Saturday, June 12, 2010

Steyn: the left's strange hostility to Hirsi Ali

Mark Steyn:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s great cause is women’s liberation. Unfortunately for her, the women she wants to liberate are Muslim, so she gets minimal support and indeed a ton of hostility from Western feminists who have reconciled themselves, consciously or otherwise, to the two-tier sisterhood: when it comes to clitoridectomies, forced marriages, honour killings, etc., multiculturalism trumps feminism.


In Terror and Liberalism, Paul Berman wrote that suicide bombings “produced a philosophical crisis, among everyone around the world who wanted to believe that a rational logic governs the world.” In other words, it has to be about “poverty” or “social justice” because the alternative—that they want to kill us merely because we are the other—undermines the hyper-rationalist’s entire world view. Thus, every pro-gay, pro-feminist, pro-black Western liberal’s determination to blame Ayaan Hirsi Ali for the fact that a large number of benighted thuggish halfwits want to kill her.

At Big Hollywood, Mr. Wrestling IV reports:

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.


If this man had asked Ms. Ali his ridiculous question, she could have answered it handily. So why didn’t he? Why was he huddled in the farthest 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 United States, 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 couldn’t just call her stupid. All the pejoratives they usually apply to people who disagree with them wouldn’t 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, whining 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.

From 2007:


Maybe the reason why the Left hates Sarkozy and that renegade "woman of color" Hirsi Ali so much is ... because both remind [the Left] of the principles they have betrayed.

This secret guilt may stand at the center of the inexplicable hysteria with which the Left regard the neocons and President Bush in particular. [...] the extreme demonization of George W. Bush and the neocons is psychologically necessary in order to restore a feeling of moral superiority to the Leftist universe. They would be guilt stricken without it.

The more intelligent Leftists must be subconsciously aware of how monstrous the enemy is and secretly cognizant of how great is the betrayal of their own ideals. They can't confront this fact; cannot accept that they are delivering children, as Caroline Glick's example above shows, to cruel murderers. And in order to obtain some kind of solace ... it is necessary for them to invent something worse; to make a caricature devil of GWB [...] George Bush must be made nothing less than the moral equivalent of Hitler or else their ethical universe would collapse.

But George Bush is not Hitler. And one day the better men among the Left will face up to the fact that they have failed a huge moral and historical test. And from that memory, there will be no redemption.

Dr. Sanity:

Wretchard rightly perceives that the degree of the left's moral and intellectual bankruptcy is so great; the betrayal so profound, that it is simply impossible they are not aware on some level of the nihilistic traitors they have become to all that is good and worth fighting for in the world.

Like a deer caught in the headlights of reality, they are paralyzed because there is no way to escape their fate; instead they try to make their paralysis a moral virtue; their betrayal an heroic stance. And the rage they feel toward all who remind them of what they have betrayed distracts them from the rush of reality that will overwhelm and destroy them eventually.

The final psychological touch to all this is the projection--where they take the rage they feel and imagine that the object of their rage actually feels it toward them--is that it breeds the paranoia and the utterly nonsensical and histrionic conspiracy theories.

But no matter how carefully they construct their fantasies; no matter how much information they choose to ignore; how tightly they close their eyes; the headlights of the reality train--and not the peace train, I fear--as it rockets toward them only highlights the bankruptcy of the ideology they now profess.

The End Zone:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali at University of Wisconsin, Madison
Ayaan Hirsi Ali interviewed by a cartoonishly anti-American Canadian


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