In a recent PragerU video, Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali compared radical Islam to the wokeness that has infected American society today, warning that the left has “inculcated in a generation of students an ideology that has much more in common with the intolerant doctrines of a religious cult” than with the secular political thought she studied in college.
Ali said that when she became a citizen in 2013, it had never occurred to her that “free speech would come under threat in my newly adopted country.” She warned that the “campus leftists” she first thought were merely the “lunatic fringe” are “not the fringe anymore.”
“Many on the left — academia, the media, and now even the corporate world — have inculcated in a generation of students an ideology that has much more in common with the intolerant doctrines of a religious cult than with the secular political thought I studied at Holland’s Leiden University,” Ali said.
Ali explained that after September 11, 2001, many people believed the terrorists’ motivations were “materialist,” arguing that the jihadists “lacked educational and employment opportunities,” and “were angry at American foreign policy in the Middle East.”
Ali said, however, that these were not their motivations, but rather, that “their goal was religious and political,” as they sought to “denounce Arab governments as corrupt and their Western allies as infidels, and ultimately to overthrow the existing order in the Middle East and establish a caliphate.”
“Two decades later, we see a similar dynamic, only this time it is within America’s borders,” Ali said, adding that like Islamism, wokeism is not motivated by materialistic possessions, but rather, by an ideology involving “social justice, critical race theory, and intersectionality.”
She noted that the adherents of both ideologies “pursue ideological purity, certain of their own rectitude.”
“Neither the Islamists nor the woke will engage in debate,” Ali said. “Both prefer indoctrination of the submissive and damnation of those who resist.”
“The two ideologies have distinctive rituals,” she added. “Islamists shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘death to America.’ The Woke shout ‘black lives matter’ and ‘I can’t breathe.’ Islamists pray to Mecca. The Woke take the knee. Both like burning the American flag.”
“Both take offense at every opportunity and demand, not just apologies, but concessions,” Ali continued. “Both ideologies aim to tear down the existing system and replace it with utopias that always turn out to be hellish anarchies: Islamic State in Raqqa. The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle.”
Ali also pointed out that both Islamism and wokeism are “collectivist.”
“Group identity trumps the individual,” she said. “Both tolerate — and often glorify — violence carried out by zealots.”
“The grievances of Islamists and the woke aren’t merely economic, and they won’t be satisfied with jobs or entitlements, or any other blandishments politicians are willing to offer,” Ali warned. “Their motivations are ideological, and they will be satisfied only with power.”
With the 20-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks just around the corner, Ali added that she clings to “the hope that most American are still willing to fight, and, if necessary, to die to preserve our freedoms, our rights, our customs, our history.”
“That was the spirit of Flight 93,” she added of the Americans onboard United Airlines Flight 93 who stood up and took action against the terrorist hijackers twenty years ago. “We need to summon that spirit again.”