Reason interviews Hirsi Ali

For all her blabbering about liberty and liberalism, Ayaan Hirsi Ali sure has some illiberal ideas when it comes to Muslims. From an interview in the latest issue of the libertarian Reason magazine:

Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

Reason: Militarily?

Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

So there you have it. Not only is Hirsi Ali a shill for military rule but she also believes Islamic schools, people who convert to Islam and people who burn “symbols” and effigies (of political leaders and other figures) must be “crushed”.

Reason: Explain to me what you mean when you say we have to stop the burning of our flags and effigies in Muslim countries. Why should we care?

Hirsi Ali: We can make fun of George Bush. He’s our president. We elected him. And the queen of England, they can make fun of her within Britain and so on. But on an international level, this has gone too far. You know, the Russians, they don’t burn American flags. The Chinese don’t burn American flags. Have you noticed that? They don’t defile the symbols of other civilizations. The Japanese don’t do it. That never happens.

Reason: Isn’t that a double standard? You want us to be able to say about Islam whatever we want—and I certainly agree with that. But then you add that people in Muslim countries should under all circumstances respect our symbols, or else.

Hirsi Ali: No, no, no.

In short, send in the military to stop people in other countries saying disrespectful things about President Bush or burning paper mache effigies of Western leaders.

And her next book?

A book called Shortcuts to Enlightenment. It’s [about] waking up the prophet Muhammad in the New York Public Library and having him have a conversation with Karl Popper, Friedrich Hayek, and John Stuart Mill. It’s a philosophical novel.

Oh, the irony.