Ayaan Hirsi Ali was awarded an Award for Moral Courage by the AJC last week. To those who don’t know Ayaan, she has an incredible life story beginning in Somalia and ending up a parliament member in the Netherlands.

She was also a colleague of Theo Van Gogh who was killed by a Muslim for making a movie in which Ayaan was involved that was perceived as offensive to this Muslim. After the ritual killing of Van Gogh, the murderer left a note attached to his body indicating that Ayaan was also on the target list.

She is currently living in hiding and living under heavy protection – a la Salman Rushdie – because her life has been threatened for purportedly speaking out against certain aspects or perhaps forms of Islam.

The AJC, celebrating its 100th anniversary last week, awarded her a moral courage award. She gave a touching acceptance speech. A shortened version can be heard at LGF. It’s worth a listen.

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  • Thanks for posting this. A few months back there was an excellent New Yorker article on Theo Van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi Ali by Ian Buruma. Thankfully it’s still online.

  • Oddly enough much of her criticisms against islamic social practices in a western secular society would be just as appropriate against the social practices of a LARGE immigrant, alienated, poor, eploited and discriminated against orthodox jewish group in the Netherlands.
    If such a group still existed in Europe.
    Although much of what she has to say is correct it does lack nuances and balance in it´s total lack of perspective on the failures, responsibilities and crimes of european colonial culture.
    She is much like a reformed “commie” of the fifties who totally embraces capitalism and as such ,I feel, is a foil, legitimiser and stalking horse of rapant unrepentant and traditional european xenophobia.

  • It pains me how the foreign media is turning this woman into a saint.

    She is not a saint.

    She is a deeply disturbed woman with a lot of self-hatred and issues, which unfortunately cloud her attempts to stand up for issues I actually agree with.

    She is manipulative and misuses the name of free speech to settle her own personal problems.

    It was recently discovered that she lied about her past, her name, and her situation to get asylum in the Netherlands. She has been here illeagally, but even worse, an illeagal member of parliament, this whole time.

    Even her ‘Liberal’ (read: actually exclusive and conservative) VVD party – which is just about to be taken over by a facist named Rita Verdonk (who I like to call Fuhrdonk)- can no longer deny it.

    Now that her lies have leaked out to the public, they can no longer make her their Tokin Black Muslim fighting for their cause (read: if you live in Holland you have to be more Dutch than even the Dutch are). After having extradited refugee Kosovian Taida Pasic (who illegally returned to Holland in order to take her final exames after her family was denied asylum after years of waiting), Verdonk now has no other choice but to follow up with Ali.

    And guess where Ali is going? To the US. To work with a conservative, right-wing think tank. http://www.expatica.com/source/site_content_subchannel.asp?subchannel_id=1

    Don’t believe everything your read, folks. The international media and Western politicians loves this slightly disturbed woman denouncing her faith and background, just as Portia loved it when Shylock renounced his faith.

    She is the Condoleeza of the Netherlands.

    Only more distrubed, and sadder.