“their ideological framework can’t process a man fleeing violence in a war torn country, finds his way to safety in Europe, only to then go on and rape a 11 year old girl” - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
In Sapiens , Yuval N Harari explains how fictions are what hold us together. Fictions he says are the stories we tell ourselves to prevent the inevitable chaos of ever larger groups of people living together, as we moved from small bands of foragers to global civilizations. Laws, norms, values and common beliefs (not truth/facts) holds democratic societies together.
For most of our beliefs we hold we must outsource the truth seeking to others, invariably experts of some form, journalists, scientists etc, but often just someone influential we happen to trust. Based on the truths these individuals put forth we form our beliefs. The unfortunate reality however is that in today’s complex civilization, even experts have too much information at hand and can’t present us the whole truth, either because they must make choices driven by revenue, or because they make choices driven by their own biases.
One such incomplete truth being told today is the truth of who the perpretrators of a significant number of violent sexual crimes are in contemporary Europe, Islamic migrants. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim migrant herself , and proponent of reform in Islam one would think, stands the best chance of bringing this truth to light, to mainstream acknowledgement, but she herself is being sidelined for fear of open discussion on such a fraught topic.
The truth however finds it’s way of coming out, and if not by open dialogue it will likely manifest in a clash of civilizations, a Western civilization wherein each individual is autonomous and a Middle Eastern civilization where the autonomy of women is determined by the men in their life.
My own personal interest in this story is driven more by the challenge to write about uncomfortable topics, rather than a desire to change realities in a continent half a world away. That’s for someone else to take on.
Listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Joe Rogan OR read her new book Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights