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Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Ayaan Hirsi Magan) was born on 13 November, 1969 in Mogadishu, Somalia, is a Dutch feminist, author. Discover Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is She in this year and how She spends money? Also learn how She earned most of networth at the age of 51 years old?

Popular As Ayaan Hirsi Magan
Occupation Politician and author
Age 52 years old
Zodiac Sign Scorpio
Born 13 November 1969
Birthday 13 November
Birthplace Mogadishu, Somalia
Nationality Somalia

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 13 November. She is a member of famous Politician with the age 52 years old group.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Height, Weight & Measurements

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Who Is Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Husband?

Her husband is Niall Ferguson (m. 2011)

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Husband Niall Ferguson (m. 2011)
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Children Thomas Ferguson

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Net Worth

Her net worth has been growing significantly in 2020-2021. So, how much is Ayaan Hirsi Ali worth at the age of 52 years old? Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s income source is mostly from being a successful Politician. She is from Somalia. We have estimated Ayaan Hirsi Ali's net worth, money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2021 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2020 Under Review
Net Worth in 2019 Pending
Salary in 2019 Under Review
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Source of Income Politician

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Timeline

2018

In April 2018, the SPLC retracted the "Anti-Muslim Extremist" List in its entirety after Nawaz threatened legal action over his inclusion on the list. In June 2018 the SPLC settled with Nawaz, paying him US$3.375 million and issuing an apology.

2017

In April 2017 she cancelled a planned tour of Australia. This followed the Facebook release of a video by six Australian Muslim women who accused her of being a "star of the global Islamophobia industry" and of profiting from "an industry that exists to dehumanize Muslim women" but did not call for her to cancel her trip. Ali responded that the women in question were "carrying water" for the causes of radical Islamists and stated that "Islamophobia" is a manufactured word. She explained that the cancellation was due to security concerns and organisational problems.

Also see her 2017 Hoover Institution Press publication "The Challenge of Dawa, Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It."

Tunku Varadarajan wrote in 2017 that, with "multiple fatwas on her head, Hirsi Ali has a greater chance of meeting a violent end than anyone I've met, Salman Rushdie included." According to Andrew Anthony of The Guardian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is admired by secularists and "loathed not just by Islamic fundamentalists but by many western liberals, who find her rejection of Islam almost as objectionable as her embrace of western liberalism."

2016

In October 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center accused Ayaan, and the Muslim activist Maajid Nawaz, of being "anti-Muslim extremists", which caused protests in several prominent newspapers. The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice wrote a public letter to the SPLC asking them to retract the listings.

2015

Hirsi Ali speaking in April 2015, on an Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio program said,

Speaking shortly after the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, Hirsi Ali commented on the nature of radicalization within communities of Islamic believers saying, "If we talk about the process of what we now call radicalization, that you see a process where individuals are putting on a religious identity. It's all about being a Muslim, you shed the rest of it or you downplay the rest of it and you try to make everyone else as pious as yourself. And this would be, looking back at San Bernardino, the telltale signs. These changes that the family, the friends, the close circle of relatives should have observed."

Andrew Anthony for The Guardian in 2015 wrote that even her fiercest critics would have problems denying what Hirsi Ali writes about current issues in Islam and since those issues are unpalatable an added difficulty was a cultural practice at the time to "not offend anyone". Anthony concluded that regardless of what critics may think of her solution, Hirsi Ali should be commended for her "unblinking determination to address the problem".

In May 2015, Mehdi Hasan wrote an article in The Guardian arguing that Islam doesn't need a reformation and that she will never win any fans over from Muslims, regardless of whether they're liberal or conservative. Hasan wrote: "She's been popping up in TV studios and on op-ed pages to urge Muslims, both liberal and conservative, to abandon some of their core religious beliefs while uniting behind a Muslim Luther. Whether or not mainstream Muslims will respond positively to a call for reform from a woman who has described the Islamic faith as a 'destructive, nihilistic cult of death' that should be 'crushed' and also suggesting that Benjamin Netanyahu be given the Nobel Peace Prize, is another matter." Hasan also invoked the death toll of the Christian sectarian conflicts of Thirty Years' War and the French Wars of Religion to argue that an Islamic reformation would lead to conflicts of a similar scale. Hasan also wrote that Islamic reformation should not be promoted by non-Muslims or ex-Muslims.

2014

In early 2014 Brandeis University in Massachusetts announced that Ali would be given an honorary degree at the graduation commencement ceremony. In early April, the university rescinded its offer following a review of her statements that was carried out in response to protests by the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) and lobbying by Joseph E. B. Lumbard, Head of the Islamic Studies Department, other faculty members and several student groups that accused Hirsi Ali of "hate speech". University president Frederick M. Lawrence said that "certain of her past statements" were inconsistent with the university's "core values" because they were "Islamophobic." Others expressed opinions both for and against this decision. The university said she was welcome to come to the campus for a dialogue in the future.

"When I speak of assimilation", Ali clarifies, "I mean assimilation into civilization. Aboriginals, Afghanis, Somalis, Arabs, Native Americans—all these non-Western groups have to make that transition to modernity".

2013

Hirsi Ali migrated to the United States and became a U.S. citizen in 2013. She has published two autobiographies, in 2006 and 2010. She married the British historian and commentator Niall Ferguson in 2011.

Just like Nazism started with Hitler's vision, the Islamic vision is a caliphate – a society ruled by Sharia law – in which women who have sex before marriage are stoned to death, homosexuals are beaten, and apostates like me are killed. Sharia law is as inimical to liberal democracy as Nazism ... Violence is inherent in Islam – it's a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder.

Hirsi Ali is a prominent opponent of female genital mutilation (FGM), which she has criticized in many of her writings. When in the Dutch parliament, she proposed obligatory annual medical checks for all uncircumcised girls living in the Netherlands who came from countries where FGM is practised. She proposed that if a physician found that a Dutch girl had been mutilated, a report to the police would be required – with protection of the child prevailing over privacy. In 2004 she also criticized male circumcision, particularly as practiced by Jews and Muslims, which she regarded as being another variant of mutilation practiced without the consent of the individual.

Susan Dominus of The New York Times wrote: "In "Heretic," Hirsi Ali forgoes autobiography for the most part in favor of an extended argument. But she has trouble making anyone else's religious history  – even that of Muhammad himself, whose life story she recounts  – as dramatic as she has made her own. And she loses the reader's trust with overblown rhetoric. ... She tries to warn Americans about their naïveté in the face of encroaching Islamic influences, maintaining that officials and journalists, out of cultural sensitivity, sometimes play down the honor killings that occur in the West."

2011

Hirsi Ali married British historian Niall Ferguson on 10 September 2011. They have two sons.

2010

In a 2010 interview with The Guardian, she compared the responses of Christians and Muslims to criticism of their respective religions. While Christians would often simply ignore criticism, Muslims would instead take offence, display a victim mentality and take criticism as insults.

In 2010, she opposed the idea of preventing immigrants from traditional Muslim societies from immigrating, claiming that allowing them to immigrate made the U.S. a "highly moral country."

In her second autobiography, Nomad (2010, in English), Hirsi Ali wrote that in early 2006, Rita Verdonk had personally approached her to ask for her public support in Verdonk's campaign to run for party leader of the VVD. Hirsi Ali wrote that she had personally supported Verdonk's opponent, Mark Rutte, as the better choice. She says that after telling Verdonk of her position, the minister became vindictive. Hirsi Ali wrote that, after the 2006 report of the Zembla TV program, Verdonk campaigned against Ali in retaliation for her earlier lack of support.

2007

A private trust, the Foundation for Freedom of Expression, was established in 2007 in the Netherlands to help fund protection of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other Muslim dissidents.

Her high public profile and outspokenness continued to attract controversy. On 17 April 2007, the local Muslim community in Johnstown, Pennsylvania protested Hirsi Ali's planned lecture at the local campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh imam Fouad El Bayly was reported as saying that the activist deserved the death sentence but should be tried and judged in an Islamic country.

On 25 September 2007, Hirsi Ali received her United States Permanent Resident Card (green card). In October 2007 she returned to the Netherlands, continuing her work for AEI from a secret address in the Netherlands. The Dutch minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin had informed her of his ruling that, as of 1 October 2007, the Dutch government would no longer pay for her security abroad. That year she declined an offer to live in Denmark, saying she intended to return to the United States.

In a 2007 interview in the London Evening Standard, Hirsi Ali characterised Islam as "the new fascism":

In a 2007 article in Reason magazine, Hirsi Ali said that Islam, the religion, must be defeated and that "we are at war with Islam. And there's no middle ground in wars." She said, "Islam, period. Once it's defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It's very difficult to even talk about peace now. They're not interested in peace ... There comes a moment when you crush your enemy. (..) and if you don't do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed." Adding: "the Christian powers have accepted the separation of the worldly and the divine. We don't interfere with their religion, and they don't interfere with the state. That hasn't happened in Islam." She reiterated her position that the problem isn't just a few "rotten apples" in the Islamic community but "I'm saying it's the entire basket." She stated that the majority of Muslims aren't "moderates" and they must radically alter their religion. Max Rodenbeck, writing in The New York Review of Books, notes that Ali's view of Islam has shifted and "mellowed," as she no longer completely rejects Islam. She now narrowly criticizes what she calls "Medina Muslims", meaning the fundamentalists who envision a regime based on sharia, and who ignore the more inclusive passages of Muhammad's Meccan period, a small minority of Muslims, who are, nevertheless, quite influential among young Muslims, according to Hirsi Ali: "These men, I find them to be far more influential in inspiring and mobilising young men to see the religion of Islam the way they see it, than the way either Imam Faisal says he sees it, or Maajid Nawaz says he sees it." Ayaan Hirsi Ali stated that, in her opinion, "The Christian extremists here, in the United States, who take the Bible and use it to kill people and hurt people, they are the fringe, but unfortunately, what we are seeing in Muslim countries is that the people who feel they should be governed under the Sharia Law, are not a fringe. (..) Islam can become a religion of peace, if politics is divorced from religion", and she stated that: "The individual that wants to kill me because I am an apostate of Islam, is inspired to do that from the scripture of Islam, the example of the prophet Mohammed, the clergy that preached to him, and the reward that he will get in the hereafter."

2006

At first she held various short-term jobs, ranging from cleaning to sorting post. She worked as a translator at a Rotterdam refugee center which, according to a friend interviewed in 2006 by The Observer newspaper, marked her deeply.

In January 2006 Hirsi Ali was recognised as "European of the Year" by Reader's Digest, an American magazine. In her speech, she urged action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. She also said that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be taken at his word in wanting to organise a conference to investigate objective evidence of the Holocaust, noting that the subject is not taught in the Middle East. She said, "Before I came to Europe, I'd never heard of the Holocaust. That is the case with millions of people in the Middle East. Such a conference should be able to convince many people away from their denial of the genocide against the Jews." She also said that what some have described as "Western values" of freedom and justice were universal. But she thought that Europe has done far better than most areas of the world in providing justice, as it has guaranteed the freedom of thought and debate required for critical self-examination. She said communities cannot reform unless "scrupulous investigation of every former and current doctrine is possible." Hirsi Ali was nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize the same month by Norwegian parliamentarian Christian Tybring-Gjedde.

In March 2006 she co-signed a letter entitled "MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism". Among the eleven other signatories was Salman Rushdie; as a teenager, Hirsi Ali had supported the fatwa against him. The letter was published in response to protests in the Islamic world surrounding the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy in Denmark, and it supported freedom of press and freedom of expression.

On 27 April 2006 a Dutch judge ruled that Hirsi Ali had to abandon her current secure house at a secret address in the Netherlands. Her neighbors had complained that she created an unacceptable security risk, but the police had testified that this neighborhood was one of the safest places in the country, as they had many personnel assigned to it for Hirsi Ali's protection. In an interview in early 2007, Hirsi Ali noted that the Dutch state had spent about €3.5 million on her protection; threats against her produced fear, but she believed it important to speak her mind. While regretting van Gogh's death, she said she was proud of their work together.

In May 2006 the TV programme Zembla reported that Hirsi Ali had given false information about her name, her age, and her country of residence when originally applying for asylum. In her asylum application, she had claimed to be fleeing a forced marriage, but the Zembla coverage featured interviews with her family, who denied that claim. The program alleged that, contrary to Hirsi Ali's claims of having fled a Somali war zone, the MP had been living comfortably in upper middle-class conditions safely in Kenya with her family for at least 12 years before she sought refugee status in the Netherlands in 1992.

On 15 May 2006, after the broadcast of the Zembla documentary, news stories appeared saying that Hirsi Ali was likely to move to the United States that September. She was reported to be planning to write a book entitled Shortcut to Enlightenment and to work for the American Enterprise Institute. On 16 May Hirsi Ali resigned from Parliament after admitting that she had lied on her asylum application. In a press conference she said that the facts had been publicly known since 2002, when they had been reported in the media and in one of her publications. She also restated her claim of seeking asylum to prevent a forced marriage, stating: "How often do people who are seeking refuge provide different names? The penalty of stripping me of my Dutch citizenship is disproportional." Her stated reason for resigning immediately was the increasing media attention. Owing to the fact that a Dutch court had ruled in April 2006 that she had to leave her house by August 2006, she decided to relocate to the United States in September 2006.

Reacting to news of Hirsi Ali's planned relocation to the US, former VVD leader Hans Wiegel stated that her departure "would not be a loss to the VVD and not be a loss to the House of Representatives". He said that Hirsi Ali was a brave woman, but that her opinions were polarizing. Former parliamentary leader of the VVD, Jozias van Aartsen, said that it is "painful for Dutch society and politics that she is leaving the House of Representatives". Another VVD MP, Bibi de Vries, said that if something were to happen to Hirsi Ali, some people in her party would have "blood on their hands." United States Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick said in May 2006, "we recognise that she is a very courageous and impressive woman and she is welcome in the US."

On 23 May 2006, Ayaan Hirsi made available to The New York Times some letters she believed would provide insight into her 1992 asylum application. In one letter her sister Haweya warned her that the entire extended family was searching for her (after she had fled to the Netherlands), and in another letter her father denounced her. Christopher DeMuth, president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said that the asylum controversy would not affect the appointment. He stated that he was still looking forward to "welcoming her to AEI, and to America."

On 27 June 2006, the Dutch government announced that Hirsi Ali would keep her Dutch citizenship. On the same day a letter was disclosed in which Hirsi Ali expressed regret for misinforming Minister Verdonk. Hirsi Ali was allowed to retain her name. Dutch immigration rules allowed asylum seekers to use grandparents' names. Her grandfather had used the last name Ali until his thirties and then switched to Magan, which was her father's and family's surname. This grandfather's birth year of 1845 had complicated the investigation. (Hirsi Ali's father Hirsi Magan Isse was the youngest of his many children and born when her grandfather was close to 90). Later the same day Hirsi Ali, through her lawyer and in television interviews, stated that she had signed the resignation letter, drafted by the Justice Department, under duress. She felt it was forced in order for her to keep her passport, but she had not wanted to complicate her pending visa application for the US. As of 2006 she still carried her Dutch passport.

In a special parliamentary session on 28 June 2006, questions were raised about these issues. The ensuing political upheaval on 29 June ultimately led to the fall of the Second Balkenende cabinet.

In 2006 Hirsi Ali took a position at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.; as the Dutch government continued to provide security for her, this required an increase in their effort and costs.

In a 2006 lecture in Berlin, she defended the right to offend, following the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy in Denmark. She condemned the journalists of those papers and TV channels that did not show their readers the cartoons as being "mediocre of mind." She also praised publishers all over Europe for showing the cartoons and not being afraid of what she called the "hard-line Islamist movement."

In 2006 Hirsi Ali as MP supported the move by the Dutch courts to abrogate the party subsidy to a conservative Protestant Christian political party, the Political Reformed Party (SGP), which did not grant full membership rights to women and withholds passive voting rights from female members. She stated that "any political party discriminating against women or homosexuals should be deprived of funding."

Although she publicly supported the policy of VVD minister Rita Verdonk to limit immigration, privately she was not supportive, as she explained in a June 2006 interview for Opzij. This was given after she resigned from Parliament and shortly after she had moved to the United States.

Hirsi Ali discussed her view on immigration in Europe, in an OpEd article published in the Los Angeles Times in 2006. Noting that immigrants are over-represented "in all the wrong statistics", she wrote that the European Union's immigration policy contributed to the illegal trade in women and arms, and the exploitation of poor migrants by "cruel employers."

In his 2006 review of this collection of seventeen essays and articles on Islam by Hirsi Ali, journalist Christopher Hitchens noted her three themes: "first, her own gradual emancipation from tribalism and superstition; second, her work as a parliamentarian to call attention to the crimes being committed every day by Islamist thugs in mainland Europe; and third, the dismal silence, or worse, from many feminists and multiculturalists about this state of affairs."

Hirsi Ali has continued discussion of these issues in her two autobiographies, published in Dutch in 2006 and in English in 2010. In her first work, she said that in 1992 her father arranged to marry her to a distant cousin. She says that she objected to this both on general grounds (she has said she dreaded being forced to submit to a stranger, sexually and socially), and specifically to this man, whom she described as a "bigot" and an "idiot" in her book.

Her first autobiography, Infidel (2006), was published in English in 2007. In a review, American Enterprise Institute fellow Joshua Muravchik described the book as "simply a great work of literature," and compared her to novelist Joseph Conrad.

2005

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. Critics accuse Ali of having built her political career on Islamophobia, and questioned her scholarly credentials "to speak authoritatively about Islam and the Arab world". Her works have been accused of using neo-Orientalist portrayals and of being an enactment of the colonial "civilizing mission" discourse.

Hirsi Ali went into hiding, aided by government security services, who moved her among several locations in the Netherlands. They moved her to the United States for several months. On 18 January 2005, she returned to parliament. On 18 February 2005, she revealed where she and her colleague Geert Wilders were living. She demanded a normal, secured house, which she was granted one week later.

In the Netherlands about half of all education has historically been provided by sponsored religious schools, most of them Catholic or Protestant. As Muslims began to ask for support for schools, the state provided it and by 2005, there were 41 Islamic schools in the nation. This was based on the idea in the 1960s that Muslims could become one of the "pillars" of Dutch society, as were Protestants, Catholics and secular residents. Hirsi Ali has opposed state funding of any religious schools, including Islamic ones.

2004

Hirsi Ali is a former Muslim who rejected the faith, became an atheist, and has been a vocal critic of Islam. In 2004, she collaborated on a short movie with Theo van Gogh, entitled Submission, a film depicting oppression of women under fundamentalist Islamic law, critical of the Islamic canon itself. The film led to controversy and death threats. Van Gogh was then murdered several days after the film's release by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Moroccan-Dutch Islamic terrorist. Hirsi Ali maintains that "Islam is part religion, and part a political-military doctrine, the part that is a political doctrine contains a world view, a system of laws and a moral code that is totally incompatible with our constitution, our laws, and our way of life." Having previously argued that Islam was beyond reform, in her book Heretic (2015), she called for a reformation of Islam by defeating the Islamists and supporting reformist Muslims.

Working with writer and director Theo van Gogh, Hirsi Ali wrote the script and provided the voice-over for Submission (2004), a short film that criticised the treatment of women in Islamic society. Juxtaposed with passages from the Qur'an were scenes of actresses portraying Muslim women suffering abuse. An apparently nude actress dressed in a semi-transparent burqa was shown with texts from the Qur'an written on her skin. These texts are among those often interpreted as justifying the subjugation of Muslim women. The film's release sparked outrage among many Dutch Muslims.

Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch Moroccan Islamist and member of the Muslim terrorist organisation Hofstad Group, assassinated van Gogh in an Amsterdam street on 2 November 2004. Bouyeri shot van Gogh with a handgun eight times, first from a distance and then at short range as the director lay wounded on the ground. He was already dead when Bouyeri cut his throat with a large knife and tried to decapitate him. Bouyeri left a letter pinned to Van Gogh's body with a small knife; it was primarily a death threat to Hirsi Ali. The Dutch secret service immediately raised the level of security they provided to Hirsi Ali. Bouyeri was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

In 2004 a rap song about Hirsi Ali was produced and distributed on the Internet. The lyrics included violent threats against her life. The rappers were prosecuted under Article 121 of the Dutch criminal code because they hindered Hirsi Ali's execution of her work as a politician. In 2005 they were sentenced to community service and a suspended prison sentence.

2003

In 2003, Hirsi Ali was elected a member of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the States General of the Netherlands, representing the centre-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). A political crisis related to the validity of her Dutch citizenship—namely the accusation that she had lied on her application for political asylum—led to her resignation from parliament, and indirectly to the fall of the second Balkenende cabinet in 2006.

In 2003, aged 33, Hirsi Ali successfully fought a parliamentary election. She said that the Dutch welfare state had overlooked abuse of Muslim women and girls in the Netherlands and their social needs, contributing to their isolation and oppression.

During her tenure in Parliament, Hirsi Ali continued her criticisms of Islam and many of her statements provoked controversy. In an interview in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, she said that by Western standards, Muhammad as represented in the Qu'ran would be considered a pedophile. A religious discrimination complaint was filed against her on 24 April 2003 by Muslims who objected to her statements. The Prosecutor's office decided not to initiate a case, because her critique did "not put forth any conclusions in respect to Muslims and their worth as a group is not denied".

Hirsi Ali criticises the central Islamic prophet on morality and personality traits (criticisms based on biographical details or depictions by Islamic texts and early followers of Muhammad). In January 2003 she told the Dutch paper Trouw, "Muhammad is, seen by our Western standards, a pervert and a tyrant", as he married, at the age of 53, Aisha, who was six years old and nine at the time the marriage was consummated. She later said: "Perhaps I should have said 'a pedophile'". Muslims filed a religious discrimination suit against her that year. The civil court in The Hague acquitted Hirsi Ali of any charges, but said that she "could have made a better choice of words".

In 2003 Hirsi Ali worked together with fellow VVD MP Geert Wilders for several months. They questioned the government about immigration policy. In reaction to the UN Development Programme Arab Human Development Report, Hirsi Ali asked questions of Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaap De Hoop Scheffer and the Minister without Portfolio for Development Cooperation Agnes van Ardenne. Together with parliamentarian Geert Wilders she asked the government to pay attention to the consequences for Dutch policy concerning the limitation of immigration from the Arab world to Europe, and in particular the Netherlands.

2002

Reading Atheïstisch manifest ("Atheist Manifesto") of Leiden University philosopher Herman Philipse helped to convince her to give up religion. She renounced Islam and acknowledged her disbelief in God in 2002. She began to formulate her critique of Islam and Islamic culture, published many articles on these topics, and became a frequent speaker on television news programs and in public debate forums. She discussed her ideas at length in a book entitled De zoontjesfabriek (The Son Factory) (2002). In this period, she first began to receive death threats.

Cisca Dresselhuys, editor of the feminist magazine Opzij, introduced Hirsi Ali to Gerrit Zalm, the parliamentary leader of the center-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), and party member Neelie Kroes, then European Commissioner for Competition. At their urging, Hirsi Ali agreed to switch to their party of the VVD and stood for election to Parliament. Between November 2002 and January 2003, she lived abroad while on the payroll as an assistant of the VVD.

Hirsi Ali admitted that she had lied about her full name, date of birth, and the manner in which she had come to the Netherlands, but persisted in saying she was trying to flee a forced marriage. She noted that her first book, The Son Factory (2002), provided her real name and date of birth. She had also stated these in a September 2002 interview published in the political magazine HP/De Tijd. and in an interview in the VARA gids (2002). Hirsi Ali asserted in her 2006 autobiography (2007 in English) that she made full disclosure of the matter to VVD officials when invited to run for parliament in 2002. It is not known on what grounds she received political asylum. On the issue of her name, she applied under her grandfather's surname in her asylum application, to which she was entitled; she later said it was to escape retaliation by her clan. In the later parliamentary investigation of Hirsi Ali's immigration, the Dutch law governing names was reviewed. An applicant may legally use a surname derived from any generation as far back as the grandparent. Therefore, Hirsi Ali's application, though against clan custom of names, was legal under Dutch law. The question of her age was of minor concern. Media speculation arose in 2006 that she could lose her Dutch citizenship because of these issues, rendering her ineligible for parliament. At first, Minister Rita Verdonk said she would not look into the matter. She later decided to investigate Hirsi Ali's naturalisation process. The investigation found that Hirsi Ali had not legitimately received Dutch citizenship, because she had lied about her name and date of birth. However, later inquiries established that she was entitled to use the name Ali because it was her grandfather's name. Verdonk moved to annul Hirsi Ali's citizenship, an action later overridden at the urging of Parliament.

Hirsi Ali joined the VVD political party in 2002; it combines "classically liberal" views on the economy, foreign policy, crime and immigration with a liberal social stance on abortion and homosexuality. She says that she admires Frits Bolkestein, a former Euro-commissioner and ideological leader of the party.

Hirsi Ali has criticised the treatment of women in Islamic societies and the punishments demanded by conservative Islamic scholars for homosexuality and adultery. She publicly identified as Muslim until 28 May 2002, when she acknowledged in her diary that she knew she was not.

2001

She became disenchanted with Islam, and was shocked by the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, for which al-Qaeda eventually claimed responsibility. After listening to videotapes of Osama bin Laden citing "words of justification" in the Qur'an for the attacks, she wrote, "I picked up the Qur'an and the hadith and started looking through them, to check. I hated to do it, because I knew that I would find Bin Laden's quotations in there." During this time of transition, she came to regard the Qur'an as relative – it was a historical record and "just another book."

2000

As an avid reader, in the Netherlands she found new books and ways of thought that both stretched her imagination and frightened her. Sigmund Freud's work introduced her to an alternative moral system that was not based on religion. During this time she took courses in Dutch and a one-year introductory course in social work at the Hogeschool De Horst in Driebergen. She has said that she was impressed with how well Dutch society seemed to function. To better understand its development, she studied at the Leiden University (Leiden, Netherlands), where she obtained an MSc degree in political science in 2000.

1995

Between 1995 and 2001, Hirsi Ali also worked as an independent Somali-Dutch interpreter and translator, frequently working with Somali women in asylum centers, hostels for abused women, and at the Dutch immigration and naturalization service (IND, Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst). While working for the IND, she became critical of the way it handled asylum seekers. As a result of her education and experiences, Hirsi Ali speaks six languages: English, Somali, Arabic, Swahili, Amharic, and Dutch.

1992

Hirsi Ali arrived in the Netherlands in 1992. That year she had travelled from Kenya to visit her family in Düsseldorf and Bonn, Germany and gone to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage. Once there, she requested political asylum and obtained a residence permit. She used her paternal grandfather's early surname on her application and has since been known in the West as Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She received a residence permit within three or four weeks of arriving in the Netherlands.

1977

After her father escaped from prison, he and the family left Somalia in 1977, going to Saudi Arabia and then to Ethiopia, before settling in Nairobi, Kenya by 1980. There he established a comfortable upper-class life for them. Hirsi Ali attended the English-language Muslim Girls' Secondary School. By the time she reached her teens, Saudi Arabia was funding religious education in numerous countries and its religious views were becoming influential among many Muslims. A charismatic religious teacher, trained under this aegis, joined Hirsi Ali's school. She inspired the teenaged Ayaan, as well as some fellow students, to adopt the more rigorous Saudi Arabian interpretations of Islam, as opposed to the more relaxed versions then current in Somalia and Kenya. Hirsi Ali said later that she had long been impressed by the Qur'an and had lived "by the Book, for the Book" throughout her childhood.

1969

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (/aɪ ˈ j ɑː n ˈ h ɪər s i ˈ ɑː l i / ; Dutch: [aːˈjaːn ˈɦiːrsi ˈaːli] ( listen ) ; Somali: Ayaan Xirsi Cali: Ayān Ḥirsī 'Alī; born Ayaan Hirsi Magan, 13 November 1969) is a Somali-born Dutch-American activist, feminist, author, scholar and former politician. She received international attention as a critic of Islam and advocate for the rights and self-determination of Muslim women, actively opposing forced marriage, honor violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation. She has founded an organisation for the defense of women's rights, the AHA Foundation.

Ayaan was born in 1969 in Mogadishu, Somalia. Her father, Hirsi Magan Isse, was a prominent member of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front and a leading figure in the Somali Revolution. Shortly after she was born, her father was imprisoned due to his opposition to the Siad Barre government. Hirsi Ali's father had studied abroad and was opposed to female genital mutilation, but while he was imprisoned, Hirsi Ali's grandmother had a man perform the procedure on her, when Hirsi Ali was five years old. According to Hirsi Ali, she was fortunate that her grandmother could not find a woman to do the procedure, as the mutilation was "much milder" when performed by men.