They’re of course claiming victim status, claiming that when Hirsi Ali speaks out for freedom for women, she is endangering Muslim women. It is a sign of the insanity of the times that such a ridiculous charge could gain traction with anyone. “Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Somali Feminist Appearing at Town Hall, Draws Veiled Protesters,” by Nina Shapiro in the Seattle Weekly, September 30 (thanks to Weasel Zippers):
“‹It was a scene you don’t see everyday in Seattle: Some three dozen Islamic women in cloaks and veils descended on Town Hall last night to wave pickets and pass out fliers. They were there to protest the appearance of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the controversial Somali Ã©migrÃ© who’s been speaking out against Islamic fundamentalism and oppression of women.
Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch member of parliament who’s now a fellow at the conservative D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute, came here at the behest of the World Affairs Council to talk about her views on Muslims and her new book Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.
“We don’t want hate speech here,” said Entisar Ibrahim, one of the protesters, her black hijab revealing only her eyes. But when asked exactly how Hirsi Ali was a “virulently Islamaphobic bigot,” as the fliers labeled the visiting author, Ibrahim couldn’t say.
Whoops! That’s the problem with half-digesting propaganda that has no basis in the first place! Sometimes under such circumstances it can be hard to regurgitate!
She said nevertheless that she and her fellow protesters–whom she said came from all over the city rather than any specific neighborhood or mosque– were worried that Hirsi Ali’s message would incite anti-Islamic feeling in Seattle. She added that the city at the moment was mostly free of such sentiment but that she occasionally gets pointed comments about her appearance, such as: “Don’t you know you’re free here?”
Yeah, sometimes people say rude things to me, too. But the funny thing is, I never report them as “hate crimes.”
In any case, slavery freely chosen is still slavery. In ancient Greece and elsewhere, it was not uncommon for people to sell themselves into slavery. That did not make them any less slaves.
At least one woman coming into Town Hall for the talk seemed confused by the branding of Hirsi Ali. “I thought she was a Muslim woman,” the audience member said.
Not exactly. Answering questions from the audience and World Affairs Council CEO Ian Moncaster, a very Western-looking Hirsi Ali, in leather boots and a cowl-neck sweater, described herself as a “dissident of Islam.” She certainly didn’t promote violence against Muslims. But she did put forward the deeply contentious idea that Islam was simply incompatible with modernity and feminism. Moderates who yearned for spirituality were better off converting to Christianity. (Judaism could work too, she said, but the Jews stubbornly refuse to proselytize.)
As for the protesters outside, she said, “I welcome them in the room.” She said she’d like to directly ask them about a passage in Islamic doctrine that counsels husbands to beat their wives.
That might have been interesting, but they would just have said she was taking it out of context, and that Muhammad said to beat one’s wife only with a toothbrush, and all the usual steaming nonsense that Islamic spokesmen retail in such situations. They never mention, of course, how Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, recounted the time when Muhammad “struck me on the chest which caused me pain.” And with Muhammad being the supreme example of conduct for Muslims (cf. Qur’an 33:21), that doesn’t bode well for Muslim women.