Interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali

 Posted by on 9 February 2006 at 9:21 am  Religion
Feb 092006

This Spiegel interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Muslim response to the Danish cartoons is well worth reading in its entirety. However, I particularly appreciated this exchange:

SPIEGEL: What should the appropriate European response look like?

Hirsi Ali: There should be solidarity. The cartoons should be displayed everywhere. After all, the Arabs can’t boycott goods from every country. They’re far too dependent on imports. And Scandinavian companies should be compensated for their losses. Freedom of speech should at least be worth that much to us.

SPIEGEL: But Muslims, like any religious community, should also be able to protect themselves against slander and insult.

Hirsi Ali: That’s exactly the reflex I was just talking about: offering the other cheek. Not a day passes, in Europe and elsewhere, when radical imams aren’t preaching hatred in their mosques. They call Jews and Christians inferior, and we say they’re just exercising their freedom of speech. When will the Europeans realize that the Islamists don’t allow their critics the same right? After the West prostrates itself, they’ll be more than happy to say that Allah has made the infidels spineless.

(Via Orson Olsen)

Also, Onkar Ghate has a good op-ed on the pathetic response of the United States government to these events. Here’s a teaser:

Why does a Muslim have a moral right to his dogmas, but we don’t to our rational principles? Why, when journalists uphold free speech and Muslims respond with death threats, does the State Department signal out the journalists for moral censure? Why the vicious double standard? Why admonish the good to mollify evil?

The answer lies in the West’s conception of morality.

Beware, the last line of the article is quite chilling.

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