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Nick Kristof’s Unhinged Attack on Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Posted on May 30 2010 5:49 pm
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by Andrew Roberts

If one is looking for genuine stridency, don’t bother looking in Hirsi Ali’s calm, fact-based, even good-natured treatise about how changing Muslim education is the best way to defuse extremism, her criticisms of the savage beating of children, or her moving accounts of her family life before she somehow found the self-confidence to escape a corrosive and abusive world of pain, including a clitoridectomy imposed upon Ali at the age of 5 and finally an arranged marriage.

No, for true stridency one should instead read Kristof’s almost unhinged response to the book, in which along the disgraceful and untrue accusation of “feeding religious bigotry,” he states that Hirsi Ali “is working on antagonizing even more people in yet another memoir” (she’s written two), “she never quite outgrew her rebellious teenager phase” (she was an elected MP in Holland), “she is at her worst when excoriating a variegated faith” (she does not), and accusing her of “overheated and overstated rhetoric.”

If one is looking for overheated and overstated rhetoric, consider Kristof’s assertion of modern Islam that the reason that it is “one of the fastest-growing religions in the world today” is not simply that Muslims statistically have more children than Christians and non-Orthodox Jews, but instead because of ‘the warm hospitality toward guests, including Christians and Jews” (tell that to the Christian and Jewish communities that have been expelled from all too many Middle Eastern countries over the past six decades), “charity for the poor” (easy enough in oil-rich plutocracies without social security), and “the sense of democratic unity as rich and poor pray shoulder to shoulder in the mosque” (but can’t vote shoulder to shoulder in the non-existent polling booths).

Read the whole thing at The Daily Beast.

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