Ayaan Hirsi Ali – Islamophobia is a Myth
On The Map with Avi Lewis: Ayaan Hirsi Ali & Islamophobia
Avi Lewis: Give me your argument against – that is your critique of Islam.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Islam means, “Submission to the will of Allah.” A doctrine that requires from the individual to become a slave. In my view, its bad. Islam limits the imagination to what you can find in the Qu’ran and to follow in the example of the prophet Muhammad. I think that’s bad and that’s what keeps people in the Islamic world backward. Islam treats women – at least says, subordinates women to men and is obsessed with obedience, calls for the matter of gays for adulterers and is therefore very violent and inhuman. All this is in the Qur’an. All this is in the Hadith and anywhere that Islamic Sharia or Islamic rule is implemented, you see that these things are carried out.
Avi Lewis: Surely there are many versions of Islam, like there are many versions of Christianity, of Judeism, of all major religions, presenting it as one thing, and it just obviously is not?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Islam as a faith, as a doctrine, defined by whats in the Qu’ran and the example of the prophet Muhammad, and unreformed, unchallenged, is a monolith.
Avi Lewis: I can point to other things in other holy books that are equally as offensive.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The other holy books, the old testament, the bible, have become almost obsolete. There are no Christians that want the bible to replace any constitution in western society. The Pope has even apologized. . .
Avi Lewis: Okay, whoa, Okay whoa. You live in the United States of America. This is a country where Evangelical Christianity has ascended to the highest ranks of power. Where conservative social values drawn and justified upon the bible are opposed on people every day.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I think you’re exaggerating.
Avi Lewis: They shoot abortion doctors in the United States of America. Homophobia is rampant.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: When abortion doctors in the United States were shot the Federal Government reacted to it by going after the perpetrators, putting them on trial and jailing them. When in Iran, two men went after a woman and a man holding hands, and shot them, they were acquitted by the Supreme Court. That is the core difference. Never confuse Islamic Sharia, and the Muslims who really mean it with those extremist Christians who live in the United States. Extremist Christians in the United States or any other western society face the rule of law and are dealt with accordingly.
Avi Lewis: Let’s talk about the intervention to bring “Democracy” increasingly, in what many people see as in almost an Islamophobic context. . .
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: There is no Islamophobia. It’s a myth.
Avi Lewis: There is no Islamophobia?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: No.
Avi Lewis: Anywhere in the world?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: No. I mean . . .
Avi Lewis: Is there Anti-Semitism?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Its different. Islam is not a race. . .
Avi Lewis: Is there racism?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Sometimes. We are all racists. Racism is a universal trait. So is Anti-Semitism by the way. But I want as not to confuse a set of beliefs such as Islam, with ethnicity, such as the hatred of Jews just because they are Jews, or against blacks just because they are black, or against gays just because – its something you can’t do anything about. Whereas Islam is simply a set of beliefs and its not Islamophobic to say that Islam is not compatible with liberal democracy. Its not Islamophobic to say – to point to those people that use the Quran and the Hadith to conduct war and to say this is being done in the name of your religion and to do something about it. That’s not Islamophobic. Thats fair.
Avi Lewis: North American Muslims really feel they are under siege these days. People don’t want to travel because flying is such a hassle. People – North American Muslims are scared to contribute to charities in case they end up on a list somewhere. And they’ve watched others in their community end up in detention for years without ever seeing charges against them, without ever seeing evidence against them. You’re not aware of these to dates. You don’t think there is a context of what the war on terror rhetoric does to a social discourse? That it has implications?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I think that its highly exaggerated that Muslims in America, in the west are under siege. If that were the case, we know of groups in history who were under siege and what they usually do is leave. I don’t see any American Muslims leaving and going back to any Muslim country.
Avi Lewis: Your faith in American Democracy is delightful.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Its the best Democracy. Its the best place to be.
Avi Lewis: Tell that to people that believe there have been a couple of stolen elections. That Democracy is completely broken.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I do tell them. You shouldn’t have stood by and watch for the Democracy to be stolen. My point not so much that when the Democrats are in office everyone is happy or when the Republicans are in office, everything is bad. Its that both Republicans and Democrats and the majority of Americans fortunately, feel that they can run for office, they can get power. . .
Avi Lewis: As long as you’re staggeringly rich. Totally connected and the pockets of your donors, you can do anything you want in America.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: In America you can come with no penny, nothing, no money and you can become very wealthy. . .
Avi Lewis: Is there a school that teaches you American cliches? Is it part of your application process that you have to – I’m so upset that I’m losing my cards here. I can’t believe you just said that.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I’ve read Alex De Toqueville and I’ve read about Democracy and lived in countries have no Democracy – that have no founding fathers, that could not, have not invented, could not resolve. . . and so I don’t find myself in the same luxury you do. You grew up in freedom and you can spit on freedom because you don’t know what it is not to have freedom. I haven’t. I know that there are many things wrong with America. And I know that there are many things wrong with Americans, but I still believe that its the best nation in the world.
Avi Lewis: Thanks.