I hope Hitch's reported descent into "bomb-them-into-submission" mode is not a growing theme on the anti-Islamist front. But atheism combined with anti-Islamism can erase some important distinctions. The Reason Hirsi Ali interview is disconcerting in that context:

Reason: Don't you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it's defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It's very difficult to even talk about peace now. They're not interested in peace.

Reason: We have to crush the world's 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, "defeat Islam"?

Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there's no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, "This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore." There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

Is she just an Amis-style liberal? Or a purveyor of misinformation? More discussion here. I hope the forces against Islamism don't begin to degenerate into Steynian fear and loathing. I should add that I favor rescuing Islam, not crushing it. But then I'm not an atheist; I'm a secularist believer. Maybe that makes a difference in the end.

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