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

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.

Read more at Commentary

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


An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security