Ayan Hirsi Ali: A One-Note Islam Critic

One of Islam's worst critics is now an academic 'fellow' in the U.S. But Ayan Hirsi Ali's anti-Islam criticism is getting old.

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I guess she's unaware that according to a report by MSNBC , officials estimate that "more than 200,000 women and girls--a quarter of all women trafficked globally--are smuggled out of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics each year, the bulk of whom end up working as enslaved prostitutes. Almost half are transported to Western Europe. Roughly a quarter ends up in the United States." But in Ali’s mind, since "slavery is practiced only in Arab/Islamic world," it must be because of Islam itself.


Ali is notorious for making sweeping generalizations about Islam and Muslims, and she frequently cites information that is incorrect. For instance, on the NPR show she said: "For empirical evidence on whether women and/or the Islamic world is in a crisis, I would like to refer Tony [a caller to the show] to the Arab Human Development report ... in which the writers of that report say the Arab/Islamic world is retarded when it comes to ... three factors: The freedom of the individual, knowledge, and the subjugation of women."


According to reading, the Arab Human Development report speaks only of the Arab--and not Islamic--world. And her characterization that the Arab/Islamic world is "retarded" was a gross oversimplification. A quick glance at the United Nations Development Program's website  for Arab states clearly shows this.

But what left me truly flabbergasted by that NPR interview was Ali's statement about the West: "I know that Western societies have had a terrible past from the burning of women as witches all the way to what happened in the Second World War ... that's one part of the West. But there's the other part which is really developing institutions that safeguard the life and freedoms of the individual, and it would be a huge pity to confuse the two and to, you know, lump them together and describe the West only as a source of evil." Yet, she does that exact same thing when it comes to Islam and the Muslim world. Doesn't this smack of sheer hypocrisy?

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