Let's Take Them On!
The freedom of Holland allowed her to leave Islam and live a much better life. Yet she told a story of how young Moslem women in Holland are held back not so much by the state but by the chains of religion. Islam is a “superstition” that relies on “fear” of divine punishment. It teaches women to submit and children to obey; the fear of God is ultimately ingrained in the willing believer. The “individual” learns to conform to the “collective.” She stressed repeatedly that individualism is the enemy of Islam.
We must maintain our “vigilance.” “Individual happiness” and “individual freedom,” which we enjoy in abundance, “can’t be taken for granted.” Our “Enlightenment” heritage is threatened by “irrational” superstition that seeks to “subordinate the individual.” She ended her speech with a firm call to arms: “Let’s take them on!”
In her answer to questions she touched upon Holland’s “welfare system,” alleged “hijacking” of Islam, the limits of democracy, the inherent contradiction between Islam and liberalism, the hopelessness of Islam as a doctrine, and the hope for Muslims as a people.
When asked about encountering religious Americans she said that in the “seven to eight months” here she has “not been confronted with that much religiosity” because here you can “choose who to associate.” She said that most of what she hears about American fundamentalists doesn’t bother her except for the prospects of teaching “Creationism” in the schools. You should not teach “superstition in the science class.” Otherwise, she says, here you are free to go your own way mainly because we are not forced together by an overbearing state--in contract to Holland.
The theme of individualism, both personally and politically, was woven through out her speech and answers to questions. The audience was quite receptive.