Ayaan Hirsi Ali is Somali-born feminist (the good kind) and political activist. He resume is impressive and her biography is compelling and inspiring. From Wiki:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Dutch: [aːˈjaːn ˈɦiːrsi ˈaːli] ( listen); born 13 November 1969) — birthname Ayaan Hirsi Magan Isse Guleid Ali Wai’ays Muhammad Ali Umar Osman Mahamud;[a] — is a Somali-born American (formerly Dutch) activist, writer, and politician. She is known for her views critical of female genital mutilation and Islam and supportive of women’s rights and atheism. She collaborated on a short movie with Theo van Gogh, entitled Submission (2004). Critical of Islam, it provoked controversy, and death threats were made against each of the two. Van Gogh was assassinated later that year by a Dutch Muslim.
Hirsi Ali is the daughter of the Somali politician and opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse. She and her family left Somalia in 1977 for Saudi Arabia, then Ethiopia, and later settled in Kenya. In 1992, Ali sought and obtained political asylum in the Netherlands. Following graduate work, she published articles on her political views and spoke in support of Muslim women, becoming an atheist. In 2003, Hirsi Ali was elected a member of the House of Representatives (the lower house of the Dutch parliament), representing the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). A political crisis related to the validity of her Dutch citizenship led to her resignation from parliament, and indirectly to the fall of the second Balkenende cabinet in 2006.
In 2005, Hirsi Ali was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She has also received several awards, including a free speech award from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the Swedish Liberal Party’s Democracy Prize, and the Moral Courage Award for commitment to conflict resolution, ethics, and world citizenship. Hirsi Ali has published two autobiographies: in 2006 and 2010.
Hirsi Ali emigrated to the United States, where she was a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. She founded the women’s rights organisation, the AHA Foundation. She became a naturalized US citizen in 2013 and that year was made a fellow at the Kennedy Government School at Harvard University, and a member of The Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center. She is married to British historian and public commentator Niall Ferguson.
You might think that Hirsi Ali must be a feminist hero. If you thought that, you are wrong. Here is what she recently wrote for HuffPost:
The system of law I am talking about is sharia law, the body of legislation derived from the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the rest of Islamic jurisprudence. And the discriminated group I have in mind is women, though I could also reference Jews, Christians and gays.
No group is more harmed by sharia than Muslim women — a reflection in part of the patriarchal tribal culture out of which Islamic law emerged. Repeatedly, women are considered under the code to be worth at most “half a man.” Sharia subordinates women to men in a multitude of ways: the requirement of guardianship by men, the right of men to beat their wives, the right of men to have unfettered sexual access to their wives, the right of men to practice polygamy, and the restriction of women’s legal rights in divorce cases, in estate law, in cases of rape, in court testimony, and in consent to marriage. Sharia states that women are considered naked if any part of their body is showing except for their face and hands, while a man is considered naked only between his navel and his knees. Finally, although Muslim men may marry Christian or Jewish women, Muslim women may only marry Muslim men.
Segregation, in short, is central to sharia — a fact that no amount of contortion by self-styled Muslim feminists can get around.
True, not all Muslim-majority countries apply sharia. In Tunisia, after a heated internal debate, the Islamist Ennahda Movement — which came to power following the Arab Spring — opted last year not to make sharia the basis for the country’s new constitution. But that is precisely the kind of moderate policy explicitly targeted by whichever jihadist gang carried out the Tunis museum massacre. And the troubling thing is that, worldwide, sharia is gaining ground. In Brunei, for example, the Sultan announced the introduction of sharia law last April. The advance of organizations like Islamic State and Boko Haram mean the most brutal application of sharia on a rising number of women and girls.
There seems to me only one possible way to react to this trend toward sharia and that is to resist it. Perhaps that is more obvious to me than to most; having lived under sharia when I was a young girl in Saudi Arabia I know just what it means to be a second-class citizen. Yet many Western liberals seem to struggle with the obvious point that if they were against segregation and discrimination in the 1960s they should be against gender segregation and discrimination now.
My most recent book is an argument for a Muslim Reformation. It proposes a fundamental five-point modification of Islamic doctrine designed to remove the various incitements embedded in the Koran to engage in intolerance, oppression and violence. The book is addressed mainly to Muslims who are reluctant to follow me all the way to apostasy, but who are prepared to acknowledge, if only to themselves, that there are fundamental incompatibilities between their faith and modernity. But I am also addressing Western liberals — and not only those at Brandeis University who last year saw fit to rescind their institution’s offer to me of an honorary degree.
In their letter denouncing me, 87 Brandeis faculty members accused me of suggesting that:
violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam or the Two-Thirds World, thereby obscuring such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus [and]… the hard work on the ground by committed Muslim feminist and other progressive Muslim activists and scholars, who find support for gender and other equality within the Muslim tradition and are effective at achieving it.
Seriously? “Support for gender and other equality within the Muslim tradition”? As for Muslim feminists “achieving” greater equality, the evidence, as we have seen, is that women’s rights in the Muslim world are being rapidly eroded by the spread of Islamism.
Calling Western feminists: People like me — some of us apostates, most of us dissident Muslims — need your support, not your antagonism. We who have known what it is to live without freedom watch with incredulity as you who call yourselves liberals — who claim to believe so fervently in women’s and minority rights — make common cause with the forces in the world that manifestly pose the greatest threats to just those things.
I am now one of you: an American. I share with you the pleasures of the seminar rooms and the campus cafés. I know we Western intellectuals cannot lead a Muslim Reformation. But we do have an important role to play. We must no longer accept limitations on criticism of Islam. We must reject the notions that only Muslims can speak about Islam, and that any critical examination of Islam is inherently “racist.” Instead of contorting Western intellectual traditions so as not to offend our Muslim fellow citizens, we need to defend the Muslim dissidents who are risking their lives to promote the human rights we take for granted: equality for women, tolerance of all religions and orientations, our hard-won freedoms of speech and thought.
Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture’s intolerance. If we do in fact support diversity, women’s rights, and gay rights, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on that spurious ground.
Compare and contrast the videos about to the one below. Didja notice anything different?