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AYAAN HIRSI ALI: You've Taken Down the Bad Guy. Now What?

December 29, 2011, 4:50 PM

What's the Big Idea?

2011 was a year of revolution. Oppressive regimes from Tunisia to Russia were either toppled or challenged. Social unrest broke out in England and in countless communities in the United States, in conjunction with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

While it may be right to applaud many of these popular uprisings, it remains to be seen whether a country like Egypt becomes a democratic or autocratic state.

In an interview with Big Think, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, points to the Ayatollah Khomeini's revolt in Iran as a cautionary tale. "It was legitimate at the time to protest against the oppression of the Shah," Hirsi points out, but many of Khomeini's supporters didn't fully think through what they would be getting in the Shah's place.

"What is going to come after the fall of Qaddafi?" Hirsi asks. "What is going to come after the fall of the Saudi monarchy?"  It is very difficult to get people to agree to the same answer to those questions. As Hirsi points out, "It’s easier to agree on getting rid of the bad guy."

Watch the video here:

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Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan




AYAAN HIRSI ALI: You've Tak...

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