Sep 17, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(THE BLAZE) Chaos and the Middle East are, sadly, synonymous these days. In the wake of violent Middle Eastern protests that some claim are the result of an anti-Prophet Muhammad film that has gone viral (though the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was allegedly pre-planned), new-found scrutiny is being placed upon the Islamic faith.
In the new issue of Newsweek, writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali shares her personal experience surviving “Muslim rage” and escaping from the faith she once subscribed to.
Ali began her piece by outlining the recent anti-American protests that unfolded on September 11 in Egypt and Libya and have expanded across the globe. She described the “homicidal few in the Muslim world“ who value life less than ”religious icons” like the Prophet Muhammad or the Koran.
“These few are indifferent to the particular motives or arguments behind any perceived insult to their faith,” she wrote. “They do not care about an individual’s political alignment, gender, religion, or occupation…All that matters is the intolerable nature of the insult.”
Ali details her personal experience in a a Newsweek cover story:
In 1989, when I was 19, I piously, even gleefully, participated in a rally in Kenya to burn [author Salman] Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses. I had never read it.
Later, having fled an arranged marriage to the Netherlands, I broke from fundamentalism. By the time of Sept. 11, 2001, I still considered myself a Muslim, though a passive one; I believed the principles but not the practice. After learning that it was Muslims who had hijacked airplanes and flown them into buildings in New York and Washington, I called for fellow believers to reflect on how our religion could have inspired these atrocious acts. A few months later, I confessed in a television interview that I had been secularized.
Over time, Ali became an atheist and began entering into the political arena, campaigning — and inevitably winning — a seat on the Dutch Parliament. She is also a founder of the AHA Foundation, a group devoted to women’s rights. Her change of faith has created a plethora of issues for Ali.