Want some more Cristina Odone? Why not – she repays attention. She does a nice job of modeling the religious mind for us.
As I read Nomad, the tone of this feverish, self-justifying tome reminded me of a Dutch social worker I met once. Hirsi Ali (who indeed worked for years as a translator for the Dutch social services) shares that same intolerant world view and politically correct instincts.
This is Odone, complaining about someone else being feverish and self-justifying, and intolerant and politically correct. Does Odone think her writing comes across as placid and generous, tolerant and autonomous? Seriously?
In her autobiographical accounts, Infidel (a worldwide bestseller) and now Nomad, Hirsi Ali blames everything that goes wrong in her own and her family life on Islam.
Odone goes Kristof one better – she not only knows more than Hirsi Ali about Islam, she knows more about the cause of everything that went wrong in her life. Hirsi Ali thinks Islam was behind a lot of it, but Odone knows better. How? Well…because, that’s how. Because Islam is a religion, so it couldn’t have been a religion that was the cause, so that’s how. Odone is all-knowing and all-seeing. And humble.
Hirsi Ali’s attack on the faith she has renounced would gain credibility if she could acknowledge its virtues as well as its flaws. But no, Islam is without merit in her eyes, a religion without poetry, charity, or wisdom. Its fanatics are not extremists; they are the norm.
Now, pesky secularists might think that Hirsi Ali would know what she was talking about because she was there at the time and Odone was not, but sensible people can see through that kind of thing with no trouble, thank you very much. Hirsi Ali was there and being there was bad so it made her all like twisted and biased, while Odone was not there, Odone was in the UK where people like her don’t so much get their genitalia chopped off when they’re five or forced into marriage with some stranger a few years later, so she is in a position to second-guess Hirsi Ali about Hirsi Ali’s own experience because Odone is mellow and calm and reasonable and she loves the pope like a father.
After that powerful insight, Odone complains about Hirsi Ali’s success (though she forgets to mention the death threats, and the dead Theo Van Gogh, and the having to live as a fugitive, and the being kicked out of her apartment and then out of the Netherlands), and then she gets down to business.
A Muslim-basher, in our secular culture, is welcome everywhere. Even when they are capable only of the kind of obsessive, one-track thinking that gives social workers a bad name.
I cannot remain civil when commenting on Cristina Odone, so I had best stop. She makes me angry.