Last night I saw Ayaan Hiris Ali speak at the Marin Speaker Series. Admittedly I haven’t yet read her books Infidel, Nomad and The Caged Virgin. Before she took the stage I knew very little about her. I was blown away hearing the presenter read her biography. I love people who live remarkable lives. She didn’t talk much about hers, but inferred to it as the substance of her message regarding extreme Islamist and national security. As a person who was raised a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and is now demonized by Islamist, she holds a remarkable amount of compassion and empathy for those who would like her dead. I find that amazing considering she will probably live the remaining time of her life surround by men with guns protecting her from those who would like to chop off her head.
Her message was simple and left me wondering if only ideas like hers had been considered prior to invading Iraq. Yet, as we know they were not and hear we are. The question is how we defeat extreme Islamist who want to impose sharia on the world, a world view that strongly differs from our constitutional freedoms.
As I understood her answer:
- We must recognize that Muslims do not all share the same world view. Muslims around the world, like people in our country, are diverse. She divides Muslims into three groups.
- Mecca Muslims, who represent Muhammad’s early time in Mecca when he preached passively.
- Medina Muslims, also known as the jihadists, who relate more to Muhammad who later, while in Medina, converted people into followers by force and aggression.
- Modifying Muslims are those who actively seek to reform Islam and question the religion.
- Know that radical Islam’s weakness lies in “the battle of ideas.” It is a medieval doctrine fighting to establish roots in a modern society who’s only hope lives in force and aggression.
- Because Mecca Muslims are the first target to convert to Medina Muslims and women are the first who must submit to Sharia she puts a great deal of responsibility on women. Women must question why Sharia is greater than freedom and liberty.
Following her talk I ask myself why anyone in the battle for freedom would fuel Islamic extremist’s life force with more of what they require to thrive, opposition and war. Ayaan Hiris Ali says we can defeat them in “the battle of ideas” and I hold hope in her words. At this point it appears we aren’t making much progress in the battles of violence.
By January 9th, in the single year of 2017, there have been 30 Islamist terrorists’ attacks around the world.