Ayaan Hirsi Ali: a novel Voltaire

In Arab countries you make friends for life. The people were genuine, emotional, family-focused, hospitable. They understood their tradition and the past, and they really understood that they had a completely different future.

Kevin Roberts  (2005)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a writer and former member of  Holland Parliament.

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Of Somali origin Hirsi Ali spent her childhood in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. Suffered what she perceived as  impositions and restrictions of societies regulated by authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism.

Excised and made marry by her family to a completely stranger she fled to Europe and asked asylum in Holland.

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Here she first studied Political Science and then was hired as Researcher by the Labour Party. Hirsi Ali raised to public fame denouncing the downside of multiculturalism as it was administered in Holland. Advocate of freedom of expression and of  a womanhood fully active in the social economic and political context she abhorred the  islamic religious school which in her opinion perpetrated obsolete values not in line with democracy. For her views she entered the Liberal Party and inspired by her personal experience and by keeping in touch with immigrants from her origin country, Somalia, Hirsi Ali felt that it was time to take the condition of muslim immigrant women in Holland into the political debate.

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After  the short film Submission directed by Theo Van Gogh and written by Hirsi Ali aired on television and its sequel was announced a number of death threats were issued against the pair and  culminated with the  ferocious assassination of the director himself.  He was found shot dead with his throat cut and a letter stabbed o

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n his chest. The letter listed all the crimes committed by Ayaan and sentenced her to death. After this episode Ayann Hirsi Ali lived for long protected by secret services and after a row in Parliament which threatened her dutch citizenship she left Holland for USA.

Her political experience stirred a lot of controversy. No doubt. But she successfully contributed to instigate conversation inside the muslim community in Holland and a dialogue with the larger dutch society.

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