Thursday, February 04, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali at University of Wisconsin, Madison

Photo by The Badger Herald, which has a good article about the event.

These quotes below are quickly cobbled together, on the fly, as I listened to the video. These quotes eschew the proper ellipses [...] which I usually use.

The video. On the upper right of the video page, you can watch video of Ms. Hirsi Ali entertainly entertaining hostile questions from the audience.

Ms. Hirsi Ali:
The Muslim mind needs to be opened in the 21st Century. Today, 1.75 Billion persons identify themselves as Muslim.

Muslims make up 1/5 of the world population, yet Muslims commit 2/3 of the violence in the world.

The Muslim mind today is in the grip of Sharia and Jihad.

What I want to make clear is that Islamic values are incompatible with American values. Note: Islamic values, Islamic theology - not Muslims. Muslims are diverse - they are individual human beings, they are adherents, they can change their minds.

Freedom. Contrast the Declaration of Independence with Islam. The accurate definition of Islam is submission - specifically submission to the will of Allah as related by Muhammad.

Freedom and responsibility vs. submission.

Islamic scripture is clear: women are inferior, and do not enjoy equal rights with men. An individual man can take the law into his own hands and punish a woman, including stoning and lashing.

The Koran is clear about homosexuality: the punishment is death.

Is Islam a religion?

Many people offset Islam against Christianity. I think it's more accurate to offset Islam against other political theories, b/c Islam is a political theory.

The concept of America is also a theory. It's a defined relationship between the state and citizens.

Similarly, Islam provides rules for relationship between the state and subjects, between men and women, and provides punishment for breaking laws.

I find that Christianity, after many centuries of questioning and criticizing, has evolved over centuries. There is separation of state and religion. Islam has not evolved. The ideas and expressions of individuals are narrowed to what the Prophet Muhammad deemed to be moral. Any ideas or expressions outside of what he said are forbidden. Islam retains the cruel punishments of medieval times.

If there are Christians who want to kill, such Christians are stopped by other Christians, by the rule of law, and they are condemned. This does not happen in Islam.

Can Islam be reformed? is perhaps a question we will hear more than any other question this century. But if we cannot question, if we cannot look at what is happening today, then Islam cannot be reformed.

What should we do? We should approach Islam as a political system. It is a political system. We should debate it as we debate communism and democracy.

Currently, Islam is exempted from scrutiny, for instance, by feminists. To me, it seems as if feminists only work for white women. By abstaining from condemning the terrible principles held by men of color, western feminism has become a force that protects only white women.

What of Amina and Sarah in Texas?

Greg's Notes:

Sarah (left) and Amina (right) Said ==========>

Good girls, good students at Lewisville, TX High School, athletes. Murdered, by their father. Their bodies left in their father's taxicab in Las Colinas. He had preplanned his DFW Airport escape flight to Egypt, from whence he will apparently escape American justice, forever. His actions do not violate Egyptian law; do not shock the Egyptian conscience.

Possible Honor Killings in Lewisville, TX, Part I; Part II

Aqsa Parvez, of Toronto, was murdered b/c she would not wear her hijab. She would wear western clothes under her hijab. Upon arrival at school, she would remove her hijab in the school bathroom, only donning it again before taking the bus home.

Aqsa Parvez and Western Denial, Part I; Part II

Return to Ms. Hirsi Ali:
How many have heard of them[Amina and Sarah]? Please raise your hands. 6 persons in a room of 1003 people. They were 16 and 18 years old, and were killed by their Egyptian father b/c they were dating American boys. Imagine if they were Christian, and their names were Ruth and Mary? Would more of us have heard of them?

Muslim women are forced to live in tall apartment buildings, and to never leave the apartment.

When well-meaning westerners, eager to promote respectful minority religions and cultures, sweep practices like forced marriages and confinement under the carpet in order to stop society from stigmatizing Muslims, they deny countless Muslim women and girls their right to press their freedoms from their parents culture and religion. And we, by being silent, become complicit. And harm the same vulnerable minority whom we all seek to protect.


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