By Jeffrey Tayler
True progressives really should get around to constructing a Doric-columned Hall of Shame to memorialize, for all to revile, the imbecilities, curios of casual hypocrisy, and artifacts of outright intellectual and moral treason the benighted diehards of the regressive left choose to display as a matter of pride these days when the subject is Islam and former Muslims, especially former female Muslims. The contrast between the lofty liberal ideals espoused by such leftists and their sordid output should concern us all, though, of whatever political persuasion. They have largely succeeded in squelching forthright, reasoned discourse about Islam and Islamist terrorism, which jeopardizes national security and the lives of some of some of the most vulnerable, including women who have left the faith, or who, rightfully or wrongfully, are accused of disrespecting it. For in de facto alliance with regressive leftist denouncers of “Islamophobia” — a semantic swindle of a noun equating criticism of Islam with bigotry against Muslims as people — stand assassins, as the late Elsa Cayat of Charlie Hebdo, the late Farkhunda Malikzada of Afghanistan, and countless victims of honor killings would attest, were they still alive.
That this is no laughing matter has not stopped regressive leftists from doing their utmost to look ridiculous, if in a sinister sort of way. In attempting to discourage criticism of Islam — a faith they mostly do not profess — they de facto defend the right of one group of humans to oppress another group on the basis of their religion. Their talent for tragicomic perfidy shines through most clearly in their prodigious efforts to take down one woman in particular — a woman whose life story, by any rational, humane standards, should win encomia from, and the admiration of, decent people everywhere — the courageous, Somali-born author, human rights activist, and public intellectual Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
In the space of four decades, Hirsi Ali suffered genital mutilation, donned the hijab and joined the Muslim Brotherhood, escaped a forced marriage and fled Africa for Holland, mastered Dutch and earned a graduate degree from a prestigious university, abandoned Islam after the 9/11 attacks awakened her intellectually, got herself elected to the Dutch parliament, publicly denounced the abuse suffered by immigrant Muslim women in Holland, wrote the screenplay for a short film about misogyny in Islam (for which its director, Theo van Gogh, was murdered by an Islamist in Amsterdam and for which his killer condemned her to death as well), found herself (following controversy over her asylum status) immigrating, in 2006, to the United States (where she was welcomed by Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick as a “very courageous and impressive woman”), and established a foundation to protect women from honor killings and aid women’s development globally. She is now a fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Death threats have shadowed her since 2002, when she first started speaking out against Islam, and even today she requires round-the-clock armed guards. Yet, undaunted, she continues to write, publish, and make her voice heard about the faith she once professed so fervently, but left for atheism and the values of the Enlightenment.
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