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Outspoken heretic, infidel and global nomad, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, returns to Australia for a speaking tour

February 1, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

In April 2017, Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be adding her voice to Australia’s heated debate about Islam’s place in a modern liberal democracy. Hirsi Ali will be speaking in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, with an additional date in Auckland.

Infidel. Heretic. Apostate. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has courted controversy over her years in the public eye, earning widespread criticism amongst the liberal left and death threats from the religious right.

As the polemic around Islam intensifies around the world, reformers and secularists have been struggling to be heard amidst the racism of the far-right, the inertia of the regressive left and death threats from hardline Islamists. Into this fray, Hirsi Ali asks where the tolerance ends if its result is an acceptance of human rights abuses, in particular Sharia’s treatment of women and sexual minorities, the proliferation of genital mutilation, honour killings, forced marriages and social isolation. Calling for reform in the religion, Hirsi Ali urges the public to stop denying the link between extremist groups and religion. The left has not taken kindly to this, and in 2016 Ali (along with Maajid Nawaz) was placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of ‘Anti-Muslim Extremists’.

Born in Somalia to a devout Muslim family, Hirsi Ali underwent female genital mutilation as a child and escaped an arranged marriage in 1992 by seeking political asylum in the Netherlands. Leaving her religion behind, she famously collaborated with director Theo van Gogh to produce Submission, a short film that ultimately led to van Gogh’s assassination and the subsequent call for her own. Moving to the USA in 2006, Hirsi Ali is now an American citizen and has since founded the AHA Foundation in defence of women’s rights, and served as a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute think tank.

Think Inc. invite you to step inside the controversy with Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Hero of Heresy

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Hero of Heresy is hosted by Think Inc. Think Inc. is a young, Australian-based initiative dedicated to reinvigorating the thrill of rational discourse in daily conversation. Through engaging events with world-class minds, Think Inc. brings excitement to intellectual fields. Audiences are invited to discuss “smart answers to big questions” alongside the heavyweights, with past speakers including the likes of Dr Cornel West, Edward Snowden, Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz.

Event dates:

Thursday 6 April | BCEC, Brisbane
Friday 7 April | Festival Hall, Melbourne
Saturday 8 April | ICC, Sydney
Sunday 9 April | ASB, Auckland
Monday 10 April | Llewellyn Hall, Canberra


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