Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of ‘Infidel,’ to speak at Vilar | VailDaily.com

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of ‘Infidel,’ to speak at Vilar

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” An international humanitarian, a best-selling author, a prominent champion of liberal democracy, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, raised a Muslim, has a remarkable story.

A target of violence because of her willingness to speak out against her abandonment of the Muslim faith, Ali refuses to be silenced.

On Monday evening at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of “Infidel” will take center stage and discuss her experiences with an intimate, sold-out crowd.

The talk

Ali will focus on the clash of civilizations: Islam and the West, as well as describe her experience of coming to America. More than simply re-stating her story from her book, Ali will go deeper into the complexities of the mind under stress. Specifically, Ali will be discussing the process of evolving mindsets, as well as the process of evolving the spirit.

“We are very interested in learning more from Ayaan about how she was able to evolve her mindset and her thought processes from her upbringing to taking on a degree of independent thinking that necessitates security,” said Fraidy Aber, executive director of the Vail Symposium, the group responsible for bringing Ali to town.

Ali’s book, “Infidel,” has been a bestseller at the Bookworm of Edwards since it was published in English in 2007.

“We are really excited ” not only is this of interest to our local community ” this will also give us a perspective on the world at large, said Nicole Magistro, owner of the Bookworm in Edwards. “This is a national bestselling author ” the caliber of author that we are exposing our community to is a real reflection on our community, that we are interested and engaging in world affairs.

“It has been wildly popular with our 80 book clubs registered at the store,” Magistro said. “This is an accessible story, for woman and men and all ages … and I think her message will be very strong.”

The story

Born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1969, Ali had a traditional Muslim upbringing. She embraced Islam, regularly studied the Quran and admired the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood. Her father, a political opponent of the Somali dictatorship, raised the family in exile, bringing them from Somalia to Saudi Arabia, then to Ethiopia and Kenya.

In 1992, she was forced into an arranged marriage by her father in a ceremony that she refused to attend. To escape, she fled to the Netherlands.

It was there that she first realized the inconsistencies between the Western society that embraced her and the Muslim culture in which she was raised. Ali earned a degree in political science and served in the Dutch parliament for three years. She began focusing on the challenges of integration for Muslim immigrant groups in the West and advocating for women’s rights in a campaign to reform Islam.

Now Ali lives with round-the-clock protection. She is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C., researching the relationship between the West and Islam, women’s rights in Islam and violence against women propagated in the name of religious and cultural arguments.

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