Saturday, March 01, 2008

COMMENT: Rebecca Weisser on Ayaan Hirsi Magaan ...

Dr Ramadan isn’t the only author of Muslim heritage The Oz's Rebecca Weisser has profiled. She profiled neo-Conservative former Dutch MP and migration fraud Ayaan Hirsi Magaan in an article for The Oz on 3 February 2007. Here are some excerpts:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a rare public example of moral courage for the West ...

For Hirsi Ali, Islam in its current incarnation is not just different from Judeo-Christian culture, it is fundamentally incompatible with the enlightenment values that underpin Western prosperity ... Islam, with its emphasis on passive submission to the will of Allah and finding fulfillment in the hereafter rather than on earth, discourages the work ethic that is the motor for economically successful societies.

Hirsi Ali's views have added weight because they are not those of an outsider or a dilettante ...
Weisser has nothing even mildly critical to say about a woman who has acknowledged to having told lies about her background in an attempt to queue-jump and defraud the Netherlands’ asylum laws. Weisser also doesn’t question any of Hirsi Magaan’s claims about Islamic theology or Muslim societies, regardless of the gross ignorance and prejudice than underlies them.

And why does Weisser believe what Hirsi Magaan says about Muslims and not Dr Ramadan? After all, neither is an outsider nor a dilettante. This idea of insiders being more authentic can work both ways. I could easily claim that Judaism is a racist religion which teaches God is little more than a real estate agent for the Jews. I could then claim that these are the views of American Jewish insider Margaret Marcus (now known as Maryam Jameelah).

Is it all really about believing what alleged insiders have to say? Or is it just that Weissner shares Hirsi Magaan’s prejudices about Muslims and wants to give them maximum currency? Does Weisser reject Ramadan’s optimism that Muslims can develop a European Islam while? Does she prefer Hirsi Magaan’s claim that Islam is incompatible with Western values?

I’d love to see Weisser or Hirsi Magaan tell a group of Liberal-voting Zimbabwean or South African Muslim business people from Algester or Campbelltown or Lysterfield that Islam discourages the work ethic. Or maybe they could try convincing the academics, professionals, postgrad students and senior public servants that gather once a month at the Canberra Islamic Centre.

Weisser's totally uncritical treatment of Hirsi Magaan, when compared with her brutal attacks of Ramadan, say more about Weisser's own prejudices than those of her subjects.

© Irfan Yusuf 2008

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1 comment:

sarah said...

keep up the dissenting voice! it's sad that the mainstream opinion pages are filled with troglodytes who publicise their xenophobia as informed comment. the sad thing is that most people will take them at their word unless they have other information (like this).