Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Today is International Women's Day, so I decided to focus on one particularly courageous woman. Now an MP in the Dutch parliament, Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born and raised in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. She fled to Holland at age 22, to escape an arranged marriage to a cousin in Canada that she had never met. She learned Dutch, worked her way through university and held positions within government and politics, before being elected to the Tweede Kamer. Her outspokeness in regards to Islam has resulted in constant death threats, so for the past few years she has had continual bodyguard and police protection.

She wrote and narrated Submission, a controversial film about Islam's treatment of women. The film's director, Theo Van Gogh, was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri while biking to work in 2004. A five page note pinned to his body that stated that Hirsi Ali (and others) was next. She went into hiding in Holland and New York City, but has returned to parliament, more determined to speak her mind than ever.

Submission was originally shown on Dutch public TV, but since the violence and threats of violence, it was pulled from a film festival out of fear. Hirsi Ali is now working on a sequel, dealing with four Muslim mens' - one of them gay - experiences with Islam. A Dutch court ruled against religious groups trying to block its' release. "By not making 'Submission Part II,' I would only be helping terrorists believe that if they use violence, they're rewarded with what they want," says Hirsi Ali. As a woman who once called the Prophet Muhammed was a "pervert" for marrying a nine year-old girl, it isn't surprising that she also been critical of the West's response the the whole cartoon issue.


At 11:40 AM, Blogger Winston said...

Shameful for Eurowhinnies


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