I found this headline in the religion section of Yahoo news today: Netherlands sets plan against extremism. Is it “extremism” to attempt to curtail religious extremism? Is it a violation of people’s freedom of religion or is it necessary steps society must take to support democracy and protect against theocratic rule? Shouldn’t other groups prone to extremism be included?
Islam is spreading in Germany rapidly. According to the German channels, RTL & 3Sat, there are about 4,000 new Muslim Germans every year. More than half of the number are women. There has been a phenomenal growth of Islam in the United States and many western nations. There were 945,000 Muslims living in the Netherlands on January 1, 2004, double the amount in 1990, and has been steadily increasing. Many sympathize with Muslims and even fight for their rights to their “faith” and way of life. On the other hand, many also fear that with the steady growth of Islam in Europe and other parts of the world may be just the start of serious conflicts and social unrest that will continue to grow as more and more religious fundamentalists increase in population and are elected to positions of power.Since leaving the Dutch parliament, Ayaan Hirsi Ali has made further statements in support of restrictive immigration policies. She made her statements on this subject on 1 November 2006 in the television program Aspekte on the German TV station ZDF. She said that she feared that Muslim immigrants, once in the majority, would introduce Sharia legislation. Here is Ayaan Hirsi Ali Interviewed On Swedish Television
Do we wait and see what happens in time? Is there a problem or are many free people just fearful and paranoid? According to women like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, there is good reason for concern and action to curtail Islamic extremism now.
Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a native of Somalia who emigrated to The Netherlands in the early 1990s, is no stranger to controversy among her fellow Muslims. Living in the West, she felt free to publicly criticize Islam’s treatment of women.
But that freedom came at a price. In 2004, a short film Ali scripted called Submission was shown on Dutch television. In the film, naked women veiled with see-through shrouds painted with verses of the Quran kneel in prayer, telling their stories as if they are speaking to Allah.
The film’s co-writer and director Theo Van Gogh was later stabbed to death by a Muslim radical. A letter pinned to the body with a dagger threatened Ali’s life. Since then, she has been under the constant protection of body guards.
The danger hasn’t stopped her from remaining outspoken about her beliefs. Ali calls her new collection of essays, The Caged Virgin, an “Emancipation Proclamation” for women and Islam.