Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Pretty soon I will be leaving for home so I can't guarantee anymore posts on topics. I have been working on typing up my exit story though, so I will post it in parts over the break in case people are interested in hearing that. For today though, I wish to talk about Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

I love this woman. LOOOOOOVE HER! Seriously, Ayaan inspires me so much. And I haven't even read any of her books yet.

Born in Somalia, she was raised in the Islam faith where the culture supports intense subjugation of women, including genital mutilation. She later ended up in Kenya. Ayaan is repeatedly asked in interviews about women in Islam, especially in that region, but she generally brings up how the hate and abuse is not just geared towards women, but everyone. She defends her brother, explaining the expectations that were on him, how he was supposed to treat women and girls, and things he could get in trouble for, just for being a boy. She also explains many times how Jews are treated (poorly), and how infidels or apostates are abused, and literally anyone who does anything wrong. I believe in an interview on she explained that everyone was literally watching everyone else, looking for slip-ups where they could accuse the others.

As I've said before, studies (no links to give) have shown that often the most supportive group of a religion will be the believing group that is subjected to the most abuse and inequality, generally women. Ayaan supports this belief by her examples of how dangerous your fellow women are in an environment like that. No remorse. Always trying to catch you, keep you down, crush your dreams, physically abusive, and it's the women who are the most aggressive with female genital circumcision, or cutting, or my preferred word; mutilation.

Forced to an arranged marriage with a cousin (not a close relative though) she was on her way to Canada to seal the deal but took off while in Europe and sought refuge in the Netherlands. This is where I need to read her book, because less than a decade later she was in Parliament. Later she worked on 'Submission' with Theo van Gogh who was brutally murdered (I've heard his throat was cut, stabbed 28 times, and shot several times, all in interviews, but I'm unsure if some of these could be exaggerations) with the last stab leaving the knife in him with a note to Ayaan, telling her she would be next. Now she speaks publicly, always accompanied by bodyguards, is part of the New Atheist movement, close friend of Christopher Hitchens (watch them together and there seems to be some kind of platonic love), is outspoken against Islam, freedom of speech and expression, and women's rights. She is an amazing figure.

I really enjoy listening to her, she's so smart, and has this calm 'aura' about her. I also enjoy it when she doesn't care for what she's hearing or disagrees, she get's this look on her face and just blinks. Here's a good example of Ayaan saying how it is.

'People speculated how Theo had upset him by calling Muslims goat-fuckers.' She is so great, in every way. Even the video of her and Glen Beck was good, even though he doesn't know when to censure himself.

Ayaan became an atheist shortly after 9/11. Already disillusioned to Islam, and seeing similarities in Christianity and other religions she seems to have been becoming deistic, but eventually became an atheist. She doesn't care for Christianity, but she likes it better than Islam and drew up some controversy when she stated that if Muslims couldn't become atheists they should at least become Christians, lol. She has written at least three books, her 'main' one being 'Infidel,' which I found at the BYU bookstore actually.

This post is mainly just a bio and praise for her. I really enjoy the podcasts where she's been on, or interviews she's in. She is a big atheist figure, but she's so much more. I recommend checking her out, not in the sensual way though feel free to do that as well, it will be worth your time. Lastly, here is a well-done Fox News interview from a few years ago.


  1. She is a tremendously inspiring and courageous person. I really do recommend her books, especially Infidel. It gives you an almost frighteningly vivid feel for what it was like growing up in that deeply alien culture, and for the impact her exposure to the West had on her, which ultimately led to her liberation.

    She's one of our most valuable fighters in the struggle against Islam, precisely because she knows it so well.

  2. Cool post. She seems cool. I think I saw her on Bill Maher's show one time. She's really brave to do what she does. I'll have to read Infidel sometime, it sounds good.

    I wonder what to think about Islam sometimes. Before becoming an atheist I just kinda accepted the liberal viewpoint that "Islam is a religion of peace, but there are a few extremists that take things too far", however reading what Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris have to say about Islam in their books has opened my eyes a bit. In one of their books one of them wrote something to the effect of, "Islamic Fundamentalism is dangerous because the Fundamentals of Islam are dangerous". So for now my opinion is just that Muslims need to learn to pick and choose from the Koran better just as Christians have gotten better at picking and choosing from the Bible over the years. Of course it would be better if everyone stopped basing their lives off of bronze age scribblings...

  3. Super Man -- If you do read Infidel you'll find it very enlightening on the topic of what Islam is really like. Ayaan Hirsi Ali herself went through the same debates with well-meaning Dutch people when she lived in the Netherlands.

    So for now my opinion is just that Muslims need to learn to pick and choose from the Koran better just as Christians have gotten better at picking and choosing from the Bible over the years.

    Unfortunately it's rather different. The Bible is a collection of miscellaneous writings, and support for any viewpoint can be found in it somewhere. The Koran and Hadîth are the sayings and actions of one man, and far more consistent. Also, there's a mandatory standard way for resolving what contradictions there are: the later revelation supersedes the earlier. And it's the militant, violent material which tends to be later.

  4. I read Infidel and loved it! At the time, I was struggling with my Mormon beliefs, and couldn't help but see the parallels in Mormonism/Islam. It was a turning point for me.

  5. Oh yeah, think I read about that principle where they overlook the earlier in favor of the later in Hitchens's book. There was a fancy name for it... I think it was Abrogation. So I guess in the earlier period Islam was peaceful because they were too small to fight, but in the later period it became more warlike to justify their conquests. Interesting. Yeah, I'll have to read Infidel.

  6. So I got Infidel for Christmas and it was awesome! It was wild to see the world through her eyes as she experienced all those horrible things, from the circumcision to her mother's beatings and the arranged marriage. It was also cool to watch her go from a casual Muslim to almost a fundamentalist Muslim but then to watch her become liberalized and eventually become an atheist as she came into contact with western society. It really was a great read.

  7. So glad you enjoyed it, I feel I have helped make the world a better place.