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Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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Heretic Quotes (showing 1-30 of 66)
“Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture’s intolerance. If we do in fact support diversity, women’s rights, and gay rights, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Why are Muslims being “preserved” in some time capsule of centuries gone by? Why is it okay that we continue to live in a world where our women are compared to candy waiting to be consumed? Why is it okay for women of the rest of the world to fight for freedom and equality while we are told to cover our shameful bodies? Can’t you see that we are being held back from joining this elite club known as the 21st century? Noble liberals like yourself always stand up for the misrepresented Muslims and stand against the Islamophobes, which is great but who stands in my corner and for the others who feel oppressed by the religion? Every time we raise our voices, one of us is killed or threatened. . . . What you did by screaming “racist!” was shut down a conversation that many of us have been waiting to have. You helped those who wish to deny there are issues, deny them. What is so wrong with wanting to step into the current century? There should be no shame. There is no denying that violence, misogyny and homophobia exist in all religious texts, but Islam is the only religion that is adhered to so literally, to this day. In your culture you have the luxury of calling such literalists “crazies.” . . . In my culture, such values are upheld by more people than we realise. Many will try to deny it, but please hear me when I say that these are not fringe values. It is apparent in the lacking numbers of Muslims willing to speak out against the archaic Shariah law. The punishment for blasphemy and apostasy, etc, are tools of oppression. Why are they not addressed even by the peaceful folk who aren’t fanatical, who just want to have some sandwiches and pray five times a day? Where are the Muslim protestors against blasphemy laws/apostasy? Where are the Muslims who take a stand against harsh interpretation of Shariah?7”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“we need to stand up for our own principles as liberals. Specifically, we need to say to offended Western Muslims (and their liberal supporters) that it is not we who must accommodate their beliefs and sensitivities. Rather, it is they who must learn to live with our commitment to free speech.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture’s intolerance.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“The exercise of my reason itself was forbidden. But the questions never stopped coming, eventually leading to this one: “Why would a benevolent God set up the world like this, marking one half of the population to be second-class citizens? Or was it just men who did this?”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“We who have the luxury of living in the West have an obligation to stand up for liberal principles. Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture's intolerance. If we do in fact support diversity, women's rights, and gay rights, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity. And we need to say unambiguously to Muslims living in the West: if you want to live in our societies, to share in their material benefits, then you need to accept that our freedoms are not optional. They are the foundations of our way of life; of our civilization - a civilization that learned, slowly and painfully, not to burn heretics, but to honor them.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“In short, the liberation of the individual conscience from hierarchical and priestly authority opened up space for critical thinking in every field of human activity.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“I have identified five precepts central to the faith that have made it resistant to historical change and adaptation. Only when these five things are recognized as inherently harmful and when they are repudiated and nullified will a true Muslim Reformation have been achieved. The five things to be reformed are: 1. Muhammad’s semi-divine and infallible status along with the literalist reading of the Qur’an, particularly those parts that were revealed in Medina; 2. The investment in life after death instead of life before death; 3. Sharia, the body of legislation derived from the Qur’an, the hadith, and the rest of Islamic jurisprudence; 4. The practice of empowering individuals to enforce Islamic law by commanding right and forbidding wrong; 5. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“In language that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, a young Moroccan named Brother Rachid last year called out President Obama on YouTube for claiming that Islamic State was “not Islamic”: Mr President, I must tell you that you are wrong about ISIL. You said ISIL speaks for no religion. I am a former Muslim. My dad is an imam. I have spent more than 20 years studying Islam. . . . I can tell you with confidence that ISIL speaks for Islam. . . . ISIL’s 10,000 members are all Muslims. . . . They come from different countries and have one common denominator: Islam. They are following Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in every detail. . . . They have called for a caliphate, which is a central doctrine in Sunni Islam. I ask you, Mr. President, to stop being politically correct—to call things by their names. ISIL, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Taliban, and their sister brand names, are all made in Islam. Unless the Muslim world deals with Islam and separates religion from state, we will never end this cycle. . . . If Islam is not the problem, then why is it there are millions of Christians in the Middle East and yet none of them has ever blown up himself to become a martyr, even though they live under the same economic and political circumstances and even worse? . . . Mr. President, if you really want to fight terrorism, then fight it at the roots. How many Saudi sheikhs are preaching hatred? How many Islamic channels are indoctrinating people and teaching them violence from the Quran and the hadith? . . . How many Islamic schools are producing generations of teachers and students who believe in jihad and martyrdom and fighting the infidels?1”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“we in the West have not bothered to develop an effective counternarrative because from the outset we have denied that Islamic extremism is in any way related to Islam. We persist in focusing on the violence and not on the ideas that give rise to it.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“The argument in this book is that religious doctrines matter and are in need of reform. Non-doctrinal factors—such as the Saudis’ use of oil revenues to fund Wahhabism and Western support for the Saudi regime—are important, but religious doctrine is more important. Hard as it may be for many Western academics to believe, when people commit violent acts in the name of religion, they are not trying somehow to dignify their underlying socioeconomic or political grievances.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“the key imperatives of modernity: freedom of conscience, tolerance of difference, equality of the sexes, and an investment in life before death.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Imagine if, in the Cold War, the West had lent its support not to the dissidents in Eastern Europe—to the likes of Václav Havel and Lech Wałęsa—but to the Soviet Union, as the representative of “moderate Communists,” in the hope that the Kremlin would give us a hand against terrorists such as the Red Army Faction.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“These changes, I believe, can be the basis of a true Islamic Reformation, one that progresses to the twenty-first century rather than regresses to the seventh. Some of these changes may strike readers as too fundamental to Islamic belief to be feasible. But like the partition walls or superfluous stairways that a successful renovation removes, they can in fact be modified without causing the entire structure to collapse. Indeed, I believe these modifications will actually strengthen Islam by making it easier for Muslims to live in harmony with the modern world. It is those hell-bent on restoring it to its original state who are much more likely to lead Islam to destruction. Here again are my five theses, nailed to a virtual door: 1. Ensure that Muhammad and the Qur’an are open to interpretation and criticism. 2. Give priority to this life, not the afterlife. 3. Shackle sharia and end its supremacy over secular law. 4. End the practice of “commanding right, forbidding wrong.” 5. Abandon the call to jihad. In the chapters that follow, I will explore the source of the ideas and doctrines in question and evaluate the prospects for reforming them. For now, we may simply note that they are closely interrelated.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Now, when I assert that Islam is not a religion of peace I do not mean that Islamic belief makes Muslims naturally 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. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy, and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“You who call yourselves liberals must understand that it is your way of life that is under threat. Withdraw my right to speak freely, and you jeopardize your own in the future. Ally yourselves with the Islamists at your peril. Tolerate their intolerance at your peril.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Cultural relativists prefer to wrap the issue of sharia in the intellectual equivalent of a black jilbab or blue burqa and intone the old platitudes that we should be nonjudgmental about the religious practices of others. Why? The ancient Aztecs and other peoples practiced human sacrifice, tearing the still-beating hearts out of their sacrificial victims. We teach our children that this happened five hundred years ago, but we don't condone it -- and wouldn't if the practice were suddenly revived in Mexico today. So why do we condone the 'sacrifice' of women or homosexuals or lapsed Muslims for 'crimes' such as apostasy, adultery, blasphemy, marrying outside of their faith, or simply wishing to marry the partner of their choice? Why, aside from the publication of reports by human rights organizations, is there no discernible reaction? In the twenty-first century, I believe that all decent human beings can agree that such barbarous acts should not be tolerated. They can and must be condemned and prosecuted as crimes, not accepted as legitimate punishments. The abuses carried out under sharia are irrefutable. If we are to have any hope for a more peaceful, more stable planet, these punishments must be set aside.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“I can well remember how when someone in my family lay sick or dying—like my aunt when she contracted breast cancer—the Qur’an was chanted by the bedside, in the belief that its words alone would cure the patient. Analogies with Christian prayer are misleading because the reciter of the Qur’an is voicing God’s words, not appealing to God for intercession.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Most Americans, and indeed most Europeans, would much rather ignore the fundamental conflict between Islam and their own worldview. This is partly because they generally assume that ‘religion,’ however defined, is a force for good and that any set of religious beliefs should be considered acceptable in a tolerant society. I can sympathize with that.
But that does not mean that we should be blind to the potential consequences of accommodating beliefs that are openly hostile to Western laws, traditions, and values. For it is not simply a religion we have to deal with. It is a political religion many of whose fundamental tenets are irreconcilably inimical to our way of life. We need to insist that it is not we in the West who must accommodate ourselves to Muslim sensitivities; it is Muslims who must accommodate themselves to Western liberal ideals.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
tags: islam
“For years, we have spent trillions on waging wars against ‘terror’ and ‘extremism’ that would have been much better spent protecting Muslim dissidents and giving the necessary platforms and resources to counter the vast network of Islamic centers, madrassas, and mosques which has been largely responsible for spreading the most noxious forms of Islamic fundamentalism. For years, we have treated the people financing the vast network – the Saudis, the Qataris, and the now repentant Emiratis – as our allies. In the midst of all our efforts at policing, surveillance, and even military action, we in the West have not bothered to develop an effective counternarrative because from the outset we have denied that Islamic extremism is in any way related to Islam. We persist in focusing on the violence and not on the ideas that give rise to it.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Confronted with such flagrant acts of intolerance—such abuses of the freedom of speech—a free society must surely do more. For intolerance is the one thing a free society cannot afford to tolerate.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“We have welcomed fundamentalist preachers into our cities and stood idly by as thousands of disaffected young people have been radicalized by their rantings. Worse, we have made almost not attempt to counter the proselytizing of the Medina Muslims. If we continue this policy of nonintervention in the culture war, we will never extricate ourselves from the actual battlefield. For we cannot fight an ideology solely with air strikes and drones or even boots on the ground. We need to fight it with ideas – with better ideas, with positive ideas. We need to fight it with an alternative vision.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Nor is my dream of a Muslim Reformation a matter for Muslims alone. People of all faiths, or of no faith, have a great interest in a changed Islam: a faith that is more respectful of the basic doctrines of human rights, that universally preaches less violence and more tolerance, that promotes less corrupt and less chaotic governments, that allows for more doubt and more dissent, that encourages more education, more freedom, and more equality before a modern system of law. I see no other way forward for us -- at least no other way that is not strewn with corpses. Islam and modernity must be reconciled.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“In the Cold War, the West celebrated dissidents such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov, and Vaclav Havel, who had the courage to challenge the Soviet system from within. Today, there are many dissidents who challenge Islam – former Muslims, and reformers – but the West either ignores them or dismisses them as “not representative.” This is a grave mistake. Reformers must be supported and protected. They should be as well known as Solzhenitsyn, Sakharov, and Havel were in the 1980s – and as well known as Locke and Voltaire were their day, when the West needed freethinkers of its own.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Islam is not unusual in having a tradition of martyrs. What is unique to Islam is the tradition of murderous martyrdom, in which the individual martyr simultaneously commits suicide and kills others for religious reasons.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“On Egyptian television during a 2010 talk show, a Muslim cleric, Sa’d Arafat, reviewed the rules for beating one’s wife. He began by saying, “Allah honored wives by installing the punishment of beating.”21 Beating, he explained, was a legitimate punishment if a husband did not receive sexual satisfaction from his wife. But he added: “There is a beating etiquette.” Beatings must avoid the face because they should not make a wife ugly. They must be done at chest level. He recommended using a short rod.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture’s intolerance. If we do in fact support diversity, women’s rights, and gay rights, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity. And we need to say unambiguously to Muslims living in the West: If you want to live in our societies, to share in their material benefits, then you need to accept that our freedoms are not optional. They”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“Jewish.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“All scriptures contain contradictions and the Qur'an is no exception.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
“The argument in this book is that religious doctrines matter and are in need of reform.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

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