Ayaan Hirsi Ali Quotes
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born Dutch-American activist, feminist, author, and former Dutch politician. She actively opposes honor violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation. She has founded an organisation for the defense of women's rights, the AHA Foundation. A former practicing Muslim, Hirsi Ali is an atheist. She has received numerous death threats because of her criticism of Islam.
In 2003, Hirsi Ali was elected a member of the House of Representatives, representing the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. A political crisis related to the validity of her Dutch citizenship led to her resignation from parliament, and indirectly to the fall of the second Balkenende cabinet in 2006.
Hirsi Ali has been a vocal critic of Islam, calling for a reformation of the religion. In 2004, she collaborated on a short movie with Theo van Gogh, entitled Submission, a film about the oppression of women under Islam. The film sparked controversy, which resulted in death threats against the two and the eventual murder of Van Gogh later that year by Mohammed Bouyeri, a second-generation migrant from Morocco. Tunku Varadarajan wrote in 2017 that, with "multiple fatwas on her head, Hirsi Ali has a greater chance of meeting a violent end than anyone I’ve met, Salman Rushdie included." In a 2007 interview, she described Islam as an "enemy" that needs to be defeated before peace can be achieved. In her latest book Heretic she moderated her views of Islam and now calls for a reform of the religion by supporting reformist Muslims.
In 2005, Hirsi Ali was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She has also received several awards, including a free speech award from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the Swedish Liberal Party's Democracy Prize, and the Moral Courage Award for commitment to conflict resolution, ethics, and world citizenship. Hirsi Ali has published two autobiographies: in 2006 and 2010.
Hirsi Ali emigrated to the United States, where she was a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. She founded the women's rights organization the AHA Foundation. She became a U.S. citizen in 2013 and that year was made a fellow at the Kennedy Government School at Harvard University and a member of The Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center. She is married to Scottish historian and public commentator Niall Ferguson.