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Ayaan Hirsi Ali vs. transgender people

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born Dutch-American activist and former politician. Ali is an anti-Islam and anti-transgender activist. Ali is often associated with the intellectual dark web, a gateway to the far right.

Background

Ayaan Hirsi Magan was born November 13, 1969 in Mogadishu. Ali’s parent Hirsi Magan Isse was a political prisoner who escaped Somalia in 1977, eventually settling the family in Kenya.

In 1992 Ali sought asylum in The Netherlands to avoid an arranged marriage. Ali worked as a translator while earning a master’s degree in 2000 from Leiden University. Ali became a Muslim apostate around that time. Ali’s 2004 film “Submission” with Theo Van Gogh criticized Islam and led to Van Gogh’s murder. Ali faced threats and went into hiding. In 2006 an exposé revealed Ali lied on the Dutch asylum application. Ali resigned from Parliament and was ultimately allowed to retain Dutch citizenship. Ali took a position at the American Enterprise Institute in the US, getting her green card in 2007.

In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed Ali as an anti-Muslim extremist, though they later removed the whole list.

Ali created the AHA Foundation and has worked for conservative organizations like the Hoover Institution.

Anti-transgender activism

Ali wrote for anti-trans publication UnHerd:

Those who would divorce “woman” from its biological implications often present their ideas as innocuous. They are, we are told, simply champions of “inclusion”. But their ideology is hardly uncontroversial, and surrendering to it is not harmless. The past year has seen reports of transgender women attacking women in female-only spaces and unfairly winning trophies in women’s sports. The spirit of these failures was perhaps best-distilled in the words of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who in March was unable to define what being a woman entailed during her Senate confirmation hearing. “I’m not a biologist,” she said, as if one needed to be a professional scientist to know basic biological facts.

A word of clarification. I am immensely sympathetic to the plight of transgender people and believe they ought to have the same moral and legal rights as everyone else. To be against militant trans activists’ gender ideology is not to be transphobic. Rather, it is simply to agree, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie succinctly put it, that “trans women are trans women”. Adichie was savaged for this and other statements evincing wrongthink, but acknowledging that trans women are distinct from women, that there are potential conflicts between their rights, and that gender ideology opens the door to abusive men masquerading as women, should not be controversial. Standing up for the rights of transgender people should not mean pretending sex does not exist altogether.

Podcast

Ali’s podcast logrolls for other anti-trans activists, including:

References

Ali, Ayaan Hirsi (December 27, 2022). The year the West erased women. UnHerd https://unherd.com/2022/12/the-year-the-west-erased-women/ 

Ali, Ayaan Hirsi (March 25, 2022). Do we need a Trans Olympics? UnHerd https://unherd.com/2022/03/do-we-need-a-trans-olympics/

Resources

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (ayaanhirsiali.com)

Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org)

Twitter (twitter.com)

Facebook (facebook.com)

Hoover Institution (hoover.org)