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Interview (03 Jul 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)

US Should Pressurise Saudi Arabia to End Its Stance on Radical Islam: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

By Rohit E David

July 3, 2017

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the world’s most forceful feminist critics of extremist Islamism, senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of several books including ‘Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now’. She spoke to Rohit E David on US President Donald Trump’s recent outreach to Saudi Arabia, the recent change of guard within the Saudi royal family and its impact on radical Islam and Middle East politics:

What is your view of US President Donald Trump courting Saudi Arabia during his visit there?

One of President Trump’s campaign promises was to eradicate the ideology of radical Islam and to kick start the economy. It’s absolutely true that you have to go to Saudi Arabia because that’s where the heart of radical Islam lies. The trade relationship is a contradiction. If the US wants to have trade relations with Saudi Arabia then they should pressurise them to change their stand on radical Islam. I feel that Saudi Arabia can eradicate radical Islam from within the country on its own because they fund their ideology. Saudi Arabia and US have no values in common. This relationship is unworkable.

What hopes do you have from Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman?

I hope he succeeds and takes on the clerical establishment of Saudi Arabia. The new crown prince wants to modernise the Saudi economy. He seems to want to make Saudi Arabia like UAE. If he succeeds then radical Islamists would have to take a back seat. The institution of clergy in Saudi Arabia is very strong. I feel there will be a fight between the young prince and clergy. I hope he wins and Salman definitely has Donald Trump on his side.

Isn’t this US-Saudi realignment a big break from the Obama administration?

When Saudi Arabia quarantined Qatar, US was not convinced that Qatar was the only black sheep. Former US President Barack Obama had empowered Iran by having a deal with them. Now, we are back to having a relation of hostility between Iran and US.

What do you think of Trump’s talk of a Sunni coalition with Israel to take on Iran?

This is much more complex than Trump believes. America has relations with other nation-states and there are tribes and sects within the Middle East. The idea of a Sunni coalition taking on Iran is easier said than done. Egypt wants Saudi Arabia as its Muslim ally to fight against Iran. The Egyptian government is terrified of radical Islamists. No one is talking about Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey has Islamised the entire country. He is seen as the caliph of all Muslims. He is a Sunni and his relationship with Saudi Arabia and Egypt is really bad.

Do you feel that Trump’s visit has revamped US Middle East policy?

What was that policy? It has always been a very chaotic relationship after the fall of Soviet Union. Till now, it was a one-sided relationship where the US gave these countries what they wanted. In return, America didn’t get much back.

I think the Saudi visit was a transactional gesture by President Trump. During his campaign Trump had said that he is a deal-maker. I think at this point he feels that he can make a deal with the Saudis. We should wait and watch to see when the deal is made.

Trump has urged Muslim leaders to lead the fight against radicalisation. Your response?

Muslim leaders will fight and some are fighting radical Islamists only when it threatens their own power.

What is the primary problem with radical Islam?

Radical Islamists are promoting a global world view which is destabilising us. Look at all the civil wars which radical Muslims have started. Bangladesh is well in the frame to become a serious democracy. There are established madrasas in Dhaka where a lot of money is coming from Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries. These seminaries produce people who hack people to death simply because they don’t agree with them. The reaction by the Bangladeshi government is to silence the ones who are speaking. Pakistan has not made up its mind where it stands on radical Islamists. Compare Pakistan to India. India is a thriving economy but Pakistan has made itself a backward country because of radical Islamists.

Should triple Talaq stay in Islam?

It is glaringly unfair to women. India being a democracy should reject this completely and all other aspects of Sharia.

How do you respond to those who call you anti-Islam?

It is nonsense. I reject Sharia.

Source: blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-interviews-blog/us-should-pressurise-saudi-arabia-to-end-its-stance-on-radical-islam-their-relationship-is-unworkable/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/interview/rohit-e-david/us-should-pressurise-saudi-arabia-to-end-its-stance-on-radical-islam--ayaan-hirsi-ali/d/111752


  • This is just more political speak. I am a woman, where in America, the hammer is coming down, on my rights, in the name of religion. Called Christianity. I don't agree with this conversation or what this person speaks of. This is just about an agenda that is being carried on in the name of stupidity or hate. Trust me, America Right wing shouts Sharia anytime they can. I laugh. Sharia is not a part of American law...and many of the people who can be swayed...shout out about it, but really, have no clue. For the educated we call them Sheeples. However, what is going on is pretty ugly. I have heard, the Muslims kill dogs, rape their women and create wars. Well, this is a bit on nonsense that is going on. However, the Right wing media here will do anything to create hate. I am not of that. The knowledge of what the Qur'an is about is insidious at best to them. They don't care. They just want to vilify you. It is preached or subversively said because of Fox, Breitbart.com, ..whatever. It is not about truth. It is about propaganda. Please now that. If you go to Breitbart.com and just read the comments, it is not a hello Jesus Moment. It is hateful. This is of Steve Bannon and Mr. Bannon is a strategist for Mr. Trump. I have just come to say. Heads Up... In The Light
    By Amy - 7/4/2017 8:02:55 PM

  • So, I say this with much love.  To have the United States stand up to anything, or any other country, will not happen.

    The countries and the world is broken.  It got sold off by politicians, corporations, religions, power and control.

    I say this with the utmost love to get any one to stand up for anything, that is righteous.  How do do that?   That is the question, which is illusive right now.

    By Amy - 7/4/2017 7:30:06 PM

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