Ayaan Hirsi Ali Upends Leftist Stereotypes in Santa Monica

Mr. Wrestling IV
BigGovernment
6/10/2010

On May 24th, at Track 16 Gallery in fashionable Bergamont Station in Santa Monica, CA, dozens of marginal works of art were nearly destroyed by the exploding heads of some of SoCal’s finest and most dogmatic liberals, as a roomful of them were injected with some cognitive dissonance when author Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the author of Infidel, a deeply personal account of her disillusionment with and rejection of her Muslim upbringing, as well as her latest book Nomad, which chronicles her continuing journey. She also collaborated with late film director Theo Van Gogh on the short documentary film Submission, the release of which resulted in the brutal assassination of Van Gogh by a homegrown Dutch Islamic jihadist and ultimately drove her from the Netherlands because of her inability to find adequate security there. She continues to be an outspoken critic of the subjugation and mistreatment of women under fundamentalist Islam, and the AHA Foundation which she founded aims to combat “several types of crimes against women, including female genital mutilation, forced marriages, honor violence, and honor killings.” These would seem to be fairly non-controversial goals, especially in a pro-feminist Western society, but they received a rather chilly response that night from the tolerant progressives of Santa Monica.

During the interview portion of the evening, I was struck by how quiet the room was. Statements made by Ms. Ali that in most cities in middle America would have received applause were met with a respectful but stony silence. When the floor was opened for questions from the seemingly stunned audience, one after another of Santa Monica’s finest political thinkers rose unsteadily from their chairs to ask a question that might allow them to hold onto their deeply-held and carefully nuanced progressive beliefs in the face of someone who must have seemed to them to be an untouchable figure, a woman born in Somalia who left Islam and became an atheist, as well as an unrelenting critic of the injustice and violence that is routinely taught in the Muslim world.

In response to a lady who asked passionately if it was not true that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had created more terrorists than they had thwarted, Ms. Ali calmly replied that the jihadists of course used these wars as propaganda for recruitment, just as they would use any situation for recruitment, since they are in the business of destroying free societies and bringing them under submission to shari’a law, and that no matter what the West did, the jihadists would recruit and terrorize.

One very confused and shaken white-haired gentleman could barely form a question, stammering that he had “great respect” for her but disagreed with almost everything she said. As he rambled on, many of his colleagues began to call at him “What’s your question?” and “No speeches, ask a question!” He finally concluded with a semi-coherent plea along the lines of, “Well, how do we deal with these extremists?”

Ali replied that once you have decided to “deal” with the jihadists, you have legitimized their demands of submission, and that you cannot “deal” with fanatics who wish to destroy your nice free society with bike paths and reusable shopping bags and replace it with a totalitarian theocracy…

…She deftly fielded a question about the “perversion” of Islam by fanatics by proclaiming that she was more concerned about the perversion of the word “liberalism,” because of the willingness of many Western liberals to accept and excuse some of the most heinous criminal acts committed by practitioners of the Muslim faith, like arranged marriages, spousal abuse, subjugation of women by force, denial of education to females, and female genital mutilation in the name of multiculturalism and a so-called “respect” for other civilizations. American liberals, she said, appear to be more uncomfortable condemning the ill treatment of women under Islam than most conservatives are. This led her into a repudiation of multiculturalism, and how, despite some honorable intentions in its origins, it had mutated into a belief system that actually denies access to the freedom and justice guaranteed by the American Constitution by allowing injustice to continue within protected minority communities by not encouraging them to assimilate and become full Americans…

Read the rest at BigGovernment.

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