Here’s an outrageous story. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born woman who escaped an arranged marriage and emigrated to the West to avoid Muslim brutality, recently spoke in Pennsylvania but her appearance was protested by an Imam who called for her death for apostasy:
Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali’s appearance.
“She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death,” said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976.
Let me explain something to you, Imam. Religions don’t have laws, governments do. Religions have rules which are followed voluntarily by those who choose – note that word – to be members of that religion. If they choose no longer to follow those rules, you are of course entirely free to kick them out of your religion. What you cannot do – and this is a real law – is threaten them or harm them. Period. This is not negotiable, it’s not optional and if you insist on doing so you’re going to find yourself in prison where you belong.
Just listen to how insanely malevolent this guy is:
Although ElBayly believes a death sentence is warranted for Hirsi Ali, he stressed that America is not the jurisdiction where such a crime should be punished. Instead, Hirsi Ali should be judged in a Muslim country after being given a trial, he added.
“If it is found that a person is mentally unstable, or a child or disabled, there should be no punishment,” he said. “It’s a very merciful religion if you try to understand it.”
Oh yeah, you sure make it sound like one. If an adult makes a rational decision to leave your barbaric religion, you stone them to death. That’s the very definition of merciful. Here’s the most galling part to me, found in this story from a week earlier before the speech took place when the university met with this nut and another nut as they tried to cancel the speech:
Fouad ElBayly, president of the Islamic Center of Johnstown, and Mahmood A. Qazi, its founder and past president, met with Jerry Samples, Pitt-Johnstown’s vice president for academic and student affairs…
Samples said his meeting with ElBayly and Qazi was congenial.
“They expressed their concerns and I understand their concerns,” he said…
Qazi, who has resided in the region for approximately 13 years, said the Muslim community here gets along well with others.
“I don’t want this woman (Hirsi Ali) to create dissension among us,” he said. “I don’t want her to poison anyone’s mind.”
In a letter to Etheridge, Qazi said area Muslims are “enraged and deeply hurt” by the event.
The proper response: fuck your concerns. You do not have a right not to be offended by the views of others, you do not have a right to try and shut people up for offending you, and the moment you begin to issue death threats you’ve lost any right to be taken seriously or to have your feelings or concerns considered anything but insane and barbaric. Forget about Ali poisoning anyone’s minds, your minds are already poisoned with the delusion that your hurt feelings give you the right to kill someone for criticizing you.
And here’s an American Muslim who gets it and is calling out these Imams:
Hirsi Ali’s freedom of expression must be protected, and it is here that Voltaire’s famous quote is most operable (“I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to my death your right to say it”). The irony of it all is that in one stupid, dangerous statement, ElBayly has succeeded in “defaming” Islam more than Hirsi Ali ever could.