Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

The Caged Virgin

This streaming video shows an interview with ex-muslim, secular humanist and feminist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali Wafa Sultan, discussing her beliefs about the clash between Islam and “the West”: essentially she argues this is a clash between the Middle Ages and all it represents and the 21st Century, and all it represents. I would like to expand her ideas to include all religious fundamentalism, such as what is happening in America today with our own homegrown religious wingnuts.

Okay, thanks to a reader, I now know that I mixed up Wafa Sultan with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is the author of a book, The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam. Nonetheless, this book is highly recommended to me by a journalist-friend of mine and appears to agree with the position that is presented in tooe video clip by Wafa Sultan.


  1. #1 Arafat
    August 3, 2006

    Umm… that’s not Ayaan Ali, that’s Wafa Sultan

    Ayaan Ali is the former Dutch member of Parliament who wrote “The Caged Virgin:…”.

    Just to clear up any confusion.

    Also, she does expand her argument to include all religions, but due to her audience, she concentrates on Islam.

    Excellent clip nonetheless and thanks for posting it.

  2. #2 GrrlScientist
    August 3, 2006

    thanks for the correction.

  3. #3 Filipe
    August 3, 2006

    Hedwig, Dutch politics is very strange, I don’t think you would like to associate with Ayaan Hirsi Ali at all. Despite her take on homosexuality and women rights, she is from a right-wing party that would make most of the American republican party look liberal in issues related to imigration and minority rights.

  4. #4 Black Rat
    August 3, 2006

    Filipe, I think you’ll find that Hirsi Ali’s politics are her own. She moved parties in the Dutch parliament to join the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)which is regarded as a centre-right, free market or conservative liberal party. It’s rather academic now anyway as she resigned from parliamentary politics in May and as from September this year, will be emigrating to the US.

    Hedwig, not been able to check out the video, but I will do as soon as I’m back in the UK. And make sure you get a copy of the Caged Virgin; can’t recommend it highly enough. Also, you might like to check out Muhajababes, by Allegra Stanton, a BBC journalist. It’s got a degree of synchronicity with the Caged Virgin, but covers in more depth the ‘westernisation’ of young Muslim women.

  5. #5 Filipe
    August 3, 2006

    Black rat, she clearly stated in a newspaper interview that she thought it was ok to make special checks in any muslims applying for jobs because they might be terrorists. This fits the definition of racism. At least it is what some Dutch friends told me (I can not read dutch).

  6. #6 Black Rat
    August 4, 2006

    Filipe, she does indeed say that she believes that special checks for muslims might be beneficial, but she expands at length on her reasons for this in The Caged Virgin and makes a good point.

    You can’t take it in isolation though; it needs to be seen in context against the arguments she presents regarding the malaise that is Islam. Read her book and then tell me that you think she’s racist.

  7. #7 Martin
    August 5, 2006

    Are you a heretic? There’s no point in rebuking you.

    Yeah, that really refutes her arguments. Put her in her place, didn’t you? *sheesh*
    What this world needs is a whole bunch more Wafa Sultans (and a whole bunch less of the delusional f**kwits similar to her debate partner…y’know: The Pat Robertsons, Ken Hamms et al. of this planet.)

  8. #8 Mike D.
    August 8, 2006

    “I would like to expand her ideas to include all religious fundamentalism, such as what is happening in America today with our own homegrown religious wingnuts.”

    When was the last time you saw Christians rioting and slitting throats over stuff like “Piss Christ”?

  9. #9 andre
    March 6, 2007

    If you can’t tell this is scripted Jewish propaganda, you need a catscan.

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