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  1. 12 Jun '10 04:28 / 1 edit
    http://biggovernment.com/mrwrestler/2010/06/10/ayaan-hirsi-ali-upends-leftist-stereotypes-in-santa-monica/#more-12882

    "Ayaan Hirsi Ali Upends Leftist Stereotypes in Santa Monica"

    "On May 24th, at Track 16 Gallery in fashionable Bergamont Station in Santa Monica CA, dozens of marginal works of art were nearly destroyed by the exploding heads of some of SoCal's finest and most dogmatic liberals, as a roomful of them were injected with some cognitive dissonance when author Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the author of "infidel", a deeply personal account of her disillusionment with the rejection of her Muslim upbringing as well as her latest book "Nomad", which chronicles her continuing journey. She also collaborated with late film director Theo Van Gogh on the short documentary film "Submission", the release of which resulted in the brutal assassination of Van Gogh by a homegrown Dutch Islamic jihadist and ultimately drove her from the Netherlands because of her inability to find adequate security there. She continues to be an outspoken critic of the subjugation and mistreatment of women under fundamentalist Islam, and the AHA Foundation which she founded aims to combat several types of crimes against women, including female genital mutilation, forced marriages, honor violence, and honor killings. These would seem to be fairly non-controversial goals, especially in a pro-feminist Western society, but they recieved a rather chilly response that night from the tolerant progressives of Santa Monica.

    During the interview portion of the evening, I was struck by how quiet the room was. Statements made by Ms. Ali that in most cities in middle America would have recieved applause were met with a respectfull but stony silence. When the floor was opened for questions from the seemingly stunned audience, one after another of Santa Monica's finest political thinkers rose unsteadily from their chairs to ask a question that might allow them to hold onto their deeply-held and carefully nuanced progressive beliefs in the face of someone who must have seemed to them to be an untouchable figure, a woman born in Somalia who left Islam and became and atheist, as well as an unrelenting critic of the injustice and violence that is routinely taught in the Muslim world.

    In response to a lady who asked passionately if it was not true that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had created more terrorists then they had thwarted, Ms. Ali calmly replied that the jihadists of course used these wars as propoganda for recruitment, just as they would use any situation for recruitment, since they are in the business of destroying free societies and bringing them under submission to shari's law, and that no matter what the West did, the jihadists would recruit and terrorize.

    One very confused and shaken white-haired gentleman could barely form a question, stammering that he had "great respect" for her but disagreed with almost everything she said. As he rambled on, many of his collegues began to call at him, "What's your question?" and "No speeches, ask a question" He finally concluded with a semi-coherent plea along the lines of, "Well, how do we deal with these extremists?"

    Ali replied that once you have decided to "deal" with the jihadists, you have legitimized their demands of submission, and that you cannot "deal" with fanatics who wish to destory your nice free society with bike paths and reusable shopping bags and replace it with a totalitarian theocracy. She went on to object to the vague use of the terms "extremists," asking "Exremists of what?" If we were talking about white supremacists, or radical Marxists or Communists or any other "ists" that used terrorism and violence to bring about their goals, we would not hesitate to identify the ideas behind their philosophy that drove them to such ends. Why should we hesitate to confront the fact that these particular killers were driven by their fanatical religious beliefs?

    She deftly fielded a question about the "perversion" of Islam by fanatics by proclaiming that she was more concerned about the perversion of the word "liberalism," because of the willingness of many Western liberals to accept and excuse some of the most heinous criminal acts committed by practitioners of the Muslim faith, like arranged marriages, spousal abuse, subjugation of women by force, denial of education to females, and female genital mutilation in the name of multiculturalism and a so-called "respect" for other civilizations. American liberals, she said, appear to be more uncomfortable condemning the ill treatment of women under Islam that most conservatives are. This led her into a repudiation of multiculturalism, and how, despite some honorable intentions in it origins, it had mutated into a belief system that actually denies access to the freedom and justice guaranteed by the American Constitution by allowing injustice to continue within protected minority communities by not encouraging them to assimilate and become full Americans.

    In response to a question about how long America should stay in Iraq and Afghanistan, she said it was her hope that the Americans would stay for 50 to 100 years, if that is how long it took to modernize those socieities, even while acknowledging that there did not seem to be the political will for such an effort to be sustained.

    The best question of the evening came from a young man who simply asked what would be the best way to bring about an "Enlightenment" in the Muslim world. She replied that the best way would be to ask them questions about their religion and cause "cognitive dissonance" among those who blindly follow the violent exhortations of their imams. I actually laughed out loud when she used those words, as the congnitive dissonance occurring at that moment in the Track 16 gallery was practically audible. I could swear I heard the word, "What?!" thudding over and over again in the formerly comfortable brains of those around me.

    The only applause of the night signaled the end of the evening, and as I lined up to have my book signed by Ms. Ali, I was struck by how short the line was. Out of the 150 to 200 people I guessed were in attendance, only about 25 or so lined up to greet this remarkable individual. As I made my way down the line, I passed pockets of fervent discussion, and caught fragments here and there. I overheard one rather agitated gentleman say, "I just think there are problems in this country that she just does not understand! I mean, what is the difference between a fanatical mass-murdering Taliban regime and a mass-murdering evangelical Christian in the White House, which this country voted in for eight years!?"

    In Nomad, Hirsi Ali states unequivocally that Christianity and Islam are definately not equivalent, if for no other reason than Christianities willingness to tolerate questioning and even blasphemy without issuing death sentences, and actually calls for a "strategic alliance" between secular people -- atheists like herself, Richard Dawkins, and others -- and Christians in order to combat the oppression inherent in an unenlightened, unreconstructed Islam (Nomad pp 240-241) If this man had asked Ms. Ali his ridiculous question, she would have asnwered it handily. So why did he not? Why was he huddled in the furthest corner of the room spewing his nonsense to his nodding compatriots? What about Ayaan Hirsi Ali had flummoxed him and his fellow travellers into circles of insular outrage?

    Well, she was black, so they could not dismiss her as a racist, she had lived in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, and the US, so they could not call her an ignorant provincial hick, she was an avowed atheist, so they could not call her a Christian bigot on a crusade against peaceful Islam, and she was multi-lingual, articulate, and brilliant, so they could not just call her stupid. All the pejoratives they usually apply in people who diagree with them would not work, and so they were left to confront her ideas, and those ideas stripped them naked, rent their garments of superiority and condescension into tatters at their feet, and left them angry and confused, whinning to each other in the corners of the room, unable to say anything to her face. Their favorite weapons, ad hominem name-calling and sneering condescension were disarmed.

    Ms. Ali flanked by 3 or 4 pleasant looking but serious suits, a private Security Service force necessary to protect her from the religion of peace, signed my book as I stammered out an inadequate "Thank you so much for your courage" She smiled and said. "Thank you very much."

    Not a very scintillating exchange I know, but as I left the gallery that evening, I realized that the real crux of the matter, and the truly paralyzing aspect for the liberals around me, was simply that -- her courage. To the Hollywood community, a community that did not even have the courage to list Theo Van Gogh during the 2005 Oscar ceremony as one of the people in film sho had died that year, a woman willing to continue espousing her deep convictions after being threatened with death by the same people who had murdered her colleague was utterly confounding. And for someone like me, a person who writes from behind a mask, not even for fear of death but of the eonomic retribution I might face from the supposedly tolerant community in which I live and work, the evening I spent in a room with Ayaan Hirsi Ali was all the more humbling."
  2. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jun '10 04:43
    Originally posted by whodey
    http://biggovernment.com/mrwrestler/2010/06/10/ayaan-hirsi-ali-upends-leftist-stereotypes-in-santa-monica/#more-12882

    "Ayaan Hirsi Ali Upends Leftist Stereotypes in Santa Monica"

    "On May 24th, at Track 16 Gallery in fashionable Bergamont Station in Santa Monica CA, dozens of marginal works of art were nearly destroyed by the exploding heads of some of S ...[text shortened]... Ayaan Hirsi Ali was all the more humbling."
    Summary please. And something cogent or conscise that you suggest we debate.
  3. 12 Jun '10 04:46 / 3 edits
    I know, I know, not all Muslims are extremists and I don't wish this to be yet another thread bashing Islam. There are things here that I would like to focus on, however. First of all, the notion that multiculturlism had mutated into a belief system is intriguing to me. Had the belief that encouraging foriegn customs and cultures and celebrating them caused many of these people to look turn a blind eye to some of their inherent problems? Also, is Ali correct by stating that the problem all comes down to the freedoms of "cognitive dissonance?" Is this the major hurdle in correcting the problems within Islam? In fact, is "cognitive dissonance" vital for us to be able to discover "truth" and grow as human beings?

    Edit: Has anyone read any of her works?
  4. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jun '10 05:02
    Originally posted by whodey
    Had the belief that encouraging foriegn customs and cultures and celebrating them caused many of these people to look turn a blind eye to some of their inherent problems?
    Presumably yes, because quite clearly there are people who appear to turn a blind eye to some of the inherent problems of reactionary, anachronistic and sometimes profoundly backward customs and cultural practices. Did you think that nobody is turning a blind eye? What is the debate? The extent of your "intruiged"-ness?

    And secondly, oughtn't questions about the hurdles in correcting the problems within Islam be addressed to Muslims - seeing as non-Muslims and non-theologians like you and me (and other regular debaters here) quite obviously are not going to be the ones doing the "correcting"?
  5. 12 Jun '10 05:52
    Originally posted by FMF
    [b]Presumably yes, because quite clearly there are people who appear to turn a blind eye to some of the inherent problems of reactionary, anachronistic and sometimes profoundly backward customs and cultural practices. Did you think that nobody is turning a blind eye? What is the debate? The extent of your "intruiged"-ness?
    My focus is the blindness of the backward "enlightened" people of Santa Monica.
  6. 12 Jun '10 05:55
    Originally posted by FMF

    And secondly, oughtn't questions about the hurdles in correcting the problems within Islam be addressed to Muslims - seeing as non-Muslims and non-theologians like you and me (and other regular debaters here) quite obviously are not going to be the ones doing the "correcting"?[/b]
    So people like Ali should keep quiet? Should we then not discuss it? I think not. In fact, what we need seems to be increased cognative dissonance so how is this to be accomplished if we remain silent?
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jun '10 05:58 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    Is this the major hurdle in correcting the problems within Islam?
    What role do you honestly think that you, one the this forum's trenchant Islamophobes and a regular peddler of incorrect or deceptive or paranoid assertions and generalizations, ought to have in determining how Muslims go about "correcting the problems within Islam"?
  8. 12 Jun '10 05:59
    Originally posted by FMF
    What role do you honestly think that you, one the this forum's trenchant Islamophobes and a regular peddler of incorrect or deceptive or paranoid assertions and generalizations, ought to have in determining how Muslims go about "correcting the problems within Islam"?
    What makes me an Islamophobe?
  9. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jun '10 06:01
    Originally posted by whodey
    My focus is the blindness of the backward "enlightened" people of Santa Monica.
    What evidence have you presented about what "'enlightened' people of Santa Monica" think or say, apart from an excerpt from what some blogger said about what someone else said about some other people?
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jun '10 06:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    What makes me an Islamophobe?
    Your posting record. Whether you are in civvy street I have no idea.
  11. 12 Jun '10 06:03
    Originally posted by FMF
    What evidence have you presented about what "'enlightened' people of Santa Monica" think or say, apart from an excerpt from what some blogger said about what someone else said about some other people?
    None.
  12. 12 Jun '10 06:04 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    Your posting record. Whether you are in civvy street I have no idea.
    So I have consistantly posted my concerns within the religion. I suppose that makes me an Islamaphobe.

    My concern is the push for keeping ones mouth shut whether it be from threatening imams to posters on this site telling me to keep my mouth shut because its none of my business. Christiandom went through this period at one time and what an ugly time it was. In fact, it continues today in various forms
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jun '10 06:06
    Originally posted by whodey
    So people like Ali should keep quiet? Should we then not discuss it?
    Discuss what? You've just admitted that you haven't presented evidence or information about anything in particular about unspecified people in Santa Monica. How are we discuss what they think or say?
  14. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jun '10 06:10
    Originally posted by whodey
    So I have consistantly posted my concerns within the religion. I suppose that makes me an Islamaphobe.
    It's not so much your concerns as your paranoia, your utter lack of any semblence of tolerance or understanding, and your inclination to get your cut and pastes from what seem quite clearly to be hateblogs.
  15. 12 Jun '10 06:12
    Originally posted by FMF
    Discuss what? You've just admitted that you haven't presented evidence or information about anything in particular about unspecified people in Santa Monica. How are we discuss what they think or say?
    So since I can't prove that the post was an outright lie I suppose we can't discuss it?