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Ayaan Hirsi Ali            

Renowned Political Leader; Human Rights Activist; Best-selling Author

AHA Foundation Founder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is known as a women’s rights activist, champion of free speech, and best-selling author. She is also known as someone who is not afraid to speak out when she feels it necessary.

Ayaan’s journey began in Somalia in 1969 where, as a young girl, she was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). From very early on, she questioned the subjugation of women she saw all around her; while listening to a sermon on the many ways women should be obedient to their husbands, she couldn't resist asking, "Must our husbands obey us too?"

Ayaan’s path led her many places, but upon being forced by her father to marry a distant cousin, she fled to Holland and claimed political asylum. Once there, she worked her way up from being a janitor to serving as an elected member of the Dutch parliament. As a member of parliament, she campaigned to raise awareness of violence against women, including honor killings and FGM, practices that had followed her fellow immigrants into Holland.

In 2004 Ayaan gained international attention following the murder of Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh had directed her short film Submission, a film about the oppression of women under Islam. The assassin left a death threat for her pinned to Van Gogh's chest. This tragic event, and Ayaan’s life leading up to it, are all chronicled in her best-selling book, Infidel. She is also the author of Caged Virgin, Nomad and most recently another bestseller Heretic: Why Islam Needs Reformation Now.

Ayaan has shown great courage, risking her life to voice the injustice she sees around her. But she has done more than speak out. Ayaan has channeled her life experiences, and the attention she garnered, towards the AHA Foundation. She took tangible action to protect women and girls from the honor violence she herself and so many others she knew faced.

Speech Topics

A global symbol of freedom and human resistance in the face of the toughest of adversaries, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's fight for democracy, freedom and peace has been a shining example of dignity and bravery for the entire world. Her arguments for a democratic society are rooted in respect for human rights, equity and justice. Her willingness to speak out and her abandonment of the Muslim faith have made her a target for violence by Islamic extremists.

Drawing from her extraordinary experiences, Hirsi Ali has transformed her personal journey into a riveting account that helps others live with courage. Through her political activism, published pieces and passionate perseverance, Hirsi Ali is reaching out to global citizens to challenge conformity, even at the price of backlash. Her inspiring message: Any of us can change the world by daring to ask questions -- out loud. Whether addressing corporations, congregations, or colleges, Hirsi Ali provides astute, practical guidance that individuals can take away and apply to their lives and does so with personality, energy and wit. As Western societies struggle to balance democratic ideals with ingrained immigrant traditions and cultures, no one else's message could be more timely or more significant.

Sample Topics Include:

Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West

Dealing with Diversity in the 21st Century

Humble Beginnings: The Journey from Radical Islam to Modern Society Inspirational Leadership

Discrimination or Diversity?

Feminism: Refusing to be Silenced

The Emancipation of Muslim Women: Fact or Fiction?

Islam in Europe: The Challenges and Opportunities of an Increasing Immigrant Population

Somalia Refugees and Assimilation in the US


Ayaan Hirsi Ali Awarded Lantos Human Rights Prize

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a women’s rights activist and politician who has been publicly critical of Islam, is one of three female leaders of Muslim heritage to be awarded the Lantos Human Rights Prize.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Obama's Strategy on Islamic Extremism 'Has Failed ...

Ayaan Hirsi Ali argued President Obama's position on radical Islam is what he believes is strategic, but "it's a strategy that has failed"

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: America's Greatest 'Weakness' Against Radical ...

Former Muslim and best-selling author Ayaan Hirsi Ali argued last week that political correctness in the West is making it harder for the U.S. and other Western  ...

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Author of Infidel)

"Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Somali: Ayaan Xirsi Cali; born Ayaan Hirsi Magan 13 November 1969 in Mogadishu, Somalia) is a Dutch feminist, writer, and politician. She is ...

Ayaan Hirsi Ali On How To Deal With Terrorists: Learn From Israel ...

Ayaan Hirsi Ali appears on FOX News' Kelly File to talk about the Paris terrorist attack to talk about islamic extremism and what happens when the U.S. backs ...

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