The controversial author, feminist activist and politician, Ayaan Hirsi Ali comes to Melbourne. A vocal and prominent critic of Islam, Ali has been celebrated and criticised for her work and writings. A former member of the Dutch House of Representatives, she has campaigned passionately for conflict resolution, ethics and world citizenship. Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2005, her memoir Infidel has been praised as profoundly affecting and powerful. The followup, Nomad, tells the stirring story of her search for a new life as she tries to reconcile her Islamic past with her passionate adherence to democracy and Western values.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an outspoken defender of women's rights in Islamic societies. Hirsi Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992, and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006.
In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society, and on defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made "Submission," a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures.
Jennifer Byrne has 26 years experience in television, radio and print journalism. Over the years she has interviewed many world leaders for television programs such as "60 Minutes", "7.30 Report" and "Lateline". She is currently presenter of the "First Tuesday Book Club" on ABC TV.
Author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues that the clash of cultures between Western secular liberalism and radical Muslim immigrants is being overshadowed by meaningless debates over burqas and minarets.