In the good old days, white colonial powers went to poor foreign countries asking themselves, "What do these people have for us to steal?"
Nowadays, enlightened white people go to poor foreign countries and ask, "What do these noble people have to teach us?" The results are less murderous but more annoying.
Don't get me wrong, it is great that Westerners are now trying to understand foreign cultures and not murder them, but a lot of what's going around these days is less an attempt to understand foreigners as other human beings and more about trying to mine them for whatever mystical foreigner powers they possess. So try to avoid…
Zeba Khan, a panelist for the "Islam Is a Religion of Peace" last week, was met with such a response. She started off the debate by sharing her personal story about growing up in Ohio, attending a Hebrew Day School, and being raised by Indian parents in a Muslim household. "Just because you may not hear us," said Khan," doesn't mean we are not speaking."
Ayaan Hirsi Ali , speaking against the motion, followed Zeba and immediately said, "The problem with Islam is who speaks for Islam." She went on to say, "I concede (the radical voice) is a minority," and expressed her desire that someone like Zeba Khan actually would speak for Islam, but, in her opinion, could not and does not.
And so Zeba's voice, her interpretation, and all of her efforts were collectively dismissed since she did not fit into what Hirsi Ali believed Islam to be.