Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Cases Against Islam And For America

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“Islam” means “submission to the will of Allah”, a doctrine which requires from the individual to become a slave.  In my view, it’s bad.  Islam limits the imagination to what you can find in the Koran and to follow in the example of the prophet Mohammed.  I think that’s bad and that’s what keeps people in the Islamic world backward.  Islam treats women, at least says, subordinates to men, is obsessed with obedience  calls, for the murder of gays and adulterers, and is therefore very violent and inhuman, all this is in the Koran, all this is in the Hadif, and anywhere that Islamic Sha’ria or Islamic rule is implemented, you see that these things are carried out.

But aren’t there many versions of Islam?  She argues no:

Islam as a faith as a doctrine, defined by what’s in the Koran and by the example of Mohammed and unreformed, unchallenged, is a monolith.

And defending America against her interviewer’s homegrown American cynicism:

I read Alex de Tocqueville and I read about democracy and I lived in countries that had no democracy, that had no founding fathers, that could not have invented [it]. So I do not find myself in the same luxury as you.  You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom because you do not know what it is not to have freedom.  I haven’t.  I know there are many things wrong with America and I know there are many things that are wrong with Americans, but I still believe it is the best nation in the world.

Ayaan’s books are Infidel, The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam, and, her newest, Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org Ophelia Benson

    That Avi Lewis was revoltingly predictable, not to mention condescending – explaining Islam to AHA. It apparently never crossed his mind that she might know more about it than he does.

    He wasn’t totally wrong, and she wasn’t totally right, but he was very irritating, and quite smug.

  • Daniel Fincke

    Yes, he was really revoltingly smug. But in a way that set her up to make him look shallow and ungrateful. While, you’re right, she’s certaintly not unqualifiedly correct in all matters, his antagonism brought out what is best in her.

  • John

    Although it is from last year, I think you may find this book review useful. The author comes from a Muslim perspective and reviews her works. The link is here … it is good to hear other opinions and ideas.

    http://www.alhamdulilah.info/2008/11/defending-our-diin-ayaan-hirsi-ali.html

    Hope you find it interesting.

  • Daniel Fincke

    Thanks, that was almost wholly unpersuasive apologetics but interesting to see.


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