Dymphna’s post yesterday about Ayaan Hirsi Ali generated a lot of controversy among our commenters. Before I wade into this free-for-all, I want to emphasize that I am not arguing about Ayaan Hirsi Ali, her character, her deeds, her opinions, her philosophy, or anything else about her. She is a brave and intelligent woman and is serving the cause of the Counterjihad, but this is not about her.
This is about the failure of our governments, the democratically elected governments of the West, to carry out faithfully one of their primary duties: to protect their citizens.
I’ll let one of the commenters on Dymphna’s post speak for the rest of those who were outraged by her opinions. Paardestaart said this:
It is the duty of government to keep its citizens safe, isn’t it? By what right can they give out rights otherwise?
Paardestaart, I couldn’t agree with you more. It is the duty of government to keep its citizens safe.
And that’s why I oppose the idea of bodyguards for private citizens paid for by the government. If citizens can’t be protected unless the government provides bodyguards for them, then our civilization is doomed.
Bodyguards are very expensive. If we hope that disaffected Muslims will leave Islam — as did Ayaan Hirsi Ali — or risk their lives by speaking out against the most fanatical forms of Islam, then we are expecting many thousands of Muslims to put themselves in the same situation as did Ms. Hirsi Ali. Assuming that two full-time (with benefits) state employees are required for each of these apostates, the protection of all of them would swiftly bankrupt any Western government, even at EU levels of taxation.
The United States has a different way of doing things. According to our laws, private citizens are not entitled to government-provided protection unless they are in the federal witness protection program. Presidents, former presidents, and various other public officials are protected by the Secret Service, but not private citizens.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that everyone does things the way the Europeans do.
Who deserves this expensive protection? You pointed out the German Muslim woman who tried to divorce her husband and was brutally murdered. So how many Muslim women in the West want to divorce their husbands? How many of those get the bodyguards, and how do we choose which ones?
Look at the Central Committee of Ex-Muslims. It is a growing movement throughout Europe, and every one of these apostates has gone public with his or her apostasy. Each of them deserves a bodyguard just as much as Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Or consider Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser of The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, who appeared on Glenn Beck’s program, as I mentioned earlier today. He puts himself at grave risk every day. Every member of AIFD opposes shari’a, political Islam, and Wahhabism. Each of them is as likely to earn a death threat as is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Should all of them be provided with bodyguards?
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I know a man in Richmond who, as part of his activities in a Christian organization, takes a strong public stand against Islam. During high-profile events he wears a Kevlar vest and has a security detail, paid for by his organization. Should the government be footing the bill for all this instead?
No matter what one’s philosophical position on these matters is, the fact remains that it is not a practical possibility to protect everyone who opposes Islam or radical Islamic principles. There are neither enough bodyguards available, nor enough tax money.
If free citizens cannot choose their religion or speak their views publicly without fear of violent death, than the government has failed in its duty to protect them. But supplying bodyguards for each and every person who might be at risk is not the solution.
The ugly truth of the matter is that only major celebrities are ever likely to earn a government-paid bodyguard. Ms. Hirsi Ali has been fortunate to have benefited in this way from her celebrity, but those teenage girls in Finsbury Park or Rosengård are not so lucky. They will simply have to dye their hair, wear the veil, and stay home at night if they want to avoid beatings and rapes.
If all of the people who face this risk can’t have bodyguards, then none of them should. It is especially unfair that protection is offered mainly to celebrities, who have more resources and are better able to afford the protection themselves. The poor wife of an angry and abusive husband in Hamburg does not have the same options.
All of this leads to the inexorable conclusion that our governments have failed us. We are not safe because our elected representatives have consistently invited communities of our enemies to live among us. They are allowed and even encouraged to retain their original culture and ideology, and to display violent antipathy towards their hosts.
This is criminal negligence on the part of our governments. It says a lot about the mass insanity that reigns throughout the West that we keep freely electing leaders who do the same thing to us, over and over again.
Bodyguards are not enough to solve this problem.