The Crusader: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

“It makes me cringe when I hear references to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. An ex-Muslim, a former Dutch parliamentarian, and a feminist, Hirsi Ali is often trotted out as some sort of spokeswoman for moderate Islam. A few years back, she wrote a book (‘Infidel’) and produced a movie ‘Submission’) that condemn harsh treatment associated with Islam; since then, she’s been a celebrity. As blogger Shadi Hamid notes, ‘people seem intent on treating her as some kind of anointed spokeswoman for oppressed Muslim women, a reformer from within the faith or, worse, a kind of pseudo-Muslim Martin Luther’.

“But Hirsi Ali is no Martin Luther. She’s condescending, elitist, and inspires no respect amongst Muslims. Hamid points out that he has ‘yet to meet even one Muslim on the planet, secular or conservative, liberal or illiberal, who actually thinks that Hirsi Ali is helping the cause of internal Muslim reform’.”

Jeb Koogler at The Moderate Voice, 24 October 2007