Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ayann Hirsi Ali

In my post about the Pepperdine conference on the European crisis, I neglected to mention that a surprising number of those who addressed the conference spoke glowingly of the moral leadership that Benedict XVI has exerted. As far as I could tell, none of those who heaped praise on Benedict were Catholics. They were Protestants, Jews, or, like the courageous Anyann Hirsi Ali, atheists.

In a speech to the National Press Club a couple of days ago, Ayann Hirsi Ali had this to say -- alluding to the famous quotation Benedict cited in his University of Regensberg speech:
The 21st century began with a battle of ideas, and this battle is about the values of the West versus those of Islam. Tony Blair and the Pope should not be embarrassed in saying it, and you should stop self-censoring. Islam and liberal democracy are incompatible; cultures and religions are not equal. And perhaps most important of all, Muslims are not half-wits who can respond only in violence. The Koran is not a great book; it is reactionary and full of misogyny. The Byzantine emperor's analysis of Muhammad was correct: he spread his faith by the sword.
Many of those with the responsibility for telling us the truth about this important matter spend most of their time hiding the truth from us.

2 comments:

reno said...

Hello,

I have visited your blog and i wanted to leave a small message...just to say "hello from belgium".

Nice blog !

Best regards.

Reno

Gil Bailie said...

Reno,
Thanks for your message. I'm pleased to hear from friends from across the waters. Thanks for being part of our reflections.
Gil