Newsweek’s Stupidity By Betsy Newmark

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali immigrant who suffered genital mutilation, forced marriage, and escaped by seeking asylum in the Netherlands, and threats against her life when, after her friend Theo Van Gogh was brutally slain in the street, she proceeded to criticize religious extremists who have hijacked her religion. She was elected to the Dutch Parliament but the Dutch sought to deport her when they discovered that she had lied in her application for asylum. The reward for speaking so openly about Islam have been threats against her life and the Dutch revoking her citizenship. She has now come to America and is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She is out with a book about her life, Infidel, that Anne Applebaum compared to Frederick Douglass’s autobiography. It truly sounds like a memoir worth reading, but she is riling up some Europeans for her criticisms of Muslim religious extremists and embrace of secularism. Not having suffered what she has, they feel free to criticize her for criticize her for criticizing.

Curiously, what seems to rankle Europeans most is the enthusiasm with which Hirsi Ali has adopted their own secularism, and the fervor with which she has embraced their own Western values. Though this is a continent whose intellectuals routinely disparage the pope as an irrelevant dinosaur, Hirsi Ali’s rejection of religion in favor of reason, intellect, and emancipation seems to make everyone nervous. Typical is the British feminist who complained that not only does Hirsi Ali paint “the whole of the Islamic world with one black brush,” she also “paints the whole of the western world with rosy tints,” which is of course far more objectionable. Others have compared her unfavorably to Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who argues that religious Islam can be made compatible with modern European democracy. He, it is said, offers a way forward for millions of pious European Muslims. By contrast, her rejection of religion in favor of Western secularism is said to be a form of integration that works for no one but herself.

Newsweek has an interview. And how does that erudite newsmagazine title the interview? “A Bombthrower’s Life.” How clueless can Newsweek be? The woman who had to go into hiding for threats to her life is the one they’re calling a “bombthrower”! What would they have called Frederick Douglass?

As Christopher Hitchens points out, this is just part of an attempt for moral equivalence between true evil and the West.

The subject of this absurd headline is a woman who has been threatened with horrific violence, by Muslims varying from moderate to extreme, ever since she was a little girl. She has more recently had to see a Dutch friend butchered in the street, been told that she is next, and now has to live with bodyguards in Washington, D.C. She has never used or advocated violence. Yet to whom does Newsweek refer as the “Bombthrower”? It’s always the same with these bogus equivalences: They start by pretending loftily to find no difference between aggressor and victim, and they end up by saying that it’s the victim of violence who is “really” inciting it.

Yup, there it is. She criticizes the violence of Muslim extremists and she is the one who is labeled an extremist. Newsweek reporters and editors need to buy a clue.

This content was used with the permission of Betsy’s Page.

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