March 2, 2007

Hirsi Ali—Another test for the Left....

This is from an article by WaPo columnist Anne Applebaum, The Gall To Speak Her Mind, about Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I wrote here recently about how an important utility of the Iraq Campaign is that it has been a test, that it has forced Leftists to put up or shut up about being "anti-fascist," or "pro-democracy," or humanitarian, and a bunch of other lies.

Here's another test. A poor Moslem woman comes to Europe, becomes educated, adopts the Enlightenment values of secular humanists with enthusiasm, becomes a leader, and....... are they happy?

....Yet even from that distance she continues to provoke Europeans, sometimes without saying anything at all. After a somewhat patronizing review of her first book -- in which British writer Timothy Garton Ash called her a "brave, outspoken, slightly simplistic Enlightenment fundamentalist" -- the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner came galloping to the defense of Hirsi Ali and the Enlightenment. Garton Ash counterattacked, and others joined what turned quickly into a wide-ranging debate (read the whole thing at http://www.signandsight.com) about reason, faith, multiculturalism and the integration of millions of Muslim immigrants into European culture.

Curiously, what seems to rankle Europeans most is the enthusiasm with which Hirsi Ali has adopted their own secularism and the fervor with which she has embraced their own Western values. Though this continent's intellectuals routinely disparage the pope as an irrelevant dinosaur, Hirsi Ali's rejection of religion in favor of reason, intellect and emancipation seems to make everyone nervous...[My emphasis.]

That a Euro-intellectual calls someone an "Enlightenment fundamentalist" really tells you all you need to know. And "nervous" is a total understatement. They are being exposed as hollow men, hollowed out by nihilism.

Afghanistan was a similar test. It's now been dropped down the Memory Hole, but before 9/11 it was frequent, it was routine, for leftists to denounce the Taliban and the oppression of women in Afghanistan. So, where are they? Where are the lefty-groups flocking to Afghanistan to help with the great liberation? Where are the feminists?

Posted by John Weidner at March 2, 2007 8:53 AM
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