AYAAN HIRSI ALI was born in Somalia and raised a devout Muslim. In 1992, Ayaan was married off by her father in a ceremony which she refused to attend. In order to escape this marriage, she fled to the Netherlands where she won asylum, and eventually citizenship. After earning a degree in political science she served as an elected member of the Dutch parliament for three years. She has since become an active critic of Islam, an advocate for women’s rights and a leader in the campaign to reform Islam. Her willingness to speak out and her abandonment of the Muslim faith have made her a target for violence and threat of death by Islamic extremists.
Ms. Hirsi Ali was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” of 2005, one of Glamour Magazine’s Heroes of 2005, and she received the Prix Simone de Beauvoir in 2008. She has published a collection of essays entitled The Caged Virgin and a best-selling memoir Infidel.