The institution which Muslims generally know as the caliphate has nothing to do with religion. It has [more to do with] the lust for power and the exercise of intimidation…
Abdel Raziq, Islam and the Foundations of Governance
You let them in.
And now they’re everywhere.
In these treacherous times, when heroes are a rare and valuable commodity, a woman of the stature of Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to be venerated as a pearl worth all her tribe. You will not, however, find today’s feminists – or anyone else preening among the ranks of what Orwell called the Pansy Left – praising her. Quite the reverse. As an apostate from Islam, she is also an apostate from the chosen religion of the right-thinking, progressivist liberal-Left, neo-Socialist hordes increasingly grasping the reins of cultural and political power in their sweaty, greedy hands.
Hirsi Ali’s first book, Infidel, is one of only two books I have ever had to put down, unable to read on, so blinded was I by tears of rage. The other book was an account of the crimes of Fred and Rose West. I challenge you, women in particular, to read without flinching Hirsi Ali’s account, in Infidel, of her own clitoridectomy in her native Somalia. If you have the onions to do that, you really are quite something. If you believe that this action was understandable and forgiveable due to cultural differences, forgive me if I don’t seek your company in private life. You are the problem.
As for any solution – and I hold little hope – Hirsi Ali is suggesting a world-historical moment whose desirability has become thematic among those concerned about the Islamic problem; reformation. Of course, a Muslim reformation cannot run along the same lines as that within the Anglican church which resulted in the schism between Catholicism and Protestantism. What we know as the Reformation was largely to accommodate English and Dutch economic innovation – see Orwell’s friend Trelawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism - which Muslim countries by and large don’t have and are not capable of having.
What they do have, according to Heretic, is a de facto tripartite schism already in place between what Hirsi Ali calls Medina Muslims, Mecca Muslims, and Modifying Muslims. The first group (named for Mohammed’s destination after his flight or hajira) ‘see the forcible imposition of shariah as their religious duty.’ Fundamentally, for those of us who are not a part of the dar al Islam, or the world of the political elites along with their fellow travellers in the Western public sector, media and entertainment business, these people are the problem.
Mecca Muslims, Hirsi Ali writes, are much the same as ‘devout Christians or Jews who attend religious services every day and abide by religious rules in what they eat and wear.’ Hirsi Ali herself was raised a Mecca Muslim. For the Medina Muslims, mere formal observation is not enough and, as Christopher Hitchens used to point out, a large part of the Muslim problem is that we in the dar al harb – the non-Muslim ‘house of war’ - have blundered into a civil war already taking place between rival Mohammedan clans.
Modifying Muslims are Hirsi Ali’s target constituency although, I have to say, when you have the President of the United States hustling for your enemies, your task will never be easy. But then, neither was Luther’s. Neither was Oliver Cromwell’s.
Hirsi Ali’s task is even more bedevilled given that we live in an age of lies. Falsehood and inauthenticity are the ground notes over which a dissembling melody is played out, from the political class and their media catamites to the meanest advertising campaign, the modern world is properly Satanic, a father of lies. When Hirsi Ali writes that ‘my mother was born under a tree and raised in the desert’, one instinctively grasps that there is more reality in that sentence than in the whole tawdry deception of The Audacity of Hope.
Indeed, the most nauseating aspect of the Islamic problem is having to watch, after each new atrocity, the usual line-up of Western elite sock-puppets informing us that it has ‘nothing to do with Islam’. Australia’s Prime Minister has even started referring to a ‘Middle Eastern death cult’. Don’t bother with Google translate; he’s talking about Islam. That these people are allowed to pose for the media as experts on Islam when the likes of Hirsi Ali, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Geert Wilders are ignored, reviled and publically hounded, is a disgrace.
Thus, when two Muslim converts quote the Koran while almost beheading a British soldier, the public-school dullard David Cameron invites us through the looking-glass to tell us – and we are being told here, not informed, but instructed – that it has nothing to do with Islam. As Theodore Dalrymple points out with reference to Communism, the purpose of these state-sponsored lies is not to misinform but to humiliate. Hirsi Ali is one of the few dissenting voices that can remove the taint of that humiliation.
She is particularly strong when writing of the changes within Islam even within her lifetime. Paradoxically, it is the sense of order that The Muslim Brotherhood give to the young men they pluck from the streets and Islamise that accounts for much of their success. It is, at first sight, a tactic which might appeal to the good people of Baltimore, the Banlieue or Bradford. Sadly, these same young men are merely exchanging one type of mental chaos for another.
We are often told that we kufir must understand Islam better, but only those approved aspects of it which appear on Islam’s ideological tourist trail. Other than that, the vast majority of readers are not going to put down their thrillers, dumbed-down science primers and titillating erotica to read Bat Y’eor. Hirsi Ali’s book, in contrast, is languidly readable and shot through with the authenticity of genuine experience. Whether you champion freedom, feminism or fidelity to the truth, Ayaan Hirsi Ali deserves your attention.