Commentary Magazine


Fareed Zakaria and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The inimitable Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs links to an interview between Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch Parliamentarian, AEI scholar, and critic of Islam.

Their conversation, in two segments, itemizes some of the chief difficulties Islam faces in reconciling itself to modernity—mostly resulting from Islam’s literal approach to scripture. Hirsi Ali points out that a distinction between Islamic beliefs and the rights of individual Muslims, as well as economic liberalization, are both prerequisites of an Islamic Reformation.

She has cutting words for the practice of child marriage—such as the Ayatollah Khomeini’s marriage to a nine year old. And she boldly indicts the Council on American Islamic Relations. When Zakaria describes the thesis of Dinesh D’Souza’s book, The Enemy at Home, which proposes an alliance between conservative Muslims and Americans alienated by a permissive culture, Hirsi Ali whispers: “Oh, God.”