May 15, 2019
Islamic anti-Semitism is of a “scale and scope” that most people in the West do not understand and is therefore all the more insidious, the controversial critic of the Muslim religion, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, told a capacity audience at the Jewish Public Library (JPL) in Montreal on May 13.
The Somali-born Ali, 49, grew up being told that Jews were evil and reflexively hated them, even though she had never met one. In her teens, she joined the Muslim Brotherhood, in which she was indoctrinated to believe that Jews were a sub-human enemy and that their state occupies Muslim lands and must be destroyed.
After fleeing to avoid a forced marriage, Ali found refuge in the Netherlands, where her views were transformed. She became an activist for Muslim women’s rights and was elected to the Dutch parliament.
She wrote the short, but incendiary, 2004 film Submission, a critique of Islam’s subjugation of women, whose director, Theo van Gogh, was murdered by a Muslim fundamentalist.