Ayaan Hirsi Ali strikes back at "character assassination": At least critics didn't "put me on a hit list"

The vocal critic of Islam tells Megyn Kelly why she thinks her campaign against Islam is being "smeared"

By Scott Eric Kaufman
April 22, 2015 4:24PM (UTC)
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Megyn Kelly and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Screen shot)

On "The Kelly File" last night, controversial Islamic critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke to Megyn Kelly about the responses to her new book, "Heretic" -- responses she believes aids ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalist groups in their quest to gain a toehold on American soil.

The pair began by discussing Carla Power's recent review in Time and Haroon Moghul's Salon article (originally published by Salon partner Religion Dispatches) on how Ali is "hurting Islam." Kelly read from the Time review, which claimed that Ali's book was "a book that reads like a home-made intellectual bomb -- a cobbling together of the most vicious examples from Muslim societies."

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Ali replied that unlike her critics "in the Muslim world," at least these critics didn't "put me on a hit list." They have more in common with the so-called "honor brigades," which she said engage in "smear tactics" and "character assassination."

"Books are not explosives," Ali said, urging her critics to realize that because the violence in Yemen and Syria is "coming to us at home now," they need to be putting "solutions on the table" instead of criticizing her.

Ali went on to say that Americans need to stop deluding themselves into believing that Islam is "a religion of peace," as evidenced by the spread of ISIS across the Middle East, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the recent attempt by six young Somalis to leave the United States in order to go on jihad overseas.

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She concluded by reminding Kelly's audience that she has proposed a five-point plan to amend what ails Islam.

Watch the entire interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali below via Fox News.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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