European Islamic Radicalism Now Surfacing in America, Ayaan Hirsi Ali Warns
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born writer and vocal opponent of Islamist extremism, has warned that the United States increasingly faces a similar challenge to Europe in terms of dealing with radicalism among its Muslim communities.
Hirsi Ali, a former member of Dutch parliament who came to the United States after repeatedly receiving death threats in The Netherlands, was addressing the 2014 Gala Celebration of the American Friends of the Open University of Israel in New York in an interview conducted by the organization’s Chairman Mimi Perelman.
“I’ve seen things in America that I would see in the Netherlands, say, in the 1990s and beyond,” Hirsi Ali told the audience. “It’s okay to establish mosques. It’s okay to establish Islamic centers; all are under the first amendment. And you know what? That’s fine.”
But, Hirsi Ali continued, there are legitimate concerns about what she described as “the indoctrination of children.”
“On one side, the Islamic extremist side of things, they cry, ‘You’re an Islamophobe,’ and the rest of society says, ‘Let’s leave them to it, let’s not be bigoted,'” Hirsi Ali observed. “I think you have seeds of the same dangers that I saw in Europe, because now in the United States of America, the population of Muslims is relatively small compared to that of various European countries and their demand for Shari’a Islamic law, or aspects of that, is there and it’s strong in some states and in some cities. But across the nation, it’s not as strong as it is in some of these European countries.”
Hirsi Ali also scorned the Obama Administration’s failed efforts to negotiate a deal with the Iranian regime over its nuclear program.
“I think that the Islamic Republic of Iran is now taking us for a ride. They’re not going to concede,” she said. “We need to show the Iranians that we are a power to reckon with and that we will absolutely not let them develop a bomb.”
Additionally, Hirsi Ali praised the Open University as having the ability to “sway the minds” of young Muslims in Israel, who may otherwise have been attracted to Islamist ideology. She called the education a change that “is far more enduring than say military means or surveillance means.”