Ayaan Hirsi Ali, like Ilhan Omar, is from Somalia. Hirsi Ali underwent extensive Islamist brainwashing to make her hate Jews, which she describes in the article below from the Wall Street Journal. (It’s paywalled, but judicious inquiry might yield a copy.)
Hirsi Ali’s description of the Jew-hatred endemic in Islam, and how it’s drilled into you at every turn, is scary. It happens at home, it happens in the mosques, it happens in the madrassas, and, since in countries like Somalia, Islam is both a personal faith and a public ideology, you can’t avoid it.
Say what you will about Judaism, the inculcated hatred of Muslims and Islam is not endemic in that faith. Sure, you can probably find instances of rabbis teaching others to despise Islam, but you’d be hard pressed to make the case that formal education in hatred of the “other” is equally pervasive in both Judaism and Islam.
Hirsi Ali overcame her hatred of Jews, but pulls no punches about claiming that her fellow Somali Ilhan Omar is still afflicted with it—as do I. Dislike of Israel and Jews is characteristic of “progressive” Democrats, and was inevitable the moment that Palestinians were deemed to be “persons of color”. Intersectionality theory is, after all, a hallmark of Leftist “progressives.”
One thing that got Omar accused of anti-Semitism was this pair of tweets insinuating that American politicians’ defense of Israel was the result of financial contributions from pro-Israel lobbying organizations (“Benjamins” are $100 bills, which bear the image of Benjamin Franklin):
. . . and AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee:
Hirsi Ali, to her credit, is less interested in demonizing Omar than in correcting the record about lobbying and laying bare the brainwashing behind Islamic anti-Semitism. Here is here aim:
Some of the members of my 2006 AJC [American Jewish Committee] audience have asked me to explain and respond to Ms. Omar’s comments, including her equivocal apologies. Their main question is whether it is possible for Ms. Omar to unlearn her evident hatred of Jews—and if so, how to help.
In my experience it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to unlearn hate without coming to terms with how you learned to hate. Most Americans are familiar with the classic Western flavors of anti-Semitism: the Christian, European, white-supremacist and Communist types. But little attention has been paid to the special case of Muslim anti-Semitism. That is a pity because today it is anti-Semitism’s most zealous, most potent and most underestimated form.
She then tells us how she learned to hate Jews.
Here are some monetary figures from her article:
Spreading anti-Semitism through all these channels is no trivial matter—and this brings us to the question of resources. “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Ms. Omar tweeted in February, implying that American politicians support Israel only because of Jewish financial contributions. The irony is that the resources available to propagate Islamist ideologies, with their attendant anti-Semitism, vastly exceed what pro-Israel groups spend in the U.S. Since the early 1970s the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has spent vast sums to spread Wahhabi Islam abroad. Much of this funding is opaque, but estimates of the cumulative sum run as high as $100 billion.
Thousands of schools in Pakistan, funded with Saudi money, “teach a version of Islam that leads [to] anti-Western militancy,” according to Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy—and, one might add, to an anti-Semitic militancy.
In recent years the Saudi leadership has tried to turn away from supporting this type of religious radicalism. But increasingly Qatar seems to be taking over the Saudi role. In the U.S. alone, the Qatar Foundation has given $30.6 million over the past eight years to public schools, ostensibly for teaching Arabic and promoting cultural exchange.
. . .The allegation that Jewish or Zionist money controls Congress is nonsensical. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that the Israeli government has spent $34 million on lobbying in Washington since 2017. The Saudis and Qataris spent a combined $51 million during the same period. If we include foreign nongovernmental organizations, the pro-Israel lobbying figure rises to $63 million—less than the $68 million spent lobbying for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2018 domestic American pro-Israeli lobbying—including but not limited to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac—totaled $5.1 million. No comparable figures are available for domestic pro-Islamist lobbying efforts. But as journalist Armin Rosen observes, Aipac’s 2018 total, at $3.5 million, was less than either the American Association of Airport Executives or the Association of American Railroads spent on lobbying. Aipac’s influence has more to do with the power of its arguments than the size of its wallet.
And Hirsi Ali’s diagnosis, which I think is accurate:
The problem of Muslim anti-Semitism is much bigger than Ilhan Omar. Condemning her, expelling her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, or defeating her in 2020 won’t make the problem go away.
Islamists have understood well how to couple Muslim anti-Semitism with the American left’s vague notion of “social justice.” They have succeeded in couching their agenda in the progressive framework of the oppressed versus the oppressor. Identity politics and victimhood culture also provide Islamists with the vocabulary to deflect their critics with accusations of “Islamophobia,” “white privilege” and “insensitivity.” A perfect illustration was the way Ms. Omar and her allies were able to turn a House resolution condemning her anti-Semitism into a garbled “intersectional” rant in which Muslims emerged as the most vulnerable minority in the league table of victimhood.
This is why, if you scratch an Islamic politician, you often hear victimhood narratives, as with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that Nancy Pelosi was attacking the four House Justice Democrats because they were young women of color. That ticks three boxes at once.
Hirsi Ali’s cure is “to check the advance of the mass movement that is Muslim anti-Semitism.” Good luck with that: I see little hope on that front. But the “reform” message is central to Hirsi Ali’s latest book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now. By coupling itself to a pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist narrative, the Left is not only tacitly embracing anti-Semitism in both the U.S. and U.K., but helping Trump, who bills himself as a defender of Israel.
Hirsi Ali is right about the Muslim reformation, but all her calls have gotten her—and she is not a “strident” person—is expulsion from the Left and death threats from Muslims, to the extent that she needs bodyguards. This is shameful. We should be embracing her.