Friday, 7 April 2017

Silence and Injustice



Ayan Hirsi Ali, author and critic of radical Islam, was forced to cancel a speaking tour to Australia recently after the threat of mass protests and disruption.

Now I'm all in favour of the right to peaceful, non-violent protest, but this kind of 'angry mob' behaviour is really not on particularly from people who claim to be following a religion of peace.

I certainly didn't see much peace in evidence when the Ayatollah of Iran issued a fatwa and called upon all good Muslims to murder the British author Salman Rushdie.

The ability to criticise the 'great and good' is the essence of free speech in western, secular democracies and is also the only guarantee of religious tolerance - by preventing any one religion from ruling the roost.

So I hope Ayan Hirsi Ali returns to Australia soon and in the meantime here's a report from The Australian which explains the background. 

  

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/ayaan-hirsi-ali-hits-back-at-muslim-women-for-carrying-water-for-extremists/news-story/163a1a49c66d32a5501718d2984894ed

Ayaan Hirsi Ali slams protesters who prevented her visit to Australia


Outspoken Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali has hit back at her critics.

By EMILY RITCHIE - The Australian

Controversial activist and former Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali has launched a scathing critique of the protesters who prevented her visit to Australia, arguing freedom of debate has been shut down by a “horrible alliance” between the far left and radical Islamist voices.

Ms Hirsi Ali was due to arrive in Australia for a speaking tour this week, which would have included an appearance on ABC’s Q&A program, but cancelled at the last minute citing concerns about security and the organisation of her trip.

While she refused to elaborate on the reasons for the cancellation, Ms Hirsi Ali has told Channel Seven on Tuesday evening she wishes to “defy” her opponents and “come and expose them for what they are.”

“These are people who are far more interested in defending sharia Law, that’s Islamic law, and the doctrine of radical Islam, over human rights,” she said of her opponents, which included a Victorian group called Against Islamophobia who reportedly called venues at which she was booked to speak and threatened mass protests.

Ms Hirsi Ali also hit back at the group of Australian Muslim women who accused her of being a “star” of Islamophobia and stirring up hatred.

Ali ‘an enemy of intolerance’

“Today you have this horrible alliance between the far left and the Islamists and they’re using the modern media tool to shut people like me out by smearing us,” Ms Hirsi Ali said.

In their video the six woman said Ms Hirsi Ali — who was raised a Muslim but renounced her religion as an adult and became a fierce critic of radical Islamists and sharia law — was a “star of the global Islamophobia industry” and did not speak for them.

They criticised her for past descriptions of Muslim women as docile and irrational, accused her of using the language of white supremacists and profiting from “an industry that exists to dehumanise Muslim women”.

But Ms Hirsi Ali says the women are “carrying water” for radical Islamic organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and Boko Haram because they have done little to defend women with few rights under Islamic law.

“I have seen the video that was put together, it looks really like a slick propaganda thing, by these women who are saying ‘you don’t speak for us’,” Ms Hirsi Ali told Channel Seven.

Ms Hirsi Ali also likened the burka to wearing a large swastika while responding to Pauline Hanson’s calls to ban Muslim immigration.

“It’s the assumption that all immigrants are bad and all Muslims are bad, I don’t hold that view,” Ms Hirsi Ali said. “But the burka that covers the face, and that is really very much in your face, that kind of thing is just like the ISIS flag, it’s like wearing a very big swastika.”

Ms Hirsi Ali expressed her disappointment over her tour cancellation and apologised to all the people who had bought tickets.

“I am very, very sorry. I really think it’s terrible that they have become victims of this.”

She said we can expect a visit from her very soon.

Shame on you: Hirsi Ali hits out

Ms Hirsi Ali earlier hit back at a group of Australian Muslim women who accused her of being a “star” of Islamophobia and stirring up hatred.

The women took to Facebook on Monday when Ms Hirsi Ali was due to arrive in Australia for a speaking tour but cancelled at the last minute citing concerns about security and the organisation of her trip.

In their video the six woman said Ms Hirsi Ali - who was raised a Muslim but renounced her religion as an adult and became a fierce critic of radical Islamists and sharia law - was a “star of the global Islamophobia industry” and did not speak for them.

They criticised her for past descriptions of Muslim women as docile and irrational, accused her of using the language of white supremacists and profiting from “an industry that exists to dehumanise Muslim women”.

But Ms Hirsi Ali says the women are “carrying water” for radical Islamic organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and Boko Haram because they have done little to defend women with few rights under Islamic law.

“I just want to point my finger at all the places in the world today where Islamic law is applied and how women are treated and I want to say to these women, ‘shame on you’,” Ms Hirsi Ali told AAP today.

“Shame on you for carrying water for the Islamists, shame on you for trying to shut people up who are trying to raise awareness about sharia law.”

Comment was being sought from a representative for the women, who posted their video message on a Facebook page titled Persons of Interest. Ms Hirsi Ali rejected their claim that she was trying to be a spokeswoman for all Muslim women, saying she was simply “speaking up” against how sharia law degraded women by allowing beatings, stoning, slavery and female genital mutilation.

She declined to go into the reasons behind her decision to cancel her trip to Australia, where she was due address crowds in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne this week before heading to New Zealand.

The US-based, Somali-born activist who was subject to female genital mutilation as a child and became an MP in the Netherlands after seeking political asylum, has for years lived with tight security as a result of her stance on radical Islamists.

She had hoped during her visit to Australia to highlight the need for Western countries to educate themselves about dawa, or how radical Islamists spread their ideology.

Ms Hirsi Ali says while the West should continue its military battles against terrorists, it needed to focus on the spread of Islamic ideology through schools, mosques and non-government organisations that on the surface appear non-violent but ultimately act as a “conveyor belt” for violence. She argues such organisations can flourish in Western countries by exploiting laws safeguarding freedom of religion, expression and association. “I don’t believe individuals are born wanting to join the jihad. It’s a process, a long process,” Ms Hirsi Ali said.

“Jihad does not take place without the Dawa.”

Hirsi Ali trip cancelled

Security concerns forced Hirsi Ali to pull out of her planned speaking tour. Ms Hirsi Ali, who lives with around-the-clock security protection due to her criticisms of radical Islamists, was due to speak at events in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland this week.

She was also due to appear on ABC TV’s Q&A panel last night. About 2000 tickets had been sold to Ms Hirsi Ali’s speaking events in Australia.

Ms Hirsi Ali’s trip to Australia had sparked protests from a group of Muslim women who accused her of hate mongering and bigotry.

Nearly 400 people signed an online petition against Ms Hirsi Ali’s speaking tour.

“Against a backdrop of increasing global Islamophobia, Hirsi-Ali’s divisive rhetoric simply serves to increase hostility and hatred towards Muslims,” the petition, posted on Change.org, said.

Ms Hirsi Ali has repeatedly criticised radical Islamists and sharia law and wants moderate Muslims to reform their religion.

She was raised a Muslim by her family in Somalia, but later renounced her religion after seeking political asylum in the Netherlands in the early 1990s in an attempt to escape an arranged marriage.

Ms Hirsi Ali joined VVD, the People’s Party for Freedom, which is a Liberal party in the Netherlands.

She moved to the US after receiving death threats for helping to make a short film that showed images of violence against women alongside verses from the Koran.

In a paper written for the Hoover Institute at Stanford University last month, Ms Hirsi Ali argues the public needs to be better educated about the political ideology of Islamists and the ways they recruit and finance their operations so they can reach their ultimate goal of imposing sharia law.