Tags: America's Forum | Religion | Ayaan Hirsi Ali | Obama | Islamic extremism

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Obama Won't Fight 'Battle of Ideas' Vs. Jihadists

By    |   Tuesday, 24 March 2015 07:45 PM

Somali born Muslim defector Ayaan Hirsi Ali says that in order to combat Islamic extremism there needs to be a counter-narrative to the jihadist message.

"The Islamic State is only one brand of all the extremists out there and in order to stop them from brainwashing young people, we need to start talking about a true reform," Hirsi Ali told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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British Home Secretary Theresa May said Sunday that Britain is going to start cracking down on Muslim extremists living in the country, which will include closing down mosques that serve as safe havens for such extremists, the Daily Mail reported.

"What the UK is doing now is a first step, but the next step, and perhaps even more urgent and what's going to take longer is developing a counter-narrative to the Islamic extremism message," Hirsi Ali told Newsmax.

She says that that's what she is attempting to do in the book "Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now", where she identifies "five key concepts, precepts within Islam that need to change and unless those five things are taken out of Islam, we will never have a religion of peace."

Hirsi Ali says that "number one is the attitude that Muslims have toward the Koran and the infallibility of the Prophet Muhammad."

"The second one is, of course, this investment in life after death instead of life before death," she explained. "We need to replace that with a message for life."

She would also like to see Muslims reject Sharia Law, reject attempts to enforce their values on others and jihad.

"We have to persuade Muslims to say, 'we reject jihad,' " she said.

Hirsi Ali said that it's part of "the problem" that President Barack Obama won't use the phrase Islamic extremism "because if you refuse to talk about Islamic extremism say the way the Egyptian president [Abdul Fattah al-Sisi] or the ambassador from the [United Arab Emirates Yousef Al Otaiba] is very clear that we're dealing with Islamic extremism, then you tie your hands and you [limit] the options that you have only to military means.

"That means you're not fighting the battle of ideas, and that extremists are winning in that sense," she explained.

"I really wish that our president would change course on this."

She also has criticized the Obama administration for giving credence to Islamophobia, "which is the worst thing you can do for Muslims who are trying to turn things around."

Hirsi Ali says that she became more "hopeful" about the possibility of reform following the Arab Spring when she saw "masses of people who wanted to live under secular law . . . and masses of people who were fighting for freedom," and "women were taking to the streets fighting for their hearts." 

From 1985-1986, she says that she "became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, and I used to believe in everything that the teenagers who now want to join the Islamic State believed in. And I now joke and say if back then there was an Islamic State, I would've joined it."

Hirsi Ali says that she was not motivated by Israel or American foreign policy, but "because we wanted to practice our religion as we thought it was in its most purest form, and that is why we need to address that before we can talk about changing hearts and minds."

She ended up seeking political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, where she was "exposed to an enlightened world view" and experienced "freedoms" she had "as an individual human being and the rights and freedoms of women, of gays and a message of tolerance."

"Once I experienced that, I started putting question marks on my religion, and I am now at the place where there are more Muslims doing that, and we need to encourage that small group of brave Muslims who are putting these question marks on their religion and encouraging reform," she added.

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Somali born Muslim defector Ayaan Hirsi Ali says that in order to combat Islamic extremism there needs to be a counter-narrative to the jihadist message.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Obama, Islamic extremism
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 07:45 PM
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