Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Journey to Freedom (VIDEO)

[ 0 ] May 23, 2011 |

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her supporters established the AHA Foundation in 2007 to help protect and defend the rights of women in the West against militant Islam.  The author of the critically acclaimed novel Infidel continues to educate and empower women through her foundation, voice and has a new book out Nomad: From Islam to America, A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations. Her passion for purpose and civil rights is amazing and it was our pleasure to speak with Ali at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

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My life has changed from being, I consider myself, being brought up to submit to the will of other people. My father wanted me to marry a man I didn’t want to marry. I left that behind. I had to pay the price of making my father very angry and being rejected by him. But I’m a fee woman now, I can choose who I want to be with. That struggle, that long process, also inspired me to see that I wasn’t the only one who had to choose between a life of freedom and a life of subjection.

Living in the Netherlands, I was acquainted with more women with a Muslim background who wanted to shape their own lives. And here, in the United States, I also come across Muslim women who want to do the same. And I was inspired with the help of Americans and with the help of Dutch people, to start a movement. What I hope will become a movement, but has now only started with a foundation, to help emancipate women from subjection. In my case in the name of Islam, but it doesn’t matter in the name of what. And the mission statement of my foundation is to protect women’s rights from militant Islam and tribal custom.

well a great teacher inspires. A great teacher listens. A great teacher informs in an entertaining way and a great teacher learns from his oh her students.

I moved from a world where all laws, all rules, even the day to day rules, are derived from God, are found in the Koran, or the sayings of the founder of Islam who considered himself to be a profit. They were the do’s and the don’ts and the obligations, the Halal and the Haram.

And then I came in 1992 to a world where what you do and what you don’t do, the difference between right and wrong, is derived from human reason and therefore is dynamic, subject to change. And the result of a society built around secular rules with ideas that come from us as human beings. I found that society to be more peaceful, more prosperous, more dynamic. And I’m not saying it’s not flawed. I’m not saying it’s not perfect. But it is much, much better than the societies that I grew up in that were ruled in the name of Sharia, or Islamic law, which were just crucibles of human rights violations.

The name of my foundation is the AHA Foundation. It is an abbreviation of my name, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Our mission statement is to protect women’s rights here in the United States from militant Islam and tribal custom. Our activities include informing the American public that such horrific practices as forced marriages, female genital mutilation, an honor killings take place here in the United States. To engage Muslim families in stopping with carrying on these practices. To protect the victims of these practices. To punish the perpetrators.

The goal is, yes, to stop these practices. To empower women, to punish the perpetrators, but also to make Americans in general aware of the fact that these things go on in the United States before things get to a scale equal to that which some of the European countries are facing today.

Hi I’m I am Ayaan Hirsi Ali here at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Connect with me at genConnect.com.
The AHA Foundation works to reinforce the following basic rights: the rights of women and girls to security and control of their own bodies, the rights of women and girls to an education, the rights of women to work outside the home and to control their own income, the rights of women and girls to freedom of expression and association, and the rights of women and girls to other basic civil rights of citizens and residents defined under the laws of Western democracies and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, regardless of sexual identification.

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Category: 2010 Aspen Ideas Festival, Charities & Causes, Giving Back, Videos

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