Prager U Video: Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women


Ayaan Hirsi Ali on why this matters more than ever.

Truth Revolt, June 27, 2016:

Are women oppressed in Muslim countries? What about in Islamic enclaves in the West? Are these places violating or fulfilling the Quran and Islamic law?

In Prager University’s newest video, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an author and activist who was raised a devout Muslim, describes the human rights crisis of our time, asks why feminists in the West don’t seem to care, and explains why immigration to the West from the Middle East means this issue matters more than ever.

Check out the short video above. Transcript below:

Culture matters. It ‘s the primary source of social progress or regression. Nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the status of women. The Judeo-Christian culture — and perhaps a more apt word is civilization — has produced over time the law codes, language and material prosperity that have greatly elevated women’s status.

But this progress is not shared everywhere.

There are still hundreds of millions of people that live in a culture  — the Islamic, for instance — that takes female inferiority for granted. Until recently, these cultures — the Western and the Islamic — were, for the most part, separated. But that is changing. Dramatically so.

Large numbers of immigrant men from the Middle East, South Asia and various parts of Africa have brought a different set of values to the West, specifically Europe.  More than a million arrived in 2015 alone. More are on the way.

As a result, crimes against girls and women — groping, harassments, assaults and rape – have risen sharply. These crimes illustrate the stark difference between the Western culture of the victims and that of the perpetrators.

Let me be clear: not all immigrant men, or even most, indulge in sex attacks or approve of such attacks, but it’s a grave mistake to deny that the value system of the attackers is radically different from the value system of the West. In the West women are emancipated and sexually autonomous. Religiosity and sexual behavior or sexual restraint is determined by women’s individual wishes. The other value system is one in which women are viewed as either commodities (that is, their worth depends on their virginity), or on the level of a prostitute if they are guilty of public “immodesty” (wearing a short skirt for example).

I do not believe these value systems can coexist. The question is which value system will prevail. Unfortunately, this remains an open question.

The current situation in Europe is deeply troubling: not only are Muslim women within Europe subject to considerable oppression in many ways, such norms now risk spreading to non-Muslim women who face harassment from Muslim men.

One would think that Western feminists in the United States and Europe would be very disturbed by this obvious misogyny.  But sadly, with few exceptions, this does not appear to be the case.

Common among many Western feminists is a type of moral confusion, in which women are said to be oppressed everywhere and that this oppression, in feminist Eve Ensler’s words, is “exactly the same” around the world, in the West just as in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

To me, this suggests too much moral relativism and an inadequate understanding of Shariah law.  It is true that the situation for women in the West is not perfect, but can anyone truly deny that women enjoy greater freedom and opportunities in the United States, France and Finland than they do in Iran, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia?

Other feminists have also argued that non-Western women do not need “saving” and that any suggestion that they “need” help from Western feminists is insulting and condescending to non-Western women.

My perspective is a practical one: any efforts that help Muslim women — whether they live in the West or under Islamic governments should be encouraged. Every effort to pressure these governments to change unjust laws should be supported.

Western feminists — and female Western leaders — have a simple choice to make: either excuse the inexcusable, or demand reform in cultures and religious doctrines that continue to oppress women.

Nothing illustrates this better than what happened in Cologne, Germany on New Years Eve, 2015. That night, during the city’s traditional celebrations, numerous German women (467 at the last count) reported being sexually harassed or assaulted by men of North African and Arab origin. Within two months, 73 suspects had been identified — most of them from North Africa; 12 of them have been linked to sexual crimes. Yet, in response to the attacks, Cologne’s feminist Mayor Henriette Reker issued an “arm’s length” guideline to women. ” Just keep an arm’s length distance between you and a mob of Arab men, she advised Cologne’s female population, and you will be fine.

Mayor Reker’s comments underline the seriousness of the problem: a culture clash is upon us. The first step in resolving it is to unapologetically defend the values that have allowed women to flourish. Feminists with their organizations, networks and lobbying power need to be on the front lines on this battle. Their relevance depends on it. And so does the well being of countless women, Western and non-Western.

I’m Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Harvard University for Prager University.

SIGN THE PETITION! Demand that feminist activists fight for Muslim women!


Steve Coughlin drills down on the facts of Islamic law that Islam apologists either aren’t aware of or, in the case of stealth jihadists, purposely try to hide.

Responding to Muslim deceptions 1 Honour killings and innocence MRCTV:

Published on Jun 29, 2016 Vlad Tepes

Islam’s Jihad Against Homosexuals

BN-OL651_hirsia_J_20160613134428The rise of modern Islamic extremism has worsened an institutionalized Muslim homophobia.

WSJ, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, June 13, 2016:

The Orlando massacre is a hideous reminder to Americans that homophobia is an integral part of Islamic extremism. That isn’t to say that some people of other faiths and ideologies aren’t hostile to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community. Nor is to say that Islamic extremists don’t target other minorities, in addition to engaging in wholly indiscriminate violence. But it is important to establish why a man like Omar Mateen could be motivated to murder 49 people in a gay nightclub, interrupting the slaughter, as law-enforcement officials reported, to dial 911, proclaim his support for Islamic State and then pray to Allah.

I offer an explanation in the form of four propositions.

1. Muslim homophobia is institutionalized. Islamic law as derived from scripture, and as evolved over several centuries, not only condemns but prescribes cruel and unusual punishments for homosexuality.

2. Many Muslim-majority countries have laws that criminalize and punish homosexuals in line with Islamic law.

3. It is thus not surprising that the attitudes of Muslims in Muslim-majority countries are homophobic and that many people from those countries take those attitudes with them when they migrate to the West.

4. The rise of modern Islamic extremism has worsened the intolerance toward homosexuality. Extremists don’t just commit violence against LGBT people. They also spread the prejudice globally by preaching that homosexuality is a disease and a crime.

Not all Muslims are homophobic. Many are gay or lesbian themselves. Some even have the courage to venture into the gender fluidity that the 21st century West has come to recognize. But these LGBT Muslims are running directly counter to their religion.

In his 2006 book “Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law,” the Dutch scholar Rudolph Peters notes that most schools of Islamic law proscribe homosexuality. They differ only on the mode of punishment. “The Malikites, the Shiites and some Shafi’ites and Hanbalites are of the opinion that the penalty is death, either by stoning (Malikites), the sword (some Shafi’ites and Hanbalites) or, at the discretion of the court, by killing the culprit in the usual manner with a sword, stoning him, throwing him from a (high) wall or burning him (Shiites).”

Under Shariah—Islamic law—those engaging in same-sex sexual acts can be sentenced to death in nearly a dozen countries or in large areas of them: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, the northern states of Nigeria, southern parts of Somalia, two provinces in Indonesia, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates. Death is also the penalty in the territories in northern Iraq and Syria controlled by ISIS.

Iran is notorious for hanging men accused of homosexual behavior. The Associated Press reports that since 2014 ISIS has executed at least 30 people in Syria and Iraq for being homosexual, including three men who were dropped from the top of a 100-foot building in Mosul in June 2015.

No fewer than 40 out of 57 Muslim-majority countries or territories have laws that criminalize homosexuality, prescribing punishments ranging from fines and short jail sentences to whippings and more than 10 years in prison or death.

These countries’ laws against homosexuality align with the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of their populations. In 2013 the Pew Research Center surveyed the beliefs of Muslims in 36 countries with a significant Muslim population or majority, including asking about their views of homosexuality. In 33 out of the 36 countries, more than 75% of those surveyed answered that homosexuality was “morally wrong,” and in only three did more than 10% of those surveyed believe that homosexuality was “morally acceptable.”

In many Muslim-majority countries—including Afghanistan, where Omar Mateen’s parents came from—LGBT people face as much danger from their families or vigilantes as they do from the authorities.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Islamic extremists condemn homosexuality in the strongest possible terms. The Middle East Media Research Institute reported in 2006 that whenSheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the world’s leading Sunni clerics and chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, was asked how gay people should be punished, he replied: “Some say we should throw them from a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them, and so on. There is disagreement. . . . The important thing is to treat this act as a crime.”

Such ideas travel. In 2009 Anjem Choudary, an infamous London imam and self-proclaimed “judge of the Shariah Court of the U.K.,” stated in a press conference that all homosexuals should be stoned to death. Here in the U.S., Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America, has written: “Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption . . . No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education.”

Farrokh Sekaleshfar, a Shiite cleric educated in London, declared of homosexuality in 2013: “Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence.” He was speaking at the Husseini Islamic Center outside Orlando. Yes, Orlando. He spoke there again in April.

These men express their hostility toward the LGBT community only verbally, but the Orlando attack was hardly the first manifestation in the U.S. of Islamist antigay violence. During a New Year’s Eve celebration in the first hours of 2014, Musab Masmari tried to set fire to a gay nightclub in Seattle; he is serving 10 years in prison on federal arson charges. Law-enforcement officials say that Ali Muhammad Brown, an ISIS supporter who is now in prison for armed robbery, also faces charges for terrorism and four murders, including the 2014 execution of two men in Seattle outside of a gay nightclub.

Following the horrific attack in Orlando, people as usual have been rushing to judgment. President Obama blames lax gun laws. Donald Trump blames immigration. Neither is right. There has been comparable carnage in countries with strict gun laws. The perpetrator in this case was born in the United States. This is not primarily about guns or immigration. It is about a deeply dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of religion. Homophobia comes in many forms. But none is more dangerous in our time than the Islamic version.

Ms. Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, is the author of “Infidel” (Free Press, 2007) and “Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation” (HarperCollins, 2015).

An In-Depth Interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam and the Defense of Western Civilization

ayaanPublished on Jun 1, 2016 by The New Criterion

For The New Criterion, Ben Weingarten, commentator and Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media sits down with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, ardent defender of Western civilization and individual liberty against Islamic supremacism, New York Times bestselling author of ‘The Caged Virgin,’ ‘Infidel’ and ‘Nomad’ and ‘Heretic,’ former Dutch MP, fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, founder of the AHA Foundation Ayaan Hirsi Ali and recipient of The New Criterion’s fourth annual Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture & Society for an in-depth interview. During their discussion, Weingarten and Ali discuss America’s inability under both Presidents Obama and Bush to recognize and defend against Islamic supremacism as the totalitarian existential threat of our time, the clash of civilizations between Islam and the West and the ideology of the global jihadist movement, the Islamization of Europe, how the West can defend its freedoms from a subversive global jihadist movement seeking to use those freedoms against us, the war on free speech in the West being waged by Islamic supremacists with the help wittingly or unwittingly of many on the Left and more. For more from The New Criterion’s April 2016 ‘Edmund Burke Award’ gala and other compelling content, check out The New Criterion’s YouTube channel at

Also see:

In defense of dissidence – Text of a lecture delivered by Ayaan Hirsi Ali after she received the fourth Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture and Society.

Imam Who Threatened Ayaan Hirsi Ali With Death For Apostasy Led Interfaith Service After Paris Attacks

Hirsi-Ali-ElBayly.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, APRIL 23, 2016

A Pennsylvania imam who was fired last year by the Bureau of Prisons for his claims that author and Harvard lecturer Ayaan Hirsi Ali deserved to be killed under Islamic law for apostatizing from Islam recently led an interfaith prayer service after the ISIS attacks in Paris last November.

Fouad ElBayly, the imam at the Islamic Center of Johnstown, led the Nov. 21 prayer event, where he invited the community saying:

The Islamic Center of Johnstown and all the Muslim communities in our region condemn the evil doing of the people who carried out that terrible attack against innocent people.

This is similar to the statements he made at a March 2002 prayer service for the 9/11 victims on United Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, PA, not far from ElBayly’s mosque:

Imam Fouad El Bayly of the Islamic Center of Johnstown and Somersetasked people to be tolerant. He said the Muslim extremists who hijacked the plane also hijacked the Islamic faith.“In the name of God, in the name of peace, in the name of brotherhood, in the name of mankind, let there be peace,” he said. “We cannot condemn a nation, a religion, for the acts of a few.”

But peace and tolerance are are apparently hard concepts for ElBayly to follow himself.

Last year he was fired as a Bureau of Prisons chaplain at the Federal Correction Institute of Cumberland, MD after it was reported he was hired under a $10,500 February 2014 federal contract despite his 2007 comments calling for the killing of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He later received another $2,400 contract to teach Islam in the same federal prison in December 2014.

In January, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to the Bureau of Prisons inquiring about the flaws in their hiring process that led to ElBayly’s employment.

After it was revealed he had been hired, Hirsi Ali penned an editorial in the Wall Street Journal expressing surprise that the imam who had threatened her with death was now employed by the Justice Department.

She also appeared on the Bill O’Reilly program discussing the controversy:

After his firing by the Bureau of Prison, ElBayly claimed his prior comments were “taken out of context.” And yet his own wife was quoted by the local media expressing the same sentiments:

“She is slandering God almighty himself, and making fools of anybody who believes in God,” said his wife, Patricia, a Somerset County native.

The issue between ElBayly and Hirsi Ali goes back to an invitation she received from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown in April 2007 to speak at their school, an event that ElBayly and the founder of the Johnstown mosque wanted shut down.

When Hirsi Ali appeared at the event, she was flanked by security guards. At the time, ElBayly was quoted by the local media saying he was having to restrain the mosque attendees from lashing out:

Islamic leaders tried unsuccessfully to convince university officials to cancel her appearance, arguing that her attacks against Muslims are “poisonous.”Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Islamic Center of Johnstown, feared her mere presence would incite violence. He said that in the eyes of the Islamic community, Hirsi Ali’s rejection of her Muslim faith and “all of her lies” warrant a death sentence.

He worried that someone would try to carry it out.

“I’m trying to control my people here. I don’t want people to get hot and cause trouble,” said ElBayly, whose community includes an active core of about 30 families and a number of others who attend occasional services and programs.

“We have no capacity to execute a sentence, but her sentence would be death for turning on her religion to make a profit and for speaking out against it.”

Several days later, the local media followed up again on her appearance at the school, where ElBayly stated plainly that under Islamic law she deserved to be killed:

Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali’s appearance.“She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death,” said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976 […]

Although ElBayly believes a death sentence is warranted for Hirsi Ali, he stressed that America is not the jurisdiction where such a crime should be punished. Instead, Hirsi Ali should be judged in a Muslim country after being given a trial, he added.

“If it is found that a person is mentally unstable, or a child or disabled, there should be no punishment,” he said. “It’s a very merciful religion if you try to understand it.”

A few weeks later, representatives of the mosque claimed that ElBayly had been removed from his position at the mosque and that they were shocked and rejected his statements:

“The board and members of the Islamic Center of Johnstown were shocked and regret the comments made by Imam ElBayly regarding the visit of author Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The statements regarding the Islamic Center’s reaction to her visit were incorrect, unfounded and not the views of its members,” Dennis J. Stofko, the center’s attorney, said in a letter to the Tribune-Review.Stofko indicated that ElBayly’s views “are not shared or tolerated by the Muslims” associated with the Johnstown center.

“The Islamic Center of Johnstown was established to foster religious tolerance, education and the exercise of its religious beliefs,” Stofko wrote, adding that members “strongly believe in exercising religious freedom, which is the right of all citizens. The Islamic Center of Johnstown sincerely respects the rights of individuals to speak their opinions openly and freely without the fear of reprisal.”

And yet despite the widespread claims he had been asked to resign and protests that his views did not represent the mosque or its attendees, ElBayly remains the imam at the Islamic Center of Johnstown today with no apparent break in his employment there.

Hirsi Ali shines in Debate on Islam

panel with HirsiMEF, by Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun
April 19, 2016

New York was recently the scene of a heated debate on the status of Muslim women under Islamic law. In it, one of the bravest women in the world, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, faced off against three other Muslim women and a hostile moderator, Barkha Dutt.

Dutt, known for her soft spot for Muslims in her own country of India, identified so much with the three Muslims attacking Hirsi Ali the New York Times mistakenly described her as a Muslim, reporting four powerful Muslim women had faced off against Hirsi Ali. (The paper later issued a correction).

The debate, hosted by the group “Women in the World,’ started with Dutt telling the packed audience that in her opinion all religions were misogynist and thus it was unfair to focus only on Islam.

The debate opened with the moderator telling the audience all religions are misogynist.

To reinforce her argument, Dutt equated the actions of Islamic fundamentalists to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, saying: “What he (Donald Trump) said about women, according to me, is so much worse, so much worse than the Muslim fundamentalists he seeks to keep out of the United States of America.”

Then, turning her guns on Hirsi Ali, Dutt asked: “There are so many misogynists and they belong to so many different religions, why are you picking only on Islam?”

Hirsi Ali immediately recognized she was being set up to run a gauntlet of criticism and so chose to go for the jugular.

I reject Islamic law because it’s totalitarian … because it’s bigoted and especially bigoted against women… Where Islamic law becomes the law of the land … women will need a male guardian, child marriage is reintroduced, you will be disinherited. If you are raped it’s your fault, and you will get stoned to death … I reject Islamic law because it’s inherently hostile to women. It is so bigoted.

To applause from the audience, Hirsi Ali concluded: “We will not defeat and we will not eradicate these practices, unless we talk about the principle, and the principle is enshrined in the Islamic law, unreformed.”

Dutt would not relent. She pushed Hirsi Ali further by suggesting that in her own country of India, Hindu women were as excluded as Muslim women from places of worship.

The response of a stern and visibly frustrated Hirsi Ali again drew applause from the audience. “We have 30 minutes to talk about women in Islam … can we please, for just these 30 minutes, focus on the topic,” she said.

In a bid to refute Hirsi Ali, Zahra Langhi, co-founder and director of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace, argued: “There’s no such thing as Islamic law – there’s something called sharia. It’s the dynamic process – it has to be contextualized.” (Dynamic? That’s a word not even Islamists would associate with sharia.)

One of the most heated moments occurred when Hirsi Ali brought up the issue of child marriage, giving the example of Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, who Islamic scholars insist was only six at marriage, while the marriage was consummated when she was only nine. “That is Islamic law,” Hirsi Ali asserted. That angered another panelist, leading to a later shouting match between the two that continued off stage after the event ended.

It seems conflicts within Islam that began 1,400 years ago on the deathbed of Prophet Muhammad are going to be with us for as long as we Muslims remain oblivious to our surroundings.

Apologies to the rest of you.

Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at theToronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Also see:

CPAC 2016: Fighting for Victory Against Radical Islam

CPAC 2016 Jim Hanson

Via C-SPAN, MARCH 3, 2016

Van Hipp moderated a panel discussion on combating radical Islam and cyberwarfare. Panelists included Representative Steve King (R-IA), Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Jim Hanson.


The most justly famous among the members of this panel was Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch-American leader for the reform of Islam whose life has been in constant peril for her courageous activism.  Less famous, perhaps chiefly because his background is as a ‘quiet professional’ with the US Special Forces, is Jim Hanson, Executive Vice President of the Center for Security Policy.  Also featured was Representative Steve King, a thirteen year Congressman whose interest in these questions is well-known. The panel was chaired by Van Darrel Hipp Jr of American Defense International.

Jim Hanson called for clarity in defining the enemy, which he said was not easy because anyone who tries to engage the conversation is labeled a hater of Muslims.  All Muslims are not the enemy, he said:  there are plenty of good Muslims in the world.  “The problem is Muslims who believe that sharia — the Islamic totalitarian ideology, which is more than a religion — is their calling, and they must spread it around the world,” he said.  “ISIS is now an intercontinental Caliphate.”  While this is a larger percentage of Muslims than many want to admit, Hanson said, it is the enemy and must be defeated.  This enemy comes in two forms, he went on to say:  the easy-to-understand violent jihad, which everyone sees, and the front groups that work to pave the way for conversion to sharia compliance.  They are, indeed, behind the campaign to label anyone discussing the problem as hateful.  That is a core part of their strategy, Hanson said.  “You cannot possibly defeat an enemy you will not name:  the enemy is radical Islam, sharia-adherent Islam.”

Ali began by saying that Islam, as a set of ideas, can be discussed without slander to any race or ethnic group because Islam has adherents of all races and ethnic groups.  She called upon the peoples of representative democracies to correct their elected leaders when they “insult our intelligence” by trying to talk us out of what is plainly obvious about the threats we face.  She also pointed out that the taboo against criticism of Muhammad, or even depicting him, makes it impossible to understand Islam because he is the model every Muslim child is taught to emulate.  You have to be able to discuss and depict him to understand what the faith is trying to teach people to become.

Rep. King pointed out that the southern border of the United States could be easily defended from jihadist infiltration by building a wall, for less money than we are spending now just to “watch people come across.”

The panel discussion treated questions of security and immigration, including problems of getting Muslims to assimilate.  In the Netherlands, Ali said, there was a traditional thought that engaging Muslim immigrants in the political process would make them assimilate.  “That’s not going to happen,” she said, “if we self-censor.”  Just because of the refusal to talk about the ways in which Islam’s political traditions are problematic, bringing Muslims into the elected power structure did nothing to assimilate them in the Netherlands.  It just gave them power they used to push for sharia compliance.  The problems were compounded rather than relieved because of this self-censorship by citizens of the West.

View the rest of the discussion in the video above.  It is very much worth your time.

A Conversation With Ayaan Hirsi Ali

ayaanhirsiali (1)Weekly Standard, by Daniel Harper, Jan. 4, 2016:

The latest episide of Conversations With Bill Kristol features Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

“A best-selling author and fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the American Enterprise Institute, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a brave, impassioned, and provocative analyst of the problems in Islam today, including the dangers of what she calls ‘Islamic totalitarianism.’ In this conversation, Hirsi Ali narrates her own experiences as a young woman in Kenya attracted by radical Islam and explains the dangerous allure of Islamism to youth all over the world. She calls on Westerners to assert the superiority of liberal societies to political Islam—and argues that our current obsession with multiculturalism and political correctness has rendered us ill-equipped to do so,” writes the Foundation for Constitutional Government, the sponsor of the series.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: No More Unvetted Muslim Immigrants

ayaanhirsialiThe Daily Wire, by Robert Kraychik, Nov. 17, 2015:

Following last week’s Islamic terrorist attacking in Paris and the ongoing flood of Muslim refugees and migrants into Europe, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is calling on Europe to change its immigration policies and reinforce its border security.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Ali warned that if political leaders in Europe follow Merkel’s example of “making a virtue of the openness of their borders,” then right-wing populist movements will continue to grow. Given the threat of Islamic extremism, Ali says that Europe must revisit its treaties, laws, and policies in order to tighten its controls of the flow of people into and throughout the continent. She called for cultural and ideological screening of those wishing to make Europe their home.

Ali also called for a determined “war of ideas” against Islamists. European leaders, Ali said, must pursue the “infrastructure of indoctrination”: mosques, Muslim schools, and Islamic websites. Pretending that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam and Muslims, however, will prevent this from being possible. Given the multicultural ethos of Europe, this recommendation of Ali’s is all the more difficult to actualize. Multiculturalism discourages cultural integration of immigrants, contributing to ghettoization and Balkanization. It is also fused with cultural relativism, further obstructing the acculturation of immigrants by discouraging the promotion of Western values. If no culture is superior to any other, why should Europe preserve its own in light of cultural change brought in by the mass immigration of Muslims? Ali’s proposal to proselytize the values of Western Civilization is only possible in an environment which believes in the superiority of Western values over alternatives.

Ali heralded Israel’s counterterrorism systems as a model to be emulated by European security services. From Israel’s founding, it has dealt with the threat of Islamic terrorism. Nowadays, Ali says, such a mass casualty attack in Israel as was seen in Paris is unthinkable. Islamic terrorists in Israel, she continued, are now relegated to using knives and vehicles. “We should stop demonizing Israel. We should start learning from Israel,” said Ali.

Joining Megyn Kelly last night, Ali exposited on her article. She said that President Barack Obama’s rhetorical strategy of denying the overlap between Islamic terrorism, Islam, and Muslims is a “failure.” After acknowledging that a nuanced grasp of Islam and Muslims is necessary in order not to indict the entire religious group for acts of Islamic terrorists, Ali stated that radical Islam must still be seen as a subset of Islam. The attempt to excise Jihadism and completely separate it from Islam and Muslims makes it impossible to effectively combat it. “We should start by naming it,” said Ali. Ali rebuked the view that carefully crafted rhetoric denying the religious underpinnings of Islamic terrorism will pacify its perpetrators.

Ali warned that this is a long-term struggle, saying, “Islamic extremism is older than this election cycle, and the last one, and 9/11. It’s going to outlast this election cycle.”


Video: John Stossel “Censored in America”

censored StosselFox Business, by John Stossel, October 08, 2015{

America is the first country to say to its people: all of you have a right to speak. But today speech is under siege.

ISLAM: Americans fear speaking about Islam – and with good reason. Ten cartoonists were recently murdered for drawing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. Other critics have been shot, firebombed, and hacked to death. I interview people brave enough to speak out, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is on an Al Qaeda “Wanted Dead or Alive” hit list, and Bosch Fawstin, who won the “Draw Mohammad” cartoon event in Garland, Texas that was attacked by Islamic gunmen. They argue that if Americans want freedom, everyone must refuse to be censored by violent extremists.

CAMPUS CENSORSHIP: Students today are kept away from words and ideas they may find disturbing. “The Silencing” author, Kirsten Powers, says colleges are “ground zero” in the fight for free speech, but George Mason Professor Jeremy Mayer says complaints about censorship are right wing paranoia. Powers also argues that leftists have gone from opposing censorship to supporting it. They even attack their own for stepping outside left-wing orthodoxy; people who say the wrong thing lose jobs.

HOME RAIDS: In Wisconsin, police raided the homes of political activists, accusing them of illegal “collusion” with campaign staffs. Authorities confiscated their computers and cell phones, and ordered them (and their children!) not to speak to anyone about the raids. Recently Wisconsin’s Supreme Court revoked the speech ban, saying prosecutors “employed theories of law that did not exist.” But by then, Republican activists had been silenced for 5 years.

VICTIMS: The former CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich, Pax Dickinson of Business Insider, Paula Deen of the Food Network, and real estate entrepreneurs David and Jason Benham all lost jobs because of something they said.

MY AND MARK STEYN’S TAKE: Mark Steyn was prosecuted by the Canadian government for criticizing Islam. He spent his own money defending his right to speak and won. He explains why more speech, not less, is the answer to diverse ideas. Half a century ago, gay rights was an extremely minority idea. “It’s only because…you could argue your case…that a tiny little minority idea expanded.” That doesn’t happen in “control freak societies,” like the Muslim world, where “there’s nothing left to do but kill, and bomb, and shoot.”

Published by John Cerkez:

A Former Muslim’s Grave Warning to America

hirsi_ali-492x486American Thinker, By Matthew Vadum, June 11, 2015:

Islam “has begotten a bloodthirsty ideology that is determined to destroy the principles of liberty and humanity and basic decency,” ex-Muslim and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali said June 3 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Hirsi Ali knows what she’s talking about.  Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, she was raised Muslim.  She spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia.  She fled as a refugee to the Netherlands in 1992, where she earned a political science degree and was elected to the Dutch House of Representatives.  After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Hirsi Ali renounced Islam.

Last week she accepted an award from the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which prides itself on “strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles and values that sustain and nurture it.”

Some in the conservative movement refer to the annual Bradley Prizes event, which was emceed this year by commentator George Will, as the “conservative Oscars.”  The other recipients this year were James W. Ceaser, a political science professor at the University of Virginia; Larry P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale College; and retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, chairman of the Institute for the Study of War.

The late Christopher Hitchens called Hirsi Ali, whose former religion forced female circumcision on her, someone “of arresting and hypnotizing beauty,” and “a charismatic figure” who writes “with quite astonishing humor and restraint.”  In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

She famously said, “Islam is not a religion of peace.  It’s a political theory of conquest that seeks domination by any means it can.”

Her latest book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, was published in March by Harper.  (It was reviewed by Katherine Ernst in City Journal.)

“My argument is that it is foolish to insist, as our leaders habitually do, that the violent acts of radical Islamists can be divorced from the religious ideals that inspire them,” she writes in Heretic.  She continues:

Instead we must acknowledge that they are driven by a political ideology, an ideology embedded in Islam itself, in the holy book of the Qur’an as well as the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad contained in the hadith.

Let me make my point in the simplest possible terms: Islam is not a religion of peace.

For expressing the idea that Islamic violence is rooted not in social, economic, or political conditions – or even in theological error – but rather in the foundational texts of Islam itself, I have been denounced as a bigot and an “Islamophobe.”  I have been silenced, shunned, and shamed.  In effect, I have been deemed to be a heretic, not just by Muslims – for whom I am already an apostate – but by some Western liberals as well, whose multicultural sensibilities are offended by such “insensitive” pronouncements … today, it seems, speaking the truth about Islam is a crime.  “Hate speech” is the modern term for heresy.  And in the present atmosphere, anything that makes Muslims feel uncomfortable is branded as “hate.”

In the book, Hirsi Ali writes that it is her goal “to make many people – not only Muslims but also Western apologists for Islam – uncomfortable” by “challenging centuries of religious orthodoxy with ideas and arguments that I am certain will be denounced as heretical.”

“My argument is for nothing less than a Muslim Reformation,” she writes.  “Without fundamental alterations to some of Islam’s core concepts, I believe, we shall not solve the burning and increasingly global problem of political violence carried out in the name of religion.”

In her remarks at the Kennedy Center, Hirsi Ali summarized what brought her to this point and what needs to be done.  With the exception of the opening pleasantries, here follows a transcript of this brave woman’s speech:

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bradley Foundation is committed to strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles, and values that sustain and nurture it.  It supports limited, competent government, a dynamic marketplace for economic, intellectual, and cultural activity and a vigorous defense at home and abroad of American ideas and institutions.

It may same strange to you that I, an immigrant black woman from a Muslim family, should identify so strongly with those goals.  Let me explain to you why I do.  There are three reasons.

First, it’s because my life’s journey which has taken me from Somalia to Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia to Kenya to the Netherlands and finally here, could not have been better designed to make me appreciate American principles and American institutions.

Second, I think I can justly say that I was among the first in my age group of millions of Muslims to admit that our faith, no longer mine, has begotten a bloodthirsty ideology that is determined to destroy the principles of liberty and humanity and basic decency.

Even after 9/11 there are still those who naively believe that it’s a threat only in countries like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  The reality as our general [i.e. Jack Keane] just laid out, is that it is now a global threat.  A recent report by the United Nations Security Council confirmed that more than 100 countries are now supplying recruits to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and the United States is one of them.

This year alone the number of U.S.-based individuals in Islamic terror-related cases has risen to 40.  What concerns me is not jihad, or it’s not only jihad.  It’s also the nonviolent activities from preaching to fundraising that are its essential seedbed.  Often those who engage in these activities are very skillful at representing themselves as moderates.

Let me quote you the words of Abdurahman Alamoudi, a founder of the American Muslim Council, who at one time was an Islamic advisor to President Clinton and a goodwill ambassador to the State Department, as well as being consulted by some eminent Republicans.

“We have a chance,” he declared to a Muslim audience, “to be the moral leadership of America.  It will happen, it will happen praise Allah the Exalted.  I have no doubt in my mind.  It depends on me and you, either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country.”

That is the authentic voice of a plot against America today.  I am glad to report that Alamoudi is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for financial and conspiracy offenses involving the Libyan government and the al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the then-crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

Third, and finally, I have come to see that there is a creative threat close to American institutions, the ones opposed by those within the West who appease the Islamic extremists.

Last September our president insisted the Islamic State is not Islamic.  Later that month he told the U.N. General Assembly that Islam teaches peace.  Phrases like “radical Islam” and “Islamic extremism” are no longer heard in the White House press conferences.

The approved term is “violent extremism.”  Ladies and gentlemen, if we don’t define the problem, if we can’t bring ourselves to define the problem, then how on earth can we ever hope to solve it?  [audience applauds]

The decision not to call violence committed in the name of Islam by its true name is a very strange one.  Imagine if Western leaders during the Cold War had gone around calling Communism an ideology of peace or condemning the Baader-Meinhof Gang for not being true Marxists.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it is time to drop the euphemisms and verbal contortions.  As I argue in my most recent book, Heretic, a battle for the future of Islam is taking place between reformers and reactionaries, between dissidents and jihadists, with the majority of Muslims caught in the middle unsure which side to take.  The outcome matters, matters to Muslims but it matters to us and to global peace, and the United States needs to start helping the right side to win.

Sometimes people who want to smear me use the sham term, “Islamophobe,” which is designed to imply that those who scrutinize Islamic extremism are bigots.  Well, I may have a phobia, but it’s not directed against Muslims.  After all I used to be one.  My phobia is towards any ideology, whether it is Communism, Fascism, or Islamism, that threatens individual freedom and the institutions that protect those freedoms.

That is why I am so grateful and so proud to accept this honor from you tonight.

Thank you, very, very much.

Hirsi Ali’s personal story bears some resemblance to that of Dutch politician Geert Wilders.  Wilders is a member of the Dutch House of Representatives and leader of his country’s Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV), or in English, the Party for Freedom.

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Challenging Islam’s Warrant to Kill

image67Frontpage, March 25, 2015 by Mark Durie:

Last week the Islamic State’s ‘Hacking Division’ released the names and addresses of one hundred US military personnel.  It urged the ‘brothers residing in America’ – i.e. American Muslims – to ‘deal with’ them, which is to say, it wants them killed.

There is much talk these days of radicalization and deradicalization. At the heart of both processes are religious ideas: theological dogmas.  What are some of the key theological principles which might cause a Muslim to take this call seriously? What is the Islamic reasoning given by the IS Hacking Division in support of its call to kill non-Muslims?

The Hacking Division quote two verses of the Qur’an:

  • Sura 9:123 ‘fight disbelievers who are near to you’ and
  • Sura 9:14 ‘Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them, and satisfy [actually yashfi ‘heal’] the breasts of a believing people’.

The meaning of these two verses hangs upon the word qātilū, translated here as ‘fight’. The verbal root q-t-l from which qātilū is formed means ‘kill’, so the the Arabic actually means ‘fight to kill’ (see discussion here). These Qur’anic verses truly are commands to kill non-Muslims.

The second quoted verse, from Sura 9:14, puts forward a view concerning what Muslims should do about emotional pain and anguish they may experience because of unbelievers.  ‘Allah’, the verse says, ‘will heal the breasts’ of Muslims, – and then the sentence continues into the next verse – ‘and remove the rage of their hearts’.

The key concept here is that if Muslims have strong feelings, including anger, against non-Muslims, their emotional distress will subside and be ‘healed’ as they kill, humiliate and triumph over non-believers. Strange therapy indeed for the human soul!  According to the Qur’an, in order to secure inner  ‘peace’, calm within the Muslim soul can be secured by shedding non-Muslim blood.

These are stock-standard verses used to urge Muslims to go for jihad against disbelievers. However what most caught my eye in the Hacking Division’s call to arms against infidels in America was but a reference to Muhammad’s teachings. The Hacking Division refers to hadith 4661 in a published English version of the Sahih Muslim (translated by Abdul Hamid Sidiqqi).

The Sahih Muslim is one of the most revered and authoritative sources for the teaching and example of Muhammad, whose life is considered exemplary and compulsory for Muslims to emulate.  This particular hadith can be found on page 1263 of Volume 3 of the English edition:

Chapter 789 (DCCLXXXIX)

About a man who killed a disbeliever and embraced Islam.
(4661) It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: A disbeliever and a believer who killed him will never be gathered together in Hell. [See here.]

This is a most significant statement. It is saying that if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, they cannot both end up in hell.  The alternative to hell is paradise, so in other words, killing a non-Muslim – who is destined for hell due to their unbelief – can provide a sure ticket to paradise for a Muslim.

This tradition is the authority for a view widely put about by jihadis, that if a Muslim personally gets to kill a disbeliever, the Muslim will gain paradise.  Put together with with the famous belief that for a Muslim to be ‘martyred’ in jihad opens the gates of paradise (see Sura 3:169-170; 9:111; and 22:58), fighting to kill non-Muslims can be a ticket to glory, win or lose. Either one kills and gains a get-out-of-hell free card, or one is killed and gains a get-into-paradise-free card. This is a win-win proposition for the jihadi.

Persuading Muslims to take the words of Muhammad seriously is the core strategy of radicalization.  This tactic works as well as it does because it appeals to a plain reading of Islam’s holy texts.

To be deradicalized, a Muslim needs to repudiate the theological authority of the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur’an. This is a hard call for pious Muslims. Ayan Hirsi Ali was surely correct in her recent essay calling for reform of Islam when she wrote that

‘the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.’

Hirsi Ali also declared:

‘we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.’

Hirsi Ali was right: the West needs to engage with and repudiate the Islamic dogmas that killing or being killed in murderous attacks against non-Mulims is some kind of golden key which unlocks the gates of paradise. Until these beliefs and the canonical teachings they rely on are acknowledged and repudiated, the lives of non-Muslims will continue to be discarded as the ‘ticket to paradise’ of Muslim belligerents.

Hadiths such as 4661 from Sahih Muslim, and the Qur’anic verses cited here are a genuine part of the Islamic canon. Such verses remain unrenounced and unrepudiated by a great many Muslims and Islamic institutions today.

As long as such texts are not repudiated, the theological winds of Islam will all too easily continue to sweep pious Muslim hearts and minds towards radicalization, a process which exalts the idea that the lives of infidels are disposable.

Islam’s warrant to kill infidels is an idea which deserves to be exposed, challenged, thoroughly debated, and rejected.


Don’t miss the Glazov Gang’s 2-part series with Dr. Mark Durie on Jihadist Slavery and Rape — and Islam-Denial and Our Fear of Islam:

Part I:

Part II:

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

Subscribe to Frontpage’s TV show, The Glazov Gang, on YouTube and LIKE it on Facebook.

Why Islam Needs a Reformation

“Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence—including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics—are Muslims themselves.

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.

It is not just al Qaeda and Islamic State that show the violent face of Islamic faith and practice. It is Pakistan, where any statement critical of the Prophet or Islam is labeled as blasphemy and punishable by death. It is Saudi Arabia, where churches and synagogues are outlawed and where beheadings are a legitimate form of punishment. It is Iran, where stoning is an acceptable punishment and homosexuals are hanged for their “crime.”

As I see it, the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts. It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been “hijacked” by extremists. The killers of Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct.

Instead of letting Islam off the hook with bland clichés about the religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.

As it turns out, the West has some experience with this sort of reformist project. It is precisely what took place in Judaism and Christianity over the centuries, as both traditions gradually consigned the violent passages of their own sacred texts to the past. Many parts of the Bible and the Talmud reflect patriarchal norms, and both also contain many stories of harsh human and divine retribution. As President Barack Obama said in remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast last month, “Remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Islamic State militants marching through Raqqa, Syria, a stronghold of the Sunni extremist group, in an undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Islamic State militants marching through Raqqa, Syria, a stronghold of the Sunni extremist group, in an undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Yet today, because their faiths went through a long, meaningful process of Reformation and Enlightenment, the vast majority of Jews and Christians have come to dismiss religious scripture that urges intolerance or violence. There are literalist fringes in both religions, but they are true fringes. Regrettably, in Islam, it is the other way around: It is those seeking religious reform who are the fringe element.

Any serious discussion of Islam must begin with its core creed, which is based on the Quran (the words said to have been revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad) and the hadith (the accompanying works that detail Muhammad’s life and words). Despite some sectarian differences, this creed unites all Muslims. All, without exception, know by heart these words: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; and Muhammad is His messenger.” This is the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith.

The Shahada might seem to be a declaration of belief no different from any other. But the reality is that the Shahada is both a religious and a political symbol.

In the early days of Islam, when Muhammad was going from door to door in Mecca trying to persuade the polytheists to abandon their idols of worship, he was inviting them to accept that there was no god but Allah and that he was Allah’s messenger.

After 10 years of trying this kind of persuasion, however, he and his small band of believers went to Medina, and from that moment, Muhammad’s mission took on a political dimension. Unbelievers were still invited to submit to Allah, but after Medina, they were attacked if they refused. If defeated, they were given the option to convert or to die. (Jews and Christians could retain their faith if they submitted to paying a special tax.)

No symbol represents the soul of Islam more than the Shahada. But today there is a contest within Islam for the ownership of that symbol. Who owns the Shahada? Is it those Muslims who want to emphasize Muhammad’s years in Mecca or those who are inspired by his conquests after Medina? On this basis, I believe that we can distinguish three different groups of Muslims.

The first group is the most problematic. These are the fundamentalists who, when they say the Shahada, mean: “We must live by the strict letter of our creed.” They envision a regime based on Shariah, Islamic religious law. They argue for an Islam largely or completely unchanged from its original seventh-century version. What is more, they take it as a requirement of their faith that they impose it on everyone else.

I shall call them Medina Muslims, in that they see the forcible imposition of Shariah as their religious duty. They aim not just to obey Muhammad’s teaching but also to emulate his warlike conduct after his move to Medina. Even if they do not themselves engage in violence, they do not hesitate to condone it.

It is Medina Muslims who call Jews and Christians “pigs and monkeys.” It is Medina Muslims who prescribe death for the crime of apostasy, death by stoning for adultery and hanging for homosexuality. It is Medina Muslims who put women in burqas and beat them if they leave their homes alone or if they are improperly veiled.

Muslim children carry torches during a parade before Eid al-Fitr, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, on July 27, 2014, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Muslim children carry torches during a parade before Eid al-Fitr, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, on July 27, 2014, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

The second group—and the clear majority throughout the Muslim world—consists of Muslims who are loyal to the core creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence. I call them Mecca Muslims. Like devout Christians or Jews who attend religious services every day and abide by religious rules in what they eat and wear, Mecca Muslims focus on religious observance. I was born in Somalia and raised as a Mecca Muslim. So were the majority of Muslims from Casablanca to Jakarta.

Yet the Mecca Muslims have a problem: Their religious beliefs exist in an uneasy tension with modernity—the complex of economic, cultural and political innovations that not only reshaped the Western world but also dramatically transformed the developing world as the West exported it. The rational, secular and individualistic values of modernity are fundamentally corrosive of traditional societies, especially hierarchies based on gender, age and inherited status.

Trapped between two worlds of belief and experience, these Muslims are engaged in a daily struggle to adhere to Islam in the context of a society that challenges their values and beliefs at every turn. Many are able to resolve this tension only by withdrawing into self-enclosed (and increasingly self-governing) enclaves. This is called cocooning, a practice whereby Muslim immigrants attempt to wall off outside influences, permitting only an Islamic education for their children and disengaging from the wider non-Muslim community.

It is my hope to engage this second group of Muslims—those closer to Mecca than to Medina—in a dialogue about the meaning and practice of their faith. I recognize that these Muslims are not likely to heed a call for doctrinal reformation from someone they regard as an apostate and infidel. But they may reconsider if I can persuade them to think of me not as an apostate but as a heretic: one of a growing number of people born into Islam who have sought to think critically about the faith we were raised in. It is with this third group—only a few of whom have left Islam altogether—that I would now identify myself.

These are the Muslim dissidents. A few of us have been forced by experience to conclude that we could not continue to be believers; yet we remain deeply engaged in the debate about Islam’s future. The majority of dissidents are reforming believers—among them clerics who have come to realize that their religion must change if its followers are not to be condemned to an interminable cycle of political violence.

How many Muslims belong to each group? Ed Husain of the Council on Foreign Relations estimates that only 3% of the world’s Muslims understand Islam in the militant terms I associate with Muhammad’s time in Medina. But out of well over 1.6 billion believers, or 23% of the globe’s population, that 48 million seems to be more than enough. (I would put the number significantly higher, based on survey data on attitudes toward Shariah in Muslim countries.)

In any case, regardless of the numbers, it is the Medina Muslims who have captured the world’s attention on the airwaves, over social media, in far too many mosques and, of course, on the battlefield.

The Medina Muslims pose a threat not just to non-Muslims. They also undermine the position of those Mecca Muslims attempting to lead a quiet life in their cultural cocoons throughout the Western world. But those under the greatest threat are the dissidents and reformers within Islam, who face ostracism and rejection, who must brave all manner of insults, who must deal with the death threats—or face death itself.

For the world at large, the only viable strategy for containing the threat posed by the Medina Muslims is to side with the dissidents and reformers and to help them to do two things: first, identify and repudiate those parts of Muhammad’s legacy that summon Muslims to intolerance and war, and second, persuade the great majority of believers—the Mecca Muslims—to accept this change.

Islam is at a crossroads. Muslims need to make a conscious decision to confront, debate and ultimately reject the violent elements within their religion. To some extent—not least because of widespread revulsion at the atrocities of Islamic State, al Qaeda and the rest—this process has already begun. But it needs leadership from the dissidents, and they in turn stand no chance without support from the West.

What needs to happen for us to defeat the extremists for good? Economic, political, judicial and military tools have been proposed and some of them deployed. But I believe that these will have little effect unless Islam itself is reformed.

Such a reformation has been called for repeatedly at least since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent abolition of the caliphate. But I would like to specify precisely what needs to be reformed.

I have identified five precepts central to Islam that have made it resistant to historical change and adaptation. Only when the harmfulness of these ideas are recognized and they are repudiated will a true Muslim Reformation have been achieved.

Here are the five areas that require amendment:

1. Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran.
Muhammad should not be seen as infallible, let alone as a source of divine writ. He should be seen as a historical figure who united the Arab tribes in a premodern context that cannot be replicated in the 21st century. And although Islam maintains that the Quran is the literal word of Allah, it is, in historical reality, a book that was shaped by human hands. Large parts of the Quran simply reflect the tribal values of the 7th-century Arabian context from which it emerged. The Quran’s eternal spiritual values must be separated from the cultural accidents of the place and time of its birth.

2. The supremacy of life after death.
The appeal of martyrdom will fade only when Muslims assign a greater value to the rewards of this life than to those promised in the hereafter.

3. Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.
Muslims should learn to put the dynamic, evolving laws made by human beings above those aspects of Shariah that are violent, intolerant or anachronistic.

4. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.
There is no room in the modern world for religious police, vigilantes and politically empowered clerics.

5. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.
Islam must become a true religion of peace, which means rejecting the imposition of religion by the sword.

I know that this argument will make many Muslims uncomfortable. Some are bound to be offended by my proposed amendments. Others will contend that I am not qualified to discuss these complex issues of theology and law. I am also afraid—genuinely afraid—that it will make a few Muslims even more eager to silence me.

But this is not a work of theology. It is more in the nature of a public intervention in the debate about the future of Islam. The biggest obstacle to change within the Muslim world is precisely its suppression of the sort of critical thinking I am attempting here. If my proposal for reform helps to spark a serious discussion of these issues among Muslims themselves, I will consider it a success.

Let me make two things clear. I do not seek to inspire another war on terror or extremism—violence in the name of Islam cannot be ended by military means alone. Nor am I any sort of “Islamophobe.” At various times, I myself have been all three kinds of Muslim: a fundamentalist, a cocooned believer and a dissident. My journey has gone from Mecca to Medina to Manhattan.

For me, there seemed no way to reconcile my faith with the freedoms I came to the West to embrace. I left the faith, despite the threat of the death penalty prescribed by Shariah for apostates. Future generations of Muslims deserve better, safer options. Muslims should be able to welcome modernity, not be forced to wall themselves off, or live in a state of cognitive dissonance, or lash out in violent rejection.

But it is not only Muslims who would benefit from a reformation of Islam. We in the West have an enormous stake in how the struggle over Islam plays out. We cannot remain on the sidelines, as though the outcome has nothing to do with us. For if the Medina Muslims win and the hope for a Muslim Reformation dies, the rest of the world too will pay an enormous price—not only in blood spilled but also in freedom lost.

This essay is adapted from Ms. Hirsi Ali’s new book, “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now,” to be published Tuesday by HarperCollins (which, like The Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp). Her previous books include “Infidel” and “Nomad: From Islam to America, A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.”

Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali Denounces Anti-Semitism on Campuses as New Film Debuts


Breitbart, by DR. SUSAN BERRY, March 14, 2015:

Somali-born free speech and women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali gave the keynote address at a sold-out event in Boston Wednesday that centered on rising anti-Semitism on college campuses in North America.

Hirsi Ali’s address, and a panel featuring a rabbi and three student activists, followed the premiere of a new Jerusalem U film titled Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus, which can be viewed in its entirety online. The film demonstrates how anti-Israel activities on college and university campuses are being organized to alienate and intimidate those who support Israel, and how reasonable criticism of Israel “crosses the line” into anti-Semitism.

As a press release about the Boston event notes, Hirsi Ali said the film demonstrates how students are being “misled.” Denouncing “virulent anti-Semitism” on college campuses, she asserted, “The least we can do is boycott, divest, and sanction campuses that compromise academic freedom.”

Excerpts of Hirsi Ali’s address are as follows:

It is appalling that only seventy years from the Holocaust, crowds in Europe chant, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” It is even more appalling that 10,000 soldiers in Paris are needed to protect Jewish sites. That is the continent that promised never again. The men and women who were in the concentration camps, who are tattooed, some are still here. And it is happening again.

Watching Crossing the Line 2: the New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus was like having a bucket of ice water being poured over my head. I saw the film last week. And I watched it again last night. And I couldn’t sleep. The more we pretend that this is happening somewhere far away, the more hopeless and helpless we feel. But this is not happening far away. This is happening on American campuses, British campuses, Canadian campuses. The filmmakers who made this film made it because it is important that we listen to this message while it is at a smaller stage.

I have a different acronym for BDS. They call themselves Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. I call them Bully, Deceive, and Sabotage. Bully, Deceive, and Sabotage the only society that is free in the Middle East. BDS. On campus, if you care about issues like justice and injustice, we really need to show it. You need to do it. Where is the BDS movement against the Islamic State? Where on campuses is the BDS movement against Saudi Arabia? The Iranian regime, who for decades have promised to wipe Israel off the map, who are developing a bomb. And there’s no BDS movement against them on campus. Why? Last year in Nigeria, 200 girls were kidnapped. They were sold into slavery. There was no BDS movement against Boko Haram.

“Anti-Israel activities on campus cause students today to feel embarrassed to be pro-Israel, or could even lead them to hold negative opinions about Israel” said Amy Holtz, president of Jerusalem U, in a statement in the press release. “Raising awareness of this growing problem is crucial. We made this film in order to give students the knowledge to differentiate between education and intimidation, debate and hate. They must be able to identify when it is ‘Crossing the Line.’”


Published on Sep 30, 2014 by Hamas On Campus

The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is Hamas on Campus. An organization dedicated to wiping Israel off the map.


Also see:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Obama Must Confront the Threat of Radical Islam

An ISIS member waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria on June 29, 2014.

An ISIS member waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria on June 29, 2014.

ISIS is recruiting young Muslims from around the globe to Jihad, and the White House apparently doesn’t understand why

Time, By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Feb. 20, 2015:

How can the Obama Administration miss the obvious? Part of the answer lies in the groups “partnering” with, or advising, the White House on these issues. Groups such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council or the Islamic Society of North America insist that there should be no more focus at the Summit on radical Islam than on any other violent movements, even as radical Islamic movements continue to expand their influence in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, and elsewhere.

Amplifying a poor choice of Muslim outreach partners, however, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have argued in recent days that economic grievances, a lack of opportunities, and countries with “bad governance” are to blame for the success of groups such as ISIS in recruiting Muslims to their cause. Yet, if this were true, why do so many young Muslims who live in societies with excellent governance—Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, the United States—either join ISIS or engage in Jihadist violence in their own countries? Why do young Muslims with promising professional futures embark on the path of Jihad?

Neither the Summit partners nor the U.S. Administration can effectively answer these questions.

Both Denmark and the Netherlands have “good governance.” Denmark and the Netherlands not only offer free health insurance but also free housing to Muslim refugees, along with high-quality education for their children. This should produce an outpouring of gratitude by young Muslims towards the host society, and no Jihadists.

Yet there are dozens of Jihadists hailing from the Netherlands and a recent attack in Copenhagen was committed by a man who was raised in Denmark and had effectively enjoyed years of Danish hospitality.

The question is not limited to Europe. Minnesota, for instance, is hardly a state with “bad governance.” Minnesota offers ample opportunity for immigrants willing to work hard. Yet more than a dozen young men from the Twin Cities area have joined the Jihadist movement in recent years.

How can Barack Obama or John Kerry explain this? Based on President Obama’s public statements and John Kerry’s analysis in The Wall Street Journal, they cannot.

It is worth remembering Aafia Siddiqui, the M.I.T.-educated neuroscientist who could have enjoyed a prestigious and lucrative career in the bio-tech industry but instead chose to embrace radical Islam, eventually becoming known as “Lady Al-Qaida.”

Or think of the three Khan siblings who recently sought to leave Chicago in order to go live in Syria under the rule of ISIS. The Khan sister, intelligent and studious, had planned to become a physician. The siblings were intercepted before they could fly out of the country, and prosecutors argue they wanted to join armed Jihad. Defense attorneys have a different explanation, stating the siblings desperately wanted to live under a society ruled by Shariah law—under the rule of Allah’s laws, without necessarily wanting to commit acts of violence.

It is this motivation—the sincere desire to live under Islamic religious laws, and the concomitant willingness to use violence to defend the land of Islam and expand it—that has led thousands of Western Muslims, many of them young and intelligent—and not the oft-described “losers”—to leave a comfortable professional and economic future in the West in order to join ISIS under gritty circumstances.

In its general strategy, the U.S. Administration confounds two things. It is true that in “failed states” criminal networks, cartels, and terrorist groups can operate with impunity. Strengthening central governments will reduce safe havens for terror networks. Secretary Kerry’s argument in The Wall Street Journal is different, however, namely: If we improve governance in countries with “bad governance,” then fewer young people will become “violent extremists.” That’s a different argument and not a plausible one. In fact, it’s a really unpersuasive argument. Muslims leave bright, promising futures to join ISIS out of a sense of sincere religious devotion, the wish to live under the laws of Allah instead of the laws of men.

In reading Kerry’s piece, I am glad that in the late 1940s the U.S. had people such as George Kennan employed in its service to see the Communist threat clearly and describe it clearly. But where is today’s Kennan in this administration? Who in the U.S. government is willing to describe the threat of radical Islam without fear of causing offense to several aggressive Islamic lobby groups?

American policymakers do not yet understand Islamism or what persuades young Muslims to join Jihad: sincere religious devotion based on the core texts of Islam, in particular early Islam’s politicized and aggressive period in Medina (compared to Islam’s spiritual and ascetic period in Mecca).

How does one tackle misguided religious devotion of young Muslims? The answer lies in reforming Islam profoundly—not radical Islam, but mainstream Islam; its willingness to merge Mosque and State, religion, and politics; and its insistence that its elaborate system of Shariah law supersedes civil laws created by human legislators. In such a reform project lies the hope for countering Islamism. No traditional Islamic lobbying group committed to defending the reputation of Islam will recommend such a policy to the U.S. government. Yet until American policymakers grapple with the need for such reform, the real problem within Islam will remain unresolved.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the founder of the AHA Foundation and the author of Infidel, Nomad, and the forthcoming Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation, to be published next spring.