Utterances.net edited by Jalel Harchaoui.
 

24 June 2017

The Scottish historian also praises his wife Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Niall Ferguson, of the Hoover Institution, speaks about Islam
by Niall Ferguson
Unlike Frank Gaffney, Clare Lopez, Michael Flynn and Sebastian Gorka, Ferguson is a respected academic.
Niall Ferguson, of the Hoover Institution, speaks about Islam

Niall Ferguson, 2015.

“One of the hardest things today is to speak frankly, honestly about the threat that is posed by Islamic extremism.

“It’s become so hard we’re not even allowed to use that phrase—we have to talk about the violent extremism, and insist on the fact that Islam is a religion of peace. My wife [Ayaan Hirsi Ali] has spent more than a decade trying to explain to the world that that’s a foolish thing to say and that political Islam poses a threat comparable in its magnitude to the threat that was once posed by Soviet communism. It’s just that our policy is radically different from our policies of the Cold War.

“In the Cold War, the Americans understood that Communism posed a threat to individual liberty, that it was a violent ideology, capable of great bloodshed. And it was also an enemy within that one had to be very vigilant about. Sometimes that vigilance ran out of all control, as in the McCarthy era but that was something to be vigilant about. In our time, we do face a comparable threat in political Islam or Islamism but we find it impossible to deal with it the way we dealt with Communism and that is partly because we don’t know how to deal with something that looks like a religion even though it’s also a political ideology.

“It’s also, I think, that we lost some of the confidence that we had in the 1950s about the superiority of our civilization and our democracy. In that sense, being married to Ayaan has been a great source of inspiration to me; and I’m very fortunate indeed to be in that situation.”

Talk given by Niall Ferguson at New York City’s 92Y on 14-Oct-15.

~ Niall Ferguson