Last month, I was horrified at the news of the brutal attack on Salman Rushdie. I am so glad that he seems to be on the road to recovery now, but it is a reminder of the grave threat that violent Islamist extremism poses to all of us and our values, free speech in particular. Click here to read AHA Foundation’s statement and the articles I wrote for The Washington Post and UnHerd about the attack.
The fatwa against Salman Rushdie was a foreshadowing of the terrible danger of Islamism that culminated in 9/11, whose 21st anniversary approaches. And that is why I recommit myself here to the defense of our precious Western freedoms and ideals.
It is appropriate, then, that our first blog this month is an interview with Jacob Mchangama, a free speech advocate and the author of a recent book on the subject. With assaults on free speech coming from many sides, Jacob reminds us of the foundational, enduring importance of free speech as the “bulwark of liberty” and this reminder is as timely as it is urgent. You can read the blog here.
In other ways, too, AHA Foundation continues the fight for liberty for all. Last month, I shared with you the wonderful news about the banning of child marriage in Massachusetts. You can read more about that, and our part in this victory, in a blog from our Senior Director Amanda Parker here.
Meanwhile, in our fight to combat female genital mutilation (FGM) in the U.S. and support survivors and advocates, we have added a new legal guide, this one for the state of Georgia, to our website. Find out more about this project here and find the legal guides here.
Finally, I want to thank you for your support of AHA Foundation. It is only because you stand with us, whether by sharing our newsletters and blogs or by donating, that we are able to do the vital work we do, whether it’s amplifying the voices of survivors and activists or training frontline professionals in how to deal with FGM.
So, in the wake of the attack on Salman Rushdie, as the 9/11 anniversary approaches, and while women and girls in the U.S. still lack basic rights and face abuse and violence, rest assured that AHA Foundation will not rest in the task of ensuring liberty for all and preserving, protecting, and promoting our Western freedoms and ideals.
With warmth and gratitude,
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder