Why Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an African-Born Defender of Immigrant Women, Is the Target of Liberal Ire

April 29 2021

After spending her childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, Ayaan Hirsi Ali eventually fled to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage. There she became an advocate for the rights of Muslim women, an avocation that made her the target of so many death threats that she sought refuge in the United States. Brian Stewart reviews her latest book, and considers the scorn it has received at the hands of those Western liberals who in other contexts imagine themselves opponents of the oppression, harassment, and violent treatment of females at the hands of males:

This manifest betrayal of feminism, and the jeopardy in which it has placed multitudes of women, is the theme of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s provocative new book Prey. Hirsi Ali’s subject is (as the subtitle says) “immigration, Islam, and the erosion of women’s rights,” but the negative reviews of the book and its author in civic society and the prestige press offer a microcosm of the crisis roiling the West. The Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups do not even want the book to be read.

The old continent became the cockpit for this story after the hasty decision in 2015 by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to do away with restrictions on the number of asylum-seekers who could come to Germany—and, thanks to the EU’s Schengen Agreement that dissolved internal borders, much of the rest of Western Europe. The result was a chaotic scramble for Europe’s frontiers, which quickly produced a spike in sexual harassment and violence in Europe’s streets and squares. “It is one of the rich ironies of early-21st-century history,” Hirsi Ali writes, “that the single decision that has done the most harm to European women in my lifetime was made by a woman.”

In the very recent past, [according to Hirsi Ali], the feminist mission has been challenged, and undermined, by issues of racism, religion, and intersectionality. “Liberal feminists today care more about the question of Palestinian statehood,” she writes, “than the mistreatment of Palestinian women at the hands of their fathers and husbands. In the battle of the vices, sexism has been trumped by racism.”

The inability of the French judicial system to prosecute or punish the brutal murder of Sarah Halimi, a Jewish woman, at the hands of a Muslim man of immigrant extraction—as clear a case of violence against women as one could find—seems to typify the very problem Hirsi Ali identifies.

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Angela Merkel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, CAIR, European Islam, Feminism, Women in Islam

 

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy