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Ayaan Hirsi Ali Stands Up For Truth

Context:

Ayaan was just elected to Dutch government. After the election but before she started an interview from some weeks ago was published. In it, she said harsh (but valid) things about the Prophet Muhammad being a tyrant, and commented about his sex with young girls. The interview caused a big fuss, and Ayaan had to face her new political party at a meeting (she had changed parties as she entered the election, so it's her first time at this particular kind of meeting). Her sort of friend and mentor tells her:

Infidel, page 305
When the meeting starts, you'll see, people will attack you. I want you to stay quiet. When it's your time to speak, you must say, 'This interview happened a long time ago, before I was even elected. I realize this is not how things work, and I apologize for causing such a commotion. From now on I iwll consult the Party before coming out with such things.'
At first Ayaan did stay quiet. But then someone said:
Don't you think we should protect her from herself?
Ayaan was angry, but then delivered a completely calm and rational reply:
What surprises me is that not one person in this room has asked 'Is this true?' If the prophet Muhammad went to bed with a nine-year-old, then according to Dutch law he is a pedophile. If you look at how the Prophet Muhammad ruled, he was a lone ruler, an autocrat, and that is tyranny. As for being protected from myself, that is condescending, and inexcusable.
Isn't that spectacular? It is absolutely the right thing to say. And it is hard to say it in the circumstances. When asked why she said it, she said that it was the truth.

Elliot Temple on May 11, 2007

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