Tag Archives: Richard Dawkins

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is doing it again! And Richard Dawkins is on her side! – Battling fundamentalistic Islam

A friend of mine sent me his weekly letter where he addressed “the remarkable twist of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, darling of the liberal crowd, a modern day hero in Richard Dawkins’ book, is now appealing to Christian churches to wage a propaganda battle against Islam by starting new Christian schools, sending Christian volunteers into city neighborhoods and spreading the Christian message!”

Today we have again an article in SVD on the Muslim extremists, we speak about the need of dialogue and understanding each other.  Some years ago, our own Dick Erixon wrote in “Nyliberalen” that he considered Ayaan Ayaan Hirsi Ali as the worldest foremost debater especially in regards to the question of the survival of Western “Civilization” (notice the quotation marks!) – and how to deal with fundamentalist Islam in a free society. In August 29, 2005 Ayaan Hirsi Ali was awarded the annual Democracy Prize of the Swedish Liberal People’s Party “for her courageous work for democracy, human rights and women’s rights.” She received the prize at a ceremony at the Swedish Riksdag from the party leader Lars Leijonborg.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born Ayaan Hirsi Magan 13 November 1969 in Mogadishu, Somalia is a Dutch intellectual, feminist activist, writer, and politician. She is the estranged daughter of the late Somali scholar, politician, and revolutionary opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse. She is a prominent critic of Islam, and her screenplay for Theo Van Gogh’s movie “Submission” led to death threats. Through the worldwide spread of this instance she became know to a wide international audience. Since van Gogh’s assassination by a Muslim extremist in 2004, she has lived in seclusion under the protection of Dutch authorities.

When she was eight, her family left Somalia for Saudi Arabia, then Ethiopia, and eventually settled in Kenya. She sought and obtained political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, under circumstances that later became the center of a political controversy. In 2003 she was elected a member of the House of Representatives (the lower house of the Dutch parliament), representing the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).

In 2005, she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Now she is doing it again!

Let me quote from my friend’s letter: In her new book, Nomad, she continues her campaign against radical Islam. She is presently in Holland promoting her book, which quotes arch-atheist Dawkins on the cover saying: ‘This woman is a major hero of our times.’

Solution

Europe is sleepwalking towards its downfall, she warns, a cultural, ideological and political downfall; because churches neglected the immigrant ghettos. But there is a solution, she suggests. Mobilize the churches again! If Saudi-Arabia can invest millions in Koran schools and religious propaganda, why not the Catholic Church, with all its wealth and millions of faithful followers? She says that churches could be active in Muslim communities and offer there the same services that radical Muslims now do, by building schools, hospitals and civic centers, and doing the same civilizing work they did in Africa during the colonization period. 

Now, is there any white person who could get away with saying that?! Westerners have looked on for too long while Muslim scholars won souls, she continues. Churches of all persuasions must enter the competition of systematic religious propaganda with Islam, to curb its growth. Churches should revive such Christian institutions as schools, Christian volunteers in urban neighborhoods, and the spreading of the Christian message!

The West is losing the propaganda war, she says, and the Church can help Muslims assimilate. Motivating immigrants to adopt Western values has been neglected for too long. European leaders–including church leaders–have for decades neglected to take the newcomers into their flock.

“It’s maybe paradoxical to call in the church, while advocates of the enlightenment always fought the Vatican,” writes Hirsi Ali, “but Christianity has changed and the Church has become a much more tolerant institution.” (Dawkins may be reading her books, but she doesn’t seem to be reading his!)

Choice Muslims don’t need to give up their faith to assimilate, she allows. They can pray, keep Ramadan and other Islamic practices.  But they need to give up the social-political side like Jihad, Sharia, the oppression of women, intolerance against homosexuality or those born Muslims but who want something else. “That is a choice. Immigration is a choice. Nobody forced them to come here. Everybody came here willingly.” “In my opinion,” she was reported as saying, “many Muslims are searching for a God that answers to the description of the Christian God. Instead they are being given Allah.” Those Muslims who want to believe in a Creator and eternal life should choose for Jesus as their spiritual leader, she suggests.

The new approach of Ayaan Hirsi Ali to stop the “Radical Muslimization process” will without a doubt call forth many responses and reactions from both Muslims and secular people. She offers an alternative, the only alternative, to a challenge that has been left unchallenged for years because of its political un-correctness. The fact that Ayaan Hirsi Ali sees no other way out in spite of her anti-religious foundational stand makes one wonder whether she is starting to see light in the tunnel. (Of course could one wonder about her discernment in regards to earlier Christian missions and the present liberal stand of many churches, but what the heck, she is at least daring to speak out as usual!) She does need protection, so pray for her because many snakes will be rattled out from the fundamentalistic nest trying to bite her!

John

CHURCH NEXT! A church where you don’t have to believe in God – a marketing strategy for Sweden?

Imagine yourself a church building looking like a theater, without any sacred symbols, the community inside it embraces atheists and others who might want to maintain their religious orientation but do not necessarily believe there is a god.

There Sunday meetings (often held at “church hours”) are no “masses” but platforms where there are similarities to traditional religious services including music, community sharing and a sense of aesthetics. After a concert, conversations, songs and a discussion, a collection is taken up to support humanitarian causes…, this last week for victims of the earthquake in China!

No kidding! You have just entered the Society for Ethical Culture, in New York across Manhattan’s Central Park. Families bring their children to learn how to live in a world of diversity, respecting differences and finding common ground with others, being motivated to make a difference in the world.

This group whose motto is “Deed before Creed,” is, along with other US non-theist, atheist, agnostic and independent groups gaining ground in the United States. 16 % of the Americans see their spiritual dimension as “unaffiliated”, thus becoming the fastest-growing segment of the very complicated patchwork of American spiritual life!

Realizing this, it is not strange that books such as Christopher Hitchens’s “God is not Great,” Sam Harris’s “The End of Faith” and Richard Dawkins’s “The God Delusion” have all become US best sellers in the past three years.

Daniel Dennett, a philosopher who teaches at Tufts University says: “God is not exploding — which is what Nietzsche supposed — God is slowly evaporating before our eyes.”

Two observations…

1. This is the kind of church we are forming in Sweden when we take God and His absolute truth out of the picture. Take God away, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, His redeeming work on the cross and His purpose for our lives and the only thing left is an association. A group of well-willing individuals who take their life serious but are removed from their very roots. God is slowly evaporating before our eyes. I cannot refrain thinking about the Church in Sweden where tolerance, political correctness and Christendom have suffocated the life within it as it through a step by step approach has lost its lifeline and dependency on the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

2. Another “loud thought” I have relates to the tremendous commitment this group of people show as they consciously try to bridge the gaps between the many cultures, between the reality of life in New York and the rest of the (broken) world around them (all the way to China), raising their children as global, respectable citizens and trying to build a consciousness for their place in the world.

How many of us are doing that in our churches where so many of our so-called members have ample time to visit (! – I did not say minister) and hardly show any commitment to be part of the world changing overwhelming minority which was called out from the world and sent back into that world by Jesus Christ Himself?!

“Don’t ask me for the answers I’ve only got one; that a man leaves his darkness when he follows the Son!” (Larry Norman, “the great American novel” on “only visiting this planet”)

Let us in dependency upon Jesus Christ follow His example and His commands to be a blessing to all nations. People, that’s the way I see it at the moment…

John