Via Chris Bertram, a fascinating Reason interview with Ayan Hirsi Ali in which we see clearly that while people certainly shouldn't be killed or threatened with physical harm on account of their ridiculous views, nor should we simply valorize the views of anyone -- no matter how ridiculous those views may be -- merely because they've been threatened with harm on account of them:
Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?
Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.
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.
This is crazy stuff, and it's frightening that AEI has gone so far 'round the bend that they've decided these are the kind of views they want their institution to be promoting. I know Norm Ornstein doesn't like it when people think he must be a hysteric promoting a violent clash of civilizations just because he works with a bunch of colleagues who busy themselves trying to promote a violent clash of civilizations, but that's kind of what you get when these are your colleagues.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.