Outspoken ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali has taken her critics in Australia to task after she was forced to cancel a speaking tour Down Under because of security fears.
The event, “Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Hero of Heresy”, was billed as an opportunity to “step inside the controversy” surrounding Islam and women’s place within the religion.
While she refused to further elaborate on the reasons for the abrupt cancellation of a tour that was to take in Australian and New Zealand audiences, Ms. Hirsi Ali told the Seven Network in Australia she wishes to “defy” her opponents and “come and expose them for what they are.”
“These are people who are far more interested in defending sharia Law, that’s Islamic law, and the doctrine of radical Islam, over human rights,” she said of her opponents, which included a group in the state of Victoria called Against Islamophobia who reportedly called venues at which she was booked to speak and threatened mass protests.
The U.S.-based, Somali-born activist has long argued that too many Westerners, especially liberals, can’t bring themselves to offend Muslims and thus avoid making necessary criticisms of Islamic doctrine.
She believes her trip to Australia was eventually made impossible because of a lack of support from those same liberals and cited a group of Australian Muslim women who accused her of being a “star” of Islamophobia and stirring hate mongering and bigotry
Just 400 people signed an online petition against Ms. Hirsi Ali’s speaking tour but it was enough, when combined with threats of protest, to sway organisers against going ahead.
“Against a backdrop of increasing global Islamophobia, Hirsi-Ali’s divisive rhetoric simply serves to increase hostility and hatred towards Muslims,” the petition, posted on Change.org, said.
“Today you have this horrible alliance between the far left and the Islamists and they’re using the modern media tool to shut people like me out by smearing us,” Ms. Hirsi Ali told AAP in response to the petition’s wording, before denying she is a critic of all forms of immigration.
“It’s the assumption that all immigrants are bad and all Muslims are bad, I don’t hold that view,” Ms. Hirsi Ali said. “But the burqa that covers the face, and that is really very much in your face, that kind of thing is just like the ISIS flag, it’s like wearing a very big swastika.”
In a paper written for the Hoover Institute at Stanford University last month, Ms. Hirsi Ali argues the public needs to be better educated about the political ideology of Islamists and the ways they recruit and finance their operations so they can reach their ultimate goal of imposing sharia law.
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