A new report advising the Dutch government to take a softer line on Islam has been met with a wave of criticism. One of its fiercest critics is politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who regularly speaks out against the treatment of women and homosexuals by Muslims. She believes the report – which accuses leading politicians of being ‘Islam bashers’ – is simplistic and inaccurate.
The report was compiled by the Scientific Council for Government Policy – a think-tank which advises The Hague on critical issues. The advice is for a rapprochement with Islamic activists, including organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbollah a14nd Hamas. And it’s critical of the West’s overly confrontational approach to Islam.
MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali told Radio Netherlands the analysis doesn’t reflect reality:
“I disagree with the assertion that Islam is entirely compatible with democracy – it’s not. The debate on Islam here in the Netherlands and in the rest of Europe is a very controversial one. You have a number of people who are saying, ‘let’s confront the intolerant side of Islam’ and others who say, ‘no, let’s take on an appeasement attitude’. And when you see this report as it is presented in the media, it is a pro-appeasement report, it is a political report – it’s not a scientific report.”
Ms Hirsi Ali believes appeasing Muslims who have fixed views on issues like homosexuality and the treatment of women, won’t work. Rather, they should be confronted with their intolerance and encouraged to change:“Of course there will be some who will be persuaded, we’ve seen that in the history of Christianity and Judaism, but there will always be the hardliners who will not. And for those hardliners, confrontation, according to my definition, is that they should understand where the limits are.”
The report also accuses leading politicians of ‘Islam bashing’, by constantly criticising Muslim culture. But Ms Hirsi Ali says she finds that claim offensive:
“I am a serious debater here, I point to the facts. I mean, not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorist acts today are committed by Muslims in the name of Islam: I think that’s a very serious fact.”
For more information: radionetherlands.nl