Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
About This Event

The brutal murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004 shocked the world. Shot and mutilated by an Islamic fanatic as he cycled to work, it was a stark reminder of the dangers of challenging an extreme Islamic worldview. It also changed the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, van Listen to Audio

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Gogh's collaborator on
Submission, the controversial film that had offended his murderer.

Born in Somalia and raised a Muslim, Hirsi Ali escaped an arranged marriage and made a new life as a Dutch parliamentarian, championing the reform of Islam and its attitude toward women's rights. Now a resident fellow at AEI, she refuses to let threats from extremists inhibit her willingness to speak out.

In her autobiography, Infidel, Hirsi Ali recounts her extraordinary transition from a third-world upbringing to her current status as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, Infidel is as gripping as it is inspiring. Join us as Hirsi Ali talks about her life story and women’s rights in Islam.

5:15 p.m.
Christopher DeMuth, AEI
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, AEI
Question and Answer
Event Materials
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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Hirsi Ali
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken defender of women's rights in Islamic societies, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made Submission, a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures. The airing of the film on Dutch television resulted in the assassination of Mr. van Gogh by an Islamic extremist. At AEI, Ms. Hirsi Ali researches the relationship between the West and Islam, women's rights in Islam, violence against women propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam in Europe.


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