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Ayaan Hirsi Ali Conveniently Uses her Once-Muslim Identity to Bash Islam

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Conveniently Uses her Once-Muslim Identity to Bash Islam

I previously thought there was nothing more terrifying than a seasoned Islamophobe preaching hatred from a platform like Fox News. The network is notorious for fabricating untruths and propagating misinformation about Islam and Muslims in order to create fear in the minds of Americans. The fact that Fox abuses the word “news” to disguise bigotry as factual information is frightening for anyone who does not come from a similar background as the puppets — excuse me, “anchors” — on the show. Essentially, Fox associating itself with news (fact based current events) is like the kid who associated him/herself with you on group projects without contributing at all – and when they leech off the benefits from your hard work, it’s an insult to your intelligence. While the advancement of Fox’s discriminatory agenda is concerning, I’ve learned what’s more threatening for the Muslim community is an individual who claims she’s from the inside; thereby using her personal experience to authenticate and further advance the hateful rhetoric towards Islam.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s mission is a twisted fantasy come true for individuals dedicated to the vilification of Islam. The simple fact that she uses her Muslim surname shows a level of deception in how she exploits her assumed Muslim identity to further demonize Islam to advance her career. It’s dangerous when American personalities like Bill O’Reilly and Pamela Geller profess their irrational disapproval of Muslim Americans, but it’s toxic when an individual like Ali asserts she’s personally witnessed the negativity present within Islam under the pretense of having been Muslim. What could be more self-serving for the Islamophobic agenda than a previous Muslim who proclaims that Islam is in fact a religion to be feared? Essentially, Ali’s message to Americans is: “Take it from someone who not only knows many Muslims, but knows what it’s like to be one. Save yourself the trouble of getting to know your Muslim neighbors; I can tell you why you should fear them and their faith.”

Ali’s mission is dually threatening because not only does she cite her questionable accounts as a Somali born Muslim, but her misinterpreted activism is supported by prominent personalities and academic institutions to bolster her anti-Islamic message. Under the guise of academic prowess, Ali fabricates certain statistics and declares that Muslims are responsible for a majority of violence and related deaths – without properly accounting for historical research or accurate citations. An article by Max Blumenthal exposing Ali further details why both her personal experience and academic work need to be critically questioned by those who consume her work. He reveals how Ali has a history of fraud in reporting her experience as a Muslim living in Somalia and that her literary works specialize in blaming Islam as a logical culprit for violence, without considering any historically relevant context. She’s authored books with titles like The Caged VirginInfidel: My Life, and her latest release entitled Heretic, all from which she builds her credibility as a victim of Islam by propagating the false notion that the faith is oppressive and Western ideals liberated her. She employs fear to portray Muslims as a community deserving to be ostracized and watched closely under justified surveillance.

While she declares her disgust for the Islamic faith, she largely owes much of her success to her once Muslim identity. Without the assumption that Ali was trapped within the confines of Islam, her experience would not be as persuasive to the many Americans who are misinformed about Islam, and therefore more likely to accept her opinions towards Muslims. After all, is an individual on the operating table more likely to put his/her trust in a surgeon, or a plumber? The obvious choice is to put one’s trust in the surgeon because of the knowledge and expertise that individual should possess as compared to an unrelated profession. Similarly, Americans are more inclined to believe the opinions of Ali and regard them as facts without question because she presents herself as an individual with knowledge and expertise about Islam. Thankfully, many Americans do think for themselves and know enough Muslim Americans to understand that Ali’s message is a farce. However, for those who tune into Fox “News” for their daily dose of information, these individuals are far more susceptible to Ali’s deception.

That is why it is important to raise red flags about Ali’s publications, because her credibility is based on the principle that she was able to shed her Muslim identity and break free of a “submissive” lifestyle. If Ali truly wanted to dissociate herself from the throes of such an oppressive identity, why doesn’t she take on the surname of her spouse, Naill Ferguson? It seems like a simple gesture, but ‘Ayaan Ferguson’ sounds less Islamic than ‘Ayaan Hirsi Ali’, a much more Islamically charged surname; however, she exploits her name to incite more fear in the hearts of Americans by keeping “Ali” as the name that warns against the faith it is associated with. In effect, just one of the subtle ways she is using Islam to bash itself. Ali’s writings and mission serve once purpose: to convince the world that Muslims are single-handedly to blame for radical violence and all acts of terrorism. Despite the fact that most mass shootings are committed by non-Muslim, white American males, her hateful message is one welcomed by mainstream media because it continues to bully Islam those who practice the faith in peace.

Tragically, the institutions which endorse her work such as Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the American Enterprise Institute do not hold her accountable for providing false statistics or the lies she alleges against an entire community of people. Ayaan Hirsi Ali remains a darling embraced by far-right affiliations, but increased awareness from independent media sources about her deception is spreading and exposing her lies. Her mission is similar to that of other opponents of Islam and the Muslim community who have made it their mission to degrade Islam as a way of life for millions. The best rejection of Ali’s assertions that all those who follow Islam are violent is for Muslim Americans to continue on a peaceful path by contributing positively to society in any way possible — most notably, by extending friendships towards fellow Americans so they can deduce for themselves that claims such as Ali’s are based in hateful nonsense.

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This article originally appeared on The Dean’s Report.

Image from The Guardian

View Comments (29)
  • It’s time to remove degenerative parts of Islam and also many other religions. It will help in peace and cohesion between different religions and also inculcate many positive things.

    • Munna- As a Muslim, I too want to foster peace and cohesion among different religions, so we agree on that. But your suggestion to “remove degenerative parts of Islam” I dont agree with because the tenets of true Islam are based upon kindness and love for others: principles that have been and will be applicable throughout time. Ayaan’s discourse is focused on creating fear of people who aren’t even practicing true Islam and instead committing crimes that Islam prohibits, which is why it’s important to differentiate between actual facts and her opinions.

      • 5:32 Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
        5:33 Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
        5:34 Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
        5:35 O you who have believed, fear Allah and seek the means [of nearness] to Him and strive in His cause that you may succeed.
        5:36 Indeed, those who disbelieve – if they should have all that is in the earth and the like of it with it by which to ransom themselves from the punishment of the Day of Resurrection, it will not be accepted from them, and for them is a painful punishment
        5:37 They will wish to get out of the Fire, but never are they to emerge therefrom, and for them is an enduring punishment.
        5:38 [As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
        5:39 But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
        5:40 Do you not know that to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth? He punishes whom He wills and forgives whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent.
        5:41 O Messenger, let them not grieve you who hasten into disbelief of those who say, “We believe” with their mouths, but their hearts believe not, and from among the Jews. [They are] avid listeners to falsehood, listening to another people who have not come to you. They distort words beyond their [proper] usages, saying “If you are given this, take it; but if you are not given it, then beware.” But he for whom Allah intends fitnah – never will you possess [power to do] for him a thing against Allah . Those are the ones for whom Allah does not intend to purify their hearts. For them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.
        5:42 [They are] avid listeners to falsehood, devourers of [what is] unlawful. So if they come to you, [O Muhammad], judge between them or turn away from them. And if you turn away from them – never will they harm you at all. And if you judge, judge between them with justice. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.
        5:43 But how is it that they come to you for judgement while they have the Torah, in which is the judgement of Allah ? Then they turn away, [even] after that; but those are not [in fact] believers.
        5:44 Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah ] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah , and they were witnesses thereto. So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers.
        5:45 And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.
        5:46 And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.
        5:47 And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.
        5:48 And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.
        5:49 And judge, [O Muhammad], between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you. And if they turn away – then know that Allah only intends to afflict them with some of their [own] sins. And indeed, many among the people are defiantly disobedient.
        5:50 Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith].
        5:51 O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.
        5:52 So you see those in whose hearts is disease hastening into [association with] them, saying, “We are afraid a misfortune may strike us.” But perhaps Allah will bring conquest or a decision from Him, and they will become, over what they have been concealing within themselves, regretful.

        • I’m not sure how to respond to the inclusion of these verses except that God knows best what is in our hearts. He rewards people for even an atom’s weight worth of good. No individual can take that away, so may you be rewarded accordingly. So long as one’s good intentions rest with God, one won’t be disappointed.

          • “So long as one’s good intentions rest with God” so what if your intentions rest with Ganesh? Jesus? certainly as a muslim you are familiar with the concept of shirk? the one UNFORGIVABLE sin.

            my reading of Islamic theology has Osama bin Laden as having a better chance of paradise than mother Teresa.

            but more importantly to the real world. 5:51 speaks volumes of the attitude of islam towards other religions. and that is towards “people of the book”. the polytheists are even considered more ‘wrongdoing’. you do know ahmadi are othen killed in Islamic countries for their religious beliefs. you ever hear of ordinance XX in Pakistan? the Baha’i are considered persons non grata in iran and can be killed with impunity. the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia said no church should exist on the Arabian peninsula.

            “the religion vs. actions of people” are not the actions of the people who follow the religion more important than ‘theories’ about the religion. how about the actions of Muhammad? are they not part of what the religion is. his lack of religious tolerance is well established.

          • Joe, you are welcome to contribute your thoughts but please be mindful of the accuracy of your contributions and this relates directly to your false claim that Muhammad was “religiously intolerant”. If that were so, why then would the Supreme Court of the U.S. honor him as “one of the greatest lawgivers in the world”? It is for his kindness, impartiality, and affinity for justice that he is recognized with this distinction by a western nation. You’re welcome to read the inscription that was written in describing his religious tolerance for all people: “Prophet Muhammad envisioned a just and peaceful society. With a mass peace movement, he achieved this goal during his life. He hated war and always preferred a peace treaty with his opponents, even if it was not favorable to his and his followers’ interests. He established his first peace sanctuary in the city of Madinah without any war whatsoever. While he did fight to defend that peace sanctuary, it is critical to note that the total time of actual fighting defending his people was not more than six days in his life of 63 years. He struggled to secure a peace that ensured justice and liberation for all people, especially for those most marginalized and oppressed.”

          • lol. you do know Draco is in that frieze as well. and muslim want Muhammad removed. plus he is holding a sword for a reason. not sure who wrote that description but it seems highly unlikely that there were only six days of war. you have the battle of badr, uhud and trench all while in medina. are the jews of Khyber and the banu nadir the same people? my Islamic history is not that strong. I guess they didn’t have wiki when they wrote that? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_expeditions_of_Muhammad

            so if Muhammad was so tolerant of other religions then why did he destroy 360 pagan idols when taking mecca?

          • I understand you quote Quranic scripture frequently in the comments section but anyone who’s studied the Quran (Muslim or not) knows that it’s meant to be reflected upon and understood with historical context, so it’s not just meant to be regurgitated without any explanations. Every Quran you read is complete with numerous footnotes to ensure that the person reading has the background knowledge to understand it.

          • ok. so explain the historical context around the 5th sura and those verses. one of my korans with footnotes says the 5th sura is one of the last one ‘revealed’.

            you say I should be accurate in my comments but you have attributed an inscription that doesn’t seem to exist and now you say: “Every Quran you read is complete with numerous footnotes”: not true, I have a paperback copy of Yusuf Ali’s translation and there are no footnotes.
            so why did Muhammad destroy 360 pagan idols if he was tolerant of other religions?

          • I love how your main source is Wikipedia, quite reliable (*says with a sarcastic undertone)

      • There’s no such thing that this is real Islam or this is not Islam. It’s the practicing populace and their behaviour that matters to the present generation and followers. I’m not here to argue that whether Islam is good or not, I’m here to point out the horrible things that people practice in the name of religion. If you want to remain blind to the barbarians and devils of the world who are committing atrocities on the people by just declaring them non-muslims and going against the spirit of Islam, then you can practice your taqiya forever. I’m not here to denigrate you personally but lot of people just keep a blind eye to the horrible deeds as they are imbecile to anything that’s expected to improve any wrongs of the religion. You can very well count yourself in the list and think yourself as follower of idealism. It’s the measures to contain this degeneration that requires calibre/bravery of people who can withstand such farce attitudes and thinking.

        • You need to differentiate between the religion vs. actions of people. Every faith and ideology separating itself from religion all have individuals/extremists who commit atrocities and blame their actions on their belief system. Its not okay for people to abuse the name of religion to claim that it teaches evil.

          • If it is not okay for people to abuse religion then it is not okay for people to accept religion….simple, isn’t it that simple?
            You are just opologist of religion, not the person who can bring any change or modification that are surely required to have an impact. People are not Gods who ought to follow and dictate the true religion, they are merely the cannon-fodder for the devils of religion. If we’re to make the religion relevant against the tides of time, we gotta have to reform it. Just merely stating that there are bad peoples is not going to do any good.

          • No, not that simple because here is the reality. People are not following the religion, they are committing their own atrocities and then simply using the excuse: it is my religion. If you actually study any religion then it is clear as day that these terrible people are not actually following religion. Of course, if you have no educational background on religion; then I can see how easy it is for you to create your opinion. How would you take away religion, tell me, would you abuse the people who follow said religion because the last person who did that sort of movement. What was his name …. Hitler per-say.

          • I might have said so many times earlier that whoever is born with a sane mind is going to follow his or her own version of religion no matter what. It’s just pure nature, nobody wants to be God or can’t be that as norms of religion and practical application/following is completely different things. People have normal emotions like selfishness, agendas and many other motives. To expect them to be selfless and forgiving is to expect them to be Gods. People all the time makes the mistakes of having expectations. Since, you tend to excuse the non-fulfillment of expectations from others as just convenient way to defend religion then, it is all your dishonesty. Since religion was not supposed to be followed as per its norms but due to its sheer goodness or rationality of it, finding goodness and rationality is always the problem of any person who looks at religion for solution as nearly all the religious doctrines are based on some esoteric sort of norms that are indoctrinated to be followed as some sort of remedy.
            Regarding Hitler or any other dictator, they only want to impose their own version of religion or indoctrination, they never were/are followers of any mumbo-jumbo, it’s almost the near certainty that powerful people will always try to impose their own will rather than follow others text.

      • There’re so many things where changes can be made or reforms applied but that would make my comment an essay.
        In short, any reform must first come through education. There are so many Muslim education centers (Madrasas) which are badly in need of reform. More liberal form of Islam where tolerance of other religions is inculcated is the need of the hour. Mostly the syllabus need too much overhaul so that the Madrasas student doesn’t turn out to be some frustrated terrorist.
        All in all, reforming the education system is always the first step.

        • In Islam the term Madrassa stand for School….where both Modern and Religious taught to the students ….So if any student getting educated at Madrassa it does not mean he is getting radicalized or involved in any terrorist organization…However bad name of Madrassa had initially started during 1995 period in Afghanistan during Taliban takeover than it moves to Pakistan funded by Arab group Just to create chaos….It is failure by Pakistani govt to monitor those Madrassa where they engaged in terrorist organization..Which gives bad name to those Schools….Same in India where Million of Muslim students including Non Muslim students enrolled under Madrassa education board where they study all Subjects from English,Math,Science to Islamic studies…and they are success in their Life….Every education system lead to success the only thing is the implementation

          • You’re just diverting the blame to others. It’s for the governments to enact laws that make mandatory for religious seminaries and Madarasa to implement a modern syllabus. Madrasa was earlier just a tool to instill education of Quran to it’s student. The situation hasn’t changed much. Now since the establishment is corrupted beyond comprehension, just to blame Arabs for the decline is too much apologetic stance. Govt. of countries have also take blame for lack of standards in Madrasa. In my country India, some steps have been taken like ensuring minimum standard syllabus for all students. But unorganized or unlicensed seminaries are posing a big problem. Poor Muslims who didn’t have money to send their wards to proper school often have to resort to sending their children to these Madrasa where they actually ruin the life of the student there instead of making it good citizens. Nobody is giving jobs to these Madarsa students who’re only good in recitation of Quran, while jobs for Mullahs at the mosque are too limited.
            The proper thing is to make it mandatory to get a licence to start any religious school whether it belongs to Muslim, Christian or Hindu. Licence terms will be strict so that it shouldn’t be churning out sub-standard education. Yes, unchecked charity/donation is also the thing that’s to be regulated as sometimes foreign aid can be harmful for the implementation of proper education as it can come with conditions attached. Countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and several others have failed to do so, hence they reaping terrorist crops in abundance year after year.

          • No body is diverting and blaming to others…it depends upon the country and the govt how they are implementing Madrassa Education systems…Pakistani govt don’t monitor their Madrassa in their Tribal areas where Militant operates and they radicalized students However they can easily Control such things but they are not doing as it is their political problem not any religious..If they start doing then the problem will solve…Same in Afghanistan thousand of People resides Mountainous tribal areas where people are very poor and schools are not nearer that is the reason they send to Madrassa…But Still Afghanistan have 13 million students enrolled from school to University level out of 27 million population…in Modern education system…I am saying again Madras sa include both Modern and religious education…However some of them exploited the bad name of Madrassa…

          • Poverty doesn’t mean that one should give the licence to the religion, to play havoc with their lives. You’re just putting excuse after excuse. I just want Govt. to have control and give licence to undertake the education to any educational institution whether it is religious or otherwise. If the country allows unlicensed education shops to function then it would have to bear its consequences. It’s a simple thing, I don’t know why you putting up excuses under the garb of this or that situation. There are lot more poor people in other countries and they also have mountainous hilly areas. Citing these excuses won’t give you any relief. You have to be strict as far as education deptt. is concerned.

      • Verily for the Righteous there will be a fulfilment of (the heart’s) desires; Gardens enclosed, and grapevines; And voluptuous women of equal age;
        Narrated ‘Aisha: The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were Junub. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an Izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me.

        • Vedas 4:211 narrates Hindu Goddess Durga also bath Naked with Shiva Lingam and enjoy Full satisfaction until her pu$$ies get whetted..

          Yajur Veda5:69 Naked Kali enjoyed raped with Lingam at the age of 4 and everyday they performed sexual attire during night..At once Lingam Forced to rape her that her tongue came out of the mouth..Kali reversed with her fight and stretched her leg on the chest of Lingam..

          • Sahih Muslim 8:3329:

            Anas, (Allah be pleased with him) reported: Safiyah (Allah be pleased with her) fell to the lot of Dihya in the spoils of war, and they praised her in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: We have not seen the like of her among the captives of war.

            (Muslim 8:3329: “He was given two young cousins of Safiyah in leiu of Safiyah by the prophet”.)

            (Sahih Muslim 8:3328: “Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) got her (Safiyah) in exchange of seven heads”.)

            (The History of Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 29-30:

            From his share of captive women, prophet gave his son-in-law, Ali a slave girl, Raytah bt Hilal to enjoy her at his will. He also presented Uthman b. Affan, his son-in-law, another slave girl Zainab b. Hayan, and bestowed another girl (name unknown) to his father in-law Omar Ibn Khattab. Omar gave that girl to his son Abdullah.)

      • Many people who have studied the best of literature and philosophies have also concluded that Islam as a religion and its scriptures i.e. Quran and Hadis etc. are extremely poor works of creativity or logic. But still, there are so many people enamoured by the Saudi literature hence, its the duty of the followers to bring about anything they feel or experience or learn about, that/which is better to assimilate in Islam. That would be a good cohesive and acceptable step for everyone. Many people would appreciate the accommodating nature of Islam then.

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