It’s a lucrative career

I haven’t so far found a transcript of the Persons of Interest video addressed to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, so I’m doing it myself. Here’s the first minute.

Note: there are several women (six according to the Guardian article) and they take turns speaking, including individual sentences – that is, one will start a sentence and another may finish it. The delivery is frequently venomous and/or contemptuous.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, you do not speak for us. You are not our ally. You’re not interested in our lives or our freedom. You described Muslim women as being “irrational.” Docile. Having no minds of our own. You’ve called us slaves. How can you claim to stand for our liberation when you simply repeat the language of our oppressors. This is not the language of solidarity or understanding or freedom. This is the language of patriarchy and misogyny. This is the language of white supremacy. This is the language used to justify war, invasions, and genocide. You’re not here to help us or stand with us. You’re here to profit from an industry that exists to dehumanize us. An industry built on selling hatred, misinformation, and stereotypes. It’s a lucrative career, appearing on panels, tv shows, big budget events, where people have to pay big money to hear you speak. You know what your audience wants, and you give it to them.

Here’s the rest:

Despite globally recognized institutions describing you as an extremist, despite your claims being debunked over and over again by academics and experts all around the world, despite your closest associates being white nationalists and far-right politicians, it seems that people never get tired of touring you to repeat the same rhetoric over and over again. Because there is nothing quite as satisfying to a colonizer than [sic] a subject who becomes a salesperson for their ideology. We’re not here to say that Muslims are perfect – no one is – but your narrative doesn’t support our struggles. It erases them. Like all women, we resist patriarchy and misogyny every day. Like our mothers and grandmothers before us, we strive for dignity and equality, within our cultures and outside of them. But you don’t care. Your livelihood depends on pretending our histories don’t exist. That we’re simply faceless nameless victims, too stupid to escape our savage traditions. You collapse our plurality into a single convenient stereotype. This is not intellectual. It’s lazy. This hatred you feed puts us in danger every day. It encourages fear, persecution, and violence. This is not brave. This is not progressive. This is propaganda. Bravery is not selling lies. Bravery is living through the relentless hostility, discrimination, and pressure of a world that fears us: a world that you helped to create.


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