Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Free Press, 368 pages, $26
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has attracted many notable enemies in her life: not only the Muslim terrorists and wannabe-terrorists who threaten to kill her and who did kill her collaborator on the film Submission, Theo van Gogh, but also a strange band of pundits and politicians whom she has provoked and irritated out of their ideological comfort-zones. Struggling to come to terms with the current world situation, such people opt to attack the person who has identified the problem rather than deal with the problem itself.
In Murder in Amsterdam, Ian Buruma sneered at Hirsi Ali’s “zealousness” in defending the values of the enlightenment. This condescending jibe caught on. In reviewing Buruma’s book for The New York Review of Books, Timothy Garton Ash described Hirsi Ali as a “slightly simplistic enlightenment...