Hello. I’m an obscure investigative journalist with questionable credentials and a thinly veiled agenda. I have made journalism on another topic today, called Ayaan Hirsi Ali. This journalism is in no way connected with my recent journalism on Maajid Nawaz. This is totally separate. If it seems like I have a negative opinion about anyone who criticizes Islam, this is purely a coincidence.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has gained a lot of attention because of her criticism of Islam, which is why I am certain that she is a bad person. But for those who are not already convinced of this- and more importantly, for those who already share my views and would like their opinions validated- I would like to share with you you some pseudo-intellectual sounding justifications for my prejudice. But first, let’s start with…
One technique is to overwhelm the reader with my contempt of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, so that your curiosity is piqued over precisely what she could have done to warrant it. “If this journalist is so contemptuous of her, it can’t be about nothing,” you’ll say. “What did she do? Did she murder someone? Did she molest several children and not get punished for it?”
No. It’s worse than that.
She is an unflinching, unequivocal critic of Islam. And she’s a reverse-racist (of course), and her books are terrible, they’re like long blog posts, the quality of her writing is even worse than this article. I can’t fathom why she sells so many books and gets so many awards, I only know I that it’s related to some twisted desire on the part of people to bring down Islam, not to any reasonable grievances with the institutions of Islam itself.
Everywhere this woman goes is just one big hatefest. She exhales racism with every breath. And she’s gotten rich and famous from Big Islamophobia, and every night she and her husband, Robert Spencer, count their money and laugh and laugh about it all.
I’m so overwhelmed with disgust for how hateful and racist she is that my hands are shaking as type this. Yet somehow, I bravely press on.
Blood on Her Hands
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s writings were cited by the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik in his manifesto, in which he explained his growing hatred for Muslim immigrants as a reason for his murderous actions. This means we can partially blame Ayaan Hirsi Ali for his actions.
Because when someone commits an act of terror, and cites a certain text or ideology as his motivation for carrying it out, the things that person reads and cites as his motivations are at least partially to blame for his actions. I say this without even the slightest hint of self-awareness or irony.
The problem with Ayaan Hirsi Ali is that she writes things that can be used to justify hatred that others have towards people, and enables them to commit horrific acts.
Especially when you quote verses from her books out of context, her writings can literally be used to justify violence. What other books can you even think of that do that? Can you even imagine such a thing? It’s unheard of.
Everyone knows Ayaan Hirsi Ali is pathologically Islamophobic, and it’s a mystery why she is this way. Perhaps it’s because she was female-circumcised at age 5, a misfortune that she mistakenly attributes to Islam. But she doesn’t realize that female circumcision is a Central African tribal practice, it is not based in Islamic tradition.
Actually, I’m not totally sure if that’s true or not, but since nobody really agrees on the details of what Islam is, I can plausibly deny any link, and lay it at the feet of Central African tribal culture. They won’t mind.
Perhaps it’s because she fled her home country in order to escape a forced arranged marriage, another practice which has no basis in Islam whatsoever, and which we therefore have no responsibility to address. Plus, where would I get the time? Perhaps after I finish investigating whether Hirsi Ali exaggerated her personal story, I’ll look into it a bit.
Or perhaps it’s because it’s because her friend Theo Van Gogh was murdered in broad daylight by a 28 year old Moroccan man that, in her ignorance, Hirsi Ali thought was doing it because of Islam.
The bottom line is, we really don’t know what is making this woman so Islamophobic. But her phobia of Islam is so bad, she has bodyguards with her for all her public events. Unbelievable. It’s almost as if in her twisted worldview, these events in her life are all somehow linked to true Islam in some way. Crazy, the ideas some people get.
Of course, it’s very important that I empathize with her personal difficulties, because I don’t want to be seen as insensitive. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has gone through a lot, she is a courageous woman. But her conclusions about Islam offend me, and so I present these incidents in her life in such a manner that you, the reader, can wonder about her mental stability and motives.
(left to right) Hind bin Utbah before eating Hamza’s liver; Iblis; and Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Reformation? That’s Hilarious!
Perhaps the most audacious notion put forth by Ali is the suggestion that Islam needs a reformation. This is ridiculous. Perhaps if I say it again I can get through this part without engaging the issue.
Let’s try: It’s ridiculous.
See, how I’m ridiculing it?
That’s what journalists call “shaping the narrative.”
Look, nobody’s saying that the Muslim world doesn’t have problems. But when I say that, I mean it’s “got problems” in a general sense, like “hey, we’re just like everyone else!” I definitely don’t mean it’s “got problems” that I need to make any efforts to solve. My main objective is to make sure Islam is not blamed for any of those problems. That’s my job.
As for actually tackling those problems, there are many people doing reform in the Muslim world who actually know about the issue, who are trained scholars and real everyday Muslims who toe the line, not disgruntled ex-Muslims or liberal Muslims who complain too much. And sadly, the media never covers the work of those real Muslims and Muslim scholars (#westernliberalguilttrip).
Now if any of those authentic Muslims whom we allow to talk about Islam ever gets it in their head to do too much reform… they know that I’ll be right there to investigate their backgrounds and motives. That’s how it works. Journalists like me, who attack informants and act oblivious to Islam’s legacy of treatment towards apostasy and blasphemy, make sure Islam remains regressively conservative. Wait did I write that? Ignore that.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand: avoiding the issues raised by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Most ridiculous of all of her suggested “reforms” is Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s idea that Muslims need to abandon the “semi-divine status” of Muhammad. It’s completely nonsensical. I am totally not prepared to confront that issue even in my own head, let alone in public. So my response is to vehemently deny that it’s an issue at all. And you’ll believe me, because I live in the West and could, in theory, answer honestly. It’s not like I live in one of the 23 Muslim countries in the where it’s a prosecutable crime to refer to Muhammad in anything but positive terms, so you know I’m telling the truth. For the rest, I refuse to dignify this suggestion by engaging it any further, and I can only hope that you interpret my refusal to discuss this point as saying something about Hirsi Ali, and not about me and about Islam.
If you want to know what Islam really needs to do to reform, we should start by having the West fix its foreign policy, undo colonialism, renounce the state of Israel and maybe Zionism, and give Muslims fair media coverage. That is a much better way to approach reform, because it puts the onus on others.
As for what Muslims can do, it’s so simple. We just have to look to our own scriptural tradition, which has the answers to all problems. If we just practiced Islam correctly, there would be no problems. Muslims have the perfect word of God, and the perfect example of Muhammad, what reform could possibly be required?