On Jan. 21, 2017, there was a women’s march in the nation’s capital. Democratic Senator Kamala Harris addressed the audience and said it was time for the nation to prioritize women’s issues.
A week later, President Trump issued an executive order titled: Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals. This order limited travel to the U.S. from certain countries considered “conflict zones.”
Critics immediately labeled the executive order a “Muslim ban.”
Some complained the “Muslim ban” would increase hostility toward the United States and make America more vulnerable to terror attacks. Others felt the threat of Islamic terrorism was exaggerated and the executive order was unnecessary.
But in that seven-day period from the women’s march to the signing of the executive order there were 36 Islamic attacks in 11 countries.
Last month the number of attacks quadrupled in twice as many countries, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing on “Ideology and Terror: Understanding the Tools, Tactics, and Techniques of Violent Extremism.”
Senator Harris was on the committee along with three other women senators from the Democratic Party. The expert witnesses were two women born into Islam, but defected from the faith due to gender-related indignities.
The women were Arsa Nomani and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Nomani is an India-born American activist and a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born Dutch American activist and author of The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Woman and Islam. Both Women testified to distinguish the difference between political Islam and Islam understood by Western concepts of religion.
Hirsi Ali stated the strategy from 9/11 to the present, focusing only on Islamist violence, has failed. That strategy has ignored the ideology that justifies, promotes, celebrates, and encourages violence.
Hirsi Ali also told the senators that political Islam rejects any distinction between religion and politics, mosque and state. Political Islam even rejects the modern state in favor of the caliphate. She concluded by saying there is no point in denying that political Islam as an ideology has its foundation in Islamic doctrine and suggested President Trump’s advocacy of an ideological campaign against “radical Islam” was “refreshing” compared to the previous administration.
What happened next was unexpected. (But shouldn’t have been based on Hirsi Ali’s conclusion.)
The four female Democratic senators ignored the witnesses. They never asked them a single question. The New York Times reported, “Because of this strategy of deflection by the Democratic senators…Hirsi Ali and Nomani spoke for about 15 minutes combined.”
Senator Harris didn’t respond to requests for an explanation for the silent treatment, but Senator Claire McCaskill said, “Anyone who twists and distorts religion is an exception to the rule.” In other words, the female senators viewed Hirsi Ali and Nomani as extremists misrepresenting Islam, and these women senators remained silent to protect Islam’s reputation as a religion of peace.
Afterwards, Nomani and Hirsi Ali co-authored a response published in the Times. The women stated when it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But they’re still waiting for a march against honor killing, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery, and female genital mutilation…
The silence of the Democratic senators is a reflection of contemporary cultural pressures. Call it identity politics, moral relativism, or political correctness – It’s shortsighted, dangerous, and ultimately it is a betrayal of liberal values.
In a poem called “Sympathy,” a poet stated he understood why a caged bird sang. The song was a plea for freedom, but the women senators had no sympathy for the plea from the author of The Caged Virgin.
(J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier. He blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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