Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose book, Nomad: A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations, was recently published, rose to fame through her undiluted opposition to Islam.
Born in Somalia, Hirsi lived a difficult childhood that included her being subjected to female circumcision and a forced marriage.
Later, she filed for asylum with the Netherlands and was accepted in a record two weeks due to her difficult situation.
It was then that her metamorphosis started.
With her introduction to Western society, she changed her name, her appearance, her faith, and became a staunch anti-Islamic figure. She was a welcome addition to anti-Islamic circles that were using every opportunity to incite tensions against Muslims.
So much so that she entered the Dutch parliament with an anti-immigration party, secured book deals, appeared on CNN, wrote for Time magazine and was named one of the top 100 influential people in 2005 by Time.
She was following a known route sometimes seen among members from the less-privileged parts of the world. These people tend to blame their former lives, faith, and culture in a desperate attempt to fit into their new environment.
They start emulating everything Western — good or bad — and denounce everything from their past. Most of the time, this behavior makes them famous, and incidentally makes them rich too; either in the form of book deals or a political career.
Ali met the expectations of the Islamophobic circles and hastily began telling horror stories about Islam. She blamed Islam for every fault she could find in today’s world including traditions and superstitions.
She liked the attention too much to give thought to such things like fairness or justice.
Her dislike of Islam was so strong, even though she was once a refugee in need, she didn’t hesitate to defend anti-immigration policies to restrict the entry of less-privileged and vulnerable people to Europe.
Since she enjoys lots of coverage in the mainstream media, her errors and deceptions about Islam need to be clarified:
She claims that women are oppressed in Islam. It is true that in many Muslim countries women face lots of difficulties.
However, the problem in the Muslim world stems from false hadiths and superstitions that emerged over centuries after the revelation of the Koran.
Islam offers true respect and value to women. For instance, in the event of a divorce, God ensures that they are always taken care of and never left in a needy position.
Or, in case of conflicting statements with the husband, the wife’s word supersedes the husband’s.
In the Koran, Mary, mother of Jesus, is shown as a role model not just for women, but for all of humanity.
The Prophet Muhammad’s wife, Khadija, was a woman of a strong character, running her own business and dealing with society at large.
God gives equal responsibilities to men and women and promises the same reward to both of them.
Hırsi claims that violence is a part of Islam. Yet this problem stems from the superstitions that emerged after the revelation of the Koran.
The false manufactured hadiths led to emergence of justifications for violence. In truth, God orders absolute peace and love for the entire humanity and strictly forbids violence and hostility.
There is no room for violence in Islam and the actions of Islamic radicals do not change this fact.
In a cliché approach, she uses the word “jihad” in an attempt to vilify Islam. Contrary to popular belief, the word jihad means “making an effort”.
The physical fight is described by the word qital, and according to the Koran, is permissible only as a defensive move and as a last resort.
The fact that radicals misuse the word neither makes it right nor does it make it a part of Islam.
Islam champions true democracy, freedom of thought and secularism. Muslims are ordered to invite people to the right path in the kindest manner, but leave the choice to them.
While the mainstream Western media hails her as a hero, Hirsi doesn’t hesitate to go against everything that the Western world claims to stand for, like freedom of faith, freedom of thought, the right to human dignity, respect and protection.
She says the Western world needs to be in a military war with Islam.
Furthermore, she claims to oppose violence allegedly resulting from Islam, but expresses sympathy with Anders Behring Breivik, the mass-murdering terrorist who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011: “That one man, who killed 77 people in Norway because he fears Europe will be overrun by Islam, may have cited the work of those who speak and write against political Islam in Europe and in America.”
He says very clearly that it was the advocates of silence. Because all outlets to express his views were censored, he says, he had no other choice but to use violence.
She even says that there should be such a thing as the “right to offend”, and encourages offending Muslims in every way possible. She is clearly the outcome of radicalism.
But Muslims must not repeat her mistake and blame her while ignoring the real problem. We need to understand our duty and come together to put an intellectual end to this wrong perception of Islam in the Western world.
It is crucial that Muslims abide by the Koran completely to show how Islam values women, art, democracy and freedom.
We need to show to the whole world that the real Islam in the Koran is the epitome of love and beauty.
Adnan Oktar's piece on The Jakarta Post: