Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive protection from European Union

Rebecca at SkepChick reports that the European commissioner for justice and home affairs has announced that Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be subsidized by the European Union. This is very good news not just for Ali, but for humanity.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s story in brief: Ali is an ex-Muslim (now an atheist) from Somalia who fled to the Netherlands to escape an undesired forced marriage. After leaving Somalia she became a critic of fundamentalist Islam’s (or, simply Islam, in her words) abuses of human rights, particularly those of Islamic women, and an activist for the enlightenment, freedom and empowerment of Islamic women. Some years ago she co-produced a short film entitled Submission, a film on the dismal treatment and status accorded to women by Islamists. Her co-producer, Theo van Gogh, was stabbed to death for producing this film. The Islamist assailant left a message for Ali at the scene of the crime: a note attached to the knife left lodged into van Gogh saying that Ali is next. She is our generation’s Salman Rushdie, who had a dead warrant (or fatwa) placed on him for his publication of Satanic Verses, an iconic criticism of Islam. Ali has written her own book critical of Islam: Infidel, an autobiography detailing her experiences with those members of the religion that treat Islam not as a religion of peace, but as a cult of oppression and death.

Until recently the Dutch government had been funding Ali’s 24-hour protection. However, a few months ago they decided that because Ali was no longer living in The Netherlands—she has been in the US for a few years now—they would no longer fund her protection. Over the past few months many individual humanitarians had been contributing funding to support the protection of Ali and free speech for all.

Today is a big day for free speech and humanity. The EU’s promised protection of Ali sends a strong message: that we will stand together and protect each other and our right to speak freely.

I must admit that I never got around to making a donation to help protect Ali. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I should be (and am) ashamed of myself for this.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive protection from European Union”
  1. paul says:

    I re-published the good news
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/28/eu.religion
    in Frence because I don’t want to speak their Dutch anymore …

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