Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: In Praise of "Blasphemy"

I know I said I was outta here, but this one is so good I couldn't wait until Tuesday to post it. It's the speech Hirsi Ali gave when she accepted The New Criterion's Edmund Burke Award. In the wrap-up of her comments, the ex-Muslim tells the assembled that "Islamophobia" is the newfangled name for an old-fangled concept--"blasphemy." (And, I must say, detaching the concept from something which, in the West, is seen as a negative--i.e. shut your mouth, impudent infidel--and rebranding it so that it now seems to be part of something modern and righteous and suffused with "social justice"--i.e. the anti-racism/victimhood narrative--was nothing less than brilliant.)

Here's Hirsi Ali encouraging people to protect their turf by remaining steadfast in their defense of free speech (which, in and of itself, is "blasphemy"):
[I]f you believe that the idea of Islamic law is a bad idea, you must defend the freedom of speech. The other side either calls it “Islamophobia” or the classic name: blasphemy. If you say this about the prophet, it’s blasphemy. (“Islamophobia” is a very new term. When did it come into sway? 2006? 2005? It’s a very young idea. But before Islamophobia came around, it just used to be called blasphemy.) 
One fifth of humanity is labelled Muslim. And the Medina agenda [of dawa and jihad] is to co-opt them: it’s to convince them that Sharia law, Islamic law, unreformed, is the best idea. That the idea of America is very bad. And that they should submit to Islam. Major resources for this cause are being pushed by countries like Saudi Arabia, where our president is. If you want to defeat or even engage with the idea of Islamic religion and Islamic law, the way to go is blasphemy. I believe in blasphemy. In fact, Surah 25, Chapter 25 of the Quran is called The Criterion, and portends to be the distinction between right and wrong. So The New Criterion, even the name itself, is blasphemic. 
In many ways I think it’s comical that I’m being recognized for saying men and women should be equal before the law. That’s what I’m being recognized for, pretty much. That’s what it amounts to. And that idea that men and women are equal before the law is blasphemic to Islamic law. The fact that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be equal before the law is blasphemic to Islamic law. The fact that people of different religions—Jews, Christians, those who have no faith—are equal before the law is blasphemic to Islamic law. The idea that human beings, men and women, can make their own laws based on reason, not shackled by divine law, is blasphemic to Islamic law.
The idea of America is secular. It is about the fact that we are created equal. That we make and amend our own laws. What is blasphemy to them is valuable and is law to us. And I took an oath when I became an American citizen. And my oath in my heart was: that is what I’m going to defend. Hear, hear, blasphemy.
Hear, hear--indeed.

Some enthusiastic anti-"blasphemy" fans express support for the
sharia-decreed punishment for the "crime".

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