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Brave Somalian woman uncovers beatings, incest and sexual abuse of Muslim women in Holand; receives death threats and is forced into fleeing the Netherlands
The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) has a story on Ayaan Hirsi, a Muslim refugee from Somalia, who had to flee Holand after receiving death threats from the local fundamentalist Muslims:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali had done well in the 10 years since she arrived in the Netherlands as a young refugee from Somalia and, until a few months ago, she lived a quiet life in her adopted land. Never did she intend to create a national commotion.
Good for her - I hope she continues to speak her mind and help the poor Muslim women who are hostage to this "religion of peace", this part of Islam that seems stuck in the 14th century. That's not politically correct? Well, after reading what these poor women have to endure, I'm not in a PC mood.
I copy the full article below.
Behind the Veil: A Muslim Woman Speaks Out
AMSTERDAM — Ayaan Hirsi Ali had done well in the 10 years since she arrived in the Netherlands as a young refugee from Somalia and, until a few months ago, she lived a quiet life in her adopted land. Never did she intend to create a national commotion.
She studied Dutch, took on cleaning jobs, went to university and worked as a political scientist. She made a name for herself pressing for the emancipation of Muslim women and documenting how thousands, living even here, were subjected to beatings, incest and emotional and sexual abuse.
To the surprise of many, she became a leading voice condemning the government's support for multiculturalism, programs costing millions of dollars a year that she considers misplaced because they help keep Muslim women isolated from Dutch society.
Then Ms. Hirsi Ali, 32, began receiving hate mail, anonymous messages calling her a traitor to Islam and a slut. On several Web sites, other Muslims said she deserved to be knifed and shot. Explicit death threats by telephone soon followed. The police told her to change homes and the mayor of Amsterdam sent bodyguards. She tried living in hiding. Finally, last month, she became a refugee again, fleeing the Netherlands.
"I had to speak up," she said, in a telephone interview from her hiding place, "because most spokesmen for Muslims are men and they deny or belittle the enormous problems of Muslim women locked up in their Dutch homes."
Her ordeal has caused an outcry in the Netherlands, a country already uneasy with its recent waves of immigrants and asylum seekers, now representing almost 10 percent of the population. Many Dutch see the threats as an intolerable assault on the country's democratic principles. The threats have also intensified a fierce debate — one that can be heard these days across Europe — about what moral values and rules of behavior immigrants should be expected to share.
Though absent, Ms. Hirsi Ali seems very present here. Her portrait has appeared on magazine covers and television and there have been indignant newspaper editorials and questions in Parliament. Some have called her the Dutch Salman Rushdie. In paid advertisements, more than 100 Dutch writers have offered her support.
"I've made people so angry because I'm talking from the inside, from direct knowledge," she said. "It's seen as treason. I'm considered an apostate and that's worse than an atheist."
The theme of injustice toward women in Islamic countries has become common in the West, but it has gained fresh currency through Ms. Hirsi Ali's European perspective, her study of Dutch immigrants and her own life. Born in Mogadishu, she grew up a typical Muslim girl in Somalia. When she was 5, she underwent the "cruel ritual," as she called it, of genital cutting. When her father, a Somali opposition politician, had to flee the country's political troubles, the family went to Saudi Arabia, where, she said, she was kept veiled and, much of the time, indoors.
At 22, her father forced her to marry a distant cousin, a man she had never seen. But a friend helped her to escape and she finally obtained political asylum in the Netherlands.
She was shocked when, as a university student, she held a job as an interpreter for Dutch immigration and social workers and discovered hidden "suffering on a terrible scale" among Muslim women even in the Netherlands. She entered safe houses for women and girls, most of them Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, who had run away from domestic violence or forced marriages. Many had secret abortions.
"Sexual abuse in the family causes the most pain because the trust is violated on all levels," she said. "The father or the uncle say nothing, nor do the mother and the sisters. It happens regularly — the incest, the beatings, the abortions. Girls commit suicide. But no one says anything. And social workers are sworn to professional secrecy."
More than 100 women a year have surgery to "restore" their virginity, she estimates in her published work. While only 10 percent of the population is non-Dutch, this group accounts for more than 60 percent of abortions, "because the Muslim girls are kept ignorant," she said. Three out of five Moroccan-Dutch girls — Moroccans are among the largest immigrant groups — are forced to marry young men from villages back home, to keep them under control, she said.
A year or so ago, Ms. Hirsi Ali's case might not have attracted so much attention. But the mood in the Netherlands, as in much of Europe, changed after Sept. 11, 2001. In the month that followed, there was an unheard of backlash against the nearly one million Muslims living in the Netherlands, with more than 70 attacks against mosques. Sept. 11 also gave politicians licence to vent brewing animosities.
Among them was Pim Fortuyn, a maverick gay politician who was killed in May, apparently by an animal rights activist. He said out loud what had long been considered racist and politically incorrect — for example, that conservative Muslim clerics were undermining certain Dutch values like acceptance of homosexuality and the equality of men and women.
What Mr. Fortuyn did on the right, Ms. Hirsi Ali has done on the left. Many in the Labor Party, where she worked on immigration issues, were shocked when she told reporters that Mr. Fortuyn was right in calling Islam "backward."
"At the very least Islam is facing backward and it has failed to provide a moral framework for our time," she said in one conversation. "If the West wants to help modernize Islam, it should invest in women because they educate the children."
To do this, she argues for drastic changes in Dutch immigration policy. The government, she says, should impose Dutch law on men who beat their wives and daughters, even if the Muslim clergy say it is permissible. It should also end teaching the immigrants in their own language and stop paying for the more than 700 Islamic clubs, most of which, she said, "are run by deeply conservative men and they perpetuate the segregation of women."
Her views, and the death threats, have divided Muslims, who account for most immigrants here. Almost 20 Muslim associations have condemned the threats, but at the same time faulted her for criticizing Islam. Hafid Bouazza, a Dutch-Moroccan author who in the past has received letters saying he will burn in hell for his writing, said the threats were shocking. "No criticism of Islam is accepted from women," he said. "Muslim women are particularly vulnerable."
Others were bitter. Ali Eddaudi, a Moroccan writer and cleric living here, dismissed "all the fuss" over a Muslim woman who "panders to the Dutch."
Ms. Hirsi Ali agrees that the criticism is so intense in part because she is a woman. "I am a Muslim woman saying these things, and it has provoked a lot of hatred," she said.
One thing is certain: the death threats against Ms. Hirsi Ali have given more prominence to her ideas, which have now become the subject of intense debate among Dutch policy makers. The Dutch Liberal Party has invited her to become a candidate in the parliamentary elections next January.
She says she has accepted and hopes to return to the Netherlands, though she fears for her safety. "Either I stop my work, or I learn to live with the feeling that I'm not safe," she said. "I'm not stopping."
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One question here, You claim that pro- Islam necessarily mean anti Jews but my question here is does being Pro- Israel (as you are) necessarily mean being anti- Islam??? What is your purpose??
Posted by: diana at November 14, 2002 02:33 AM
I never said that pro-Islam means being anti-Jewish.
This is a ridiculous accusation, and I ask you to point me to one article in this whole site (FactsOfIsrael.com) that points to the above.
Being pro-Israel does not mean being anti-Islam.
Being pro-Israel means:
1) Wishing for Arabs and Muslims to recognize that Israel has the right to exist.
Now it's my turn to ask a question: you claimed that pro-Israel means anti-Islam.
You are obviously pro-Islam, so are you automatically anti-Israeli? Or anti-Jewish? Are you racist and an anti-Semite?
What is YOUR purpose?
Posted by: David Melle at November 14, 2002 02:52 AM
Oh, how I wish that the religion of Islam could be wiped from the face of the earth. Of all religions it is the most hatefilled, the most hypocritical and the most intolerant of all religions, and has probably caused more deaths, more human suffering and more misery than all other religions put together.
Sexual deviants, too, in their abuse of women, and in their belief that martyrs will be rewarded with a goodly supply of virgins and small boys for their sexual pleasure.
If they are so religious, let them bear in mind that the more powerful Christian Bible has condemned them to burn in Hell.
Posted by: Jon at July 30, 2007 03:37 AM
Dear TO WHO IT MAY CONCERN.
If you talk one hour, mostly people listen only half an hour. If you talk 10 minutes, only 5 minutes to be listented. So, time and aim is important for all of us(mankind).
First of all, I am Somali but Ayan Hirsi is from Somali whom their group claim to be Arabian (although they look more than people from other african continent before some of them mixed with Somalis who are only 30% of the population) when they were living in Somali, now they can claim where ever they go. Somalis are Somali even if they go to the moon.
She(Ayan Hirsi)discuse about the culture that she have been raised when she was in Somali that was the one that is possible an Arab one.
Somali culture respect woman and man because they both are important for our sociaty, although woman gets more respect (mother).
Ayan Hirsi can continue saying what ever she want to say about the people she belong but she have to STOP using Somali who she is not decended because Somalis don't want to go in between two Arabs who are insulting each other. Somali daughter respect her father and carry his name more than our sons( the sons carry their mother smile). Yes, Knaan Warsame( Waving Flag) is Somali
Happy holiday to all and "remembrance day" for the infants who was been kill brutally or inhumanly,at the time of Juses and his mother (only one who was been saved from "the stabbed by the stan") A'MIN.
Posted by: Marian at December 22, 2009 05:58 AM
oh, oh oh ,oh,, oh,
ayaan ali hirsi is a stupid she is not abravian somali she is a satun please dont say she is brave....................
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org at November 23, 2010 08:37 AM
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