During her 2006 acceptance speech upon receipt of the American Jewish Committee’s “Moral Courage Award,” Ayaan was unabashed in identifying Islam as the overriding source of pervasive Muslim Jew-hatred.
Audio link to speech:
“Ladies and gentlemen I have a confession to make, if you are Jewish. It’s a testimony to my dark past when I lived in ignorance. I used to hate you. I hated you because I thought you were responsible for the war that took my father from me for so long. When the Soviet Union allied with our home-grown dictator in Somalia, I was told the Jews were behind that. In Saudi Arabia I saw poor people from a place called Palestine. Men women and children huddled together in despair. I was told you drove them out of their homes. I hated you for that. When we had no water I thought you closed the tap. I don’t know how you did it, but you did it. If my mother was unkind to me I knew you were definitely behind it. Even when I failed an exam I knew it was your fault. I don’t know how you did all these things. But then I didn’t need proof. You are by nature evil. And you had evil powers and you used them to evil ends. Learning to hate you was easy. Unlearning it was difficult. Even after I had learned about The Holocaust in Europe, the terrible outcome of centuries of Antisemitism, I still found it difficult to take a stand against it. When my half-sister told me The Holocaust was the best thing that had happened to Jews, I refrained from arguing with her because I did not wish to risk breaking the family ties. When she showed me holy [Koranic] verses to support her hatred of Jews I feared arguing with Allah for Allah would burn me. Isn’t it ironic that the American Jewish Committee decided to give me the Moral Courage Award? I am ashamed of my prejudices against you in the past. The good news is I am not alone in learning not to blame you for my misfortunes. Many others who are taught in the name of Islam to hate you have stopped hating you. The tragedy is however that those unlearning to hate are far fewer in number than those who still do. As we sit here thousands, perhaps millions are learning to blame you and wishing to destroy you.”