Ayaan Hirsi Ali Vs. the West

The only reason we pay attention to Ayaan Hirsi Ali is because of the maniacal Muslims who want to murder … Continued

The only reason we pay attention to Ayaan Hirsi Ali is because of the maniacal Muslims who want to murder her. Her superficial insights are made infinitely more interesting by the fact that there are nut jobs out there who would do her in for making them.

Ms. Ali, often and ludicrously called a “defender of the West”, has certainly mastered one of its central elements: capitalism. She has learned to make a living from the fact that her life is threatened. It is a lucrative though precarious path, as recent events make clear.

I think the people who want Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s head are cretins. They are dangerous to all of us. They would have my head and the heads of all the progressive Muslims I know in an instant.

But to make a hero of Ayaan Hirsi Ali because we deplore her would-be killers – to call her books “luminous” as Salman Rushdie and Sam Harris do in a recent International Herald Tribune OpEd – violates some of the central principles of the Enlightenment that these people laughably claim Ali is championing.

Ali’s book Infidel essentially tells a story of a woman’s escape from oppression into freedom, and from the life of a refugee cleaning lady in the Netherlands to a writer and politician. It is a genuinely inspiring tale (even a lyrical one, although reports have surfaced that Ali had a ghost writer), until Ali gets to the point where she says that the entire religion of Islam was not only the cause of her oppression, but is the central cause of oppression in the world, and moreover, it has never been, and can never be, anything but oppressive.

Let’s apply the Enlightenment principle of reason to this narrative, and let’s do it through a story. Let’s say that Ayaan Hirsi Ali, instead of incriminating Islam at the end of her book, blamed another entity whose cultural traditions had more than a little to do with her painful childhood. Let’s say she went after Africa. And let’s say she did it with the same venom and hyperbole.

What if Ali said that all of Africa was benighted and evil? Look at its civil wars, its history of corrupt leaders, its diseases. There is only one solution: we must eradicate its traditions and immediately initiate its hundreds of millions of people into other cultures lest they spread their poison all over the world. In fact, she may well add, the cultural invasion has begun – do you know how many Africans are migrating to Europe?

There would, of course, be an outcry – probably led by the likes of Bono and Angelina Jolie — that would go something like this: “It is a violation of reason and dignity for one person to universalize her experience and say that an entire continent with thousands of years of history is to blame for it.”

Nobody would fete her for “leaving Africa” as they have for her renouncing Islam. They would simply call her an ignoramus and be done with it.

Instead of the talk show circuit, Ayaan Hirsi Ali would be writing bitter articles for xenophobic journals.

Just to continue with our embrace of the Enlightenment, let’s consider a story a little closer to home, a story that focuses on our beloved nation – the one that took Enlightenment principles seriously enough to enshrine them in its founding documents and political institutions.

In Infidel, Ali quotes passages of the Qur’an that are violent, and because she is targeting an audience that either doesn’t know better or doesn’t want to know better, she suggests that those passages represent the whole text, the whole 1400 year history of Islam, its billion plus current adherents.

Let’s say that Ms. Ali was flipping through the U.S. Constitution and the first passage she read was the one that said people of her skin color counted as three-fifths of a person. Let’s say that Ms. Ali opened an American history book and read only the chapter on the slave trade. Let’s say the first Americans she met were the racists who drove around Jena during the protests with nooses hanging off their pick up trucks. Let’s say she connects these dots into a story – the story of America’s inevitable, oppressive racism.

But wait a minute you say … that’s not all the Constitution says. That’s not the entirety of American history, nor the whole of the American population.

But she’s got her story, and she’s taking it to the bank.

If you’re going to buy into the universal principles of the Enlightenment, then you should apply them in a universal and enlightened way.

To all those who claim Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the new face of the West:

If your ulterior motive is to deepen a narrative intended to make Muslims in North America and Europe seem and feel forever foreign – to write an entire religion out of entire continents for the foreseeable future – I suggest you reflect deeply on your bedrock principles and your core identity.

If you think the West is about marginalizing large groups of people and maligning their traditions, then Ayaan Hirsi Ali is defending it. If you believe, as I do, that the West is characterized by reason and pluralism, then Ayaan Hirsi Ali is attacking its essence.

Finally, and for the record, if Ayaan Hirsi Ali applied for refugee status in America and requested protection from the government, I would support her application and offer my tax dollars to ensure her safety.

She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, but those same traditions cause me to wish her no harm.

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  • zosima

    “She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, but those same traditions cause me to wish her no harm.”Well Eboo, surely you meant no physical harm, because you seem willing enough to destroy her verbally. What power has she that she draws such venom from “moderate” Muslims like you? If you are afraid she will cause you loss, it can only happen if what she is saying is true..

  • Hewitt

    Eboo PatelAyaan Hirsi Ali argues that Islam is oppressive, oppressive in its very roots. You find that “repulsive to my Muslim faith” and so argue that she is superficial, drawing attention only from the death threats made against her. By the Enlightenment principles that you claim for yourself, you have not made a good argument.Ali does more than merely quote violent passages from the Qur’an; she makes a sustained and detailed argument that Islam is oppressive. That is what offends you. Yet you do not meet her arguments; you only insult and reject her. You do not explain how a non-oppressive reading of Islam is possible, a minimal but sufficient argument.Instead, your harsh rhetoric merely confirms her point.

  • adil

    i totally agree, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a total distortionist. there is a difference between stating the fact and critiquing them, and wittingly disfigure an entire religion. in simpler words.. i think she milked what happend to her colleague to the fullest, to gain self recognition, and perhaps some revenue from her books.

  • Anonymous

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali has correctly pointed that the oppression of women in Islam can be traced to the perverted acts of the prophet of Muhammad. Muslim men look upon Muhammad as a perfect example to follow. Muslims believe that their Arabic god Allah spoke through the Koran and acted through Muhammad.The sahih or correct hadiths shed light on Muhammad’s behaviour towards females.Muhammad married Aisha, the 6-year-old daughter of Abu Bakr. His desire for her rose when she came in a dream to him while still in the cradle. He consummated the marriage after Aisha got her first menstruation at age 8 (9 by the Islamic Calendar) when he was 56.What do you think he could have done with all those child-slaves he captured in his raids?Tabari VIII: The sixty-two-year old Messenger of Allah married Mulaykah. She was young (12) and beautiful. One of the Prophet’s wives came to her and said, ˜Are you not ashamed to marry a man who killed your father during the day he conquered Mecca? She therefore took refuge from him {fled}.Sunaan Abu Dawud: Book 13, Number 2380: The Prophet (pbuh) used to kiss her (Aisha) and suck her tongue when he was fasting.This was his way of hydrating himself, by sucking on the tongue of a child and breaking the rule that Muslims should not even swallow their saliva during the fasting period.Sahih Bukhari: V3B31N149: Narrated ‘Aisha: “The Prophet used to kiss and embrace (his wives) while he was fasting.What more need be said of this messenger of Allah, who dishonored Allah’s Quranic fasting rule for sex.Do you still blame Ali for exposing Islam and Muhammad?

  • Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada

    Eboo,You can do much better than writing about (or even reading!) the likes of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Tasneema Nasreen, Ibn Warraq as well as Sam Harris and Christopher(?) Hitchens. At one time (around the time of his publishing Midnight’s Children and Shame and even Satanic Verses) I used to hold Salman Rushdie in some esteem, as I did Richard Dawkins when he was an evolutionary Biologist and Daniel Dennett when was a rigorous philosopher promisingly following in the footsteps of Bertrand Russell. But, no more!The fashion of (and bucks to be made from writing about) atheism, or even the arguably more reasonable theses of agnosticism, have turned these people into the equivalent of tabloid press writers.I invite you to blank them out of your mind, read the Heisenberg essay on Religion and Science, being an extract from his 1971 book on Beyond Physics, reproduced on the website of edge.org, and write about the ideas contained in that essay, updated to take-in the most recent developments in science as can be glanced in science popularizer books.You’d start a blog that will make Sam Harris and Hitchens red with envy, and that may even stimulate you to write best-sellers that would make even Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett envious of the mega-bucks you’d be making.And then, again, maybe the Pope (after consulting with Bush, Sarko, Angela Merkel, and all the military generals of the Western world, as well as with Mladic and Karadzic and their equivalents in Russia) might take you more seriously than the 138 no doubt well-intentioned but hopelessly naive Muslim scholars who have written to him about interfaith efforts to promote peace.

  • Russell Holloway

    PatelThis is revolting stuff.Full of anger and hate.

  • Ted Baines

    Muhammad MalleckI have challenged Eboo to write about the Islamic apartheid in Saudi Arabia where non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca and Medina, are not allowed to build their places of worship anywhere in Saudi Arabia and may worship in a public place. The least Muslims could do is to boycott the hajj and show their opposition to the apartheid.Mr. Malleck, where do you stand on this issue?

  • Wayne

    The marvelous thing about Ayaan Hirsi Ali was that she finally SAW that Islam is a scam. A disgusting brain destroying think-system,that has to change drastically,before we can even dream about world peace.Patel should be leading the way to a newer Islam,a non-violent Islam,a compassionate Islam,instead of stoning Ayaan Hirsi Ali,and showing us again the ugly Islam,the nasty,vengeful Islam.

  • VICTORIA

    ali left a dyfunctional and abusive family and islam at 16- now shes at the american enterprise institute who are showing some regret at her inclusion. when she hit america she did the talk show circuit, but she wasnt talking to idiots who hate islam automatically, but people who had some knowledge of it and discredited her pretty easily. you’ll notice she hasnt been asked to speak publicly anywhere else in the past 6 months. if it werent for WAPO- she wouldnt be being discussed at all, and it looks like most have become tired of her hateful rants. not to mention the same women she claimed to help were deserted by her- she used them for a moment and discarded them. personally, i am also pretty bored with her- but she deserves attention (which seems to be what she wants) because of her hate speech- which is dangerous in any context. if she werent so vehement in her anger, id feel sorry for her. but her intentions are not to help anyone(like the women she used to propel herself politically- and then discarded) but to promote her own interests. denmark tired of her, and it looks like america is also getting tired of her.

  • Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada

    Ted Baines,You get only one of the three ‘facts’ you cite completely right (not quite completely, but almost), one partly wrong, and one totally wrong. Maybe that’s why Eboo ignored you.But I am always magnanimous, especially when I am fasting and have just finished my mid-day prayers, so I reply to you.The fact you get right is, yes, non-Muslims are not allowed to build non-Muslim places of worship in Saudi Arabia. But this is totally un-Islamic. Yes, non-Muslims are not NORMALLY allowed to enter Mecca and Median because they have a record of hating Islam and Muslims (you are living proof of that, are you not? But, I’ll give you another example. In the book ARAMCO, it is related how covert agents of ARAMCO used to scoop the defecation of King Feizal to be sent to pathology labs for analysis of any disease that the King may have, because ARAMCO and the CIA knew that there would inlikely be a successor to him more accommodating to American demands for a steady and cheap supply of oil, and they wanted to be in a position to anticipate events and plan accordingly. It was in line with that devilish strategy that, following the use of the oil weapon by Saudi Arabia in the context of the Yon Kippur war to send the message to America that besides the clear military victory of Yom Kippur and ig America intervenes at the side of Israel — as, indeed it did — the Arabs have other ways to hit back other than clear military insignificance realtive to the American military juggernaut. That was when Irving Kristol, father of William, advocated in an article published in Foreign Affairs, that America should invade Saudi Arabia.) I say NORMALLY. Sir Ricahrd Burton did enter Mecca and wrote about it and made bid bucks. Paul Marenches has written about how non-Muslim French soldiers had been allowed to enter Mecca to kill about 200 Muslim dissidents who had stormed the Holy Place in protest at certain politically repressive and anti-Islamic pratices of some (I am not saying ALL, nor am I excluding that it might be all) of the decision-makers of the House of Saud, very good friends of America’s.But you’re wrong that non-Muslims are not allowed to pray in public places in Saudi Arabia. But, yes, unlike Muslims who can spread their mats in any clean place and pray facing towards Mecca, in the case of non-Muslims you would have to define what do you mean by “pray” and what do you mean by “public place” before I can tell you what would be allowed or not. Clearly, you can murmur your “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”, your “Hail Mary”, your “Om Namak Shiva” anywhere you want in Saudi Arabia (except Mecca and Medina), provided you do not do it loud enough to draw attention to you or in a provocative fashion. If you can be as objective as I am, Ishall be ready to discuss with you next time. If not, I am sorry for you.

  • Morry

    There are many forms of Islam. Sufi brotherhoods are radically different from moderate Muslims who are very different from tribally oriented conservatives and radicals. But the notion that the Umma should not be split violates the concept of tribal solidarity which is a very strong tradition throughout Islam. Public disagreement is not readily accepted. It is perceived to weaken the Umma. This usually means the loudest and most dramatic voices win out. Eboo and suicide bombers get all the attention. Others fall silent.This column is a fine exception to that rule.

  • Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada

    Morry,Why don’t you call a psychiatrist and get your head examined?Only a raving mad nut would write : ” …the notion that the Umma should not be split violates the concept of tribal solidarity which is a very strong tradition throughout Islam”.If you expect the aforesigned Muslim equivalent of Galileo to agree to say, against all evidence to the contrary and for fear of being tortured, that “the Umma is obscurantist and oppressively tribalist”, only to mutter afterward “and yet, the Umma is united in tolerance and compassion and submission to the Will of Allah Subhaana-Wata’Ala”, then you indeed need to have your head examined.

  • Ted Baines

    M MalleckThank you for your expected response.You confirmed what I have said here many times before. That the mainstream Muslim believes in the Islamic apartheid practiced in In Saudi Arabia, especially the regarding the entry into Mecca and Medina.The apartheid and bigotry which includes the barring of entry into the two cities, the ban on building of non-Muslim places of worship and the ban on open worship, even the wearing of a Cross is banned, is entirely Islamic, not unIslamic as you claim because Muhammad made the statement ” Two deens shall not exist in Muslim lands”.Now the ban on entry into the two cities is akin to a white country club barring membership for non-whites. I would cancel my membership if I found that my club practiced apartheid.Dont you think you and Muslims like you should boycott the hajj until all aspects of the Islamic bigotry are removed from Saudi Arabia?Regarding public prayer here is an example. If I knelt down on the same sidewalk as a Muslim would spread his mat to pray to his Arabic god Allah and I loudly ” Our Father , who art in Heaven…” with a Cross around my neck, that would be an honest prayer. Why do you find my prayer provocative?Please do answer the question about boycotting the hajj.

  • david

    I don’t know what your definition of “progressive” is Mr Patel, but you have a long way to go before you even begin to understand the term. You are comparing the racist passages in the American constitution to the violent passages in the Quran. Here’s the difference: America has abolished slavery and moved on, and African Americans are better off now than ever before. Islam however remains the same as it was 1400 years ago and muslims seem quite content to let it remain that way. What do you have to say about the violence, the mistreatment of women the intolerance and hate that is depicted in the Quran? Have you “progressive” muslims ever had a moment of self- introspection and wondered why there is so much unholiness in a book that purports to be”holy”? Real enlightenment comes from honest enquiry and that is banned in Islam. Not only is it banned, but those that dare question the Quran are to be put to death. The people who threaten Hirsi Ali are only following the Quran and its tenets. They are not cretins, they are the true muslims.

  • Neal Jettpace

    Islam and Christianity differ currently in one great respect: the seperation of church and state.In the west, the state is supreme over religion. In muslim countries (with the notable exception of Turkey) the opposite is true. What this means to women (among others) is that when the ruling clerics determine that it is okay to beat and violently oppress them, it has the force of law.That this happens to women in the muslim world is the rule, not the exception. We all know this. To try to claim otherwise is to be more than disengenuous.Without these passages in the Koran (and yes, they are there) there would be far less room for clerics to mandate or countenance them.Luckily for us in the west, those similar passeges that can be found in the Bible (there are plenty) do not and can not have the force of law. Even Jesus himself seems to argue for this when he admonishes to “give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s, unto God what is God’s”In the Koran, that Sharia (spelling?) is supreme over the state is very explicit.The idea that all religions are equally generous as well as onerous is simply to ignore the obvious and real differences among them.BTW, I am niether Christian nor Muslim.

  • The Metaphysicist

    As always, the core of the dispute is religion. Today, in America and most of the Islamic world,if you do not believe in fairy tales or accept superstitious incredulity, you are are either immoral, less than a human being or a cretinous knave. Let us rid the world of all religious beliefs and rituals that maime, torture, cause suffering and kill; certainly those under the auspicies of state enforced power. There is no possible reason we cannot simply retain pride in our heritage and respect the culture of our people without resorting to the uncivilized committment of drinking the Cool Aide brewed by primitive minds; yet un-enlightened by knowledge and reason. What a kinder, gentler, more humane and enlightened world this would be, if we were but left to live without religious coercion and all equally able to secure the opportunity to prosper. Empower the fanatics and believers in faith, and you will continue to have savagery, suffering, misery, inhumanity and needless death in the name of god.

  • Skeptimal

    I said: “She advocates reform of Islam, not its destruction, and a Muslim enlightenment is long overdue.”A Muslim responded: “She does advocate its destruction. See my comment below at 10:17 AM.”I went and read the Reason article you referred to, and I see that what she said is troubling, but she doesn’t actually advocate the destruction of Islam. she said Islam should be defeated, not destroyed, so that it could remake itself into something peaceful. I don’t expect that to be of comfort to you, because it isn’t very friendly, but there are subtle differences. Despite her using the word “crushed,” I don’t read this as her advocating some sort of religion-based slaughter.You said: “Are there injustices in the Muslim world? Yes, there are. Then lets remedy them, and not fight a WWIII over it.”I agree. I opposed the war in Iraq, and I would oppose any war motivated by spreading ideology. Islamic violence is a huge problem in the world, but the U.S. threw gasoline on that fire by invading Iraq. The world will pay the price of that mistake for generations.Where, however, is Islamic injustice being remedied? Where are the glowing examples of Muslim peaceful co-existence? Are we EVER going to see a Muslim Enlightenment?

  • J. Balough

    Food for thought.

  • Sam

    It is and has always been very obvious that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an opportunist. Now, I am neither a Muslim nor profess deep knowledge of the religion. But whatever this woman has done so far doesn’t seem like anything but foster her own cause. I would never take her seriously. Being a Christian, I have a lot of very good Muslim friends. I haven’t heard one of them represent the Islam that she is talking about. What is more, some of the more progressive that some of my own Christian friends. In any case, I think this article has a very valid point.

  • Paul Carr

    This is so badly argued, I don’t know where to begin. How can one compare a continent to religion? how does that analogy even begin to work? Reason? Bosh! While it is possible that reasonable persons could disagree on the harm done by religion, this essay contributes nothing to that debate.And then, comparing a static, dogmatic religious text to a living, breathing secular document like the constitution? The latter requires us to keep thinking and questioning (no surprise, very Englightened of our founding fathers, who were at the core very skeptical of religion). The former requires us to shut off all questioning and obey.

  • Jaimelat

    The West has a long and proud tradition of maligning and attacking other people’s traditions–as well as its own. One of the core tenets of enlightened thinking was–and is–the inalienable right to attack and criticize those institutions and traditions that infringe on universal rights. Paraphrasing Michael Walzer, the West is about tolerance for everyone except for those who are deemed intolerant. Ms. Ali may strike some as vitriolic and unfair. However, her all-out attack on her oppressors–with whom Mr. Patel is ridiculously compared for the sole reason of being male and muslim–is perfectly compatible with the broader Western tradition. Ours is not a civilization of tolerance exclusively. We, as individuals and nations, have all the right to lash out against any perceived wrong, specially if we do so by advocating a debate of ideas against the murderous instincts of a few.

  • Jaimelat

    The West has a long and proud tradition of maligning and attacking other people’s traditions–as well as its own. One of the core tenets of enlightened thinking was–and is–the inalienable right to attack and criticize those institutions and traditions that infringe on universal rights. Paraphrasing Michael Walzer, the West is about tolerance for everyone except for those who are deemed intolerant. Ms. Ali may strike some as vitriolic and unfair. However, her all-out attack on her oppressors–with whom Mr. Patel is ridiculously compared for the sole reason of being male and muslim–is perfectly compatible with the broader Western tradition. Ours is not a civilization of tolerance exclusively. We, as individuals and nations, have all the right to lash out against any perceived wrong, specially if we do so by advocating a debate of ideas against the murderous instincts of a few.

  • Campbellite

    Why is it that, when pressed for “reasons” why Religion X is such a bad thing, its detractors simply find some instance in which a person associated with Religion X did something awful, and then try to paint the entire Religion with that brush? Has no one ever heard of the STRAW MAN FALLACY?

  • Matt

    I applaud Mr. Patel’s reasoned denunciation of both Islamic extremists and anti-Islamic extremist such as Ms. Ali. Moderate and nuanced interpretations of Islam are sorely needed in this time of extremist violence and right wing demagogy. I wonder if Ms. Ali would dare make her argument to Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate whose microfinance program has empowered thousands of Muslim women.

  • Demaynadier

    unfortunately the genesis of the three religions of the Book has taken place in violence : Moses, Mohamed and the Holy Inquisition… Only Buddhism was BORN in compassion. It remains that the four religions -with the exception of a few of their entranched fanatics- have moved to preaching love,charity, compassion and understanding. Unfortunately there will always be funamentalists to believe that they are the elcted repository of THE ( inexisting ) TRUTH and that they can justify their existence by propagating it.

  • peace

    Don’t hate, participate man!!!

  • Fate

    Hmm, an interesting analysis. But it is flawed. There is a reason people would be outraged if she said all of Africa is evil. Simply, it is not. Its also worth noting that if she had made that statement no African would call for her head, put a price on it and have a following of people trying to see who could kill her first. The death threats on her support her thesis.However her criticisms of Islam are not that it is evil in whole, just that it allows evil to be perpetrated in its name. It is quite easy for Islamists to find the justifications for violence against infidels and even one’s own family in the Quran, and Islamic history shows the religion to be totalitarian. Maybe you should consider that maybe her criticisms are valid. Could it be that Islam encourages violence even though for you it does not have that calling? Look at the results on the global scale. Look how many islamists are bombing and killing in the name of their religion and look how many christians or jews or hindus or buddists are killing in the name of their religion. And look back in history as well. I’ve always felt that the most enlightened people question authority of every type. You should ask yourself whether you would allow yourself to question Islam. If not, you are not enlightened but simply a blind follower whether you think you agree with Islam or not. If you cannot question its edicts, then you cannot claim enlightenment. Like the islamists, you cannot think for yourself. That is what Ali is working to expose.

  • Arif

    A glaring Muslim flaw; don’t criticize Muslims or Islam. Being Muslim means your religion, your history, your “prophet” are all perfect. Please note all the Muslims here including Eboo how they truly HATE Ms. Ali. The most hatred is spewed from the convert-why is it that converts stomp the hardest and shout the loudest? Criticize Islam in a Muslim country and they will hunt you down and butcher you… the Islamic way. Can we write somthing about this Eboo?Just recently Iran passed a fatwa against a Swedish cartoonist, there is an extra “reward” for killing him the traditional Islamic way; slice his throat and you get extra! (Not sure how he’d collect the reward though-minor detail left out). Can we discuss that Eboo? Or the Danish cartoons? Stoning of women in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan?…anybody?I read Ms. Ali’s post a few months back all she did was wonderfully point out glaring flaws in Islam simply and beautifully. Not one Muslim responded gracefully, all spewed HATE and venom against the woman who is braving fatwa’s and idiot western appeasers. I hope she makes millions while exposing the 1400 year old cult masquerading as a religion. She pointed out Sharia Law and its huge flaws, she pointed out Saudi Arabia, Iran and Nigeria where women are stoned to death; Do you know how stoning is done? Can a Muslim or Eboo please explain how correctly to stone an adulteress the Islamic way? Who casts the first stone, is it the Dad or the brother? Eboo has been granted free reign to post whatever he wants, what does he do instead of answering Ms. Ali’s accusations? He pours more hate and does not bother to answer any of her eloquent points. Please notice how many responses she got for her tiny post. Perhaps the most anyone has gotten so far. Why? This is NOT an answer from an “intellectual”, “…She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities…” Why Eboo? If you had any intellect you would answer her point for point. You didn’t, none of you Muslims did, not even the convert/revert.Let’s do this, let’s take Ms. Ali’s post and number the points she made about/against Islam. All you intellectual Muslims and converts please reply convincingly to each one, in a scholarly manner because this won’t do; “She is ignorant… or she is full of hate… or I pity her… or she was never a Muslim”.

  • ender

    When the religious leader of an entire nation and one of the largest Islamic sects declares a ‘fawa’, or death decree on someone for leaving the religion, and practicing free speach, you should be talking about your shame of all Iranians and Shias, not your repulsion of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. And the death threats are not only from the Shias.

  • ender

    woops, fatwaWhat is an enlightened muslim?A secular humanist, that no longer lives in an Islamic state. If they do, they are a dead secular humanist.

  • PPike

    The assertion that, “the entire religion of Islam was . . . the cause of . . . oppression” is fundamentally different from making the same accusation toward anything else, including Africa. It is entirely possible that one assertion could hold merit while the other couldn’t. That it is rediculous to criticize Africa in no way makes it rediculous to criticize Islam.It is possible to criticize something without rejecting it completely. You seem to at once be insisting on this point (as it applies to your beliefs), while simultaneously ignoring it (as it could be applied to Ms. Ali).”It is a genuinely inspiring tale (even a lyrical one, although reports have surfaced that Ali had a ghost writer) . . . ” Clearly you intend us to believe the “reports” that “have surfaced”. “She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, but those same traditions cause me to wish her no harm.” You doth protest too much, methinks.

  • PPike

    The assertion that, “the entire religion of Islam was . . . the cause of . . . oppression” is fundamentally different from making the same accusation toward anything else, including Africa. It is entirely possible that one assertion could hold merit while the other couldn’t. That it is rediculous to criticize Africa in no way makes it rediculous to criticize Islam.It is possible to criticize something without rejecting it completely. You seem to at once be insisting on this point (as it applies to your beliefs), while simultaneously ignoring it (as it could be applied to Ms. Ali).”It is a genuinely inspiring tale (even a lyrical one, although reports have surfaced that Ali had a ghost writer) . . . ” Clearly you intend us to believe the “reports” that “have surfaced”. “She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, but those same traditions cause me to wish her no harm.” You doth protest too much, methinks.

  • PPike

    The assertion that, “the entire religion of Islam was . . . the cause of . . . oppression” is fundamentally different from making the same accusation toward anything else, including Africa. It is entirely possible that one assertion could hold merit while the other couldn’t. That it is rediculous to criticize Africa in no way makes it rediculous to criticize Islam.It is possible to criticize something without rejecting it completely. You seem to at once be insisting on this point (as it applies to your beliefs), while simultaneously ignoring it (as it could be applied to Ms. Ali).”It is a genuinely inspiring tale (even a lyrical one, although reports have surfaced that Ali had a ghost writer) . . . ” Clearly you intend us to believe the “reports” that “have surfaced”. “She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, but those same traditions cause me to wish her no harm.” You doth protest too much, methinks.

  • PPike

    The assertion that, “the entire religion of Islam was . . . the cause of . . . oppression” is fundamentally different from making the same accusation toward anything else, including Africa. It is entirely possible that one assertion could hold merit while the other couldn’t. That it is rediculous to criticize Africa in no way makes it rediculous to criticize Islam.It is possible to criticize something without rejecting it completely. You seem to at once be insisting on this point (as it applies to your beliefs), while simultaneously ignoring it (as it could be applied to Ms. Ali).”It is a genuinely inspiring tale (even a lyrical one, although reports have surfaced that Ali had a ghost writer) . . . ” Clearly you intend us to believe the “reports” that “have surfaced”. “She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, but those same traditions cause me to wish her no harm.” You doth protest too much, methinks.

  • Concur

    I do not know which passages of the Qur’an Ali quoted and referred to as violent, but I do know that there are violent verses in the Qur’an. I have read the Qur’an. What everyone should know about Qur’an regardless whether he/she doesn’t know better or doesn’t want to know better, is that Islam is, in fact, a violent religion that discriminates against women. Unlike any other historical, political, constitutional, or scientific book, the verses of the Qur’an are written in no chronological order that explains when God supposedly prophesized those verses to the prophet. The verses are listed in the Qur’an from the shortest verse at the beginning of the Qur’an up to the longest verse at the end of it. In so many instances the verses contradict one another. As an example, in on verse of the Qur’an you would read a text that is seemingly pro-women, and few verses later, you can read another text that is objectionable and anti-women. Also, in so many verses the text would end up in the effect of “… God only Knows,” and keeps the door open for any worldly interpretation of that verse. That’s how many extremists promote violence and explain it to their followers as a justified mean to accomplish and institute their Society “Ommah” or Ruler-ship “Kelafa” according to God’s “Allah’s” prophesized instructions to the Muslim nation in the whole world. In a constitution of any civilized country, you would read statements (laws) that do not contradict with one another. And whenever a need arises to amend a statement to correct any prevailing injustice or to explain more clearly the thoughts and intent of the founding fathers in more modern and applicable manner, amendments are discussed and rectified by the representatives of the people. However, no Muslim can think of arguing about the validity of any verse of the Qur’an because it is allegedly the word of Allah, and Allah only knows!

  • myrna abdel-gawad

    Is Ali a friend and ally of Ann Coulter?

  • WestofLeft

    I wonder whether this commentator actually read “Infidel”. Or perhaps I didn’t, because I don’t recall her ever calling for the dismantling of Islam. Nor, in spite of many negatives about Islam, do I. He paraphrases, probably accurately: “she says that the entire religion of Islam was not only the cause of her oppression, but is the central cause of oppression in the world, and moreover, it has never been, and can never be, anything but oppressive.”And I believe she has license to say that, if you accept that she was not lying about her childhood and early womanhood. That does not make it true. And I do not receive such a statement at face value. But I DO accept that Islam is crippled by its origins, i.e. a relatively modern religion steeped in oppressive traditions of its early tribal convertees. It has not had time to “shake out” the absurd, as Judaism or Christianity (or for that matter, any of the ancient religions)(if you quibble that Christianity is not ancient, OK. Have your truth, it does not matter) have had, and to the extent that those religions have gone through that process, they exhibit more maturity than does Islam. I doubt very much that you will find female mutilation anywhere in the Koran. Nor will you find requirements or even permission that a man marry, then when he’s tired of it all marry again and abandon his first family. It seems to me that Islam calls for men to protect their women. Perhaps I’m wrong. Hirsi Ali mistakes these practices for Islam, probably because as a youthful believer, Islam and the practices of Somalis were coterminous and not distinguishable from inside. Yet, Islam has been ineffective in erasing primitivity from the minds of its adherents in many, if not most places. Apparently, it is more successful in the United States, which given the condition of the world, I fear will merely result in American Muslims being called infidels, themselves, by simpler souls. I decline to analyze the well-stretched and thin analogy with a supposed decrying of the entire African continent. It is trivial and inapt. Enough said. Now. Having said all that, I am likewise troubled by: “Let’s say that Ms. Ali opened an American history book and read only the chapter on the slave trade. Let’s say the first Americans she met were the racists who drove around Jena during the protests with nooses hanging off their pick up trucks. Let’s say she connects these dots into a story – the story of America’s inevitable, oppressive racism.”The difference between what is done in the name of Islam and what was done by, e.g., the Jena pickup drivers, is that none of those latter had any illusions that what they were doing was being done in the name of their nominal religion. It was done, more likely, in the name of their actual religion, beer. Even so, it must be admitted that she would be in some degree correct, as racism yet raises its ugliness to view from time to time in the U.S. When people in Third-world countries mutilate a young girl and say it is Islam, they are wrong. It isn’t. But that does not mean that Islam is right (I wonder if anyone has ever considered going around places like Somalia, and showing people like Hirsi Ali’s grandmother their own clitorises [which she claimed would "dangle to your knees" if not cut] before they go out and hurt someone else? Just a thought). Islam fails to protect its women, whatever it may say. And outsiders like me are justified in accepting, at least as a premise, that the religion in its form as practiced in most of the world, is a negative. Fix Islam. Then come back and talk to me. Don.

  • WestofLeft

    I wonder whether this commentator actually read “Infidel”. Or perhaps I didn’t, because I don’t recall her ever calling for the dismantling of Islam. Nor, in spite of many negatives about Islam, do I. He paraphrases, probably accurately: “she says that the entire religion of Islam was not only the cause of her oppression, but is the central cause of oppression in the world, and moreover, it has never been, and can never be, anything but oppressive.”And I believe she has license to say that, if you accept that she was not lying about her childhood and early womanhood. That does not make it true. And I do not receive such a statement at face value. But I DO accept that Islam is crippled by its origins, i.e. a relatively modern religion steeped in oppressive traditions of its early tribal convertees. It has not had time to “shake out” the absurd, as Judaism or Christianity (or for that matter, any of the ancient religions)(if you quibble that Christianity is not ancient, OK. Have your truth, it does not matter) have had, and to the extent that those religions have gone through that process, they exhibit more maturity than does Islam. I doubt very much that you will find female mutilation anywhere in the Koran. Nor will you find requirements or even permission that a man marry, then when he’s tired of it all marry again and abandon his first family. It seems to me that Islam calls for men to protect their women. Perhaps I’m wrong. Hirsi Ali mistakes these practices for Islam, probably because as a youthful believer, Islam and the practices of Somalis were coterminous and not distinguishable from inside. Yet, Islam has been ineffective in erasing primitivity from the minds of its adherents in many, if not most places. Apparently, it is more successful in the United States, which given the condition of the world, I fear will merely result in American Muslims being called infidels, themselves, by simpler souls. I decline to analyze the well-stretched and thin analogy with a supposed decrying of the entire African continent. It is trivial and inapt. Enough said. Now. Having said all that, I am likewise troubled by: “Let’s say that Ms. Ali opened an American history book and read only the chapter on the slave trade. Let’s say the first Americans she met were the racists who drove around Jena during the protests with nooses hanging off their pick up trucks. Let’s say she connects these dots into a story – the story of America’s inevitable, oppressive racism.”The difference between what is done in the name of Islam and what was done by, e.g., the Jena pickup drivers, is that none of those latter had any illusions that what they were doing was being done in the name of their nominal religion. It was done, more likely, in the name of their actual religion, beer. Even so, it must be admitted that she would be in some degree correct, as racism yet raises its ugliness to view from time to time in the U.S. When people in Third-world countries mutilate a young girl and say it is Islam, they are wrong. It isn’t. But that does not mean that Islam is right (I wonder if anyone has ever considered going around places like Somalia, and showing people like Hirsi Ali’s grandmother their own clitorises [which she claimed would "dangle to your knees" if not cut] before they go out and hurt someone else? Just a thought). Islam fails to protect its women, whatever it may say. And outsiders like me are justified in accepting, at least as a premise, that the religion in its form as practiced in most of the world, is a negative. Fix Islam. Then come back and talk to me. Don.

  • Oops

    Apologies for the double post. I am using a Beta version of my browser, and not everything goes smoothly. If there is an Admin, I hope they will delete the duplicate.

  • A Muslim

    Walk The Line:”The only reason I can think of is that you want to take a shot at Christianity.”No, I did not want to take a shot at Christianity. You are hypothesizing regarding what I mean. You referred to Christians killing film makers today, and I was using your same example. Going back to the original point, while in the Dark Ages, Islamic Civilization was flourishing with advances in science, medicine, astronomy, and so on. The civilization broke down and disintegrated into something that is comparable to the dark ages. Civilizations to rise and fall, you do know that, right? In any case, in the view of the Muslims within the Islamic Civilization (which was very diverse and composed of many different dynasties, emirates, etc) back then was that those Christians were barbaric. Today, Westerners have the tendency to call some Muslims barbaric. Fair enough. But you can not compare them to Western Christians of today. Compare them to the counterparts back in the 10th century. That way the standard for relative comparison is fair. And yes, both were/are barbaric. BUT NOT ALL OF THEM. Do I sound barbaric to you?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Does It Matter?Yes it does and Bravo for your commentary. Mr. Patel as in the past will not answer any of the tough questions thereby making him just another “wishy-wash” Muslim.

  • Diego Raineri

    Mr. Patel, I think I don’t fully agree with your analysis. I’m reading far too many “if” in it, and few consideration for facts, including the period Hirsi Ali spent here in Europe and related events. Everything could change, but while living in Europe Ali did never attack West. I agree with you in considering this woman a second level individual in the general panorama showing East and West facing each other. I also agree in thinking she’d better admit since the beginning to have a ghost writer, if this is the case. I’m living in Belgium, very close to Holland, and I had had Dutch Paper/TV news often on my screen before her trip in U.S.. I had the simple picture of an ordinary person having some braveness, which leaded her maybe too far in a distress situation. She was happy in Holland and she always spoke against fanatics of Islam. Those fanatics are reading and applying the worst among the many pages of Koran book. In the same way, worst Western people practiced with a particular care the worst pages of U.S. Chart you mentionned. As far as media reported here, she went in U.S. bacause in any house she moved in, neighborhood was afraid of a bomb attack and Government started to feel some embarassment. I think it is very dufficult to see any reason for a hostile attitude towards the West, looking to this story. I’m rather pushed to imagine that you don’t accept this woman’s critics to Islam, for some reason, even if she is clearly aiming only to the worst part of it.

  • ender

    “We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com’s articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.”Except for Eboo. Replies to his commentaries have a habit of disappearing.If you can’t handle the curry then quit saying stupid things Eboo.

  • Mansoor Ali

    Mr. patelPlease keep up your yeoman work in the spreading the good word about our glorious faith, Islam. Little by little, with people like you in the vanguard, America will become Islamic.I would like you to press the case for Muslims trapped in India to be able to migrate freely to our Promised Land, Pakistan.We the Muslims living in India fought for many years with the British Government and the Hindus to have our own Muslim country Pakistan. The Muslims in what is now India were more passionate about it then the the Muslims in what is now Pakistan.Bot Pakistan and India betrayed us by signing the Liaqat-Nehru Pact and with pact all migration of Muslims to Pakistan was terminated.Our efforts to break up India and escape the tyranny of the Hindus has been in vain.The world should wake up to our plight and allow us to go to Pakistan.

  • Joel Curzon

    Spoken like a typical person of faith—in other words, spoken dishonestly, with resort to ad hominem attacks and conclusory and dismissive generalizations.Never trust any person of faith to give an honest account of faith. The essence of faith is dishonesty, first and foremost dishonesty with one’s self.One can agree or disagree with some of Hiri Ali’s conclusions, but the incendiary reaction of Eboo Patel stinks of dishonesty.

  • Mr. Mac

    Eboo Patel,”Ali was flipping through the U.S. Constitution and the first passage she read was the one that said people of her skin color counted as three-fifths of a person.”What a ridiculous comparison. There is a significant difference between the U.S. Constitution and the Quran. That difference is the right and expectation of democratically altering it. The U.S. Constitution permits and even encourages its own criticism and amendment. The 3/5 law regarding slaves as 3/5 a person has been altered. Nothing in the Quran has, theoretically, been altered since its creation nor is alteration, theoretically, permitted. The Quran is presented as the greatest and stainless word of a god, and altering it would be a religious crime. If any person still honors a document that encourages its followers to kill and oppress people who dont believe Muhammed was a prophet, they deserve a good scolding. Whatever “good” might be in the Quran is entirely outweighed by the psychopathic lunacy that finds its presence on every page. “Progressive Muslim” is a ridiculous travesty. If individual Muslims desire to be progressive, I suggest they renounce Islam and find a new book to worship (perhaps Cat and the Hat), that is, if they arent afraid of the injunction to kill detractors within Islamic literature. “She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, but those same traditions cause me to wish her no harm.”The Muslim faith and Quran is repulsive to me because it threatens peoples’ lives and livelihoods merely because they would reject its claim to divinity and supremacy.

  • openletter

    Argue the facts, don’t make up stories.

  • openletter

    Argue the facts, don’t make up stories.

  • Muse

    Great article from an insightful educated moderate Muslim. Hope this might finally educate those hapless so called extreme Christians who are so eager to embrace anyone who slanders Islam including profiteers like Ayaan Hirse.Every religion has their brand of extremes i.e. on the Christian side here in USA, you have Christian right assisted by neo-conservatives, and their luminaries include the late Jerry Farwell, Pat Roberson and Bill Graham Jr. On the hand you had Hitler and David Koresh both did horrendous things to an extend in the name of Christianity …….. however nobody though associated these evil doers with Christianity like some do with Osama and Islam

  • Arthur C. Hurwitz

    This is a very true and novel comment. One can not dismiss a whole civilization, relgion, and millions of people as “opression” nor is it accurate. She will not attack the oppresive practices in the history of the West, the United States and Europe alike, because it is not in her interest. She is now “free” and making a successful career on the basis of her oppresssion.

  • Postmun

    Spoken like an Americanized Muslim. A more circumspect view of the Faith creates impressions more resonant with the insights of Ms Ali which are drawn from personal experience rather than casual and selective flipping through a historical document or history book. I don’t believe she has duplicitous motives as you ascribe. I would accuse her of no more than haboring resentment for years of gender subjugation.Her perspectives are fresh and somtimes shocking which in part explains her popularity.Without question her views do not represent the entire story of Islam, but they are an essential part of it telling and necessary to its understanding.

  • Walk the Line

    “No, I did not want to take a shot at Christianity. You are hypothesizing regarding what I mean. You referred to Christians killing film makers today, and I was using your same example. Going back to the original point, while in the Dark Ages, Islamic Civilization was flourishing with advances in science, medicine, astronomy, and so on. The civilization broke down and disintegrated into something that is comparable to the dark ages. Civilizations to rise and fall, you do know that, right? In any case, in the view of the Muslims within the Islamic Civilization (which was very diverse and composed of many different dynasties, emirates, etc) back then was that those Christians were barbaric. Today, Westerners have the tendency to call some Muslims barbaric. Fair enough. But you can not compare them to Western Christians of today. Compare them to the counterparts back in the 10th century. That way the standard for relative comparison is fair. And yes, both were/are barbaric. BUT NOT ALL OF THEM. Do I sound barbaric to you?So, if I understand you correctly, Muslims of today should not be compared to Christians of today, but rather, Christians of yesteryear (approximately 1000 years ago when Europe was in the Middle Ages). This is because some, but not all Christians of yesteryear were barbaric, just as some, but not all Muslims are barbaric in this day and age.As to your original point of:“I’d say give these Islamic societies a chance to recover, and certainly, if they become violent and employ terrorism, the West has every right to defend itself by force as needed.”How long must we wait? How long before Muslims educate themselves and learn that if someone criticizing their religion, that they don’t have to kill people, riot in the streets, or burn effigies? Granted, you seem to be a reasonable fellow, but how can we talk and communicate to people when they are not willing to listen to reason?(BTW, I’ve studied a fair amount of Islamic history. The rise of the Ottoman empire and their dominance in the 15th and 16th centuries are some of my favorite time periods in history, particularly that they were the first empire in over 1,500 years to take Constantinople in 1453)

  • Gad

    I wish you have commented on her lies that led to her expulsion of the parlimentary in Netherland. Or the faked story about her arranged marriage.

  • Greg

    I was not surprised in the least by Eboo Patel’s sarcastic barking aimed at Ayaan Hirsi Ali. This column just proves to me all the more that so called “moderate” muslims are completely incapable of seeing, let alone addressing or fixing, the problems in their religion. Thank goodness for brave women like Ali and Nonie Darwish who risk death to communicate facts about the Muslim world hidden to most Westerners. Patel’s comments hurt him far more than they hurt Ali. She is nothing short of a hero. Patel has a lot of nerve to accuse Ali of having a financial motivation even as he no doubt takes subsidies from Saudi fananciers looking to influence Western media. It is to the eternal shame of Washington Post and Newsweek that they give voices like Patel’s a platform.

  • jambokh

    Great article. This has been my take on Ayaan Hirsi Ali from the beginning. Your argument is the exact argument I formed. Great job!

  • Patrick

    Interesting how this author skirts over the issue of racism in America, as an example. racism in America is quite real and not out of context, at least if you are a Black American. Perhaps it is this attitude that may lead to misunderstanding Ms. Ali in her entirety, if this author thinks for a moment racism is not alive and rearing it’s ugly head in America, in reality. One only need to go to any city and wonder why the Black people live accross the tracks, in projects, or in the oldest parts of any city you visit.Patrick

  • arlig_muslim

    The reason the west listens to her too is that she hates Islam. There are many racist people (i.e. AEI) and institutions that are also using her as a tool. “here is a muslim (ex) woman who broke ties from her religion to pursue the american dream” she is nothing to most Muslims.

  • M. A. Fitchue, Ed.D.

    It is disingenuous for Eboo Patel, the director of a religious youth organization, to refer to Ms. Ali’s book and extraordinary circumstances as “superficial insights.” Her life is being threatened because she is a woman who spoke out against a rather absolute suppression of women. What’s superficial about that? Fanatics want to kill her because she’s a woman who does not want to be suppressed or murdered for her views. Now, the Dutch appear to want to download Ms. Ali and her controversial views because of the expense? What are we talking here — social justice at discount prices?

  • Mr. Mac

    Kirstin,”Finally, heads-up other anti-theists – religions too can change. When you cite fundamentalist positions (from any religion), you are setting up straw men. Moderate Muslims aren’t just the hippies of the Muslim world, they’re also scholars who are interested in reviewing and re-interpreting the Koran and other religious texts to see how the practice of their religion can be compatible with modern-day truths (e.g., homosexuality is not in any way immoral)? Either you don’t believe that religious moderates exist, or it’s easier for you to pretend that we don’t exist because it adds force to your arguments against fundamentalists”It would be more accurate to say that religious people change. The books religious people cite to support their behavior and beliefs remain the same. At least this covers the most politically powerful religions of the world–christianity, islam, judaism, buddhism, hinduism. If religious scholars and academics personally approve of practices such as homosexuality, it would be more honorable to have intellectual honesty and recognize that the books that they are “re-interpreting” (that is butchering and cherry picking)typically condemn these practices. Rather than childishly clinging to their traditions regardless of their inadequacies, it would be more honorable to embrace a new tradition, or embrace none, but retain the values they cherish. Oh, religious moderates exist, but they are foolish and they contribute to religious extremism due to the fact that they give credibility and defend the same traditions that the religious extremists defend. Religious moderates deserve some blame for making the goals of religious extremists easier. Not all religions are “peaceful” nor do they wish the best for all people; and most importantly, the religious literature that religious people honor are not peaceful or wish the best for people who, for example, practice a non-traditional sexual life style. For example,”Reinterpreting” jehovah’s mini-genocides in Deuteronomy to make Judaism/Christianity/Islam easier to swallow and make yourself feel better about yourself loving a tradition and religion that has that barbaric superstitious activity in its past is not commendable. “Either way, we will defend our right to practice religion, even as we defend our secular governments.”Yes, and we will exercise our right to criticize your religions.

  • MUSE

    It always amazed me how the Major American news media esoecially the political pundents i.e. MSNBC. CNN, FAUX NEWS and others would bring a so-called experts from AEI and this person is supposedly going to give a partial unbiased expert opinion on Islam or for that matter the dynamics of the Middle East …..Bizaare indeed —- go figure. There are plenty of intellectual/scholars moderate Islams or political experts like the Christian Hannan Ashrawi but they never make it to the news rooms…..why??????

  • SM

    But isn’t the traditional Muslim faith oppressive to women? I don’t think many people argue that women have the same rights as men in the Muslim faith. By definition – that sounds like oppression to me.

  • Andy Morgen

    Sorry about that, Eboo, but Islamism as practiced today in many parts of the world is repugnant to me, and I feel threatened by its basic premise to kill all infidels. Hirsi Ali is right on with her assertions about Islamism. She has been there, done that, and lived many years through it. It is a repressive religion used by backward governments to subjugate their ignorant and backward people. Other religions have and are doing the same thing today.I don’t buy into Eboo’s analysis. I believe he is totally missing Ali’s points. Today, it’s them and us, and we must stand up to them. All they know is how to make trouble and kill people they don’t like. They call that their religion? I think it should be called a fanatic cult.

  • Home from Afghainstan

    The fact that there are many wonderful people who happen to be Muslim does not free Islam of the fact that what Ms. Ali states is essentially correct.While “The West” has its share of nasty history, our struggle has been to live up to our words of “All men are created equally” and “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” Islam’s words of “not making friends of Christians and Jews as they are going to Hell” and a Koran that instructs how to conduct warfare and raids and then how to divide the spoils of conquest and the death penalty for conversation, is hardly a religion of peace. The written policy the defenders of Islam in Afghanistan (Taliban) calls for the beheading of those who teach girls to read and write and the Afghan Supreme Court (not just the Mullahs) declared that the death penalty last year for the man who converted to Christianity was the proper and legal thing to do as “Afghanistan is an Islamic State and the Koran says that apostasy is a capital offense.” My Brigade supported the Afghan Army unit which supported the prison the “apostate” was held in and they were going to kill him. As civilized people we have an obligation to tolerate Islam and accept that they have the civil and legal rights in The West that they routinely deny their fellow Muslims due to their gender, clan, tribe, or sect. We do not, however, need to believe the lie that Islam is a religion of peace.

  • Home from Afghainstan

    The fact that there are many wonderful people who happen to be Muslim does not free Islam of the fact that what Ms. Ali states is essentially correct.While “The West” has its share of nasty history, our struggle has been to live up to our words of “All men are created equally” and “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” Islam’s words of “not making friends of Christians and Jews as they are going to Hell” and a Koran that instructs how to conduct warfare and raids and then how to divide the spoils of conquest and the death penalty for conversation, is hardly a religion of peace. The written policy the defenders of Islam in Afghanistan (Taliban) calls for the beheading of those who teach girls to read and write and the Afghan Supreme Court (not just the Mullahs) declared that the death penalty last year for the man who converted to Christianity was the proper and legal thing to do as “Afghanistan is an Islamic State and the Koran says that apostasy is a capital offense.” My Brigade supported the Afghan Army unit which supported the prison the “apostate” was held in and they were going to kill him. As civilized people we have an obligation to tolerate Islam and accept that they have the civil and legal rights in The West that they routinely deny their fellow Muslims due to their gender, clan, tribe, or sect. We do not, however, need to believe the lie that Islam is a religion of peace.

  • PkMalang

    Bravo! I have respect for you.

  • MOA

    The issue is not Ali’s desire to speak out her mind or even benefit financially by her experience (after all she chose or was driven to move to the west, instead of Saudi Arabia [hello, beheading!] or Russia or China), the issue is what apologists of mohemmadenism like Eboo going to do moving forward. She could have blamed anything else and no one would call for her death.

  • Wayne Brothers

    The marvelous thing about Ayaan Hirsi Ali was that she finally SAW that Islam is a scam. A disgusting brain destroying think-system,that has to change drastically,before we can even dream about world peace.Patel should be leading the way to a newer Islam,a non-violent Islam,a compassionate Islam,instead of stoning Ayaan Hirsi Ali,and showing us again the ugly Islam,the nasty,vengeful Islam.

  • A Muslim

    Walk The Line:”So, if I understand you correctly, Muslims of today should not be compared to Christians of today, but rather, Christians of yesteryear (approximately 1000 years ago when Europe was in the Middle Ages). This is because some, but not all Christians of yesteryear were barbaric, just as some, but not all Muslims are barbaric in this day and age.”Yes, though Muslims of today do benefit from the fact that they are exposed to modern technologies, science, etc. You know, they do have doctors, scientists (your communicating with one right now), some very good western-style schools (I was educated in the ME), etc. So the hope for them is even better. But I still do insist that most Muslims are not “barbaric”. Many are uneducated or illiterate, yes, but that does not make them barbarics. “How long must we wait? How long before Muslims educate themselves and learn that if someone criticizing their religion, that they don’t have to kill people, riot in the streets, or burn effigies?Granted, you seem to be a reasonable fellow, but how can we talk and communicate to people when they are not willing to listen to reason?”At least as long as it took the Christians to move from the Dark Ages to Enlightenment. Now that is a very long time. But remember, today we have the Internet, global media, easy transportation, etc. So do not expect to wait 200-500 years. In the meantime, deal with people on an individual level. Do not generalize. If you know that group X plans a terrorist attack, preemptively attack them. If they commit such an act, try them and execute them. With others, dialog is the only hope. It may be rough and unpleasant, but it will be better than just fascistically persecuting (or bombing) the hell out of innocent people because they happen to be Muslim.By the way, the Ottomans were boring. Too beaurocratic. Most intellectual developments happened in Spain, Egypt and Iraq in earlier times. The Ottomans to the Muslims are sort of like the Romans to the West.

  • Raghoo

    Mansoor Ali:What a comment.I have never seen such hatred. I wanted to comment about Ali.There are more Muslims in India than Pakistan.And Yes I Don’t like Ali.

  • David Womack

    While I tend to agree with some of Mr. Patel’s sentiment,I question the “Enlightenment” sensibility of comparing a religion with a continent. Are the dogma and creeds of any religion truly comparable to the histories of any continent? I also fail to see any support for the article headline (..Ali vs. The West) nor his proposal that anyone claims “Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the new face of the West”. Unfortunately, what agreement I have with Mr. Patel gets lost under the impression of a threatened religionist defending his creed.

  • Standing up for Ayaan

    Either this column was not written by someone who actually read what Ayann Hirsi Ali has said–she is clearly a strong defender of the West–or this is someone who is so invested in defending Islam that he refuses to listen to legitimate criticisms of what the faith has become in the hands of far too many of those who invoke its name to justify their subhuman treatment of women. This is not a matter of just one woman’s experience, but that of women throughout the Islamic world. The fact of the matter is that those “passages of the Qur’an that are violent” are used to legitimate women’s inequality in the Islamic world–and other than Ali and a few other brave people, precious few in the Islamic faith are willing to STAND UP against the violence against women. They are too busy complaining about how they are supposedly marginalized and maligned instead. Until this changes, Ali’s comments *are* fair, and the criticism of Islam *is* legitimate.

  • B K Sandhu (London,England)

    I can understand why Eboo is anti-Hirsi Ali, after all it’s his religion he’s defending.

  • Raj Vohra

    I have read the book and its contents are very impressive and thought provoking. Her insight on religion and comments on life in the Horn of Africa are well catalogued.

  • Anonymous

    I have read the book and its contents are very impressive and thought provoking. Her insight on religion and comments on life in the Horn of Africa are well catalogued.

  • George Seals

    I tend to believe that a single traumatic event such as female circumcision could make a woman bitter for life, understandably so, I might add. Though I might empathize with her pain, her wallowing in it does not make her an admirable person. She went through a terrible ordeal. She is highly educated, I think. Let the Heritage Foundation pay her lots of money. It’s the least they can do. She definitely does not deserve the attention that she has received. She is just a bitter woman.

  • Meg

    The ubiquity and intransigence of belief in religious dogma is hardly a mystery.Thus, the beliefs of the parents are instilled in their progeny even unto the seventieth generation.Catholic parents beget Catholics, Protestant parents beget Protestants. Jewish parents beget Jews. Mormon Parents beget Mormons. Muslim parents beget Muslims. Wiccan parents beget Wiccans. And genetic inheritance has nothing whatsoever to do with it. It’s not a matter of nature but of quasi-natural nurture.Occasionally evangelism or delusional epiphany ostensibly convert an individual from one belief system to another, but in virtually every case, the core cultural imperatives associated with their “cradle faith” will remain largely intact. That is why, for example, many fallen away Christians continue, as if by knee-jerk reflex, to behave impulsively in supposedly “Christian” ways.It all began with a comprehension of death which egotistical humans deplore and do not share with other animals. By providing the “sure and certain hope” of life after death, manipulators in all ages and places have invoked a “soul wrenching” tool to bend others to their temporal will. Never mind that a thoughtful person might find such promised eternal life to be quite tedious.I consider myself a Born-Again Heathen. Like everyone else, I was born a Heathen without any sort of faith. By the chance of the draw, my parents were Christians and instilled their religious beliefs and related cultural value system in me – their faith by precept and their value system by their behavioral example. Monkey see, monkey do.Eventually, I came to see my instilled faith as nonsense and was ultimately able to reconcile myself with the reality of my mortality – that when life is over, it’s all over. At that point, I realized I had become a Born-Again Heathen, returned to my original, natural, faithless state. Nevertheless, I continue to practice “turn the other cheek” as a part of my cultural legacy. This is perversely nonsensical because I know how that imperative was imprinted and fully understand intellectually that it is now known to be contraindicated. So much for free will.It now seems clear to me that “free will” is an illusion and that everything, including everything I am and do, is deterministic – the inexorable result of cumulative antecedent genetics, experience, and possibly influences which, albeit not consciously perceived, have helped to shape my subconscious from which all my decisions actually emanate.

  • George Seals

    I tend to believe that a single traumatic event such as female circumcision could make a woman bitter for life, understandably so, I might add. Though I might empathize with her pain, her wallowing in it does not make her an admirable person. She went through a terrible ordeal. She is highly educated, I think. Let the Heritage Foundation pay her lots of money. It’s the least they can do. She definitely does not deserve the attention that she has received. She is just a bitter woman.

  • Meg

    The ubiquity and intransigence of belief in religious dogma is hardly a mystery.Thus, the beliefs of the parents are instilled in their progeny even unto the seventieth generation.Catholic parents beget Catholics, Protestant parents beget Protestants. Jewish parents beget Jews. Mormon Parents beget Mormons. Muslim parents beget Muslims. Wiccan parents beget Wiccans. And genetic inheritance has nothing whatsoever to do with it. It’s not a matter of nature but of quasi-natural nurture.Occasionally evangelism or delusional epiphany ostensibly convert an individual from one belief system to another, but in virtually every case, the core cultural imperatives associated with their “cradle faith” will remain largely intact. That is why, for example, many fallen away Christians continue, as if by knee-jerk reflex, to behave impulsively in supposedly “Christian” ways.It all began with a comprehension of death which egotistical humans deplore and do not share with other animals. By providing the “sure and certain hope” of life after death, manipulators in all ages and places have invoked a “soul wrenching” tool to bend others to their temporal will. Never mind that a thoughtful person might find such promised eternal life to be quite tedious.I consider myself a Born-Again Heathen. Like everyone else, I was born a Heathen without any sort of faith. By the chance of the draw, my parents were Christians and instilled their religious beliefs and related cultural value system in me – their faith by precept and their value system by their behavioral example. Monkey see, monkey do.Eventually, I came to see my instilled faith as nonsense and was ultimately able to reconcile myself with the reality of my mortality – that when life is over, it’s all over. At that point, I realized I had become a Born-Again Heathen, returned to my original, natural, faithless state. Nevertheless, I continue to practice “turn the other cheek” as a part of my cultural legacy. This is perversely nonsensical because I know how that imperative was imprinted and fully understand intellectually that it is now known to be contraindicated. So much for free will.It now seems clear to me that “free will” is an illusion and that everything, including everything I am and do, is deterministic – the inexorable result of cumulative antecedent genetics, experience, and possibly influences which, albeit not consciously perceived, have helped to shape my subconscious from which all my decisions actually emanate.

  • Sven

    The title for the article should have been “Since we can’t kill the apostate, lets trash her”. I would imagine that whatever Ali would have written would have been trashed because she has taken islam to task. If I were muslim I might find this article objective, but I am not muslim and the article is prejudiced by someone who appears to be willing to say anything to defend his religion. So much for open dialogue.

  • Meg

    Apologies for the double post.

  • BBCReader

    Eboo,I promise you that you will live a longer, happier life if you take one year, just one year out of your life, and live it paying absolutely no attention to religion. Your obsession with religion is hurting you and it shows in every pained and convoluted missive you write. Please give it one chance and do something with your life instead of wasting it like you are. And then after a year, go back and get involved in religion again.

  • Chuck Hancock

    Meg;

  • DANIAL FAROOQ

    Ms. Ali has cleverly learned one thing about the Western media and news analyst : Do not cotradict them or challange them to face the truth about Islam and Muslim culture and societies. Ms. Ali will have air time and space in these columns solong as they do not get tired of her “change of heart “, then only she would disappear.Danial Farooq

  • DANIAL FAROOQ

    Ms. Ali has cleverly learned one thing about the Western media and news analyst : Do not cotradict them or challange them to face the truth about Islam and Muslim culture and societies. Ms. Ali will have air time and space in these columns solong as they do not get tired of her “change of heart “, then only she would disappear.Danial Farooq

  • Mariano Patalinjug

    New York, 13 October 2007In this incisive essay, Eboo Patel discusses Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali, her attitude toward Islam and toward the West with clarity, objectivity and wisdom.From his narration, it is clear that Ms Ali makes the very serious mistake of using her own unpleasant and cruel personal experiences which she considers oppression by her religion, Islam, and then goes on, rashly and carelessly, to the generalization that “Islam not only is the cause of her oppression, but is the central cause of oppression in the world, and moreover, and can never be, anything but oppressive.”The illogic of Ms Ali’s conclusion, given the premise of her personal experience in the hands of Muslims, is quite striking. It is not a conclusion normally to be expected of one who must be familiar with the rules of elementary logic, and, moreover, who can be expected to believe in reason and rational thinking.Out of some 1.3 Muslims on our planet who profess belief in Islam, it is quite possible, nay probable, that there are some, or even many, who pay it lip service at most and actually violate its precepts and tenets by committing acts, such as the oppression of their fellow human beings.This is true of Muslims, as much as it is true of Christians, of Jews, of Buddhists, of Shintoists, and of those belonging to other religions of the world. As always, there are the few who prove to be the exceptions.But Islam is not a religion of violence or of oppression. It possesses many commonalities with the world’s major religions in its advocacy of peace and justice and of tolerance and love for fellow human beings, even for those belonging to the other religions. I can sympathize with Ms. Ali for the suffering she must have gone through in the hands of her oppressors. But I taken issue with her generalization against Islam which I find illogical, uncalled for, unfortunate, rash and [email protected]

  • Drew

    The least attractive quality of muslims

  • Furrukh

    Eboo Patel, thank you. I have read excerpts of Hirsi Ali’s story and felt bad that it could have been so inspiring. Instead it has become a tool for hatred against all muslims.

  • Drew

    The least attractive quality of muslims

  • Wahid

    Some mighty fine doublespeak, sir. Bravo.

  • Jeff Corwin

    EbooRead Meg’s comments.Please.

  • saraage mirage of TruthTimes.

    Ayan hirsi is a conartist, well aware of her work and knowing how to reverse muslim thoughts to go against their believe. I ask a simple and logical Question

  • Rev. P. Harrington Bullröhr

    This article or commentary is as ridiculous as Ms. Ali’s assertions.

  • Cody Claxton

    Eboo Patel’s commentary is confusing. On the one hand, he is the Executive Director of an Interfaith Youth Core which looks at what brings faiths together. On the other, he engages in very personal and professional attacks on Ms Ali. How can a person with such venom and such “repulsion” at Ms. Ali consider himself qualified to find out what brings people together? I found his attack on Ms. Ali as repulsive as I find Ms. Ali’s vehement denuncation of Islam.Mr. Patel: You should do some serious self-questioning about your bias and your ability to see beyond your own point of view. Find out what you have in common with Ms. Ali, and focus on that POSITIVE AGREEMENT, and COMMON VIEW. Begin to expand the boundaries of that agreement through dialogue and meditation. This is the reason why classic religious beliefs are so divisive. Throw your religion out for an hour and consider this:We are ONE Humanity, All human experience is shared, we all have something to contribute and we all have the potential to live together in peace and tolerance. Focus on the POSITIVE…ignore the negative and the parts that you disagree on. Expand the positive until it makes the negative impotent.Love, Mr. Patel.

  • Jim

    Who can take seriously comments from people like Mr. Patel who believe fairy tales such as: the Koran was dictated by “god” to this guy name Mohammad?? Examine the source.

  • Jim

    Who can take seriously comments from people like Mr. Patel who believe fairy tales such as: the Koran was dictated by “god” to this guy name Mohammad?? Examine the source.

  • michel efache

    well you’re a little short, america is still very far from equity between all the people from different origin that colonised it -racist law’s judgements,..

  • Anonymous

    John Stuart Mill;”My father’s rejection of all that is called religious belief was not,asJohn Stuart Mill,quoted in “Why I Am Not A Christian”,by Bertrand Russell.

  • Jeff D

    Mr. Patel writes, He compares this to Ms. Ali reading the suras in the Q’uran, or other passages in the Hadith, that exhort pious Muslims to fight or kill the infidels until they give in and embrace Islam, etc. Sorry, it’s a straw man argument. No American claims that any passage in the Constitution or in any U.S. history textbook is dictated by god and is his absolute command and 100 percent true, for all eternity. But that is the claim that many, many “true Muslims” make with respect to their holy writ, their special books. THIS is what is dangerous about Islam. It’s the same thing that’s dangerous about Christianity, Judaism, and any other dogma that claims to know god’s mind.

  • Alan

    If only Ayaan Hirsi had principles and was moral. She is a fraud and she faked her way into the west from a well-to-do family by claiming she was abused.When will the West stop putting people on a pedestal when those people only say what the West wants to hear? Seriously, this woman is a fraudster and if only AEI and other defenders had done their homework, they’d understand.

  • moralarom

    Please don’t slam intellectualism or intellect; they may be all that we have that will save us!

  • E. O’Neal

    This is nonsensical. The author makes his case that Hirsi Ali is “repulsive” to the Islamic faith, as she no doubt would agree. But he cites no evidence at all that she is “repulsive” to enlightenment sensibilities. Indeed, it is Islam and the Enlightenment that seem to be mutually “repulsive”.

  • Reuben Marks

    Ms. Ali has a major problem with Islam and I don’t necessarily have an opinion about that either way. I was brought up in a Protestant Christian faith tradition and I went to Catholic schools for most of my life. While I have problems with religion as it relates to Christianity and some of the horrible things we do and have done in the name of Christianity I still consider myself to be a Christian and I have a steadfast belief in God as the creator of the universe. It is my belief that all religions have flaws because religions are a product of the human experience. No one who has walked on the face of this earth can claim to be perfect except

  • Mimi Barron

    Precisely!

  • OwenAja

    You miss a basic and important point in the fundamentalists beliefs; that is, that the Bible and the Qur’an are the actual words of God (Allah) and every word is true and sacred. Unlike the Constitution or other human documents, these sects believe the literal word as contained in these books that are sacred to many. Therefore, when these books say it is a religious duty to kill or stone or drive out, this IS what God says. Sorry, most would agree that you can’t pick and choose which passages you agree with and which passages you don’t – it’s all or nothing. For me, it’s nothing.

  • Chui

    And after all, they all write books pandering their own propaganda and resolve for their own actions and promotion of of their own outward, hypocrite self image of good. For all intends and purposes Ayann Hirsi Ali is a Dutch citizen, where there is no persecution for her kind. The lady has had a good life better then most Dutch People enjoy and favors granted her far beyond what a Dutch person is accorded. She joined the conservative republicans and their hypocrite and perverse cause of inequality and rights only of their kind. This is nothing about faith but pure simple politics. If the lady really cares about her own women kind, the fight should be fought in her Native Somali Land and not to appease her own greed and further the cause of the US conservative republicans. The simple reality is that the west cares a hoot about what the Muslims do to their women kind.

  • Anonymous

    The following hadith refers to the massacre of the Banu Qurayza tribe of Jews. Muhammad and his thugs murdered 800 male Jews of the tribe in one night and then sold their widows and children into slavery. he then appropriated all their land and property. Any male with pubic hair, including young boys, were beheaded.Sunan DawoodBook 38, Number 4390: Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.

  • DontTypeLies

    CHUI, moral relativism only works with people who have respect for human life and respect for the “other”. Your comments are obsolete.You are an Islamist sympathizer and if it were up to you, you would allow unlimited freedom to people who would slit your throat because an invisible friend told them to.Allah is a war diety.

  • Anonymous

    This hadith from Dawud proves that Muhammad was a fount of mercy and kindness.Book 38, Number 4396: Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah: A thief was brought to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). He said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! Then he said: Cut off his hand. So his (right) hand was cut off. He was brought a second time and he said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! Then he said: Cut off his foot. So his (left) foot was cut off. He was brought a third time and he said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! So he said: Cut off his hand. (So his (left) hand was cut off.) He was brought a fourth time and he said: Kill him. The people said: He has committed theft, Apostle of Allah! So he said: Cut off his foot. So his (right) foot was cut off. He was brought a fifth time and he said: Kill him. So we took him away and killed him. We then dragged him and cast him into a well and threw stones over him.

  • DontTypeLies

    CHUI, moral relativism only works with people who have respect for human life and respect for the “other”. Your comments are obsolete.You are an Islamist sympathizer and if it were up to you, you would allow unlimited freedom to people who would slit your throat because an invisible friend told them to.Allah is a war diety.

  • Rick

    Well said, Mr. Patel. We must not allow the actions of the radical few be portrayed as characteristic of all Muslims.

  • DontTypeLies

    That is right Rick and Mr. Patel. Not all muslims are terrorists. Some just follow in the way of political islam using our freedom against us to overcome us and replace the constitution with Shariah. You say they can’t? Oh, just wait until 20 years from now aftr out reproducing us with their 4 wives and 36-50 children. You will be surrounded by muslims and you will be a minority and have no say so whatsoever. At that time we will be under an islamic dictatorship and all of our freedoms will have vanished, one after another. Look up the word “dhimmi” and see your fate.

  • caesar

    Eboo..Having looked up your Spiritual Record it reasonable,but throughout,same added comment.. (Could have done better,be capable of better). With regard to “Ayaan Hirsi Ali” she an advanced Spiritual Soul,she having earned as due respect. To all of ISLAM to every MUSLIM must be further development understanding,that there be further development in experience,the brain be prepared with understanding,that the experience follows. Those that come to clear the path aiding further understanding,such as ( Ayaan ) must be treated with respect that due to the servants of Allah, as the Almighty,that she having been threatened is appalling,such behaviour toward her must end.

  • AgentG

    Patel would be more credible if he truly used the principles of Enlightenment to critique and help reform Islam, which appears stuck in a pre-human rights mentality.

  • Jason

    Comparing the Constitution to the Koran is a joke and I have read both. The former – while flawed – is based on reason and supports personal liberty, freedom from a state religion, and the rights of the minority. The Koran is a fairy tale based on superstition. It’s no secret that both Islam and the Koran developed as a result of the the Arab need for a religion that supported its male dominated hierarchical authoritarian structure and its expansionist nature. What is making Ali famous is not fanatics, but the fact so many people in the 21st century still take this stuff seriously in the first place. What she’s saying should already be self-evident to everyone in the West.

  • waqnis

    “She is repulsive to my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, but those same traditions cause me to wish her no harm.”So, that is the reason for the tirade against Ms Hirsi Ali. She is doing what many others have done; milking the conservatives by claiming to represent their views. But one gets the feeling that Mr. Patel’s ire is mostly about her lack of faith in Islam. “Enlightenment sensibilities” ! Ya Habibi.

  • jon

    “There is not a person alive more deserving of the freedoms of speech and conscience we take for granted in the West, nor is there anyone making a more courageous effort to defend them.”Sam Harris and Salman RushdieVictoria-Exactly WHAT does Hirsi Ali say that is: inflammatory HATE SPEECH and LIES?

  • Kennedy Jawoko

    Your comparison of Faith and Race is repugnant in itself. You begin to sound just like her.

  • mike in LA

    Eboo Patel’s use of the racist flaws in U.S. constitution to defend the Koran is incorrect. For one, unlike the Koran, the U.S Constitution does not sanction violence against non- believers. Nor does it sanction polygamy, or for that matter, pedaphilia through it’s endorsement the marriage by adult males to minor females. Additionally, the most egregious articles of the Constitution dealing with slavery and restricted voting rights have all been eliminated or revised over the years through the ammendment process. In contrast, the Koran has all of it’s most hateful passages fully intact, precisely as they were written 1300 years ago. Ms Ali makes the compelling point that everytime Osama Bin Laden uses Islamic scripture to justify the killing of innocent people who just happen to be non Muslims, he is quoting the Koran precisely and accurately, chapter and verse. You couldn’t do that with the U.S. constitution.

  • mike in LA

    Eboo Patel’s use of the racist flaws in U.S. constitution to defend the Koran is incorrect. For one, unlike the Koran, the U.S Constitution does not sanction violence against non- believers. Nor does it sanction polygamy, or for that matter, pedaphilia through it’s endorsement the marriage by adult males to minor females. Additionally, the most egregious articles of the Constitution dealing with slavery and restricted voting rights have all been eliminated or revised over the years through the ammendment process. In contrast, the Koran has all of it’s most hateful passages fully intact, precisely as they were written 1300 years ago. Ms Ali makes the compelling point that everytime Osama Bin Laden uses Islamic scripture to justify the killing of innocent people who just happen to be non Muslims, he is quoting the Koran precisely and accurately, chapter and verse. You couldn’t do that with the U.S. constitution.

  • JD

    Leave Islam to its own devises and eventually it will attempt to overtake the world by any means, especially violence. (it is attempting that very thing today) Leave Catholicism to its own devises and eventually it will attempt to overtake the world by any means, especially violence. (Catholicism has a history of that very thing and it would gladly repeat itself) Leave Jehovah Witnesses to its own devises and eventually it will attempt to overtake the world by any means, especially violence. Cults can do nothing less.

  • E. O’Neal

    JD, Thanks for the warning about Jehovah’s Witnesses. I missed the reports of their be-headings and suicide bombings. I guess they are just like Muslims.

  • cabal

    Nice try, Patel, but too clever by half. Your little story about how Africa can be imagined as supplanting Islam in Ali’s critique of her religion doesn’t hold water. Africa is a vast place with practically uncountable and complex layers of traditions, languages, religions, ethnicities, etc. Africa and Africans are inherently fractured. Even referring to Africa as an identity is problematic. There is nothing homogenizing about the experience of being an African because it is essentially an idea concocted by Europeans to refer to a continent whose inhabitants they could scarcely understand. Africa is a concept that flattens and simplifies irregularities Europeans (and the world) find too tedious to pay attention to. Then there is the little matter of history. Africa has never mustered a cohesive, organizing ideology or religion to build a civilization and undertake a campaign to wage war, conquer territory, and occupy non-Africans. Islam is almost everything “Africa” is not. Hirsi Ali may have come from Somalia, but she lived in different parts of the world, including the middle east and Europe, where she could identify familiar, common threads in the ideology and practice of devout Muslims. She may have extrapolated a bit too much from her singular life. But hers is a serious attempt, made bravely by a normally marginalized person, to challenge a very stifling religion/ideology. You would do well to address her challenge to Islam directly instead of resorting to ad hominems. And your empty rhetoric about offering your tax dollars to ensure her safety is plain weird.

  • Harveyh5

    Eboo,There is no doubt that proponents of the Muslim religion in all its glory subjugate women to the will and dictates of men. Multitudes of Muslim women in Arab countries can’t drive a car, wear clothes of their own choosing, participate in sports, decide who they will associate with . . . And should they do so, are subject to physical abuse up to and including death. And you have the audacity to criticize Ayaan Hirsi Ali . . .

  • Harveyh5

    Eboo,There is no doubt that proponents of the Muslim religion in all its glory subjugate women to the will and dictates of men. Multitudes of Muslim women in Arab countries can’t drive a car, wear clothes of their own choosing, participate in sports, decide who they will associate with . . . And should they do so, are subject to physical abuse up to and including death. And you have the audacity to criticize Ayaan Hirsi Ali . . .

  • A Muslim

    Ali was recently interviewed by Reason Magazine (online version of interview still unavailable on reason.com). One has to really read about her views in Reason to see why peaceful Muslims are alarmed by her propositions.For example, in that Reason interview she says:”we are at war with Islam.”When asked about defeating radical Islam, she answers “[n]o. Islam, period.”She says: “There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.” (Referring to Islam, not radical Islam). Reason then asks: “Militarily?”, she responds: “In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.”Then there is her proposition to close all Muslim schools.She suggests that the Bill of Rights and Constitution are infallible in defense of asking for closing all Muslim schools.When asked if she met any American Muslims while here, she simply says that she did not have time to meet any. But still she’s for closing all Muslim schools.All of the above is from that recent Reason article.I have a lot of trouble with her views (and still believe she has every right to her free speech). She should also be protected, because if a radical Muslim hurts her, it is the ordinary peaceful Muslim who end up having to live with the consequences in the public discourse.I, from my unique perspective as a Muslim (especially in light of world events and the vulnerability here in the West), would be more sensitive to Ali’s preposterous propositions than most non-Muslims.

  • Anonymous

    Correction:should read “She suggests that the Bill of Rights and Constitution are NOT infallible in defense of asking for closing all Muslim schools.” And that was quote. Are Americans willing to undermine the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    V, V, V, Victoria,Wow, one free woman sure scares the afterlife out of you!!! I would be much more concerned about the desires of the Islamic terror state of Iran.

  • Samer

    Eboo, May Allah bless you for an article well-done!

  • A Muslim

    I guess what I am trying to point out is the hypocrisy in her position. She wants to shun/destroy Islam because Islam want to shun/destroy the West! And, by the way, the latter –that Islam want to destroy West Civilization– is highly controversial. Just to name one example from history, how did Muslims manage to deliberately preserve Greek literature and at the same time want, at Islam’s core roots as Ali et al. claim, to destroy Western culture? These views are very narrow minded and shallow to say the least, and destructive if indeed rational people in the West follow in Hirsi’s footsteps.

  • Samer

    Eboo, May Allah bless you for an article well-done!

  • Asim

    Why are you giving her this publicity? Who told you that some “muslims” are after her? This is just a ploy to play on fear. She is unworthy of all and any attention-her uesefulness as a NEOCON tool with which to whip and bash Muslims has already expired. And any one thinking of harming her would have to really be crazy-why turn her into a “martyer.”

  • MUSLIMERICA

    Reading most of the comments below, it is unfortunate that most of the commentators just pick and choose what they want from Islam to bash it. The Holy Prophet was BARKED at by his own ignorant people back then, just as Jesus, Moses, and most of God’s other prophets. It’s not uncommon for dogs to keep barking throughout history. Let them bark.

  • anonymous

    Like you, I too was deeply disturbed by the Rushdie-Harris op-ed, which I came across in the Chicago Tribune. Hope you seriously consider disseminating your response via the print medium as well.

  • olmeta

    there is no god. that is Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s revelation. she scares you Eboo, doesn’t she?

  • A Muslim

    Timothy:Short answer: He is a nutjob. Here is why.He wishes to interpret the Quran in the most literal, shallow of ways. Then he claims that he represents Islam. How many people is he speaking for? Al-Qaeda, obviously. How many are there in the Al-Qaeda? According to Michael Scheuer (a 22-year CIA veteran) in Imperial Hubris, the numbers can not be more than 20,000 (or thereabouts). Let me double that, no quadruple that to 80,000 people, to include all AQ affiliates around the world. Now that is a big number, don’t take me wrong, and they can cause a lot of death and destruction, and should certainly be confronted. But why should we project the views of this nutjob in the youtube video on to the entire Muslim people who are 1.2 billion in the world? That is exactly what Ali is doing, and that is why us “moderate” Muslims find her statements very alarming. Does it have to take the West killing millions (a la Holocaust) to realize that one is wrong?

  • olmeta

    The reason we pay attention to her is because she has the courage to say what you are too scared to admit: there is no god, and muslim believers are dangerous relics of a bloody past. that is Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s revelation. It is simple and it scares you Eboo, doesn’t it?

  • Walk The Line

    Why was Theo Van Gogh murdered for producing a film critical of Islam? How many people have been murdered for films critical of Christianity?

  • A Muslim

    “How many people have been murdered for films critical of Christianity?”Back in the dark ages there was still no movie-making. But there were books and ideas and both were under severe attack in Christian Europe. If you want to make a more appropriate comparison, then compare extremist radical Islamists’ behavior today to 10th century European Christians. And, yes, Islamic societies are undergoing a similar crises as that suffered by the Christians in the Dark ages. Given the enlightenment, I’d say give these Islamic societies a chance to recover, and certainly, if they become violent and employ terrorism, the West has every right to defend itself by force as needed.

  • jon

    Victoria- I see you have gone to great trouble to fabricate a response. Wouldn’t it have been much easier to say you were wrong? The more you pour on the vitriol, the more we admire Ali Hirsi. (and she is almost mythical already). What does Ali Hirsi do that so upsets Muslims? SPEAK.Didn’t you used to be an American? Don’t you remember what it is like to admire and support FREE SPEECH?

  • Skeptimal

    My impression of Ali’s book is different from Mr. Patel’s. I certainly don’t think his claims of anti-Westernism are justified. She simply poses the question of how should the west can tolerate intolerance. She advocates reform of Islam, not its destruction, and a Muslim enlightenment is long overdue. Do you disagree with that or are you happy that women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia? Does the murder of gays by Muslim governments seem reasonable to you? Why is it so prevalent that Muslims attack and murder ex-Mulsims? If Ali’s experience with Islam was just an unfortunate experience with a few bad Somali, Kenyan, and Saudi Arabian Muslims, exactly which Muslim country would you recommend she go to to find a “good” Muslim experience?

  • A Muslim

    Skeptimal:”She advocates reform of Islam, not its destruction, and a Muslim enlightenment is long overdue.”She does advocate its destruction. See my comment below at 10:17 AM.Are there injustices in the Muslim world? Yes, there are. Then lets remedy them, and not fight a WWIII over it. It is not worth it, and will only bring death and destruction. Does it have to take a few million innocent people dead for the West to realize it was wrong on something? Islam is not the problem. Extremism is. See my comments below in response to Timothy.

  • Walk The Line

    A Muslim:Are you suggesting that it is okay for Muslims to commit murder when their religious beliefs are offended because that it what 10th century Christians did?

  • Walk The Line

    A Muslim:Are you suggesting that it is okay for Muslims to commit murder when their religious beliefs are offended because that it was 10th century Christians did?

  • A Muslim

    “Are you suggesting that it is okay for Muslims to commit murder when their religious beliefs are offended because that it what 10th century Christians did?”No. I suggest you read my comment more carefully. I have not endorsed any such thing. My post can be read (properly as originally intended) as saying “the Christians were wrong and so are murderous extremist Islamists”. But it also says that we should not confuse the murderous extremist Islamists with innocent Muslims.

  • Anonymous

    “Are you suggesting that it is okay for Muslims to commit murder when their religious beliefs are offended because that it what 10th century Christians did?”No. I suggest you read my comment more carefully. I have not endorsed any such thing. My post can be read (properly as originally intended) as saying “the Christians were wrong and so are murderous extremist Islamists”. But it also says that we should not confuse the murderous extremist Islamists with innocent Muslims.

  • Ebony

    Why may I ask you have to refer to issue that apply to african american in the United States ? What is your purpose for the comparison with religion?

  • elanda2

    “If” is the operative word I see in this narrative. I don’t see her doing the things that the writer accuses her of doing. I see the writer lashing out at a woman who has chosen a diferent life for herself, a life that is not Muslim, as all free peoples of free societies can do. I see the writer ignoring the truth about his own religion and condemning a WOMAN who has spoken out against its atrosities and found a voice and an ear. Freedom rules once again. Oppression crosses lines and anyone darker than a paper bag is considered a black person, no matter what country you come from. That would include India. The writer has not visited places in America where the country of origin is not a consideration. It’s simply the color of the skin. I find the writer bitter in uninformed.

  • A Muslim

    Elanda2:She does advocate the destruction of Islam –all of it. See my comment below at 10:17 AM.

  • Fahd

    Bravo!! i’m usually not a great fan of a lot of stuff that ebo writes, but this was an excellent piece. very well articulated.

  • elanda2

    Eboo may be a disenchanged Muslim, proud of himself in many ways, but nevertheless a Muslim with oppressive ideals against women and American life in general. He has been given a voice in America and nowhere else. He is a typical Muslim who hates women and what they represent as human beings. The quote from the Constitution relates to all people of color, irregardless of their country of origin. The color of your skin means you’re black, no matter what. You would not survive in a places where racism is rampant in the U.S. If your Muslim women are dissatisfied, listen to them and make the change. Don’t threaten their lives and their needs with death and disfigurement. Muslims practice Female Genital Mutillation. Eboo represents all these negatives that Muslims advocate. He is a woman hater. He should apologize to Ali.

  • hinge

    oh give it up. all you religious people are suddenly finding tolerance when you’re being revealed for what you are: intolerant. it makes me laugh to see you all wearing your new knickers of ‘tolerance’. but we all know. we all know. because it’s a terrible fit. ha ha ha ha ha ha hooooooooooo.

  • elanda2

    Eboo may be a disenchanged Muslim, proud of himself in many ways, but nevertheless a Muslim with oppressive ideals against women and American life in general. He has been given a voice in America and nowhere else. He is a typical Muslim who hates women and what they represent as human beings. The quote from the Constitution relates to all people of color, irregardless of their country of origin. The color of your skin means you’re black, no matter what. You would not survive in a places where racism is rampant in the U.S. If your Muslim women are dissatisfied, listen to them and make the change. Don’t threaten their lives and their needs with death and disfigurement. Muslims practice Female Genital Mutillation. Eboo represents all these negatives that Muslims advocate. He is a woman hater. He should apologize to Ali.

  • hinge

    Eboo is jealous. I mean, she’s a woman and she’s smarter than he is. That probably chafes his Muslim sensibilities. HA. Hoo. I love it.

  • undercover lover of mankind

    Sir,Blessings to you.With all due respect, your own accusation of Ms. Ali’s “hypocrisy,” is hypocritical.You become as guilty as you claim her views are. and as guilty as those who seek to silence her with threats of murder—-when instead of JUST TELLING YOUR OWN POSITIVE story of experience with Islam, you take a low and opportunist opportunity, to make a name for yourself by basking the name of another.Ms. Ali, has honestly spoken from her experience, from her experience, from her experience.Just because it is different from yours, and just because people agree with it, you bash her, and then follow up your bashing with a lie and hypocritical statement of “wish her well.”If Islam is so wonderful, why does it not speak for itself? Why does the practice of Islam, and the blessings of it—not speak for itself, sir?A person is just one human, with one opinion. If Islam is so strong, and so glorious—–one person cannot destroy it. If Islam is so glorious and blessed, why do you obviously feel treatened and offended. You worship her, making an idol of her, with your attempts to intellectualize base human reactions.Intellectualize your belief in Islam perhaps, and ask your God to show himself strong.Blessings.

  • Walk the Line

    A Muslim:”No. I suggest you read my comment more carefully. I have not endorsed any such thing. My post can be read (properly as originally intended) as saying “the Christians were wrong and so are murderous extremist Islamists”. But it also says that we should not confuse the murderous extremist Islamists with innocent Muslims.”I did read your comment but I failed to see how making a comparison between modern day Islam extremism and 10th Christian extremism is apt. After all, it is one thousand years later and the world has changed. Christianity of today is not the same as Christianity 1,000 years ago, so for you to bring it up is a bit puzzling. The only reason I can think of is that you want to take a shot at Christianity.

  • Kirstin

    Finally, someone takes my view of the matter. I think the author criticized her too much for being critical of culture and religion (they’re open for critique) and didn’t criticize her enough for the gag order she’d like to put on all religious education. The Dutch don’t have it right and she doesn’t have it right – the right way is to be pluralistic, to allow people to live their lives as they like, AND to crack down hard on people who commit crimes (with victims), regardless of their culture or religion. If she became a politician in the US, I have no doubt she’d try to reduce our right to worship. Either she’s not smart enough to know what she really thinks, or she’s duplicitous by pretending to believe in freedoms that she clearly does not.

  • elanda2

    Thank you, A Muslim, for helping me know there are non-radical Muslims. It does seem Ali is as radical as they and wants to fight fire with fire. It seems she believes Islam is destructive and must itself be destroyed. I must defer to her point if view as she has lived it. Islam has much to offer in the way of civil behaviors from old treatises I have read. It seems modern Islam is different and more violent, less educated, unwilling to use deplomacy, use the resources available in modern society to make a point. Everyone had the right to be heard. That’s what the liberals taught me.

  • Maurice Delmer

    A very thoughtful critique. I believe that we in America for the most part choose to obtain our information from a select few sources that fit in nicely with what the status quo of the day is. Instead of digging deeper and questioning the ulterior motives of informtation sources we would rather take them at face value and believe in their fallacies. I wish there were more people in the mainstream media who chose to expose the opposing view rather than the poplular view.

  • Rick

    CTCNL,Yes, we have done some good with our military might before the current Hypocrite took office. Now our Dear Leader is on a Holy Crusade to convert the heathens to democracy. At least that is his new stated objective after previous explanations have been shown to be false.No we haven’t added any new stars to our flag, but we are responsible for the illegitimate ‘State of Israel’s land grab in Palestine.

  • ADRIAAN

    I am from the Netherlands and am ashamed how Hirsi Ali was treated by the political elite who were afraid about her growing influence among the , to my opinion, very moderate not to say naive Dutch voters. Holland has been always and still is a very tolerant country, Unfortunately we had 2 good people assassinated during the last 6 years, Pim Fortuyn (who would have been our prime minister within weeks) by an environment idiot and Theo van Gogh who made a short 11 min. film named “Submission” for which Hirsi Ali wrote the text, by an Muslim fanatic. Both are in prison at this moment.For the record I respect individual (religious)choices also one who is a Muslim, but keep it to yourself, it’s your resposibility to whom ever you feel responsible, I will respect you as long as you will respect me as a non believer (humanist).

  • ADRIAAN

    I am from the Netherlands and am ashamed how Hirsi Ali was treated by the political elite who were afraid about her growing influence among the , to my opinion, very moderate not to say naive Dutch voters. Holland has been always and still is a very tolerant country, Unfortunately we had 2 good people assassinated during the last 6 years, Pim Fortuyn (who would have been our prime minister within weeks) by an environment idiot and Theo van Gogh who made a short 11 min. film named “Submission” for which Hirsi Ali wrote the text, by an Muslim fanatic. Both are in prison at this moment.For the record I respect individual (religious)choices also one who is a Muslim, but keep it to yourself, it’s your resposibility to whom ever you feel responsible, I will respect you as long as you will respect me as a non believer (humanist).

  • mohamed abdullah

    Mr. Patel thanks for that well written article on Ayaan Hirsi. The reason why i find her so repulsive is not only that she misrepresents Islam but also my Somali culture. She claimed that she lied about her name when applying for refugee status because she was in fear that her family would kill her. The reality is that “honor killings” are quite unknown in our Somali culture and as she admitted later on her family knew where she lived and she was in contact with them. Of course she only admitted to her lies after she was exposed the documentary “Holy Ayaan”.With all the lies that she has told you’d think westerners would apply some healthy critical thinking to her outrageous claims. Alas this is not the case. She is feeding them red meat and nobody wants to check the goods. I really wish that muslims wouldn’t pay her any attention at all, since she will somehow make some more money out of it. I thank you once again for exposing her for the sham she is.

  • Adriaan

    I am from the Netherlands and am ashamed how Hirsi Ali was treated by the political elite who were afraid about her growing influence among the , to my opinion, very moderate not to say naive Dutch voters. Holland has been always and still is a very tolerant country, Unfortunately we had 2 good people assassinated during the last 6 years, Pim Fortuyn (who would have been our prime minister within weeks) by an environment idiot and Theo van Gogh who made a short 11 min. film named “Submission” for which Hirsi Ali wrote the text, by an Muslim fanatic. Both are in prison at this moment.For the record I respect individual (religious)choices also one who is a Muslim, but keep it to yourself, it’s your resposibility to whom ever you feel responsible, I will respect you as long as you will respect me as a non believer (humanist).

  • Adriaan

    I am from the Netherlands and am ashamed how Hirsi Ali was treated by the political elite who were afraid about her growing influence among the , to my opinion, very moderate not to say naive Dutch voters. Holland has been always and still is a very tolerant country, Unfortunately we had 2 good people assassinated during the last 6 years, Pim Fortuyn (who would have been our prime minister within weeks) by an environment idiot and Theo van Gogh who made a short 11 min. film named “Submission” for which Hirsi Ali wrote the text, by an Muslim fanatic. Both are in prison at this moment.For the record I respect individual (religious)choices also one who is a Muslim, but keep it to yourself, it’s your resposibility to whom ever you feel responsible, I will respect you as long as you will respect me as a non believer (humanist).

  • Adriaan

    I am from the Netherlands and am ashamed how Hirsi Ali was treated by the political elite who were afraid about her growing influence among the , to my opinion, very moderate not to say naive Dutch voters. Holland has been always and still is a very tolerant country, Unfortunately we had 2 good people assassinated during the last 6 years, Pim Fortuyn (who would have been our prime minister within weeks) by an environment idiot and Theo van Gogh who made a short 11 min. film named “Submission” for which Hirsi Ali wrote the text, by an Muslim fanatic. Both are in prison at this moment.For the record I respect individual (religious)choices also one who is a Muslim, but keep it to yourself, it’s your resposibility to whom ever you feel responsible, I will respect you as long as you will respect me as a non believer (humanist).

  • Daniel

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is not entirely off-base with her claims regarding Islam. It is not a coincidence that whenever Muslims live side by side with a group of people not sharing their beliefs, there is conflict, like two tectonic plates pushing against each other. The problem with Muslims is that they believe that their religion is the right one (and their god is the right one), and that it is their duty to make sure everyone else falls in line as well. Islam is not compatible with liberal democracy. Women are treated worse than cattle, homosexuals are horribly abused and apostates are killed! Islam is not a religion of peace, it is inherently violent, and those Muslims who are “moderate” have just learned to ignore certain aspects of the Koran and Hadith… either that or they haven’t read up on them. It is true that other groups of people, Christians for example also has a history of violence, they however have gone through a reformation. Islam is still waiting its reformation, and with all the fundamentalists out there, like the ones who go violent over some cartoons in some Danish newspaper, I highly doubt that will be in my lifetime. I applaud Ayaan Hirsi Ali for throwing political correctness out the window and saying it like it is! Kudos to her.

  • Rick

    Congratulations YoYo on your rejection of the programming. Free will is alive and well.

  • Anonymous

    Rick.You call anyone who questions Islam -a Muslim basher.You are narrow-minded.

  • VICTORIA

    ive seen this elaborated on by meg, yoyo and CCNL- speak for yourselves- but the librarian adored me- and i could skip classes in the library with impunity. i also escaped the indoctination of college- going to art school instead where no one was inclined to lead anyone anywhere, and such forays into personal expression were actually encouraged. what amazes me most completely are the so called free thinkers, who when you examine their philosophies are just poor reactions against existing doctrines, with nary a free or original thought between them. ive been a muslim 9 years now, and am completely satisfied with where my own journey has taken me. i learned a long time ago, that to constructively critique any subject- you must immerse yourself in it first- this is one of my complaints about ms hirsi-her full knowledge of islam was developed and rejected by age 16- when it was time to go to college- i used to tell my friends- i wouldnt want to be held accountable my whole life for immature life decisions made at 18 so- my advice is to take some chances in your own life – and the saddest words are “i could have” LIB- why dont you do some homework on your contention that america has saved any muslims in bosnia or kosovo? as a matter of fact- the ex-aide to ronald reagan- richard holbrooke(a decidedly conservative man) lamented afterwards that our late and ineffective incursion into bosnia was “the greatest FAILURE of the west) go find some statistics for me- and dont believe everything the TV tells you to believe.

  • VICTORIA

    danby ericson- dont you believe it for a minute- im a muslim- and if i came upon a crowd abusing ayaan ali hirsi (or whatever her name is) id immediately put my own life on the line to protect her life- ive done it before and ill do it agian. pikey

  • akhan

    Bravo, i’ve been waiting for someone to say this about Hirsi Ali’s blatant, provocative attacks on Islam, all in an attempt, it seems, to make herself a martyr and laugh all the way to the bank.

  • akhan

    Bravo, i’ve been waiting for someone to say this about Hirsi Ali’s blatant, provocative attacks on Islam, all in an attempt, it seems, to make herself a martyr and laugh all the way to the bank.

  • akhan

    Bravo, i’ve been waiting for someone to say this about Hirsi Ali’s blatant, provocative attacks on Islam, all in an attempt, it seems, to make herself a martyr and laugh all the way to the bank.

  • Anonymous

    I pray that Ali Hirsi will see the truth about Jesus Christ the Son of God who Died on the cross and conquered death three days later. Her experience with true Islam has had a devastating effect on her. No wonder she is an atheist. As far as her so-called disdain for the West we Christians can overlook that and love her and pray for her.

  • Anonymous

    victoria,your not a true muslim. you are an infidel in the eyes of real muslims everywhere or maybe you are a real muslim and you are trying to get us the buy the jihad is peace propaganda.

  • Rick

    Hi Victoria,Where did you grow up? Weren’t you pressured by friends to accept religion? Were you Christian before you converted to Muslim? Did you finish rereading the Qur’an during Ramadan? I still have only read the first three chapters. I guess you are the exception that proves the rule; started out in an atheist/agnostic family and ended up getting religion.Salaam

  • Rick

    Anon says: ‘You call anyone who questions Islam -a Muslim basher. You are narrow-minded.’Maybe si, maybe no, I don’t think so, but then I wouldn’t, would I. I just have a low level of tolerance for hypocrisy. I’m always amazed to see my fellow countrymen criticize Muslims for their violence; while our most powerful military in the world is invading and occupying their countries, bombing them back to the Stone Age from thousands of feet with our white phosphorous munitions, slaughtering innocents (mostly women and children) and driving them into refugee camps, etc., etc., etc.CTCNL is so worried about the Islamic terror theocracy of Iran; while they are only aiding their neighbor to oust the unwanted invader and occupying world’s greatest power from their country, and the illegal and immoral Israeli occupiers from Palestine.We are so worried that Iran may acquire nuclear weapons; while it doesn’t bother us at all that the illegitimate ‘State of Israel’ has them by the hundreds, and we have them by the thousands.Our delightful Christians are so critical of Islam; while their OT commands us to kill all children who curse their parents, all people who curse god (god damn it), and all people who work on the Sabbath (how many billions of people will that rid us of. Oh well, we are way overpopulated, but god help us if we try to control our population through prudent birth control measures.

  • Anonymous

    VictoriaPlease comment on the pubes hadith.Muhammad, the pedophile prophet of Islam, had his eyes on the wealth of the Jews to keep himself rich and his gang of thugs happy.Under a false pretext he attacked the Banu Qurayzah tribe of Jews , killed all the males who had attained puberty and then sold the wives and orphans into slavery. Muhammad and his gang of thugs beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys in a single evening. Among the boys were children who had just sprouted pubic hair.Here is the hadith.Sunan Abu DawudBook 38, Number 4390: Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Victoria, Victoria, Victoria,And again you fail (along with Rick) to come to grips with the flaws in the koranic foundations and founder of Islam.And Rick paints the Islamic terror theocracy of Iran as a bunch of Boyscouts. Give us a break!!! They sponsor along with the “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia the Shiite/Sunni and Islamic terror squads’ “hell bent agenda” to kill all the Sunnis/Shiites and infidels they can wherever and whenever. 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 Islamic train bombers in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani koranics, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases and the Filipino koranics. Stop blaming the USA and Israel. We are not responsible for the flaws in your religion.Late in Bosnia and Kosovo?? Maybe but we went in and did the job saving millions of Muslims. And we were right on time in kicking Saddam’s butt in Islamic Kuwait. Last time I checked Kuwait was still an Islamic state.

  • GeorgiaSon

    Mr. Patel has made some excellent points about Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s treatise. He is probably correct that too many people have too glibly embraced her arguments and outlook regarding Islam.But even if her approach is wrong, I remain unconvinced that Islam is compatible with liberal, secular democracies. The Muslim experience in Europe is not reassuring. If Muslims in America seem to be assimilating well, that is because their numbers, while growing, are still a relatively small minority of the overall population. What happens as their numbers–and political and social clout–get larger?I pose again the five questions that I would like the most authoritative voices of orthodox Islam to answer:1. Does Islam allow for the separation of church and state?(Alternatively, instead of posing the questions to the authoritative voices of Islam, imagine the question was, “What would Islamic textbooks used in the teaching of Muslim students in America say in answer to the following questions?”)Anytime you are in a debate or discussion with a Muslim, ask him/her what he/she believes the most authoritative voices of Islam would answer in reply to those five questions. Or what answers you would find in an Islamic textbook.The answers to those questions would put an end to any idea that there is some debate among Muslims over the future of their religion. Or whether even orthodox Islam can be accommodated to a Western liberal, pluralistic society

  • Rick

    CTCNL,And again you fail to come to grips with the flaws in the USA and Israel’s greed for Muslim land and oil, beginning with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that accelerated the illegal and immoral immigration of the Zionist Jews into Palestine. This was the most dreadful decision of the last century.”His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.The UN partition of 1947 that enabled the establishment of the ‘State of Israel’ was the next disastrous decision. Truman new better but caved in to pressure in an election year to public opinion and the political attacks from the Republican candidate Dewey. So much for: “The buck stops here”.These dreadful decisions are only rivaled by the disastrous decision of this century to invade and occupy Iraq. All for our unquenchable thirst for Middle East oil, and the Neocon Israeli lobby pulling the strings of our government.Can you imagine how much better off would be our economy and national security, if we had spent the trillion dollars squandered on these dastardly deeds, on our infrastructure and alternative energy sources instead?

  • Mike

    Well, kudos to Eboo for finding yet one more person who hates America and/or the West!What a diversity of opinions the Post gives us! All the way from people who hate America to those who hate the entire Western civilization!Thank goodness the Post does not trouble us with any opinions that don’t come from the far left.

  • Mike

    Well, kudos to Eboo for finding yet one more person who hates America and/or the West!What a diversity of opinions the Post gives us! All the way from people who hate America to those who hate the entire Western civilization!Thank goodness the Post does not trouble us with any opinions that don’t come from the far left.

  • abill

    “Let’s say the first Americans she met were the racists who drove around Jena during the protests with nooses hanging off their pick up trucks.”What a bout the racists that were driving around Jena insisting that assualt isn’t a crime if you are black?

  • Frans

    Bravo! Hirshi Ali is no way respresenting the view of all people in the Netherlands nor in the West. What she does and seems to want, is to create a climate of hatred and distrust between people. In short the kind of the thing her most radical opponents (Muslim extremists) want as well. All normal people should think twice before the follow the ideas of radical thinkers like Ali. We do not need more hatred and distrust in our world.

  • skeptimal

    Rick said: “I just have a low level of tolerance for hypocrisy. I’m always amazed to see my fellow countrymen criticize Muslims for their violence; while our most powerful military in the world is invading and occupying their countries…”Meanwhile, you spout the anti-Israel dogma of the terrorists without once denouncing their butchery. Who are you really? Because I’m not buying your persecuted American Muslim bulls**t.

  • Danby Ericson

    Muslims support attacking Ayaan,nonmuslims don’t.

  • Englishman

    ‘Let’s say she went after Africa.’Wait a minute. This is nonsense. Africa exists. Its people have endured real suffering through empire, the slave trade, exploitation, racism, civil war, apartheid, and so on. Furthermore, Africans have no choice in the matter over where they come from – they were simply born there.Dumb journalism.

  • Rick

    Muslim Bashers,Listen up! It’s roll call time:Zosima, Hewitt, Russell Holloway, Ted Baines, Wayne, David, Neal Jettpace, Jon, Ed Kenton, CTCNL, Timothy, Walk The Line, Skeptimal, Elanda2, Hinge, Fate, Arif, Ender, PPike, Concur, Does It Matter, Mr. Mac, Greg, Moorthy Muthuswamy, M. A. Fitchue Ed. D., SM, Andy Morgan, Home From Afghanistan, MOA, Wayne Brothers, Raghoo, Standing Up For Ayaan, Raj Vohra, Sven, Drew, Jim, Jeff D, Donttypelies, AgentG, Jason, Mike in LA, JD, E. O’Neal, HarveyH5, Ibrahim Mahfouz, Daniel, Alam, GeorgiaSon, Mike, DanbyEricson. All present and accounted for.‘Thou hypocrites, first cast the beam from thine own eye.’Or as my good friend Bernie Bee would say:Shame be upon ye! As me dear Uncle Fergus would tell ye “If ye send a turnip round every country in the world ten times it will still come back a turnip. Well-travelled, aye—but as thick and unenlightened as ever!” You should be more concerned about your country’s illegal and immoral land/oil grab in the Middle East exemplified by our invasion and occupation of Muslim holy lands in Palestine and Iraq; and the millions of innocents (mostly women and children) slaughtered or chased into refugee camps, in the name of our lust for oil.Many of you are characterized by the irrational hatred expressed so well by DanbyEricson:‘The Muslims here make me detest Islam with every fiber of my being. It is stupid, violent, and ugly. Who will save us from this irrational murderous dogma? It’s not only the extremists that Ayaan has to run from. It’s ALL the Muslims. All of them.’We should all listen raptly to the voices of reason expressed best by A Muslim and Reuben Marks.A Muslim: ‘Are there injustices in the Muslim world? Yes, there are. Then let’s remedy them, and not fight a WWIII over it. It is not worth it, and will only bring death and destruction. Does it have to take a few million innocent people dead for the West to realize it was wrong on something? Islam is not the problem. Extremism is.’Reuben Marks: ‘It is my belief that all religions have flaws because religions are a product of the human experience.’

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    The reason why Ms. Ali is critical of Islam is because the way that religion treated her and is treating all the other Muslim women. The only difference between her and the “silent majority” of women is that she is knowledgeable and courageous enough to speak out her mind.

  • Al

    If we see something we don’t like in another person, religion or belief, and if the perception creates an emotional charge in us — perhaps fear, anger, revulsion, arrogance, pride or outrage — then the issue is really about what resides in us, not in the other.Perhaps we all should step back, catch our breaths and undergo a little self-examination.Every defender of Islam and Christianity is in some sense “right”. The only hope of harmonious co-existence is forgiveness of perceived sins, errors and ignorant fears; our own as well as those of our fellow human beings.I hope enough of humanity sense that the law of grace must come to supersede the law of “as you sow, so you reap”. When enough rise here and there to a deeper understanding of life, peace will blossom. But unfortunately not before.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Rick,The Islamic terror theocracy of Iran is hardly a few extremists!!!!!And as always you fail to compliment the USA taxpayers for saving the millions of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait and the billions for foreign aid we give to Muslim countries like Egypt and Pakistan. And again it is the ancient blood feud between the Sunnis and Shiites that is keeping us in Iraq!!!! An ancient blood feud by the way that keeps making Israel a scapegoat for the Muslim on Muslim violence. And illegal land grab in the Middle East? I don’t see any state stars being added to our flag.

  • skeptimal

    Rick said: “Who said anything about persecuted American Muslim? I’m not a Muslim. I’m a reformed former Christian Southern Baptist now liberated; e.g. atheist/agnostic”I’ll have to take you at your word, though the tone of your writing is something I would have more expected out of Mohammed Atta. I’m trying to understand how an ex-Christian can carry water for adherents of a faith that often murders its apostates. What is that I’m not understanding about your position?

  • Rick

    Skeptimal,I don’t carry anyone’s water. I don’t try to justify the actions of all Muslims. I recognize that the actions of many Muslims are not in accord with the writings of the Qur’an, just like the actions of many so-called Christians are not in accord with the writings of the OT/NT. Also, many of the laws that are written in these ancient texts are abhorrent to us today, in both the OT/NT and Qur’an. For example the OT commands us to kill all children who curse their parents, all people who curse god, and all people who work on the Sabbath, etc., etc., etc. Fortunately, I have managed to erase my religious programming, and now am able to think clearly and have free will.As I said, the thing that I have little or no tolerance for is my hypocritical countrymen who are so concerned about the flaws of Islam and Muslims, but can’t see the similar (or worse) flaws in Christianity and the secular USA.I am also dismayed to see my tax dollars being used for the illegal and immoral invasions and occupations of Palestine and Iraq, the slaughtering of innocents (mostly women and children) by the thousands, and the dislocation and driving of millions of families into refugee camps.Apparently you equate clear thinking and criticism of this administration’s (and others) disastrous foreign policy with thinking like Mohammad Atta. Perhaps you need to undergo some serious deprogramming as well. When you do, please take my friends CTCNL and Anon with you.

  • Ted Baines

    Rickthe sins Christians committed were in the past. the sins that Muslims are committing are now.Their biggest sin is associating the evil god from Arabia and his creator, Muhammad, with the true God

  • Rick

    Hello Ted,I think the biggest sins being committed today are our occupations of Palestine and Iraq. I think that you are confused about Islam. Muhammad did not create Allah. Muhammad was (according to Islam) the most recent Prophet of Allah.To claim that the God of Islam is evil, and the God of Judaism and Christianity is good, is the height of hypocrisy. The two are the same. The Qur’an accepts the OT in its entirety, and builds on that as a starting point.

  • Rick

    Here’s The Truth,”There is no moderate Christianity. There are Christians who are passive, who don’t always follow the rules of Christianity, but there’s really only one Christianity, defined as submission to the will of God. There’s nothing moderate about it.”If we did follow the rules of Christianity, we would be stoning to death everyone who works on the Sabbath.

  • here’s the truth

    Mourning and condemnation follows murder of Christian in Gaza:A prominent Palestinian Christian was found dead on a Gaza City street. He was Rami Khader Ayyad, the 32-year-old director of Gaza’s only Christian bookstore who hospital officials say was shot in the head and stabbed numerous times.He is survived by two young children and a pregnant wife.

  • Ted Baines

    RickMuhammad’s father was a pagan. His name was Abdullah or the slave of Allah. Allah was one of the 360 idols worshiped by Arabs. Muhammad promoted Allah to the chief and only deity in order to unite the Arabs against whom he also used ruthless force if they did not convert to Muhammadanism aka Islam.Read verse 111. Would the True God utter such drivel? Muhammad insulted God by associating the idol allah with God and putting such hate into what he said was God.Also Muhammad was a pervert. he was a pedophile, a murderer, a bandit, a child molester and a slave monger. Associating Muhammad with God is a major sin.Stoning is an integral part of Islam. read this hadith from Muwatta.Book 41, Number 41.1.5: Malik related to me from Yaqub ibn Zayd ibn Talha from his father Zayd ibn Talha that Abdullah ibn Abi Mulayka informed him that a woman came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and informed him that she had committed adultery and was pregnant. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to her, “Go away until you give birth.” When she had given birth, she came to him. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to her, “Go away until you have suckled and weaned the baby.” When she had weaned the baby, she came to him. He said, “Go and entrust the baby to someone.” She entrusted the baby to someone and then came to him. He gave the order and she was stoned.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Rick,Hmmm, apparently being Born, Bred and Brainwashed and not so liberated a Southern Baptist explains your anti-Semitism.You sound just like the current “fruit cakes” who are now in charge of the Islamic terror theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil. Hopefully, Iranian oil profits now being used to sponsor global terror will someday be used to make for a better life in Iran.

  • Rick

    Skeptimal,Thanks for the most congenial reply. You make some very good points. I agree of course that we cannot tolerate terrorism. However, invading and occupying Palestine and Iraq is no way to fight terrorism; this just creates more terrorists.Anon notes that the Christians are being treated poorly in the Middle East. I wonder why that is. The daily TV news showing the Americans and Israelis raining tons of death and destruction indiscriminately on the local populations with their war machines cannot be expected to generate much good will. President Bush’s (latest) stated purpose for invading and occupying Iraq is to bring democracy to the Middle East in accordance with God’s wishes. This is not likely to win many converts to Christianity.

  • Rick

    CTCNL,I’m sure that you know the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. You are just playing dumb and the role fits you well. You are more anti-Semite than I, since both Jews and Arabs are Semites. My best friend is a secular Jew. He is one of the most humble people that you would ever want to meet and doesn’t have a religious bone in his body. His mother is living in Tel Aviv where he grew up. He is a strong advocate of the illegal and immoral invasions and occupations of Palestine and Iraq, so we disagree on those issues.I believe that these invasions and occupations of Palestine and Iraq are related. I regret that the Jewish lobby: the neocons like Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle and Kristol have so much influence and control over our government; that they could dupe our Dear Leader and World Class Hypocrite into such a terrible mistake as the illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. This is the third most serious crime of the past 100 years; the Balfour Declaration (1917) being the first, and the UN partition of Palestine (1947) being the second. Imagine if the trillion dollars squandered on invading and occupying Palestine and Iraq had instead been spent on infrastructure, conservation and alternate energy sources. How much better off would be our economy as well as our national security. Wake up people; we must break our dependence on Middle East oil. This is the second root cause of the disastrous misadventure in Iraq, the first being the influence of the Israeli lobby who feared and loathed Saddam.The idea that the Zionist Jews feel that they are The Chosen People of God and Palestine is their Promised Land is nothing new. The vast majority of Jew’s do not agree, but unfortunately, the most extreme nut jobs seem to get the most attention, have the most influence, and give the rest the bad name and stereotype.Most of the world sees the USA and Israel as the only terrorist states. They clearly can make a better case than can you for the Islamic terror theocracy of Iran. And as for ‘the Third Axis of Evil’, give us a break!!! You have been drinking too much of your Dear Leader’s Kool-Aide.

  • harveyh5

    Rick,I commented only on the Muslim religion because the subject of this discussion concerns Eboo Patel’s criticism of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I can’t argue with the criticisms of the U.S.’s approach to the Middle East. Also, given a different article, I would be just as ready to criticize Christianity. All religions are bogus. However, just because I only criticized the Muslim religion, doesn’t make the points I made invalid. You yourself quoted A Muslim: “Are there injustices in the Muslim world? Yes, there are. Then let’s remedy them, and not fight a WWIII over it.” I certainly agree.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Rick,Hmmm, yes the Israelies wanted their Promised Land back. Just like the Muslims who think all lands of the infidels are rightly their Promised Lands. Both are significantly stupid and significantly wrong and suffer as you do from the brainwashing of flawed religions. You must stop reading the propaganda of the Islamic Terror Theocracy of Iran. You sound like one of their ambassadors.And again I assume the money we spent/spend defending the Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Kuwait was/is a waste?? And the foreign aid for Egypt, Palestine, Pakistan and other Muslim countries is a waste??

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the truth,Thanks for pointing out the truth. In light of all the political correctness by our media, politicians, and educational institutions our country needs more alert people like you. Keep pointing out the truth the jihad warriors are using all the above mentioned for their gain.

  • Rick

    HarveyH5,Thanks for the reply. We are in 100% agreement.

  • Anonymous

    Eboo Patel,You are not a Koran following Muslim. This is clear by the ignorance laid out in your thread.

  • Anonymous

    Eboo Patel,Go preach your whitewashed version of Islam to real Muslims in the middle of Saudi Arabia and watch your infidel head rolling down the street after you are beheaded after Friday prayers.

  • Rick

    CTCNL says:‘And again I assume the money we spent/spend defending the Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Kuwait was/is a waste?? And the foreign aid for Egypt, Palestine, Pakistan and other Muslim countries is a waste??’I don’t know where you get the idea that this was a mistake, certainly not from me. Of course the aid that we give to Palestinians is nowhere near fair and balanced compared to the aid that we give to Israelis.And I doubt that the aid that we are giving to the repressive regimes of the Middle East is intended to help the poor people of these countries. It is just to prop up the totalitarian regimes to keep the oil flowing. But their days are numbered. We had best cut our dependence on Middle East oil before it is too late.If anyone here is brainwashed, it is you, as evidenced by your unquestioning faith in your Dear Leader and World Class Hypocrite. Thankfully I have escaped from the programming of my youth, proving once again that free will does exist. Keep trying and you can set yourself free from your programming as well.

  • ibrahim mahfouz

    The following essay reinforces what Ms Ali expounded concerning the treatment of women in Islam. Women in Islam The term “elevate” in the above claim implies improvement in the quality of Muslim women’s life since pre-Islamic times –pre 630 AD, which they refer to as the “Age of Ignorance”. The Prophet of Islam, Mohammed (570-632AD), married his first wife, Khadija (555-620A D), in Mecca , Hejaz, during the pre-Islamic period. She lived all of her 65 years in the “Age of Ignorance”. Let us compare her “status” with that of present day women of her hometown, Mecca, to gauge the extent Islam had “elevated” the social standing of women over the past fourteen hundred years.Khadija bint Khuwailed was a wealthy literate woman who owned a huge commercial enterprise as well as a fleet of more than 500 camels to transport her wares. She hired Mohammad to travel with her caravans to Yemen and Syria as manager of her trading business. She divorced two husbands and never was in a polygamous relationship. She proposed marriage to Mohammad when she was 40 and he was 25. He never took another wife while married to her and their marriage lasted 25 years, ending with her death. She never veiled her face and traveled freely. How many women in Mecca today can read and write and own their own businesses? How many women in Mecca today have a say about their prospective husbands let alone propose to them or divorce them? How many women in Mecca today are living in a monogamous marriages or married to a younger man? How many Meccan women show their faces or travel alone? How then did Islam elevate women? Is it by institutionalizing polygamy and the culture of concubines? Mohammad’s mother and grandmothers, all of whom lived in the pre-Islamic era, did not share their husbands with other wives, yet he had 10 known wives and unknown number of concubines at the time of his death. Is this the way Islam and its founder elevated women? Or by ruling that women inherit half their brother’s share and their testimony, when accepted, counts as equivalent to only half that of a man? Or maybe by making it “Halal” or lawful for men to lie to their wives and beat them? Is it by giving the man the right to divorce simply by uttering the sentence “I divorce you” three times, or by institutionalizing the practice of female sex organ mutilation they call “Khatan ”? How is that elevating to women? How does any of those above mentioned practices that were institutionalized and spread by Islam to include over a billion people today could have improved upon the status and welfare of a pre-Islamic woman such as Khadija? The Arabian Peninsula had many powerful and influential women during the “Age of Ignorance”. The famous Queen Balqees or Queen of Sheba ruled a thriving and prosperous Sheba (Yemen), just south of Hejaz, three thousand years ago . Sujaj, Um Furka, Um Zumol were chieftains of their Hejaz tribes. Afra and Zafra were High Priestesses, a position comparable to a Prime Minister. Al Khansaa was a popular prime poetess in Mecca during Mohammad’s time. How many notable or influential Muslim women from Hejaz or the whole Arabian Peninsula have you heard of? The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which includes Hejaz as a province, had only very recently allowed girls into schools. Women there are not allowed to vote, drive a car or even walk outside their enclosed courtyards unless covered completely from top to bottom with black shrouds called Niqab and escorted by either the father, a brother or husband. The people in the West read the books from which the Muslims derive their Sharia or Religious Law, and have observed the Muslims’ practices as well as know their history. The West did not get to their present level of eminence in all of human endeavors by being ignorant, illiterate, passive or closed- minded. The whole world knows now the status of women under the Sharia. The Muslim missionaries in the West need to be very well aware that their audience are steeped in a culture that respects honesty and practices critical thinking. Such easily verifiable misleading claims will only further diminish the credibility of Muslims and tarnish their religion.

  • Anonymous

    Rick. Have you noticed on this board that narrowminded fundamentalists keep typing their favorite phrases over and over -ad nauseum- and bring nothing new to the discussion.At least follow the lead of the more considerate narrowminded posters and abbreviate:Dear Leader and World Class Hypocrite= DL&WCH

  • Ahmed Said

    Please read a response article entitled The West Vs The Muslim World by Ahmed Said at

  • Rick

    Thanks Anon,I will cease and desist using that term. I know how aggravating it can be reading CTCNL go on and on about his Pretty Wingy Flying Thingies (PWFTs).

  • Rick

    Skeptimal said:’Who are you really? Because I’m not buying your persecuted American Muslim bulls**t.’Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t to me. Who said anything about persecuted American Muslim? I’m not a Muslim. I’m a reformed former Christian Southern Baptist now liberated; e.g. atheist/agnostic.

  • aaron

    of course ayaan is repulsive to your faith because she is a living reminder of how revolting your faith is.your agenda is to promote and defend islam. you are doing your bit for the jihad!keep up the ‘good’ work!

  • Kerrie Woodruff

    Why after so many years and so many deaths, bombings and destruction, it does not cease? It escalates and no one in the Muslim world says anything. White/Black/American Indian/Asian/Christian/Jewish/Hindi/Rasta/Wicca kids from Schenectady didn’t fly those planes on September 11th and no one in that crowd tried to blow up the Trade Center in 1992. None of those groups attacked the Cole or took part in any of the many embassy bombings. You’ve picked the losing horse because the jury doesn’t need to go out on this one. It’s not like its just wacky Pat Roberson calling for the assassination of a sitting head of state, it’s pretty much the whole bunch of ya all over the world killing and blowing stuff up or calling for killing and blowing stuff up or sitting quietly with your hands folded. When does it stop? When will they feel they’ve made their point or is killing non-Muslims a part of the whole deal? What is the point? That you’ve been persecuted? OK, we got it. Join the rest of the crowd.If Islam is so peaceful why doesn’t the Muslim leadership in the United States try and reach out to these religious leaders overseas and calm the violence? If they are, they need a much better PR machine. I’m part Irish and even the IRA has laid down their guns realizing violence begets violence. A voice is much more powerful.The other thing you’ve missed is that the US Constitution has been amended. I don’t believe the Qur’an has. And just because you’re in a place doesn’t mean that you’re a part of the landscape- HOWEVER- pledging allegiance to the flag, get’s you lumped into the pot. I’m an American everywhere I go and until I publicly reject it. Same holds true for religion. I’ve rejected religion for all the reason Mr. Hitchens has espoused as well as a few others.Your argument is akin to saying that there are nice people in the Klan, which I am sure there are, but you’d think that they’d be smart enough to pick a better group to run around with on the weekends. You can do the same.Why are most Christians Christian? Why are Jews, Jews? Because their parents told them so. You choose to be Muslim just as you choose not to be Jewish or Christian or choose Captain Crunch on the cereal isle. You accept the teaching and the tenants just as you reject the others and this growing world wide criticism and fear of Islam. The only Christians dying from faith are from the mystery meat at Wednesday’s pot luck and that, my friend, is persecution. This has become an all or nothing issue. Why do you want to be a part of it? Silence is support. Speak out against the non stop violence. If this were the crusades again, I think you’d see quite a rejection of the action. The poor Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t even make it into my driveway before I hit them with the hose.As far as Ms. Hirsi- everyone’s gotta make a living but you’re punishing the messenger and missing the message. People are being murdered in the name of your faith. Speak out against it. If people are murdered in the name of our great nation, I speak out against it and have and will continue. I’m sure the FBI is saving this nugget for later too. Could you be a voice of reason to the Muslim world or is the fear of reprisal too much? Which is more important- your faith or your fellow country folk of our great nation that have been killed in the name of your faith? I’m thinking since we must love our neighbor as ourselves that we should be.

  • Peter Brawley

    Eboo Patel offers no argument against Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s description of Islam as a main force for oppression in the world. Her book is indeed luminous. It is Eboo Patel’s piece here that is venomous, hyperbolic and repulsive.

  • Mike Lakewood

    Very good point, and well-taken. Earlier this year, an email was making the rounds of a speech Ms. Ali had given. And in fact, it bothered me a great deal. Basically, it mistook the wish or desire to do something — in this case the aims of radical Islamists to destroy the West with the real ability to do so. September 11 was horrible, but, let’s face reality, it would take more than such terrorist exercises to subjegate the entire West. In fact, it would require such things as which are all but impossible for these groups to provide: a massive, well-equiped, well-trained standing army, air and naval supremecy and the treasure and means (ie, industry and resources) to deliver this. Even given all of this, there are no guarantees of success (think NAZI facisim and the Napoleonic Wars). In any instance, Ms. Ali’s speech concludes by stating that all of Islam, not just it’s radical fringes, are frought with violence and oppression. No conclusions beyond this are drawn, but we can surmise nonetheless: that the West should do all within it’s powers to destroy Islam and it’s adherents. These measures may seem cruel and extreme, we may think, but necessary for our own survival. Hmmm, sounds like an argument we’ve all heard a few times before, doesn’t it? By the way, you are not completely correct about the “Three Fifths” argument in the US Constitution. It’s direct application was in reference to representation and taxation and is reveresed by the 14th amendment.

  • Greg in MD

    I read Ali’s book and was deeply moved by it. I think you are misrepresenting what she would actually like to do. She wants to end the tolerance of Muslim enclaves in the Western world. She would eliminate Muslim schools, supported in the Netherlands by taxpayer money, that preach the subjugation of women. She would welcome Muslims into the Western world, but in a way that is welcoming and integrative, that makes them a part of the West, instead of allowing them to preach and live lives that would repulse the rest of the Western world. Should we stand for female genital mutilation in America or Europe (something she went through), should we treat women like second class citizens, should we permit tirades of hate to move people into terrorism? I don’t think we should. In the interest of reason – maybe we should look at what the root causes of some of the problems Ayaan Hirsi Ali brings up are. I think undeniably one of those causes is Islam itself and the way it is practiced today.

  • Jack

    Islam is pre-Reformation and pre-historical-critical examination of its literature. Whether this has to do with Colonialism may be a question: oligarchies internal and external have a symbiosis with fundamentalism (as a validation of their rank and a palliative to the peasantry). Why should Islam alone be insulated from modern scholarship? That is the question that jumps out at any religious studies student. The answer is that it can no more stand up to scholarly examination than Judaism or Christianity, and it knows it. The author is simply specious in employing the language of the Enlightenment here.

  • boobista

    Give the girl a break, she has to eke out a living. Also, this is me as a humanist and atheist speaking, there is no way I can overlook or rationalize the way women are treated in Muslim societies and those “death to infidels”-commands in the Quran. No wonder some nutjobs might take it literally now and then. True, spin back the clock two hundred years and you will see that Christianity erred in similar ways. En lieu of tolerance ontowards other religions, I want to suggest indifference. It’s cheaper, intellectually more honest and yields better results.

  • rr

    Let’s be honest here. The counter examples you offer are either US law that has since been changed or truly fringe groups and opinions. The oppression of women in Muslim countries is, to this day, still institutionalized in countries such as Saudi Arabia and widespread in conventional Muslin thought.Also, to try and spin Africa as another example where Muslim believes are unfairly being singled out is again, incorrect. The oppressive cultural habits in certain parts of African, like female circumcision, is abhorant and universally derided. There is little deference paid to cultural norms of any country/religion/culture when they blatantly violate human rights.

  • Methylviolet

    Well said.

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    “Fight those who believe not

  • Daniel Stewart

    The comparison of the Qur’an to the U.S. Constitution, or the history of Islam to the history of the United States, lacks the very intellectual integrity Mr. Patel seems to claim is lacking in Ms. Ali’s claims. No reasonable individual looks to the U.S. Constitution as divinely inspired, as infallible; quite the opposite, the founders incorporated methods by which it might be changed, amended, updated, so as to prevent such a static view. To the extent that our constitution, and even our history, are obviously guilty of engaging in and supporting oppressive and discriminatory practices throughout our history, we have within our system of government methods by which to reflect on such failings and, over time, address them. The opposite seems true in a document and belief system that, by its nature, claims immutability and deity-inspired moral sanctity.

  • Jack Spratt

    The problem with your comments about Ayaan

  • Bill McMichael

    There is a lot more in Ayaan Hirsi, Eboo, than is dreamt in your philosophy.

  • Chapereux

    Mr Patel does not chalenge the threat to Ms. Ali’s life. He does not chalenge that the origin of the threat is Islamists, however misguided. His entire point seems to be that she not commit the error of applying collective guilt to all to the religion itself.

  • jpatrdugan

    I just happed to read your article at the same time as reading Robert Caro’s portrait of Richard Russell. He was a stark contrast to racist demagogues like his contemporary Theo Bilbo. Bright, articulate, respected by his peers for his integrity. He also was careful to note that he opposed lynching, though he assured his peers that too much was made of what was basically a rare occurence. But he opposed every single civil rights and lynching bill that came up in his career, and he did it more effectively, precisely because he didn’t fit the stereotype. There’s no reason to think that we would know the name of Emmet Till, except for the fact that he was lynched, and this lynching became a forum for talking about a problem that was endemic in the South. So was the murder of Theo Van Gogh. There’s a real ugliness lying just beneath the surface of your article. I’m afraid the implication that Ali takes the stands she does out of a desire for financial gain gives the game away.

  • Bob

    Ms. Ali is making the point that Moslem women with Islam religion are very poorly treated. Right now I’m here in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Capital, our biggest Middle East friends (because of oil) and am sick of this country. Women here are totally covered from top to bottom in long black outfits, including eyes, can not drive a car, cannot go to a soccer game, can not eat in a restaurant unless hubbie comes along, can only go to the supermarket when hubbie or servants comes along, etc., etc. They live in fancy homes that are prisons (you never see them talking to neighbours, carrying out the trash, saying high to the neighbours, walking with their kids, etc.). Meanwhile the men drive at 80 miles an hour in the city, dressed in Jeans, thinking highly of themselves. When I go to an office all you see are men in fancy outfits giving each other the eye. Five times a day Islam prayers are forced on them. Everything closes then, restaurants, supermarkets, coffeeshops, etc. No theaters to see a movie. All this nonsensical religious force stops people from being creative, independent, integrating with the world. And, again, the women here are the lowest on the totum pillar in terms of respect, appreciation for what they mean to the world and to a man. This country has oil but is very sick indeed. No way this is going to last. Truthfully, I cannot understand why the European Jews fought so hard to settle in Israel. If it comes to westerns (especially the US) trying to save oil and gas – don’t do it for energy savings – no, do it to force these Arabs to treat these women as equals. Truly a bad part of the world.

  • Rahul

    Kerri Woodruff: Well said. You writing style is very nice to read and understand. I hope people learn to write good English on these forums so that readers enjoy their reading even though they may not agree.Now to the topic:Watched that Maxmimum securtiy prison piece on 60 Minutes last night. Those peace loving Muslims like Ramzi Yousef, Shoe Bomber, OBL’s secretary … were dancing up and down on 9/11, they hate to take orders from a female guard, go on hunger strikes…. My question is : Why does America care about these animals?I have also watched and read many places where Muslims have felt pride after 9/11 and have said “that 9/11 made them go back to Islam”!!!If my co-religionists did that (and many other terror attacks) , I would be running away from them and calling my religion a murderous cult

  • Sarika

    Bob from Saudi Arabia: Very funny but so tragic as well.But I thought Saudi Arabia was the birthplace of prophet Mohammed who was the most tolerant and compassionate human being. Why is his birthplace so intolerant and treats women like a prisoner?Can Christians, Hindus, Jews etc practise their religion in Saudi Arabia?Hoping our dependence on oil will end soon.

  • David

    Rick makes my point. Notice he calls speaking the truth about Islam “Islam Bashing”.Regularly from the main mosques in Amman, Cairo, Istanbul, Berlin, London, New York and more, time is regularly given to Imams who supposedly are the radical fringe.Saudi Arabia funds 80% of American mosques, providing literature both in the mosques and at its own embassies that clearly state that Wahabi Sunni’s goal is jihad until a global caliphate is created.It goes one. He can’t address a single point I’ve made about “progressive” Islam, but he can complain I’ve made them. Yes, that’s the extent of both modern “progressive” Islam and its dhimmi allies.

  • Aya

    Why is it everytime a Muslim critiques what someone says about Islam they are questioned about where are these Muslims who speak out against the fanatics within the religion? I am sick and tired of it just like I am sick and tired of the senseless murders that are happening in the name of the religion that I follow which is Islam. There I said it. Quote me next time you think of the Muslims who are NOT speaking out against the fanatics. There are so many Muslim who do NOT agree with the extremism within Islam and they verbalize and document it. What I find interesting is when they do speak out against the extremism they are then questioned about such and such verse, not chapters of the Qu’ran that state this or that. For those who just state a verse or two or three I say read the whole chapter oh and how about this understand why and when the chapter was written. I would put my life on it that the people who do not agree with the fanatics out number those who are the fanatics. Now on Ayaan Hirsi Magan. I’ve read her book. I read the book mainly just to see where she is coming from. I still don’t know where’s she coming from. Granted the experiences that she went through were horrific, but as I was reading the book I was thinking this is what I have been taught that Islam is not about. I’ve been Muslim all of my life. I have a job, I’m married to a guy that I chose, I drive to work, I have not had GFM, I work with people of the opposite sex, and I do other things that people do not think Muslims can do because of what some crazy people have portrayed as “authentic” Islam. Maybe I should write a book. I doubt if it I would receive much acclaim. Oh well.

  • Cody Claxton

    Eboo has very dangerous views. He should not be leader of ANY group, especially ones that are influencing YOUTH. His view is so skewed by his faith that he has lost sense of reality. This is no different than Pat Robertson’s CBN cult. This is the Muslim Youth version. No one should be listening to him, much less giving him a blog linked to the WashingtonPost.

  • gadlaw

    To my eyes this article seemed very hateful and derisive and it’s a wonder that it appears in the Washington Post. At some point we collectively have to agree that hate is wrong even if it comes in under the ideas of religions. At some point the zero tolerance for violence and verbalization of violence needs to find it’s way to public discussions of religion. We don’t allow neo Mayan or Aztecs perform human sacrifices because it’s wrong. We can’t allow Muslims to advocate and condone hate and murder under the umbrella of their religion. It’s just not acceptable. Ayann Hirsi Ali lives in fear for her life because of an organized religion that advocates, condones and preaches violence and that religion needs to be classified as a hate organization. Period. That’s the crime.

  • Person

    Aya: what you are or are not sick of is irrelevant. The point is that you swear allegiance to an ideology that has as its central thesis, the killing, conquering and subjugating of all non-Muslims. It doesn’t sound, based on what you say, like you may be actively seeking to kill someone at this particular moment, but it’s as if it were 1939 and you said ‘I’m a proud member of the Nazi party but I’m sick of Gestapo torturers.’ Well, that’s nice, but you’re still part of the problem.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali should receive the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing to the world’s attention the evil and dangers of Islam.

  • VICTORIA

    ted- Muhammad’s(pbuh) father was indeed named Abdullah- it means servant or slave of the god skeptimal- moses was also a statesman and prophet- also the Prophet(pbuh) was offered the wealth of all the tribes of arabia (mecca was a wealthy hub of all tribes) if he would only denounce his mission- but you tell yourself what you want ahh- the dangers of a little knowledge and the internet if muslims were all women haters- how did ayaan hirsi ali get such an expensive and excellent education to begin with? muslim women immigrants to america have a much higher education level than american women – anyone from anywhere can be a misogynist it is what it is peace peoples

  • VICTORIA

    what are you doing up at this hour lib? want a kitten?

  • John R.

    Islam is violent, Muhammad took part in over a dozen battles, some of which were to capture Medina and Mecca. The Quran calls for the subjugation of all Christians and Jews under Dhimmitude status and to pay the jizya tax. If they refuse Dhimmitude and refuse to convert, then the Quran calls for the smiting of their necks in battle (beheading, which Muslims are notorious for in the Middle East). When Muslims took over the Hagia Sophia, the blood of the Christian monks ran through the church ankle deep. Muslim piracy had to be ended in the Mediterranean by Thomas Jefferson and the U.S. Marine Corps, hence the phrase, “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Corps Anthem. Islam’s history is nothing but violence.

  • Saul Foxman

    Eboo – Thanks for your comments. You are, indeed, correct. Furthermore, your analogy can be extended from the U.S. Constitution to the Bible itself. In fact, the Bible gives sanction to slavery, the supremacy of males, homophobia and to violence against unbelievers. Is that to say that Judaism and Christianity are blood-thirsty faiths? Of course not. But there are the ill-informed in other parts of the world who would say so – just as there are cultural illiterates in this part of the world who would say the same about Islam.Don’t let the haters on this board or elsewhere get to you. A faith is more than quotes taken out of context or the most despicable acts of its most craven members. Christianity is greater than the acts of Torquemada. Judaism is greater than Baruch Goldstein. Similarly, Islam transcends Al Qaeda and the barbarism that is carried out in its name – and, in its history and its practice, has proven so. That may not sell books – but the successful mass marketing of ill-informed, poorly researched books to a public that is too incurious or lazy to research the facts does not mean that those books represent the truth.The Muslim bashers may have the force of numbers on their side today – but they do not have the right on their side. As Abraham Lincoln said at Cooper Union, “Let us have faith that might makes right. And let us, in that faith, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

  • Aya

    Person: You’re absolutely right. What more can I say. No matter what I say I’ll be wrong so you’re right. Not sure what tone you read my comment in, but you’re right. You compared me to a Nazi and I must say that honestly hurts. Fine. I give up.

  • Aya

    Person: I just have one question, you said that I am part of the problem. How? Because I speak out AGAINST those who profess to be Muslims, but who pervert the religion that I believe in. I speak out AGAINST those who think women are to be seen and not heard. I speak out AGAINST those who think just because they are not of the same religion as I am then I must not associate myself with those people. I speak out AGAINST those who think they are killing in the name of the religion that I believe in because that’s what they think is right. Tell me how am I part of the problem? You don’t even know me. But you know what I RESPECT you.

  • James Robertson

    “Let’s say that Ms. Ali was flipping through the U.S. Constitution and the first passage she read was the one that said people of her skin color counted as three-fifths of a person. Let’s say that Ms. Ali opened an American history book and read only the chapter on the slave trade.”Let’s say you studied some history. The compromise on slave counts was necessary at the time to create a union. Would you be happier had the abolitionists (not a huge lobby then) held out, thus creating multiple nations where there’s one now? Do you always stand ready to criticize the “good enough” because the perfect is your ideal model?In 1787, a union without slavery simply wasn’t in the cards. Period, end of story. We fought a bloody civil war to end slavery – proportionally more damaging than any American war before or since. Other than Britain (which was the leader in the fight), no nation has done more to eliminate slavery than the US. As to the slave trade, you do know that as of 1808, it was illegal? As with slavery itself, it’s easy, from the distance of 2007 to criticize the founders. They had a hard choice though: a union with slavery, or no union. They didn’t have your ideal as a choice.Also, you realize that the Islamic world engaged in slavery long before the West got into it, and kept at it far longer (Saudi Arabia, for instance, only outlawed it in 1960)? In many parts of the Islamic world, slavery is a de-facto reality still. The West engaged in slavery for a shameful – but historically short – period of time. The Islamic world would still be at it had the West not insisted.

  • David

    Aya, yes, you are part of the problem. Anytime anyone in any religion says “no, but they’re not really my religion”, it’s an excuse. Except it’s even worse in Islam. If you are a true moderate, you are in a tiny minority, but you won’t admit it. You can’t admit that the vast majority of Muslims are not only taught that jihad is proper, they agree with it. You need to admit that the OIC, the umbrella organization representing EVERY SINGLE Muslim nation unanimously supported the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam as the alternative to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because the later does not put forward the primacy of Sharia Law and its clear statements that Muslims are superior to all other people. Got that? ALL Muslim nations. That’s the majority, not a tiny minority. You are the minority. Until you admit that and admit, you’ll continue to be an apologist for jihad by trying to minimize reality.

  • Aya

    David: Like d’uh I know I’m a minority, but not in the sense that you speak of. Ok I’m part of the problem because I am a “moderate” and because I am a minority. Question for you tell me how do you say war in Arabic? Clue: It’s not Jihad.

  • David

    Notice what Victoria doesn’t give us: A source. We need to see if those Muslim “moderates” clearly rejected Sharia law as the basis of their beliefs. If not, they’re just saying they support a hudna, a temporary cessation of violence against the infidel while they rest and rearm. They’re willing to “live and let live” on a temporary basis.Of course, the other question is: What percentage of Muslims is 130? Oh, wait, she said scholars. That could be an enormous percentage of Muslim scholars.

  • David

    Aya, nice attempt at diversion. Oh, wait, it wasn’t, it was poor. A generic term for war is beside the point. The specific war to create a global caliphate is jihad, and that is what is the problem. It is enshrined in both Sunni and Shiite text.However, as long as you’re attempting sad little games, jihad is “holy war”. For just war, you need to look at what the Koran describes as the only two lands in the world:If a place isn’t ruled by Muslims in Sharia law, it is the land of war.So, yes, I know the word.”but not in the sense that you speak of”, really, then why can’t you argue any of the points of which I speak or define your own rationalizations?

  • David

    Oh, before I go to sleep, here’s a question for you, as I live in Israel: How many times is Jerusalem mentioned in the Koran?

  • VICTORIA

    thats not in the quran dave

  • Anonymous

    Victoria. Make this easy and publically renounce the violent verses in the Qur’an.

  • VICTORIA

    anon- you need to come up with at least a fake name no acknowledgement of cowards hiding in shadows ok dave- i have some peaceful and nurtuing responsibilities to attend to

  • mike

    Yes. Eboo and all Muslims reading here can start by renouncing the Koranic verses that urge and inspire violence against infidels (non-muslims). That will be great place to start a constructive conversation.

  • Cody Claxton

    All of Us, the bloggers here included;Being here wrapped into bias and misunderstanding;Further letting our minds be whipped into a frenzy of debate and derision;Should set aside such animosity and division;And consider that the human condition is the same for all of us;We all greive when loved ones die or are hurt;We all love our children;We all seek to raise ourselves above suffering;We all seek to be loved.And, so Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Atheist, and Shamans and all who seek a spiritual presence should focus onThe Common Good which we all share;We should promote and talk about how we are the same, and IGNORE how we are different,THUS allowing the Negative and the Divisiveness to wane into PEACE AMONG ALL PEOPLE.Peace, Brothers and Sisters.

  • VICTORIA

    THE QURAN DOES NOT URGE VIOLENCE AGAINST NON-BELIEVERS VIOLENCE IS ONLY ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF AGGRESSIVE VIOLENCE DIRECTED TOWARDS A MUSLIM AND ONLY IN DEFENSE Many experts considered the letter as a major setback to Al-Qaeda’s ideology, as it comes from an influential Saudi scholar, who is not part of the official religious establishment. “Brother Osama. How many wars and how much bloodshed have occurred in the name of Al-Qaeda? How many innocents, old men, children are killed in the name of Al-Qaeda? Are you happy to meet God carrying this heavy burden on your shoulders?” Al-Oudah asked. He also criticized the Al-Qaeda leader’s lust for power at the expense of thousands of Muslims, who have been killed in wars initiated by Al-Qaeda. “Who is responsible for promoting the culture of killing and violence that has led to the destruction of families and societies? Who is responsible for the youths sent to wars leaving their crying mothers and sons?” Al-Oudah said. “The attacks of Sept. 11 resulted in the deaths of thousands of human beings. Unknown callers to Islam (missionaries) are by far better. They help tens of thousands become Muslims without shedding blood,” he said. Al-Oudah further slammed Al-Qaeda’s violent philosophy and attributed a decrease in the work of Islamic charities to Al-Qaeda. “Who is responsible for pursuing every charitable project in the world?” he said, adding that Al-Qaeda is responsible for filling prisons with Muslim youth — a phenomenon that will lead only to more violent and extremist acts. Al-Oudah expressed sorrow over the current negative image of Islam saying that it has been severely damaged because of Al-Qaeda’s violent acts. “The image of Islam is not the one it used to be. The world is talking of Muslims killing non-Muslims. Even the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not kill hypocrites who were mentioned in the Qur’an for fear of people describing the Prophet as a man who kills his companions,” Al-Oudah reminded Bin Laden in his letter.

  • mia

    Victoria has been posting the glories of the Religion of Peace here for months. Now she has a chance to back that up with a renunciation of violence called for in the Quran. What’s happened here Victoria? What possible reason might you have to cling to verses demanding violence of believing Muslims? You’re not hypocritical -are you?

  • Ted Baines

    VictoriaApparently you are the one that needs to do some reading.Abdullah, Muhammad’s father, was named Abdullah, because he worshipped the family deity Allah. He was a pagan and the first monotheist in the family was Muhammad who was influenced by Nestorian Christians.Allah was promoted by Muhammad into the chief deity.surely you do not accept that God would say what Allah was made to say in surah 111.there is no contempraneous9spell check) to Muhammad or Abdullah literature saying that Abdullah was a monotheist. To have been named Abdullah, Abdullah’s father would have to be a monotheist and that is stretching it.By the way would you support the building of a church in Mecca?

  • VICTORIA

    AS I INDICATED EARLIER, (at 5:37) I HAVE OBLIGATIONS TO ATTEND TO RIGHT NOW- besides, calling someone a hypocrite is hardly am invitation to civil dialogue, is it? so- go to 5:37pm- see that indeed before you showed up i am busy- and will have to respond when i have a moment insults are a form of verbal violence- if you think that is hypocritical- so be it

  • mike

    Vistoria says:”THE QURAN DOES NOT URGE VIOLENCE AGAINST NON-BELIEVERSVIOLENCE IS ONLY ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF AGGRESSIVE VIOLENCE DIRECTED TOWARDS A MUSLIM AND ONLY IN DEFENSE WHEN THE AGRESSION STOPS- MUSLIMS MUST EMBRACE PEACE”But the Qur’an says:Sura (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]…and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” Sura (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.” Sura (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” Sura (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”Sura (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”. Sura (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” Sura (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”Sura (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”Sura (4:95) – “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,-” Sura (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”Sura (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”Sura (8:15) – “O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.” Sura (8:39) – “And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah”Sura (8:57) – “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.” Sura (8:59-60) – “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”Sura (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”Sura (9:14) – “Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace…”Sura (9:20) – “Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These are they who are triumphant.” Sura (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Sura (9:30) – “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!” Sura (9:38-39) – “O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place.” Sura (9:41) – “Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew.”Sura (9:88) – “But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.” Sura (9:123) – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”Sura (21:44) – “We gave the good things of this life to these men and their fathers until the period grew long for them; See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?” Sura (25:52) – “Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Qur’an).” Sura (47:35) – “Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost: for Allah is with you,”Sura (48:17) – “There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom.” Sura (48:29) – “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves”Sura (61:4) – “Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way” Sura (61:10-12) – “O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?- That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity.” Sura (66:9) – “O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey’s end.”

  • Ted Baines

    Abu Lahab was Muhammad’s uncle and had exposed Muhammad as a fraud. His influence on other Arabs was not as great as that of Asma bint Marrwan who wrote powerful poetry. Muhamamd murdered Asma.Lahab’s wife had thrown a chicken’s intestine on Muhammad. Hence, the surah below that Muhammad put into his idol’s mouth.111.001111.002111.003111.004111.005

  • mike

    Victoria-These Quranic verses inspire violence in extreme Muslims. Why would any peace-loving Muslim cling to them. Please renounce them and move on.

  • Erik Schwarz

    Some of the comments below go dreadfully amiss. Eboo Patel is called hateful, dangerous, and a supporter of jihad. I have known and worked with Eboo for years and can testify to his personal gentlemanliness, his dedication to interfaith understanding, and his effectiveness at mobilizing young people of all faiths to work together in community service. I do not agree with some of his critique of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. His attribution of mercenary motives seems unfair. As various commentators have pointed out, his analogies about Africa and the U.S. Constitution are not entirely apropos. Also, Eboo overstates the case for universal — in the sense of unified — Enlightenment values. Ali, who rejects not only Islam but all religion, is quite compatible with at least one among the many strains of Enlightenment thought: that of anti-clericalism. She may lack the corruscating wit of Voltaire, but she shares a view with him.Having said this, I must add that Eboo is a much more interesting thinker than Ali. She had a terrible experience growing up in a particular religious culture, so she rejects religion. An understandable move for her, but it leaves us as a society with nowhere good to go. Eboo is attempting something subtler and at once riskier and more promising: he is trying to move Islam and the West towards a relationship of mutual understanding and cooperation. He is a far greater threat to the violent jihadis — and to advocates of conflict from every persuasion — than Ali.

  • BERRY

    You are completely right, Mike. A few years ago I decided to read the Koran out of plain curiosity. I wanted to understand the roots of Islam as a civilization, not necessarily as a religion.Well, the amount of hate and violence, verse after verse, page after page, was beyond belief.You have correctly quoted some Koran verses about its supposed “non-violence”. Similar stuff can be excerpted about the place of women in society.There are some people who claim that “I’m a muslim and I live a peaceful, happy life”. Probably it is because they have not had their genitals mutilated in the name of Koran’s god.

  • Cody Claxton

    Erik, Eboo wrote this article to attack Ali, and he now has to live with it. He may be the man you say: “… personal gentlemanliness, his dedication to interfaith understanding, and his effectiveness at mobilizing young people of all faiths to work together in community service.” But you would not know it from this diatribe against Ali. If Eboo is “trying to move Islam and the West towards a relationship of mutual understanding and cooperation.”, he will have to stop this kind of ridicule of other people’s religious views. It just smells of the same hypocrisy we see from many in the fundamentalist religions. Eboo should write an apology to Ms. Ali and confess his intolerance and regret here on this blog for the dischord he has here created.Love, Brothers and Sisters….brings Peace.

  • Anonymous

    Victoria cannot get help because she is like an alcoholic in denial. Until she realizes that her addiction to the violent religion of Islam has blinded her to the truth she will be a slave to evil religion. Mohammad said,”I have been ordered by God to fight with people till they bear testimony to the fact that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger, and that they establish prayer and pay Zakat (money). If they do it, their blood and their property are safe from me” (see Bukhari Vol. I, p. 13).Denounce this and you will be denouncing the most trusted collections of hadith.

  • terra

    “Eboo should write an apology to Ms. Ali and confess his intolerance and regret here on this blog for the dischord he has here created.”Thank you, Cody, for an excellent suggestion. I agree that a heartfelt apology to Hirsi Ali would help ease the pain Eboo has caused with his ugly hate-filled words. Before I read this diatribe against a woman (who is living under a death threat from his coreligionists), I had believed Eboo a man of peace and a moderate Muslim. I don’t know what inspired him -but an expedient recant and apology is needed.

  • Aya

    David: I do not call myself Sunni or Shiite. I am not politcal like that. I was being sarcastic when I said I was moderate and a minority. Well maybe I wasn’t. Does it really matter? Why do people get so caught up in this? The bottom line is I am a Muslim who does not believe in killing innocent people, I believe that women have rights and I believe that not all Muslims are bad people. Look I can go on and on and on, but is it really going to make a difference. Those who are head strong on the idea that Islam is a religion of hate don’t reallly care what I have to say or anyone who thinks, breathes, believes, preaches to they are blue in their face about how they don’t believe Islam is evil, has to say. I honestly hope that you have not read any of my posts in an angry tone. That’s not the way I was taught how to get my point across. By the way one place where you might find the small group of “moderate”/”progessive” Muslims is muslimwakeup.com. I don’t know what else to say. I doubt if I pleased you with my response. Forgive me.

  • Rationalist

    Classic example of self deception. Also can be called the tendency to “Having a cake and eat it all”?

  • Anonymous

    Aya,You sound like you don’t really know what you believe. How long have you been “muslim”?

  • Truth About Islam

    Latest Offerings from the Religion of Peace10/15/2007 (Beledwyne, Somalia) – Three children under the age of 12 are killed when a mortar fired by suspected Islamic militias hits their house.

  • Civic Humanist

    Mr Patel’s “Muslim faith and . . . Enlightenment sensibilities”?Let’s see – - – Muslim “faith” = “islam” = submission!Enlightenment sensibilities = autonomy & rationality, including methodological naturalism!How does that compute?I. Kant – “Concepts without percepts are empty; percepts without concepts are blind.”I’d say that Mr Patel – like his Christian counterparts – is a theonomic pre-posterist, putting a propositional cart loaded w/ unexamined propositions before conceptually hobbled horses.

  • Rick

    Mike,In your zeal to cast Islam in a bad light, you distort the wording of the Qur’an to serve your own twisted purpose. The verses that you quote from are clearly telling the faithful to fight in self defense only. What’s wrong with that? But you intentionally distort the passages to twist their meaning.For example, here is your distorted version of Sura 002.191-193:Sura (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]…and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” 002.190002.191002.192 002.193 Notice that you omit 002.190 entirely because it doesn’t fit your theme; in fact it directly refutes it:…begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not agressors.Then in 002.191 you omit:… And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship UNTIL THEY FIRST ATTACK YOU there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.Then you omit 002.192 completely, which says that if they desist, then Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.And you omit the part of 002.193 that says…But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.

  • BPSCG

    AYA: “The bottom line is I am a Muslim who does not believe in killing innocent people…”Aya, can a non-Muslim be an innocent person?The Koran teaches that you must kill, convert, or enslave all these people, for no crime other than their religion, or lack of it. Is that what Islam teaches how innocent people should be treated? Or does Islam claim these people are not innocent?Which is it?I am an unbeliever, so I need to know if you’re going to obey Allah and try to kill me when you get the chance.

  • Rick

    David,Like Mike, you are so worried about Islam defending itself that you completely overlook the horrible actions of your own government in prosecuting its despicable holy war on Islam.Your friend Anon notes that the Christians are being treated poorly in the Middle East. I wonder why that is. The daily TV news showing the Americans and Israelis raining tons of death and destruction indiscriminately on the local populations with their war machines cannot be expected to generate much good will. President Bush’s (latest) stated purpose for invading and occupying Iraq is to bring democracy to the Middle East in accordance with God’s wishes. This is not likely to win many converts to Christianity.You are so critical of Moderate Islam, but here’s the truth:There is no moderate Christianity. There are Christians who are passive, who don’t always follow the rules of Christianity, but there’s really only one Christianity, defined as submission to the will of God. There’s nothing moderate about it.”If we did follow the rules of Christianity, we would be stoning to death everyone who works on the Sabbath.

  • Irf

    With all due respect to my Christian friends, I find it a bit rich that worshippers of a God who is unable to forgive sins without animal sacrifice (or killing his own son as a substitute) would then describe Islam as a ‘blood-thirsty cult’.

  • mike

    “In your zeal to cast Islam in a bad light, you distort the wording of the Qur’an to serve your own twisted purpose.”Rick, the “wording of the Qur’an” is used to inspire young wannabe jihadis to end their lives along with as many innocent lives they can destroy. You are confused. I don’t have to cast Islam in a bad light and its not my “twisted purposes” that are being served daily.Do you recognise:“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”I’m sure your friend Victoria will be pleased to renounce these bloodsoaked words too.

  • Deepdiver

    “Cody Claxton:…Being here wrapped into bias and misunderstanding;Further letting our minds be whipped into a frenzy of debate and derision;Should set aside such animosity and division;And consider that the human condition is the same for all of us;We all greive when loved ones die or are hurt;We all love our children;…”Muslims strap bombs on their children, too young to understand or decide for themselves, and send them on suicide missions to kill the “infidels”. Afterwards some lament that they have no more children to murder in the name of Allah. Direct contradiction of the above assertions.Large segments of the Muslim population scream “death to America” and “death to the infidels”. Large segments of the Muslim population have proven that 1) they hate non-muslims more than they love their own children and 2) they want us, our mothers, fathers, wives, husbands and children dead for the sole sin of not believing as they do. I had no issue with Muslims prior to their threats. I had no anger towards Islam before they showed anger towards me and publicly, loudly, repeatedly stated that they want to kill me and everyone I love and destroy my culture. I first remember seeing those sentiments as a child during the Iranian embassy kidnapping. Death to America – death to the infidels. None of my family has acted to harm any Muslim. My grandfather was stationed in Persia in WWII and told me stories as a child of a wonderous culture, wonderful people of faith and honor, people he respected. And 34 years later I see those people screaming death to me and all I love and whichever of those who disagreed standing by silently letting evil flourish.I do not apologize for being willing to defend myself, my family, my nation and all that I hold dear from those who have openly, repeatedly and loudly screamed for my death and the death of those I love. I do not apologize for looking askance at those who bear a physical resemblance in dress, language or trait to those who have threatened to murder me and those I love as they come to us not in uniform to fight as men, but quietly, claiming to want peace and dialogue, sneaking through our society to destroy and maim and kill the most helpless, innocent and unsuspecting among us. I do not apologize for being ever vigilant of others who share that faith who, even if not espousing such venom and hatred, are unwilling to openly, loudly and repeatedly condemn those who continue to threaten everything I love and hold dear as their silence serves only the goals of the terrorists and murderers. For the last 27 years I have not seen a religion of peace. I have seen a religion of radicalism, constant outrage at the slightest perceived slight; a religion that keeps it’s people in mud huts despite great wealth from natural resources; a religion that subjugates women, mutilates them, stones them for the slightest perceived slight to some man’s fragile ego expressed as reclaiming his honor. There is no honor in brutally murdering an unarmed woman, man or child with blade, stone or explosive device.A religion of peace? I know that there are millions of Muslims who want nothing more than peace, who want nothing more than to raise their children in safety and prosperity, although it has not been proved to me that has anything to do with what appears to be a religion of intolerance, hate and violence. When I see Muslims world wide protest against suicide bombings and other terrorist acts as vehemently as the protests against some cartoons or made up accusations of Koran desecration, then I may start believing that peace is actually a tenant of Islam.

  • Aya

    Anonymous: So now I sound like I don’t know what I believe. I guess I don’t know how to get my point across or write for that matter. Am I not stating something that you want me to say or something?

  • Anonymous

    “With all due respect to my Christian friends”Who are your christian friends? What an inane comment.Sending out a salvo -just in case a christian happens by? Are you drunk?

  • Latest peace of Islam

    An Afghan suicide bomber prematurely exploded his explosives and ended up killing his Mom, sister and brother.

  • Rick

    Mike said:”Do you recognize:“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”That sounds pretty evil Mike. Why didn’t you include that in your “quotes” from the Qur’an?Let me guess; because it’s not to be found in the Qur’an?

  • Tom Barnes

    I don’t care what she says or who thinks what about what she says. She is beautiful. I am in love. Does anybody know if she is married?

  • Tom Barnes

    I don’t care what she says or who thinks what about what she says. She is beautiful. I am in love. Does anybody know if she is married?

  • Tom Barnes

    I don’t care what she says or who thinks what about what she says. She is beautiful. I am in love. Does anybody know if she is married?

  • 7snider7

    Well argued, Mr. Patel.

  • talisman

    simply refreshing! bravo! now, if only the rest of america would listen….

  • talisman30

    simply refreshing! bravo! now, if only the rest of america/the world would listen and take heed to your insightful analysis….

  • Tom Powell

    She has the right idea but is insufficiently inclusive. All religions, not just Islam, are absurd. Of course they are not themselves the cause of all problems but we’d be much better off without them – not to count the cost of maintaining their irrational nonsense.

  • Aya

    Anonymous: Does Muslim= not human to you. Did I ever state that I could care less that innocent people die for selfish reasons? If I did please let me know so I can correct my errors.

  • talisman30

    simply refreshing! bravo! now, if only the rest of america/the world would listen and take heed to your insightful analysis….

  • Anonymous

    Victoria cannot get help because she is like an alcoholic in denial. Until she realizes that her addiction to Islam has blinded her to the truth about Islam she will be a slave to evil religion.

  • Swifty

    Your logic is appallingly bad. You say, what if Ali had said Africa was inherently evil – something completely different from what she actually did say – then no one would listen to her. This is an irrelevant and idiotic argument. Apply the same “reasoning” to your own article. Say you had written that Hirsi Ali is stupid because she is a woman and women are stupid, readers would be repulsed by your argument also. Infidel reports the events of one woman’s life. You may not like the conflict between modern ideas of personal freedom and traditional religious views, be they Muslim Christian Hindu or Jewish, but to deny it exists is willful ignorance. To attack Hirsi Ali for telling her story, calling her a liar from your safe Western perch, is revolting.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali should receive the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing to the world’s attention the evil and dangers of Islam.

  • Tom Horrigan

    The criticism of Ayaan Hirsi Ali in this column is not only sophomoric, it is poorly documented and clearly very weak in its argument. Secularists, by their nature, are not a threat to the West, nor anywhere else. She can be criticized for some elements in her positions, but none of these were found in this column, which contained mostly rants.

  • Cody Claxton

    Deepdiver:By continuing to inflame the hatred in your heart, you will not get beyond seeing Muslims as inhuman. To foster peace you cannot continue to inflame the emotions of yourself and of others. We can always find a prescription to do violence in just about any relious text. (Buddhist perhaps being the exception). And, the Muslims can find examples of how the “Infidels” have been just as evil. And, thus…..the frenzy begins and goes round and round.Fostering peace means listening….it means quieting the frenzy in your brain and your heart.Fostering peace also means forgiving. By stopping the frenzy of emotion and negativity and hate and…., at least you are ABLE TO HEAR THE POSITIVE, your are ABLE TO HEAR THE COMMON GOOD, You are ABLE TO SEE HOW WE CAN BE AT PEACE.Listen……..quiet your own mind……listen.Love your brothers and sisters and peace will come.Focus on what YOU CAN DO: DEMAND AN APOLOGY FROM EBOO PATEL FOR ALI. COMMIT YOURSELF TO THINKING AND SPEAKING TO BRING PEACE INTO THE WORLD.Cody

  • Eric

    Rationalist wrote: “Classic example of self deception. Also can be called the tendency to “Having a cake and eat it all”? So if west is so bad, its culture is intolerable and Its unislamic life style, then Mr. Patel, why the hell you are staying in USA??Did Rationalist read Mr. Patel’s writing is its entirety? Where did he say that “the west is bad, its culture is intolerable and its life style is unIslamic? Here is a paragraph from Mr. Patel’s writing. Rationalist, why not tell the world what it means in relationship to the nonsense you wrote?“If you think the West is about marginalizing large groups of people and maligning their traditions, then Ayaan Hirsi Ali is defending it. If you believe, as I do, that the West is characterized by reason and pluralism, then Ayaan Hirsi Ali is attacking its essence.”

  • The Elephant

    I am a citizen of The Netherlands and I am proud to have casted a vote for her in the national elections for parliament. She masters a highly academic way of reasoning, which certainly cannot be said of Eboo Pattel, the writer of this article. Out of the many factual errors and wrong reasoning in the article let me just point out the error in the first sentence: Mrs. Ayaan Hirsi Ali had a large sway of followers here in The Netherlands long before she appeared on the radar of the Muslim radicals.

  • Anonymous

    Let me break your argument down, hombre.P1: “The West” has its foundations in the Enlightenment’s elevation of Reason.What?If you’d argued that Hirsi Ali was attacking the West because she was attacking Reason itself – I might be convinced of that. Unfortunately, your logic allows one to seize on any claim of an unreasonable arguement as evidence of an effort to destroy Western Civilization.But I can one-up that.P1: Ayaan Hirsi Ali is living in America.

  • sam henly

    Let me break your argument down, hombre.P1: “The West” has its foundations in the Enlightenment’s elevation of Reason.What?If you’d argued that Hirsi Ali was attacking the West because she was attacking Reason itself – I might be convinced of that. Unfortunately, your logic allows one to seize on any claim of an unreasonable arguement as evidence of an effort to destroy Western Civilization.But I can one-up that.P1: Ayaan Hirsi Ali is living in America.

  • Shervin

    Ms. Hisri is the only person with the courage to call Islam what it is. There are some principles that are not compatible with Islam and among them include women’s equality. While the US Constitution has amendments overruling the 3/5 clause for the slaves, there are no such amendments in Quran. Women have always and will always be counted as 1/2 the men. Also the central idea of jihad in Islam cannot be denied. Even though many scholars has tried to reduce or minimize the violent aspects of jihad by claiming that jihad refers to the general act of defending and spreading the faith, none has denied the fact in defending and spreading the faith, use of violent force is explicitly advocated. Given these two aspects of Islam, it is very hard for it to reconcile Islam with a Western liberal democracy or thoughts of Enlightenment.

  • joseph tener

    After I read Mr. Patel article I had to read

  • mnjam

    Surprise, “radical” Islam has produced its antithesis in Ayaan Hirsi Ali — hate produces hate.

  • J.C.

    After I read Mr. Patel article I had to read

  • J.C.

    After I read Mr. Patel article I had to read

  • J.C.

    After I read Mr. Patel article I had to read

  • Rich

    Eboo, while your quoting out of context does prove your point the other fact you don’t put forward are the corrections that were made by the civil war for instance. There are no corrections being made in the Quran. Sorry the truth is powerful. If you can point out any that speak to other truths that are not in hiding or a sea change of any that has moved away from the hate the Quran preaches, then that would be helpful. The truth is hate and violence is all that is seen coming from the Quran. Look out at any country that makes claims of the peace of the Quran and they are ruled by killers and thugs. Sorry Eboo, trying spewing some truth.

  • Lon

    Patel is right that Ali’s support seems to come less from the strength of her arguments than that she says something that her supporters want to hear. It is less clear that this constitutes being anti-Western. People in the west make overly simplistic arguments all the time. So it is not clear that this even puts Ali outside of the mainstream of western thought (or any other thought for that matter, I don’t mean to single out my own tradition for extra criticism on this score).The comparison to indicting all of Africa works to the degree it captures the sense that Ali gets support precisely because there are people who want to be told by an “insider” that Islam is rotten to the core to confirm their own beliefs. The US example though probably better illustrates how Ali’s arguments appear to a practicing muslim like Patel. After all it is a cherry picked attack on his actual world view, much as the racism as the defining feature of the US would be to most of us in the US.

  • bd

    What is fascinating with Mr. Eboo who also problably left the other “world” was also economics? Also, the Ismaili had to leave the muslim and join the Hindu world under fear of retribution. They have a a strong preference for the non-muslim world (except for Jinnah – that is)

  • Madison

    I’d suggest you read the U.S. Constitution a bit more closely. Contrary to your belief that it counts black people as 3/5′s, no race is explicitly mentioned. Non-free people count as 3/5′s.I won’t tax your clearly limited intellect by asking you to do the basic historical research that would show you that this was a compromise between those opposesd to slavery who wanted slaves to count as zero people vs slaveholders who wanted slaves to count as full people. What? The good people didn’t want slaves to count and the bad did? Shocking! Doesn’t make sense! Oh wait, the more slaves count, the more representation slave-holding states get, the longer it takes to unseat that odious practice. When speaking of “superficial insights”, I guess people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones…

  • David

    Patel ignorantly supports Jihad. “Africa” has not expressly and openly declared war against all of the other continents, declaring the war will continue until it controls the world. Islam does that. It’s at the core of both Sunni and Shiite faiths.He talks about “progressive” Muslims, but where are they? When Muslims were rioting throughout the world over cartoons linking Islam to violence (and not even comprehending the irony), where were the massive peaceful protests against that violence, led by “progressive Muslims”?When Afghanistan, a “moderate” Islamic government put a man on trial for his life for committing the “crime” of converting from Islam to Christianity, where were the Muslim protests? When a Palestinian was killed on the street for the same crime?When Turkish journalists are jailed for “defaming Islam”, where are the progressive Muslims?The “progressive” Muslims always seem to be absent except occasionally in print to decry that we talk about the facts that no Muslim country is a democracy and that the majority of Muslims do support the supposed “radicals”.Patel is a “moderate” only because he peacefully tries to shut down the voices of truth rather than blowing himself up while trying to do so. That is the problem with Islam.

  • mdyedc

    It is an embarrassment that anyone whose work is of such little intellectual substance (and is so substantively offensive) is being feted by the Washington DC think tank community. Thank you for your article.

  • elsayed

    Well said…good reasonings.

  • Thomas

    This article seems rather superficial itself in its exploration of the impact of religion on society. It skips around from easy point to easy point but doesn’t explore anything with proper focus. How’s Africa comparable to a religion? Are we assuming every country has state-sanctioned religion? I agree with the position the article takes that her book is an over-generalization of a 1400 year old culture and doesn’t produce anything but racism. But the comparison of slavery to the koran? At least compare it to the bible or something in the same era. And we ended slavery and gave women the vote. Only took us

  • bd

    “LIB- why dont you do some homework on your contention that america has saved any muslims in bosnia or kosovo” – Victoria. So Victoria – What were you doing during this time frame, or the time when the Sudan, Somalia, Mauratania, Egypt, Saudi, West Pakistan, (shouild I go on) were subjugating non-mulims and muslilms alike (just because of the color of their skin? You sound like a liberal!!!!!Can you spell HYPOCRITE. Before you talk become florence nightingale or Mother Theresa. How many lives have YOU saved.

  • berry

    I applaud Cody Claxton’s suggestion about demanding Eboo Patel to apologize for insulting Ayaan Hirsi Ali.However, I doubt he will ever have the decency for issuing a sincere apology.His article wasn’t written to foster a civilized debate on Islam and The West. It was a nasty attack on a woman whose only crime is to speak out against an ideology that promotes violence and hate. It was a conscious effort to diminish Ms Hirsi Ali as a human being, and thus to justify muslims’ calls to kill her.It would be naive to expect such a moron to apologize.

  • james

    Very well written and thoughtful comments from Mr. Patel. Ms. Ali is guilty of the same intellectual problem that plagues so many religious writers and leaders—they try to see the world in black and white, when the facts of our existence remain a shocking diversity of colors and tones. Nevertheless, those seeking simple answers in a complex world are drawn to these authors who validate their urge to remain simple. Christianity and Islam share a history of violence to non-believers, and it is simply dishonest to claim that Islam is the only religion with this kind of evil legacy.

  • Her Anti-Islam movie

    was not the western standard either. It was a a pure insult, no intellectual content, and the fate of the movie maker was no surprise.

  • BPSCG

    I expect it’s going to be a long time before I see anything as stupid as this commentary. “Let’s say that Ayaan Hirsi Ali, instead of incriminating Islam at the end of her book, blamed another entity whose cultural traditions had more than a little to do with her painful childhood. Let’s say she went after Africa. And let’s say she did it with the same venom and hyperbole.What if Ali said that all of Africa was benighted and evil?”But she DIDN’T say that, did she? Perhaps because she recognizes that Africa is not Islam, and that it’s Islam, not Africa, that’s trying to murder her and everyone else who doesn’t subscribe to it.More stupidity: “In ‘Infidel,’ Ali quotes passages of the Qur’an that are violent, and because she is targeting an audience that either doesn’t know better or doesn’t want to know better, she suggests that those passages represent the whole text, the whole 1400 year history of Islam, its billion plus current adherents.”Ali quotes violent passages of the Koran? News flash: She could quote an entire CHAPTER, not leaving out a single comma. Read chapter 9, titled, “The Immunity.” It is Mohammad preaching Allah’s incitement to mass murder, nothing less, from beginning to end (good luck trying to find a chapter in the Bible where Jesus says you should kill anyone at all).The comparison to the provision for slavery in the Constitution is idiotic. The Constitution abolished slavery, in clear, unambiguous language. Where does the Koran abolish the commandment in “The Immunity” to “slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush…”? Where does the Koran abolish the commandment in “The Immunity” to “not take your fathers and your brothers for guardians if they love unbelief more than belief…”?Where does the Koran abolish the commandment in “The Immunity” to “[f]ight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.”?Where does the Koran renounce the claim in “The Immunity” that “the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them…”?

  • concordia

    Mrs. Magan (her real name) claims that it is her right to insult.

  • Reecwe

    well put, but a little myopic

  • Kenneth B. McBride

    If Hirsi Ali were Christian you wouldn’t

  • TJFRMLA

    Now Mr. Patel…

  • Deepdiver

    “Cody Claxton:I never said I hate anyone. A large proportion of the Muslim world has threatened and continues to loudly threaten the lives of everyone in the Western World. I said I will not apologize for being vigilant and looking askance at those who look similar to those who have threatened us. A willingness to defend one’s self against a known, obvious threat is not hatred, it is self-preservation. I also commented that there are millions of Muslims who want to raise their children in peace and prosperity. That is FAR from seeing them as inhuman. It remains my hope that those within the Islamic faith who do want peace raise their voices and drown out their brethren who foster and incite violence and death against millions of innocents.

  • Rahul

    This Eboo guy calling himself enlightened is a joke. Ayaan is the real deal. She is the next prophet of Islam if it wants to be saved.

  • Anonymous

    muslim dog

  • Reason1

    Why is so hard to believe that Islam, in and of itself, is a problem? Christianity is a problem too, but there are less strict adherents than there are of Islam, so it’s less of a problem. In Islam, apostates are to be killed. If you do not believe this, then you are not following the letter of the law and you are not a good Muslim. The problem with moderate Muslims (or moderate Catholics or Christians) is that they still give power, etc., to their fellow believers that do want to destroy the West, kill apostates and infidels. As far as I can tell, if you’re a moderate anything (any religion), you either can’t follow rules or you can’t think for yourself. At least the Muslims who want Ali dead are following the Quran as it was written and not pretending it’s a peaceful, loving religion that tolerates unbelievers well. I grew up in Saudi Arabia, and I know Islam as it was meant to be practiced (i.e., as the Quran demands). It’s not pretty.

  • Umbreen

    Thank you Mr. Patel, hopefully this will give some of the people confused by Hirsi Ali’s writings some perspective. I think it’s scary that someone can earn so much fame and respect for preaching such misinformed hatered. The extent to which Hirsi Ali twists and convolutes Islam to forward her own narrow and biased views is incredible. The fact that she is seen as a champion for women’s rights and for the west makes you question just what this ‘west’ she idealizes so much stands for.

  • Joel

    I appreciate the sentiments of this heartfelt response, but: Just as Ayaan Hirsi Ali has failed to appreciate the complexity of Islam, I fear that some will say Mr. Patel fails to appreciate the complexity of the “West” when he claims it is “characterized by reason and pluralism.”

  • Amjad Wyne

    Very well said…I could not have written it better.

  • berry

    Mr Patel calls himself a “progressive muslim”. Yet, he says nothing about what a “progressive muslim” is or should be, and how these muslims differ from other groups of people.Anyway, Mr Patel’s article gives us some hints about “progressive muslims”:- Progressive muslims, as all muslims, believe the Qur’an is god’s word. Therefore, for Mr Pattel, those who don’t believe the Qur’an is god’s word are wrong. Mr Pattel and his progressive muslim friends may disagree with Osama Bin Laden about what to do with infidels’ heads, but they are all sure that infidels are… wrong. And they, muslims, are right.- Progressive muslims, as all muslims, don’t realize this religion is CONTRARY to fundamental western values. For them, “all men are created equal” clearly does not apply to women; separation of church and state is unthinkable for believing muslim; and, of course, FREE SPEECH is not a universal right but a universal restraint.- We’re still waiting for progressive muslims to say ONE WORD of condemnation about September 11, the Madrid bombings, the London subway bombings, the Danish cartoons. For them, those things did not occur in this world. – So, when a woman dares speaking about her own life experience with Islam’s cruelty and hipocrisy, she is labeled by “progressive muslims” as an “enemy of the West”.- Even further, in order to attack Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mr Pattel imagination goes wild and fabricates absurd scenarios: ** “What if Ali said that all of Africa was benighted and evil?”, or ** “Let’s say that Ms. Ali was flipping through the U.S. Constitution and the first passage she read was the one that said people of her skin color counted as three-fifths of a person.” – In fact, most of Mr Pattel’s article is spend on trying to prove that HIS OWN ABSURD SCENARIOS ARE ABSURD INDEED.* * * *Dear Washington Post editors: The internet is full of garbage. We don’t need to come to your website to find more of the same. Please make sure Postglobal is not littered with the same trash that can be found elsewhere.

  • Ruth Masterson

    Eboo Patel’s inflammatory, nasty comments are repulsive to any honest dialogue. It’s ok to call people repulsive and superficial as long as you stop short of wanting to physically murder them? This is a leader of an interfaith dialogue group? Guess there’s not much to say.

  • DC

    Well done. Thanks for cutting through the anti-intelectual fog that tries to undermine the enlightened soul of this nation and give Jim Crowe another stage on which to stand.

  • Mark

    If she found anything in the Constitution saying anything about people of her skin color counting as 3/5 of a person she would not be reading the United States Constitution.I notice there is no defense of Islam per se here, just a strained couple of analogies, one having to do with a continent and one with a nation. Some ideologies (nazism, fascism, Stalinism) are rotten through and through. Others are complex, with some parts that most of us would find abhorrent and other parts that most of us would find uplifting. Perhaps one or more of them are perfect. It sheds no light on which category Islam falls into to engaged in this silliness in the name of enlightenment. And you might want to take a look at a document before you go paraphrasing it.

  • Zathras

    Though it goes against the spirit of the time, Mr. Patel might want to think about adopting the pose of victim in this case.His subject has a degree of hostility toward Islam. Given her experiences with many Muslims, it’s hard to blame her for that. That doesn’t mean she is imparting the truth about that faith, or its many adherents in places other than those with which she is most familiar. But it is more than a little unseemly for a Muslim commentator to point to a woman who has had to flee for her life as someone who is victimizing the commentator and his faith.Better that Mr. Patel should acknowledge that the Muslims who sought to murder Ms. Ali are not “cretins.” They are faithful representatives of a malignant strain of Islamic thought — particularly prevalent in parts of the Arab world, South Asia and, it appears, parts of Europe — that Muslims will have to deal with. “Dealing with it” does not mean changing the subject, or playing the victim’s victim.

  • Nada

    AMEN! Nothing to add.

  • Raja Gopalan

    A lot of people who are targeted for persecution, whether it be Salman Rushdie or Andrei Sakharov, are selected because of their ability to get under the skin of their oppressors. Note that Rushdie’s book, “Satanic Verses” was considered offensive to Britain as well as Islam. Sakharov had as much trouble with Brezhnev as with Gorbachov. That, however, is a personal taint or trait: an ability to disagreeable. My concern about this blog by Eboo Patel is that it condemns her enemies too little and points too much at the fact that she is making a little money while in hiding. We need to be clear: the real villains are still the ones who would kill Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali may be stupid (accepting the worst of Mr Patel’s thesis) but she is hardly a villain like her hunters.

  • William Shimer

    If you go through Ms. Ali’s life — circumcision, sent to mary someone she had not seen or did not know, helping Muslim girls facing similar fates and subject to male abuse in Amsterdam, writing about it and having her movie producer stabbed by an individual claiming to act for Islam and leaving a note on the dagger condemning her — how would you react? You should explain the treatment of women in nations controlled by Islam. Is the subjugated role dictated by the Koran or the country ruled by religious zealots? What about other faiths? Shouldn’t these nations allow other faiths to flourish and respect them? If you believe Islam teaches love and peace– you should shout your oondemnations on a daily basis of the terrorists who are slaughtering innocent fellow human beings in the name of Islam! The West forms opinions based on the daily news of suicide bombers acting for Islam and countries such as Iran calling for the destruction of Israel, lack of religious freedom and the horriblke treatment of women.

  • LW

    I’m still puzzled as to why the media keep giving Hirsi Ali, the Camille Paglia of Africa, such attention. Why not give center stage Africans who are living right, enjoying their lives, and making positive changes in their communities. And yes, they do exist, by the millions.

  • Sylvester Deane

    I think the writer of this piece went too far in his uncharitable commentaries about Hirsi Ali. Granted that Ms Ali might have shown a lack of understanding about Islam as this commentator would like us to believe. Granted that she is a champion of womenfolk oppressed in the name of islam to the distaste of many. Granted that she has sinned against islam in many ways. All these vices and more does not justify anyone passing a death penalty on a frail woman like Ms Ali who dare ask for the right to live in peace and quiet enjoyment. This kind of right is inalienable. This means that she does not have to beg anyone to lead her life the way she willed. In order words, this is a God-given right that cannot be taken away by anyone without due process. For Ms Ali what all of us take for granted, like going for a short walk in a public park, dining out with one’s partner, watching superbowl or walking across the street to buy the Washington Post on Sunday, mowing the lawn, sun-bathing on the beach etc is mere wishful thinking. All these activities are a commonplace. Yet Ms Ali can only dream of them or attempt them at her own peril.But who or what is responsible for Ms Ali’s predicament? Islam! I need to clarify this before being accused of naivety or anti-something. I have seen a lot of people wrongly sent to prison due to judicial error. When those concerned finally got reprieved or serve out their time, it is not uncommon for them to say that the Justice System is to blame for their predicament. It would not be illogical then for us to say that, a fortiori, since islam is solely responsible for her predicament, then islam is to blame for her misfortune. I say this for I know of no law (except islamic fatwa) under which Ms Ali has been condemned to death.To come back to the issue at hand, I think what Ms Ali has been canvassing all along is the need for islam to reform and accept the concept of individual liberty, the right of women to sleep with or without men at their freewill, the equality of man and woman, the right to renounce and adopt islam at will etc. This cry of freedom by a large section of the moslem faith is only being echoed (or championed) by Ms Ali’s personal combat to live.What Mr. Patel did not tell us is whether or not Ms Ali is justified in her combat against those who want her life snuffed out. A rational and fair-minded person will naturally agree that Ms Ali is entitled to fight her tormentor by all means at her disposal. Why on earth does a woman, or man for that matter, need to be paying over 2 million dollars a year just to stay alive? It is a shame that a human being can be driven to such a desperation in the name of islam! So, what happens if nobody offers to pay for her security after the Dutch government finally withdraws? Death? So if she finally dies, what do we gain? nothing! The greatest winner will be the radical islamists who have no respect for human life. Ms Ali’s book, “Infidel” might be hyperbolic in some ways or even naive. However, if one detatch the ‘devlish’ woman from the scene and take a cosmological view of women’s life under islam, the result is grim: sporadic killing for honour here and there, male-dominated world, intolerance to other people’s ways of life etc. are enough to entitle Ms Ali to assume the role of a credible defender of liberty. She deserves to live in spite of her imperfections and naivety. She is a courageous woman and a living example for many young muslim women and for those who treasure the love of humanity in general. May providence preserve her!

  • Herndon, VA

    Mr. Patel uses Enlightenment principles to further acceptance of Islam in the West. I’m reminded of the old saying that event the devil can quote scripture. I bet that if we could strap Mr. Patel to a lie detector, we would discover that what is really going on is that he will use any means necessary to guilt citizens of the West into turning a blind eye to what is really happening. Certainly, Enlightenment principles would never be taken into account if the question of acceptance of Christianity in a muslim nation came up. The long term goal of Muslims is for the Koran to replace the Constitution as the highest law of the land in the United States. Some of us in the West have heard of Taqiyya.

  • chevy chase maryland

    I have read Infidel, and I think Mr. Patel sells Ayaan Hirsi Ali WAY short by comparing her views to someone who casually reviews the U.S.Consitution, without consideration of context, history, and Constitutional Amendments. Ms. Hirsi Ali reached her views of Islam after years of study, intellectual analysis, and personal experience with the consequences of its teachings (both within her own family and in the Muslim community at large). She was a devout Muslim who tried her best to suppress her questions about Islam’s teachings, because she knew that even raising such questions was a violation of Islamic principles. In the end, her courage and intellectual honesty won out. Calling her views superficial and trying to write them off as mere profiteering is an insult. Mostly, and particularly when she first started espousing her views publicly, Ms. Hirsi Ali had no hope or thought of profit, and had the courage to absorb the criticisms, threats, and disruptions to her life that resulted from remaining true to her inner moral compass. To me that makes her a hero, not a crass profit-seeker.

  • chevy chase maryland

    I have read Infidel, and I think Mr. Patel sells Ayaan Hirsi Ali WAY short by comparing her views to someone who casually reviews the U.S.Consitution, without consideration of context, history, and Constitutional Amendments. Ms. Hirsi Ali reached her views of Islam after years of study, intellectual analysis, and personal experience with the consequences of its teachings (both within her own family and in the Muslim community at large). She was a devout Muslim who tried her best to suppress her questions about Islam’s teachings, because she knew that even raising such questions was a violation of Islamic principles. In the end, her courage and intellectual honesty won out. Calling her views superficial and trying to write them off as mere profiteering is an insult. Mostly, and particularly when she first started espousing her views publicly, Ms. Hirsi Ali had no hope or thought of profit, and had the courage to absorb the criticisms, threats, and disruptions to her life that resulted from remaining true to her inner moral compass. To me that makes her a hero, not a crass profit-seeker.

  • Someone

    This is absurd. I’m not sure who you are referring to when you make a comparison to “Africans” — do you mean everyone on the continent of Africa? Because that would include a vast array of ethnicities, cultures and religions. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is critical of Islam — a specific ideology that is as fair game for criticism as any ideology. To try to compare a criticism of an ideology to condemning a vast, diverse geographic population (for some bizarre reason) is ridiculous. Some “progressive” you are.

  • Someone

    This is absurd. I’m not sure who you are referring to when you make a comparison to “Africans” — do you mean everyone on the continent of Africa? Because that would include a vast array of ethnicities, cultures and religions. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is critical of Islam — a specific ideology that is as fair game for criticism as any ideology. To try to compare a criticism of an ideology to condemning a vast, diverse geographic population (for some bizarre reason) is ridiculous. Some “progressive” you are.

  • Someone

    This is absurd. I’m not sure who you are referring to when you make a comparison to “Africans” — do you mean everyone on the continent of Africa? Because that would include a vast array of ethnicities, cultures and religions. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is critical of Islam — a specific ideology that is as fair game for criticism as any ideology. To try to compare a criticism of an ideology to condemning a vast, diverse geographic population (for some bizarre reason) is ridiculous. Some “progressive” you are.

  • zulfi

    At best Ms. Ali is opportunistic, no less and no more than let us say like the Ann Coulters, who will say, support, or promote anything radical and irrational to make a buck. But it is a great country and voices of dissent should be always welcome.

  • Anonymous

    Favorite Ayaan Hirsi Ali quote from the interview:’You grew up in freedom and you can spit on freedom because you don’t know what it is not to have freedom’Muslims everywhere hate her and want her silenced because she is brilliant at truth telling.

  • mike

    HIRSI ALI OFFERED REFUGE IN DENMARKThe culture minister has made a public offer of asylum to persecuted Dutch-Somali author Hirsi Ali Over the weekend Mikkelsen sent out a request to the country’s municipalities to invite the threatened author and filmmaker to live here. The move is supported by a recent parliament proposal to establish several ‘FREE CITIES’ for persecuted writers, a programme to be created with the support of the International City of Refuge Network.‘Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be number one on the list of authors we should invite to Denmark,’ Mikkelsen announced on Sunday. ‘She has fought for the freedom of expression and has personally received threats on her life.’

  • Pierre JC

    By golly, Mr. Patel, you’re right! It was indeed unjust that the U.S. Constitution designate some of its inhabitants as counting as three-fifths of a person. That shows what an unjust document it was — until blacks were granted full rights under the law. Now imagine that the Koran had a similar rule, such as one says that a woman’s word counts only half as much as a man’s — that would certainly render the Koran a blatantly unjust, sexist document. Oh, wait, I just realized: the Koran already has such a proclamation; the testimony of women counts only half as much as a man’s. Thanks for the ammunition against your own position, Mr. Patel: by your own standards the (un-amendable) Koran is an unjust, sexist document.

  • No Dhimmi

    Sorry, but you are not fit to hold Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hem. There are many reasons I say this, but it is apparent that you don’t know her or her work at all.Typical Muslim apologist – you’ve made no friend for Islam here.

  • Sandra Tellers, M.A.

    If you are going to make a claim about the authorship of Ms. Ali’s novel, you need to cite your sources. Started your piece in this way indicates you are willing to engage in an ad hominem attack, before putting forth so called “empirical” arguments.

  • BPSCG

    If you live your life the way Islam’s chief prophet, Mohammad, says you should, then:1) You would not have any non-Muslims for friends.You could not be a good citizen of any liberal democracy and also be a faithful follower of the teachings of the Koran.That’s the most important difference between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Mohammad. Faithfully follow the teachings of Mohammad, and you will almost surely end up in prison – in the U.S., anyway. Follow the teachings of Jesus – love your enemies, don’t kill them – and you’ll have no problem.Mr. Patel, do you reject the Koran’s sura 3.28, which says, “Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah…”? If you do reject it, on what grounds do you do so? And what other suras do you reject?If you do not reject it, as an enlightened Muslim, why do you not do so?

  • Venkat

    Salman Rushdie and Ayan Hirsi Ali have reason to live their life in fear just because they have offended the sensibilities of the “Enlightened” ones. Lets recognize who the real brave people are. People who are willing to question and challenge or the one who will kill people speaking truth to power.

  • Z

    She lacks all credibility. Shame on Rushdie and other defenders. She’s been proven a liar about her entire life – hence her ejection from Holland and politics there – due to lying on her immigration papers (she claimed to be persecuted and it has been proven she was not).The people that hold her up are haters and support hate against muslims. period.she should be ignored. and NO she definitely should not be granted refugee status in the US or my tax dollars go for her private security. she can go live somewhere else and not seek out the media if she wants security.

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    “Fight those who believe notMr. Eboo;

  • Aya

    David: I’ll continue being the problem by being vocal and complaining directly at the mainstream religion.

  • Aya

    David: I’ll continue being the problem by being vocal and complaining directly at the mainstream religion.Love ya!

  • Anonymous

    VICTORIA: I’m not want to expel any particular Muslim. I had a condition in my statement, so don’t do the rethorical Muslim crying trick on this. I’m fed up with that! For example: If You are absolutely clear about our freedom, which among many other things include freedom of expression, I’m not wanna expel you.Didn’t you notised that condition for my suggestion? Or do you really think you are the kind of Muslim that don’t care about our freedom? In that case, and if you support the end of freedom with sharia, then I think you can be targeted (to be expelled) too. Yes!The problem with mainstream Islam I mentioned, is that it doesn’t accept different point of views, other religions and so forth. At the same time those who represent Islam have a very aggressive agenda to transform our society into a semi muslim (finally Muslim) society. There is plenty of ways to do this, besides rethorical tricks e.g. legal action. Examples: CAIR in America. An academic book, “Alms of Jihad”, stopped in UK half a year after first publication.Also Islam and Muslims are treated more nicely than Christians and Christianity in the media. Crosses are stopped at schools when the Muslim veil isn’t stopped. This is part of the concept multiculturalism, which in turn is a left liberal relativistic concept. “We in the West are bad, the other are good”.I think we in the West do not considering the consequenses of an enemy within our borders striving for another, Islamic, non-free society.But if you are among the maybe between 40 and 70 percent Muslims in the west who fully support our model of society I don’t think you shall be expelled. But at least those Muslims who are active in changing our free society I think shall be expelled. In Sweden one city (Malmoe) will have a Muslim majority within a few decades. This is aa problem since Aravbic mainstream Islam is dominating. (Almost 60000 are members of the great mosque in the city of 260000 inhabitants.) Sweden as a whole may have Muslim majority in less than 100 years. I think this is a problem if the Muslim population consists of those who dream of the Islamic society. (Some Swedish Muslim leaders have already asked for sharia in Sweden.) As religion Islam is very political, so the political concept of Islam is a threat to the west. I can’t see many Muslims who take a stand against political Islam. Maybe too many Muslims support it, or maybe many not dare to take the risk to oppose it.I can understand if good Muslims are worried to speak out, but this silence is also a problem. There are radical Muslims who actively works for influence (this is ultimately sharia) on our free society. How can we know which Muslims who are not radical? I suggested that we expel those who works against our freedom. Free societies can cease to exist because those who oppose the freedom fight it. For example in Germany in the 30th a minority changed the whole society. We may already see this in Belgium and partly in UK.The problem is that the goal mainstream Islam have is to transform the West to Islamic society. That isn’t a free society. Therefor we must take action against this if we want the free western society to prevail.

  • Anonymous

    VICTORIA: Your a convert, yes, som you can’t be expelled. I guess you are not radical or sharia promoting, but I also think you have chosen a not so good religion. Actually the most intolerant religion I can think of.Of course even a readical convert can’t be expelled. But in Sweden and many other European contries the majority of the Muslim population are immigrants. If these Muslims fight against our freedom, as those I mentioned who attacks the editor of Nerikes Allehanda for publication of some art in order to maintain the freedom of expression, in that case I think they fight a core value of our society which makes our free liberal society what it is. They are in war against our society and we better expel them. This is very well in acordance with the enlightment. The enlightment is also about protection its freedom.

  • Magnus E Andersson

    Sorry, I missed to write my name. The two last messages was by me, Magnus Andersson. (BTW a man.)

  • Rick

    Anon that wants to expel Victoria,What nationality and religion are you? You obviously can’t read and write in the English language. If you are a Christian right religious wing nut, I think we need to deport you, considering the mess you and this administration have gotten us into in Palestine and Iraq.

  • mike

    Rick- By not addressing the violence found in the Qur’an, you friend Victoria is tacitly embracing and condoning Islamic violence. An “American” Muslim’s chosen silence is becoming self-evident. Seems like 911 all over again. Any ideas why Victoria will not condemn the violent verses that inspire her coreligionists to kill?

  • Rick

    Mike,As has been repeatedly pointed out to you and others, the Qur’an only advocates violence in self defense. Since Islam is under attack by the terrorist states of the US and Israel, it has every right to defend itself.What you should be asking yourself is when are we going to demand an end to the unconditional US support for the illegitimate ‘State of Israel’ and the illegal and immoral invasions and occupations of Palestine and Iraq? You should be more concerned about the thousands of innocents (women and children) slaughtered, and millions of families dislocated and driven into refugee camps, using your and my tax dollars, than the puny response that the victims can muster in retaliation.

  • Magnus E Andersson

    “…my Muslim faith and my Enlightenment sensibilities, [these traditions] cause me to wish her no harm,” this Muslim gentleman writes. So how does he explain that the mainstream Islam, which I guess has a lot to do with Muslim faith, accept fatwas to kill e.g. Salman Rushdie?I Sweden leading Muslim politicians compared the editor of Nerikes Allehanda (the paper who published Lars Vilks “Muhammed dog” in an article defending free speech for everyone, espeacially Muslims) with Muslim extremists in al Qaida. This statement was send in the national TV channel on prime time without being complained about. The non-defence of Nerikes Allehanda or Ayaan Hirsi Ali is actually an end of freedom.I think Muslims should be absolutely clear about freedom or else expelled from the Western countries. A tough/”brutal” decision in countries with a liberal/freedom tradition, but necesary for the defence of freedom.

  • mike

    Rick.. You forgot to scream: “ALLAH ACKBAR!”

  • Cody Claxton

    This blog has gotten sidetracked into a debate about Islamic religion, practice and violence. Please put this back on the topic of why a person like Eboo Patel would attack Hirsi Ali and create all this animosity in the process?Mr. Patel: If you are going to claim you are interested in interfaith understanding, you need to APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE HERE FOR CREATING SUCH A FRENZY OF HATE. If you are truly a man of interfaith understanding you need to SHOW US that you are. Right now, you showed us how you can make people fight and how you are a hypocrite.You may not agree with Ali, but she is an incredibly brave woman to stand up and speak her mind against a powerful Islamic philosophy. For that ALONE, she deserves your apology and your regret. Shame on you!cody

  • VICTORIA

    holy canolli batman the headbangers are banging away- mr or ms andersson – isnt that a little harsh? where, for example, do you propose i go? im part irish and some french- i think theres a little english in there somewhere i was born in america (milwaukke rick- but i was raised in pittsburgh PA) not indoctrinated by birth- or lightly through marriage- so what do you propose to do with the likes of me? and my 5 cats and 3 kittens?

  • Ted Baines

    The question is often asked ” what should non-Muslims do to win the hearts and minds of Muslims?” when the question that should really be asked is ” what should Muslims do to win the hearts and minds of non-Muslims?”.Muslims are now universally despised for several reasons.1) The repeated acts of terrorism against non-Muslims and the genenally implicit approval by the general populace of non-Muslims for these acts and the readiness to blame the US and the Jews for the acts. To this day most Muslims believe that the Jews orchestrated 9/11.2) Their refusal to integrate into the societies that have made life so good for them, especially the west, and that have allowed them escape the misery that their own Muslim societies with their allegiance to an outdated Islamic system have inflicted on them.3) Most importantly the internet and recent publications has revealed the truth about Islam and its founder, Muhammad. It is now well known that Muhammad was a pschopath who indulged in sex with children in his fifties, was a slave owner, had fathered an illegitimate son with his slave girl, 15 year old Maria who was also a Christian, carried out ethnic cleansing of Jews in Arabia and stole half of Arabia from them, insulted God by inventing Allah and making this evil god the sole deity for Muslims.4) Their refusal to condemn atrocities in Iraq, Muslims upon Muslims and also the shameful Islamic apartheid practised in Saudi Arabia where non-Muslims may not enter Mecca and Medina, may not openly worship anywhere in the kingdom, may not build churches, synagogues and other places of worship in Saudi Arabia. Muslims give implicit approval for the Islamic apartheid by continuing to do the hajj to Mecca, thereby saying that ” the apartheid is fine with us”.The Muslims can do the following and, although it will take time, eventually Muslims will have won some respect from non-Muslims.1) Declare that Islam was not revealed by God and admit that Islam is a harmful faith. Muslims should condemn outright Muhammad and Islam. Muslims should stop insulting God by associating Muhammad and Allah with Him.2) Stop doing the hajj. By doing so they will send a powerful message that they will not tolerate apartheid. If Saudi Arabia stops the apartheid and the first church is built in Mecca and in Medina, then the hajj may be resumed.3) Return half of Saudi Arabia, the western half of Saudi Arabia, to its rightful owners, the Jews. Relocate all Muslims from Palestine and the West Bank to Muslim countries.4) Agree that all Muslim immigration to non-Muslims countries be halted until secular democratic societies are built in all Muslim countries. This may take many years. Right now it is too easy for Muslims to escape the oppression in Muslim societies by escaping to non-Muslim countries, especially to the West. They have no incentive to fight oppression at home.It will take time. But eventually Muslims may become an integral part of civilized human society.

  • VICTORIA

    that is a rather hilarious contention that i am silent- yes cody- you are right- so anyone can say any filthy disgusting xenophobic fear-mongering hate speech AND IF ITS AGAINST A MUSLIM IT IS OK? so i guess hate-speech is acceptable against muslims. has anyone here ever heard me speak ill of christians? buddhists? jews? pagans? homosexuals? if i see stupidity- i dont even call it stupidity- when you sacrifice freedom for security you end up with neithter- or something like that – i think benjamin franklin so cody- if ayaan ali has the right to express herslef- and give vent to a great deal of hate-mongering and vitirolic contentions insulting an entire people- mr patel certainly has the right to disagree with her and say why. he didnt put the hatred in the hearts of the haters here- and just being a muslim isnt a justification enough for one to express their phobic xenophobia all over the place. so for any who want me to”RENOUNCE” ANYTHING IN THE QURAN- if you dont like the answers ive given-and ive given plenty- construct reasonalbe counter-points using your brain and providing connection and logic- and references and resources as i do i dont even look at long cut and pastes as i wont put more effort into understanding your POV than you put into making it and if your only POV is that all muslims are evil- well that doesnt dignify reciprocal evil on my part- but it doesnt dignify a civil response either

  • VICTORIA

    sorry cant stay and play i have nurturing repsonsibilities to attend to

  • Cody Claxton

    Victoria: RE: “if ayaan ali has the right to express herslef- and give vent to a great deal of hate-mongering and vitirolic contentions insulting an entire people-mr patel certainly has the right to disagree with her and say why.”Mr. Patel did not just disagree with her, he vehemently and with “disgust” attacked her views and her personally. Ms. Ali did not attack Mr. Patel personally. The issue here is EBOO PATEL Himself. He is a person who CLAIMS to be for interfaith cooperation, but instead attacks Ms. Ali over her religious views. This thread has NOT LED TO INTERFAITH COOPERATION. It has led to INTERFAITH WARFARE. Eboo is thus a hypocrite for saying he is for cooperation, but lighting the fire under bloggers with his rhetoric.RE: “he didnt put the hatred in the hearts of the haters here-” No, but as a person who claims to reach across religious lines, he is instead throwing firebombs at the other side and fanning the waves of hatred and animosity and generating what I call the “frenzy” of endless debate, negative runaway emotions and religious ignorance.Mr. Patel is a hypocrite. He has done nothing to repair the damage.Mr. Patel should APOLOGIZE TO THIS BLOG, APOLOGIZE TO MS. ALI FOR ATTACKING HER PERSONALLY, AND COMMITTING TO A POSITIVE PATH TO TRUE INTERFAITH COOPERATION. IF HE CANNOT OFFER THE APOLOGY, HE IS NOTHING BUT THE ISLAMIC VERSION OF PAT ROBERTSON.Eliminate the negativity in your hearts and in your minds and you can find peace. You can then know how to bring peace to the world. Love, Brothers and Sisters, is what brings peace.Cody

  • VICTORIA

    CODY- i beg to differ- mr patel did not make any personal insult or attack on the person of ms hirsi mr patel most decidedly did not attack ms hirsi’s and finally, ms hirsi is a stated atheist-mr patel made no mention of her religious or non-religious viewshow can she be offended by religious views she does not possess? she has a strong and negative OPINION about OTHER’S religious views i wish I were attacked on these boards with the mildness and civility with which you accuse (unjustly unless you can prove otherwise) his final statement is one of saying while he may disagree with he philisophically- really- censorship is censorshipif you want to censor those whose views are different than yours (like mine or mr patel’s)

  • Rick

    Hi Victoria,You stay right here and continue to bring some sanity and good will to these hate filled boards. I wish I could take one of your kittens. Someone has to keep Ted, Mike and Anon straight when they try to reinvent Islam to justify it as a target for their holy war.Ted likes to pretend that Muslims are universally despised. This is his way of ignoring the facts on the ground, that the world sees the US and Israel as the terrorist nations of the world.As long as we continue to slaughter innocents (mostly women and children) by the thousands in Palestine and Iraq, and drive millions of families into refugee camps, we will continue to be universally despised by the rest of the world, and rightly so.Peace

  • Ahmed Said

    Please read a response article to Ayaan Hirsi Ali Vs The West at

  • Anon

    Dear Mr Patel,The constitution of any democracy can be amended or even completely rewritten if two thirds of the population agrees with whatever change is suggested. A constitution is a secular document that is created by consensus. Scripture of any religion is different. People may or may not practise what is written in it, but they are not at liberty to change the Scripture itself.Islam as practised in the US is quite different from the Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali grew up in, and the Islam many Muslims in Islamic cultures still practise. The question that every moderate Muslim is asked to answer is whether the quotes from the Quran which refers to violence was meant to be universally valid or was it culturally bound to Mohammad’s time and the Middle Eastern culture of his time.

  • Rick

    David says:”I believe that not all Muslims are bad people”, and when have I ever said that? Quote me. I’ve said that the vast majority are. Is your education so minimal that you equate “majority” with “all”?And:“None of your (Rick’s) rationalizations or your running away from answering a single one of my points changes that. Rather, as I’ve said, it proves my point: You are a jihadist.”Sure David, I’m a Jihadist just like the vast majority of Muslims are bad people. You are a sick person. Try to find help.

  • Cody Claxton

    Deepdiver:I hear your frustration. But between your words, the emotion behind it is feeding the frenzy. Anyone can come up with a REASON to do violence (in word, in action or in thought)…you claim “self preservation” as your justification. But what you fail to see is how your emotion and your discourse joins the chorus of the frenzy to hate and to debate endlessly and to justify. Your emotional and mental state is now full of negativity. There is no room for peace. Peace comes when you eliminate negative thought and negative action and negative word. And, peace comes by listening. We need to learn to listen to the complaints of conservative Islam. Do you know what Osama’s number one complaint is about the Western world? That one complaint is what helps to generate hundreds of Al Qaeda recruits. The point here is to LISTEN and LEARN what the enemy is saying they are fighting about. Isn’t it better to see if we can find a way to compromise and see if there is a solution we can all live with? Isn’t peace worth the compromise?Love, Brothers and Sisters, is what brings peace.

  • BPSCG

    Aya: “What rationalization are you saying that a person who is not Muslim should be killed.”The Koran. Sura 9 (“The Immunity”), verse 5: “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush…”There are a lot more places, but I think you get the picture. This is the word of Allah. Is there some source that overrides it?Aya: “I have better things to do with my life than obsess over who’s a Muslim or not.”No you don’t, because sura 3 (“The Family of Imran”), verse 28, says, “Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers…”Allah commands you to not take unbelievers for friends. Do you reject this commandment? Because if you do, it goes on to say, “…and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah…”Do you risk losing Allah’s protection by having unbelievers for friends?Aya: “This whole obsession of picking several sura’s and ayats from the Qu’ran is getting a little tired.”Sorry if this tires you. If you know of some more authoritative source than the Koran for how a Muslim should behave, please share it with us.Aya: “Question for you do you know any Muslims”Does a Pakistani next door neighbor count? Do people I work with count? Please note I don’t discuss religion with them, since it’s too inflammatory a subject and I have to work with them and live next to them. I DO quite freely discuss religion with people on the internet, since it’s with people who are willing to discuss it and with whom I don’t have other important relationships that might be damaged by such a frank discussion.Aya: “…what I am saying is why are you questioning me about if an innocent person should be killed. My answer is No.”So you reject 9:5.Aya: “Now that I answered your questioned is the next question that you will ask me is are you really a Muslim. “I have no reason to doubt that you are really a Muslim. Aya: “Look yes I am a Muslim. Can you believe that there is actually a Muslim who does not believe in killing innocent people?”I don’t doubt that. I just question whether a Muslim thinks unbelievers can be considered innocent. You evidently believe so. The Koran says you’re wrong.

  • mike

    “Victoria-These Quranic verses inspire violence in extreme Muslims. Why would any peace-loving Muslim cling to them. Please renounce them and move on.”Here’s your chance to take a stand for PEACE.

  • ender

    If the Pope called for a ‘fatwa’ against a Catholic for converting to Islam, would not the ENTIRE ISLAMIC WORLD BE UP AT ARMS?Would not all reasonable and secular westerners call for his recantment and apology?WHERE IS THAT OUTCRY FROM ISLAM WHEN THE LEADER OF ONE OF THE LARGEST ISLAMIC SECTS, THE AYATOLLAH OF THE SHIA RELIGION, CALL FOR THE DEATH OF HIRSI ALI FOR APOSTASTY?AND EBOO HAS THE TEMERITY TO BE DISGUSTED WITH HER?You’re a trip Eboo, and anyone that defends the actions of an entire religion that demands the death penalty for free speach and freedom of religion is danger to the human society.

  • Anonymous

    BPSCG: Sura 9:4-9:5 “[9:4] If the idol worshipers sign a peace treaty with you, and do not violate it, nor band together with others against you, you shall fulfill your treaty with them until the expiration date. GOD loves the righteous.[9:5] Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), you shall let them go. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.”Sura 3:28 “The believers never ally themselves with the disbelievers, instead of the believers. Whoever does this is exiled from GOD. Exempted are those who are forced to do this to avoid persecution. GOD alerts you that you shall reverence Him alone. To GOD is the ultimate destiny.”Doesn’t look like the Qur’an says I’m wrong. Instead of placing elipses how about quote the whole verse. As a Muslim I adhere to the five pillars:

  • courteney

    I am still in high school, but I hope to have a career in Feminism and Women’s Studies.I can fully understand the passive aggressive traits found in the posts of Aya, Victoria and other Muslim women. This is a natural defense to living in an oppressive society where you have little or no freedom.

  • Rochelle

    Thank you for your comments on Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her comments on the Qur’an could just as well have been about the Bible if using only a few passages. I firmly believe that the various religions of the world have more in common than not, as do the people. We should be celebrating our similarities AND differences for that is what makes the world such a great place. I advise people to judge others on who THEY are, not their government or what others have done or hearsay. That is what I try to do though I do have some moments when I have to ask my self where an action or thought came from. Keep up the good work

  • Aya

    To everyone who responded to me thank you for the wonderful dialogue. I’m out. I have a life to live and I don’t anymore energy to try to defend myself. I make myself known and let people know where I am coming from in my daily life. I don’t hide by posting how I feel about this or that only on the Internet. So if you feel some type of way about something make it known. Have a dialogue with someone you know personally who does not share the same views as you. I guarantee the both of you will come away with some sort of knowledge. I wish I knew you in real life that way I could give you a great big hug. Life is short, live it to the fullest. As long you are doing that then be happy. There are so many people out there who are not as fortunate. Have lovely life and I pray for you much success in your life.

  • Alexander

    One: Condemning African culture, as long as it is the culture and not the race(s) that is condemned, might be reasonable; one would have to look at the facts about African culture. Probably, one would find that African cultures vary too much to stand or fall together. Islam, however, is at root one doctrine, the doctrine of Mohammed. If that doctrine is evil, Islam is evil, and decent Muslims must be understood to follow a distorted version of Islam or to adhere to Islam only nominally.Two: It is clear in reading the Declaration and the Constitution that the acceptance of slavery was an exception repugnant to the ideals of the Founding. It is clear even in the clauses of the Constitution relating to slavery, which refuse to use the word–until the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolishes slavery. These clauses are present because human beings had to compromise. The Koran purports to be the perfect word of the perfect god. Nothing in it can be taken as a deviation from the ideals it supports, nor as a compromise; none of its oppressive doctrines are expressed in the sort of guilty euphemisms the Constitution uses for slaves (“all other persons”).Three: The whole tone of the Republic’s founding documents is one of freedom. The whole tone of the Koran is oppression. The Founders’ vision of the ideal man was of a free man; Mohammed made the ideal man a slave. If you want a visceral understanding of the clash of civilizations, try to picture the Statue of Liberty in the posture of a Muslim at prayer.

  • Cody Claxton

    Victoria,And, here is the personal part:He is labelling her a profiteer and her discourse shallow. He also conjurs up the analogy of Africa, as a way of calling her an “ignoramus”.He then tries to further ridicule her by suggesting there was a “ghost writer” for her book, thus trying to further indict her.And, furthermore, who made Eboo “The Decider” as to what qualifies as “Enlightenment Principles”?MY DEMAND FOR HIS APOLOGY TO THIS BLOG AND TO MS. ALI STANDS. Do YOU feel any interfaith cooperation in this blog?????I think you see my point.Quieting the negativity in your mind and your emotions and your spoken word are bedrock Enlightenment Principles in my opinion. Where do you see that in his posting?The spoken word is still a powerful weapon and Eboo has abused it if he thinks he stands for Interfaith Cooperation.Love, Brothers and Sisters is what brings peace.

  • Bill C.

    Patel is laughable. He really thinks that the US Constitution is somehow comparavble to a holy book. Its hard for me to believe that a document which can be changed with time and is the basis for civil law is somehow the same thing as a holy book that people believe was written by an omnipotent deity. To illustrate how absurd his point is I would ask him the question, “Do you think it is possible to interpret the Quran in a way that is compatible with Western democracy?” I don’t know what kind of contortionist exegesis one would have to engage it, but it would surely be good for some laughs. What is it in you that so desperately want to save Islam? What is there to save in Islam? Its record when in power is deplorable, and anywhere that it is the majority religion it is either in power or the society it produces is barbarous. The West is not pluralistic in the sense that it stands for nothing and can absorb any cultural ethos into its collective. Where is there any consilience between Islam and say… the Enlightenment, since he brought it up. There is not, and I would wager that until they give up an attachment to the Koran and Islam they will be forever foreign and we the better for it.

  • Bill C.

    Patel is laughable. He really thinks that the US Constitution is somehow comparavble to a holy book. Its hard for me to believe that a document which can be changed with time and is the basis for civil law is somehow the same thing as a holy book that people believe was written by an omnipotent deity. To illustrate how absurd his point is I would ask him the question, “Do you think it is possible to interpret the Quran in a way that is compatible with Western democracy?” I don’t know what kind of contortionist exegesis one would have to engage it, but it would surely be good for some laughs. What is it in you that so desperately want to save Islam? What is there to save in Islam? Its record when in power is deplorable, and anywhere that it is the majority religion it is either in power or the society it produces is barbarous. The West is not pluralistic in the sense that it stands for nothing and can absorb any cultural ethos into its collective. Where is there any consilience between Islam and say… the Enlightenment, since he brought it up. There is not, and I would wager that until they give up an attachment to the Koran and Islam they will be forever foreign and we the better for it.

  • teresaG

    I wonder how little these issues would be if Mr. Patel was a muslim woman. He should not diminish what the muslim ideals did to Ms Ali because SHE LIVED THROUGH them as a woman, he did NOT. It is incorrect to parallel the muslim faith, which dictates and instructs many on how to live with places such as Africa and America. The atrocities in Africa are many and they are deplored. Slavery was abolished and it is a shameful segment of American history. Does the muslim faith make apologies for the violence instructed by the Qu’ran? Are there policy changes underway to help lift muslim women up and out of their oppression?

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Bill C makes the near-correct point in his critique of Patel’s hee-haw and huffing-puffing of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Patel’s religion is, needless to emphasize, intolerant and barbaric. Adherents of that faith (Islam) criticizing (meaning preaching sublime hatred) the critics of Islam is just sham.Islam and western style democracy are mutually exclusive. The next attack inside USA wil be from home grown radical Muslims who have been brainwashed through the Internet cyber-mullahs to adopt the Wahabi version of Islam, as does Osama bin Laden and his cavemen in Afghanistan.

  • Anonymous

    Aya: Are you really serious?”Why do people get so caught up in this?” Means that you avoid the reality of jihad today, of what the mass of Muslims and Muslim leaders constantly both say and do.”I believe that not all Muslims are bad people”, and when have I ever said that? Quote me. I’ve said that the vast majority are. Is your education so minimal that you equate “majority” with “all”?Islam needs its own reformation. It won’t be pretty or clean, but it’s needed. However, until you supposed moderates get vocal and complain directly at the mainstream religion, rather than those of us who notice it, you aren’t helping but are part of the problem.

  • Samaha

    TeresaG – I’m a Muslim woman and I have issues with Ms. Hirsi Ali. The majority of Muslim women are repulsed by her.If Hirsi Ali’s goal is to bring basic human rights to Muslim woman – she need only turn to Muslim scriptures to do so. Calling Islam fascist and stating that the vast majority of Muslims are not moderate and making it a goal to rid the world of Islam is not going to bring any relief to these women. It is not a productive strategy – it is threatening to the Muslim world as a whole as she often is associated with the mob that would like to bomb Mecca or exterminate Muslims. As a Bosnian American – I know full well what may be the reprucusions of this sort of strategy.Islam did not do these things to Ms. Hirsi Ali – people did. FGM is cultural and not religious. While some Muslims practice it MOST do not. By the same token – some Christians practice it (those that have been converted to Christianity – the church allows them this because they refuse to give it up – hence, cultural) even some Jews (Ethiopian I believe)practice it and even within Israel.As for her arranged marriage while it is allowed, woman are supposed to agree or refuse. Whatever is happening to woman in which they are being forced to marry is not because of Islam ..rather it is because of something else. Maybe we should just blame it on men instead. Also it is permited in Islam to marry someone that you have fallen in love with even if your parents object.

  • Anonymous

    Rick must put words in other people’s mouths in order to find arguments he can win. So sad.”you completely overlook…” How would you know that? Do you read my blog? My posts elsewhere. Of course not. However, you think that nations not being perfect (and none are) is an excuse for an organized 1600 year old war of one religion to create a global caliphate. And I bet you whine about “proportionality” when Israel defends itself…”Christians are being treated poorly in the Middle East. I wonder why that is.” That’s because you refuse to pay attention:There’s no need to “wonder” at all. It’s jihad.”Israelis raining…” So, you think that Arabs can declare and wage a 60 year long war of extermination, directly attacking civilians and using civilians as shields (in violation of the GC) and Israel has no right to defend itself? It’s notable that you won’t demand the Arabs unconditionally end the war they unconditionally began.”invading and occupying Iraq…” Unlike Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world’s press, Israel’s is free. If you paid attention in late ’01 and early ’02, you would have noticed that most Israeli citizens and pundits (rare agreement in any country…) wondered why Shrub was going to attack Saddam. It was obvious he was cornered and that Iran was the bigger threat.”You are so critical of Moderate Islam”, I’ve only criticized it for being tiny and silent. I’m criticizing mainstream Islam as being very dangerous.”There is no moderate Christianity.” Really, show me the Christian nations waging war to create a single global Christian world. Show me a Christian terror organization funded by multiple Christian countries. Show me the Organization of Christian Conferences or all Christian nations voting as a block to prevent human rights in the UN.Rather, it was Christians who marches in Europe to protest the Afghan govt trying a man for converting, not Muslims.”we would be stoning to death everyone who works on the Sabbath”, no, because there’s no Christian movement you can point to that believes that. However, both mainstream Sunni and Shiite (the vast majority of Muslims) believe that is right.Christianity and Judaism have moved past the desert barbarity of 2-3000 years ago, but Islam is still stuck in the 6th century.None of your rationalizations or your running away from answering a single one of my points changes that. Rather, as I’ve said, it proves my point: You are a jihadist.

  • David

    The two “anonymous” posts addressing Aya and Rick are mine. Sorry, I forgot my name.

  • ender

    Northern Europe made the mistake of allowing, even encouraging, large numbers of middle easterners, originally mostly turks, to move there as ‘guest workers’. Many of these guest workers decided to stay, and are not on the second and third generations, that are still considered guest, and were not assimilated into the local society and custom, whether by the fault of the European nations, or the immigrants choice. Northern Europe are all secular nations with strong traditions of free expression, and tolerant laws. When immigrants choose not to follow those secular and tolerant customs, they should be shown the border and sent packing. The comic of the Pimp Mohammed with the bomb in the turban was an example of free speach. When any persons or group demonstrated violently against free speach that is protected by a nations constitution, they are denying the ‘law of the land’, and should have worn out their welcome instantly. We have the same issue with fundamentalist christians in the US attempting to force religious practices on others, but at least until GWB, our laws have been strong enough to maintain our status as a secular nation that upholds free expression.on the internet and in person I speak out against our gov’t and its policies. I would never attempt to deny anyones freedom of speach however stupid or offensive I may find it, unless it is done through gov’t auspices and violates the US Constitutional prohibition for gov’t to favor any religion.Hello Magnus: I highly suggest Sweden, and all of northern Europe accelerate the exodus of non-citizen muslims that oppose your national Constitution, and the law of the land. Free speach stops when it violently opposes the free speach of opposing views.The message of the Quran and the history of islam is one of evangelical spread equal to anything the Catholic empire attempted hundreds of years ago. Neither have been above using tricks, lies and finally bloodshed to convert or kill everthing in their path.

  • VICTORIA

    thats not really true ender, what about the french who allowed the algerians into france after the massacres in 62? im watching the dalai lama speaking now-now here is an example of a person of faith who uses his intelligence to draw disparate groups together- not try to create division and spread hatred, or up book sales. as for the turks, the germans didnt allow them to come- they actively sook their cheap labor- the germans are one of the largest tourists groups in turkey. now they are stuck with them-

  • Arum

    It may be interesting to note that Hirsi Ali is the only person in the world who has officially and publicly been allowed to carry a false name and a false date of birth in her passport. Most probably because otherwise three years of political dealing in Dutch House of Representatives would have come to naught. Dutch constitution prescribes that all members of parliament are to be Dutch. Rushdie calling her a refugee doesn’t understand a thing. But then again, he needs a pretty new wife.

  • ender

    France is already thoroughly screwed. I was speaking mainly of Sweden, Finland and Norway, though the Germans do have the same problem. The Scandinavian countries are mostly socialist, which has worked because of a heterogenous population of very hard working but fun loving people. When a group that doesn’t have the language and educational skills to compete in what was almost a utopian environment, they become disinfranchised, and tools of fundamentalist ‘haters’. If the ‘guest’ worker doesn’t assimilate and become a intigrated part of the host nation, their guest status should be revoked before they topple the system. Indian Hindus make great guest workers. They don’t move to a nation to prosyletize. They go there to make enough money to move back home with new skills and enough money to live well, and start a business. Those that stay usually do so because they find out they really are secular and like their new nation better than the more rigidly religious society of India.

  • Magnus E Andersson

    Rick: “Anon that wants to expel Victoria,”I obviously didn’t. Explicitly I write that I don´t think Victoria are among the ones that threaten our soviety, and also I write that can’t be expelled.Rick: “What nationality and religion are you?”What does that matter? Are you doing an enemy list or what?Rick: “You obviously can’t read and write in the English language.”Partly damn right! I’m not from an English speaking country and have never lived in one.Rick: “If you are a Christian right religious wing nut, I think we need to deport you, considering the mess you and this administration have gotten us into in Palestine and Iraq.”You are obviously a leftard moonbat. Thanks for that information. Most western visitors in Palestine are journalists which thinks that Israel is the most evil nation on earth committing genocide on the Palestines. If you think they shall leave Palestine I must agree! :-)

  • VICTORIA

    does that nclude mr patel? or just hindu indians? and you find no problem making sweeping generalizations about people based on their ethnicity or nationality? i dont know what they call that in enderland- but in america we call that downright racism

  • VICTORIA

    does that nclude mr patel? or just hindu indians? and you find no problem making sweeping generalizations about people based on their ethnicity or nationality? i dont know what they call that in enferland- but in america we call that downright racism

  • Magnus E Andersson

    Rick: “What nationality and religion are you?”Rick, You claim you can’t understand my English language. In the message You comment I write that I am from Sweden. You must somehow be quite retarded, not only 100 % misinterpret my words about Victoria.

  • AJ

    This is another perspective, but to be frank, very weak and his arguments are almost laughable. His two central tenets are:1. If you replace Ali’s criticism of Islam (and somehow he deduces that she is thus criticizing Muslims – which I don’t believe she has ever done) and change that to Africa, we would all be condemning her. This is an invalid deduction, and thus an invalid argument in that she is criticizing the tenets of Islam the religion. In fact, she is very careful to clarify that she does not mean Muslims, the people. Also, unless Africa, the country, has a book with guiding principles that over 1 billion people follow, the comparison is just stretching for the sake of print.2. The second tenet of his argument is that America has documented passages in its constitution and historical documents that, if we still took at face value, would allow us to condemn America. That’s just the point, though, we don’t take those for face value. In fact, amendments and laws have been added to repeal those mistakes and miscues. And every enlightened American knows and accepts this. Contrast that to Islam and the fact that many unenlightened and “enlightened” scholars argue that it is the book, and only the book that must be followed to the word. Think of how much suffering that is causing – to this day. I hardly see that with the American constitution.

  • VICTORIA

    yes, but you didnt include the fact that the dutch government will no longer pay for her security- currently costing them 2.8 MILLION dollars a year.

  • ender

    I’m not racist, but I am a cultural bigot. Hindus have not started a war of agression in 2000 yrs. Buddhist have never engaged in a war other than in dire straights of self defense, and the Jains would die before taking a human life even is self defense.Perhaps you should have read a little of the history of Islam before signing up. Regardless of the culture they come from, Islam has been spread on the point of a sword since its inception. Its too late now of course. If you lived in an Islamic state that practised sharia, and attempted to leave the religion, you would likely be committiing a capital offense.

  • Rick

    Good Morning Magnus,Although, it is afternoon (about 2:30 PM) I suppose in Sweden.I apologize for my remarks about your English. That was not nice. I’m usually not so nasty, except with my right wing nut job buddies like Ted, David, Mike, CTCNL and Anon.Now that we got that out of the way, we can get down to business. You say:“You must somehow be quite retarded, not only 100 % misinterpret my words about Victoria.”Yes, I am mildly retarded, plus I scanned your post too quickly. Here is the paragraph that bothered me:“I think we in the West do not considering the consequenses of an enemy within our borders striving for another, Islamic, non-free society. But if you are among the maybe between 40 and 70 percent Muslims in the west who fully support our model of society I don’t think you shall be expelled. But at least those Muslims who are active in changing our free society I think shall be expelled.”This is a road that we must tread very carefully. I don’t want to see our free society brought under Sharia law either. But I think that the danger of that happening is infinitesimally small. We are in much greater danger of having Ku Klux Klan type bigoted hypocrites terrorizing our citizens because they don’t like the color of their skin. If you are just worried about people demonstrating about inflammatory material in your free press, that is one thing. We value the right to demonstrate in our country as long as it remains nonviolent. If you are talking about people being killed or threatened to be killed, like is the subject of this thread, then that is quite another. I think that these instances are quite rare and are perpetrated by individual nut jobs or terrorist groups. This does not justify threatening to deport 30 to 60% of the entire Muslim population.

  • Rick

    Hello again Magnus,Here is another part of your post that I enjoyed reading:“Rick: “If you are a Christian right religious wing nut, I think we need to deport you, considering the mess you and this administration have gotten us into in Palestine and Iraq.”You are obviously a leftard moonbat. Thanks for that information. Most western visitors in Palestine are journalists which think that Israel is the most evil nation on earth committing genocide on the Palestines. If you think they shall leave Palestine I must agree! :-)”Yep, I’m a leftard moonbat alright. I didn’t quite follow this sentence though: “If you think they shall leave Palestine I must agree! :-)”Are you saying that the journalists should leave Palestine, leaving the Israelis to commit unreported whatever atrocities they wish? Or that the Israelis should leave Palestine? If you suggest that the Israeli occupiers should leave, then I must agree.This is opposite from what our buddy Ted Baines wants to do:“Return half of Saudi Arabia, the western half of Saudi Arabia, to its rightful owners, the Jews. Relocate all Muslims from Palestine and the West Bank to Muslim countries.”I think that we will pull the 5 or 6 million Jews from Palestine instead, and bring them to Texas, as payback for Texas giving us our beloved President Bush.

  • ender

    I have posted frequently here and on truthdig regarding the apatheid state of Israel, and how the Zionist miliarty core of that nation has never intended to live within the UN designated borders established in ’48, and has committed acts of terrorism to drive Palestinians out of land Israel covets.That said, since day one, the Islamic states have denied the right of Israel to exist, and have rarely negotiated in good faith to end the conflict. The original 800,000 displaced landowners in Israel has grown to 8,000,000 partially due to the refusal of Islamic neighbors to allow Palestinians regugees to enter their nations, and often encouraged their own citizens to migrate to Palestine.Both parties are at fault with regard to Palestine. The rulers of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya and Egypt don’t really give a rodents posterior about the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem as an Islamic holy sight.What they do care about is that by keeping their citizens focused on hatred for Israel, the corruption and theft of resources by the rulers is ignored.Particularly with the ‘cold war’ at an end, support for the state of Israel is no longer in the best interest of the US. Neither though, is support for the ‘Great Caliphate’ that is the desire of the Saudi Royalty/Wahudi clan that keep the turmoil at maximum so as to maintain their position of power in the region.We took out Saddam as much for SA as we did for Israel.For the $trillion dollars this war will cost before it is all over with, I truly believe American Ingenuity could have had us free of dependency on oil, particularly foreign oil. Without oil money, 50 million humans couldn’t live in the dessert, and they would be too busy trying to eat to worry about attacking us or Israel.But that’s water under Bush’s arse and nothing to be done until Americans take control of their gov’t back from Big Oil.In the meantime, we need to drop support for Israeli Zionist policy, stop the export of terrorism from SA, and make friends with Iran, where the people actually are most ready for a secular, western type democracy.The whole mess is the greed and ambition of nations who use religion the cult of Abrahim to poison the minds of humans with tribal hate and cultural nationalism.

  • VICTORIA

    mr andersson- despite your magnaminous gesture that i wouldnt be included in your islamic pogrom- (not through your choice but because it i actaully could not be) dont be paranoid- rick only asked because we all have inclinations that tend towatd our own, your name is swedish?, and you have a distinct flavor of intolerance towards muslims- yes- the formerly white white countries north of europe have gotten an influx of brown muslims- seriously testing their stated contnetions that they are the most tolerant and neutral place in the world.it is easy to be tolerant when you dont have to live it. so now norway, and the netherlands and sweden are starting to have to live their words- and your call for expelling the “others” isnt exactly a rousing endorsement of the superiority of the neutrality of scandinavia. your statement which alarmend rick, alarms me also- what makes you think i can be forced to accept “your model of society”? if your society is truly a free one, then it is free for all- not just people who think like you do. my ideas are just as valuable and important as yours- actually i was watching a documentary here in america about that swedish editor- i was thinking- if i were him- id say, “well they DO NOW thanks alot cnn!” now- all the conditions you put on freedom- im not sure i want to be around that kind of repressive freedom anyway. we have 12 million mexicans illegally in the US- and lived EXACTLY THE SAME- working 14 hour days in 115 degree heat in the factories where women would fall out regularly. i know what inconsistencies their society has with americna freedom- and there are some, believe me- but i dont live with a people and get their trust and then betray it by revealing their secrets.we all have them. even you-

  • David

    Poor Victoria, thinking that denial is a form of argument. Watch her constantly ignore my references and claim she doesn’t need references. Note how she completely refuses to address the facts about the UDHR and the CDHRI. I pointed out full text. All she can do is shout, like a five year-old child, “nuh uh!!!”How jihadist of her.As for dar al-Islam, which she tries to switch to since she can’t address the falsity of her other arguments, wrong again. Yes, they were codified in medieval times, but that codification used, as all good Muslim scholars do, the Koran as a source.Multiple Surras state war must be waged until Islam is dominant in the world. From that, it is clear that two lands exist: Those Islam rules (dar al-Islam) and those that still remain to be conquered, the lands of war (dar al-harb).None of your avoidance changes the reality of Islam and your fear of the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Rick stays, not unsurprisingly, in denial. First, he posts what I said to Aya as if I was talking to him. Does he have two voices in his head or is he running both accounts? I don’t think so.Then notice that he ignores the exact quotes I use from his posts and my responses to them that show he’s wrong and is supporting jihad. His response? To not even address his errors shown in my comments but just to complain about the result of his own words and “logic”. His logic is that of political correctness, which says “I can be as bigoted and ignorant as I wish, but you can’t say anything because the truth has been deemed unacceptable.”

  • David

    Wow, Ender makes Victoria seem truthful.”apatheid state of Israel”. A State that has equality before the law for all citizens regardless of sex, race or religion is “apartheid”? Intriguing. Then what does he call the PA, which has a death penalty law against selling land to Jews? Or Jordan, which explicitly exempts Jews from citizenship?”borders established in ’48″. Established? The UN can’t do that, it can only suggest borders to the two parties. The Arab Higher Committee, representing local Arabs, and the Arab League, representing the rest, rejected UNR181 and a Jewish State, saying the land should be part of Greater Syria, as it was in the Ottoman and other Islamic Empires. Also, even most Arabs aren’t demanding the UNR181 borders, but that the armistice line become a border.”800,000 displaced landowners in Israel.” The UN Mediator, Lord Bernadotte, a man so much against Israel that Israeli terrorists killed him, reported to the UN that there were 472,000 Arab refugees. Perhaps he’s mixing up the 800k from the fact that’s how many Jewish refugees there have been from Arab lands. BTW: 600k of them were absorbed by the tiny nation of Israel while the 472k were put in camps by their much more populous Arab brethren.”grown to 8,000,000″ out of the fact that UNWRA is the only organization to define “refugee” to count descendants. All other refugees are managed by UNHRC, with excludes them from the count.And, as long as he’s mentioning “Saddam”, lets point to the Pals stuck on the border between Iraq and Jordan. First, UNWRA won’t touch them even though they are refugees under UNWRA’s definition, since their current homelessness can’t be blamed on Israel. Second, Jordan, the Palestinian majority nation residing on 80% of British Mandate Palestine won’t accept them.”we need to drop support for Israeli Zionist policy”. The policy is, of course, to live in peace in our own nation. That Ender is against that is the most indicative of all. Well, that and the fact that he has no clue that “Zionist” is just as fractured and argumentative as the concept of American, French, Australian or any other national movement…

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    And why are “millions” of Iraqis displaced? Because the ancient blood feud between Sunnis and Shiites!!!!!!! Why the feud? Because each side claims the koranic terror cult of Islam as their own!!!!!!!

  • LogicGuru

    You bet I agree that in light of the way things are going in sub-Saharan Africa I do believe that the traditional cultures of the people who life there should be obliterated. People have interests and rights: cultures don’t. And the romantic view that somehow cultures that are detrimental to the interests of people who live in them ought for some reason to be preserved is untenable. These cultures are diseases. You aren’t doing their victims any favors by cultivating them. People who are stuck with them need to be cured.

  • VICTORIA

    agnostic- im a muslim, and i have no impulse to control another persons thoughts, the idea of even destroying a book is repugnant to me- let alone a person- if ayaan ali hirsi was behind me – id certainly hold the door for her with a small smile- when i read articles for other countries, translated into english- if i went by them id believe all americans were fat arrogant bullies selling weapons to kill the children of the world. i know this isnt true- i think you maybe just dont have any muslims around to ask- violence in the name of anything is repellant to me as a muslim- i think it has never occurred to any muslim to ask for a fatwa against OBL becuase muslims already know that fatwas are only opinions- defunct a fatwa is only binding on the person who issues it at this point in time. people follow fatwas given by their sheiks or guru teacher types, because they want to. but it has no more meaning than me issuing one right now. it used to- a century ago- but not today. you an google it- even wikipedia (my most dislked source) can confirm that. your frustration seems honest and your question sincere- so im answering so your observation-Did you Mr. Patel asked any one of Muslim Imams to issue fatwa against Bin Laden? I am sure you didn’t. That idea never occured to you. So you are not much different from followers of Bin Laden the idea never occurred to me, not because i sympathise with OBL- i dont- but because i already know that fatwas have no validity. i could declare my town, victoriaville- but it wouldnt make a bit of difference to anyone here- maybe my husband would agree that it was victoriaville too- and besides, fatwas were never intended to be bounty hunter recipes they are supposed to be a guidance for our good- not someone elses destruction if a bunch of muslims in agnostica decided they could drink beer on sunday- a fatwa might be issued to redirect them to the good practice of their religion fatwas calling for heads on a pike are as bizarre as any hate-mongering i can imaginego google fatwa and be surprised

  • VICTORIA

    for instance- i have a BIG problem with msusharaf not protecting bhutto when she was invited back to pakistan yesterday- 136 people dead the people who did that are insane ok, thats all for now

  • VICTORIA

    no jerry- they tell you what is in the mind of a few extremists. iran had thousands of people in tehran do a vigil! its easily availabe in the US, ive posted many times on these boards the muslim community statements of 138 scholars around the world who renounced the terrorism and showed their support and sympathy with america. have you ever seen any americans pouring into the streets to show sympathy for muslims when terrorists strike them? when the 3000 muslims were brutally murdered by hindu extremists in gujurat was there even a whisper of sympathy? you never even saw it covered on the news. what is our response to that? you cant have it both ways- if you want to know what muslims think, go to a mosque and sit with a few, or ask here. i think both sides need to give and take myself. MIA- actually the VVD is no longer ms hirsi’s party. also the government has refused to continue to pay for her 2.8 million dollar a year protection. is it disgusting that she needs protection? also i do not agree with your contention that women are inferior- so i cannot decry what is not true. wow you guys sure do hate muslims. i dont care how you justify it- there is no force in the world that is going to get me to hate another just becasue were defined by a different grouping- no matter what that grouping is.

  • VICTORIA

    i have to thank you all because without your questions it would not have occurred to me to look such things up- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Amman Message started as a detailed statement released the eve of the 27th of Ramadan 1425 AH / 9th November 2004 CE by H.M. King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein in Amman, Jordan. It sought to declare what Islam is and what it is not, and what actions represent it and what actions do not. Its goal was to clarify to the modern world the true nature of Islam and the nature of true Islam.In order to give this statement more religious authority, H.M. King Abdullah II then sent the following three questions to 24 of the most senior religious scholars from all around the world representing all the branches and schools of Islam: (1) Who is a Muslim? Based on the fatwas provided by these great scholars (who included the Shaykh Al-Azhar; Ayatollah Sistani and Sheikh Qaradawi), in July 2005 CE, H.M. King Abdullah II convened an international Islamic conference of 200 of the world’s leading Islamic scholars ‘Ulama) from 50 countries. In Amman, the scholars unanimously issued a ruling on three fundamental issues (which became known as the ‘Three Points of the Amman Message’):They specifically recognized the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shi’a and Ibadhi Islam; of traditional Islamic Theology (Ash’arism); of Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), and of true Salafi thought, and came to a precise definition of who is a Muslim. Based upon this definition they FORBADE takfir (DECLARATIONS OF APOSTASY) between Muslims. This amounts to a historical, universal and unanimous religious and political consensus (ijma’) of the Ummah (nation) of Islam in our day, and a consolidation of traditional, orthodox Islam. The significance of this is: This is good news not only for Muslims, for whom it provides a basis for unity and a solution to infighting, but also for non-Muslims. For the safeguarding of the legal methodologies of Islam (the Mathahib) necessarily means inherently preserving traditional Islam’s internal ‘checks and balances’. It thus assures balanced Islamic solutions for essential issues like It also exposes the ILLEGITAMATE OPINIONS of RADICAL FUNDAMENTALISTS and TERRORISTS from the point of view of true Islam. As George Yeo, the Foreign Minister of Singapore, declared in the 60th Session of the U.N. General Assembly (about the Amman Message): “Without this clarification, the war against terrorism would be much harder to fight.”Finally, whilst this by the Grace of God is a historical achievement, it will clearly remain only principial unless it is put into practice everywhere. For this reason, H.M. King Abdullah II is now seeking to implement it, God willing, through various pragmatic measures, including God says in the Holy Qur’an says: “There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) whosoever enjoineth charity and fairness and peace-making among the people and whoso doeth that, seeking the good pleasure of God, We shall bestow on him a vast reward.” (Al-Nisa, 4:114).

  • Rick

    Victoria,Please give us the link to the ‘coordinated fatwa against terrorism’.

  • jerry

    “people follow fatwas given by their sheiks or guru teacher types, because they want to.but it has no more meaning than me issuing one right now. we already know this is meaningless- but i guess most westerners imagine it has some validity-”Fatwas are of great value to the west. They tell us what is in the mind of the Muslim world. Acts of terror do not upset them. If they were upset -fatwas would be issued with fiery speeches. Any disagreement with the dictates of Islam does upset them. Drawing a cartoon of Mo with a fuse in his turban will get you a lifelong death threat and Muslims all over the world raging in the streets in outrage. As the west knows all too well- the purposed death of thousands of innocent people in the west brings silence from the Muslim world, maybe an issued statement or two, and demands for increased civil rights because the west now unfairly “targets” them. This is because the acts of terror are supported by the dictates of Islam and will NEVER inspire a true fatwa to be issued.

  • Rick

    Pros and Cons for the Two State Solution; I side with the Con opinion, how about you:– Ziad J. Asali The State of Israel is ready to give the Palestinians an independent Palestinian state, but the Palestinians are not ready to give us an independent Jewish state . . . Every agreement you make will be the starting point of the next irredenta. The next conflict. The next war. — Moshe Yaalon

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Hmmm, the Rick and Victoria “show” reminds me again of that famous quote: “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?”

  • Rick

    CTCNL,Yes, the Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites don’t much like each other, but this has nothing to do with Islam. This has more to do with hundreds of years of the Sunni minority dominating and abusing the Shiite majority under Saddam and others. And you know Saddam didn’t have a religious bone in his body.From the three points of the Amman Message as posted by Victoria: (1) Whosoever is an adherent to one of the four Sunni schools (Mathahib) of Islamic jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i and Hanbali), the two Shi’i schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Ja`fari and Zaydi)… is a Muslim. Declaring that person an apostate is impossible and impermissible. Verily his (or her) blood, honour, and property are inviolable… This was endorsed by 552 signatories from 84 countries. From the beginning in Iraq, the Takfiri foreign militants have targeted the Shi‘a in order to create a civil war and widen the conflict, thereby entangling the coalition forces in a never-ending conflict of which their countries will eventually weary. By achieving a consensus that all Sunni and Shi‘as are Muslims and that all have basic common beliefs and practices, the conference has taken the theological and religious basis out of this sectarian conflict, and exposed for what it really is: sedition and mass murder.Actually, our invasion and overthrow of the sovereign government and dispersal of its security forces has more to do with the anarchy that we now see on the streets of Baghdad than does any tenet of Islam.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Rick,And who promotes the ancient Sunni/Shiite feud? The Islamic terror Shiite theocracy of Iran and the Islamic Sunni “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia. Strange that you say nothing about this. And strange you say nothing about said terror support supporting the high cost of oil. Said profits are feeding this Sunni/Shiite conflict and Israel is always the convenient scapegoat and you have fallen into this Islamic trap. Yes it would be nice not to depend on oil and natural gas but going solar is not in the current realm of realism. And the references to the conference you noted? And did Iran sign the message?? And have you finished reading the book of death aka the koran? And you believe that the illiterate womanizing Mohammed and his henchmen were really visited by a “pwtfft”? And visited Heaven? And you really believe Saddam and his “security forces” were somehow good global citizens???And your single Jewish friend, what sayest he about your current siding with Islam?

  • Rick

    Good Morning CTCNL,What are you doing up so late? What time zone are you in? Ah yes, it is the weekend. You young folks can stay up half the night.It’s discouraging isn’t it, to find out that your preconceived notions about Islam, that you have been harboring for so long, are all wrong.As Victoria always says, Islam is a rligion of peace, but does reserve the right to defend itself. If we don’t attack it, it won’t attack us.

  • Rick

    CTCNL,So I apologize for the length of the previous post. To boil it down:You say:1. ‘And who promotes the ancient Sunni/Shiite feud? The Islamic terror Shiite theocracy of Iran and the Islamic Sunni “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia. Strange that you say nothing about this.Actually, the kind of sectarian fighting we’re seeing now in Iraq is not ancient. It is new in its scale and ferocity, and it was the Americans who unleashed it. Yes, the Iranians support their natural ally, the Shiites, in their effort to oust the unwanted invader and occupier, the US. What’s wrong with that?And yes, the Saudis are concerned about their natural ally, the Sunnis, and try to protect them from the coming payback for the decades (not millennia) of abuse that the Sunnis perpetrated on the Shiites under Saddam’s rule. What’s wrong with that?So it’s more like a family feud between the Hatfields and McCoys, and has practically nothing to do with Islam, which has formally renounced the feud and abhors it. If you are satisfied with this answer, we will move on to Point #2.

  • Rick

    CTCNL,Point #3:You say: ‘And the references to the conference you noted? And did Iran sign the message??’Islamic Republic of Iran (21)Republic of Iraq (28)180. H.E. Mr. Jalal Talabani ∫President

  • Rick

    CTCNL,Point #4:You say: ‘And have you finished reading the book of death aka the koran?’Chapter 1 AL-FATIHA (THE OPENING) is a very innocuous 7 verse opening.Chapter 2 AL-BAQARA (THE COW) has 286 verses and parallels our OT discussion of Adam and Eve in the garden, the children of Israel, the exodus rom Egypt, etc:002.040: O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfil your covenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me.002.049: And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.002.050: And remember We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people within your very sight.The Qur’an accepts the OT/NT as gospel and builds from there; the difference being that Jesus is a Prophet like Muhammad, not God.So really, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all worship the same God with minor variations.

  • Rick

    CTCNL,Point #5:You say: ‘And you believe that the illiterate womanizing Mohammed and his henchmen were really visited by a “pwtfft”? And visited Heaven?’

  • Rick

    CTCNL,Point #6:You say: ‘And you really believe Saddam and his “security forces” were somehow good global citizens???’You say: ‘And your single Jewish friend, what sayest he about your current siding with Islam?’

  • Rick

    CTCNL,So going back to your comment on oil independence would be nice, but solar is not ready for prime time.True, but as Ender noted, if we had spent the last 4 years and half a trillion dollars pursuing energy independence instead of squandering it in Iraq, we may not be there yet but we would be well on our way. There are other technologies than solar; e.g. nuclear, coal, wind, hydrogen, conservation and geothermal. We must rebuild our infrastructure to provide more and better public transportation. We must change our lifestyle, travel shorter distances to work, telecommute, mandate higher fuel economy vehicles, etc.Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has a plan to achieve energy independence in 8 years. This is optimistic, but it can be done. It needs to have a greater priority than we placed on our man on the moon project of the 60s.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Rick,You must be kidding!!! Islam is a religion of peace???Sunnis and Shiites the last time I checked are Islamics and they butcher each other 24/7 in the name of some relative of Mohammed using the koran as their SOP.

  • VICTORIA

    good posts rick- if i was ideologically opposed to them – i would still compliment their logical and thorough coverage. heres a tiny but very important distinction from your article by the history network~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ it is actually an enormous distinction between shia-sunni. Sunni’s look to the Prophet(pbuh) saying that his heirs were to be treated no differently than any other muslim. And no dynasty was to be created from his descendants, no special treatment, favors etc… The first 4 were all the companions of Rasul(pbuh). a nickname for our Prophet, kind of like darling or beloved one. after the death of Ali- Muawiya ( a scribe to but no relation to the Prophet(pbuh)became caliph, and moved to syria where he became governor- starting the umayyad dynasty- his son yazid succeeded him- but was not respected and a warmaker- in the meantime the grandson of Muhammad(pbuh) and son of Ali was encouraged to go claim the caliphate from the questionable yazid, and his head was chopped off at kerbala. when you see the iraqis doing the self flagellation thing (simialar to the medieval monks if you ask me- which you didnt) it is in remembrance of their betrayal of husayn- by not protecting him. heres a quick synopsis- its a shia site i believe- but of course they should describe themselves. and then there were other dynasties and caliphs etc— and much later it was too convoluted anyway- but sunni’s contend that it was not the wishes of the Prophet (pbuh) to create a family dynasty although it is human nature to keep it in the family its a highly contnetious issue between shia and sunni. personally i find similarities between the practces and temperments of shia with roman catholics- very ritualistically oriented, with some small (but nomeans as much as catholic) not imagery but iconic symbols- highly emotional and of course the overwhelming guilt factor which pervade both- but that is my personal observation so take it as such. also it is of note that the borther of husayn, hasan outright abdicated and rejected the caliphate- and of course the Prophet(pbuh) came from a large family and tribe so.. hope you enjoy this little bit of info on the shia and sunnis. ive been to both and i ilke shias- one of the best muslims ive ever known was a lone shia at our mosque from lebanon.

  • VICTORIA

    hey i bet if you send a question to mr patel, he could really enlighten us all big time.

  • Rick

    Thanks for the clarification Victoria.If I understand you correctly then, the Sunnis believe in a royal succession of Caliphates (Kings) much like England. Although England has taken the control of government away from the (symbolic) Royal Family, the Sunnis have not. The Shiites believe that there is no royalty, but rather all are equal, more like the U.S.I think that another important distinction is that roughly 90% of all Muslims are Sunni. The 10% who are Shiite in Iran and southern Iraq are in the distinct minority.

  • VICTORIA

    yes, that is the paragraph i was referring to when i said a small but important distinction, abu bakr was the closest companion of the Prophet(pbuh) and also the father of Aisha, and she was considered the final authority for any matter relating to the life and sayings of the Prophet(pbuh). without her, most of the hadeeth would have been lost and if there was a question, hers was the final say. so it is interesting to see how alien that idea (of a woman being the authority in matters of intelligence- administration- even war making which aisha did)was to society at that time. for instance, the only record we have of how to pray comes from the sunnah- or transmitted actions of the Prophet(pbuh) even today it is interesting to see how these subtle but pervasive distinctions are made. have you ever heard of a man doctor? did it ever occur to you to call a male who is a doctor a man doctor? why should a female be a woman doctor? however the shia certainly have their own hadeeth. one of the more exceelent points made by the council at amman was to define muslim. for instance- NONE OF US CAN ARROGATE OURSELVES TO CALL ANOTHER AN APOSTATE. if we cannot call another muslim an apostate- who is there left to condemn? actually- as ive contended- this is already an islamic condition. IF A MUSLIM ACCUSES A BELIEVER OF BEING AN UNBELIEVER- AND THE ACCUSED IS INNOCENT- THE ACCUSER BECOMES AN UNBELIEVER THEMSELF. this isn’t idle or inconsequential this is a very solid and enforced idea and an integral part of islamic social mores interwoven tightly into its fabric. it is taboo to even suggest such a false thing- that is why you never see muslims on these boards accuse each other of not being a muslim. okay, enough of that for now. peace

  • VICTORIA

    no rick- sunnis DO NOT believe in creating a dynasty- The first 3 caliphs were NOT relatives of Muhammad(pbuh) or each other. the caliphate is based upon who is most qualified, not who ones father is. but people created dynasties, and then new caliphs would spring up in opposition to this trend- only to repeat the same behavior. the turkish caliphate descended predictably into corruption and indolence. clearly saudi arabia is an example of the worst possibilty- so to recap- all sunni scholars agree that there should be no succesion based on family ties, but based on abilities of individuals. the last caliphate was destroyed in turkey in 1924. that was why i picked out that particular piece of the article- but it stated the same thing you just did- this is not what the Prophet(pbuh) proposed at the death of the Prophet, it was is wife Aisha who became the main authority on the words and actions of the Prophet(pbuh) all arguments about the validity of sayings were put before her. she was the final authority as she was reknown for her impeccable memory and obviously, her constant companionship. it was because she was a female that made the followers of Ali reject her authority, although sunni everywhere accept her definitvely and it is hadeeth that come through her transmission that are the first and strongest. the questionable hadeeth that state that she was a child when she consumated her marriage to the Prophet(pbuh) for instance, come from the (now) she is even today virulently hated by shia. what is it that made you think the opposite?

  • Rick

    Thanks Victoria,I think I was confused because I thought that the first 3 Caliphs were related as father and son, and that the Sunnis wanted this, but the Shi’i did not.I knew that was wrong after thinking about it, because I know that the Shi’i think that the Caliph must be decended from Ali.Thanks again for the clarification!

  • Rick

    Actually this paragraph that you quoted implies to me that the first four caliphs were decended from Muhammad, since the Sunnis believe that their decendents are also legitimate claiphs:”The Sunni branch believes that the first four caliphs–Mohammed’s successors–rightfully took his place as the leaders of Muslims. They recognize the HEIRS of the four caliphs as legitimate religious leaders. These HEIRS ruled continuously in the Arab world until the break-up of the Ottoman Empire following the end of the First World War.”Why would their decendents be legitimate heirs, if they themselves were not heirs of Muhammad?

  • Rick

    Thanks Jon for the thought provoking article. The prognosis is not good.We are all “terrorists”, whether we are the individual suicide bomber striking back the only way that he can, or the terrorist state of US_Israel, raining tons of bombs from a thousand feet up to usurp the lands and oil fields of the rightful owners.Henry Kissinger has an op-ed in WP today about the planned peace conference at Annapolis next month. For some reason they never post his articles on their web site as they do their other stories, so I will summarize.He notes that …for most of its history Israel has rejected the notion of a Palestinian state, insisted on an undivided Jerusalem as its capital and refused to permit a return of Palestinian refugees. The Arab states have matched Israeli refusals by refusing to recognize Israel in any borders……The intifada and global momentum of radical Islamism have brought home to the Israeli public and leadership that their state is threatened by four new and growing dangers: first, an altered security environment in which the principal threat is not so much conventional wars as terrorist attacks from groups with no defined geography and operating from small, mobile bases; second, the demographic challenge, because the alternative to a two-state solution could become a single state in which the Jewish population is a minority; third, the existential threat of nuclear proliferation, particularly from Iran; and fourth, an international environment in which Israel finds itself increasingly isolated because of the growing perception in Western-Europe and in small but influential U.S. circles that Israel’s alleged intransigence is the cause of Arab hostility toward the West… …As a general diplomatic rule, it is expected that the parties to an agreement…are able to deliver. In the proposed diplomacy, the interlocutors on both sides have extremely shaky domestic positions… …The statement of Iran’s supreme leader last week attacking the Palestinian peace process and warning Arab states not to participate is likely to be the beginning of a systematic campaign…What are the odds of achieving peace as a result of this conference? ZeroThe best move for the Israelis would be to vacate their 5+ million citizens from Palestine and bring them to Texas.As twice proven now, in Vietnam and Iraq, the Powel Doctrine of overwhelming military force is dead. It cannot defeat the insurgent who swims in the sea of the people.

  • Rick

    Hi Victoria,You say:“for instance- NONE OF US CAN ARROGATE OURSELVES TO CALL ANOTHER AN APOSTATE.if we cannot call another muslim an apostate- who is there left to condemn?”Well, you could call Christians and Jews apostates. What say ye about that?I notice that the 2nd of the Three Points of the Amman Message said:2. Based upon this definition they forbade takfir (declarations of apostasy) between Muslims. It’s too bad that they couldn’t have said the same about Christians and Jews.

  • VICTORIA

    i wish there were some shia who could comment here as i am poorly equipped to do so

  • VICTORIA

    rick- really excellent question. if a person leaves islam, they are no longer considered muslim ( i guess)so that umbrella of protection wouldnt apply to them. this is jamal badawi- i drove from n. cal to pttsburgh in a straight shot for 2 1/2 manic days and listened to them. i was headed for the carmelite nunnery- so im delighted to give his link on apostasy synopsis- also there is the treay of – o i can never remember that name- habadiya or something- if i go to the link itll be too hard to get back in here- but it ws always a craw in my throat on the subject- where he sent many muslims back to mecca who were certain to become apostates. also it is not in the qu’ran at allthe only place it occurs or is mentioned, is in a verse that clearly states that the judgement comes only from ALLAH- so the answer is uneqivocally NO. but great question

  • VICTORIA

    watched a documentary on pbs about the relationship between iran and america- i wasnt aware that iran helped america after 911 go into afghanistan one incredibly backhanded and sneeeeaky comment i heard from richard armitage had me really amazed at the usage of words. when asked about the (apparently invaluable- not my opinion- ) intelligence and physical support given by iran to america wen they went into afghanistan- that took a second to sink in , it has never occurred to me to be so grudging in giving credit where it is due- not unhelpful that really blew my little mind

  • VICTORIA

    atually that article reminded me that amnesty international has been calling for the USA to be charged with genocide for hisroshima and nagasaki. i dont think theres any other description that would fit what was done to the native americans either. strange how one forgets these things

  • Rick

    Hi Victoria,Nah, it wasn’t a good question. I was confused again; it happens a lot with me. I was thinking of apostate as anyone who doesn’t accept Islam, like Christians and Jews, not to mention us atheists/agnostics.So I shouldn’t have been asking you about apostasy, which means to renounce one’s religion. Of course, Islam wouldn’t have anything to say about a Christian or Jew who renounces his/her religion.What I was really trying to get at is that we need some kind of Amman Message that would unite all religions, like the Sunnis and Shiites were united. This idea that, if you don’t think like I do, you are doomed to everlasting hell is really repugnant to me.

  • VICTORIA

    heres a link to the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998 later it was thrown in the face of congress by bush as proof that they had given him a “promisory note go to war with iraq’ card- pundits are speculating this latest action may be used in the future as a go ahead for war- (the action against the iranian military- first in history

  • john heffron

    There must be many Muslim Americans who will speak out loudly against any idea of a Global Caliphate; of operating under the Sharia; of eschewing Dhimminitude. These stances would, like our Founders, be enlightened. And I’d then bet that your rather cruel castigation of free thinking Ms. Ali might then be refuted.

  • VICTORIA

    mr hefron- i refer you to october 20th, 2:25 pm on this very blog

  • AbuZaid

    Was moses a terrorist?Shalom.

  • Don

    She may be repulsive to your Muslim faith, but your Muslim faith and reverence for Muhammad, the devil’s prophet, are repulsive to me and should be repulsive to all who are “enlightened”. Islam is the religion of the devil!

  • Imran

    Hang on.Did that guy just say that muslims should be expelled from scandinavia?? That`s scary.Thank God I`m not living in Europe or the USA.So much hatred.

  • Imran

    Hang on.Did that guy just say that muslims should be expelled from scandinavia?? That`s scary.Thank God I`m not living in Europe or the USA.So much hatred.

  • Imran

    Hang on.Did that guy just say that muslims should be expelled from scandinavia?? That`s scary.Thank God I`m not living in Europe or the USA.So much hatred.

  • Imran

    Hang on.Did that guy just say that muslims should be expelled from scandinavia?? That`s scary.Thank God I`m not living in Europe or the USA.So much hatred.

  • Dave

    Why should there be any limitations on what someone writes about religion or anything else? What is so sacroscant about Islam or Mohammed? If someone wants to write something however controversial, he or she should be accorded the full freedom to do so. In India, a well known poet of Bengal (Sunil Gangopadhay) has written terrible things about a popular Hindu diety. But Hindus in India did not go on a rampage to ban the poem much less kill the poet. He is living hale and hearty in calcutta. So I have only one word for Muslims who take a hard line against writers critical of Islam and Mohammed. Grow up! If there is any fatwa on killing such writers, the country’s legal system should lock up the fatwa-issuers as criminals issuing death threats. Such threats should not be permitted in modern, civil societies. Unfortunately, this is only one aspect of how Islamic countries differ from others in the world. This whole fatwa issuing business and going on a violent rampage if someone critices Islam and the prophet are signs of extreme immaturity. The relevant question is how Muslims can evolve their societies into progressive modern ones instead on being stuck in the Middle Ages.

  • Niko Ariny

    You gotta be kidding with that part about your “Muslim faith” and Enlightenment sensibilities, with particular emphasis on your Muslim faith which when placed with enlightenment, becomes a moronic oxymoron. As laughable as gay Muslims, or Nazi Jews, might as well, as laughable as enlightened Muslims. Look, Muslims can be good and enlightened anyways, and you don’t need Islam for that. So it’s not ad hominem, it’s just Islam I have a bone to pick with. The Quran has peaceful verses that are abrogated by violent verses. If it’s supposed to be good, then why the violent verses? If it’s so open to various interpretations, then why have it in the first place? But you claiming to be a progressive Muslim clearly attests to your playing taqqiyah. But you conveniently pick the good and leave the bad and attribute your enlightened sensibilities to a cult that wants no reason and pluralism, that very essence you believe in which can never be synonymous with the cult of Islam. As an ex-Muslim, I know very well what the faith teaches and there is no way you can whitewash the cruelty, absolutism and divisiveness that faith teaches by conveniently applying your own good principles which I’m sure aren’t derived from the religion. Unless of course you focus on the good stuff from the book and ignore the rest. Is it really your Muslim faith that wishes her no harm? Let me just mention that although I prefer the eradication of this evil cult and everyone discarding this dark burkha of blind faith, I do think a secularized Islam is way better than the real Islam who teaches Muslims to slay the non-believers wherever ye find them. But the blatant contradiction of progressiveness and Islam is undeniable.