Last week, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Q. Nomani testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. During the hearing, they weren’t asked any questions about political Islam by the Democratic women on the panel — an experience they argue is emblematic of a troubling trend among progressives to overlook the brutal reality of Islamist extremism. In “They Brushed Off Kamala Harris. Then She Brushed Us Off,” they write: “When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.”
The piece has nearly 1,000 comments. Below, the authors address some reader questions, which have been edited for clarity and length.
FDR ASKS: Fellow progressives, hear me out …
These ladies have a point. The left in general has given a pass to Islamism. We need to be able to criticize Islam’s worst without fear from political correctness. We need to demand from Muslim friends and colleagues the same, as well as verbal acceptance of basic Western and Enlightenment values such as women’s equality.
Let’s recapture the discourse and this banner from the right.
AYAAN HIRSI ALI ANSWERS:
I think this is a good way to approach the subject of Shariah and in particular the attitudes of many Muslims to the rights of women, the L.G.B.T. community, blasphemy laws, apostasy and dissent.