A profile of the courageous Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Jerusalem Post (thanks to DFS):
When the Ayatollah Khomeini imposed a fatwa on Salman Rushdie in 1989, Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a pious 20-year-old Muslim who applauded the Iranian leader for putting a price on the apostate’s head.
“All I knew is that he had insulted the prophet, and anyone who insulted the prophet deserves to die,” recalls Hirsi Ali. In 2003 – after she renounced her faith and entered the Dutch parliament – Hirsi Ali became known as the “Dutch Salman Rushdie” for the torrent of death threats she incited for her crusade against Islam.
A few years ago, she met Rushdie in New York and apologized for once siding with the Islamists against him. He obviously accepted her olive branch, providing the cover endorsement for Hirsi Ali’s new book of essays, The Caged Virgin.
Hirsi Ali doesn’t sound like an embattled activist over the phone. Her quiet, flute-y voice matches the fine-featured face which peers with calm resolve out of photos. But her language is the opposite of delicate. Hirsi Ali has called the Prophet Muhammad a “tyrant,” a “pervert” and a “pedophile” for counting a nine-year-old among his nine wives.
Running through The Caged Virgin is Hirsi Ali’s conviction that Islam is inimical to individual rights because it calls for the individual’s unquestioning submission to God. Hirsi Ali argues that Islam enforces an unyielding hierarchy – leading down from Allah, to the Prophet, to religious leaders and then fathers – which brooks no space for individual freedom. Hirsi Ali bats off the suggestion that this account could equally apply to other monotheistic religions, which demand obeisance to a single God.
“Judaism and Christianity have gone through a long history of enlightenment and reflection,” she says. “But the Islam that we see today tends towards the seventh century. Islamic reformists throughout the centuries have been harassed and exiled and killed.”
Yes. Read it all.