Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an extremely intelligent and articulate woman, not to mention courageous, considering the stand she has taken for women's rights, free inquiry, and reason at great peril to her own life. I wholeheartedly agree with her on the importance of keeping nuclear arms out of the hands of ALL religious fanatics and fundamentalists (incidentally, which heavily religious country has more nukes than every other nuclear capable country in the world but one? Hint: Its initials are U and S). Her comments about Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, however, bare an unfortunate resemblance to the rhetoric of fear being peddled by Bush, Cheney, and their neoconservative war hawks, and should therefore be taken with a big grain of salt.
She says Ahmadinejad has told Israel "I'm going to wipe you off the map," paraphrasing an oft-cited and terribly mistranslated statement made by him in 2005. The truth is that Ahmadinejad was reciting an old quote by Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the "regime" occupying Jerusalem to "vanish from the page of time." That sounds like a call for regime change, NOT marching orders to commit mass genocide or nuke an entire country. Furthermore, Iran does not even have nuclear weapons capability. Its uranium enrichment program, about which it has been quite open to the IAEA of late, can only produce low-grade uranium for generating power, not the high-grade stuff needed to build a bomb. Ali should be careful about falsely characterizing Iran as some rogue nuclear aggressor, because it can only give credence to the Bush administration's illegitimate, destructive, and anti-human use of preemptive war as an instrument of foreign policy.