(THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR) – The two women invited to the Dirksen Senate Office Building last week seemed like the kind of expert witnesses any Democrat, especially a female Democrat, would love. Both have become respected academics, authors, and activists for women’s rights. Both are outspoken critics of religious extremism. Both are Muslims, and both are critical of Muslim extremism, and for way too many Democrats that point of view is not legitimate.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia to a Muslim family. As a young girl she suffered genital mutilation. Her family and friends followed such an intense form of Islam that in her teens she cheerfully looked forward to the day when the fatwa against author Salman Rushdie would be carried out at last. When her family tried to force her into marriage, she fled Africa for the Netherlands. There she met director Theo Van Gogh; together they made a film critical of extreme interpretations of Islam which sanction the abuse, degradation, even the killing of Muslim women. After the film was released, Van Gogh was murdered on a city street by a terrorist. Pinned to his clothes was a note declaring that Hirsi Ali would be next. Today, Ali is in the United States. She is a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is the author of two best-sellers, Heretic and Infidel. And she has renounced her Muslim faith. Because of all these factors, her life is in constant danger.
The other witness was Asra Nomani, a writer and activist for equal rights for women in Islam. She has taught journalism at Georgetown University. She was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. In 2002, she was on assignment in Karachi, Pakistan. A fellow WSJ reporter, Daniel Pearl, and his wife were staying with Nomani. In January of that year, Pearl was kidnapped by Muslim terrorists. Nine days later Pearl’s captors released a video in which Pearl addressed the world: “My name is Daniel Pearl. I’m a Jewish American from Encino, California, USA.” Then, on camera, the terrorists slit Pearl’s throat and cut off his head.
Like Hirsi Ali, Nomani is a heretic. In a Washington Post guest column she wrote, “I am a Muslim, a woman, and an immigrant. I voted for Trump.” This admission set off Professor Christine Fair, one of Nomani’s colleagues from her days at Georgetown. Taking to social media (where else?), Fair advised Nomani, “I have written you off as a human being.” Fair went on to denounce Nomani for “pimping yourself out” for media attention, and characterized her as a one-woman “fame mongering clown show.” Then, predictably, Fair added “F*** off” and “GO TO HELL.” Nomani filed a complaint with Georgetown’s Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action organization. I’m sure the organization’s administrators will censure Fair most severely.
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