“The Orlando massacre,” writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “is a hideous reminder to Americans that homophobia is an integral part of Islamic extremism.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born writer, activist and founder of the AHA Foundation, which works to defend women around the world from religious and cultural oppression. You may remember her name from the Brandeis University dustup. Brandeis disinvited Ms. Hirsi to receive an honorary degree because protesters at Brandeis accused her of being “Islamphobic.”
Explaining why Omar Mateen could be motivated to murder 49 people in a gay nightclub, Ms. Hirsi offers the following:
- Muslim homophobia is institutionalized. Islamic law as derived from scripture, and as evolved over several centuries, not only condemns but prescribes cruel and unusual punishments for homosexuality.
- Many Muslim-majority countries have laws that criminalize and punish homosexuals in line with Islamic law.
- It is thus not surprising that the attitudes of Muslims in Muslim-majority countries are homophobic and that many people from those countries take those attitudes with them when they migrate to the West.
- The rise of modern Islamic extremism has worsened the intolerance toward homosexuality. Extremists don’t just commit violence against LGBT people. They also spread the prejudice globally by preaching that homosexuality is a disease and a crime.
The Orlando shootings are not the fault of lax gun laws, as President Obama maintains. Ms. Hirsi points out that there has been comparable carnage in countries with strict gun laws. Instead she argues, “It is about a deeply dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of religion. Homophobia comes in many forms. But none is more dangerous in our time than the Islamic version.”
More from Ali here in a recent video from The New Criterion: