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Ayaan Hirsi Ali

“I talk at a lot of campuses, and I was at one last night in London where a student got up and started protesting because I had said that an Islamist government was of itself a bad thing, which I think it is. I replied to this student — and it’s not a hard question to ask — ‘Well name one Islamist state that you would want to live in.’ And this is a serious question, ladies and gentlemen. It is also a personal question…

One of my best friends, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is in hiding again tonight because of what she says, and she would be killed if she went into any Muslim country. And I think that matters… We have the great blessing of living under this system. And we take it for granted. And we spit on it. And we can because we’re living in that freedom. But I beg you ladies and gentlemen not to pretend that that means that we shouldn’t assert the superiority of that system, because that is what it is. It is a superior system…

And if we do not stand for our values, ladies and gentlemen, who will? Who will assert them across the Muslim world? Who are the reformers in the Muslim world going to look to when they want to see, and desperately need, separation of church and state? If we do not say that we believe this is the best way to live, who is going to do it elsewhere? As Irshad Manji said a few weeks ago when she was in London: ‘If you give up on us, people like me are dead.’

And ladies and gentlemen, I think we should take that call seriously. To assert the superiority of Western values is to state the obvious. It is to have faith in ourselves and it’s to have faith in other people.”


Some highlights from Douglas Murray’s rousing opening remarks in his debate on the motion ‘Is West Best?’ – Should we be reluctant to assert Western values as superior?.

I’d never heard of Murray until I was just sent this video, and I have to note that it’s one of the strongest short bursts of public speaking I’ve seen in a very, very long time.

  • In related news: Last week, I wrote an open letter to Brandeis University about the imperative to defend Ayaan Hirsi Ali