Even though Ayaan Hirsi Ali was raised a Muslim in a Muslim country, and Joe Biden has almost certainly never opened a Qur’an, Biden believed he knew more about Islam than she did. Why? Because her opinion of the religion was negative, and the possibility that such a view could have any merit whatsoever is inconceivable in Washington circles. Those who hold it must be ignorant.
“Ayaan Hirsi Ali fights radical Islam’s real war on women,” by Ashe Schow, Washington Examiner, December 8, 2014:
In early April of this year, Brandeis University, under pressure from student activists and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reversed its decision to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a global advocate for women’s rights.
The decision was triggered by Hirsi Ali’s outspoken criticisms of Islam. The Somali-born activist has sounded alarms about the prevalence of extremism in Muslim countries and the misogyny that pervades even mainstream Islam.
During the Brandeis controversy, a CAIR spokesman called her “one of the worst of the worst of the Islam-haters in America.”
But Hirsi Ali’s warnings about Islamic extremism were quickly supported by world events, as just a week after Brandeis rescinded her honorary degree, the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in the first of many such abductions throughout the summer. A few months after the kidnappings began, news spread that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another terrorist group, was selling Yazidi women into sexual slavery….
Bundled up and fearful of shaking hands because of a cough, Hirsi Ali sat down with the Washington Examiner in November before being presented an award by the Independent Women’s Forum at its Women of Valor Dinner in Washington. She noted that where extremist ideology spreads, death and mayhem flourish.
“That consequence you see today in parts of Iraq and Syria,” Hirsi Ali said. “You see it in what Boko Haram is doing. You’ve seen it with the Taliban and al Qaeda. Everywhere where that idea is implemented it has a sudden pattern.”
Critics have attacked Hirsi Ali as Islamophobic and have argued that the portrait she paints is not representative of Islam at large. But her disagreements with Islam are rooted in her own East African upbringing.
Hirsi Ali was subjected to female genital mutilation at the age of 5 in her home country, Somalia, while her father, who opposed the traditional practice, was in prison. Her father escaped and moved the family to Saudi Arabia, then to Ethiopia and finally to Kenya when Hirsi Ali was 11 years old.
She grew up as a Muslim woman, reading and accepting the Quran and its teachings. But when her family prepared to force her into an arranged marriage, she fled to the Netherlands. She eventually became a translator, speaking on behalf of Somali women who, like her, were seeking asylum….
Liberals, she said, protect Islamic extremists partly because the Left has no idea what really goes on in Muslim countries.
“They feel all religions are the same, and they’re not,” she observed. “I think if I adopt the position in good faith to multiculturalists and leftists, I would say [they take the position they do] because they see them [Muslims] as victims. They see them as victims of the white man and so they think: ‘Let’s protect them from the white man. Let’s protect them from capitalism.’… That is misguided at best and malicious at worst.”…
“Wherever [Islamists] gain power, you see exactly what they do: The first thing they do is they chase women out of the public space, force them to cover up, beat them up, rape them, sell them into slavery,” Hirsi Ali said.
Such violence against women needs to be exposed, and Western liberals need to “review their thinking,” she said.
That will prove difficult. In her speech to the dinner guests in Washington, Hirsi Ali recalled meeting Vice President Joe Biden. He informed her that “ISIS had nothing to do with Islam.” When she disagreed with him, Biden actually responded: “Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.”
“I politely left the conversation at that,” Hirsi Ali said, to laughter. “I wasn’t used to arguing with vice presidents.”…