Following up on Marie Claire’s Mecca Stars, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A friend who visits my blog and who has a subscription to Marie Claire dropped by on Saturday to bring me the latest issue, February 2007.

She had read my post on the Marie Claire’s Mecca Stars article from the December issue. Of course my friend was outraged over the glamorizing of the hijab. She wrote to Marie Claire asking that they cancel her subscription but she’s still receiving the mags (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?).

The latest issue has two letters to the editor, one deploring the work conditions endured by the workers who build the shopping malls in Dubai, and another one talking about how empowered the veiled women really are. Nothing new there.

On the last page of the magazine there’s an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose book Infidel has come out, where she says, (emphasis added)

Q: As a Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament, you spoke out about how Islam violated women’s rights.
A: People were hearing immigrants say the same thing [about assimilation] over and over. I said, “Certain things about Muslim culture, the way we treat our women and practice our faith, make it difficult for us to assimilate into Dutch society.” It caused a huge commotion, which I have not been able to recover from in Holland.

Q: In Infidel, you write about your grandmother overseeing your genital mutilation in Somalia when you were 5. Was this typical for little girls there?
A: There are 6,000 girls mutilated very day, according to the UN., 135 million girls have been mutilated. Those who practice it see it as cleansing. I try to explain in the book how my grandmother believed she was doing us a big favor.

Q: In the Netherlands, as a refugee from a forced marriage, you gradually discarded Muslim attire and, at 22, bought your first pair of jeans. How did that feel?
A: Like jumping to the top of Mount Everest. On one hand, I thought I was sinning and would end up tortured in hell – if I put on jeans, or uncovered my hair or any part of my skin, I might drive strange men into a frenzy. On the other hand, I’d be able to ride a bicycle.

Q: What do you say to Muslim women who fight for the right to wear the head scarf?
A: I say that’s fine – unless you impose your personal choice on others. If you wear the veil, the message you convey is that you’re superior to women who do not, because you’re saying they are whores. You’re also saying men are incapable of sexual self-restraint, and that if they see women who are partly covered or not veiled, they will react like my grandmother’s he-goat.

I haven’t found the interview on the Marie Claire website, but if/when I do, I’ll post the link.

Christopher Hitchens wrote about Ms Ali last May, before she was forced to leave the Netherlands.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book, Infidel, is available from Amazon:

Atlas Shrugs posts on it today.
CUANAS blog posted on the Mecca Stars article last November: Fascist fashion and Hitler’s home
Peaktalk links.

Related prior posts
The Veil Controversy
The Veil

Update, 24 January: Welcome, Andrew Sullivan readers.

6 Responses to “Following up on Marie Claire’s Mecca Stars, Ayaan Hirsi Ali”

  1. Sigmund, Carl and Alfred Says:

    Tough to argue with her.

    No wonder so many lefties hate her.

  2. Fausta Says:

    Not only tough to argue with the points she explains so clearly, but also, she has great integrity, and in person she’s very poised and very beautiful.

  3. R. Davis Says:

    Great post Fausta.

    Thanks for spreading her message.

    Too bad more Americans don’t know about her.

  4. say Says:

    Character like here should be giving this opportunity.
    She is a liar, she pushed out and here citizenship striped from here.

    Why should listen to some one lied and made falls statements before.

    I wonder how much truth she spelt out.

  5. hanood Says:

    Only tough to argue with her if you are as ignorant about Islam and clitoridectomy as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her pundits, including Fausta, are. Genital mutilation is practiced in certain African regions, among whose inhabitants are Muslims, but non-Muslims as well. (Surprised?)
    Yes, yes, clitoridectomy is practiced by African non-Muslims, and only by a minority of the world’s Muslim population. Most Muslims have as much an idea of what genital mutilations is as the most denizens of the “civilized” world.
    Ali’s remark that veiled women’s commonly consider that women who don’t wear the hijab are whores demonstrates how Somali-centric her experience and understanding of Islam as a practice is.
    Ali is a highly independent, resourceful, and assiduous ignoramus, not unlike the keeper of this abysmal blog.

  6. Faycal Says:

    right on hanood.