Commonwealth National Podcast

Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Human Rights Activist; Author, Infidel (2/20/2007)


Breaking the Chains: The Battle to Find and Use My Voice

Hirsi Ali, a high profile critic of Islam, will share her journey from a forced marriage in Somalia to a new life in the West. She will discuss the costs of her controversial views, including the multiple death threats that required her to seek police protection.

The author, filmmaker, and outspoken anti-Islamist eventually became a member of the Lower House of the Netherlands parliament in 2003. In 2006, Hirsi Ali’s Dutch citizenship was challenged due to inconsistencies in her application for asylum at which time she resigned.

As a Dutch parliament member born in Mogadishu, Somalia, the daughter of the Somali warlord Hirsi Magan Isse, Hirsi Ali worked to secure basic human rights for female Muslim immigrants. For her human rights work, Hirsi Ali has been given multiple awards, including being named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world by TIME Magazine in 2005, and European of the Year in 2006 by the European editors of Reader's Digest magazine.

This program was recorded live on February 20, 2007