Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Summer vacation is over, it’s back to work on Monday and a return to the pressing challenges of society here in Europe (and the Western world.) As I stand in my kitchen this Friday evening making pizza dough from scratch and sipping a kir royale cocktail, I’m listening to an edifying discussion on Youtube. I wanted to share it with you (because it concerns us all.) Links are below.

For those of you who don’t know of Ayaan Hirsi Ali – and you should – here’s a brief bio: 

An activist who was once a victim of genital mutilation as a young girl in Somalia, Hirsi Ali is now an outspoken critic of Islamic extremism. Demanding reform “in cultures and religious doctrines that continue to oppress women”, she continues to speak out against political violence despite the danger it puts her in. Somali-born and a Dutch-American activist, feminist, author, scholar, and former Dutch politician, she now lives in the U.S.A. with her Scottish husband, Niall Campbell Ferguson, a professor of History at Harvard University.

Because she has been critical of Islam, Hirsi Ali lives under a fatwa. (Formerly a devout Muslim, she abandoned her faith and became an atheist.)




According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the horrifying case in Detroit where a Muslim doctor was arrested for practicing FGM (female genital mutilation), was just the tip of the iceberg in this country: the CDC states that as many as 513,000 girls and women, primarily in New York, Washington D.C. and Minneapolis, are at risk as the girls and women hail from Muslim countries.

In Toronto, Canada, doctors at St. Joseph’s Health Centre perform a type of surgery to reverse FGM: 308 times in the past five years in Ontario, though it may be done more often and billed under a different code.

And the reasoning behind the genital mutilation of Muslim pubescent girls? “It is necessary to control women’s sexual urges. They must be chaste to preserve their beauty.”

So, this barbaric and life-threatening practice still exists in 2017. Not only in backward African villages, but within some immigrant communities in Europe, North America and Australia.

Here in Europe, our number one safety concern is Islamist extremism and radicalization. As I sit here typing this blog post, two thwarted terrorist attacks have just occurred – one in Brussels (where I was exactly one week ago): a 30-year old machete-wielding Muslim shouting “Allahu Akbar!” attacked a group of soldiers in the street. And one in London (where I was two months ago): outside of Buckingham Palace three police officers were injured as a man in a car reached for a 4ft sword while shouting “Allahu Akbar!

In the wake of the August 17 Barcelona attack in which a van drove into pedestrians on La Rambla promenade, killing 13 and injuring at least 130, we learned that a terrorist cell of twelve members, all Moroccan, including the ringleader, a Moroccan imam, was responsible.

2.5 to 3 million Moroccans live in France.

A Muslim Moroccan woman close to the attackers heard the imam’s sermons. She said he repeatedly preached about jihad and killing “infidels.” She spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing she would be attacked for speaking out.

“I feel like I could have done something. I feel a little bit guilty now,” she said. “Everybody knew it. It was an open secret. But we didn’t say anything because these people are dangerous and they would come after us.”

The most chilling clue to one of the terrorists from Ripoll, a small town north of Barcelona in the foothills of the Pyrenees and not far from the French border, is a message left by him on an online forum two years ago – “If I were king, I would kill all infidels and only leave Muslims who follow the religion.”

A 2007 cable from the US State Department warned of the risk of radicalisation in Catalonia, Spain and called for a regional counter-terror hub to be set up in Barcelona.

The State Department cited men with a North African background at particular risk for radicalisation in “circumstances that would provide fertile ground for terrorist recruitment”, adding: “The threat is clear.”

I say, forewarned is forearmed. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is telling us something important. Are we listening?


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