And the lack thereof. Reader IAm at Done with Mirrors has a post up about the neighbors in Hirsi Ali's apartment building using Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights to sue to have her evicted. The neighbors have won the suit.
Hirsi Ali has been a staunch supporter of human rights and the rights of women oppressed under extremist Islamic governments. She has been under protection because of her stand. But the neighbors, fearing Muslim violence, want her out.
So it comes down to this: Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s history of moral courage in defending and demanding the rights of women, free speech and more is rewarded by the cowardice of her neighbors, validated and encouraged by an EU court. I can understand that not everyone—-indeed most of us—-are not and cannot be a Hirsi Ali. Greatness is reserved for the few, after all. But at a bare minimum, each and every one of us has some sort of ethical responsibility to support the Hirsi Ali’s of the world, and fear—-while understandable—-is no justification for falling down on that job.
How far has Western civilization fallen when we can not stand together with someone with this much courage? Reader IAm thinks it is a failure of moral courage. So do I.
Meanwhile, there is Hirsi Ali, who's definitively further along the path to enlightened moral courage than most of us, a subset of whom reject her very physical presence among them, out of fear and because of their narrow imaginations about the bigger picture. On May 4, she is slated to receive the AJC Moral Courage Award, which I was interested to discover is on the 'net largely in press release form. I'm not seeing where this was covered in major media outlets, but perhaps I'm missing something. Nor does it appear to have been picked up widely in the blogosphere, though I see that Booker Rising caught it.
Giving in to the thugs, giving up one who stands against them out of fear, surrendering to the extremists is the path to destruction. Done with all the best intentions, this attempt to cast out a person this brave leads only to one place.
Where the road paved with good intentions always leads.