The New Hypatia

– for Ayaan Hirsi Ali

1.

There once was a actress named Weisz
whose bashful, compassionate eyes
inspired us to rate
her Hypatia as great
and to weep when the heroine dies.

2.

What little we know of her life
is bound up in trouble and strife
of an era in which
they thought her a witch
because she was nobody’s wife.

3.

Neither Christian nor pagan nor Jew
she was one of the relative few
who today we would call
a freethinker, et al.
then degrade in the New York Review.*

* of Books

Meme this: if you like these limericks, you can help create a meme. Pass them around on the internet. Hopefully they will reach Rachel Weisz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali! Remeber, this is an experiment.

How? Be imaginative. Post a comment on Pharyngula, or RichardDawkins.net. Dawkins coined the word “meme.” Send it to your atheist cousin, or uncle.

What’s a meme? Anything that can be passed from one brain to another. If you wish to know more about the obscure reference to the NYRB, just google “Enlightenment fundamentalist.”

If you haven’t seen Agora, check Wikipedia for the basic outline of Hypatia of Alexandria’s life. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has lived with bodyguards and armed escorts for years because of her freethinking views. She was born in Somalia.

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2 thoughts on “The New Hypatia

    1. Thanks for the link, John. When the author of this review began, “Within her first novel Ayaan…” I realized he/she really has no idea of the difference between a work of fiction and one of autobiography, or criticism for that matter. Not a promising incipit.

      The reason Hirsi Ali deserves our unequivocal support is not that we agree with everything she says, or even the way she says it (I admit I find her less acidic than her critics), but her right to say it. She lives the life of a political refugee, in constant threat of death by murder, simply for speaking her mind.

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