Ken Connor

America's obsession with political correctness is undermining our security and our Constitution. So argues newly-initiated American citizen Ayaan Hirsi Ali in an article suggesting that the United States do more to screen out "political Islamists" from its pool of aspiring citizens.

Famous for her controversial book, Infidel, Ms. Ali knows better than most the potent influence that political Islam wields. Raised in a Muslim home and living in several Muslim dominated countries, she experienced the outworking of Islamic thought in her own life and found its subjugation of women to be intolerable. When she and her friend, Dutch filmmaker Theodore van Gogh, produced a film detailing the exploitation of women under Islam, they experienced the backlash firsthand. Van Gogh was murdered by Muslim avengers for daring to criticize Islam, and Ali was forced into hiding to avoid the same fate.

The kind of radicalism on display in the murder of Van Gogh, the hacking to death of a British soldier last week in London, the Fort Hood massacre, the 9/11 terror attacks, the Boston bombing and similar terror attacks are the outworking of what Ali refers to as "political" Islam. Different from a purely spiritual interpretation of the Prophet's teachings (which was, for a time, the more common expression of Islam in the Middle East), political Islam "prescribes a set of specific social, economic and legal practices in a way that is very different from the more general social teachings (such as calls to practice charity or strive for justice) found in the spiritual dimension of Islam, Christianity, Judaism and other world religions."

For this reason, Ali concludes, political Islam is fundamentally incompatible with liberal democracy and the kind of pluralistic society that flows from it. America is a land that cherishes equality and freedom and provides a legally protected sphere for these things. So long as the rule of law is observed and no harm is done to their neighbor, Americans have a great deal of latitude in how they live their lives and what they believe. They are free to worship God or not. They are free to live lives of moral purity, or to engage in what some would call sin and licentiousness. Women can choose to remain in the home, or they can pursue a career. The list goes on and on.


Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.