Thursday, August 19, 2010
Submission Part One
As I read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book Infidel, I want to know more about her as a person. I want to know why she became apostate rather than reformist. I want to know why she thinks in terms of an either/or dichotomy, why she condemns Islam outright, why she cannot hold even a shred of it without compromising her agenda for rejection.
She reminds me of the Christian who said to me, twenty years ago, “Either Jesus is the son of God, or he is an imposter.”
Well… what can one say to that? No, and no?
I looked for the film Ayaan Hirsi Ali made with Theo van Gogh before he was murdered. They called it Submission Part One. She wrote it, he filmed it, and I finally watched it on You Tube. I won’t even post the link; I’d be embarrassed. The film is nothing but a perverse, adolescent gimmick, the kind of thing Ayaan, herself, might well become ashamed of, as she grows in wisdom and experience.
It’s disgusting, and actually serves to promote the abuse of women. In its blatant expression of cruelty, it goes beyond the outer limits of good taste, and ventures into a sadistic passion that a sick Muslim might indulge. It is the film for which Theo van Gogh was murdered.
After seeing the film, I watched several interviews of her, in which she staunchly maintained that Islam was backward and cruel, and could not be established in a democratic society without compromising purity.
The woman speaks clearly, softly, almost eloquently, yet her smooth skin and charming smile come from a place of youth. Her naïve pronouncements should inspire indulgence rather than death threats.
I happen to agree with her on certain points, but her tactics offend me, not only as a Muslim but as an intellectual. On the one hand, she recommends open-mindedness and education, yet in the next breath condemns Islam– a major world religion that has guided millions upon millions of people over centuries.
She’s fallen over the edge, as adolescent rebels are prone to do. Technically, she is no longer an adolescent, but she behaves as one. She’s wallowed in her defiance. She’s given no wiggle-room to anyone. She’s in-your-face, and her message strikes a note of recognition in Muslims who hear it.
We know who we are. We simply don’t know what to do about it yet, but we’re not going to throw out the baby with the bathwater.