Monday, May 07, 2007

COMMENT: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Jewish fundamentalism ...

Muslims often attack Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her criticisms of the Islamic faith and Muslim cultures. Anti-Muslims adore her for these very reasons, using Hirsi Ali's (often legitimate) critiques of Muslim culture as an excuse to attack all Muslims.

Now, Hirsi Ali's attacks on religion have extended to overly religious and fundamentalist Israeli Jews. The result is that she is beginning to lose favour with her old supporters, many of whom come from the Jewish circles she criticises.

In August last year, the Jerusalem Post newspaper published Hirsi Ali's views on Jewish fundamentalism ...

From my superficial impression, the country ... has a problem with fundamentalists ... The ultra-Orthodox will cause a demographic problem because these fanatics have more children than the secular and the regular Orthodox.
As a result of these comments, one far-Right Jewish blog has described Hirsi Ali as an ...

... intellectually challenged anti semite ...
So there you have it. When Hirsi Ali criticises Muslim extremism, she is applauded. But when she attacks the Israeli equivalent, she is hounded. Still, at least she is consistent, unlike so many of her (now increasingly former) supporters.

Words © 2007 Irfan Yusuf

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Jonathan Keren-Black said...

This is scraping the barrel I'm afraid!

The 'intelectually challenged anti-semite' is a provocative, offensive and inappropriate headline, presumably intended to hook readers. It is followed by the entire Jerusalem Post article - but no comments at all so far!

May I suggest you read the article which seems fair, balanced and insightful. Israel does indeed have a problem with a small percentage of bigotted settlers who do not always respect law and democracy. The majority of Israelis are concerned and the authorities seek to deal fairly and appropriately (eg withdrawal from Gaza).

This is all she says about Jewish fundamentalists - she says a lot more about Muslims - a few other quotes 'My main impression was that Israel is a liberal democracy..., I saw that men and women are equal.'

"I have visited the Palestinian quarters in Jerusalem as well. Their side is dilapidated, for which they blame the Israelis. In private, however, I met a young Palestinian who spoke excellent English. There were no cameras and no notebooks. He said the situation was partly their own fault, with much of the money sent from abroad to build Palestine being stolen by corrupt leaders.'

"The standards for judging the Palestinians, however, are very low. Most outsiders remain silent on all the problems in their territories. That helps the Palestinians become even more corrupt than they already are. Those who live in the territories are not allowed to say anything about this because they risk being murdered by their own people."

Finally, "Almost nobody in the West wants to understand that Islam's problems are structural. Contemporary Islam hardly exists. Islam stopped thinking in the year 900 and has stood still for more than a thousand years. Western Muslims, however, live in an environment where you can think independently without your head being chopped off by somebody.'

That's not all. It's worth reading the whole article. And remember - it's pubished in Israel, by Israelis, for anyone to read, because Israel is open to inspection and reflection. Israel is by no means perfect - but it's a bloody good model, none the less!



Anonymous said...

JKB, please don't make us laugh. She's said plenty of other things about Judaism away from her Jerusalem Post article.

Surely Jews of all people should understand the dangers of 'adopting' an athiest who potentially attacks all religions.

Anonymous said...

"Israel is by no means perfect - but it's a bloody good model, none the less!"

when australia attacks and occupies 10% of new zealand territory for decades and massacres 20,000 or so Maori in the process, i'll take your point.