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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Breaking Through the Islamic Curtain Spectre is haunting Europe

Preface Excerpt From 'The Caged Virgin' at npr An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam. by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A Call for Change in Islam English translation by Jane Brown.

The attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, prompted the West to launch a massive appeal to Muslims around the world to reflect on their religion and culture. American President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and numerous other leaders in the West asked Muslim organizations in their countries to distance themselves from Islam as preached by these nineteen terrorists. This plea was met with indignation from Muslims who thought it was inappropriate to hold them responsible for the criminal conduct of nineteen young men. Yet the fact that the people who committed the attacks on September 11 were Muslims, and the fact that before this date Muslims in many parts of the world were already harboring feelings of immense resentment toward the United States in particular, have urged me to investigate whether the roots of evil can be traced to the faith I grew up with: was the aggression, the hatred inherent in Islam itself?

My parents brought me up to be a Muslim -- a good Muslim. Islam dominated the lives of our family and relations down to the smallest detail. It was our ideology, our political conviction, our moral standard, our law, and our identity. We were first and foremost Muslim and only then Somali. Muslims, as we were taught the meaning of the name, are people who submit themselves to Allah's will, which is found in the Koran and the Hadith, a collection of sayings ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad. I was taught that Islam sets us apart from the rest of the world, the world of non-Muslims. We Muslims are chosen by God. They, the others, the kaffirs, the unbelievers, are antisocial, impure, barbaric, not circumcised, immoral, unscrupulous, and above all, obscene; they have no respect for women; their girls and women are whores; many of the men are homosexual; men and women have sex without being married. The unfaithful are cursed, and God will punish them most atrociously in the hereafter.
When my sister and I were small, we would occasionally make remarks about nice people who were not Muslim, but my mother and grandmother would always say, "No, they are not good people. They know about the Koran and the Prophet and Allah, and yet they haven't come to see that the only thing a person can be is Muslim. They are blind. If they were such nice and good people, they would have become Muslims and then Allah would protect them against evil. But it is up to them. If they become Muslims, they will go to paradise."

There are also Christians and Jews who raise their children in the belief that they are God's chosen people, but among Muslims the feeling that God has granted them special salvation goes further.

About twelve years ago, at age twenty-two, I arrived in Western Europe, on the run from an arranged marriage. I soon learned that God and His truth had been humanized here. For Muslims life on earth is merely a transitory stage before the hereafter; but here people are also allowed to invest in their lives as mortals. What is more, hell seems no longer to exist, and God is a god of love rather than a cruel ruler who metes out punishments. I began to take a more critical look at my faith and discovered three important elements of Islam that had not particularly struck me before.

The first of these is that a Muslim's relationship with his God is one of fear. A Muslim's conception of God is absolute. Our God demands total submission. He rewards you if you follow His rules meticulously. He punishes you cruelly if you break His rules, both on earth, with illness and natural disasters, and in the hereafter, with hellfire.

The second element is that Islam knows only one moral source: the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad is infallible. You would almost believe he is himself a god, but the Koran says explicitly that Muhammad is a human being; he is a supreme human being, though, the most perfect human being. We must live our lives according to his example. What is written in the Koran is what God said as it was heard by Muhammad. The thousands of hadiths -- accounts of what Muhammad said and did, and the advice he gave, which survives in weighty books -- tell us exactly how a Muslim was supposed to live in the seventh century. Devout Muslims consult these works daily to answer questions about life in the twenty-first century.

The third element is that Islam is strongly dominated by a sexual morality derived from tribal Arab values dating from the time the Prophet received his instructions from Allah, a culture in which women were the property of their fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, or guardians. The essence of a woman is reduced to her hymen. Her veil functions as a constant reminder to the outside world of this stifling morality that makes Muslim men the owners of women and obliges them to prevent their mothers, sisters, aunts, sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, and wives from having sexual contact. And we are not just talking about cohabitation. It is an offense if a woman glances in the direction of a man, brushes past his arm, or shakes his hand. A man's reputation and honor depend entirely on the respectable, obedient behavior of the female members of his family.

These three elements explain largely why Muslim nations are lagging behind the West and, more recently, also lagging behind Asia. In order to break through the mental bars of this trinity, behind which the majority of Muslims are restrained, we must begin with a critical self-examination. But any Muslim who asks critical questions about Islam is immediately branded a "deserter." A Muslim who advocates the exploration of sources for morality, in addition to those of the Prophet Muhammad, will be threatened with death, and a woman who withdraws from the virgins' cage is branded a whore.

Through my personal experiences, through reading a great deal and speaking to others, I have come to realize that the existence of Allah, of angels, demons, and a life after death, is at the very least disputable. If Allah exists at all, we must not regard His word as absolute, but challenge it. I once wrote about my doubts regarding my faith in the hope of starting a discussion. I was immediately confronted by zealous Muslims, men and women who wanted to have me excommunicated. They even went so far as to say that I deserved to die because I had dared to call into question the absolute truth of Allah's word. They took me to court to prevent me from criticizing the faith I had been born into, from asking questions about the regulations and gods that Allah's messenger has imposed upon us. An Islamic fundamentalist murdered Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who helped me make Submission: Part I, a film about the relationship between the individual and God, in particular about the individual woman and God. And he threatened to kill me, too, a threat that others have also pledged to fulfill.

Like other thinking people, I like to tap into sources of wisdom, morality, and imagination other than religious texts -- other books besides the Koran and accounts of the Prophet -- and I would like other Muslims to tap into them, too. Just because Spinoza, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, Kant, or Bertrand Russell are not Islamic and have no Islamic counterparts does not mean that Muslims should steer clear of these and other Western philosophers. Yet, at present, reading works by Western thinkers is regarded as disrespectful to the Prophet and Allah's message. This is a serious misconception. Why should it not be permitted to abide by all the good things Muhammad has urged us to do (such as his advice to be charitable toward the poor and orphans), while at the same time adding to our lives and outlook the ideas of other moral philosophers? After all, the fact that the Wright brothers were not Islamic has not stopped Muslims from traveling by air. By adopting the technical inventions of the West without its courage to think independently, we perpetuate the mental stagnation in Islamic culture, passing it on from one generation to the next.

The most important explanation for the mental and material backlog we Muslims find ourselves in should probably be sought in the sexual morality that we are force-fed from birth (see chapter 3, "The Virgins' Cage"). I would like to invite all people like me who had an Islamic upbringing to compare and contrast J. S. Mill's essay "On the Subjection of Women" (1869) with what the Prophet Muhammad has to say on the subject of women. Both were undeniably interested in the role of women, but there is a vast difference between Muhammad and Mill. For instance, Mill considered his beloved wife an intellectual equal; Muhammad was a polygamist and wrote that men have authority over women because God made one superior to the other. Mill, a model of calm reason in the face of contentious issues, argued that if freedom is good for men, it is good for women, a position that today most of the modern world considers unassailable.

Yet any investigation into the Islamic trinity by a Muslim is thought to be an act of complete betrayal of the religion and the Prophet. It is extremely painful for a believer to try to question. And it is extremely painful for a believer to hear that other Muslims are questioning the Islamic trinity. Muslim's strong emotions and condemnations of people who do question the trinity impress outsiders, myself included, especially when they are expressed on a massive scale by entire communities and even nations, as has happened in Egypt, Iran, and Indonesia.

Think, for instance, of the murder of Theo van Gogh on the streets of Amsterdam, a Western city in a Western democracy, for exercising his free-speech rights to look critically at Islam in Submission: Part I, the film he and I made. While you may have heard of the death threats that have been made also against me for this film, you may not know that when I initially spoke on the immoral practices of the Prophet Muhammad, more than one hundred fifty complaints were made against me to the police and the government. Four ambassadors visited my party leaders -- ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, Malaysia. They carried a letter attached to which was a list of twenty-one countries belonging to the Islamic Conference -- including Turkey -- that supported the letter. The main complaint in their letter was that I had insulted the Prophet and had deeply hurt the feelings of more than 1 billion Muslims. Death threats followed against me and also against the leader of my party when he refused to take seriously this complaint and evict me from Parliament.

Think also of the reaction to the Miss World beauty pageant in Nigeria in 2002. Religious extremists protested the holding of the contest and became violently inflamed when a Christian journalist in an independent newspaper suggested, in reply to the scolding question, What would the Prophet Muhammad make of this improper display of women's beauty and bodies?, that the Prophet may have chosen a new wife from the contestants had he been alive today. This was felt to be a grave insult to the Prophet. During the subsequent protests, the office of the newspaper was burned down; two hundred people were killed and at least five hundred were injured.

Think also of the aftermath of Newsweek's story in May 2005, of a 2002 FBI report made available to the journalist, that a soldier had flushed a Koran down a toilet at Guantánamo Bay, where Afghan and Pakistani soldiers suspected of being Taliban members are being held after capture in Afghanistan. Violent protests erupted in Pakistan and Afghanistan and lasted for several days; at least sixteen people were killed.

Think also of the situation that began in Denmark when the author of a biography of Muhammad wanted a drawing on his book jacket that represented the Prophet. All the artists he approached said, No, we can't do it; we fear Muslim reprisals and would fear for our lives. Hearing of the author's challenge, the daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten asked cartoonists to depict the Prophet as a test of whether freedom of expression had been limited in Denmark as a result of Islamic terrorists. Twelve cartoonists agreed, and the newspaper published their images in September 2005. Muslim organizations immediately demanded an apology, which the editor-in-chief refused to make, saying that a democracy makes use of all means of expression, including satire, and the images were not intended to insult the Prophet or Muslims. Nonetheless, 3,000 of the 187,000 Muslims living in Denmark protested the paper, which had to post guards as a result of death threats. Eleven foreign ambassadors visited the paper to complain. Months later, in January 2006, Muslim countries began to boycott Danish products. The Danish economy lost some 90 million euros in about a week; companies were forced to lay off hundreds of employees. In February, newspapers in other European countries published the images in support of Denmark and freedom of the press. Islamic extremists attacked and burned the Danish embassy in Beirut; one person was killed. Other European embassies in Islamic countries were attacked. A Christian priest was killed by a Turkish man screaming "God is great." As protests were fomented around the world, violence increased and the death toll mounted. Some moderate Muslims who called for restraint in Islamic countries were silenced by their governments, even jailed. Yet European governments are seriously considering limiting the freedom of the press to discuss Islam; some newspaper editors were fired for printing the cartoons. The tragedy for many Muslims is that their inability to criticize the dogma of religion in their own countries will be continued in Europe.

I am amazed that Muslims are not more offended by the invocation of Allah and "God is great" for murder than by cartoons. Why do Muslims not fly into flights of rage when people who go to help Iraqis are kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded in the name of Islam? Political cartoons that point up problems with an extremist religion are used to manipulate people into violence instead of reflection and debate. Freedom of expression for Muslims is a one-way street; Muslims can criticize the West, but the West cannot criticize the practices of Islam.

I understand that a Muslim may feel a duty to scold anyone who attempts to call into question the absoluteness of God's word or someone who regards other sources of morality as equal, or superior even, to the Prophet Muhammad's. History shows that for many people to make a mental transition of this magnitude and question their beliefs is always a very slow process, and one that generates resistance and causes bloodshed. In this context I can place the murder of Theo van Gogh, the death threats and legal steps against me, and the intense rejection and condemnation of me as an individual, a heretic, and a blasphemer. Remember that the Protestant Reformation took many years of protest (the source of its name) as well as bloodshed and widespread unrest to establish itself firmly. A quick look at Islamic history shows us that critical voices from within Islam have almost all been either killed or exiled. I find myself in good company: Salman Rushdie, Irshad Manji, Taslima Nasreen, Muhammad Abu Zaid -- they all have been threatened by fellow believers and are now being guarded by non-Muslims.

Nonetheless we who were brought up with Islam must summon the courage to break through this wall of emotional resistance or to climb over it, until eventually the number of critics grows large enough to counterbalance the entrenched opposition effectively. In order to achieve this we will need the help of the liberal West, whose interests are greatly served by a reform of Islam. But above all, we Muslims must help each other.

I am feeling optimistic about that reform. I base my optimism on positive signs, like the local elections in Saudi Arabia (although women were excluded from these elections, at least the elections were held); the successful elections in Iraq and Afghanistan (where a secular government has taken over after the Taliban); the demonstrations against the terror of the Islamic Party by journalists and academics in Morocco; and the promising agreements between Sharon and Abbas about the future of Israel and Palestine. Abbas is more reasonable than the late Arafat and seems to act in the interest of the Palestinians, and Israel's giving back the land to the Palestinians for self-rule is good progress, although the election in which Hamas became the ruling party is a setback. Another indication of progress is Pakistan's acceptance of Israeli aid to the victims of the terrible October 8, 2005, earthquake. Of course, I realize that these are quite recent developments.

I am optimistic, and I normally would have looked to the West for help in reforming Islam, from secular liberals, Westerners who are traditionally opposed to the enforcement of religious beliefs and customs. In certain countries, "left-wing," secular liberals have stimulated my critical thinking and that of other Muslims. But these same liberals in Western politics have the strange habit of blaming themselves for the ills of the world, while seeing the rest of the world as victims. To them, victims are to be pitied, and they lump together all pitiable and suppressed people, such as Muslims, and consider them good people who should be cherished and supported so that they can overcome their disadvantages. The adherents to the gospel of multiculturalism refuse to criticize people whom they see as victims. Some Western critics disapprove of United States policies and attitudes but do not criticize the Islamic world, just as, in the first part of the twentieth century, Western socialist apologists did not dare criticize the Soviet labor camps. Along the same lines, some Western intellectuals criticize Israel, but they will not criticize Palestine because Israel belongs to the West, which they consider fair game, but they feel sorry for the Palestinians, and for the Islamic world in general, which is not as powerful as the West. They are critical of the native white majority in Western countries but not of Islamic minorities. Criticism of the Islamic world, of Palestinians, and of Islamic minorities is regarded as Islamophobia and xenophobia.

I cannot emphasize enough how wrongheaded this is. Withholding criticism and ignoring differences are racism in its purest form. Yet these cultural experts fail to notice that, throught their anxious avoidance of criticizing non-Western countries, they trap the people who represent these cultures in a state of backwardness. The experts may have the best of intentions, but as we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

My own criticism of Islamic religion and culture is felt by some to be "harsh," "offensive," and "hurtful." But the attitude of the cultural experts is, in fact, harsher, and more offensive and hurtful. They feel superior and do not regard Muslims as equal discussion partners, but as the "others" who should be shielded. And they think that criticism of Islam should be avoided because they are afraid that Muslims can only respond to criticism with anger and violence. These cultural experts are badly letting down us Muslims who have obeyed the call to show our sense of public responsibility and are speaking out.

I have taken an enormous risk by answering the call for self-reflection and by joining in the public debate that has been taking place in the West since 9/11. And what do the cultural experts say? "You should have said it in a different way." But since Theo van Gogh's death, I have been convinced more than ever that I must say it in my way only and have my criticism.

Copyright ©2002, 2004 by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Augustus Publishers.
English translation copyright ©2006 by Jane Brown

AFTER THE CARNAGE OF THE terrorist bombings in London on July 7, 2005, Tony Blair defined the situation as a battle of ideas. “Our values will long outlast theirs,” he said, to the silent acquiescence of the world leaders who stood alongside him. “Whatever (the terrorists) do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world.”

By defining this as a battle of values, Blair raised the question: which values are at stake? Those who love freedom know that the open society relies on a few key shared concepts. They believe that all humans are born free, are endowed with reason and have inalienable rights. These governments are checked by the rule of law, so that civil liberties are protected. They ensure freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, and ensure that men and women, homosexuals and heterosexuals, are entitled to equal treatment and protection under the law. And these governments have free-trade practices and an open market, and people may spend their recreational time as they wish.

The terrorists, and the Sharia-based societies to which they aspire, have an entirely different philosophical point of view. Societies that espouse the following of Sharia law, which is a code derived from a literalist reading of the Koran, are fundamentalist Islamists. They believe that people are born to serve Allah through a series of obligations that are prescribed in an ancient body of writings. These edicts vary from rituals of birth and funeral rites to the most intimate details of human life; they descend to the point of absurdity in matters such as how to blow your nose and with what foot to step into a bathroom. Humans in this philosophy must kill those among them who leave their faith, and are required to be hostile to people of other religions and ways of life. In their hostility, they are even sanctioned in the murder of innocent people. The edicts make no distinction between civilians and the military — anyone who does not share this faith is an infidel and can be marked for murder.

In this Sharia society women are subordinate to men. They must be confined to their houses, beaten if found disobedient, forced into marriage and hidden behind the veil. The hands of thieves are cut off and capital punishment is performed on crowded public squares in front of cheering crowds. The terrorists seek to impose this way of life not only in Islamic countries, but, as Blair said, on Western societies too.

The central figure in this struggle is not bin Laden, or Khomeini, or Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, or Sayyid Qutb (the Egyptian schools’ inspector whose ideas fed the minds of those who flew the planes on 9/11), but Muhammad. A pre-medieval figure to whom these four men — along with all faithful Muslims in our modern world — look for guidance, Muhammad and his teachings offer a fundamental challenge to the West. Faithful Muslims — all faithful Muslims — believe that they must emulate this man, in principle and practical matters, under all circumstances. And so, before we embark on a battle of ideas, we will need to take a look at this figure, and his presence in the daily lives and homes of faithful Muslims today.

On reading the Koran and the traditional writings, it is apparent that Muhammad’s life not only provides rules for the daily lives of Muslims, it also demonstrates the means by which his values can be imposed. Yet remnants from some of the earliest Korans in existence, dating from the 7th and 8th centuries, show small aberrations from the text that is now considered the standard Koran. Nonetheless, just as some fundamentalist Christians cannot understand that the Bible went through numerous changes, interpretations, and translations before it became the contemporary text now widely used, and consider it inerrant, many fundamentalist Muslims consider the Koran a perfect, timeless representation of the unchanging word of God.

To spread his visions and teachings, which he believed to be from God, and to consolidate his secular power, Muhammad built the House of Islam using military tactics that included mass killing, torture, targeted assassination, lying and the indiscriminate destruction of productive goods. This may be embarrassing, and even painful, for moderate Muslims to admit and to consider, but it is historical fact. And a close look at the propaganda produced by the terrorists reveals constant quotation of Muhammad’s deeds and edicts to justify their actions and to call on other Muslims to support their cause.

In their thinking about radical Muslim terrorism most politicians, journalists, intellectuals, and other commentators have avoided the core issue of the debate, which is Muhammad’s example. In order to win the hearts and minds of those millions of undecided Muslims, it is crucial to engage them in a process of clear thinking on how to evaluate the moral guidance of the man whose compass they follow. The advantage of this rational process is that it provides an alternative to the utopia as well as the hell promised by the terrorists. Indeed, the threat of Hell is the single most effective menace that the fundamentalists hold over the heads of young men and women in order to indoctrinate and intimidate them into violent action. Yet the literal translation of utopia is “not (a) place”, from the Greek “ou”, meaning not, or no, plus topos, meaning place. The dictionary defines a utopia as “an imaginary and indefinitely remote place”. The true alternative to such an impossible place is the open society, democracy, which has already been empirically proven to work. The open society gives Muslims, as it gives Christians and Jews, the opportunity to liberate themselves from the ever-present menace of Hell. The extremists tell the young people that they must defend their faith, avenge insults against Muhammad and the holy word of God, the Koran. What is it exactly that they think they are defending? A call for clear thought on this important question should not be offensive, or hurtful, to Muslims. And yet many people in the West flinch from doing so. The communis opinio now seems to hold that questioning or criticising a holy figure is not polite behaviour, somehow not done. This movement for cultural relativism within Western society betrays the basic values on which our open society is constructed. As thinking human beings, we should never censor our analytic thoughts; we should never censor our reason.

Along these lines, I would argue that Tony Blair should rethink his Bill against blasphemy. Years ago some British Muslims unsuccessfully called for Salman Rushdie to be tried under Britain’s blasphemy law after the publication of his controversial novel The Satanic Verses.

But the law recognised only blasphemy against the Church of England, Britain’s dominant, official religion. But in June 2005 the British Parliament approved government plans to outlaw incitement to religious hatred. This Bill was aimed primarily at preventing racism against Muslims in Britain.

Even though the Home Secretary argued that the Bill wasn’t about stopping people from making jokes about religion — which would be a tragedy in the land that gave birth to Monty Python — or stopping people from having robust debates about religion, it is unclear why this Bill was necessary. Inciting religious hatred is already against the law. And as the head of a civil rights group in Britain said: “In a democracy there is no right not to be offended.” He added that religion is related to a body of ideas and people have the right to debate and criticise other people’s ideas. Another activist fighting the Bill averred: “The freedom to criticise ideas, any ideas — even if they are sincerely held beliefs — is one of the fundamental freedoms of society.”

Muslims in Europe and across the world may be seen as roughly dividing into three groups. Most visible are the terrorists, who resort to violence (and their allies, the fundamentalists, who do not kill or maim, but provide the terrorists with material and non-material or psychological assistance). Second, their polar opposite is a group of people (and although tiny, it is growing) which may be characterised by its questioning of the relevance and moral soundness of Muhammad’s example.

They may one day provide an intellectual counterweight to the terrorists and their supporters. I, who was born and bred a Muslim, count myself among them. We in this group have embraced the open society as a true alternative to a society based on the laws of Muhammad — a better way to build a framework for human life. We could call this group the reformers.

The terrorists have far more power and resources than the reformers, but both groups vie to influence the thinking of the vast majority of Muslims. The reformers use only nonviolent means, like writing, to draw attention to debates over core values. The terrorists and fundamentalists, however, use force, the threat of force, appeals to pity (“look at what the West is doing to Islam and Muslims”), and ad hominem smears to evoke a knee-jerk community to withdraw into self-defence.

In the West, these tactics give rise to moral relativists who defend so-called victims of Islamophobia; meanwhile, the reformists are shunned by their families and communities and live under the constant fear of assassination. In short, the core of the debate is made taboo, and the fundamentalists attain a near monopoly on the hearts and minds of the third and largest group of Muslims, the undecided.

Who are these “undecided” Muslims? They are the group to which Tony Blair refers when he says: “The vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims here and abroad are decent and law-abiding people.” They live in Edgware Road and Bradford, and in Amsterdam and St Denis; they are not fervent observers of every ritual of Islam, but they count themselves as believers. They are immigrants and second-generation youths who have come to the West to enjoy the benefits of the open society, in which they have a vested interest. But they do not question the infallibility of Muhammad and the soundness of his moral example. They know that Muhammad calls for slaughter of infidels; they know that the open society rightly condemns the slaughter of innocents. They are caught in a mental cramp of cognitive dissonance, and it is up to the West to support the reformists in trying to ease them out of that painful contradiction. The established Muslim organisations, which operate on government subsidy, offer no more than a cosmetic approach to eradicating terrorism inspired by the Prophet Muhammad — “peace be upon Him”, naturally.

The first victims of Muhammad are the minds of Muslims themselves. They are imprisoned in the fear of Hell and so also fear the very natural pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. There is as yet no consensus in the West on whether to support the side of the radical reformers. The present-day attitude of Western cultural relativists, who flinch from criticising Muhammad for fear of offending Muslims, allows Western Muslims to hide from reviewing their own moral values. This attitude also betrays the tiny majority of Muslim reformers who desperately require the support — and even the physical protection — of their natural allies in the West.

Muslims must review and reform their approach to Muhammad’s teachings if those who love freedom and the open society are to co-exist peacefully with them. The terrorists and their allies the fundamentalists should not dictate to us Westerners the rules of the game. We must maintain and proclaim our core values of free and open debate, of rational thinking, and the rule of law not religion. In this, the resolve of the British people to preserve civil rights is brave, and should be an example to all of us. The use of torture and the denial of legal rights to suspects of terrorism will serve only to corrupt Western systems and views of the West as a model of openness. Such actions also provide the terrorists with facts that serve as ammunition to prove their specious argument that the West is hypocritical and morally confused.

© Ayaan Hirsi Ali 2006


In the preface to The Caged Virgin Ayaan Hirsi Ali describes how she came to question her upbringing

My parents in Somalia brought me up to be a Muslim — a good Muslim. Muslims, as we were taught the meaning of the name, are people who submit themselves to Allah’s will, which is found in the Koran and the Hadith, a collection of sayings ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad. I was taught that Islam sets us apart from the rest of the world, the world of non-Muslims. We Muslims are chosen by God. They, the others, the Kaffirs, the unbelievers, are antisocial, impure, barbaric, not circumcised, immoral, unscrupulous, and above all, obscene; they have no respect for women; their girls and women are whores; many of the men are homosexual; men and women have sex without being married. The unfaithful are cursed, and God will punish them most atrociously in the hereafter.

But, through my personal experiences, through reading a great deal and speaking to others, I have come to realise that the existence of Allah, of angels, demons, and a life after death, is at the very least disputable. If Allah exists at all, we must not regard His word as absolute, but challenge it.

From KUTV.com Salt Lake City A brief excerpt from a Dutch lawmaker's new book on Islam.
An excerpt from ``The Caged Virgin An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam,''
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, published in the U.S. by Free Press:

I know my father loves me, but I have made a choice that radically opposes everything he stands for. ... I told him that I was making a stand for the rights of women in Islam. His reaction was: ``Make a stand for what you feel is right, but make sure you do it in God's name.'' The fact that I have now publicly denounced God is a terrible disappointment to him, one he can barely accept. By smearing Islam I have smeared his reputation and his honor. That is why he has turned away from me. I feel for him, but at the same time I am furious ... Every time he has had to make a choice between the community and his children, he has chosen the former. This hurts.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Saturday, April 29, 2006

In Netherlands, Anti-Islamic Polemic Comes With a Price

The Netherlands, proud of its multicultural tolerance, its hospitality to strangers, its free and easy social ways, used to be thought of as a soft touch for would-be immigrants with a story of persecution or war. Once you got across the Dutch border, officials of the welfare state would take care of you. Ms. Hirsi Ali was even coached by members of Dutch refugee organizations on how to finesse her story in order to get asylum. Economic immigration from outside the European Union was (and is) almost impossible, so such finessing was often the only way to get in.

The free and easy climate began to change in the late 1990's, and even more so after 9/11. Pim Fortuyn, the populist leader gunned down in 2002, gained a huge following by saying that the country was full, and warning that Muslims posed a danger to Dutch society. Mr. Fortuyn was an extraordinary figure, for he was not only a populist promising law and order, but also an openly gay man who saw Islam as a threat to his own sexual freedom.

In this new climate Ayaan Hirsi Ali began to flourish. Though neither a populist nor a xenophobic opponent of immigrants (how could she be?), she warned the Dutch about the Muslim menace. In the name of the Enlightenment, she would do battle against the new counter-Enlightenment, and she found allies among a variety of conservative intellectuals and politicians — and some former leftists, too — who were convinced that multiculturalism had failed, that the Dutch were timid, even cowardly, in the face of the Muslim challenge and that a tough line had to be taken.

Rita Verdonk was only a particularly extreme and unimaginative exponent of this new mood. One of her wildly impractical suggestions, mostly shot down in Parliament, was that only Dutch should be spoken in the streets. "" From the New york Times.

Dutch MP Resigns Over False Asylum Claims after being stripped of her Dutch citizenship after WRR report critics accussed her with Islam bashing.
AYAAN HIRSI ALI: I have the rights to be controversial. I have the rights to provoke. I have the right to offend people's religious feelings. Those people who feel offended by me have the right to reply. That's how ideas are born; that is going to be the reformation of Islam.
We're living in a technological era that when I say something now or write something down, it's immediately in Dutch newspapers. My views on these issues are very well known; some hate it, some love it, there's no way in between that.

Naema Tahir on attitudes towards Hirsi Ali;
She didn't give the normal profile of an immigrant and I think the point has been raised you cannot stick your head above the poppy field - the Dutch society is a tolerant society but only if you keep your head under the poppy field - if you are too outspoken, if you are a dissident you ruffle the feathers and upset the people in power.

She'll be going to the United States, although her lawyers have advised her not to talk about any future plans while she is appealing the minister's decision.

After being informed that her Dutch passport was being withdrawn, she announced her resignation from Parliament and said she would now leave for the United States sooner.

What hastened her decision, she said, was that in April, an appeals court ordered her to leave her apartment."I never really got a chance to settle down," says Ayaan Hirsi Ali as she steps into the small kitchen, "and yet I felt very much at home here." Hirsi Ali speaks quickly and self-assuredly, suddenly excited by the prospect of departure.

"European intellectuals will hate me for accepting an AEI scholarship," she says.
"But Europe's politicians of appeasement already hate me anyway."

Despite the American Enterprise's reputation, it is by no means the war-mongering, America first vanguard of the Republican Party people think it is, Hirsi Ali says. "The AEI brings together people with different viewpoints and allows them to openly discuss their opinions," she explains. "In Europe, on the other hand, intellectuals avoid those with different viewpoints." She says she told the AEI's selection committee that she has a "big mouth," likes to talk back, and is also an atheist.

The Washington Post Company: Sometimes the threats come by e-mail.
Muslims need "to develop a different relationship, a different concept of God, of what God means," Ayaan Hirsi Ali says to Associated Press Writer Netherlands She breaks all Dutch molds. A former refugee from Somalia, she wrote The Caged Virgin -- An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam," published in the U.S. by Free Press.

Threatened MP ordered out of secure home 28 April 2006 AMSTERDAM — Liberal Party MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been ordered to vacate the high-security home she is renting in The Hague within four months. An appeal court sided with her neighbours who complained her presence put their own safety at risk and caused disruption to their lives.

Where will she go? from Sister Toldjah so. From: escaping islam Yesterday I heard a news report of how a Dutch court upheld complaints from residents disturbed by the armed entourage protecting Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
The neighbours said in a statement that their court action had not been directed against Hirsi Ali personally, but against the State for exposing them to danger.

Holland's shameful treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, une députée néerlandaise plusieurs fois menacée de mort par des islamistes radicaux et placée constamment sous protection, risque d'être prochainement expulsée de son logement à La Haye. Une cour d'appel a, jeudi 27 avril, donné raison aux voisins de l'élue libérale. Les plaignants affirment que la présence de la jeune femme et de ses gardes du corps est susceptible d'entraîner un attentat dans leur immeuble, que la valeur de leur habitation s'en trouve réduite et que les contrôles menacent leur vie privée.

Taking Leave
Islamist Threats
To Dutch Politician
Bring Chill at Home
Ms. Hirsi Ali Quits Parliament,
Plans to Resettle in U.S.
After Losing Safe House
A Debate Over Extremism
May 17, 2006; Page A1

(See Corrections & Amplifications item below.)

THE HAGUE -- Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been threatened repeatedly with "execution" by Islamist extremists. She lives in an apartment with bulletproof windows, and is driven to work at the Dutch Parliament by armed guards, who vary the route to outfox would-be hit men.

But an unexpected menace emerged closer to home: her own neighbors. They have fought to evict her, complaining that the presence of a well-known terrorist target in their luxury apartment tower in this Dutch city has upset their family lives and reduced the value of their property.

"Once this lady leaves, the problem is no longer there," says Ger Verhagen, a retired executive who owns a place two floors above the hunted politician. He says he has nothing personal against Ms. Hirsi Ali. But along with other residents, he wants to banish the fears stirred by the proximity of Holland's most acid -- and most frequently threatened -- critic of Islam.

Yesterday, Ms. Hirsi Ali's neighbor got his wish. Three weeks after a Dutch court ordered her out of the building in response to complaints from Mr. Verhagen and other residents, she resigned from Parliament and said she would leave Holland altogether. Her decision follows a cascade of problems: angry neighbors, a government threat to revoke her citizenship and, more generally, growing public disenchantment with her denunciations of both radical Islam and more conventional Muslim doctrines.

The travails of Ms. Hirsi Ali, 36 years old, raise questions about how Europe, seeking calm rather than confrontation, is grappling with the challenges posed by Islamic extremism in its midst. Born in Somalia and raised in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya, Ms. Hirsi Ali says the attitude of her neighbors smacks of World War II-style "appeasement." Others say they sympathize with her predicament but fault her for polarizing society with her attacks on Islamic custom as backward and incompatible with Western values.

In late April, a court in The Hague gave Ms. Hirsi Ali four months to vacate her apartment. Her departure, judges ruled, was necessary to protect the "human rights" of her fearful neighbors. The Dutch state, which owns the apartment and charges her about $1,500 a month in rent, has appealed the decision. Announcing the end of her career in Dutch politics yesterday, she cited the ruling as the direct cause. "It is difficult to work as a parliamentarian if you have nowhere to live," she said.

Before her announcement, which touched off a political firestorm, the eviction order had stirred little public outrage. On state television last week, a satirical talk-show host joked about it, asking a guest -- the Dutch lawyer of an Islamist militant who killed filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004 -- whether Ms. Hirsi Ali would be safest living in a mosque, at Guantanamo Bay or "six feet under in a garden." The audience roared with laughter.

Ms. Hirsi Ali, who gave a speech in Berlin earlier this year entitled "The Right to Offend," lamented her eviction as a triumph of self-interest over solidarity. In a trademark flash of provocation, she says it could even shed light on the debate "over what people did during the Second World War." She says caustically: "My neighbors seem to confirm the critical view that very few Dutch people were brave enough" during the Nazi occupation.

Many Europeans initially rallied to President George W. Bush's "with-us-or-against-us" approach to combating extremism after the bombings in Madrid in early 2004 and the subsequent murder in Amsterdam of Mr. van Gogh, the filmmaker. Since then, however, this united front has narrowed in many parts of Europe to a populist battle against immigration. Some now see Islamist violence and the ideology that fuels it as a threat that can be tamed, or at least kept at a distance, by avoiding provocation.

Although Ms. Hirsi Ali has not yet specified what she will do next, a spokesman for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, said yesterday that she "has been offered the position of resident fellow." A colleague of Ms. Hirsi Ali's said she intends to accept the position and move to the U.S. later this year.

Earlier this month, she joined Vice President Dick Cheney and others in Philadelphia to honor Bernard Lewis, the British-born scholar who coined the phrase "clash of civilizations" and helped shape White House thinking about the Middle East after 9/11. She also spoke at Harvard University and the New York Public Library.

When she returned to Holland last weekend, Ms. Hirsi Ali received a different reception -- a stormy debate over whether she should be stripped of her Dutch citizenship and deported. The clamor followed a documentary broadcast last week in which she expanded upon an earlier admission that she had lied on a 1992 application for refugee status. Ms. Hirsi Ali said yesterday that the country's immigration minister, a nominal ally, had told her Monday that her passport, granted in 1997, would be annulled.

Many Dutch consider her brave but disruptive and too confrontational. She had worked closely with the controversial Mr. van Gogh before his murder, writing and narrating his last film, "Submission," which infuriated Muslims and which many non-Muslims considered gratuitously offensive. A polemic against Islamic attitudes toward women, the short film featured semi-naked actresses, with passages from the Quran scrawled on their bodies.

She clashed recently with a leader of her own center-right Liberal Party, whom she branded a "reactionary," and has been pilloried by politicians on the left, who mock her fury but fear her tart tongue. Many moderate Muslims detest her; radicals want her dead.

"She spits in the face of all Muslims," says Jan Schoonenboom, the head of a government-sponsored research project on Islam. He says he regrets the eviction campaign but says she's partly to blame for stirring Muslim anger. In April, his think tank, the Scientific Council for Government Policy, issued a report that found no fundamental clash between Islamic and Western values and condemned a "climate of confrontation and stereotypical thinking." The Council, which helps set Dutch policy, urged Holland and other European countries to reach out to Islamist groups abroad that have been involved in terrorism, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

"They're just sticking their heads in the sand," responds Ms. Hirsi Ali, who dismisses the report as a "political pamphlet to suit the dreams of people who want to believe there is not a problem."
[Geert Wilders]

Across Europe, dozens of people are now in hiding or under police protection because of threats from Muslim extremists. Dutch police say politicians reported 121 death threats last year. The number this year will likely be much higher. Geert Wilders, a right-wing member of parliament who also lives in a high-security apartment owned by the state, says he has received 120 menacing emails and letters since January. One of the latest reads: "Oh you cursed infidel! Don't think you are safe from our mighty organization....It is our wish to kill you by decapitation. Your infidel blood will flow freely on cursed Dutch streets!"

In Germany, several researchers, journalists and members of Parliament receive police protection because of threats by radical Muslims. Hans-Peter Raddatz, an Islamic-studies expert under police protection, recently moved to the U.S.

Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, is also mulling a move to America, at the urging of friends and security contacts. He set off a global storm by publishing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Twelve Danish cartoonists who drew the caricatures are staying out of public for fear of attack.

Mr. Rose complains that Europe is going wobbly. At the height of the cartoon furor in February, Danish businessmen who criticized their publication were denounced as traitors to free speech. Since then, a segment of the public, eager for a return to calm, has favored a more conciliatory approach toward Muslim anger, Mr. Rose says.

"I think it is very dangerous to give in to intimidation, because it sends a signal: If you threaten enough, we will do as you please," says Mr. Rose.

The U.S. has sometimes sent mixed signals as well. During the cartoon uproar, Washington at first denounced the drawings. As the violence grew, it stressed the importance of free speech.
[Flemming Rose]

Determining how to respond to radical Islam "is the key culture war in Europe," Mr. Rose contends. "This will be the big issue for decades." Europe's large Muslim population has been largely ghettoized. Finding solutions, he says, involves such prickly questions as how to reform welfare systems and how best to absorb immigrants.

Ms. Hirsi Ali first got police protection in 2002 and then went into hiding in November 2004, following the murder in Amsterdam of Mr. van Gogh by a second-generation Dutchman of Moroccan descent. The killer plunged into Mr. van Gogh's chest a long knife, which pinned to the corpse a rambling and venomous note addressed to Ms. Hirsi Ali. It vowed that she, too, would die.

Raised as a devout Muslim, Ms. Hirsi Ali renounced her faith after arriving in Holland and now calls herself a "Muslim atheist." She says she fled here to escape a forced marriage to a distant relative living in Canada.

Her past, she says, allows her to understand what drives the murderous passions of those who want her dead. As a youth, she says, she supported calls by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini for the murder of Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses," a novel she then judged blasphemous.

Fearing for their lives after Mr. van Gogh's murder, Ms. Hirsi Ali and Mr. Wilders, her fellow legislator, shuttled between army barracks, other state installations and the homes of friends and supporters abroad. As the threats continued, the Dutch government began scouting for private properties in which to safely house them. For Ms. Hirsi Ali, it purchased a spacious apartment for more than $1.1 million. The Dutch counterterrorism agency installed bulletproof glass, alarms and other devices.

Her "high-security residence" was supposed to be a secret. Mr. Verhagen, the retired businessman, says he suspected something was afoot when the apartment's previous owner announced gleefully that he'd sold his property, but said he couldn't reveal the new owner's identity.

In April 2005, Ms. Hirsi Ali moved in. She rejoiced in having a home again. "I brought furniture. I set up my desk and my computer. I started to cook again for the first time since the murder," she says.

She also started work on a sequel to "Submission," the film she'd made with Mr. van Gogh and that many blamed for his death. The new movie, which has not yet been shown, takes aim at the treatment of homosexuals in Islamic society.

Ms. Hirsi Ali's new neighbors, meanwhile, started to panic. They complained about security guards blocking the elevator and harassing visitors, and about traffic snarls whenever Ms. Hirsi Ali and her security escorts entered their underground parking garage. At a meeting in April last year with a counterterrorism official in a hotel, they angrily criticized the government for bringing danger into their lives and demanded that independent experts review the risk of having Ms. Hirsi Ali as a neighbor.

When the government refused to budge, the apartment owners hired a lawyer. A second meeting failed to resolve the standoff. The owners hired security consultants at the Dutch branch of accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP to assess whether Ms. Hirsi Ali might put them all in danger.

News of Ms. Hirsi Ali's arrival spread. Dick van Tetterode, a retired doctor who lives in an adjacent building, says he worried briefly about bombs, but decided he'd probably lose only his windows.

During a slow afternoon stroll outside Ms. Hirsi Ali's building, the 84-year-old doctor reflected on her predicament and on his own flight from the Nazis during World War II. A student at the time, he spent two years hiding on a Dutch farm. Two of the three people he credits with saving his life were killed by the Germans. Struggling to hold back tears, he says he regrets never thanking their children properly for their fathers' bravery.

But Ms. Hirsi Ali's case is different, he says. He admires her conviction, he says, but thinks her rage at Islam belongs in the Middle East and Africa, not the Netherlands. "This is not our fight," he says.

Who did what and why during World War II are still touchy questions here. Holland deported 78% of its Jews -- the highest proportion in Western Europe. Among them was Anne Frank, a Jewish girl whose hiding place in Amsterdam was betrayed by a Nazi informant.

In June 2005, Ernst & Young's security advisers presented their report to Mr. Verhagen and other apartment owners. The report rated as "high" the risk in having a "high-security residence" in the building, says Mr. Verhagen. "The conclusion was clear: The government made the wrong choice," he says. Ernst & Young confirmed his account of the findings.

Mr. Verhagen ordered his five grandchildren to stop visiting. "I felt unsafe in my own home," he says.

Eleven of 14 apartment owners backed taking legal action to oust Ms. Hirsi Ali. The politician says she received messages from dissenting owners saying they supported her.

In a suit filed late last year, the owners claimed that their security fears, the disruption caused by Ms. Hirsi Ali's bodyguards and the likely damage to property values violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees "respect for private and family life" and the home, and bars "interference by a public authority."

The government fought the claim, arguing that the tight security had made the building among the safest in The Hague. It also offered unspecified compensation to offset financial damage.

An initial ruling last November went against the owners. Eight of the eleven, determined to get rid of Ms. Hirsi Ali, pressed on.

In an April 27 ruling, an appeals court rejected the argument that the risk of declining property values and the long waits for the elevator constituted a violation of human rights. But citing the murder of Mr. van Gogh and threats against Ms. Hirsi Ali, the court ruled that the "more than negligibly small risk" of a terrorist attack violated the European Convention on Human Rights. Although it acknowledged that finding Ms. Hirsi Ali another shelter would be "unquestionably hard," it nonetheless ordered her to move out within four months.

The judgment prompted disbelief in some quarters. "Put her in the middle of the Atlantic and then everyone will be safe," joked Kees Lunshof, a newspaper columnist.

Others saw more ominous signs. "From a moral point of view, it stinks of cowardice," says Johannes Houwink ten Cate, a professor at Amsterdam University and head of the Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, a Dutch research group. An expert on Holland's treatment of Jews during the Nazi occupation, he says he has "more understanding" for people who betrayed their neighbors out of fear during wartime than for the actions of Ms. Hirsi Ali's well-off neighbors in an era of peace.

Her decision to leave the country for the U.S. spares the Dutch government the chore of finding her a new sanctuary. She'll be gone by the court's eviction deadline. "Sad and relieved, I will pack my bags again. I will go," she said at a news conference yesterday.

She doesn't begrudge her neighbors their security fears, but says she suspects property prices were their main concern. This blinded them to a bigger peril, she says. "Radical Islam is not just against me. It's against them, too," she maintains. "By having me evicted, the terrorists have won. It makes the situation more dangerous for everyone."

Mr. Verhagen, her neighbor, now lives in a different building in a new apartment he purchased before the ruling. His grandchildren visit again, and he's trying to sell his property in Ms. Hirsi Ali's building for more than $1.3 million.

Mr. Verhagen says he's "very sad" his former neighbor decided to leave the country but doesn't regret trying to drive her out of her apartment. "I'm happy I'm out of there," he says.

--Jay Solomon in Washington contributed to this article.

Write to Andrew Higgins at andrew.higgins@wsj.com1

Corrections & Amplifications:

Hans-Peter Raddatz, an Islamic-studies expert under police protection, is still in Germany. This article Wednesday about Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali incorrectly reported that Mr. Raddatz had recently moved to the U.S.

Aux Pays-Bas, les déboires d'une députée anti-islamiste
LE MONDE | 02.05.06 | Citez cet article sur votre blog. Article paru dans l'édition du 03.05.06

After being forced into hiding by fascist killers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali found that the Dutch government and people were slightly embarrassed to have such a prominent "Third World" spokeswoman in their midst. She was first kept as a virtual prisoner, which made it almost impossible for her to do her job as an elected representative. When she complained in the press, she was eventually found an apartment in a protected building. Then the other residents of the block filed suit and complained that her presence exposed them to risk. In spite of testimony from the Dutch police, who assured the court that the building was now one of the safest in all Holland, a court has upheld the demand from her neighbors and fellow citizens that she be evicted from her home. In these circumstances, she is considering resigning from parliament and perhaps leaving her adopted country altogether.

The court accepted Hirsi Ali's presence meant they no longer felt safe in their own apartments or in the communal areas of the complex. The court ruled that is contravened Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights which guarantees respect for a person's private and family life.

The Dutch State had contravened these rights by moving to the apartment complex without seeking their consent and without taking measures to diminish the neighbours' valid fears, the court said. Justice Minister Donner said he is considering appealing the decision to the Supreme Court "otherwise it will create difficulties for the protection of various people".

Uitspraak Hoger beroep Handelszaak Hirsi buren zaak 27-04-2006

De Staat heeft de Bewoners in deze situatie gebracht door [betrokkene] in het appartement te huisvesten zonder hun instemming en zonder zodanige maatregelen te nemen dat de gegronde vrees van de Bewoners wordt weggenomen. De Staat is dan ook rechtstreeks verantwoordelijk voor deze inbreuk op art. 8 EVRM.

3.11 De vraag is vervolgens of deze inbreuk “bij de wet is voorzien” in de zin van art. 8 lid 2 EVRM. Naar het oordeel van het hof is daarvan geen sprake. De bepalingen waarop de Staat zich beroept en op grond waarvan hij de eigendom van een appartementsrecht kan verkrijgen en het mag gebruiken (art. 3:84 jo. art. 3:98 jo. art. 5:106 lid 4 BW), verlenen de Staat immers niet de bevoegdheid om inbreuk te maken op het recht op respect voor de woning van de overige bewoners van het appartementengebouw.

3.12 Het voorgaande voert tot de conclusie dat de Staat op ongeoorloofde wijze inbreuk maakt op de woning van de Bewoners door [betrokkene] in het appartement te laten wonen.

La Cour a jugé que la convention européenne des droits de l'homme, notamment, garantissait aux habitants le calme et l'intégrité de leur domicile. La députée a jugé "terrible" ce jugement, qui pourrait entraîner son expulsion. Connue pour avoir réalisé avec le cinéaste Theo Van Gogh, assassiné par un islamiste en 2004, le film Submission, qui dénonçait la condition des femmes musulmanes, Mme Hirsi Ali, d'origine somalienne, est devenue l'une des figures-clés de la politique néerlandaise Ex-porte parole du Parti populaire pour la liberté et la démocratie (VVD) pour les questions d'intégration, la députée fut clairement désignée par l'assassin de M. Van Gogh comme une autre cible. D'autres radicaux, ainsi qu'un groupe de rap, évoquèrent publiquement son assassinat.

Plusieurs responsables politiques néerlandais sont protégés en permanence. La situation de certains, dont le député populiste Geert Wilders, pourrait se trouver compliquée par cette décision, qui signifie apparemment que des élus devraient désormais être logés dans des casernes. Le ministre de la justice, Piet-Hein Donner, a annoncé un pourvoi en cassation ainsi que l'éventuel dépôt d'une loi permettant à des personnes protégées de vivre dans des conditions normales.

google translate language tools

In den Niederlanden die Verdrusse einer anti- islamistischen Abgeordneten
die WELT|02.05.06|Zitieren Sie diesen Artikel über Ihr blog

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, eine niederländische Abgeordnete mehrer Mal, die von Tod bedroht durch islamistische Radikale und die stetig unter Schutz gesetzt wurde, riskiert, demnächst von ihrer Wohnung in Den Haag ausgestoßen zu werden.

Ein Berufungsgericht hat Donnerstag, den 27. April den Nachbarn des liberalen gewählten Grund gegeben. Die Kläger behaupten, daß die Anwesenheit der jungen Frau und ihrer Bewachung des Körpers ein Attentat in ihrem Gebäude bewirken könne, daß der Wert ihrer Wohnung sich davon begrenzt befindet, und daß die Kontrollen ihrem privaten Leben drohen.

Das Berufungsgericht hat beurteilt, daß das europäische Übereinkommen über die Menschenrechte insbesondere den Einwohnern die Ruhe und die Integrität ihres Wohnsitzes garantierte. Die Abgeordnete hat "schrecklich" dieses Urteil beurteilt, das seine Ausweisung bewirken könnte. Bekannt, um mit Cineasten Theo van Gogh verwirklicht zu haben, der durch ein islamistisches im Jahre 2004 ermordet wurde, der Submission-Film, der die Bedingung der muselmanischen Frauen anprangerte, ist Frau Hirsi Ali somalischen Ursprungs eine der Schlüssel- Darstellungen der niederländischen Politik geworden.

Exportieren Sie Wort der Volkspartei für die Freiheit, und die Demokratie (VVD), für die Fragen der Integration, die Abgeordneten wurde deutlich vom Mörder von Herrn van Gogh als ein anderes Ziel bezeichnet. Andere Radikale sowie eine apgruppe erwähnten öffentlich seinen Mord. Mehrere niederländische politische Verantwortlichen werden ständig geschützt. Die Situation von einigen deren Volksabgeordneter Geert Wilders könnte sich durch diese Entscheidung schwierig befinden, die offensichtlich bedeutet, daß Vertreter von nun an in Kasernen untergebracht werden müßten.

Der Minister für Justiz, hat Piet- Hein Donner, eine Kassationsbeschwerde angekündigt sowie die mögliche Einreichung eines Gesetzes, das geschützten Personen erlaubt, unter normalen Bedingungen zu leben.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali eine niederländische Abgeordnete riskiert mehrer Mal, die von Tod bedroht durch islamistische Radikale und die stetig unter Schutz gesetzt wurde,, demnächst von seiner Wohnung in Den Haag ausgestoßen zu werden. Ein Berufungsgericht hat Donnerstag, den 27. April den Nachbarn des liberalen gewählten Grund gegeben. Die Kläger behaupten, daß die Anwesenheit der jungen Frau und ihrer Bewachung des Körpers ein Attentat in ihrem Gebäude bewirken könne, daß der Wert ihrer Wohnung sich davon begrenzt befindet, und daß die Kontrollen ihrem privaten Leben drohen. Der Gerichtshof hat beurteilt, daß das europäische Übereinkommen über die Menschenrechte insbesondere den Einwohnern die Ruhe und die Integrität ihres Wohnsitzes garantierte. Die Abgeordnete hat "schrecklich" dieses Urteil beurteilt, das seine Ausweisung bewirken könnte. Bekannt, um mit Cineasten Theo van Gogh verwirklicht zu haben, der durch ein islamistisches im Jahre 2004 ermordet wurde, der Submission-Film, der die Bedingung der muselmanischen Frauen anprangerte, ist Frau Hirsi Ali somalischen Ursprungs eine der Schlüssel- Darstellungen der niederländischen Politik geworden. Exportieren Sie Wort der Volkspartei für die Freiheit, und die Demokratie (VVD), für die Fragen der Integration, die Abgeordneten wurde deutlich vom Mörder von Herrn van Gogh als ein anderes Ziel bezeichnet. Andere Radikale sowie eine apgruppe erwähnten öffentlich seinen Mord. Mehrere niederländische politische Verantwortlichen werden ständig geschützt. Die Situation von einigen deren Volksabgeordneter Geert Wilders könnte sich durch diese Entscheidung schwierig befinden, die offensichtlich bedeutet, daß Vertreter von nun an in Kasernen untergebracht werden müßten. Der Minister für Justiz, hat Piet- Hein Donner, eine Kassationsbeschwerde angekündigt sowie die mögliche Einreichung eines Gesetzes, das geschützten Personen erlaubt, unter normalen Bedingungen zu leben.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Centennial awards: Moral Courage; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch Parliament Member

Frence Marianne or Minaret? The minaret violating the statue of Liberty picture would not be possible under Islam shariah since then no buildings higher than mosque's are allowed. When the grand daughter of the Frence model arrived she told the resemblance was remarkable.

The news headlines show the growing influences of Islam.
heightened awareness of radical Islam, coupled with the growth around the globe of Muslim populations through migration and demographic shifts, no longer allows "business as usual" approach to the Islamic world.

The Somali-born Dutch legislator who lives under constant death threats by Islamic radicals, will receive the American Jewish Committee’s Moral Courage Award at the organization’s 100th Annual Meeting in May.

Some people are very worried about Islam taking Europe on it's horns.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Receive AJC Moral Courage Award
for opposing extremism and oppression. A sort of equivalent
of the harpO GutsPwah prize given to another muslim refusenik, winner of Oprah Winfrey's first annual Chutzpah Award and dissident of islam lecturing together at the 92Y & alone at
New York Public Library the main building with the lions out front

April 30, 2006 In Conversation With Philip Gourevitch;
World Voices audio pen.org and Monday, May 1, 2006
Park Hyatt Philadelphia at WAC Islam and the West conferences with moderator ex Cnn * Judy Woodruff, Young Miss Augusta 1963 at Seventeenth, being a birthplace since 1776 of ideas that further the potential of human society.

With Philadelphia Road boy-scout Kissinger as Global experts on American Assimilation in Jewish America.

Fleeing the Czar's pogroms many Jewish socialists arrived in America in the early 1900's.

Founded in 1906, as a result of the Imperial Russian Tzar's, slave State Pruisian Germany,the Templeliers in Litouwen after the cussades, Hanze steden and the barn stone road one year after the second Russian aliyah upon the second wave of pogroms around the revolution year 1905 by Pobedonostsev a loose kanon in orbit's entourage of forceless tzar Nikolaas II,

AJC is celebrating at its Annual Meeting one hundred years of fighting for human freedom, human dignity and human rights.

The Moral Courage Award presented to Hirsi Ali on May 4 2006 in Wash, Dist. Col.

Within 11 years after arrival in the Netherlands she was elected to the Dutch Parliament with enough votes for more than half a chair of the 150 so around 1 out of 300 votes. She is an advocate for the integration and emancipation of Muslim women. “Ayaan Hirsi Ali has literally put her life on the scale for her beliefs,” says AJC Executive Director David A. Harris. “She is indefatigable in her efforts to wake us up to the dangers that threaten our value system, indeed our very way of life.”

Since arriving in the Netherlands as a refugee in 1992, Hirsi Ali has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of Muslim women, especially after she found Muslim women in immigrant communities in the Western world subjected to abuses and discrimination commonplace in Islamic countries. She also has criticized Western governments for allowing such practices to persist in violation of Western societal norms and laws.

She received political asylum after fleeing from her own family which had arranged a marriage for her in Canada. In eleven years Hirsi Ali worked her way up from cleaning woman to graduating from the University of Leiden with a political science degree to winning election in 2003 to the Dutch Parliament as a member of the Liberal Party.

“Submission,” the short film by Theo Van Gogh about the treatment of Muslim women by male relatives, was written by Hirsi Ali. Van Gogh was murdered two years ago by a Moroccan immigrant, who also left pinned to the filmmaker's body a note threatening the life of Hirsi Ali. She has since lived under 24-hour police protection, an extraordinary condition for an elected official in a European democracy.

In addition to defending women’s rights, Hirsi Ali is outspoken on virulent anti-Semitism that pervades much of the Islamic world. She condemns those in the West who allow Muslim immigrant communities to wallow in second or third class status.

“She is determined to confront the Islamic world with the long overdue challenge of adapting to modernity, and she believes that examination must start with Muslims living in the West, as only they have the liberty in which to operate and to bring about change,” says Harris.

Hirsi Ali will be the second recipient of the Moral Courage Award. Last year AJC honored an Iraqi politician, Mithal Alusi, who has relentlessly advocated for a democratic, secular, Western-oriented nation, and traveled to Israel to show his desire to establish ties between Iraq and Israel. Due to his views, Alusi was targeted for assassination, and in one attempt both of his sons were killed. He was elected to the Iraqi National Assembly in December.
Listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's introduction and acceptance speech
Ladies and gentlemen I have a confession to make, if you are Jewish.
It's a testimony to my dark past when I lived in ignorance.

My own version some minutes after listening;

I justed to hate you!
When we had no water I thought you closed the tap.
I do not know how but you did it.
A bad mark at school or my mother angry.
Always the Jew where behind that.
In Saudi where poor Palestins, you drove them out.
We were tought to hate you.
Learing to hate you was easy.
My half sister told the holocaust was the best thing happend to the Jew's.
Unlearing to hate was difficult.

From M Phillips A woman of valour In the flesh she appears quiet, demure and modest.
At the AJC conference she spoke briefly and simply, and you could have heard a pin drop.
What she said was devastating.‘I used to hate you’ she said. In her Somalian Muslim family, she said, she was brought up to hate the Jews.

She was taught that the Jews were to blame for the war in Somalia, for driving the Palestinians out of their homes, for the fact that no water came out of Somalian taps. ‘If my mother was unkind to me, I knew the Jews were definitely behind it’, she said. The Jews, she was taught, were evil, had evil powers and used these to evil ends.

But somehow she managed to grasp that she was being taught lies, and she determined to fight them. That was hard; learning to hate was easy, she said, but unlearning it was very difficult. Yet she did it

The following is part of her acceptance speech, transcription Rishon Risho

I used to hate you. I hated you because I thought you were responsible for the war that took my father from me for so long. When the Soviet Union allied with our home-grown dictator in Somalia, I was told the Jews were behind that. In Saudi Arabia I saw poor people from a place called Palestine. Men women and children huddled together in despair. I was told you drove them out of their homes. I hated you for that. When we had no water I thought you closed the tap. I don't know how you did it, but you did it. If my mother was unkind to me I knew you were definitely behind it. Even when I failed an exam I knew it was your fault. I don't know how you did all these things. But then I didn't need proof. You are by nature evil. And you had evil powers and you used them to evil ends.

Learning to hate you was easy.

Could her sister be refering to the fact the holocaust lead to the foundation of the State of Israel and as such after millenia of diaspora being in known history the best thing ever happed to the Jew´s?

Ayaan opened the first exhibition in over 60 years in Lager Westerbork about homosexuals in death camps in april and got attacked by 9 lesbian and gay socical scientist accussing her of milking the holocaust for islamfobia in a widely published open letter.

Last year a group at the Universtity of Islamsterdam made opposion against her presence at the opening of the accademic year. The academic world does not like newcomers making statements about their claimed space.

Ayaan also refers the the holocaust at the 61st Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights held in Geneva from 14th March to 22nd April 2005. As a politician, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who came to speak at the one-day parallel conference “Victims of Jihad” and who joined the International Humanist and Ethical Union press conference on 18th April, felt unable to address the plenary of the Commission on behalf of IHEU so Roy Brown read a statement that briefly summarised the main points of her conference speech:

Western society tends to turn a blind eye to the plight of European Muslim women and girls because “Muslim culture is different”. Yet in Europe many women find themselves subject to domestic violence, undergo forced marriages or are even killed by family members because of some belief that they have tarnished the family honour.

Ayaan had also posed a rhetorical question:

Would this Commission, we wonder, have remained silent when millions of European Jews were being shipped off to the gas chambers because this was “part of German culture”?

To answer this question one has to know a refugee from Europe even spoke in the Conges during World War II but they did not believe the Germans where using the laborcamps for destruction.
The Germans needed slave labour to pay off their debs to American companies. Baden Powell build the first slave camps in South Africa decades before so the knew the profits of such an American Enterprise.

The Congess stopped payments to Hitler after the invasion of Hawaii, witch came as a shock to this great Nation because all the maps they had even seen of outfolded pictures of the globe showed Japan on the other side of the world. They were paying since 1933 and admired the Nazi Neurenberger race laws since mixed coupels would lead to degeneration of this wonderfull Ango Saxian Masterrace that went plundering trough Europe and could pass between the Friesians and the Flemish over the canal to England driving the Brits to Scotland and the Kelts to Wales and Ierland to build their empire of global domination.

America tryed to save the dollar from bankruptcy by invading Irak after Saddam Hoesseis propossel to the OPEC to accept only Euros for payement. Now the oil has been sold in 20 and 30 year contracts to China and India and Irak has thanks to the dismanteling of secular law a
provice of Iran. I wonder the currency of these oil contracts is in US dollars...

At the intoduction of the Euro the value was around 1 to the dollar. Now 80 eurocents gives a dollar, so it dropped 1/5 . The dollar is the oil of the global black market economies.

The yearly Dutch black economy turnover is slighty lower that of the Vatican Malta Knight's but still estimated at 18 to 24 miljard Euro( this is 1000 x 1000 x 1000 ) per year. It gets partly smurfed into tax paying entities like pizzashops, restaurants, videoshops booking it cash to the daily turn-over and staying under the higher tax rate by generating a miminum of profit in the official books or real estate investments.

Foreign venture kapitalist bought for over 22 miljard Euro's worth of Dutch companies
and privitezed public services in 2006. They recieve tax reductions so outstandingly
low that the Japanees gouvernement has issued extra taxes for Nippon companies
investing in the Netherlands. Unfortunaty the bureaucratic proletariaat that forms
the Dutch State only want to do business with multinationals and big investors.

They demolish all craftmen-ship and knowlegde and the small and medium enterprises
will be swallowed up. Also the Dutch governement is activly killing the family owned.

The vice president of the USA private company is allowed to charge 50 dollar an hour to the White House Administration for a 7 dollar an hour Irakian laundry worker in Bagdad.
Warworkers earn a trippel of the normal soldiers wages working for private soldiers companies and 1/3 of the National Guard was abroad in various wars during hurrican Katrina.

The Bush administration allowed so much water to be drained upstream the water in the
river was to low to keep the dikes wet so they dried out lost their strenght and broke since the normal waterlever was at New Orleans 4 meters higher than the sea.

And how many of hunderd years ago where they build?

The White House is now run by the son of ex CIA head and former president Bush Sr. whose father was shareholder in the Thyssen Bank Rotterdam after 1918. Around WOII the USA based clans sourced lots of money to the States. Arafat, Hitler and Hoessain all got similair support from American companies and State Agencies. The CIA trained Al Fathah as "Jordan Basketball Team" in Amerika. Usama Bin Laden was the base man in Afganistan for the CIA against the Sovjets. Industrial Bussines Machines were sold to Hilter Germany for the race administration and calculation of camp sites inside concentrations of the over 15 miljen Jews who were living in Europe before World War II.

The British and Americans did also not bomb the railroads to the camps.

They also turned Indonesia into a big state against the communists, allowed 1.000.000 to be killed and 750.000 in camps and not the federation as planed before WOII by the Dutch.

They did not assist the Dutch after the Jap got beaten against the Islamitic Nationalists and now thanks to Amerika Indonesie is the biggest moslim state.

De eerste omvangrijke groep joden die naar Palestina trok, eind vorige eeuw, was afkomstig uit Rusland. Daar waren de joden al eeuwenlang doelwit geweest van volkspesterijen en gesar door de autoriteiten. Catharina de Grote had hun eind achttiende eeuw een gebied toegewezen waar ze, in tegenstelling tot elders in Rusland, volgens hun eigen tradities mochten leven. Dat gebied strekte zich uit van de Baltische Zee tot aan de Zwarte Zee en omvatte grote delen van wat nu Polen, Wit-Rusland en Oekraïne heet. Het groeide uit tot de bakermat van de joodse cultuur van ashkenazische (hebreeuws voor 'Duitse') snit. Juist dat gebied werd na de moord op tsaar Aleksander II in 1881 getroffen door een golf van pogroms. Het leidde tot een enorme uittocht van joden, merendeels richting Amerika, maar ook richting Palestina - een heuse 'aliyah', ofte wel pelgrimsgolf.
De 'tweede Russische aliyah' volgde op een tweede golf van pogroms, rond het revolutiejaar 1905. Pobedonostsev, een ongeleid politiek projectiel in de orbit van de krachteloze tsaar Nikolaas II, kwam op de gedachte het volksonbehagen te richten op het 'joodse vraagstuk', dat volgens hem maar op één manier kon worden opgelost, namelijk door een derde der joden uit te roeien, een derde over de grens te jagen en een derde te bekeren.
De twintig- à dertigduizend Russische joden die daarop naar Palestina vertrokken, ontpopten zich als ijverige kolonisten. De studie van de thora kwam bij hen op het tweede plan. Zij kwamen werken, opbouwen, meer nog: het socialisme vestigen. Allengs kwamen er zelfs joodse bolsjevieken toegestroomd, dit tot ergernis van Jacob Israël de Haan, die in het Algemeen Handelsblad van 21 juni 1921 over hen optekent: 'Een Arabische proletariër is hun nader dan een Joodsche kapitalist.'
Onder Stalin kwam aan de uittocht der joden een einde. De rode dictator had een eigen plan bedacht om het 'joodse vraagstuk' op te lossen. Boribidzjan, ergens diep in Siberië, leek hem een geschikt oord voor een autonome joodse republiek. Er viel veel grond te ontginnen en het lag strategisch ten opzichte van Japan. Het aantal joden is er nooit boven de dertigduizend gekomen. In de jaren zeventig woonden er ternauwernood nog twaalfduizend. En toen moest de 'derde aliyah' nog beginnen, die van de jaren zeventig.
Maar liefst honderdzestigduizend joden trokken in die jaren, als gevolg van de versoepeling der emigratieregeling, naar Israel. Een derde van hen waren zogeheten 'oriëntaalse joden' uit Georgië, de Kaukasus en Boechara. Deze oosterse joden zijn minder hoog opgeleid en leven traditioneler dan hun ashkenazische broeders en zusters uit het westen van Rusland.
Van de 'vierde aliyah', de laatste, die in 1987 dank zij Gorbatsjovs glasnost op gang kwam, maakten de oriëntaalse joden bijna een kwart uit. Op deze brave en inschikkelijke groep joden zijn de kwalijke vooroordelen die men in Israel jegens de nieuwste lichting Russen koestert, in ieder geval niet van toepassing. Onder hen geen criminelen, zuiplappen, leeglopers en prostituées.