WATCH: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Combating Terror, 'Stop Demonizing Israel, Learn From Them'

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News.Credit: Screen grab

Fox News transcript:

KELLY: Breaking tonight. Hillary Clinton is not the only one who will not identify this enemy as radical Islam. Here is President Obama, just earlier today.

OBAMA: And, so to the degree that anyone would equate the terrible actions that took place in Paris with the abuse of Islam, those kinds of stereotypes are counterproductive, they're wrong. They will lead, I think to greater recruitment in the terrorist organizations over time if this becomes somehow defined as a Muslim problem as suppose to a terrorist problem.

KELLY: Joining me now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is the author of the book Heretic and founder of the Ayaan Hirsi Ali foundation. Ayaan was raised Muslim and was forcibly mutilated before renouncing the religion and its ideals, Ayaan, thank you very much for being with us tonight. So what of that argument? We've heard that argument from the president and his supporters that if we call it a war on radical Islam, we're going to alienate the rest of the Muslim world, not just the radical Islamists, but the rest of the Muslim world.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, FOUNDER OF AYAAN HIRSI ALI FOUNDATION: I think the president is right. The United States of America and the western civilization is not at war with Islam, but Islamic extremists is invoking Islamic theology, and aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, the most prominent which is Saudi Arabia and the other one is Qatar are waging war on us. And the strategy from 9/11 that is indeed the former President Bush, but also other western leaders, the strategy that if we equate, if we say this is something within Islam, we're going to lose the battle to them, that has been tried and it is failing as we are seeing now in Paris. I lived in Europe, and the entire leadership agreed on this argument, but what we are witnessing now is a failure of that strategy. We need to face the problem and we should start by naming it.

KELLY: We look at this over and over again, and we believed here in America, many, that if we wouldn't use that terminology, and did -- and pulled back from the Middle East somewhat, perhaps, they wouldn't hate us so much. Perhaps, they wouldn't want to hit us. Perhaps, there would be some detente with these people. It now appears that hasn't worked.

HIRSI ALI: It hasn't worked. We -- listen, one of the things that we really have to digest is that Islamic extremism is older than this election cycle and the last one and 9/11. It is at least, Sunni Islamic extremism is at least 95 to 98-years-old. And it's going to outlast this election cycle. This is -- this problem is just stay with us. It's not what we do or say what we don't do or we don't say, we have a substantial number of people on the planet who are Muslim, invoking Islamic theology, who have declared war on our way of life. The association between men and women on our tolerance, our freedoms, the call on everything that western civilization is, we need to acknowledge that and defend ourselves. And the way to first thing to do is to acknowledge.

KELLY: I want to ask you that. That's the thing.

HIRSI ALI: Ideology for instance.

KELLY: That's the thing is that, it doesn't matter -- it doesn't, doesn't matter what we call them or what we do, it seems -- they object to our belief system. They left -- object to our way of life. They object to the fact that we don't necessarily believe in Allah. That we have the First Amendment, that we have the (inaudible). They object to so much about who we are and the way we live. And so, you wrote.

HIRSI ALI: Absolutely. And by ignoring all of that.

KELLY: How, how we could -- as a practical matter, go about protecting ourselves and the first thing in your article was learn from Israel.

HIRSI ALI: Absolutely. Israel, from the time it was founded, had to deal with this. And over time, and in a painful way, Israel developed an infrastructure. It is legal. It is counterterrorism measures. It's intelligence. They know what they're doing. We should stop demonizing Israel. We should start learning from them. And by my knowledge, it's -- you know, Israel really doesn't call -- doesn't -- hasn't declared war on Islam. Israel collaborates with some of the Muslim countries when they want to collaborate with Israel. But Israel is at a place now where I think, in terms of fighting domestic terrorism, they have made such headway that the scenes we've seen in Paris are unthinkable. Yes, the terrorists are using knives and cars and other desperate measures, but the mass murder of Israelis on Israelis soil is now unthinkable because of the measures that they put in place. And I think we have a lot to learn from them.

KELLY: I recommend -- it is for everybody. It's fascinating. It offers so many smart insights as we always expect from you, Ayaan, thank you for being here tonight.

HIRSI ALI: Thank you, Megyn. Thank you.