In “The Role of Journalism Today,” a speech to the National Press Club, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells truths that the assembled journalists cannot bear to hear from anyone else.
…It is not the end of history. The 21st century began with a battle of ideas, and this battle is about the values of the West versus those of Islam.
Tony Blair, a leader I admire, wrote in the first issue of this year’s Foreign Affairs magazine that what we were facing after the 11th of September was a battle of ideas, a battle of values. In his article, Blair began by incisively outlining the most crucial conflict of our time, but then lost the line of his argument in inconsistency when he came to clarifying the parties involved in the war of values. He backpedaled against his argument and declared that the Koran is a great book, ahead of its time and good for women.
Why are Westerners so insecure about everything that is so wonderful about the West: political freedom, free press, freedom of expression, equal rights for women and men, gays and heterosexuals, critical thinking, and the great strength of scrutinizing ideas–and especially faith?
It is not the end of history. The 21st century began with a battle of ideas, and this battle is about the values of the West versus those of Islam. Tony Blair and the Pope should not be embarrassed in saying it, and you should stop self-censoring. Islam and liberal democracy are incompatible; cultures and religions are not equal. And perhaps most important of all, Muslims are not half-wits who can respond only in violence. The Koran is not a great book; it is reactionary and full of misogyny. The Byzantine emperor’s analysis of Muhammad was correct: he spread his faith by the sword.
Read it all.