Dutch MP defies Muslim pressure

Discussion in 'Europe' started by nosarcasm, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. nosarcasm
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    What turns a devout young Muslim woman into one of Islam's most outspoken critics?

    For the Somali-born Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it was a long journey that started with an arranged marriage.

    She sought refuge in the Netherlands on her way to her new husband's home in Canada.

    "I wanted a chance at a life where I could shape my own future," she says.

    "I knew the risks - being disowned or being shunned by my father and the rest of my family. I took those risks and I don't regret it."

    Hirsi Ali describes the anti-US attacks of 11 September 2001 as pivotal to her questioning of Islam.

    She remembers the moment when she realised that Mohammed Atta, the leader of the hijackers, had studied the Koran, like her, in the mid-1980s.

    She says: "I grabbed the Koran and I started to read what Bin Laden had written and... I put (his) citations next to what is written in the Koran and I realised that, yes, a lot of it is part of my religion and what do I think of that?"

    She wrote the play Submission to "challenge the conviction that what is written in the Holy Koran is absolute".


    I have come to the conclusion that Islam can and should be reformed if Muslims want to live at peace
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    It was an act that was to lead to the murder of her collaborator Theo Van Gogh.

    "I still do feel guilt," she says.

    "Guilt is irrational, but for Theo it was the freedom of expression. He said 'If I cannot make films in Holland then I am a slave... and I would rather be dead'. And I am just as principled as he is."

    Hirsi Ali now lives under 24-hour armed guard. A note pinned to Van Gogh's body by the murderer threatened the MP directly.

    Call for reform

    But Hirsi Ali has no intention of being silenced. Submission 2 is in production and Submission 3 is planned.

    Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh
    Theo Van Gogh was a well-known critic of fundamentalist Islam
    "The transition from, let's say, pre-modern to modern, is something that Judaism and Christianity have gone through and that transition is something that Islam is experiencing right now.

    "I have come to the conclusion that Islam can and should be reformed if Muslims want to live at peace... that's why I need the freedom of expression... for other Muslims to think that through."

    Does she think she will survive?

    "Yes," she says. "And if I don't, well, I've lived my life as I want to live it. So be it."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4640606.stm
     
  2. NATO AIR
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    I hope she will be safe from the vile designs of the violent fundamentalists.

    She is a true, brave hero of the many Europeans who are beginning to realize something is dreadfully amiss with their populations, and the few Muslims who are outraged and horrified at what their religion has become in recent years.
     
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    Update on that extraordinary women.\

    Dutch MP backs Muhammad cartoons

    Ms Hirsi Ali compared Islamism to communism
    The Somali-born Dutch MP who describes herself as a "dissident of Islam" has backed the Danish newspaper that first printed the Prophet Muhammad cartoons.
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali said it was "correct to publish the cartoons" in Jyllands Posten and "right to republish them".

    Her film-maker colleague Theo van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim extremist in a case that shocked the Netherlands.

    Ms Hirsi Ali, speaking in Berlin, said that "today the open society is challenged by Islamism".

    She added: "Within Islam exists a hardline Islamist movement that rejects democratic freedoms and wants to destroy them."

    Ms Hirsi Ali criticised European leaders for not standing by Denmark and urged politicians to stop appeasing fundamentalists.

    She also said that although the Prophet Muhammad did a lot of good things, his decree that homosexuals and apostates should be killed was incompatible with democracy.

    Media 'fear'

    Ms Hirsi Ali wrote the script for Submission, a film criticising the treatment of women in Islam that prompted a radical Islamist to kill Van Gogh in an Amsterdam street in November 2004.

    Papers in several European nations have reprinted the satirical Danish cartoons - most recently carried in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

    A dozen people have died in violent protests in Afghanistan over the cartoons, which have also been denounced throughout the Islamic world.

    The drawings include an image of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. Islamic tradition explicitly prohibits any depiction of Allah and the Prophet.

    Ms Hirsi Ali said the furore over the cartoons had exposed the fear among artists and journalists in Europe to "analyse or criticise intolerant aspects of Islam".



    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4698528.stm
     

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