Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A few weeks ago I published a post about Bill Maher and mentioned Ayaan Hirsi Ali in a positive light. Some readers have pointed out that Ali demonizes Muslims, especially Muslim men, and that she has been accused of lying about her life story. I should have written in that post that I was not familiar with Ali's story before I watched that episode of Real Time and I have not read Ali's book called Infidel. I do know that she has received death threats from extremists for her views on Islam, and I believe that she should be able to express her views without being threatened. However, I understand why so many Muslims have criticized her. Forced marriage is not customary in modern Islam, and even Ali's own story about forced marriage is mired in controversy. Also I did not mention that in the episode of Real Time on which she was a guest, Ali completely disagreed with Arab American Congressman Darryl Isa's assertion that Jews and Christians lived peacefully with Muslims in the Middle East for hundreds of years. I thought Isa made an excellent point, and it seemed that Ali was determined to portray Muslims as persecutors of Jews and Christians. She did not mention that Arab Jews and Christians prospered in the Middle East despite their dhimmi status, while Jews in Europe were truly persecuted.

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