Thursday, 24 February 2011
The love of a good woman

When Niall Ferguson first started stepping out - or stopping in - with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the general view of the counterjihad was that she was too good for him, and that he would be a bad influence. The first is true, but not the second. Smug and arrogant he may be, but Ferguson knows when he is well off - and it is not just Hirsi Ali's beauty that he appreciates. From The Guardian, which could use a little of Ferguson's uncharacteristic humility:

As soon as he starts talking about Hirsi Ali, Ferguson's demeanour changes. His voice becomes softer, infused with feeling. Suddenly, he is no longer the super-confident scholar; he seems almost humble. "Ayaan comes from a completely different civilisation," he says, explaining what he meant by saying she knows what western civilisation "really means". "She grew up in the Muslim world, was born in Somalia, spent time in Saudi Arabia, was a fundamentalist as a teenager. Her journey from the world of her childhood and family to where she is today is an odyssey that's extremely hard for you or I to imagine. To see and hear how she understands western philosophy, how she understands the great thinkers of the Enlightenment, of the 19th-century liberal era, is a great privilege, because she sees it with a clarity and freshness of perspective that's really hard for us to match. So much of liberalism in its classical sense is taken for granted in the west today and even disrespected. We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don't understand how incredibly vulnerable it is."

In talking of liberalism in its "classic" sense, Ferguson is perhaps pointedly drawing a distinction between the liberalism espoused by Hirsi Ali (and himself) and that of certain left-leaning liberals – notably Timothy Garton Ash and Ian Buruma – who have been critical of her anti-Islamic stance. The French philosopher Pascal Bruckner depicted their attitude as the "racism of the anti-racists". Does Ferguson agree? "I think Ayaan's critics – Ian Buruma in particular – were more guilty of sexism than racism," he says. "But certainly they underestimate her intellectual rigour at their peril. She's just smarter than they are, as well as having a great deal more courage. I mean, there aren't many people who really put their life on the line for human freedom. And I think when you come across someone like that you've got to be a little bit respectful. It just sticks in my throat a bit to have middle-aged men who've had cushy lives turning up their noses at someone who has gone through what she's gone through. There's a particular role you're supposed to play as an oppressed woman... you're supposed to smile and look pretty and not say too much."

The Guardian used to support uppity women, and has indulged many a black writer of doubtful merit. So why does it sniff at Hirsi Ali? Is she the wrong kind of black or the wrong kind of uppity?

Posted on 02/24/2011 11:55 AM by Mary Jackson
24 Feb 2011
Send an emailJohn P.

The Guardian used to support uppity women, and has indulged many a black writer of doubtful merit. So why does it sniff at Hirsi Ali? Is she the wrong kind of black or the wrong kind of uppity?

She's pro-western, an independant think AND Black.  

People like T.G.A. feel it is their role to articulate the experience of Third Worlders and to speak on their behalf. This advocacy usually takes the form of anti-western, anit-american rhetoric But Hirsi espouses very favourable  views of both The West and America, and it's those positive views that get into the craw of faux leftists like Timothy G.A.

24 Feb 2011
Send an emailLugo

I guess they're not sniffing at her for being a nasty little home-wrecker who took a married man away from his wife and three children?

24 Feb 2011
Send an emailRobert Sharpe

Lugo - the Guardian hates families.

24 Feb 2011

Is she the wrong kind of black or the wrong kind of uppity?

She is an ex-Muslim, and as such, challenges the narrative of Islamic victimhood, upon which the wheels of the Guardian worldview are greased. There is no other minority, group or individual who is not expendable to the Guardian-istas when it comes to Islam and Muslims - they must be supreme and subservient to the needs of the religion of Islam and its adherents, no matter what they say or do, they are to be protected. Ayaan is a black African woman, a woman from a minority who faces misogyny and potentially racism - but because Islam must dominate, to the white liberal establishment, she must be slandered, demonised, marginalised and ignored. The dogs of Islam must be fed and kept happy - and the white liberals must be obedient to their masters.

24 Feb 2011
Send an emailMary Jackson

Lugo - must you add illiteracy to your many charms?

"They embarked on their relationship a few months later, shortly after his separation from his wife of 16 years, Sue Douglas ..."

Ferguson had already split up from his wife before they got together. But it isn't her being a home wrecker that you (wrongly) object to really, is it? It's the fact that she's black.

24 Feb 2011
Send an emailreactionry
Ali, Ali, Oxen Gored
Or: Look, See, Hear, Say
Or: Not Waving A Trial
      But Drowning A Sailor
Not having read the full text, I almost "convicted" that good woman on the basis of Lugo's Hirsi  "evidence"
And no, Lugo, those weren't Pearl Baileys* in his eyes.
Hooked On Phoenicians,
TS Eliot
* Also see That White Boy's Good Enough For Me

24 Feb 2011
Christina McIntosh

The most important thing about this relationship is that she seems to be bringing him up to scratch on Islam. She's teaching, and he seems to be willing to learn.

And I guess going out with a woman who has to have a brace of permanent bodyguards because of the real and permanent danger of Muslim sharia-enforcing assassins coming through the door, the window, or the ceiling, must concentrate the mind wonderfully.  I wonder whether he's acquired a firearm to keep under the pillow, yet?

25 Feb 2011
Send an emailreactionry
Somali Folies Bergère*
Or: Knife Takes Wife
Or: Wants & Warrants
       And Wanton Desires
As things now stand, Mary stands accused of being a Virago [Lugo's last comment deleted?] and Lugo, something of an Iago, and my thing is still standing without need of Viagra, because I see nothing wrong with an old white ram tupping a black ewe. To put it another way, that Lady is my shepherdess and I shall not be wantin' to get the flock out of here.
Wham, Bam,
Thank You, Iman,
David "The Knife" Bowie
Not Tagged: There's Always Room For Othello, Desdemona Rides Again, Uppity-Schtuppity,  Ziggy Stardust, I Like Totally Get Jiggy 24/7

5 Aug 2014
Send an emailAbha Patel
Sanjay, what is so sad in our culture and Hinduism is the practice of Sati when a widow was burnt alive with the corpse of her husband. Fortunately, this practice is rare but still there is dark stigma attached to widowhood and they are considered unlucky and only allowed to wear white. Also the biggest tragedy of modern day India is bride burning. If a wife does not materially satisfy her husband and his family, she may be burned alive and it is made to look like an accident. The number of women burning to death in India is staggering. We need to do something about it. Sanjay, honestly we need to clean our own closet from the million skeletons that we are hiding.