Islam, a religion of peace — and Kalashnikovs

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a very interesting article in the Sunday Times. It’s behind the paywall of course, hence just the first and last paragraphs.. 

Appeasement of jihadists will always backfire on the West, says Ayaan Hirsi Ali. 

This was not an attack by a mentally deranged, lone-wolf gunman. This was not an “un-Islamic” attack by a bunch of thugs — the perpetrators could be heard shouting that they were avenging the prophet Muhammad. Nor was it spontaneous. If there is a lesson to be drawn from such a grisly episode, it is that what we believe about Islam truly doesn’t matter. This type of violence, jihad, is what they, the Islamists, believe. 

We have to acknowledge that today’s Islamists are driven by a political ideology, an ideology embedded in the foundational texts of Islam. We can no longer pretend that it is possible to divorce actions from the ideals that inspire them…

This would be a departure for the West, which too often has responded to jihadist violence with appeasement. Muslim leaders ask us not to link acts of violence to the religion of Islam because they tell us theirs is a religion of peace — and we oblige. What do we get in return? Kalashnikovs in the heart of Paris. The more we oblige, the more we self-censor, the more we appease, the bolder the enemy gets. It is the obligation of the western media and western leaders, religious and lay, to protect the most basic rights of freedom of expression, whether in satire or any other form.

The West must not appease; it must not be silenced. We must send a united message to the terrorists: your violence cannot destroy our soul. 

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