Friday, November 23, 2007

Hrisi Ali - When Islam goes bad ....

Ayaan Hersi Ali is back in Nederland after being let down by her new American neo-con buddies. So the debate will surely rage in the Dutch media again. Hersi Ali, saint or devil? Islam evil or missunderstood? Well, here’s my twopennyworth. Feel free to mis-interpret it as usual. I see religion, all religion, as delusional and ultimately dangerous in that it seeks to deny rationality and (increasingly) is anti-science in its stance. I don’t see any religion as evil, but that is not to say that there are not evil men around willing to twist and exploit religions to get what they want. Christianity gave us Hitler and Stalin; Islam has given us Syeed Qutb and Osama bin Laden, (and before anyone says anything, there have of course been evil atheists too – Saddam Hussein being one that comes immediately to mind). Islam does not teach that women are inferior, or that gays should be hanged, evil men have simply chosen to interpret tracts that were written by sheep rustlers in the Arabian peninsula 1500 years ago as supposed proof that it does – (as if the views of sheep-rustlers could be in any way relevant to 21st century society). There are passages in the Christian bible that say that rape of servants and slaves is permissible, the murder of captured soldiers is cool and that homosexuality is a punishable crime. Yet you don’t hear anyone (other than the worst kind of fundamentalist nutcases) describe these as the fundamental tenants of Christianity as they attempt to do with Islam. As regards fundamentalist Islam, the House of Saud has spent tens of billions of Rials exporting their extreme conservative form of Wahaabiist Islam to the rest of the world. Their money has funded the building of Mosques and schools all over the world, and they have seen to it that Wahabiists have staffed these institutions. Western governments have not been blind to this, they have been perfectly aware of what has been happening, but have chosen to do nothing because they are paralyzed by the fear of failing oil supplies. Consider for a moment the hypocrisy of those western politicians who ring their hands at the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and yet have chosen to do nothing about the root cause of this turn to fundamentalism and continue to do nothing, because ultimately it may damage corporate profits.Then at the confluence of three separate forces that have led to phenomenon of the homegrown terrorist - Fundamentalism, politics and second-generation syndrome. The fundamentalism we know about, the politics we know too – largely the foreign policy of the ‘allied’ governments that is widely interpreted as a genocidal attack on Muslim peoples that has helped radicalize Islamic youth. Finally second-generation syndrome – the same process that led to the rise of Latino gangs in Los Angeles – caused by a feeling of isolation and dislocation from the society they find themselves in, an isolation that can only worsen as the host society reacts to Islamic terrorism, and thus we are caught in a vicious circle of hate and distrust. In that I oppose religion and fundamentalism, doesn’t mean that I automatically support others who would oppose it. Jami is, as far as I can tell, a good man who deserves the support of all freethinking people. Hersi Ali does not. Not just because she’s a neo-con politician who helped pass a law that would make it difficult for oppressed Muslim women from entering the Netherlands, but also because she is a liar, a liar who would ruthlessly lie about her OWN FAMILY to get where she wanted to go. I don’t know about you guys, but I think the genuinely oppressed women of the world (Muslim or otherwise) deserve a better quality of spokesperson.


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