‘We are at war with all Islam’

An interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali

28 November 2007

Last Tuesday at nightfall, as the servants of democracy fled SW1, a young Somali woman stood spotlit on a stage in Westminster. Behind her was the illuminated logo for the Centre for Social Cohesion: a white hand reaching down across England to help a brown one up; in front, an audience of some of Britain’s biggest brains — politicians, editors, academics. She drew her shawl a little closer round her shoulders, looked up and said: ‘We are not at war with “terror”, that would make no sense.’

‘Hear, hear,’ said a voice at the back. ‘Terror is just a tactic used by Islam,’ she continued. ‘We are actually at war, not just with Islamism, but with Islam itself.’

Out in the dark began a great wobbling of heads. Neocons nodded, Muslims shook their heads; others, uncertain, waggled theirs anxiously from side to side: at war with all Islam, even here in the UK? What does that mean?

It would be easier in some ways to ignore Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to label her as bonkers — but it would also be irresponsible. She’s not just another hawkish hack, anxious to occupy the top tough-guy media slot — she has the authority of experience, the authenticity of suffering. In the spring of 2004 she wrote a film called Submission (an artsy 11-minute protest against Islamic cruelty to women) which was shown on Dutch TV. In November 2004 the film’s director, Theo van Gogh, was assassinated and the killer left a long letter to Hirsi Ali knifed into his corpse which said, in short: you’re next. But Hirsi Ali couldn’t be silenced. She has since written an autobiography (Infidel) about growing up a Muslim (in Somalia, then Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia), describing her circumcision, the beatings she received, her arranged marriage, her flight to Holland. She risks her life daily, speaking out against what she calls the ‘fairytale’ that Islam is in essence a religion of peace.

The other reason to take her seriously is that Hirsi Ali’s ideas about Islam (that it is unamenable to reform, and intrinsically opposed to Western values) are attracting attention worldwide. In Holland where, until 2006, she was an MP for the People’s Party for Freedom and Independence (VVD), the famous ‘pillarisation’ approach to immigration — where each new culture becomes a pillar upon which the state rests — has given way to a ‘new realism’, much more in tune with Hirsi Ali’s way of thinking, and in part because of her. In Britain and in America, Ayaan Hirsi Ali has become a sort of popstar for neocons, and she now lives in Washington, and works as a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute.

But is she right? And what does ‘war with Islam’ mean? I went to find out; to meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the House of Lords on a bitter and blustery afternoon last week, bustling past the police, down the corridors of partial power, to the visitors’ room where she was waiting. We haven’t got much time, so can we dive straight into Islam? I ask. ‘Yes, absolutely, go ahead,’ she smiles. Up close she is disconcertingly beautiful, and fragile-looking. OK then, right. Well, you say that Islam is a violent religion, because the Prophet advocated violence. But isn’t that open to interpretation? I ask. Karen Armstrong, (a non-Muslim biographer of Mohammed) has said the Prophet was a loving man who’d have been horrified at 9/11.

‘Karen Armstrong is ridiculous,’ says Hirsi Ali in her quick, light voice — Africa still audible in the clipped consonants. ‘The Prophet would have not have disapproved of 9/11, because it was carried out in his example. When he came to Medina, the Prophet had a revelation, of jihad. After that, it became an obligation for Muslims to convert others, and to establish an Islamic state, by the sword if necessary.’

But there is such a thing as moderate Islam, I say. Muslims aren’t all terrorists. There are some like Ed Husain (author of The Islamist) who argue that there are many peaceful traditions of Koranic scholarship to choose from. Isn’t it a mistake to dismiss this gentler, acceptable branch of Islam?

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‘I find the word “moderate” very misleading.’ There’s a touch of steel in Hirsi Ali’s voice. ‘I don’t believe there is such a thing as “moderate Islam”. I think it’s better to talk about degrees of belief and degrees of practice. The Koran is quite clear that it should control every area of life. If a Muslim chooses to obey only some of the Prophet’s commandments, he is only a partial Muslim. If he is a good Muslim, he will wish to establish Sharia law.’

But I don’t call myself a ‘partial Christian’ just because I don’t take the whole Bible literally, I say. Why can’t a Muslim pick and choose his scriptures too? Before Hirsi Ali can answer, the door to the waiting room flies open and a House of Lords doorman stands theatrically on the threshold. ‘You must stop this interview immediately!’ he says. Why? Is there a breach of security? A terrorist threat? ‘I have not received authorisation for it,’ he says. But we’re here with a peer, I say. I’m sure he has cleared it. ‘Please proceed to the waiting area in silence.’ So off we trudge to the foyer to sit by a fake fire — ‘it’s much nicer here, anyway,’ says Hirsi Ali kindly — and to continue our discussion about the superiority of the free, enlightened West in urgent whispers behind my rucksack.

‘Christianity is different from Islam,’ says Hirsi Ali, ‘because it allows you to question it. It probably wasn’t different in the past, but it is now. Christians — at least Christians in a liberal democracy — have accepted, after Thomas Hobbes, that they must obey the secular rule of law; that there must be a separation of church and state. In Islamic doctrine such a separation has not occurred yet. This is what makes it dangerous! Islam — all Islam, not just Islamism — has not acknowledged that it must obey secular law. Islam is hostile to reason.’

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s eyes are now aglow. She is a terrific believer in reason. For her, Western civilisation is built on the bedrock not of Judaeo-Christian values, but of logic. After seeking asylum in Holland, she spent five years at Leiden university studying political science, absorbing the Enlightenment philosophers — Spinoza, Hobbes, Voltaire — and she mentions them fondly, as if they’re family. But there’s a steely side to her atheism, which says with Voltaire: Ecraser l’infâme! During a recent debate with Ed Husain, as Husain was explaining his moderate Islam, she began to laugh at him, saying: ‘When you die you rot, Ed! There is no afterlife, Ed!’ And it makes me wonder whether, for Hirsi Ali, Islam’s crime is as much against reason as humanity; whether she sees the point of spirituality at all.

Are you so sure you understand what is at the heart of Islam? I ask her. Isn’t there a peaceful prayerfulness — apart from the politics — that an atheist might not understand? ‘I was a Muslim once, remember, and it was when I was most devout that I was most full of hate,’ she says.

OK then, you talk about your conscience, and how your conscience was pricked by 9/11. But if there’s no God, what do you mean by a conscience? And why should we obey it?

‘My conscience is informed by reason,’ says Hirsi Ali, surprised I should ask. ‘It’s like Kant’s categorical imperative: behave to others as you would wish they behaved to you.’

I say, so let’s assume Islam is hostile and not open to reason, that it needs to be wiped out. The next question then is how?
We can’t just ban it. Isn’t it destructive to curtail freedom so much in the interests of protecting it? Don’t you risk loving freedom to death?

Hirsi Ali looks at me with pity. ‘You, here in the UK, are in danger. Of course you can’t ban Islam outright, but you need to stop the spread of ideology, stop native Westerners converting to Islam. You definitely need to ban the veil in schools, and to close down Muslim schools because that’s where kids are indoctrinated.’

But, what about freedom of belief and free speech? I ask (with a nervous look at the doorman). And if you close down Muslim schools, don’t you, by the same logic, have to close all faith schools?

‘Islam is different from other faiths because it is not just a faith, it is a political ideology. Children learn that Allah is the lawgiver, and that is a political statement. You wouldn’t allow the BNP to run a school, would you?’

But if we crack down like this, won’t it make Muslims angry? I say, thinking about terrorists and my safety. ‘Well perhaps anger is no bad thing,’ says Hirsi Ali, thinking about ordinary Muslims, and their enlightenment. ‘Perhaps it’ll make Muslims more aware, help them question their beliefs. If we keep on asking questions, maybe Muslim women will realise, as I did, that they don’t have to be second-class citizens.’

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is on her favourite topic now (the subjection of women), leaning forward, gesticulating. And as she talks I realise (belatedly) what makes her different from her neocon pals. Whereas they seem motivated by fear of Muslims, she is out to protect Muslims from submission to unreason. When she speaks of a ‘war against Islam’, she’s thinking not of armies of insurgents, but of an ideological virus, in the same way a doctor might talk of the battle against typhoid. ‘Yes, I am at war with Islam,’ she says, as she gets up to leave, ‘but I am not at war with Muslims.’ It’s a crucial difference.

It’s teatime now and the House of Lords hallway is suddenly full of peers’ wives chattering, shaking their brollies. Sorry about all these women in headscarves, I say unnecessarily, as I shake her hand goodbye. ‘Don’t worry,’ says Ayaan Hirsi Ali, ‘It’s not the hijab, the headscarves are just to protect them against the rain!’ And she walks off, laughing.

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Show comments
  • Anonymous

    Extremely intelligent and brave person Mrs Ali is.
    Few weeks ago she participated in a literary festival in my country, Iceland, and she made many of my country fellows to open their eyes. (Unfortunately, many still keep their eyes closed). I wonder why don’t the governments of the Western countries listen to her and take the steps that are necessary to take against Islam? Why are they so afraid and what are they afraid of? Why do they risk their own country and culture instead of listening to Mrs Ali?
    If Mrs Ali read this I send you my best wishes and thank you for your part in the literary festival. It was a deep pleasure listening to you. Thank you for your bravery and good luck to you.

  • Katheirne

    The best weapon is Truth. Tell the truth about Mohamed, his words, his deeds, his life. And ponder on this:-

    Bukhari Vol 9, Book 88, No 174:

    ‘I heard the Prophet saying: “Islam cannot change.”‘

    Freedom of speech, and of conscience, are the means by which the weapon of truth will win the war against Islam.

  • Tariq

    “I am at war with Islam (…) but I am not at war with Muslims.’ It’s a crucial difference”. Perhaps, but one that is guaranteed to be lost on Ms. Ali’s fellow neocons in Washington, who see nothing in shades of grey (nuance is only for liberal wimps). Furthermore, you can’t ban a religion without persecuting its practitioners. Bit problematic, no?

  • Paul

    There is no freedom of religion in Islamic countries something muslims in the West easily forget!!!

  • Herbert Thornton

    Tariq says that neocons think that neocons see nothing in shades of grey, and that they believe that nuance is only for Liberal wimps. I should have thought it more accurate to say that when it comes to defining freedom, westerners as a whole, and liberals especially, are are too reluctant to accept nuance.

    The dangerous result of this is that westerners, in their enthusiasm for “freedom”, are too ready to defend those who preach and actively advance ideologies that are in fact opposed to, and determined to destroy the very kinds of freedom that are generally accepted by civilised society. If we wish to remain free, and if our civilisation is to be preserved, the central idea of “Freedom” must be nuanced.

    What we cannot afford to view in shades of grey, and thus tolerate, are the ideas and activities of mortal enemies who despise freedom and seek to subject us to religious tyranny. Those are matters that we all – and not just the neocons – need to view in black and white, because not to do so is foolhardy and quite possibly suicidal. When Ayaan Hirsi Ali says that she is at war with Islam she demonstrates that she understands this, despite the doubts implied in Mary Wakefield’s questions to her.

  • Vince P – Chicago

    I think it would be more accurate to say that Islam is at war with us. Those of us not infected with Politically Correct Mindrot can see that.

  • Mr Khan

    Overuse of philosopher names and quotes are typical of young graduates out to impress – usually with little comprehension or contribution to the argument itself hence the need to cite names to make oneself important.

    Ms Harsi’s quotations from thinkers dating centuries back highlights a similar problem, failing to realise that the discussion has moved into a more contemporary phase and become more sophisticated… one which she seems to be out of touch with – maybe her degree didn’t cover that…

    Islam and secularism are at odds no doubt – however, aside from rhetoric, substantive normative positions is where the difference lies – not on those of reason, ration or empirically verifiable matters…much of the focus being a poltical reformation of the muslim world so that it fuses religion and politics in a new paradigm to pull it out of its horrible abyss it finds itself…

  • leigh

    I agree with tariq that we can be at war with Islam but not individual Muslims. More accurately we are war with the legacy of Mohammad. After all he was a man who stored up the insults and then unleashed a blitzreig of hare and revenge that Allah approved of.

  • moif

    Freedom of religion should also mean freedom from religion, but it doesn’t.

  • Reg Stocking

    Some decades ago I attended much more Baptist Sunday School than was my own idea. If the God Is Love ideology drummed into me then has any resemblance to what the self-identified Christian Right in America today is all about, then you are Tweetie Pie the canary bird, and I’m Yosemite Sam. The American (of Indian descent) neo-conservative pundit Dinesh d’Souza has come out with a book claiming that the West can make peace with militant Islam very easily. First, all women will take the veil. Then we outlaw all suggestivity in media, not just pornography but undergarment advertisements, birth control information, advice to the lovelorn, etc. I’m not quite sure whether he recommends abolishing laisser-faire capatalism or trying subtly to convert the Ummah.

    When Islam didn’t feel threatened, the bulk of Muslims were perfectly friendly and reasonable. So let’s quit threatening them. This will require some soul-searching and restraint.

  • mal

    The interviewer is so obnoxious

    “her neocon pals”

  • Fergus Pickering

    Of course you can be at war with Islam but not at war with Muslims. I am at war with Socialism (and i hope you are too). On the other hand I wish no harm to Roy Hattersley.

  • Harry Cooper

    The asylum fraud Ayan Hirsi Magan is so out of her mind. My word the spectator is really scraping the barrel.

    The Economist writes:
    The facts as Ms Hirsi Ali tells them here do not fit well either with some of the stories she has told in the past or with her tendency in her political writing to ascribe most of the troubles of the Muslim world to Islam…As a young woman, Ms Hirsi Ali’s mother, Asha, does not seem to have inhabited “the virgin’s cage” that the author claims imprisons Muslim women around the world. At the age of 15, she travelled by herself to Aden where she got a job cleaning house for a British woman…Ms Hirsi Ali sounds less frank when she tells the convoluted story of how and why she came to seek asylum at the age of 22 in the Netherlands. She has admitted in the past to changing her name and her age, and to concocting a story for the Dutch authorities about running away from Somalia’s civil war. (In fact she left from Kenya, where she had had refugee status for ten years.)…

    However, last May a Dutch television documentary suggested that while Ms Hirsi Ali did run away from a marriage, her life was in no danger…the facts as she tells them about the many chances she passed up to get out of the marriage—how her father and his clan disapproved of violence against women; how relatives already in the Netherlands helped her to gain asylum; and how her ex-husband peaceably agreed to a divorce—hardly seem to bear her out.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is not the first person to use false pretences to try to find a better life in the West, nor will she be the last. But the muddy account given in this book of her so-called forced marriage becomes more troubling when one considers that Ms Hirsi Ali has built a career out of portraying herself as the lifelong victim of fanatical Muslims.”

  • Amber Muhammad Islam

    I agree with Vince. All Politically Correct Mindrot would support Ali’s point of view. A view that is in fact carved out of personal tragedy rather than religion. From Turkey to Malaysia and Indonesia including my country Bangladesh no one even dreams of female circumcision. This is an African tribal vice. Ans nowhere is it stated in Islam. As for Paul: Do you know that in countries like Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and several other countries Islam has peacefully coexisted with religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity for centuries? And yes in Bangladesh we have a lot of religeous tolerance and freedom. And Paul if you are an American do you know where countries I mentioned exist on the world map?

  • frank goddard


    She is totally right,Islam is an ideology,and Sharia Law must be outlawed in a Christian country and their schools closed,Frank G..NZ

  • Greg

    I am afraid that Miss Ali is right. I do not want to believe that she is accurate in her analysis, but I have to accept that her view best interprets the history and present action of Islam.

  • Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

    Ayan Hirsi Ali will soon have a reconversion to Ilsam once she finds out how unelightened and adolescentish that thing called Enlightenment was. Perhaps she should read a bit of Pascal. And she does not seem to know much about Islamic philosophers like In Sina, Al GHazali, or even Ibn Rushd. Her education is incomplete. There is something nice and irritating at the same time about her fanatical rationality.

  • David

    But telling the truth is being outlawed as Islamophobia, I am wondering how long it is before people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali can continue to tell the truth like this, last night I heard Sarkozy define Islamophobia with Anti-Semiticsm and I know tha there is a EU law coming to make Islamophobia a criminal act, how much longer do we have the freedom of expression to to tell the truth?

  • K. James B.

    At war with Islam, not Muslims. Can one simply separate a mindset from minds – and the hands and feet to which they are attached?

    When Ayaan says that Islam is different than Christianity, in that one can question the latter and not the former, she imposes a monolithic vision on and of Islam. But Islam is nothing in itself: it exists only as it is believed and embodied. And their is a spectrum of embodiment, with some more moderate than others.

    The distinction between “moderate” and “levels of belief” Ayaan proffers is, perhaps, a distinction without a difference. It depends on how one parses these things. And there is no single Islamic parsing, despite Ayaan’s insistence that it is monolithic.

    Her dismissal of Ed’s faith betrays her own black and white mentality. I’m no fan of Islam. I am a Christian. But it appears that Ayaan has rejected one binary mentality and adopted another, without appreciation for nuance and careful observation. As someone who exited the religion of my youth, I know all too well how easy it is to paint with a broad and brackish brush. But it is limited and limiting, though it may be emotive and rhetorically engaging.

  • Asad Siddiqi

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali lost her clitoris because of African tribal customs not because of Islam. But she is avenging this loss by waging a war on Islam. She is a nut and i wonder why the Spectator has given her so much prominence and importance.

  • Watchman

    Just an observation that those who disagree with Ms Ali have done so by rather unpleasant personal attacks on her rather than what she has said. Her comments make total sense to anyone with a modicum of understanding of Islam and her evidence is there for all to see. Why become personal in attacking her – if you disagree with her say why you do.

    Well said, Ms Ali, you are a lady of great courage although I do wish you would examine the claims of Christianity (not the Christian Church) before tarring it with the same brush as all religions.

  • hans

    Any goal scored by a bad tempered football/soccer player still is a goal. Any argument brought about by Mrs Ali will have to be consired in its own right independant if we like her personally or not. So please Tariq, Harry, Amber etc , come up with clean/proper arguments ( if you have them) to oppose her views.


  • Sam

    This woman is 1.insane, 2.materialistic, 3. traitor.
    Who she is shapes what she says, so there is every reason to make the debate personal.
    The fact that she does not have even ONE good thing to say about Islam is overwhelming evidence of her bias and wicked intentions.
    She is getting way too much attention as it is!

  • Len.P Alexandria , KY .USA!

    Why is it that Liberals all over the World are Unable to face FACTS???
    Are Facts scaring them out of their Narcisstic Illusionary World in which they Exist???

  • Ben

    Asad Siddiqi says that the practice of removal of the clitoris is a tribal custom and has nothing to do with Islam.

    However this practice only takes place amongst muslims: in a country where there are both muslims and christians you find that the christians dont do it.

    In some parts of East Africa they do a bit more than remove the clitoris and do a full mutilation.

  • MPlusnina

    Just a simple note: Kant only re-phased one of The Old Testament’s Ten Commandments to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18) which proves that our conscience (regardless of who we are: atheists or agnostics or true believers or Ms Ali for this matter) is rooted in religion.

  • Brian Lilburn

    As a kiwi just back from a Buddhist retreat at the Buddha Light International Temple in Christchurch New Zealand, it scares me a bit and makes me sad to hear the delightful English-speaking Chinese abbess ‘going overboard’ on tolerance and telling us that it doesn’t matter who we choose to follow while practicing Buddhist meditation techniques, the Buddha himself, or Jesus, or Mahommed! She wouldn’t have any idea of what is in the article here, or how devastating violent Islam was historically on relatively peaceful hindu and buddhist communities – or would she? Probably not. If she had been taught about it, or read this article, would she have said what she said? I wonder.

  • John Dancer

    At last the Emperor’s nakedness has been exposed.

  • Tomasz

    I have deep respect for Ali, but it is well known now that the story of her childhood is fake: she made it up to get asylum in the Netherlands, and bacause of those, well, lies she was forced to resign her post and leave the country. In my opinion, it doesn’t diminish the the importance of her message, but this ficticious story should not be cited anymore.

  • Lennart

    Female Genital Mutilation is not ‘an African tribal vice’ as Amber Muhammad Islam alleges.

    “According to Sami A Aideeb Abu Sahlieh, a Palestinian-Swiss specialist in Islamic law:-

    The most often mentioned narration (Hadith) reports a debate between Muhammed and Um Habibah (or Um ‘Atiyyah). This woman, known as an exciser of female slaves, was one of a group of women who had immigrated with Muhammed. Having seen her, Muhammed asked her if she kept practicing her profession. She answered affirmatively, adding: “unless it is forbidden, and you order me to stop doing it.” Muhammed replied, “Yes, it is allowed. Come closer so I can teach you: if you cut, do not overdo it, because it brings more radiance to the face, and it is more pleasant for the husband.”

    “Many diplomats, international organization workers, and Arabists argue that the problem is localized to North Africa or sub-Saharan Africa, but they are wrong. The problem is pervasive throughout the Levant, the Fertile Crescent and the Arabian Peninsula, and among many immigrants to the West from these countries.”

    “Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?”
    Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2007

    Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Police stated that up to 40,000 Moslem females suffer FGM but the Met has been unable to obtain even one conviction because of fear and unwillingness among the Moslem ‘community’ to assist the Police. And, of course, the fact that Mohammed approved it, and so Moslems who condemn it can be accused of being unfaithful to Islam since “he who obeys the Messenger(Muhammed), obeys Allah” (Koran 4:80).

  • George Steiner

    Very scholarly chaps. And very British. Much talk about genitalia, when the issue is war.

  • Elaine Griffin

    Its such a shame that this article is not available to a wider audience. Appearing in the Spectator as it does preaches to the converted. Hirsi Ali needs to be heard.

  • Mike Stallard

    From the point of view of the Catholic Church, Islam is an ally, not an enemy.
    The late Pope insisted that the invasion of Iraq was wrong, for instance.
    In the Catechism, we read “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims.” (841)
    Muslims and Christians have a long history of warfare and hatred even, but, in the British Empire, they were some of our firmest allies (Nigeria, Indian Army, Malaya). Shame we lost the plot.

  • David Watkins

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is, I am regretfully sure, right about Islam, but she seems to be wrong about the 18th century philosophes, who were deists, not atheists, and usually preferred Islam to Christianity, considering it more rational and tolerant. Voltaire, for instance, would certainly have agreed with Gibbon that the creed of Islam consists of an eternal truth, that there is one God, and a necessary falsehood, that Mohammed is His prophet.

    She is certainly wrong about Kant, who did not pretend to have discovered a rational basis for morality. He accepted Hume’s proposition that there is no way of getting from an “is” to an “ought”. He proposed the Categorical Imperative as a moral intuition which transcended Reason.

  • Bruce

    This discussion is quite irrelevant. Demographically, Muslims are have an average of 5 children per family while Europeans have 1.3, not enough to replace their current population. What this means is that Muslims will come to rule and democratically. Your future will consist of Sharia law.

  • DB

    Amber Muhammed Islam, pardon me, but the incidents (1) concerning the harassment and persecution of Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen in Calcutta and Bangalore (both Indian cities), and (2) the persecution of Hindus in Malaysia, directly contradict your statement that “in countries like Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and several other countries Islam has peacefully coexisted with religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity for centuries? And yes in Bangladesh we have a lot of religeous tolerance and freedom.”

    I am from Calcutta, and I have heard the Imams’ invective in the streets. Islam preaches no secular codes, and tolerates no one but itself; it asks for the supremacy of Sharia law in a secular democracy. With due respect, people who cannot respect the laws of their host nation should leave and establish themselves in nations that are more hospitable to the Sharia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia being a few of many.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s personal standpoint is far from mine but Islam’s current workings in my nation spur me to sympathise with her.

  • George Steiner

    Just to get back to the subject of war chaps. Or if you like Jihad. There are over one billion Muslims. If ten percent supports the idea of Jihad as war, that makes a hundred million of them. If ten percent of these are ready to fight Jihad, that makes ten million of them. If ten percent of them will actually fight Jihad, that makes one million of them. No shortage of soldiers of the faithfull. What does the West have to put up against this?

  • Herbert Thornton

    George – You made a calculation of the number of Jihadists who will actually fight.

    I think the best answer to your question about what the west has to put up against this is to point to the west’s nuclear arsenal.

    It may sound cold-blooded and unthinkable, but surely, if the level of jihad rises above a certain point – and I leave it to you to calculate the level – it will inevitably be countered by using the nuclear arsenal?

    I feel sure too that calculations have been made about how to use it to the most effect – and that they have also been made in Russia, China and India.

  • Stephen Rothbart

    Anyone can see the sincerity of this woman. If she lied about a few things to get into Holland, then so what? Everyone lies about their past at some point in their life, and at least for her it was a matter of life or death.

    For those doubters about the brutality of Sharia law and the number of people here in Britain undertaking surgery to make them virgins again, so they can qualify for arranged marriages, the treatment of Mrs. Gibbons in Sudan, the misogynist treatment of a rape victim in Saudi Arabia, and finally, the death of her producer of her film, all are indisputable facts.

    True, not everyone practices it, but those Muslims that agree to a secular society must thus denounce those societies that practice Sharia law, and largely they are too scared to, and this is not helped by the liberals’ attempts to constantly appease those regimes and those organisations.

  • George Steiner

    So Mr. Thornton, you are going to nuke Birmingham and the Banlieue of Paris, eh?

  • Herbert Thornton

    George –

    You write – “So Mr. Thornton, you are going to nuke Birmingham and the Banlieue of Paris, eh?”

    Let me in turn ask you – “So, George, after both Birmingham and Paris have been destroyed by terrorists’ nuclear bombs, are Britain and France simply going to wait until London and Marseilles have gone too?”

    The gruesome truth is that those events are far from impossible. Closing our eyes to that fact makes them all the more likely to happen – and shooting the messengers will certainly make no difference.

  • DTS

    To Herbert Thornton, you have highlighted a major problem in any relationship with Islam, peaceful or otherwise. Where do you aim?

  • Herbert Thornton

    DTS – I (and I believe we all) should aim towards – to use the wise old adage – keeping our powder dry. This includes retaining the will to use it if necessary.

  • Pete Smith

    Sadly, most of the world is now living in fear of Islam and it’s uncompromising attitude to any kind of modernisation.

  • William Bligh

    Surely Mr Khan, citing the Koran and Hadith ( or the bible) is citing thinkers from centuries further back than the One’s Ms Ali cites.

    Or are you saying one should never quote from any thinker who died more than a hundred years ago?

    Mr Khan wrote:
    “Ms Harsi’s quotations from thinkers dating centuries back highlights a similar problem, failing to realise that the discussion has moved into a more contemporary phase”

  • osman abdulkadir

    my comment on ayaans she is alier she lied to the holland gvn when she came there and we know her history very well she is saying that coz she is in trouble

  • shreya datta

    Ms. Amber Mohammed, among Christians female circumcision only happens in Africa. But among Muslims, in parts of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Turkey, Bohra Muslims in India and Pakistan and Indonesia and Malaysia.And speaking of Malaysia’s religious tolerance, a Muslim woman who converted to Hinduism Revathi Masoosai, has been separated from her little baby daughter, and sent to reform.

  • salman bangash

    The image of Islam common in the world today is of brutality, fanaticism, revolt and chaos. This image stem partly from a lack of understanding of Islam among non-Muslims and partly from the failure of Muslim to explain them. Religious conviction is unparalleled experience which plays paradoxical roles in the life of human beings. It destroys and revitalizes, puts to deep slumber and awakens, enslaves and emancipates, teaches passivity and insurrection. In short, the history of mankind is the history of the struggle of religion against religion.
    Islam is no exception.Through out its history the rational and progressive Islam and the Islam of peace love and brotherhood has been outmaneuvered and overpowered by the anomalous and debauched Islam and by the Islam of stagnation and concession.

  • Omar

    Why is there a war on Islam what has it done to any of you. Please explain this to me. I cannot understand why.

  • anon

    in the end all is nothing ?

    What a bargain my silm is (root word salam peace, mu slim, one who has found peace in the submission to god), an assurance of the past, the present and the axion of the hereafter, the rhetoric and sunstantive stances are amusing between my and Raab. from reading the article i am confused who the antagonist is, my beutiful islam is respite, the coolness of the eyes, every intelectual concept pivots on the fiqh of my Allah, but relents to my servitutude,(freud has his own concepts we are acutely aware) within it is all that i need, but i must remain quiet, assured of the end

  • anon

    In the end all is nothing ?

    What a bargain my silm* is,
    an assurance of the past the present and the axion of the hereafter, the rhetoric and substansive stances are amusing between me and my Raab*.

    From reading the article i am confused who the antagonist is, my beutiful islam is respite, the coolness of the eyes, every intellectual concept pivots on the fiqh* of my Allah, but relents to my servitude,(freud has his own concepts, we are acutely aware)

    Within it is all that i need, but i must remain quiet, assured of the end,

    silm* root word salaam =peace, mu-slim, one who has found peace-silm in the submission to god)

    Raab* one of the qualities attributed to god, nearest meaning carer or protector.

    Fiqh*deeper understanding

  • Laila

    wow i cant get over how ignorant people are…the meaning of peace in arabic means Islaam****…islams all about PEACE!…maybe if people research a bit more or maybe ASK AN MUSLIM TO HOW IT FEELS PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY TO BE AN MUSLIM THEN MAYBE THEY WOULD THINK AGAIN NEXT TIME BEFORE THEY SPEAK!!

  • Mangonui

    Finally a great man we all need

    Whole world Needs A Leader Like This!

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – Australia

    Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks..

    Separately, Rudd angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques. Quote:

    ‘IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. ‘

    ‘This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom’

    ‘We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!’

    ‘Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.’

    ‘We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.’

    ‘This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.’

    ‘If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.’

    Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths.

  • Frederick

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is brilliant!

  • Susan

    If you want to know the truth about Islam, go back and read the history, only then you will find it. My dad went to a french school in an islamic country and he had muslims, christians and jewish people in the same class. They were all friends and loved each other, only when the West interfered for personal needs, everything has changed in bad. There is no religion thats says killing is good, but people who interpreted the wrong meaning of Islam are those who should be called terrorists!In Islam ‘Ignorance’ is worse than someone who doesn’t believe in God.In each religion there are extremists, but we should not listen to those who kill innocents just to have more dollars in their pockets, we should read the origin of all wars and if you are smart enough to understand you will not be against it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iftikhar-Ahmad/589971812 Iftikhar Ahmad

    Muslim migrants are living in a society which is institutionally racist.
    Brits must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different.Children should
    be taught about living religions so that they could learn to respect and
    tolerate those who are in their schools or who live near their own homes.

    Multiculturalism is not about integration but about cultural plurality. It
    is not about separation but about respect and the deepening awareness of Unity
    in Diversity. Each culture will maintain its own intrinsic value and at the same
    time would be expected to contribute to the benefit of the whole society.
    Multiculturalism can accommodate diversity of all kinds – cultural,
    philosophical and religious – so that we can create a world without conflict and
    strife. Britain can assume the role of accommodation and concern for all
    peoples, for our planet and indeed for our survival. Multi-culturalism is even
    more important and crucial after 9/11 and 7/7. Muslim youths are also likely to
    feel alienated by a focus on shared Brutishness, rather than multicultural
    diversity. Rather than promoting a single British “us” teaching should
    acknowledge that “us” can be diverse and plural. Children should be encouraged
    to explore differences in appearance, history and religion to reduce social and
    educational fears. The pressures of multi-culturalism, racism, bullying and
    Islamophobia have forced the Muslim community to set up their own schools.There
    are hundreds of state and church schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In
    my opinion all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies with bilingual
    Muslim teachers as role models. Such schools will be able to satisfy the needs
    and demands of the Muslim children and their parents.

    A civilisation is measured not by the rights it grants its majority but the
    privileges it allows its minorities.

    Muslim community not only needs Mosques but also state funded Muslim
    schools for their bilingual children. They need to learn and be well versed in
    standard English to follow the national Curriculum and go for higher studies and
    research to serve humanity. They also need to learn and be well versed in
    Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural
    heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. A Muslim is a
    citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously
    monolingual Brit.

    Muslim schooling is on the rise in the West. Anti-Muslim attitudes in state
    schools contribute to its growth. there are 240 to 250 private Islamic schools
    in the U.S and 188 Muslim schools in the United Kingdom and out of that 12 are
    state funded. The increasing enrolment in these schools reflects the religion’s
    growing number of Muslims and the desire of parents to shelter young Muslims
    from discrimination and discomfort they might encounter at state schools. But
    Islamic schools, like mosques and other Islamic institutions, can be viewed with
    distrust and even hostility. Jewish Schools in Israel teach Children about
    Evolution. They has a curious way of teaching it. They said the Jews were made
    by god and the Palestinians evolved from apes. On the other hand, Muslim schools
    teach children that human beings are from Adam and Eve(peace be upon

    It’s very important … for Muslim kids to be able to go to a school that
    affirms who they are and allows the creative space to be comfortable being
    Muslim. In an Islamic school they have a feeling of pride … minus some of the
    other things they might encounter. The Islamic School League of America (ISLA),
    a non-profit that connects Muslim educators and institutions, estimates that
    40,000 students are enrolled in Islamic schools in the United States, a 25
    percent increase from 2006. Those numbers are expected to keep growing as new
    schools open and existing schools expand.

    There are plenty of challenges to start-up schools, not least of which is
    persuading potential students and their parents that the school is academically
    up to snuff. If you’re dealing with immigrants, you’re dealing with
    post-colonial attitudes, in many of their countries of origin, The way to move
    upward was through Western schools. … (In the past) they saw Islamic schools as
    not where they should put their students if they want their kids to end up in
    Harvard or in Oxford.

    Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any other faith group,
    to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a mainstream
    curriculum. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms of the
    education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state funded
    Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and
    children. Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the
    running of their local schools.

    The Muslim community has been passing through a phase of fourth Crusades.
    The battleground is the field of education, where the young generation will be
    educated properly with the Holly Quran in one hand and Sciences in other hand to
    serve humanity. A true Muslim is a citizen of the world, which has become a
    small global village. We are going to prepare our youth to achieve that
    objective in the long run. A true Muslim believes in Prophet Moses and the
    Prophet Jesus and without them one cannot be a Muslim. My suggestion is that in
    all state, independent and Christian based school special attention should be
    given to the teaching of Comparative Religion and Islam should be taught by
    qualified Muslim Teachers to make the children aware the closeness of Islam to
    Christianity and Judaism which will help them to think about Islam, as “A
    Pragmatic and Modern Way of Life,” during their life time. Those state schools
    where Muslim children are in majority may be opted out as Muslim

    There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim
    pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to
    become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent
    education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others
    and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give
    young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching
    of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role
    in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have
    better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline,
    structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim
    teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their
    needs and demands.

    Iftikhar Ahmad

    London school of Islamics Trust


    • Max

      This A$$hole is the mouth piece of Islamic education in UK. It is a policy of stealth for the final take over of the State. The so called multiculturism that he is talking about does not exsist in muslim society. He is also conveniently avoiding the the fact that Islam is a political system, which is a completely against all the principles of free choice in free country.

  • zamzamwater40

    Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Qur’an 2:191

    “Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.” Qur’an 9:123

    “When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Qur’an 9:5

    “Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Qur’an 3:85

    “The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.” Qur’an 9:30

    “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Qur’an 5:33

    “The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque.” Qur’an 9:28

    “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Qur’an 22:19

    “Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them.” Qur’an 47:4

    “The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Qur’an 8:65

    “Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Qur’an 3:28

    “Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.

    ” Qur’an 8:12 “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Qur’an 8:60

    “Be terrified that Allah will replace you and put others in your place, and, inflict you with a painful doom” (Quran 9:38 and 39)

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