Change in the Muslim World Means Emancipation from Allah
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The change we are talking about for the Muslim world is essentially a change where we hope that Muslim individuals will be emancipated from their own concept of a God, submission to the will of Allah.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Dutch-American feminist filmmaker and political writer. She is author of several books, the latest of which is Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now. She is also founder of the AHA Foundation, a former fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former member of the Dutch parliament.
Ali is a vocal critic of Islam whose writings often focus on the religion's subjugation of women. Her work is controversial and has resulted in numerous death threats. In 2004 Ayaan gained international attention following the murder of Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh had directed her short film Submission, a film about the oppression of women under Islam. The assassin left a death threat for her pinned to Van Gogh's chest. This tragic event, and Ayaan’s life leading up to it, are all chronicled in her best-selling book, Infidel.
Anybody who seeks any kind of change has to grasp the magnitude of the change one wants.
It’s different during American elections when you elect a different president. The change that we talk about is not really that much of a change. It’s fractional, but the big changes were achieved many presidents ago.
The change we are talking about for the Muslim world is essentially a change where we hope that Muslim individuals will be emancipated from their own concept of a God, submission to the will of Allah. So it is emancipation from Allah, emancipation from Muhammad. That change is going to come, but it’s going to take much, much longer than the next elections and it has to be a change we believe in.
I mean I like those slogans from the Obama presidency, but for a change you believe in you’ve got to first say what you don’t believe in. In the Muslim world people who have entrenched interests in things as they are, and they are very powerful. They are ruthless. They have a lot of money and they have a lot of agencies working for them. They control all the institutions of education and information. How do you get passed that? It’s going to take time and we have to give it that time, but we have to help it along of course.
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