Friday, November 30, 2007

Help Defend A True "Voice of The Voiceless"

"But this is simply a fact of life in a world where freedom of speech and conscience falls ever more under the shadow of Muslim fanaticism. In my opinion, there is no one making a more heroic effort to change this fact than Ayaan Hirsi Ali."

-author, Sam Harris

I know a thing or two about the hatred of fanatics.
But, what I have had to endure is nothing compared to author, activist, and a true "voice of the voiceless" Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
She is a woman whose intellectual and physical courage is an inspiration who has come to be a stalwart representative of the struggle against the forces of Islamification and for the rights of oppressed Muslim girls and women throughout the world. As someone who has similarly seen the face of literal evil and who speaks out about it, I cannot help but to feel a kind of kinship to Ayaan. And in a world increasingly devoid of heroes, she remains one of mine and she is in need of help.
Her life is clearly in danger from attacks by extremists and she now needs assistance in order to provide for her own self-defense.

The former Muslim, whose memoir "Infidel" and other works, has shed a light into the horrific world that is that of the "religion of peace". And her life is in constant danger for doing so.
People first heard of Ali in 2004 when her friend Theo van Gogh was ambushed by a Muslim and brutally murdered for the crime of making a short film that displeased a good deal of Islamists. Van Gogh, a descendant of the artist was extremely controversial and he did seemingly relish his contrarian role and relentlessly needled Islam’s fanatics without going into excruciating detail, Van Gogh was killed in the same way that many who find themselves in the clutches of terrorists are. But killing the man was not enough for Mohammed Bouyeri.
He had to make a further gory point and that point was directed squarely at Ali by way of a letter that was stabbed into Gogh’s chest as he lay dying. According to Ali: "The letter was addressed to me." It said that Van Gogh had been "executed" for making a film with her that exposed the widespread abuse of Muslim women. Now, she would be "executed" too – for being an apostate
It is a murder that haunts Ayann. She says that, even now, "every time I close my eyes, I see the murder, and I hear Theo pleading for his life. 'Can't we talk about this?' he asked his killer. It was so Dutch, so sweet and innocent At the trial, Bouyeri spat at Van Gogh's mother: "I don't feel your pain. I don't have any sympathy for you. I can't feel for you because I think you're a non-believerAyann’s journey from a Muslim women in Somalia, to the Dutch Parliament, to The United States, and now back to Europe as one of the most genuine and outspoken advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves is well worth exploring and I encourage everyone to do so through her books and writings. In doing so, you will find out the reasons why Muslims across the world want her dead.It is not that she embraces some kind of jingoist position in the place of being a jihadist that makes her so important and dangerous, it is the fact that those people she loves and speaks for, are in fact Muslims. This despite the fact that she has abandoned the "faith" itself.But, Ayaan does not merely point out the symptomatic, she, in the truest form of what a "radical" is, "lays axe to root", and with her incisive grasp of the reality of Islam, she acknowledges the clash of civilizations and makes it clear what side she is on.In discussing Islam’s Prophet Mohamed, she claims that "All Muslims believe in following his example, but many of the things he did are crimes. When he was in his fifties, he had sex with a nine-year-old girl. By our standards, he was a pervert. He ordered the killing of Jews and homosexuals and apostates, and the beating of women." That is why she concludes that "the war on terror is a war on Islam, and "Islam is the new fascism.
It is comments such as those above that have stoked the ire of her former co-religionists and to a lesser extent, those who subscribe to the idea that all faiths are created equal, that Islam is a "religion of peace", or that it has been "hijacked" by extremists. It is her view that those who have bought into "a few bad apples" argument are in fact enabling extremism and are helping to perpetuate the oppression of Muslims throughout the world.She also takes aim at what is arguably the most visible symbol of what it means to be a Muslim and that is the veiling of girls and women in the faith. She concludes that it is "a political statement, it's not just a religious statement. It says: I'm different from you and I reject what you stand for."
However, she does not want the hijab banned. What she does say is that:
"The message of liberals is so much better, so much stronger, that you don't have to resort to banning. You can wear whatever it is that you want, you can give out whatever message that you want to give out – but you have to understand that if that message is rejected, then you can't call people Islamophobic and expect to be taken seriously. If you choose to wear a veil, people might ridicule and oppose you. That's their right, too."
Another point of interest for me with regards to Ayaan is the fact that although she is an ardent defender of freedom of religion and from it, feminism and gay rights, that she is often targeted by the political left as being a right-wing demagogue or worse yet, a manipulated tool for un-warranted fear of one of the worlds largest religions.
This is something I have also become familiar with. Despite the fact that I take similar positions with Ayann concerning fundamental human rights, I too have been targeted by elements of the far-left as they have made the conscious choice to defend the most reactionary of groups in that of MOVE. A sect which is rabidly anti-intellectual, anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-education, exploits race, and destroys life while it preaches the gospel of protecting life. Much in the same way that Islamists claim that their oppression of women is actually done in the name of protecting and revering women.
So, in a sense I can somewhat comprehend her ordeal, hence this article and plea for help for her.
In November, the Dutch government decided not to pay for her protection, saying she should pay for it herself. This despite the fact that countless threats remain for her. And while she is a successful author, she cannot pay for the round-the-clock security that she needs. According to Ayaan ,"Only 11 members out of the 150 MPs voted to keep my security detail she says. "So it's an overwhelming decision, and when I saw that I did feel betrayed. It's not only a betrayal of me, it's a betrayal of the idea of free expression."I think they believe that supposedly provoking Muslims will only make them more angry and hostile. The four large cities in Holland have now got very large Muslim populations, and that number is increasing – the estimate is that they're about 40 per cent. With that kind of electoral power [they think] it's best not to provoke them." Even if that means sacrificing basic Dutch values? "Yes."?"
Ayaan cannot return to her homeland, if she were to step upon Somali soil she would likely be as good as dead. So, she chooses to stay in her adopted homeland in the Netherlands while facing the very kind of extremists who murdered her friend and have on countless occasions promised to kill her.
That being the case, a fund has been set-up in order to assist her with her security. And while I understand it an odd request for such a public figure to need to go online with requests for security, I find this issue to be about much more than one woman and her fight against fundamentalism. I see it as an instance of a true "freedom-fighter" who has consistently placed herself in harms way in order to ensure that those who cannot speak have someone to speak for them.


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