Inside Out

What a curious set of columnists they have at the New York Times. Many are considered merely mad: Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd.

Nick Kristof is one of those that, until recently, seemed rather sane. But then there was that recent attempt recently to paint the nun who voted for an abortion as the greatest living human being.

Now, he attacks Ayan Hirsi Ali.

The mantra at the Times seems to be “Attack all that is Good, Support Great Evil, and Slime the Good Guys


Kristof isn’t the Times’s worst columnist. On the contrary, he is quite rational compared to Paul Krugman and Frank Rich. But he is a liberal, and liberals apparently detest Muslim apostates. Don’t ask me why. But Kristof, in his review of Nomad, places the blame for the fact that crazed Muslim extremists want to assassinate Hirsi Ali squarely on her:

She has managed to outrage more people — in some cases to the point that they want to assassinate her — in more languages in more countries on more continents than almost any writer in the world today.

That’s only the beginning. Kristof goes on to write that Hirsi Ali “is working on antagonizing even more people,” even though it “might seem presumptuous to write another memoir so soon.” It is easy to see why so many want to kill her, Kristof says, since she is “by nature a provocateur, the type of person who rolls out verbal hand grenades by reflex.” Bear in mind that in this case, the “provocateur’s” “hand grenades” are arguments that little girls shouldn’t have their clitorises cut out, be beaten for no particular reason, or be forced to marry men they haven’t met. Is that provocative? To members of the Democratic Party, it is.

What is it about liberals that makes them flip good and evil around all the time? The more obvious the evil, the more they feel bound to defend it. The more heinous the crime, the less they feel it should be punished. The more innocent the person, the more punished they feel they should be.

At times, it really does seem they live in a bizarro world, where defending the indefensible is evidence of intelligence. And attacking the good guys is considered a positive good.

Kristof isn’t done yet. He launches a defense of Islam, arguing that Indonesia is very different from Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan. No doubt that is true, as the countries in question are thousands of miles apart. But, if Kristof hasn’t noticed, radical Islam is on the march in Indonesia, too. And anyway, what is the point? Suppose there were one decent Islamic country in the world: would that somehow delegitimize Hirsi Ali’s effort to rescue the hundreds of millions of women who are trapped in societies that viciously oppress them? I don’t think so.

But Kristof still isn’t finished. He offers this paean to Islam:

To those of us who have lived and traveled widely in Africa and Asia, descriptions of Islam often seem true but incomplete. The repression of women, the persecution complexes, the lack of democracy, the volatility, the anti-Semitism, the difficulties modernizing, the disproportionate role in terrorism — those are all real. But if those were the only faces of Islam, it wouldn’t be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world today. There is also the warm hospitality toward guests, including Christians and Jews; charity for the poor; the aesthetic beauty of Koranic Arabic; the sense of democratic unity as rich and poor pray shoulder to shoulder in the mosque.

Is Kristof completely ignorant of history? Does he not understand that Christians and Jews have been systematically excluded, by death or other means, from many Muslim countries? Some “warm hospitality!”


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