Ayaan Hirsi Ali : biography

13 November 1969 -

In Reason Magazine, Ayaan Hirsi Ali stated that not just 'radical Islam' but 'Islam' must be defeated. She stated: "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."


Hirsi Ali criticises the central Islamic prophet on the grounds of both his morality and personality. In January 2003 she told the Dutch paper Trouw, "Muhammad is, seen by our Western standards, a pervert", as he married, at the age of 52, Aisha, who was six years old and nine at the time the marriage was consummated. These and other statements led to a lawsuit by a number of Muslims in 2005. The civil court in The Hague acquitted Hirsi Ali of any charges, but mentioned that she "could have made a better choice of words"., Rechtbank's-Gravenhage, KG 05/123: "Daarmee is zij in het kader van de haar toegestane overdrijving binnen de grenzen van het toelaatbare gebleven. Het is echter de vraag of een veelvuldig gebruik van deze of soortgelijke woorden nog wel zal vallen binnen de grenzen van de proportionaliteit en subsidiariteit. Hoewel gedaagde heeft aangevoerd dat het gebruik van deze termen precies illustreert dat de Koran géén praktische handleiding is voor het dagelijkse leven, wordt geoordeeld dat zij deze zienswijze ook op andere (doeltreffender) wijze en met betere bewoordingen kan illustreren."

She also has stated her opinions about his personality. When Trouw asked her about him,, Trouw, 25 January 2003: "Mohammed is, gemeten naar onze westerse maatstaven, een perverse man. Een tiran. Hij is tegen vrije meningsuiting. Als je niet doet wat hij zegt, loopt het verkeerd met je af. Dat doet mij denken aan al die megalomane machthebbers uit het Midden-Oosten: Bin Laden, Khomeini, Saddam. Vind je het vreemd dat Saddam Hoessein er is? Mohammed is zijn voorbeeld. Mohammed is een voorbeeld voor alle moslimmannen. Vind je het vreemd dat zoveel moslimmannen gewelddadig zijn?" she answered, "Measured by our western standards, Muhammad is a pervert. He is against freedom of expression. If you don't do as he says, you will be punished. It makes me think of all those megalomaniacs in the Middle East: Bin Laden, Khomeini, Saddam. Do you think it strange that there is a Saddam Hussein? Muhammad is his example. Muhammad is an example for all Muslim men. Do you think it strange that so many Muslim men are violent?" In a 2003 interview with the Danish magazine Sappho, she explains parallels she sees between the personality of Yasser Arafat and that of Muhammad., Sappho 23 November 2003

Genital cutting

Hirsi Ali opposes not just the genital cutting of girls, but also the practice of circumcision of boys as practiced by Jews and Muslims, as well as the routine infant circumcision practiced in the United States."Make circumcision for boys an offense", 4 October 2004 In her autobiography, Infidel, she writes: "Excision doesn't remove your desire or ability to enjoy sexual pleasure. The excision of women is cruel on many levels. It is physically cruel and painful; it sets girls up for a lifetime of suffering. And it is not even effective in its intent to remove their desire."Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel (New York: Free Press, 2007): page 140

A quotation from her on the subject: "girls dying in child birth because they are too young [...] The rise of radical Islam is an important part of this. I feel I have the moral obligation to discuss the source. I think if I think you are enriching the debate if you question it, you are not the enemy of Islam. We can look elsewhere using reason to discover answer to these problems, and we do not have to abolish religion. But we must do it by finding a balance." of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's lecture at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard

When in Dutch parliament she proposed obligatory annual medical checks for all uncircumcised girls originating from a country where female mutilation is practiced. If a girl turned out to have been circumcised, the physician would report this to the police, with protection of the child prevailing over privacy."VVD: extra inspectie tegen besnijdenis", de Volkskrant newspaper, 22 January 2004, frontpage

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine