For those of you who do not know her, Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote the book Infidel,which gives you a very good understanding of Islam and her brave life story (which she touches on in her speech). Ali has lots of answers for Muslim/Islamic problems. Go to the below website and hear her explain the plight of the Muslim woman to a UW Madison audience with questions/answers to follow.
It will give you pause, to say the least.
Video: Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Full Speech at University of Wisconsin - Distinguished Lecture series | EuropeNews dem\/29832
Kris Ugarriza, Special to the Journal Sentinel
Police lead Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s lecture attendees through metal detectors at the Wisconsin Union Theater on Tuesday. Ali called the treatment of Muslim women "one of the world’s great inequalities."
By Nicholas Penzenstadler of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Feb. 2, 2010
Madison — Listening to the soft-spoken words of the Somali-born guest stood in stark contrast to the ferocious debate the campus visitor brought with her to the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Tuesday.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken feminist who is critical of Islam and its treatment of women, spoke to an overflowing crowd of 1,300 people as part of a lecture series.
"We must use intelligence and reason to confront what I perceive as one of the world's greatest inequalities - the treatment of Muslim women," Hirsi Ali said at the event, which started late because of airport-like security.
The decision to invite Hirsi Ali and pay her $10,000 speaking fee drew criticism from both Muslim student organizations and other groups. "I see this as people slowly becoming suspicious of Islam, and suspicion leads to hatred and much worse things," said Rashid Dar, president of UW-Madison's Muslim Student Association.
"You shouldn't take Muslims as a subversive fifth column group that is planning to one day take over and start cutting hands off. We're normal people, too."
Hirsi Ali took refuge in the Netherlands in 1992 after escaping an arranged marriage. She now takes aim at what she sees as mandated beatings, segregation and female genital mutilation under Islam and has authored the book "Infidel."
A Dutch director who collaborated on a movie with Hirsi Ali was murdered in 2004 by a Muslim fundamentalist. The attacker left a death threat targeting Hirsi Ali on a note attached to the man's body by a knife.
Hirsi Ali works at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, in Washington, D.C., after her Dutch citizenship was brought into question, and she travels with bodyguards.
The author called for an inspection of Islam and its practices cast against a modern society, accusing Muslims of using scripture to commit crimes against women and homosexuals. When asked about her beliefs on the hijab, or headscarf, she said the symbol invokes criticism. "By wearing it you're bringing your religion into the public sphere and invite questioning," Hirsi Ali said at a small meeting before the event. "It would be like carrying a huge cross down the streets of Madison."
The group that brought Hirsi Ali to Madison, the Distinguished Lecture Series, initially planned to host sportswriter Rick Reilly. Those plans fell through, and the group turned to the guest it had first deemed too controversial. "Initially it was decided that we didn't want our names associated with her," said Reid Tice, DLS chair. "Today though, I'm really proud to be a Badger and strike up these insightful critiques of free speech and religion."
First amendment law professor Donald Downs applauded the group's decision.
"It's inspiring for students to see someone standing up to the threats, whether you agree with her or not," Downs said. "These are important issues, and she is a role model for her courage."
First-year law student Samir Jaber, however, said the Muslim community already hosts events on campus about gender equality that receive far less attention.
"I was just frustrated because they brought her to campus under the guise of feminism and gender equality, but her entire agenda has been promoting Islamophobia," Jaber said.
Hirsi Ali referenced the stance of the university in bringing her in and applauded the Wisconsin Idea, educating people to influence lives beyond the classroom.
She referred to examples of flogging and beating as prescribed by the Qur'an and urged feminists and other activists to scrutinize the religion practiced by 1.5 billion people across the globe.
"Islamic doctrine is incompatible with American theory," she said.