made up in your mind. as deb chatterjee will tell you- i dont condone even violent language in a discourse peace

  • Nakia

    Well, yes, Ramadan called for a moratorium on stoning, and was extremely cautious about stating why. To state outright that it’s “unislamic” would be cheating; one needs to reason things out in an intellectual tradition, not simply react emotionally. Ramadan was attempting to buy us time to think between the knee-jerk reactionaries on both sides. And Deb, Maududi and Qutb are about as clerical as GW Bush is- their works are political, not religious. This fact is easily verifiable- look them up sometime. And taqiyyah is also a political tool of Shi’a, used to secure their safety in what was often violent oppression. That is also another easily verifiable fact. It is not, therefore, a “tool of Islam”. It’s a bit like calling the PATRIOT act part of Christian canon. Perhaps this tool you fear has been used on you already. You’ll want to read histories of Pakistan, modern Egypt, and Shi’a history to verify all this- I’d recommend some, but it would probably be a waste- you’re quite distrustful of people who are different from you.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Nakia:Maududi and Qutb need to be considered since they form a part of the Islamic scholarship. You can dismiss their status, because they present an inconvenient truth about Islam. But, if you just dismiss them without any rationale your assertions shall always be mistrusted. That’s the bottomline. Regarding “militant Islam” these two authors have always taken the helm. The issue is not to “discuss” Islam in general. The issue is to understand the radical Islamic thought process as to why a very large portion of otherwise “moderate” Muslims remain silent, except to issue token condemnation/denouncements, at the violence committed by “radical” Muslims. Looks like the whole community “ummah” is being held hostage by the radicals. That itself is a major reason to be distrustful of Muslims in general.

  • victoria

    deb- you’re up to your old slander- maududi was imprisoned and died disowned by his own son and disgraced in the eyes of his community. and this constitutes what? youve repeated ad nauseum your hatred of muslims and islam- in a qualitative sense- such a statement would be ridiculous and pointless. deb- the status is dismissed because violent racists do not represent islamic scholarship. peace in the name of fairness

  • greg

    Thank you for your courage Ayaan Hirsi Ali! You are an example to all those of the first and second groups: they must come out and be heard!

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  • Nakia

    Deb: Maududi was never qualified as a mufassir- therefore he need not be discredited as a cleric; he was never one in the first place. If you allow someone who drops out of their pre-med program to treat you, that is up to you, but do not demand that their medical opinions be heeded by others. Maududi and Abdul-Wahhab were never qualified to be so adhered to as you suggest all Muslims are, or should be. Qutb was a political propagandist- would you consider Karl Rove a theologian?

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  • Deb Chatterjee

    Thank you Syed K. Mirza !Let us now hear from the obfuscators like Victoria and Nakia regarding the scholarly status of Maulana Maududi and Sayyid Qutb in the Islamic scholarly circles.One thing stands out clear: most of the Muslims engage in taqiyya (deceiving) when it comes to explaining Jihad. Jihad is offensive war, as I knew it, and Syed K. Mirza provides logic behind it. To paraphrase, Muhammad engaged in offensive war (Jihad) to spread Islam across various countries. So, how can Jihad be defensive only ?Victoria and other deceptors can you explain this in light of what Syed Mirza has writtern ?

  • Nakia

    That may be your goal, but it is certainly not the aim of the majority of the world’s Muslims.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Nakia:Provide some proof that you claim to know the minds of the majority Muslims. Also, you and Victoria must now answer the issues that Syed Mirza has elaborated. Till you convince us, your version of Islam has no credibility, and hence all you have written is fake, empty rhetoric.

  • Anonymous

    WOW…HOW DID YOU EVER GET THIS TRUTH ABOUT THE MENTAL DISEASE CALLED ISLAM PUBLISHED ON THE POST. THE INSANE, LEFT WING NEWSWEEK & THE POST ARE ALWAYS BOWING DOWN TO MUSLIMS…..GREAT TRUTH REVEALED…..THANK YOU

  • Please DontSpyOnMe

    I hope she will get her green card easily by applying for asylum or H1, that’s exactly what she did in Netherland. I think EU and US should start offering asylum to every outspoken anti-islamist because of that.

  • Rory

    An exceptional article. And, of course, anyone who dares speak up against Islam is labelled an “islamophobe”, laden with insults and threats, and attacked with misleading arguments about how Islam has the lowest divorce rates (because husbands kill their wives instead) and highest growth rate as a religion (because you are killed if you try to leave, and no other religions are allowed into the country). The truths of these responses are obvious: if a bunch of fanatical Muslims are angry at you, you are probably doing something right.

  • doggirl

    Victoria,Your dislike of my comment stating you are “ignoring the violence of Islam” is now precisely spelled out in Syed Mirza’s latest post. His historical account of the violence of Islamic faith is the last word. I am waiting to hear how you can justify Islam and its inherent violence.Thank you Syad and Deb for your historical knowledge and expertise on this subject.

  • doggirl

    Victoria,Your dislike of my comment stating you are “ignoring the violence of Islam” is now precisely spelled out in Syed Mirza’s latest post. His historical account of the violence of Islamic faith is the last word. I am waiting to hear how you can justify Islam and its inherent violence.Thank you Syad and Deb for your historical knowledge and expertise on this subject.

  • doggirl

    Victoria,Your dislike of my comment stating you are “ignoring the violence of Islam” is now precisely spelled out in Syed Mirza’s latest post. His historical account of the violence of Islamic faith is the last word. I am waiting to hear how you can justify Islam and its inherent violence.Thank you Syad and Deb for your historical knowledge and expertise on this subject.

  • Miguel

    I personally see islam in the same light as i see christianity and judaism.

  • Anonymous

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  • ender

    We’ve seemed to have kicked this dead horse long enough, while avoiding the real issue.Let’s start with Kosovo/Yugoslavia. Against the wishes of NATO and most of the Western World, Clinton almost unilaterally used US troops to STOP GENOCIDE OF MUSLIMS BY CHRISTIANS.I’ve yet to hear the Islamic world singing his praises for this step, but whatever.What Clinton did, was intervene in a local cultural war that has been ongoing for more than 500 years. The area has gone back and forth between the rule of Catholics, Greek Orthodox, and Muslims and each time the leadership has changed, atrocities and genocide were committed in retaliation for the oppression suffered under the previous ruler.Our Moron in Chief, could not understand what his father did, that Sunnis in Iraq will fight to the death rather than live under Shia rule, because they know the reprisals for 50 yrs of repression under Saddam is due them by the Shias. They know it. They would do the same thing. Muslims are killing Muslims at a higher rate than we managed, because we really did expect them all ‘to just get along’ after we took out their dictator.More than 6 million Christian and Animist Africans have been exterminated by Muslims in Africa. The Islamic world considers them immoral and primitive, and says not one word to make it end.Now, the Crux:The Islamic world considers the west immoral, secular and pampered.The Western World considers the Islamic world primitive, intolerant and violent.We are engaged in a new phase of the culture wars that began with Muhammed’s declaration that it was the duty of each Muslim to carry the torch of Islam to all of the world. He recognized the zealous and racist nature of the early Catholicism, and sought to protect his own culture and tribe by spreading a religion that put a premium on Arabic values, and even the Arabic language.Meanwhile, the Catholics, French, Italian and Greek/Eastern, fought over control of the seat of the religion, the Papisty, because that granted a boost to the survival chances of their respective cultures.And HERE WE ARE FOLKS! 1500 YEARS LATER! ENGAGED IN THE SAME CULUTRE WARS!I’m an equal opportunity cultural bigot myself. I think all religions are created by men to control men. I am perfectly willing to fight to the death, murder, maim and terrorize in order to make sure that I and my progeny can live in a SECULAR nation where not religion or religiously directed moralities are forced upon us.I believe that anything good that has come out of any Abrahamic religion has been as a result of Secular enlightenment overcoming the true base and tribal natures of the religions.Islam has a habit of making any state where it gains a majority adopt Islamic law and custom.I’m here to tell you that as long as the US has technological superiority, I will support using it to the stop the spread of Islamic control into new areas. I will do everything in my power to fight the intrusion of any religion, whether Christian or Islamic, into the governance of the Secular Nation of the United States.I have only to look at the current world, where some of the worlds richest nations, such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Oman, to see wealthy and pampered youth, wasting all their energy on hate, for Israel and disdain for the modernization that the secular, western world offers. The peoples of the repressive nation of Iran at least seek secular education and realize that without the scientific and technological advancements the west has made available in the last hundred years, the deserts they inhabit could not support the populations they do.I consider Islam a failed culture. The same goes for Christianity, but that it has evolved into Christianity ‘light’, and is more a religion of Capitalism than Abraham.I applaud the original author of this thread. I have met and spoken to a large number of Muslims whom have left Islamic nations that practice Sharia law, and in private at least, they admit that Islam as practiced in the Middle East, is Fundamentalist, and used by rulers to maintain and iron fisted control over the populace.I revile the US support of the Terrorist State of Israel. But, when al Queada, the Taliban and Osama attacked us on US soil, they renewed an ancient culture war that they cannot win. Or president should have wiped the Taliban off the face of the planet in Afghanistan, put pressure on Saudi to stop the funding for them. We should have made fresh new friends with their enemy, Saddam, and made sure he was strong enough to stand up against the Taliban in Saudi Arabia in case they gain a stronger hand.You claim that Islam is tolerant and peaceful. Well, I would love to see that. In the meantime, any Islamic mullah that preaches violent jihad should be immediately deported to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, along with any ignorant followers that have returned for more than one dose of his vitriol.Any nation that support the Taliban, or any other fundamentalist group should be given a chance to repent, as in put them all in jail and stop all gov’t support, or face suspension of trade and concessions with the promise of military intervention if necessary to protect our interest.We should stop all monetary and political support for Israel. They have more than 300 nuclear war heads and don’t need our help.The only way to avoid the coming debacle of an all out cultural war between east and west is the Modernization and Secularization of Islam.Otherwise, we will see if your religious faith can survive without your icons when Mecca is a glass parking lot that will glow in the dark for 10,000 years, and Tehran gives of a brilliant glow at midnight.

  • victoria

    doggirl, did you just say you are asking rhetorical questions, and then complain that they werent answered?

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  • Bart

    Ender,

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  • doggirl

    Yes, Victoria— rhetorical questions!!!…. Dare I ask them to you?My (rhetorical) questions are attempting (unsuccessfully I realize) to get you to think; to analyze your position on Islam. It appears you are interested in doing everything but that. But perhaps I am expecting too much….it is apparent you are creating little side pockets of diversions so you really do not have to have an authentic conversation with me. Your actions do indeed speak louder than your words. Are you going to answer questions or continue this mindless game you are playing? I will not continue this conversation with you unless I see some progress on your part.

  • ender

    Hello Bart… If you haven’t seen the first segment of God’s Warriors about Jewish Warriors you should. 60% of Israelis think they should return all of the occupied lands, and this is a most debated topic in that country, and a major theme to all national elections.The rest, largely made up off the military faction that waged the first wars in ’59, 67, etc. are strongly tied to America’s military machine, and as such are the ones that keep the flow of aid, in the tune of $20billion a year flowing into Israel. As clealy proven in Christine Amanpur’s documentary, most of this group are true Zionist, who never intended to maintain the borders the UN decreed for the state of Israel, and have used terrorism and started wars to further that agenda.There condition has been exploited by neighboring Islamic states to keep the state of agitaion high with Israel, and Islamic hate for Israel far exceeds Islamic concern for Palestinians, but Israel has done nothing but agrivate the situration.Our unconditional support for Israel’s illegal and often inhumane activities have made us militant Islam’s number 2 target. It may be an excuse for jealousy of our modernization, material extravagance, and hardwon secular freedoms, but it is a legitimate grievence, where the rest are just creations of their own cultural inferiority complex.Yes, Israel is the father of modern state sponsored terrorism and has been the tool of the Zionist minority there to attempt to expand Israel into it’s biblical boundaries, beyond the secular boundaries created by the UN charter that created the modern state.Our own fundamentalist Christian cults, that believe that Christ is coming in their lifetime, don’t think that can happen unless Israel’s biblical boundaries are restored, and the temple of Solomon replaces the Islamic Dome of the Rock.So, unless you are an Israeli Zionist, support for the expansion of Israel is simple traitorous to America, and patriotic Americans need to make their representatives promote our interest by cutting off funds for Israel until it complies with the UN resolutions of it’s boundaries and international law regarding return of occupied lands.

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  • Piyush Chandra

    Dear AyaanI would like to add another group to the five above – the pseudo islamists. These people are not muslims but refuse to accept the threat from the fourth category you mention and for narrow personal gain they would keep providing public platforms to the clerics who will use them and openly exhort the young gullible muslims to die and destroy the country they were born in and live in. This category would be mainly comprising of politicians in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and maybe a lot elsewhere. It is high time the world stopped killing muslim youth who are only poor misguided beings and went after those responsible for misguiding them. It is high time the world stopped funding unstable nations who normally channelise these monies to the ungodly. I hope Mr. Bush is reading this and hope he realises it was American money that funded the 9/11.

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  • M. Ali Kashani

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is welcome to her views, but one must take issue with her on her claim that it is through the first two of the five groups defined by her that progress and reform will come in Islam. Going by her own description, members of these two groups have in effect renounced Islam – the first openly, the second not so openly by claiming to be within its fold but not subscribing to its tenets. One opting out of a faith has no role in its ‘progress and reform’.Irshad Manji [and Ayaan who writes of Mnaji approvingly] as well as others like them who ‘acknowledge the theological out-datedness of the Koranic commands and the immorality of the prophet’ can no longer be considered to be within the fold of Islam, even if they once belonged. They can revel to their heart’s content on the acclaim and rewards they receive from the West for services rendered, but Muslims recognise them for what they are: apostates and renegades, and also acknowledge the theological hollowness of the arguments advanced by them, and their immorality. Ayaan calls Islam a religion laid down in writing over a millenium ago, but conveniently ignores that Chrisitianity is two millennium old, and Judaism even older. She and the likes of her have nothing to say about the Old or New Testaments being outdated, about the former’s brutal commands on how to deal with non-Jews, and the latter’s treatment of non-Christians during the Crusades and the Inquisition. This rectitude is obviously because such comments would not sit well with their hosts in the West. She also conveniently chooses to ignore Jewish claims, rooted in the Torah, on Palestine and the eschatological hopes for their restoration. Nor does she consider objectionable the Evangelical Christians’ support for the Jews’ cliams on the basis of their reading of the Gospel. Ayaan etc also close their eyes to state atrocities, open oppression and genocide perpetrated by ‘secular enlightened’ peoples upon Muslims – in Palestine, Afghanistan Iraq, and elsewhere.Like Judaism for more than three millennia, Islam is the new whipping boy today. Berating and criticising Islam is the shortest, surest route to fame and fortune in the West for an erstwhile Muslim of the Salman Ruhdie, Irshad Manji and Ayaan Hirsi Ali variety. One can only wish them good luck in their endeavours on a path they have chosen for themselves knowingly and willingly. They are in good company and gladden the hearts of the neo-cons and other Islam-bashers. To argue with them in the hope of convincing them of the error of their ways is to waste one’s time and effort. They are out to avenge their unfortunate personal experiences by demonising Islam and Muslims, instead of blaming the individuals or society that ill-treated them – not because of, but in spite of, Islam’s teachings which they misrepresent and totally fail to undrstand.

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  • ender

    On the Larry King show, aired before the Islamic portion or God’s Warriors on CNN, Christine Amanpour makes the statement to the Islamic contributors, that moderate muslims must find a way to win the opinion war that the fundamentalist are currently in control of. However incompetent G. Bush’s invasion of Iraq was, in a perfect world, removing Saddam would have been a great thing. Instead, the rest of the world see’s muslims who cannot forget their troubled history and create a new nation. Muslims are killing muslims as well as Americans in Iraq, in horrific numbers. 6 million dead Christians and Animist in Africa do not speak to a religion of peace. The Taliban’s brutal enforcement of fundamentalist Islam keeps coming back in Afghanistan, as if it is what the people there really want.If there is a moderate Islam, it is weak, and quiet. The rest of us don’t believe it exist. America will police it’s own. GWB will be out of office soon, and his like will not have another chance to wage this kind of illegal war again soon.What we see tells us we cannot trust Islam to act rationally and to maintain secular institutions. What the west views as the most secular Islamic state, Turkey, is in the midst of electing a fundamentalist, and may soon maintain it’s secular status only under a military junta.As I said earlier, Islam sees the west as immoral and materialistic, and the west sees islam as primitive and violent, and incapable of maintaining secular societies where no belief is given any priority.God’s warriors did a good job of showing Israel as a Zionist and terrorist state guilty of illegal property violations.Israel is just one little blip in the mideast, and if it is the cause of all of the violence and unrest in Islamic nations, then the west can only assume you are just looking for an excuse.It sounds like American racist blaming their own failed lives on blacks. In the end, it’s just hate and your problems are your own.

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  • VICTORIA

    having a wife who wears hijab does not make you a fundamentalist. youve been reading propoganda ender- this is the first time ive heard someone accuse gul of being a fundamentalist. unless its ozkan, who wons the television station he broadcasts his rants from, and is kind of a national joke and embarassment to the secularists. the party of AKP (the one you misapprehended as ‘fundamentalist’) is supported by armenian christians, the european union supports it, and has brought many women into the parliament (unlike under the secularists). even the secularist party, CHP, doesnt characterize gul as fundamentalist, and they are the red and blue parties(opposite sides) of turkey if the CHP didnt dictate how people practice thei religion 9not exactly a deomcratic position, is it) we wouldnt even be having this discussion.

  • victoria

    i fully anticipate some to google these turkish names etc.. and cherry pick some thing somewhere to support their already calcified opinions-

  • No Dhimmi

    Thank you so much for your bravery, Ayaan!And for proving once again that Islam is EVIL.Check out this site:The Truth About Islam

  • Abdul Malik

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali erroneously blames Islam for her experiences resulting from the acts of some Muslims. Her childhood was obviously traumatic and what she really needed was counselling. Instead, she chooses to claim for herself high moral ground and aligns herself with Islam-bashers. To make matters worse, she takes on the role of spokesperson for Islam.She classifies Muslims into 5 categories, and then claims that progress and reform in Islam will come from the first two of these groups. The first, by her own definition, are those Muslims who leave their faith (properly, ex-Muslims) and the second are what she calls ‘genuine Muslim reformers’ among which she names Irshad Manji. She describes the second group as those ‘who acknowledge the out-datedness of the Koranic commands and the immorality of the prophet’. Her definition itself makes the second group as comprising those who have renounced Islam. Any person who does not subscribe to the basics of a faith cannot then claim to belong to it. Belief in the Koran and the Prophet are the basic tenets of Islam. Manji is known to be a lesbian, and stating that she acknowledges the ‘immorality’ of the prophet can only make one wonder at the probity of Ayaan. By speaking of Manji approvingly, she herself associates herself with these ideas and steps out of the pale.Like Judaism earlier, Islam today is the whipping boy. Any one trying to berate it wins acclaim from forces inimical to Islam for various reasons. This includes many different groups: neo-cons, fundamentalist evangelicals, Zionists, secular extremists, and others. Speaking against Islam and the Muslims is the shortest and surest way to fame and fortune today, and many erstwhile Muslims take this route. They project their personal grievances on to all the followers of this faith, blaming its tenets for their plight. Without knowing much about Islam they pose as authorities on Islam and the Muslims.Political and economic factors often get mixed up with religion, clouding the perceptions of the protagonists of both sides. Forums like this usually degenerate into mud-slinging matches and normally do not serve the purpose of intelligent dialogue. One can only undertake a discussion with a person genuinely interested in finding the truth, but this is a path not many people like to tread. We can only hope that in such exchanges good sense will prevail and both sides will try to see the point of view of the other without prejudice.

  • doggirl

    Victoria:

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    Victoria:

  • victoria

    if you felt insulted then i apologize. i looked for what you might have construed as an insult, i found that i said your thining was ossified. other than that im somewhat at a loss, ive provided some info for you, if you dont peruse it, there is not much else i can do. peace and i hope you find the answers you’re looking for.

  • victoria

    doggirl, well- i had moved onto another subject, i looked for what you might have construed as an insult, i found that i said your thinking was ossified. other than that im somewhat at a loss, ive provided some info for you, if you dont peruse it, there is not much else i can do. peace and i hope you find the answers you’re looking for.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ahh, Victoria, there is something you can do. You can finally come to grips with the flaws of Islam. How are those “pwtffts” doing these days??

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Victoria:You can surely do the world a favor: renounce Islam with your family members. Reject a faith that has so much hatred in it for non-Muslims. See Syed K. Mirza has rejected it. So, why not you ? Be brave, and win the war: your soul vs. Islam.

  • victoria

    well deb- if your posts were a testamnt to love- it would give some credence to your post. can you not make one post without the word hate in it? besides, im a muslim and i bear no hatred for non-muslims in any way no matter how subtle. not to mention, many people in these boards have repeatedly questioned mr mirza’s claim that he was ever a muslim. i suggest you google his “name”.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Victoria, Victoria,Until you and your fellow Muslims change the koran, the following will always describe and haunt Islam:”Gators vs. Muslims??? Gators definitely will kill. With Muslims, it depends but with the koran as their operating manual can we trust or believe any of them(to include Victoria) ????????????????????? e.g. the seven Islamic “terror” doctors of the UK.

  • Seeker of truth

    CTCNLIt seems like you are dellusioned about every religion by some personal problems so you are everywhere trying to discredit them all. It also seemd to me that like most of the bloggers on the net you are getting your Information by Internet Scholars like google and Yahoo. In todays fast paced super information highway world who really has time to go Into depth of things and do some soul searching and reflect upon things.

  • Ari Jones

    FYI

  • Seeker of truth

    Deb ChatterjiIt seems your Inteligence is working better then the whole India because so far no one knows who did It and Immediatly after blast you were able to find out that It was because of Islam. Two of India’s Prim Minister were killed one by Sikh body guards and other by Tamil Suicide bomber were you ever concerned about that? Thumbs up to you. Have you been ever concerned about other more dangerous terrorist activities in India like done by Sikhs in !980′s when they blew up Air India flight over Scotland or continuing massacares of Innocent labourors in Assam By ULFA

  • Al

    Food for thought, whatever one believes.An enlightened master was asked the question:”what is the most surprising thing you can tell us about the world, as experienced from your state of consciousness?”Answer: “the world is exactly as it should be.”The world changes, when the hearts of enough individuals change.Listen for the whispers of conscience, of silence, of spirit within ….. and let that harmonize our differences.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    For the record:1. Saddam, his sons and major henchmen have been deleted. Saddam’s bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. 2. Iran has been contained. (besides fighting the civil war in Bahgdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes oil continues to flow from the region.)3. Libya has become civil.4. North Korea is still uncivil but is contained.5. Northern Ireland is finally at peace thanks to leaders who know how to lead and the Patriot Act that stopped the flow of financial support of the IRA.6. The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. 7. Bin Laden has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.8. Fanatical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. 8. And the stock markets and economies around the globe continue to show good growth and opportunity for the common stock holders.So George and his guys and gals have not been perfect but there are some major accomplishments. Bill Clinton and his crew definitely had their accomplishments but were not “pretty wingie talking thingies” either.

  • ender

    I don’t think liberation means the same to you as it does to me. This f’n fiasco in Iraq has been the worst thing any American President Has Ever Done.He has done a much damage as the Islamist in Africa. Not as many dead yet, but Iraq is currently listed as bad a place to live as somalia or the sudan. He’s created a nursery for TRAINED ISLAMIC MILITANTS WITH EXPERIENCE FIGHTING AMERICAN SOLDIERS. And with insane rules of engagement like our soldiers suffer under, it will only get worse.This f/n idiot may have forced us to us the nuclear option in the not so distatnt future.Does Liberated mean You Smoke Dope?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ender,Hmm,Father Bush helped win the first Gulf war. Son Bush led us to the rather quick removal of Saddam and his sons. Unfortunately the Sunnis and Shiites did not appreciate our assistance as they continue their 1000 year civil war. So lets get out and let Iran and the Saudis fight it out over whose “prophet”/profiteer is the correct “holy hallucinator”. Hmmm, and I wonder who you voted for in the last two elections? Still suffering from that are you?????

  • ender

    and obviously you voted for the Cocaine Cowboy, and are still trying to accept his skein of lies so as to save face. I know its hard to face, but you and almost half of this country were thoroughly duped, twice. Daddy Bush public told his idiot son that taking out Saddam was a mistake. Unless we are willing to drop the facade of moral righteousness in this undertaking and kill them all, the war there will not stop until one sect has exterminated the others and rules with an iron fist like Saddam, or an Ayatollah. And the Taliban is in control of more than 10% of Afghanistan. After 6 years, the group that killed 3000 Americans on American Soil still have a homeland because THE IDIOT IN THE WHITE HOUSE WITHDREW FROM THE WAR ON TERROR AND INSTEAD ATTACKED A SOVEREIGN NATION THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11! GWD, RUMMY AND CHENEY, AND BY EXTENTION, YOU AND ME, ARE GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES.

  • bt

    The best critique of Islam I’ve read.

  • Siraj A. Rashiduddin

    Why would anyone comment on the rants and ravings of this women who clearly has no understanding of Islam or the Prophet of Islam. Why the attacks? Is it to prove that she has been influenced by those who hate the fact that the Qur’an has never been changed since its revelation or is it that she is just not satisfied with the CULTURE that she was raised in? It is a shame that she is bitter with her native CULTURE and has succommed to the evil influence of those who would like see the spread of Islam stopped. It is not going to happen.

  • Saladin

    Ok, people:- Hirsi Ali is not a scholar of Islam or of comparative religion. She’s never conducted a study of contemporary Islam’s demographic trends. SHE IS IN NOW WAY AN EXPERT ON ANYTHING. She’s just some random perosn who had a bad experience with religion growing up. Join the freaking club! – The history of monotheistic religion (and organized religion in general) is a history of violence and intolerance. This is in fact probably less true of Islam and of Judaism than of Christianity.- “Secular” Western culture doesn’t have any better of a record. The slave trade, genocides of indigenous peoples, mass theft and murder of colonialism, the Holocaust, nuclear bombings of civilians, brutal hot and cold wars worldwide, environmental destruction. If this is modernity and enlightenment, it’s no wonder that many people aren’t interested in being a part of it.When are people who are actual experts and who actually have something interesting to say going to write for this series?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    So Ender you are a Democratic “lifer” expounding Democratic “sound bites” in frustration over your loss. Hmm, typical but again review the progress in the War on Terror and maybe you will sleep better.

  • Heather

    You are indeed lost and I feel sorry for you.

  • Anonymous

    i feel for the author, but the thing is that she has confused religion with culture. what she wrote in the article reflects her personal experience in her and many other cultures and not the religion Islam. Islam is the only religion who gave women honour and rights. It is true that virginity is very important in Islam and the rulling about it is for both men and women. Men and women are equal in Islam and both have granted equal rights, how we practise these rights sometimes get mixed up with pre-islamic culture.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Anon,And the Taliban and their version of the koran are considered pre-Islamic culture??????

  • Syed K. Mirza

    To: Anonymous,You are either ignorant about islam or an Islamic hypocrite. Islam never gives equal rights to women. In Islam or according to Koran, woman is half of a man,i.e. a woman gets half or less then a man. Islam is deadly anti-women, period. What I said is clearly reflected in every muslim nations on earth. Women in every muslim nations are dealy inferior. You are talking about culture, Islam incorporated all pre-islamic bedouin cultures. So who to blame for this?SKM

  • ender

    Concerned The Christian Now Liberated: I’m and American Citizen who has watched a gang of criminals hijack our nation, our rights and our soldiers lives for personal gain. I have watched as millions of new terrorist have joined the ranks with new confidense that they can prevail against our military in a guerrilla war. I have watched as the persons and group that killed 3000 persons on American soil still recruit and train terrorist in a pissant little third world country because our President lacked the will to pursue them with enough predjudice.So you and Rush swallow a few more Vicodan and dring the coolaid. You can stagger around in drug induced denial while Americans vote out this axis of evil, even if the gutless dems lack the courage to impeach the criminals. I predicted six years ago that this war would prove to be a monstrous error, and that BushCo had some other agenda besides our security. I have been proven correct.I predict now, that within four years you will see a massive progressive movement in American politics that will remove power from the hands of the few, and put the interest of the Citizen ahead of the interest of the Oil and Defense industries.

  • victoria

    ENDER- Gul is not an islamist- he’s a muslim. also, on the main page there is a long discussion going on about Gul becoming president a day or so ago. its a free election and the will of the people anyway, go and take a gander.

  • ender

    Thanks Victoria. I wonder why the media hype has been so strong against him. Were the old regime Friends of Bush? As long as Turkey remains secular, they are one of the best chances for reconcilliation with the west. And they have the chance for becoming a great example for mid-eastern nations.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Syed K. Mirza,Even many today, Muslims are recommended beating their wives if they refuse to have sex with their man. I am quoting from Islamic voice (a electronic newspaper published from Bangalore, India.)The link is: This specific section is what is interesting:”Correcting her Mistakes Interesting. I have not read any such instructions for Muslim men. Funny that Victoria always tries to fool non-Muslims by adamant denials, not understanding that she looks like a fool when she repeats her behavior.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ender,Again you failed to reveal your voting record which taints all of your commentary. Again review the War on Terror record of George Bush and his administration. And please cite references in the future to support your claims. And again some words of wisdom:”Gators vs. Muslims??? Gators definitely will kill. With Muslims, it depends but with the koran as their operating manual can we trust any of them?”

  • Syed K. Mirza

    Deb Chatterjee,What you cited from Indian news paper is only softer version of islamic beating of women for not listening her husband. Victoria must be a convert fool who was brainwashed by some hypocritical mullahs. Victoria does not know that Koran (4:34) explicitely commanded men to beat his wife if she fails to obey him. Koran did not say how hard or soft she should be beaten. That “beat mildly” is man made injunction. You do not measure the force when you are angry and beat your wife. Merci to Islamic women who always try to defend MO and islam, even though, women are the first victims of this cult religion of islam. I feel sorry for islamic women.SKM

  • ender

    Victoria…I don’t think I’m misreading your intent by saying that you consider a secular state where a majority of the population is muslim an anomaly. I say I think Turkey is a great example because they have managed to transition unaided from a secular military ‘dictatorship’ to a secular democracy. You don’t seem willing to accept secularism as a plus. For most of the west, a democratically elected secular government is a minimum requirement for admission to the club. If Turkey manages to maintain its secular state without internal intervention of the military, then it has actually made the first step toward membership in the EU.Most westerns see what really exist in the Islamic world, monarchies and caliphates or Islamic Councils rule most Islamic nations, and think that must be what muslims want, or deserve. Again, the images of primitive tribal states that let themselves be ruled by ancient religions and tribal custom. I have no respect for evangelist of any color, but in western nations, it has become all too common that even the most fundamentalist and radical of Islamist are allowed to preach openly. How long would any Christian evangelist last in most Islamic states? Less than the life of a Tsetse fly. Proselytizing by anything other than islamist is illegal in almost all Islamic nations.So we are right back where we started. Unless Islamic nations are willing to accept secular values, and maintain separation of church and state, the western world will be unwilling to deal with you as rational humans capable of modernization and deserving of free access to our institutions.

  • Harold F. Crockett Jr.

    This macroscopic view of Islam has been highly instructive to me, and I wish others would read it’s content and views. Most of us, in America, know little about Islam and it’s tenets and we do,

  • ender

    I don’t know about the ‘Infinite God’ or ‘God of Peace’, but the god of Abraham, formerley known as El by the Sumaians, has led its followers and mankind down 2500 years of war and hatred between humans that all claim to worship it.It is time for humanity to take responsibility for its own actions, and not be directed by ancient tribal superstition and power hungry priesthoods. Humanity cannot have a humane and ethical code of conduct as long as irrationality and racist tribal custom rule, and it is high time we got to work on one.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ender,I “ditto” your last commentary.But you still have not revealed your voting record nor cited any references to back your claims.And how is a budget balanced when you have a 4.5 trillion dollar debt?And to repeat the current War on Terror status:1. Saddam, his sons and major henchmen have been deleted. Saddam’s bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. 2. Iran has been contained. (besides containing the civil war in Bahgdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes oil continues to flow from the region.)3. Libya has become civil.4. North Korea is still uncivil but is contained.5. Northern Ireland is finally at peace thanks to good political leadership and the Patriot Act that stopped the flow of financial support to the IRA.6. The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. 7. Bin Laden has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.8. Fanatical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. 8. And the stock markets and economies around the globe continue to show good growth and opportunity for the common stock holders.So George and his guys and gals have not been perfect but there are some major accomplishments. Bill Clinton and his crew definitely had their accomplishments but were not “pretty wingie talking thingies” either.

  • Masyus

    JESUS’ SECOND COMING TO EARTH The subject of Prophet Jesus’ (pbuh) second coming is clearly proclaimed in the Qur’an and our Prophet’s (may God bless him and grant him peace) sayings. There are certain statements pertaining to this issue in many verses and hadiths.

  • somalitrade

    I haven’t seen in my life such a series of concentrated and well rehearsed hate accusations on Islam like what I read in this article and the follow on comments! But then again, it was declared loud and clear in the Quran that “They spoke of hate from their mouths, but what they hide in their hearts is even worse”! It happened at the time of the prophet, it happened before, and it will continue to happen in the future. Even then, God is asking you in the Quran “Produce your evidence!”, but no one really came forward with any proof. This tactic of stirring hate is consistent with the general policy followed around the world against Islam. The standards with which people of the book before Islam pursue their analysis of scripture, their awareness of what’s Godly and what’s not, the way they interpret the scripture (seeing but not seeing, hearing but not hearing), and every aspect of religios studies are VERY LOW! It is OBVIOUS that the author of this article is quite hurt. I am not going to judge her but if I were in her shoes, I would remember one verse of the Qura’n that replaces hate with good sound judement: “O’ you believe, do not let your dispute with others sway you away from establishing justice. Be just! That is the way closer to God” All I know about sister (allow me to call you sister, at least in humanity) Ayaan is that she left her family because she was about to be forced to get married. I would like to ask her, do you blame Islam for that or is the ignorance about Islam that made your dad do what he did? If it is the former, then you are ignorant because Islam does not force girls to marry against their will (as evidenced by the Qura’n and the Sunna). If it is the latter, then what you are doing now is copying your dad’s way of giving your culture a superior hand over what Islam really teaches.There is a good answer to your article in the Qura’n (can you believe it?!): “And when the ignorants speak to them, they (the believers/Muslims) say peace!”.

  • victoria

    beautifully put somalitrade- peace

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Somalitrade,You noted, “Produce the evidence”. Well there is no evidence to produce since for example angels are fictional characters but you have been “koranically” brainwashed that there are by the tenets of Islam. Ditto for your said “holey hallucinator”‘s communications with said “pwtfft”. There also was no flying chariot to Heaven but you have been again been “koranicized” to believe it so. Ditto for the fictional Abraham, heavenly books, and one true prophet/”fortune teller” craziness. And as with other “liberal” Muslim commentators, you “duck” the all important issue of Islam, the danger it poses to world peace especially from the Islamic terror state of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil. We will add your name to the other “wishy wash” Islamic commentators.

  • ender

    CTCNL:You are quite a conumdrum. A rationalist regarding religion, but living in a Shrub world of fantasy when it comes to the ‘accomplishments’ of this adminstration. What you list as positives, are things that they did nothing about, so they couldn’t f’m up. Everything they touch has turned to shiite. Like Iraq.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ender,Your Democratic Party underwear is showing.

  • ender

    The Dems are just Republican “light”. They take orders from the same corporations. I’m a socialist. BTW the only party that will run an avowed atheist for office in this country.

  • somalitrade

    Facts about women in the life of prophet Muhammad:- He married when he was 25 yrs old to a 40 yr old woman (Khadija). That marriage happened before the first revelation from Godand the list goes on and on but what can God’s signs and truth do to people whose hearts are so entangled in hatred and suspicion?Peace

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Somalitrade:You are one more of the list of those Islamists who have to white-wash Islam. I am not a Muslim, and have no personal vendetta against Muhammad’s personal lifestyle. I have no respect for the doctrine of Islam, however. It is, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote, full of violence and intolerance. In different cultures, Muslim men have always abused women, and then taken shelter under Islamic scriptures and traditions. Also, you have not answered Syed K Mirza’s allegation that Muhammad himself thought and said that women had low intellectual ability than men. Also, your comment that women in pre-Islamic Arabia were not allowed to inherit property is quite in suspect because Khadija herself was a very wealthy woman, who had employed Muhammad in her business. Then, being impressed, she married him. So, women were involved in money matters and had risen to upper echelons of social life – as was Khadijah herself. Thus you don’t make any sense regarding the status of women in pre-Islamic Arabia.Your endless list in support of Islamic traditions is quite misleading.

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  • somalitrader

    Deb,You call a list of authenticated, society-wide reforms misleading? You need to work harder in order to convince any sane person of your hate-filled messages. If women are so much oppressed in Islam, why is it that 65% of the 20,000 americans who convert to Islam annually are woman? I tell you why! Because they discovered the truth about Islam and started to see the pattern of hate that the media and the brainwashed individuals like yourself are establishing. As Jesus himslef said to his own desciples “Still even yet without understanding!” An average christian will have hard time understanding their bible and will fall on their faces trying to explain the simplest of verses from their own book. How can anyone expects them to comprehend the simple message of Islam? That’s a situation that calls for a complete brainwashing compaign in which you can say anything and people are ready to “believe”. For example, if you find a group of people who believe that the bible says that Jesus is God and divine, it is easy for you to make them believe in anything else!?Women in Islam have rights never granted to them by any other social or religious movement. The right for divorce still highly debated in deeply non-islamic religions around the world. Even in N. America and Europe, divorce means long litigated matters in court and usually leads to the destruction of families. Even evangelical communities in N. America are trying very hard to apply the no-divorce policy but men end up with extra marital relations or even more into homosexuality, while women either keep quite or do the same. What kind of humiliation is this to the entire humans, not just women? Islam simply opened up the issue and gave individuals the freedom of choice and regulated each individual’s responsibility in case a divorce happen. That lead to a minimal number of divorce cases in the muslim world. You need to stop reading garbage in order to clear you brain and start seeing what the 20,000 American muslim converts every year have seen.Peace

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  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Somalitrade,Your “white washing” of the “holey not holy hallucinator’s” biography reminds me of some comments made by Professor JD Crossan about Christianity and Buddhism:”When I look a Buddhist friend in the face, I cannot say with integrity, “Our story about Jesus’ virginal birth is true and factual. Your story that when the Buddha came out of his

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  • Deb Chatterjee

    Somalitrader & Anonymous Islamist:I am amused and remain curious to see what you respond to Syed K. Mirza’s post. Of course, my usual predictions are that Islamists like you shall label anyone who is opposed to Islam as a “hater” etc.So, expected !

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  • Deb Chatterjee

    Somalitrade:As usual, you are engaging in diversionary tactics. In Islam, women are indeed inferior to men and hadiths and Quranic verses can be cited (see Mirza’s long posting) to demonstrate that fact.However, I disagree with you because of the explanation that Islamic scholars have provided on how a man can treat his women or those whom he desires. I had posted a quote from a long article on how women are to be treated if they refuse intercourse. The bottomline is that a women can refuse, but she is obligated to provide satisfactory explanation. Men are not under such obligation. That’s why women are considered as “tilth”; you just keep tilling for pleasure and fruit. It all makes sense. If you, as expectedly disagree, you need to explain why the Islamic scholar whom I am quoting is incorrect. The link was posted by me on this site on August 30, 2007. Check that out.And, Islam did not bring any reform that we can rejoice. It has brought in horror stories about a deity (Allah) who is willing to command genocide at the most flimsiest of reasons. Unless one submits unconditionally to Allah, all hell break loose. In fact, that’s what we are sadly witnessing now – as a direct consequence of that religious legacy.

  • victoria

    mr asghar- you stated that all humans would agree that menses are not a sickness, or hurt or pollution. well, im a human- and im guessing you are an unmarried man- or have a wife of radiant health. i find it amazing that anyone would assume it was an issue of how it affects the man! its a womans issue! and without being too indelicate- most assuredly it is definitely a hurt and a sickness to me personally. without fail. and my own desires take a serious nosedive- so from a practical and FEMININE standpoint- i certainly feel no spiritual uncleaness or unworthiness- but i am decidely not as chipper as i normally feel. i do appreciate your input, however- your assertion that ‘many hadiths’ support your statements seems- well- inprudent. hadeeth are not law- and many are questionable. believe me i have talked to many many many many women about this subject- it is a rare and bright bird who is unaffected.

  • victoria

    now contrast that against the rights of women in america- if her husband died, and she had no male relative- her home and estate were taken by the state!!!!!!!!! it was only in 1920 that women received the “right” to own their own property! or vote! andthe voting rights act of 1965 FINALLY ENSURED THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS COULD VOTE!!! african americans were considered 3/5ths of a person! even today in some villages in india, there are still upholders of the horrific and barbaric practice of suttee- burning a woman ALIVE on the funeral pyre when her husband dies! and it was only in recent history that this disgusting practice was outlawed.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Somalitrade:I’m sure that you (and your ilk) understand your religion, with its latent doctrine of hate towards anything outside the fold, very well. I’d give you that. Well, I believe that the suicide bombers and throat-slitting Jihadis also understand their religion very well too, and don’t need any kafir’s intervention. Both groups have the same religion, and believe (blindly without any rationale) that Muhammad was the last messenger of Allah. And we might agree that the two groups (of Muslims) agree on this issue wholeheartedly. You and the throat-slitting, bomb-throwing, Quran-thumping mullahs are mutual co-religionists, are bonded by your unconditional allegiance to this violent, intolerant, obscurantist tribal doctrine.

  • somalitrade

    Deb:Now you got quite angry and showed your real face. I was right on from the very begining, you are nothing but one of the hate spreading stooges like any other media. Look at your words and to the list of crazy and insane accusations! Why don’t you just say that from the begining and save us all the trouble. I tried to engage you in a civil discussion and look what you did! No more replies to you. Now go watch some comic movie, drink a cup of coffee, and stay clear of these religious discussions because they are too heavy for you.Peace…

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Somalitrade:When the accussations hit hard, the folly of the accused shows up.You are quick to accuse me of being “angry”, and I remain amused.Get a life. This is not Somalia (or some Islamic badland). There is the 1st Amendment to protect all of us.

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  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Talk about a significantly stupid religious foundation!! Islam is based on visits from a “pwtfft”. It therefore is significantly flawed and needs some serious “Crossanization” before a world war is fought over fictional angelic visits. The Sunnis and Shiites butchering each other over who follows the correct descendent to the “holey not holy hallucinator” is another indicator of the significantly stupid religious foundation of Islam. Christianity to include Mormonism are likewise flawed but in general have become tolerant, non-belligerent “beliefs”. Not so with Islam!!!!!

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  • victoria

    despite herculean efforts to derail and distract you somalitrade- you have kept a clear and consistent thread here. dont be discouraged- this is the normal exchange deb will not respond to gentleness, good manners or appeals to civility. he has a xenophobic agenda and is actually proud of it, right deb? however, i personally have enjoyed and benefitted from your efforts. peace to you

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Victoria:If you are accusing me of being xenophobic, then I must submit that Islamic doctrines also preach xenophobia. Islam has its origins in hatred for anything outside the fold of Islam. In situations, waging offensive war against unbelievers just because the infidels have a different viewpoint on worship, Islam commands genocide against humans.In that light, just as Nazi doctrine has been shunned, the world, post 9/11 shall and will shun and abandon the Islamic doctrine of hate, xenophobia and genocide. But, then again, many would argue that such commandments are indeed word of God and hence are infallible.

  • DanDupree

    You peeps really have strange gods, wait, you all believe in the same hallucination? From 3000 years ago??? WTF????If the God of the Jews and Muslims is REALLY IT… I opting for shatan or some shi ite. Buddha, hell i’m opting out for secular Humanism

  • victoria

    mr mirza- your social and communication skills leave something to be desired. im a fool, lying, weird and should be beaten, but please respond with civility? have i ever done anything but that? please mr mirza- find one place in all of these boards where i have ever used the phrase ‘out of context’. anyway- as ive said many times before- after all your insults that is as gracious as i am inclined to be peace mr mirza

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  • Deb Chatterjee

    Victoria,1. Mirza didn’t write that you should be beaten.2. Mirza thinks you are fool, liar and weird; you think he is disrespecting you.Well, we have access to your posts on this blog and others. If one reads your responses, it is simply clear that a pattern emerges: you always tend to negate anything unfavorable to Islam. In this sense you place “civility” and “respect” at a higher level than “reason”, “facts” and “fairness”.It is true that when confronted with citations from Islamic sources you and your ilk have dismissed that as “false interpretation” and “taken out of context” and what not. But as Mirza states when you quote the Quran then it is never out of context for some weird reason. So, yes you are truly weird. And in my view a fool because you and your ilk get exposed at such mode of behavior. I’ll never forget your vehement contention that Syed Abul ala Maududi is detested and rejected by the majority of the Muslim ummah. My sources (based on Maududi) wre totally dismissed. But, when I cited the University of Southern California Muslim Student Association website, that has extensive inputs on Islamic scriptures from Maududi, you just gave wishy-washy babble, but again with the vehement yet unsubstantiated denial that Maulana Maududi is a very narrow interpretation, and hence not mainstream. Its frustrating to argue to Islamists like you for the above reasons. So, I think Mirza’s views about you are precisely right though not very pleasant.

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  • Syed K. Mirza

    To: Deb,Thanks for your clarified support to my comments. It seems, our opponents (Somalitrade and Victoria et al) have not much fuel other than pure gibberish. They want to tell us that when they use Quranic verses and hadiths then it must be pure and no problem of context. I gave Somalitrade some questions about their weired syndrome of “out of context” and i am waiting their answer to my questions. But I am afraid, these islamists will not answer me for good reason. If they answer my questions sicerely, then they will be caught red-handed for their double standard.Memorising Quran (not understanding a word) by 10 year old boys does not make Quran any divine book at all. This is absolutely irrelevant (gibberish) to our subject of discussion. Please come to the point of women rights in Islam. Show us some examples where you have Islamic women rights that Victoria is bragging with. Give us Quranic reference to your statements. Stay to the point of our discussion–which is women rights in islam. Tell us why 100% Muslim nations have least or worst women rights and horrific social conditions.Another point for Victoria: In Islam women does not have any right to divorce and property right is half of a man. In reallity, Muslim women do not get even half share of their property. In poor nations, brothers do not give them anything almost 90% of the cases. Give us Quranic verse or hadiths that allows islamic women to divorce independantly. In my next message, I will bring Quranic verses and hadisth and sharia laws which will tell clearly that in Islam, women do not have any right to divorce except only when husband is abnormal or mad. So stay tune.SKM

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    So…people are upset???

  • VICTORIA

    chatter- actually mr mirza told me to go to a muslim country and ask for my rights and get some islamic lashings form the islamic police- what do you call that, a kiss? and yes, calling someone weird, a liar and a fool constitutes bad manners. mr mirza, i have acted as a liaison in divorce disputes in my mosque. however, your further insults and continued adding to it- do not incline me to respond in kind with insults to you- but it also does not incline me to bother to take the time to formulate answers. as chatter has pointed out- i have posted liberally and prolifically on these boards. also- you completely ignored my challenge toyou to find ANYWHERE IN THESE BOARDS-that i have said “out of context” and i know chatter ran to find it right away but came back empty handed. so, in light of your atrocious manners, disrespect for women (me) illustrated here- i just dont feel like it. if you decide to post with some semblance of mannerly behavior, ill be happy to write and write- i will make the observation that it is precisely your unmannerly behavior that has led you personally to have such negative experiences. thank you somalitrade while our friends keep clamoring for qu’ranic reference- it seems to have silenced them for the moment. im sure theyre rushing off to islamwatch or daniel pipes to try to counter it- or else they’ll return with a bunch of garbled anecdotal incidences- which add nothing of reason to any debate in the world. you have given us a taste of the social protection for women in the bounds of marital law in islam- the 3 month cooling off period is also wise. peace and blessing of ALLAH to you Somalitrade, keep up the posting and ill come back and read and learn too.

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  • Rory

    Somalitrade, what exactly is the point of you posting all those incoherent Koran quotations about divorce? If anything, they are all the more disturbing for being forced to require Muslim men to actually treat divorced women with a modicum of human decency. Most of us here in the real world do that without being afraid that Allah will smite us from the sky if we don’t. Your implication that Western women are somehow suffering the horrors of mistreatment in divorce while Muslim women the world over bask in the equality of the Koran is laughable on its face. But that need not halt your vain preaching: “Read chapter 65 (the divorce) of the Holy Quran. I swear by God that this chapter should be the divorce guide to all courts of law around the world. This chapter alone is enough to make people and especially women convert to Islam instantly.”Hey, thanks, at least you and the other shameless Islamists running around on these forums (hi, Victoria) aren’t bothering to even crudely hide your agendas any longer. If I had a nickel for every time people started pushing sharia around here I’d almost have enough stashed away for my dhimmi tax – oh right, sharia will never happen here because life under it is bleak and miserable and cruel, just like life for divorced Muslim women everywhere BUT in the West.

  • somalitrade

    Deb has just shown how IGNORANT he/she is!!! Verse 4:23 PROHIBITS a man from marrying the daughter of a woman with whom he got married already and had an intercourse with her. If the man divorced that woman, he CANNOT marry her daughter because he went in!!! The only valid condition for that man to marry the daughter is that he neither married the mother or if he did, he actually never completed the marriage obligations (like having intercourse with her) and untied the marriage knot by divorce. The man cannot marry a woman and her daughter nor a woman and her sister. This verse RISTRICTS not give freedom to the man to do whatever he wants.My God, no wonder these people are misled! Utter ignorance and layers upon layers of darkness!! How many times do I have to prove your utter ignorance before I can start tickling your brain? I am interested to know if you do this intentionally (flipping the truth on its face) or are you a true idiot?

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  • Syed K. Mirza

    To: Victoria,You are blamming me for wrong cause. I never told that it was you who asked for “out of context” game. Go back to my all old messages, you can never find that I told you that. It was for Somalitrade not for you lady! So take it easy. Please read the earlier message of mine where you can learn about women’s rights in Islam.By the way, I am repeatedly telling that what we are telling about women rights in islam is clearly reflected in all Islamic and muslim majority countries. You never answer those nor you say anything about that at all. Why? Victoria do you believe that what you have been brain-washed with women rights by some hypocritical mullahs during converting you are clearly non-existent in islamic country? Why you are not giving any example of what you are telling? You are comparing with other religions about women rights; but you fail to see that no religion but Islam controls women lives in the whole world. Look what is going on in Iran and saudi Arabia with poor women. Are not these clear examples what we are teling you. If Islam gave so much women rights then why in all muslim nations women are darn inferior and oppressed?Why you are so blind and stubborn and do not listen what we are writing with pertinent references? Please come to your sense!SKM

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  • Deb Chatterjee

    SKM:Arguing with Somalitrade (or Somalitirade) is futile. This personality is hellbent to create smoke without any fire.The case in point is that s/he never read my post on Quran (004:023), and hence ended up supporting my views but claimed that I am IGNORANT. As if the practice of yelling, just as mullahs do in a mosque, would help him state the truth.Well, you know SKM, this clown is is here to waste his time and bore use with more stupidity.

  • somalitrade

    Jews use words like “anti-semetic” to describe people who attack their religion and culture. Cristians use “ani-christ” to describe people who attack the character of Jesus. With a statement like this:”Islam, a religion laid down in writing over a millennium ago with violence and oppression at its heart.”I think muslims should start calling these people anti-Islam. In order to reduce hate and to stop the spread of misinformation, muslims should act like the Jews and sue these people in a court of law. If they have any truth in what they are saying, they should not feel threatened anyways with these actions. Let the law and the justice system take care of these hate crimes against all religions. I would even suggest that muslims (since christians aren’t willing to do anything about it) protect prophet Jesus name from being abused by these hate spreaders (mainly athiests). It is time for muslims to use the system to carry their message using wisdom and good advice. That is what they were ordered to do anyways in the Quran.

  • victoria

    well thanks for the apology followed by another insult- its movement even if it is lateral. why not just use your own intelligence and reasoning, and use qu’ran to bacl it up? as i said before i never met a mulla, so ill assume you havent read my short posts- i have a sick kitten who im nursing and my mind is on other things to be honest- i hate dollar stores they represent all that is declining in america- shoddy imports- low waged uninsured workers- anyway, i dont have the heart to fight, and youre not paying any attention to what i say anyway. funny, when i speak to muslims from other countries in mosques (my last one of 5 years was in chicago and mostly indo-pak) they dont seem to share your opinion about my knowledge or lack thereof. just because i wont be drawn into arguments that start out with negative aspersions only means that i choose not to add to the negativity. you can think what you want, i havent insulted your intelligence- just questioned your methods. ask deb chatterjee- he came out swinging and insulting in a most virulent manner in november of 2006 and attacked me repeatedly, and i told him then that i wont respond to bad manners. and he can tell you that ive kept that statement. either come up to my level of civil discourse or let it go- well agree to disagree- an apology followed by further insult just isnt enough of an effort for me to continue. i still havent seen those videos i posted but i will try today somalitrade

  • Syed K. Mirza

    To: Victoria,You are really a naive and totally ignorant yet very simple minded lady. You do not get, or do not want to get the truth about Islam. Your blabberings are irrelevant, meaningless and you do not read what I am pasting from Koran and hdiths at all. You talked with people at Mosque about Islamic women rights but you don’t know those guys are hypocrites like Somalitrade. So, you think Somalitrade will tell you how good women rights are in Islamic pardise?Come on lady! Read those stuff from Koran which I pasted and verify them with your own Koran, if you have one. Gush!SKM

  • somalitrade

    No it is nothing new. Here is the medical term and the definition for that condition:”Amenorrhea: is the absence of a menstrual period, it can be either primary (before menarche, not yet had a period by age 16) or secondary (after menarche, regular period that has now stopped for 3 months). There are many different causes of this condition.”God is just and leaves no one behind! Will you then believe?Peace…

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