Friday, December 4, 2009

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Swiss Minaret Ban

The Swiss vote to ban minaret construction has received major criticism, mostly by the usual suspects. But there is an excellent article in defense of the action by former Muslim turned fierce critic, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali argues that the vote isn't an attack on Muslims, but a repudiation of political Islam and what it stands for.
a rejection of political Islam, not a rejection of Muslims. In this sense it was a vote for tolerance and inclusion, which political Islam rejects.
She argues that the minaret is a symbol of Islamic intolerance, of Islamist attempts to impose their religious views on others.
Political ideas have symbols: A swastika, a hammer and sickle, a minaret, a crescent with a star in the middle (usually on top of a minaret) all represent a collectivist political theory of supremacy by one group over all others. ... The minaret is a symbol of Islamist supremacy, a token of domination that came to symbolize Islamic conquest. It was introduced decades after the founding of Islam.
The whole article is worth reading, and indirectly touches on another important point. Any major criticism of Islam, or this type of action against the religion tends to bring knee-jerk cries of "Islamophobia," a grossly overused term which is often inappropriately used to imply or explicitly accuse critics of hostility toward Muslims. Religions can and should be criticized, and it is often perfectly reasonable to view religion as dangerous, offensive and unwelcome -- and not just Islam. Criticism and resistance to religion, its claims and the actions of its various leaders, does not imply hatred for religious people in general. The Catholic Church regularly receives harsh (and well-deserved) criticism. That doesn't mean that its critics suffer from Catholophobia, and are bigoted against ordinary Catholics. But for some reason the contrived term Islamophobia is constantly used against critics of Islam, whose rational opposition to the practices of the religion are labeled as bigotry against Muslims in general.

No comments:

Post a Comment