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Roger L. Simon

In Praise of Hirsi Ali

August 16th, 2005 - 7:58 am

Women’s rights are the very center of the War on Terror. In fact I would argue Islamofascism at its core is more than anything else an expression of rage against women and that Islam itself is not much better on that score. That is why to me Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the great positive figures of our time, a modern Joan of Arc who surpasses the original Joan in a moral sense and is at least her equal in pure guts.

I have blogged on several occasions on my irritation (to put it mildly) with my Hollywood community for having ignored Ms. Ali and her now assassinated film collaborator Theo Van Gogh. This seemingly willful ignorance is one source of my alienation from what passes for “liberalism” in our society.

Ms. Ali’s article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal is another example of her courage. Wide-ranging in her coverage, the author takes us from Canada to Iraq.

It seems strange to associate the context of Canada with that of Iraq, but a closer look at the arguments used to reassure the demonstrating women in both countries reveals the similar ordeals that Muslim women in both countries must go through to secure their rights. It shows how their legitimate and serious worries are trivialized, and how vulnerable and alone they are. It shows how the Free World led by the U.S. went to war in Iraq, allegedly to bring liberty to Iraqis, and is compromising the basic rights of women in order to meet a random date. It shows how the theory of multiculturalism in Western liberal democracies is working against women in ethnic and religious minorities with misogynist practices. It shows the tenacity of many imams, mullahs and self-made Muslim radicals to subjugate women in the name of God. Most of all, it shows how many of those who consider themselves liberal or left-wing see their energy levels rise when it comes to Bush-bashing, but lose their voice when women’s rights are threatened by religious obscurantism.

Those who think this war is not worth fighting chose to ignore the fate of hundreds of millions of Muslim women. Shame on them.

Do not miss reading the whole article which contains some disturbing anqalysis of the formalized oppression of women in the new Iraqi constitution.

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