Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Heroine and the Pissant

 

The heroine is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whom Peter Robinson featured along with Peter Berkowitz on his latest Uncommon Knowledge program. It was a pleasure listening to these three thoughtful, serious people discussing timeless ideas of overwhelming and immediate importance. It was also a stark reminder that in this hyper-political moment, but also in our general age of facile discourse and ceaseless sensationalism, not everyone is obsessed with the shallow hyperbole of contrived identitarianism and manufactured grievance: there remain enduring and worthy ideas, and people of substance continue to engage them.

I have followed the career of Ayaan Hirsi Ali since the English-language publication of Infidel, her autobiography, in 2007. This is a woman who has experienced the oppressive and crushing ideology of political Islam; lived it, escaped it, and then risked her life to expose it. As people are murdered in France this week for the crime of insulting the barbaric doctrines of an intolerant faith, Ms. Ali and a handful of people like her accept the very real risks of being prominent and outspoken critics of sharia law and Islamic supremacism.

The pissant is Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and legions of smug self-righteous censorious cowards cut from the same cloth. These people, and Dorsey is merely the most blatant example of a contemptible lot, enjoy positions of security and privilege extraordinary by any historical or contemporary standard. Yet, while Hirsi Ali heroically fights to share ideas the expression of which invite a murderous fatwa, these spoiled apparatchiks of a ruling high-tech elite casually silence ideas they deem in violation of the prevailing orthodoxy. Rather than brave a real threat of physical violence in retaliation for their bold speech, they fear the expression of competing ideas and the possibility of an open and robust dialog.

The cowardly thought police of social media and the leftist press, in their eagerness to suppress any challenge to their preferred orthodoxy, have much in common with the jihadi enforcers of Islamic orthodoxy: they are all intolerant, close-minded, self-righteous betrayers of the west’s noble intellectual tradition. And their conduct makes them unworthy of that tradition.

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  1. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    A few years ago I heard Hirsi Ali speak at Yale. She was quite impressive. Her visit had been the subject of protests lead by the Muslim Students Association which demanded she be barred from speaking. The President of Yale did not give in to the protests. I am not sure we would see the same outcome today.

    A couple of weeks later I went to Yale Law School to see Rachid al-Ghanouchi, the Islamist leader of Tunisia, speak. Ghanouchi had approved the fatwa providing religious endorsement of the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and denounced Israel as a “bacillus” that needed to be removed from the region. No one protested or objected to his visit.

    • #1
    • October 29, 2020, at 10:01 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette: The pissant is Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and legions of smug self-righteous censorious cowards cut from the same cloth. These people — and Dorsey is merely the most blatant example of a contemptible lot — enjoy positions of security and privilege extraordinary by any historical or contemporary standard. Yet, while Hirsi Ali heroically fights to share ideas the expression of which invite a murderous fatwa, these spoiled apparatchiks of a ruling high-tech elite casually silence ideas they deem in violation of the prevailing orthodoxy. Rather than brave a real threat of physical violence in retaliation for their bold speech, they fear the expression of competing ideas and the possibility of an open and robust dialog.

    Henry,

    You have it exactly. While the truly brilliant and brave languish, the shallow scum rise to the top. Here is the opening line of a prayer we say on Wednesday at minyan.

    O Gd of vengeance, Hashem; O Gd of vengeance, appear! Arise, O Judge of the earth, render recompense to the haughty. How long shall the wicked – O Hashem – how long shall the wicked exult?

    How long indeed.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
    • October 29, 2020, at 10:08 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Mim526 Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: The pissant is Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and legions of smug self-righteous censorious cowards cut from the same cloth. These people — and Dorsey is merely the most blatant example of a contemptible lot — enjoy positions of security and privilege extraordinary by any historical or contemporary standard. Yet, while Hirsi Ali heroically fights to share ideas the expression of which invite a murderous fatwa, these spoiled apparatchiks of a ruling high-tech elite casually silence ideas they deem in violation of the prevailing orthodoxy. Rather than brave a real threat of physical violence in retaliation for their bold speech, they fear the expression of competing ideas and the possibility of an open and robust dialog.

    Henry,

    You have it exactly. While the truly brilliant and brave languish, the shallow scum rise to the top. Here is the opening line of a prayer we say on Wednesday at minyan.

    O Gd of vengeance, Hashem; O Gd of vengeance, appear! Arise, O Judge of the earth, render recompense to the haughty. How long shall the wicked – O Hashem – how long shall the wicked exult?

    How long indeed.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Often lately when I pray about situations facing us this election these words from Longfellow come to my mind:

    And in despair I bowed my head:
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said,
    “For hate is strong and mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
    The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good will to men.”

    Lots of hate and mockery of our Bill of Rights freedoms going on in the US which may get worse before better, but it is inferior against people who refuse to lose those freedoms (good thing Madison, Jefferson, Washington et al recognized they were granted by our creator and not mankind.)

    • #3
    • October 29, 2020, at 10:49 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    Off-Topic … kind of: So I was doing a crossword puzzle and in the bottom left, going down, was a seven-letter word for “Type of ant” that started with “P-I-S.” I hurriedly, and confidently, put in “Pissant” and proceeded to finish the puzzle … The next day I learned it was “Pismire,” a urinating ant, not the “Pissant” I jotted down with flair … Darn “Pissant” screwed up my whole puzzle!

    On the plus side, I’ve never forgotten “Pismire.” I have since filed it and “Yma Sumac” away for future crosswords.

    • #4
    • October 30, 2020, at 5:38 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Blondie Thatcher

    I enjoyed this podcast immensely. Made me wish I were back in college. I took 2 classes that were like this podcast, question thrown out and we all debated and discussed the issues around the question. One was a senior level history class, the other was Christian ethics with an emphasis on medical issues. If I had not been a nursing student, I’d have taken more courses like this, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t have made a living off whatever degree I ended up with. Guess I’m getting that education now. :)

    • #5
    • October 30, 2020, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 3 likes