Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim woman who authored a fascinating book, “Infidel,” about her life, has penned an article in this week’s Newsweek entitled “Muslim Rage: How I Survived, How We Can End It.” The article and the cover are infuriating the Left, as it tries to skew coverage of the violence occurring in the Middle East.
Ali, now an AEI scholar, is Somalian-born woman who escaped an arranged marriage by moving to Netherlands, where she then became a member of the Dutch parliament. While in the Netherlands, she worked with Theo van Gogh on the short film “Submission,” which detailed Islam’s treatment of women. Van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim man with terrorist ties for his part in the movie; the man shot him eight times before attempting to decapitate his dead body.
How should American leaders respond? What should they say and do, for example, when a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s newly elected ruling party, demands a formal apology from the United States government and urges that the “madmen” behind the Muhammad video be prosecuted, in violation of the First Amendment? If the U.S. follows the example of Europe over the last two decades, it will bend over backward to avoid further offense. And that would be a grave mistake—for the West no less than for those Muslims struggling to build a brighter future.
For a homicidal few in the Muslim world, life itself has less value than religious icons, such as the prophet or the Quran. These few are indifferent to the particular motives or arguments behind any perceived insult to their faith. They do not care about an individual’s political alignment, gender, religion, or occupation. They do not care whether the provocation comes from serious literature or a stupid movie. All that matters is the intolerable nature of the insult.
In response to this woman’s very personal experience with Islam, the Left lashed out. Think Progress attacked Newsweek for printing an “Islamaphobic” cover and an opinion piece in the International Business Times by Gianluca Mezzofiore, he decried her article as a “figment of fantasy” and ridiculed the American Establishment (he didn’t elaborate as to what, exactly, that is):
Instead of following the example of president Obama, who responded to the mission attacks by calmly shoring up security in endangered hotspots and dousing fires with diplomacy, many American outlets have sought to blow the attacks out of all proportion.
I recommend both Ali’s article and her excellent book for insight into a personal story of one woman’s clash with extremism.