Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Why Islam needs a reformation

Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Sydney. Picture: Amos Aikman Source: News Corp Australia

“ISLAM’S borders are bloody,” wrote the late US political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70 per cent of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims.

In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks worldwide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims.

By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence — including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics — are Muslims themselves.

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself.

For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world.

What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam…

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    On what basis does ANYONE think that Islam is reformable?
    Any attempt at “reform” will only get the reformers killed.
    Islam is funny in that all major sects are trying to get back to a more pure form of Islam as it was preached and practiced by Mohammid.
    When Christanity “reformed” and got back to basics, it didn’t get back to a warlike, murderous, thieving and psychopathic Jesus!
    Islam can’t do that.
    It is as reformable as the cult of Thuggee.

    • Frau Katze

      If it had a recognized clergy they could decide to reinterpret the jihad verses as being applicable only in Mohammed’s era.

      But I’ve thought this through and even if some Muslims did do this, there would always be those who would refuse to go along with it. You’d need the leaders of countries like Saudi Arabia behind it and the chances of that are zero.

      Thus such a “modernized” version would appeal to just a few liberals, likely living in the West.

      These “liberal” versions of religion tend to have few members, as the liberals become agnostic/atheist, and the rest prefer the traditional versions. At least this is the case with Christianity. But even “traditional” Christians don’t usually become violent because it’s not part their scriptures.

      • winniec

        Islam has been officially ‘closed’ to further interpretation or ‘re-interpretation’ since AD 1111. Any ‘new’ interpretation of Islam is called ‘BIDA’ (innovation) and is punishable BY DEATH!

    • winniec

      ISIS is an example of Muslims ‘getting back to the basics’.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        They know Islam as well as anyone.

  • Pontifex Maximus

    pipe dream: Etymology

    From the fantasies experienced when smoking an opium pipe.


    pipe dream (plural pipe dreams)

    (idiomatic) A plan, desire, or idea that will not likely work; a near impossibility.

  • Pontifex Maximus

    The sensible and rational approach to the Mohammedan cult is more along these lines;

    from Latin oblitterātus, perfect passive participle of oblitterō (“blot out”), from oblinō (“smear over”).

    obliterate (third-person singular simple present obliterates, present participle obliterating, simple past and past participle obliterated)

    To remove completely, leaving no trace; to wipe out; to destroy.

  • Sparrow

    As some famous person once pointed out, remove all the bad parts of the Koran and there won’t be much left to work with.

    • Pontifex Maximus

      The same applies to the entire scribblings of Marx and Engels; what a monumental load of pseudo-philosophical balderdash!

      • Blacksmith

        What? you are equating leftism with ismlamism? You must be crazy!
        /sarc off

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Rumor has it that she is contemplating a conversion to Judaism.

    • Justin St.Denis

      That was a deliberate misinterpretation of an off-the-cuff joke Hirsi made. Stop spreading lies.

  • Dana Garcia

    Islam is mental illness based on supremacism organized into a political system. Therefore it should be quarantined.

    • winniec

      Toxic narcissism combined with Stockholm syndrome.

  • David J. White

    “Why Islam needs a Reformation”? Given that the Reformation in Western Christianity led directly to literalist Biblical fundamentalism to a greater degree than had been known before, to increased intransigence and a hardening of doctrinal positions on all sides, and to a century of religious warfare in Europe, I think a good case can be made that the emergence of radical Islam *is* the Reformation in Islam.

    • Justin St.Denis

      I’ve said the same thing myself.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      The religious wars in Europe happened before the Industrial Revolution.
      After which they said what’s this steam engine thing, then?
      And everyone got on with it.
      Islam has no such excuse.
      Except for the fact that their culture could not have given rise to the Industrial Revolution.
      And still hasn’t.

  • Hktony

    When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world.

    The above is nonsense because they are only peaceful now because they cannot act out the jihad which they follow. Most academic types including Robert spencer who most admire for his work to make clear the dangers of islam keep saying this rediculous ‘ there are loving hip muslims ‘ who don’t want to harm us. History not words show islam destroys countries and cultures. If they kill lots of muslims then I don’t care. But can these academics stop helping the linbrrals by claiming there are lovely moderate muslims and if we only gave them the chance things will be fine? They won’t be fine whilst they support the crazy mo., jihad and sharia. Would anyone argue moderate nazis?? So how ever brave these commentators are to fight islam then fight islam and not a bit of it.
    For many it is clear as water that Islam, all islam means death and destruction. Just because some are not involved in it doesn’t mean it will stop or change tact.
    Remove all Muslims from the west and take all the oil the west needs for itself. Don’t but it take it and teach them a lesson. Wrong yes but so was raping and abusing thousands and thousands of children, chopping off people’s head in the street, blowing people up….. Of course we will give something back. Bacon!