Founder of AHA Foundation, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Reacts to the Salman Rushdie Attack in The Washington Post and UnHerd
Image credit: Alexander Baxevanis, used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Our founder Ayaan Hirsi Ali responded to the horrific attack on Salman Rushdie in both The Washington Post and UnHerd.
In The Washington Post, she reflected that she once shared the ideals of those who would see Rushdie dead:
If Rushdie had been murdered then, I would have been happy.
Now that he has been nearly killed in a knife attack, I am shattered.
In the intervening years, I came to realize that the religion of my youth was an oppressive, dangerous version of the faith. Forced into marriage in the early 1990s, I fled to the Netherlands, where I successfully sought political asylum. There, I studied political science, later becoming a member of parliament. And I watched with mounting anger, and horror, as radical Islam pursued its war on modern civilization — perhaps these words can still be said, on Western civilization.
In UnHerd, Ayaan analysed the nature of the attack and spoke about the fear she felt for herself and her family when she heard the news:
[L]ast Friday, I was scared. I felt terrorised. I was urged to go into hiding and stay silent for my own safety. For a few hours, I let fear rule my life. But still I knew deep down that freedom is a choice — and that I would keep choosing to be free, to speak and write as I please. In this way, in writing this very piece, I defy the Islamists and all others who would silence me.