Our society, and especially the left, tends to reflexively celebrate dissenters. But some heretics are more welcome than others. In the case of Islam, the pieties of multiculturalism clash with what should be an imperative of feminism (i.e., forcefully standing up for the basic rights of women in Muslim societies), and feminism tends to lose out.
“The concern,” as one feminist wrote of Hirsi Ali, “is that her intervention into the issue of gender equality in Muslim societies will strengthen racism rather than weaken sexism.” In the fashionable neologism designed to be an all-purpose conversation-stopper, she is “an Islamophobe.” Brandeis University notoriously rescinded a planned honorary degree for her last year, and the Muslim Students Association at the school huffed, “she incites and supports insensitivity and irresponsibility.”
If Hirsi Ali had had a strict Baptist upbringing somewhere in the southern United States and left to tell the story of its hypocrisies and closed-mindedness, she would be welcomed and celebrated in such precincts as Brandeis, without anyone uttering a peep of protest.