Desperate for Enlightenment
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the voice of reason and confrontation, is part of a growing movement that seeks to shape the future of Islam, and her message needs to be more widely heard, writes Janet Albrechtsen
June 06, 2007
A Muslim woman must not feel wild, or free, or any of the other emotions and longings ... A Muslim girl does not make her own decisions or seek control. She is trained to be docile. If you are a Muslim girl, you disappear, until there is almost no you inside you. In Islam, becoming an individual is not a necessary development ... You submit; that is the literal meaning of Islam: submission. The goal is to become quiet on the inside, so that you never raise your eyes, not even inside your mind. - Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel
HIRSI Ali makes headlines wherever she goes. In Australia for the Sydney Writers Festival, she provided a finale on a brisk Sunday evening unusual at such events where a heady concoctions of anti-Western sentiments tend to prevail. Hirsi Ali encouraged her audience to espouse their Western values louder than those who espouse Islam. There was, she said, "always an infidel in me" as she grew to detest the submission of free will at the heart of Islam. Dressed in a black dress and knee-high boots, Hirsi Ali glided off the stage just as the polite applause grew more rapturous, with the audience standing to mark their appreciation.
Alas, there were no Muslim women in the audience dressed in hijabs or chadors. Hirsi Ali was preaching, if not to the converted then at least to the curious: those who wanted to catch a glimpse of this tall, beautiful, brave woman, who implored her audience not to abandon the child brides who could be found in the suburbs.