People seem to feel in Europe about Ayaan Hirsi Ali the way they do in America about Tyra, as the Washington Post explains in a profile that begins thusly:
People come along every now and then, idiosyncratic, opinionated, talented, flawed, impossible.
You're telling us! Dave Chappelle. Mary-Kate. Mel. Rachel Ray! Rachel Zoe! Jennifer Weiner! That guy who wrote that Vanity Fair piece claiming women aren't funny...
Anyway, Hirsi Ali is a bestselling memoirist and former member of Dutch Parliament who seems to have made a name for herself condemning Islam. We find this a bit disturbing, because she has also obviously made a name for herself being smoking hot, and being the World's Sexiest Victim of Islam is sort of like being the World's Sexiest Victim of Wal-Mart a la Julie Roehm, the hot blonde self-marketing whiz Wal-Mart fired for being too edgy (and also taking free shit and maybe fucking a subordinate). Anyway, the point is, being a sexy victim is one thing, but marketing oneself as the sexiest victim is kind of tacky when there are like, literally billions of victims, and we have yet to read Ali's completely-sold-out-everywhere Infidel, so we read the Post piece in hopes of forming an only mostly-uneducated opinion to pass on to you.
After the jump, find out whether there's more to Hirsi Ali than raging cheekbones and a fatwa!
True Unbeliever [Washington Post]
She's got true victim cred — though not as much as the dead director of her movie:
She scripted an 11-miute film about the Koran and domestic abuse of women that resulted in the throat-slitting assassination of its director, Theo van Gogh, by a Muslim fanatic. The killer stabbed a note into the dying man's chest. It was addressed to her.
It promised death.
She's Just Like Us!
"All we talked about was manicures and clothes," says Martha Levin, executive vice president and publisher at Free Press, her American publishing house.
"It may be naïve, stupid, irrational, but I'm doing this because I think that if I do, there'll me less honor killings, fewer little girls undergoing female genital mutilation like I did."
She sincerely believes she's smarter than everyone.
[The movie] screening was filmed for television, and when one of the women stressed her objections, Ian Buruma writes, Hirsi Ali dismissed her with a wave of her hand and said, "So long, then."
"It was this wave, this gentle gesture of disdain, this almost aristocratic dismissal of a noisome inferior, that upset her critics more than anything."
She sincerely believes she's smarter than everyone alive right now.
Hirsi Ali sees herself standing in the long light cast by the Western Enlightenment thinkers: Voltaire, John Locke, John Stuart Mill and maybe Thomas Jefferson.
She's sort of a neocon.
The attacks on the Trade Center were not by a "lunatic fringe," she said, but by the very center of the faith: "this was not just Islam, this was the core of Islam...[this was] not frustration, poverty, colonialism, or Israel: it was about religious belief, a one-way ticket to Heaven." ...She stood for office on the Liberal ticket, one of a slate of candidates, and made it into parliament - and immigrant elected on a current of anti-immigrant sentiment.
She's reducing the poor writer to snark:
During the uproar that followed filmmaker van Gogh's murder, there was a television documentary that showed people, including her ex-husband, saying much of what she had said about her arranged marriage was false. It became public knowledge that she had lied on her immigration application..The government, furious, announced she would be stripped of citizenship. That set off another uproar that toppled the ruling coalition of parties, but saved her Dutch nationality.
What's left, after such an ordeal?
The United States, of course.