Islam

Indian Muslims Show Why Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Warnings About Islam Are Misplaced

Her fear-mongering won't produce the reformation she wants

|

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who recommended bombing Muslim nations that allowed their people to burn effigies of

AyaanHirsiAlo
smalljude / Foter / CC BY

American leaders in a Reason interview some years ago, has moderated her views since then. She now says that "military action alone" won't temper Islamic extremism and what the Islamic world really needs is a reformation. She has even outlined what that would entail in a brand new book titled Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now. But until that happens, she suggested in a recent TIME piece, Americans need to really worry about rising Muslim immigration. Why? Because it could lead to Charlie Hebdo-style attacks on American soil, she suggests, given that even moderate Muslims ultimately will have a hard time melting in the American pot.

But I note in a response to Hirsi Ali in TIME:

The suggestion that Americans, who have spent trillions on multiple wars and an intrusive "homeland security" apparatus post 9/11, are insufficiently alarmed about Muslim extremism is more than a little bizarre. But setting that aside, how accurate is Hirsi Ali's suggestion that Muslims are inherently incapable of assimilating in non-Muslim societies?

Not very, if the experience of India, the world's most populous democracy, is any indication. Muslims make up almost 15% of India's population, compared to 0.8% in America. And they couldn't be any more dissimilar to the portrait drawn by Hirsi Ali…

Muslims have lived in India for a millennium, first arriving in small pockets as traders and then in large numbers as invaders. They established the Mughal dynasty that ruled the country for 300 years till the Hindu majority took over and established a secular democracy after colonial rule ended in 1947. If Hirsi Ali were correct, the ignominy of being deposed from power and subjected to infidel rule would bring out their worst extremist tendencies.

Instead, India's Muslims are no more prone to violence than anyone else…

Yet, Indian Muslims have avoided the sword and eagerly seized the opportunities afforded to them by their country's (imperfect) democracy.

Consider: Four Muslims have served as India's president — a ceremonial but high office reserved for civilians of major accomplishment. One of them, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, played a leading role in developing India's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program with no apparent qualms that he was boosting the military of a nation of infidels…

Muslims are an integral part of every facet of Bollywood, India's 125-year-old film industry whose open veneration of romantic love is deeply subversive of puritanical Islamic strictures. Indeed, Bollywood's three top male stars right now are Muslims (all with the last name of Khan) — and Muslim women have always been among Bollywood's top actresses. Also, some of these stars are among India's most vocal progressives fighting for the rights of gays, women, and minorities — not to mention sexual liberation.

But nothing speaks more to the depth of Muslims' cultural assimilation in India than the fact that Muslims have written, composed and sung some of the most popular bhajans or Hindu devotional songs…

Indian Muslims are proud of their tradition of tolerance and moderation and guard it zealously from Wahhabi influence. They've even refused to bury the bodies of Muslim suicide bombers, including the Mumbai attackers, the ultimate punishment because it forever deprives the bombers of a spot in heaven.

Go here to view the whole article.

NEXT: A. Barton Hinkle on How Police Drones and License-Plate Readers Threaten Liberty

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So I guess since there are millions of liberal Presbyterians and Methodists, we can stop worrying about the dreaded SOCONs now. Beyond that, the ones in Bangladesh don’t seem so friendly.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/31/…..ger-death/

    Are those not real Muslims or is Bangladesh not really a part of the Indian subcontinent? Or did all of the bad Muslims go there when the country divided?

    1. Yeah, I suspect a certain amount of self-selection of India’s remaining Muslims might contribute to their relatively pacific nature.

      Immigration is also self-selection, of course. What its selecting for is not entirely clear, given the experience of the Euros with their Muslim immigrants.

      1. There is that and the fact that the Hindus can be pretty violent themselves and are in the large majority. Somehow fighting for the Jihad isn’t as appealing when the majority will happily leave you as a greasy spot in the road if it ever decided to.

        1. Right. Remember how Dalmia went into panic mode after Narendra Modi was elected because he apparently turned a blind eye to some kind of anti-Muslim pogrom in his home province a few years back? But no, there’s no cause for concern here. Muslims are great, everyone in India knows it, blah blah blah.

          All else being equal, I am fine with immigration, but I’d prefer the kinds of immigrants that don’t require the occasional pogrom to keep them in line. I’m a busy guy; mob violence just doesn’t fit my schedule very well these days.

      2. But Actors! Actors!!!

  2. I see what you’re saying, but at this point I’m sticking with the woman who got a death threat in the form of a note pinned to her business partner’s chest with a knife

    1. That’s certainly a, um, persuasive means of communication.

      1. Be concerned when Mrs. ProL starts telling you “dinner’s ready” in that fashion…

        /sexist cause I assume teh wimminz is kookin dinner

        1. Not sexist, just out of touch. No one cooks these days. Gravy comes from packets. Packets.

          *sobs*

          /master of an obsolete skill

    2. *the woman who got a death threat in the form of a note pinned to her business partner’s chest with a knife*

      But dude, Shika Dalmatian says this lady’s just “fearmongering”.

  3. You know who else monitored citizens of his country to their peril…

    1. Barack Obama?

      1. What peril?

      2. Richard Nixon?

        1. Dammit.

    2. My stoopid cousin playing Risk 2210 A.D.?

    3. Colonel Graff?

  4. Anyone know why Pakistan was carved off of India some years back?

    1. Cause Paki’s are even more annoying than Indians?

      /racist

    2. They needed to get away from those war like murderous Hindus I think. The Muslims had nothing to do with it. It just happened. Muslims are the one group that is even more sacred and perfect than the gays.

      1. This is why there are no gay Muslims…

        /TIWTANGM

        1. …That’s not why.

          1. Well, that and the beheadings.

  5. “Muslims have lived in India for a millennium, first arriving in small pockets as traders and then in large numbers as invaders. ”

    With all due respect, I don’t think anyone, including Ali, is saying that Muslims can’t be assimilated 1000 years from now.

    1. But several of them are popular actors. Several! Actors!!!!

    2. first arriving in small pockets as traders and then in large numbers as invaders.

      Kind of a glib way to describe it.

      According to historian Will Durant, “The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history”. By the estimate of Koenraad Elst the population of Indian subcontinent reduced by almost 80 million between 1000 and 1525

      1. Which of course is a history Dalmia has to know. The question is why does she insult her readers by lying like that? Is she racist and think Americans are just too stupid to notice such a lie?

        I know I disagree with Dalmia. But my dislike of her writing is much more than the fact that I don’t agree with her. It is that she is a profoundly dishonest writer. She does this kind of thing constantly. That statement is nothing but outright deceit. She lies and pretends the Muslims came to India peacefully as traders and just immigrated instead of forcefully conquering the entire place.

        1. She lies and pretends the Muslims came to India peacefully as traders and just immigrated instead of forcefully conquering the entire place.

          Coming in large numbers as invaders means forceful conquest to me. Maybe glib, but not really a lie.
          I do pretty much agree about the quality and content of Dalmia’s writing otherwise.

          1. Maybe glib, but not really a lie

            It would (to go all Godwin) be like mentioning the founding of Israel with out mentioning why there was a founding of Israel.

        2. Maybe she feels guilty that the Sikhs created an empire over Muslims and destroyed mosques?

          1. Sikh to her stomach with Sikh guilt.

      2. Beat me to it. The Muslim rule of India was incredibly brutal.

  6. Great Dalmia. Maybe India’s Muslims should have a talk with Europe’s Muslims and instruct them on how civilized people behave towards one another.

  7. Muslims have lived in India for a millennium, first arriving in small pockets as traders and then in large numbers as invaders.

    Why don’t I find this a persuasive argument for letting in small pockets of Muslims?

    1. They also forcibly conquered the place in a manner so brutal it would have made the worst British Imperialist blush. Then of course there was the enormously bloody civil war and ultimate partition of Pakistan that occurred after independence. But hey, India stands as a shining example of how peaceful Muslim populations can be.

    2. R C Dean, you are failing the Libertarian test for “freedom of movement.” Apparently it’s the plank that trumps all others.

      1. It doesn’t trump all others, but it is a right as much as any other.

        1. It trumps all others when the immigrants want sharia law, or simply more government, or their numbers bring social changes antithetical to libertarianism.

  8. I’ve never been a big fan of Hirsi Ali. I’ve always been uncomfortable with her Hitchian blend of secularism and militarism.

    But I’ve noticed a transition in the larger Secular community away from supporting her. As recently as 2008, she was perhaps the biggest celebrity in the community.

    Has she said things since then that would cause a decline in support?

    1. No. It is that Muslims have become more of a preferred victim group. She continues to say things that while true, are not allowed to be said about preferred victim groups. Most secularists are Progs and thus will not tolerate anyone saying something unflattering about a victim group regardless of its veracity.

      1. Yeah, what’s happened is that leftists have gone completely insane on the subject of Islam and now view the second largest and most oppressive religion on the planet as a band of beleaguered underdogs in desperate need of their support.

        As a result, criticism of Islam is now verboten and engaging in it will get you excommunicated by a lot of alleged ‘secularists’ who have inexplicably decided Islam is the only religion we’re not allowed to attack.

        1. How much of that is anti-Israel (and anti-Jew) and Muslims being a useful tool to that end is anyone’s guess.

    2. Like I said, Im not really a fan of Hirsi Ali. I realize that the Secular community has become much more fragmented since 2008, but it’s amazing how far many have distanced themselves from one-time major celebrity z

      1. She hasn’t changed. They have changed. It is a sign of how cowardly the secular community has become. They have surrendered and now more or less refuse to tell the full truth about Islam or even acknowledge much less confront the threat it poses.

        1. She came across as a bit too panicky when she popped up into the scene but I like her now.

        2. But John! Religion of peace! Actors! Bollywood!

          What the fucking fuck does any of the bullshit in this article have to do with the psychos who murder women and children and burn people alive? We shouldn’t punish other people of the same religion who aren’t doing those things? No shit. Maybe the world could collectively focus on killing psychos, then worry about misplaced hostility toward non-psycho Muslims.

          1. It has nothing to do with that. It is like I said above, using her logic, we can conclude Christians are never conservative because there are millions of really liberal ones. The logic goes both ways. In the same way you can’t conclude every Muslim is a violent nutcase because some of them are, you also can’t conclude all Muslims are peaceful because some of them are.

            1. Perfect dissection of her syllogism here

          2. One problem is that even non-psycho Muslims believe a dogma with many psycho aspects, even if they don’t act out every psycho aspect. But the dogma is there to encourage anyone who decides to act psycho.

        3. Or maybe they’re tired of Hirsi’s hysteria.

          1. Or maybe you are insane.

  9. Given that India is constantly dealing with terrorists trained by that big ass Muslim nation directly to their northwest, is India really the example you want to use of Muslim peacefulness?

    I realize Dalmia is myopic and doesn’t know much about any country other than India and the US, but shouldn’t she have used something like 99% Muslim Azerbaijan as an example of relatively peaceful Muslims or maybe 15% Muslim Suriname as an example of success? Those countries don’t have constant attacks on civilians carried out by Jihadists, so they’d seem to fit her thesis a bit better than India, which is currently locked in a cold war with one of the most insane Muslim countries on Earth.

    1. Surinam’s muslims are all from Java. Probably syncretic keris worshippers, too.

    2. The problem for India is Pakistan. Its own Muslims are not so much a problem.

      1. Muslims are like radioactive elements: spread around thinly they aren’t too much of a problem, but when concentrated you run an increased risk of explosions.

  10. Ah, yes. The people being bombed and murdered just need to remember to be more tolerant and inclusive. We wouldn’t want to unfairly judge anyone.

  11. Is Dalmia engaging in willful blindness or just abject stupidity? How is assimilation of culture and law going in the UK, France, The Netherlands, etc?

    1. Ali is an infidel to Dalmia’s open borders dogma. It is as simple as that,

    2. She’s not stupid, but politics is the mindkiller, and Dalmia’s mind has been crippled on the topics of immigration and Islam.

      1. That’s enough projection Paps.

    3. The assimilation their is actually going okay. By the third generation, the conservative Islamic leanings are gone. The problems they do have are a result of social democratic dysfunction.

      1. I’d like to believe that’s the case. Direction to reading material would be appreciated.

      2. The evidence is that Muslim assimilation is not working that way. It’s the second and third generation Muslims in the UK and France and Germany who think ISIS is a good idea.

    4. Neither, she’s just straight up lying. Of course, she’s aware of the issues you mention but they don’t fit her narrative so they don’t exist.

  12. This is a theme park version of Indian history. Some of the first Muslims in India- the traders- were the Mappila population in Kerala, and they generally lived in peace with the other local populations, but Kerala has a long history of weaving outside groups, including Christians and Jews, into the preexisting social structure. The traders also had no armies. Today Kerala is still low on sectarian tension compared to the rest of the nation.

    The northern conquerors, in contrast, were incredibly violent. They largely attempted to dominate local cultures rather than integrate and their descendants are the ones involved in most of the tensions and violence.

    The lesson is pretty clear: Muslim immigrants are perfectly fine iff they intend to integrate and don’t become a power bloc. If not, things could turn nasty.

    1. I would like to hear Dalmia explain what the difference between Muslims and Pakistan and Muslims in India is beyond the ones in Pakistan are the majority and have all of the power. It all used to be one country until 1948. Why are the Muslims in India so reasonable? It seems to me that saying they are only reasonable because they are a minority and the majority has made no secret about their willingness to kill them is a pretty reasonable conclusion to make.

    2. But if you get enough Muslims, they inevitably turn into a power bloc.

      1. No they don’t. That’s bullshit and the article clearly discredits it.

        1. Cytotoxic is incorrect.

          As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colorful uniqueness:

          United States ? Muslim 1.0%
          Australia ? Muslim 1.5%
          Canada ? Muslim 1.9%
          China ? Muslim 1%-2%
          Italy ? Muslim 1.5%
          Norway ? Muslim 1.8%

          At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:

          Denmark ? Muslim 2%
          Germany ? Muslim 3.7%
          United Kingdom ? Muslim 2.7%
          Spain ? Muslim 4%
          Thailand ? Muslim 4.6%

          From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves ? along with threats for failure to comply. (United States).

          France ? Muslim 8%
          Philippines ? Muslim 5%
          Sweden ? Muslim 5%
          Switzerland ? Muslim 4.3%
          The Netherlands ? Muslim 5.5%
          Trinidad & Tobago ? Muslim 5.8%

          1. At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islam is not to convert the world but to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

            When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris ? car-burnings) . Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats ( Amsterdam ? Mohammed cartoons).

            Guyana ? Muslim 10%
            India ? Muslim 13.4%
            Israel ? Muslim 16%
            Kenya ? Muslim 10%
            Russia ? Muslim 10-15%

            After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning:

            Ethiopia ? Muslim 32.8%

            At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare:

            Bosnia ? Muslim 40%
            Chad ? Muslim 53.1%
            Lebanon ? Muslim 59.7%

            1. From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels:

              Albania ? Muslim 70%
              Malaysia ? Muslim 60.4%
              Qatar ? Muslim 77.5%
              Sudan ? Muslim 70%

              After 80% expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide:

              Bangladesh ? Muslim 83%
              Egypt ? Muslim 90%
              Gaza ? Muslim 98.7%
              Indonesia ? Muslim 86.1%
              Iran ? Muslim 98%
              Iraq ? Muslim 97%
              Jordan ? Muslim 92%
              Morocco ? Muslim 98.7%
              Pakistan ? Muslim 97%
              Palestine ? Muslim 99%
              Syria ? Muslim 90%
              Tajikistan ? Muslim 90%
              Turkey ? Muslim 99.8%
              United Arab Emirates ? Muslim 96%

              100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ ? the Islamic House of Peace ? there’s supposed to be peace because everybody is a Muslim:

              Afghanistan ? Muslim 100%
              Saudi Arabia ? Muslim 100%
              Somalia ? Muslim 100%
              Yemen ? Muslim 99.9%

              Of course, that’s not the case. To satisfy their blood lust, Muslims then start killing each other for a variety of reasons.

            2. When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris ? car-burnings) . Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats ( Amsterdam ? Mohammed cartoons).

              Guyana ? Muslim 10%

              OK, I just had to take a look outside my window, cuz my ass is sitting in the middle of Guyana right now and up til dinner time none of that shit was going on here.

              Muslims in Guyana enjoy the reputations of shady mercantile misers and that’s about it. Because they tend to stick together. Kinda like jews in Europe.

              Also I have some experience with Trindidad (5% muslim) and it’s nothing like you describe either with no demands for forced Halal etc.

              Considering that the two counties on your list that I have personal experience about aren’t how you say they are, I have to suspect the rest of your list isn’t too accurate either.

              1. Thanks for the info. The article I quoted may be a bit too facile about the groupings, but here’s another article that is not terribly optimist about Guyana: http://www.gatestoneinstitute……-caribbean

                However, I think the general conclusion holds: the higher the percentage of Muslims, the more likely they are to cause problems. Clearly all the high-percentage countries suck.

  13. The comments are as fucking stupid as I predicted. ATTENTION: the bloodiness of the Islamic conquest of India is irrelevant to the issue of how well Muslims in India behave today. They are clearly behaving fine. Pakistan is the problem. While we’re on the issue, Bangladesh’s Muslims seem to be great, and love executing politicians that murdered and repressed then 40 years ago on behalf of Pakistan. Another excellent Shikha column with retarded comments.

    1. I’m not sure if you are being facetious with your statement about Bangladesh, but in case not, the problem with Dalmia’s column here is that she completely ignores the partition of the subcontinent as if it were some other, unrelated thing. If Indian muslims are mostly peaceful, it’s because they are the ones who chose to stay instead of emigrating to the new muslim-majority country a scant 57 years ago. And as pointed out above, the Hindu majority are happy to trade massacre for massacre if anyone does get salty. India has not in any way discovered some magic pill to pacify militant Islam.

      If you think they have, then you must also think Israel has discovered a magic answer to assimilating Palestinians, since Israeli Arabs don’t partake in terrorism and even serve in the armed forces.

    2. I can’t call you stupid because you are legitimately fucking nuts. Why don’t you go ask Avijit Roy how nice those Bangladeshi Muslims are.

      And beyond that Pakistan is India you fucking half wit. It is the same ethnic group and the same culture. The only difference is Pakistan is majority Muslim and India is majority Hindu. Lets think about this. You have the same population and one country that gets independence from Britain in 1948. The majority Muslim part breaks off and becomes an oppressive hell hole. The Muslims who remain in the majority Hindu areas become surprisingly reasonable. That must because they are just great people. They must be different and special from the ones who lived a few hundred miles to the West. The difference in each group’s political power has nothing to do with it.

      Get help. Go see a shrink and see about getting on some meds.

      1. Disagree strenuously with the idea that all the subcontinent shares the same ethnic group and culture. That said, while minority status helps I think the other John has it right. The most violent and rigidly intolerant Muslims in present day India moved to Pakistan when given the chance. Religious minorities in India reach high places in business, politics, and culture all the time. In Pakistan? Not so much.

        1. India is not one culture for sure. But Indian Muslims were, before 1948, a pretty homogenous religious culture. I have never read where the Muslims of the Punjab were any more or less intolerant or devout than the ones anywhere else.

        2. I think the main question was how well they were integrated with the greater community- whether they were the Muslim empire like in the north or a compoment of another faith’s community like on the Malabar Coast. Sufi Islam, which is comparatively tolerant and peaceful, also has a long tradition in India. This is different from the “kill ’em all” style promoted by Wahanbi clerics.

        3. Even within a local community there’s also differences and personal beliefs and fervency thereof. The more psychotic individuals chose to leave: they and their children are Pakistan. The ones who could leave in another system stayed.

  14. Once a Dipshit, always a Dipshit.

  15. Muslims who felt strongly about the muslim nation moved into pakistan and have been merrily attacking India and pakistani non-muslims ever since. The muslims who remained in India keep their heads down because Hindus have had a lot of experience with muslims and will kill them if they become unruly. Hirsi’s advice is a lot sounder than the authors.

  16. Now you attack freedom fighters and truth tellers such as Hirsi Ali. Your support of the Muslim savages casts you clowns as enemies of America and would be enemies of America since the dawn of the Republic. I guess you guys would support the Barbary Pirates and attack Haym Solomon as a proto Sheldon Adelson.

    Maybe I shouldn’t criticize your anti americanism and antisemitism. Maybe your narcotic addles brains can’t think of anything else.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.”

    The Trayvon Martin Lied

  17. Today, many non-Muslims regard Islam as a religion that promotes violence, terrorism and war. Unfortunately, they rely in their view of Islam on the general media, which is not always accurate in reporting the news. Many media outlets, such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, are influenced by their investors or owners who have certain agendas and who want to promote certain values and points of view. Other media outlets are simply after the “big story”, in order to make more money and more profits. Others are simply “followers”, who only gather news from other sources, re-package it and try to sell it again purely as a business.

    Islam is in fact a religion that promotes peace and understanding among people of all faiths, and it strongly prohibits all forms of violence and aggression against all people regardless of their faith or race.

    Islam clearly prohibits all kinds and forms of aggression and violence against anyone, except in self-defence. Islam is a practical religion, meant to be implemented in every aspect of our life. Therefore, it realizes the fact that a person who commits aggression and violence against others will not cease these actions unless they are deterred by similar actions taken against them.

    And finally, we greet everyone with the greeting of Islam: Assalamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you!).
    IA
    http://www.lonodonschoolofislamics.org.uk

  18. If Islam is so bad, then why is it the WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING RELIGION! It is also one of the youngest religions. However no matter how hard everyone tries to give Islam a bad name, it will be twice as more populated. So let’s get straight to the point yeah?, Basically Islam is the most hated religion I don’t know why hmm maybe because it is also the most fastest growing religion and 2nd largest but no one will be able to stop this religion from growing.

    Islam is the fastest growing faith in Britain. Hundreds and thousands of Brits are reverting to Islam. By the middle of this century, over half of Brits would be Muslims.

    “I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of
    its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to
    possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which
    can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him ? the wonderful man
    and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the
    saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the
    dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems
    in a way that would bring it the much
    needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad
    that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to
    be acceptable to the Europe of today.” [G.B. Shaw, THE GENUINE ISLAM,
    Vol. No. 81936.]

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.