ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


News Flash: Bin Laden Quotes Quran! by mattsteinglass
February 27, 2007, 11:39 pm
Filed under: Islam, Netherlands

Anne Applebaum has an irritating column today in Slate praising Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I like Ayaan Hirsi Ali (to the extent that one can be said to “like” a media personality one has never met), partly because she speaks Dutch with a level of idiomatic correctness which I am unlikely ever to attain despite being married to a Dutch woman, and partly because she weds contrarian aggression and graceful hauteur in a fashion I really, uh, dig in chicks. (Viz. the wife.) But Applebaum singles out her most questionable qualities for praise — the qualities that demand indulgence rather than admiration. Here’s a line that really bugged me:

After Sept. 11, 2001, horrified by some of the things Osama Bin Laden was saying, she reached for the Quran to confirm a hunch: “I hated to do it,” she wrote, “because I knew that I would find bin Laden’s quotations in there.”

Why does Applebaum have to take, as a sign of Ali’s great bravery, her willingness to consider the idea that Islam is inherently pro-terrorist? I mean, I know why Applebaum does this, but it really, really bugs me that she does. Let’s put it this way: something suggests to me that Torquemada probably quoted the Bible, on occasion.

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