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Meet Lorraine Ali, Mendacious Muslim 'Media Critic'

Middle aged woman with black hair smiling.

When I saw the byline in the Los Angeles Times, I knew I recognized it, but I couldn't place it at once. The title was cutesy: “Two Muslims walk into the Emmys...” The author: Lorraine Ali.

Ali's article, which ran on September 19, was about Riz Ahmed and Aziz Ansari, both of whom had won Emmys (for acting and writing, respectively) two days earlier. For Ali, this was a great moment. A series like Homeland might depict Muslims with weapons, but the “shiny metal objects” held by Ahmed and Ansari at the Emmys weren't guns but statuettes.

By winning, they'd “exploded stereotypes and made history.” Their victories exemplified “progressive Hollywood pushing back against the new president and his policies, which many in the entertainment industry consider hostile toward women, minorities, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.”

Perhaps best of all, Ahmed and Ansari had won for TV programs, respectively The Night Of (HBO) and Master of None (Netflix), “that demystified the scary 'Islamist' talked about so often on the Trump campaign trail.”

Why, I wondered, did the name Lorraine Ali ring a bell? Aha! I went to my bookshelves and took down a copy of my 2009 book Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom. There I was, on page 140, writing about her Newsweek review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's 2007 book Infidel.

Born in Somalia, raised as a Muslim, subjected to female genital mutilation, and fully awakened by 9/11 to the evil reality of Islam, Hirsi Ali had gone on to become a brave, outspoken member of the Dutch parliament and leading critic of Islam's treatment of women. When she made a film about that topic, her collaborator, Theo van Gogh, was shot and butchered on an Amsterdam street by a homegrown jihadist who, in a note, vowed to murder Hirsi Ali as well.

But she was unbowed. Relocating to America and living every day of her life with bodyguards, she published a series of books in which she eloquently told home truths about the religion of her birth. Briefly put, she's one of the great heroines of our time.

But none of this seemed to matter to Lorraine Ali, herself the daughter of an Iraqi immigrant to the U.S. In her vile review of Infidel, she smeared Hirsi Ali as “harsh and uncompromising,” called her “one of Europe's most infamous critics of Islam,” said that her book reached “an inflammatory conclusion tailor-made for her right-wing constituency,” and pronounced it “ironic that this would-be 'infidel' often sounds as single-minded and reactionary as the zealots she's worked so hard to expose.”

In other words, Hirsi Ali is a cynical operator who isn't telling important truths but playing to an audience; to criticize Islam as forthrightly as she does is to be “infamous,” “single-minded,” “reactionary,” and the equivalent, in some sense, of the savages who wish to murder her.