Feminism in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective
Luncheon Presentation by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Activist & Writer
Registration at 12:15 pm
Luncheon at 12:30 pm
Close at 2:00 pm
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken defender of women's rights in Islamic societies, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. Raised in a strict Muslim family, Ms. Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female circumcision, brutal beatings, an adolescence as a devout believer, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and life in four countries under dictatorships. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992, and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society.
Ms. Hirsi Ali denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and together with director Theo van Gogh in 2004, she made Submission, a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures. The airing of the film on Dutch television resulted in the assassination of Mr. van Gogh by an Islamic extremist who threatened she would be next. Ms. Hirsi Ali captured the world’s attention with Infidel, her coming-of-age memoir, which spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list - the development of her beliefs, iron will, and extraordinary determination to fight injustice done in the name of religion. Ms. Hirsi Ali is married to the renowned historian, Professor Niall Ferguson.