‘Ayaan Hirsi (is) asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take (her) vagina away – (she doesn’t) deserve to be (a woman).’ So tweeted Linda Sarsour, the co-chair of the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington and of the Day Without a Woman held on International Woman’s Day. Welcome to the Looking Glass Land of the self-styled progressive Left and the Islamist enforcers of Sharia law, where Ayatollahs and mullahs really do shout ‘Off with their heads’ and Humpty Dumpty doesn’t fall off a wall — if he’s homosexual, he’s thrown to his death off a building.
The proposed visit of Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Australia brought the lesser lights of this movement, a sinister Sharia sorority, out in force.
Sherene Hassan, Vice President of the Islamic Council of Victoria, which claims to represent more than 90,000 Muslims through 28 member organisations in Victoria, started a change.org petition.
With typical Looking Glass logic, Hassan says she is ‘passionate about building bridges’ and welcomes ‘vigorous discussion and debate regarding Islam and the status of women’ but expresses her ‘utmost disappointment that Ayaan Hirsi-Ali is being brought to Australia by Think Inc.’ because ‘Hirsi Ali’s conversation does not contribute to any insights nor further the debate in any way’ and accuses Hirsi Ali of ‘espousing vitriol… increasing hostility and hatred towards Muslims.’ Think Inc.’s founder, Suzi Jamil is unapologetic. ‘She (Hirsi Ali)’s not saying it out of nowhere, she was born into a Muslim family, and she’s talking about her experience, so I’m not sure why they’re trying to suppress that.’
But that’s not good enough for Hassan who says she condemns any interpretation of Islam that ‘condones violence against women’ but also condemns anyone who says there is ‘any Islamic basis for the violence that has occurred to Ayaan Hirsi-Ali in her life, and the violence perpetrated to women all over the world’ who, according to her, have merely ‘fallen victim to culturally-influenced misogynistic abuse.’ It’s the same line that’s put forward by the President of the Muslim Women’s National Network of Australia, Zubeda Raihman, who says: ‘The issues she (Hirsi Ali)’s trying to raise are all cultural issues, it’s not the principles of the teachings of the holy Quran.’. Never mind that one can quote the Koran and the hadiths, chapter and verse, on Sharia law and the death penalty for apostates, adulterers and so forth.
Raiman, at least, doesn’t seem to object to Hirsi Ali speaking. She says: ‘Nobody listens to her, nobody cares what she has to say, she can say whatever she wants, she can scream out from the rooftops, we don’t care because that’s not the truth. The truth always comes out.’ It’s an example of Newspeak of which George Orwell would be proud — but far from the most astonishing one.
Hassan’s petition was signed by prominent Muslim women including playwrights and human rights campaigners, some of whom produced a video accusing Hirsi Ali of being a ‘star of the global Islamophobia Industry’. The women accuse Hirsi Ali of simply repeating the language of the oppressors: ‘the language of patriarchy and misogyny… the language of white supremacy.’
To accuse a black, Somali woman of being a white supremacist is surely the nec plus ultra of Orwell’s Blackwhite — especially a woman who has been living, for 15 years, with death threats issued by Muslim fanatics, and who courageously continues to speak out against the oppression, in the name of Islam, of women, apostates and homosexuals. Blackwhite, Orwell explained, had two contradictory meanings; ‘applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.’ Thus for the Sharia sisters and their ‘progressive’ cheer squad, the victim of perpetual Muslim death threats is profiting ‘from an industry that exists to dehumanise Muslim women and putting them in danger every day.’
In another impressive example of inverted logic, Tasneem Chopra, chair of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, claims Hirsi Ali is being held up as a spokesperson for the Muslim community when Hirsi Ali, a declared atheist, is obviously speaking up for the victims of Islam and for herself.
‘It’s problematic when somebody identifies as no longer a Muslim, to then speak on behalf of Muslim women,’ says Chopra, who is also angry that her mates were refused a private audience with Hirsi Ali. ‘She’s talking at us, not to us,’ she lectures. ‘She doesn’t speak for us,’ she says, as if anyone could imagine that Hirsi Ali would speak for Chopra.
Maher Mughrabi, foreign editor of the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald simply says Hirsi Ali is a ‘lunatic – or a very canny self-publicist’ for saying that ‘violence is inherent in Islam’ and that it’s a ‘destructive, nihilistic cult of death’ that ‘legitimates murder.’ Hirsi Ali’s first-hand experience of the way in which Islam legitimates murder is simply ignored by Mughrabi; a death threat to Hirsi Ali was pinned to the chest of her friend and colleague, film-maker Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered in the streets of Amsterdam by a Muslim fanatic.
ABC1’s host of Q&A, Tony Jones, seemed equally blasé about the threats Hirsi Ali faces saying, ‘The security issues are exaggerated,’ he told the audience of his program on national TV. What would he know about living with death threats or managing security? On his watch, Q&A admitted a man to the audience who hurled a shoe at former prime minister John Howard. Hirsi Ali says: ‘My biggest fear is coming from Islamic extremists who want to kill me, so I am surrounded at all times by men carrying guns. I haven’t felt safe since 2002.’
In Victoria, it’s already an offence to publish material on the internet that might encourage other people to ‘hate’ or ‘ridicule’ a particular religious group, but the Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott wants to go further — as does federal Labor MP Anne Aly. ‘I think that Islamic law is deplorable,’ said Hirsi Ali. ‘Am I insulting to the Muslim if I say that… I do not insult Muslims by questioning Islamic law. I honour them with reason.’ But who know when it will be safe for Hirsi Ali to honour Muslims with reason in Australia.
Rebecca Weisser is a research associate at the Centre for Independent Studies