Ed Driscoll

Destroying The Attitude Of Denial, One Speech At A Time

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a staggeringly brave member of the Dutch Parliament, and one of Time’s 2005 “World’s Most Influential Leaders” spoke at Harvard today. Blogger Miss Kelly has filed a great report:

One business school student (Muslim male) asked “If Islam is so oppressive to women, how can you explain that Muslim countries like Pakistan and Indonesia have had women prime ministers?” Her response to that was deadly: “In some Muslim countries such as Iran and Afghanistan, under sharia, women are forced to wear hijab, adulters are stoned (mostly women, not the men), daughters get half the inheritance that sons do, and a man can easily get a divorce, while it’s very difficult for women to get divorced. In secular Muslim countries like Turkey and Indonesia, fundamentalist Islam is on the rise. Twenty years ago, Indonesian women did not go around in hijab, now it is commonplace. There is an attitude of denial in the face of a great deal of empirical evidence about the oppression of women. Anyone who denies this evidence is personally contributing to the subjugation of women.” (That means YOU, Dude).

The last questioner (Bangladeshi woman) asked “Do you identify yourself as a woman? If so, why aren’t you concerned with domestic abuse? Why are you only harping about Islam?” Ayaan was amused. “Yes, I identify myself as a woman, I think that’s self-evident.”

I certainly can’t argue with that–or with the rest of Ayaan’s comments. Read the whole thing.