Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Against "submission." The Infidel's Advocate
Islam : translated into English, "submission."
Liberalism: an emancipatory doctrine of individual liberty. Freedom.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a woman born into a cage. Her fate was sealed by the face of global Islam in Somalia. She was not to be educated. She was not to be seen by any but the husband her parents selected for her, and her family. She was to veil, but not the colorful viels of the past, only the black veils of the new Global Islamic moovement. She was to obey her husband, or be struck, as the Koran stated. She was to provide him many children. She was to submit to Allah, but to know his will through her husband's will.
But she escaped. She applied for refugee status, came to Holland, got a hand full of PHDs, wrote several bestsellers, served in Parliament, renounced her faith, removed her veil, dated, drank alcohol, and became on outspoken advocate for the freedoms she had gained by stepping into a liberal order.
She teamed up with Theo Van Gogh, a distant relative of Vincent Van Gogh, to make a film called SUBMISSION. The ten minute film presents a critiscisim of the way Islam subjugates women and structures violence against them.
Some say Islam is a religion of peace and that those who use it to promote misogny and terrorism are "hijacking" it. In class I was told: "you are trying to make these issues about religion, they are about culture." --- Yet this violence and oppression and darkness are not some abberation, but the logical consequences of specific ideas. Koran, Sharia law, they are the foundation for a Global Islam that is all fringe and no center.
The provocative film was shown on Dutch tv and Theo Van Gogh was killed by a young man with Islamic motivations, stuck to his chest was a note, declaring death for Hirsi Ali, but also death for those moderates who attempted to bridge the differences between them. All were infidels on the death list. No matter whether they were provocateurs like Van Gogh and Ali, or moderates like the mayor of Amsterdam, a man who criticized Van Gogh and Hirsi Ali' strident tone, and preached open ended tolerance.
That mayor traded in holy war for uneasy peace... He made the death list nonetheless.
In 25 years many Western European countries will be majority Muslim.
In September of 2001, well... You know.
Part of the cosmopolitan character of liberalism moves us to believe that there are no such thing as other people's children. If a young girl is being beaten and kept in a social cage next door, then you are complicit if you do nothing. If you are a man, in Islam, you are forced into a submission relationship with your spouse that dehumanizes you too. If your neighbors acceptance of your right to live is contingent on you accepting and retaining his supernatural doctrine, or at the least tip-toeing around it, then he is not a neighbor worthy of the name.
An uneasy peace is not a peace worthy of the name.
Let us not be so open minded, that we cannot muster the defenses to hold a conviction. Global Islam refuses to adopt secular and civic values while exploiting ours to assault or gender equality, our freedoms, the genuine pluralism that underwrites our pursuit of happiness.
The film that got Van Gogh killed and sent Hirsi Ali into hiding, Submission, was not very diplomatic. But you know the old adage about diplomats? A diplomat will tell a man with a gunshot wound to the head that he is "open minded."
I will proudly defend this intellectual territory. Emancipatory liberalism: the docrine whose fruits we enjoy and all should be offered that opportunity. You, I and our sons and daughters, will never have to bow to any priest, king or husband.