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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A friend from Holland asked me today if I had heard of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She was born in Mogadishu Somali, but went to secondary school in Kenya. However she is now the second most popular politician in the Netherlands. How did that come about? After a career, which began as cleaning woman and mail sorter, she later became a translator (she speaks excellent Dutch). Although she joined the think-tank of the Dutch Social Democratic Party, she later switched to the Dutch right-of-centre (classical) liberal party.

Her reason for switching parties was that Ayaan Hirsi Ali believes, passionately, that the wooly thinking of the liberal left on multicultural issues is misguided. In particular they do not help women, particularly Muslim women. Some of the issues for Muslim women are personal - she underwent genital mutilation ("circumcision"), and ran away from an arranged marriage. In fact she has now converted from Islam to agnostic and lives with tight security to save her against death threats from Islamic radicals.

Anyway my friend was wondering if I had seen a short movie she has written the script for, which he says is sure to become very controversial. I haven't but I'll be interested to see it when it does come out.

Some of the links where I got my information:
Tech Central Station (1 January 2004)
BBC News (23 December 2003)
QSI blogg (15 Feb 2003)
Radio Netherlands (10 January 2003)


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