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August 5, 2007

Hirsi Ali: "You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom"

Interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali in which she says:

"I don't find myself in the same luxury as you. You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom, because you don't know what it is not to have freedom. I haven't. I know there are many things wrong with America, and I know that there are many things wrong with Americans, but I still believe it's the best nation in the world."

Bruce Bawer writes of the interviewer, Avi Lewis: "In place of a mind he seems to have a write-protected file of received leftist opinions." I agree with Bawer when he writes that Lewis is an example of people who "don't get it and don't want to". The US (or "Western society" in general) has plenty of problems. It's easier to get ahead if you're rich and connected, McDonald's will not make you a healthy person, guns kill and endless shopping does not bring lasting happiness. Yet it is one thing to criticize each of these problems individually and another to see them as a sign that everything the West stands for is a mistake - to think that a society is evil if it is not perfect. When something does not work perfectly, it may still be the best possible solution at the time. Liberal democracy is, as Churchill said, the best solution we've come up with so far, and the US has been relatively good at it.

From Bruce Bawer's blog (copied here because there is no stable link to the post):

July 23, 2007 (8:00 P.M., CEST): This interview with Ayaan Hirsi by some Canadian TV guy named Avi Lewis is an instant classic. In a few brief questions he manages to sum up the entire mindset of those who just don't get it and don't want to. She answers each question articulately, definitively, knowledgeably. Yet none of it seems to get through. It's as if he's not programmed to process sense. To think. In place of a mind he seems to have a write-protected file of received leftist opinions. The obnoxiousness with which this lightweight PC mouthpiece sneers at the hard-won wisdom of one of the truly great individuals of our time is breathtaking.

Posted by Julie at August 5, 2007 11:15 PM

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