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« Hirsi Ali leaves Holland for a job at the AEI in Washington | Main | Pechvogel - Geluksvogel 9.5.06 [NL] »
Wednesday
May102006

...And the Virgin appeared to Christopher Hitchens...


...in the "hypnotizing" shape of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Listen to the story of this epiphany as it occurred in magic Sweden to a sinful soul:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke calmly and rationally about the problem. I never know whether or not it's right to mention, with female public figures, the fact of arresting and hypnotizing beauty, but I notice that I seem to have done so. Shall I just say that she was a charismatic figure in Dutch politics, mainly because of the calm and reason to which I just alluded?
(Christopher Hitchens: Holland's shameful treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. in "Slate Magazine", 05.08.06)

(To be continued)

That is what I wrote, three days ago. I had some text in mind, where Joan of Arc, the Virgin of (New) Orleans, would be compared favorably to this latter-day "Caged Virgin" (Title of Ajaan's book, published recently in the US).

But that is not needed any more, now that Dutch VARA television (in it's "Zembla" programme) on May 11, featured a 40-minute research into Ajaan Hirsi's story. Confronted with testimony by her brother, her former teachers, her aunt and her former husband (living in Toronto), she had to admit that she "lied" about

  • her family, (who are not fundamentalist at all),
  • her story as a refugee (during 10 years, from the age of 12 to 22, she lived in Nairobi, Kenya, the UN paying for her studies), living in a relative prosperity,
  • the story of her marriage (her Canadian-Somalian husband accepted her divorce plans without any problem)
  • her being menaced by her "clan" or extended family - in fact, she stayed all the time in contact with them. Although they did not approve of her behavior, they did not let her down.
Ajaan Hirsi Magan, for Magan is her real family name, is a fraud.

She is an obsessed person. Obsessed by an unquenchable hatred of Islam. If her story of being clitorextomized by her grandmother at the age of 9 (this would have happened in Ethiopia then, for the Magan family left Saudi-Arabia, for Ethiopia after one year), is true, this hatred is understandable, but we have to doubt all the stories Ajaan has told up to now.

But, even if it has happened, clitorextomizing is not linked to Islam at all. Islam condoned it in countries of Northern Africa where it has been (and still is) practiced since thousands of years, but it does not exist in countries like Morocco, Turkey or Indonesia. It is still practiced under Christianism (Copts) in Egypt and among Christians and animists in Central and Western Africa. Of course, neither Christianism, nor Islam, should have condoned this kind of practices.

That is why I agree, like every enlightened, and serious christian or islamic, person, with Ajaan, that suppression of women, let alone mutilating them, should be condemned and not be accepted in any form. Ajaan Hirsi Ali/Magan turned into a militant non-believer, while she was a member of Dutch Parliament. She had a relationship with a Dutch Professor of Leiden University, who is an extremist anti-religious pamflettist and she wrote a preface to his last book: "Atheïstisch Manifest en De onredelijkheid van religie" [Atheistic Manifest and The Unreasonableness of Religion] (Herman Philipse, 2004, Ed. Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, 198pp).

For the American public of her new book ("The Caged Virgin"), she deemed apparently inopportune to feature her rejection of all religion.

People like Ajaan Hirsi Ali are an easy victim to abuse by persons and movements who have other agendas. The Dutch "Liberal" Party, which made her MP in 2002 (as Hitchen's readers probably do not know, "liberal" in Europe means "conservative"), has (ab)used her as an easy vehicle to attract racist and islamophobic voters, without committing itself to racism. Now, Hitchens uses her as an easy vehicle to attack European double standards in the shape of the Dutch embarrassment with an anti-islamic "passionaria".

And, this is the only point, where Hitchens is right: Maybe the reaction of the apartment-owners in the rich neighbourhood (many of them members of- or voters for- the "Liberal" party she represents in Parliament) where she became a nuisance because of the surveillance she needs, provided by the Dutch Government, is only too understandable. But the fact, that no person, nor group or organisation in Holland, who say they are so engaged with her and her struggle, offered a housing for her, that is of a "double-dutchness", even I have difficulty to understand.

Now, even if she lied, even if she is a fraud, she needs protection more than ever. The leadership of the Dutch "Liberal" Party, who knew from the beginning about her fraud, but kept it silent, should be made to pay for it and explain themselves before the Dutch public.

And Hitchens, if he has some decency left, he should apologize to his readers.

From the Dutch daily NRC-Handelsblad, May 12, 2006: Caricaturist comment on television programme.
Naive, slightly racist, Fokke and Sukke say:
"We understand Hirsi "Ali" completely - you should see it within the framework of a culture .... of lack of feelings of shame and honor".

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