Newsweek picked up on this theme, today releasing its new cover story by with the headline “MUSLIM RAGE” and a photo of angry Muslims:
Somali-born Dutch AEI scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the cover story’s author. In the article, Hirsi Ali claims that extremist Muslims “are not a fringe group“:
The Muslim men and women (and yes, there are plenty of women) who support — whether actively or passively — the idea that blasphemers deserve to suffer punishment are not a fringe group. On the contrary, they represent the mainstream of contemporary Islam.
In a speech back in May, Hirsi Ali expressed sympathy for one of the justifications for Norwegian anti-Muslim terrorist Anders Breivik‘s attacks, explaining that Breivik said “he had no other choice but to use violence” because his fringe views were “censored.” Breivik was convicted of mass murder last month, which he admitted to perpetuating in order to save Europe from a “Muslim takeover.”
As this blog has previously noted, in a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine, Hirsi Ali called for Islam to be “defeated.” The interviewer asked: “Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?” Hirsi Ali replied bluntly: “No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.”
Newsweek responds: “This weeks Newsweek cover accurately depicts the events of the past week as violent protests have erupted in the Middle East (including Morocco where the cover image was taken).”
On MSNBC’s Last Word last night, host Lawrence O’Donnell asked Hirsi Ali to explain what she meant by “punishment” in her Newsweek article:
O’DONNELL: But you do go on to say that the point you’ve just made, that there are plenty of Muslim men and women who support — I’m quoting you now, “who support, whether actively or passively, the idea that blasphemers deserve to suffer punishment.” But the punishment could be something minor, couldn`t it? When you use the word punishment, that would include something far less than the violent things we`ve seen.
HIRSI ALI: Oh, yeah. You know, some of my Muslim friends, their way of punishing me was to simply not talk to me or to say you are a liar and a traitor and call me names. So there is a whole range of things that you can do between, you know, disapproving of an act to engaging in murder.