- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The only way to prevent the spread of Islamic ideology is to “compete,” says Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her new book “Nomad.”

“The message of ‘Nomad’ is: do not kill, do not destroy, compete,” she said at a gathering at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.

Ms. Ali calls for atheists, Christians and feminists to join together to “compete for the hearts and minds of Muslims.” It is time to come together and offer Muslims another alternative, she said.

“You can offer them a better idea, a superior idea and hope to persuade them,” said the author. “We can form an strategic alliance between these three forces of western civilization and take on radical Islam in the battle of ideas.”

Ms. Ali is a resident fellow at AEI and researcher on topics such as the relationship between Islam and the West and Islam in Europe.

She also is an outspoken defender of womens rights in Islamic societies. Born in Somalia in 1969, she was a devout Muslim until her father ordered her to marry a man she did not know. She resisted her fathers demand and moved to the Netherlands in 1992, eventually serving in the the Dutch parliament from 2003 until 2006.

Ms. Ali resigned from parliament over a controversy surrounding her Dutch citizenship. She then moved to the United States after accepting a position with AEI. In 2006, she was named by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world in 2006.

“Nomad” was released on May 18 and details her experience after she left the Netherlands for America. It is not a new memoir but a followup from her book “Infidel” which she wrote in 2007 about her childhood and the years she spent in the Netherlands.

“It is a memoir,” she said. “This is not a work of science. These are my experiences, my observations, and my interpretations of facts and events and the remedies that I have come to.”

The author believes it is time for Muslims to distance themselves from the infidel and embrace a better ideology. It is a challenge, she said, but one that “we can win.”

“If only we admit to ourselves that yes, the problem is the ideology of Islam, that it is not hijacked by a small minority, that it is a powerful, powerful totalitarian force.”

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