Top

A collection of quotations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali on atheism, death, life, tolerance, cowardice, motivation, Islam, feminism, women, activist, politics and rights.

27 Powerful Ayaan Hirsi Ali Quotes That Are Sure To Move You

Quick Facts

Also Listed In

Famous As
Writer, Politician, Activist, Feminist

Born On
13 November 1969 AD

Born In
Mogadishu

Founder / Co Founder
AHA Foundation

Age
47

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an activist, politician, feminist and writer. She is known to for fighting against all odds for the rights of Islamic women. After completing her graduation she joined the Netherland’s Labor Party as a researcher on immigration issues where she strongly criticized the Dutch laws towards immigrants. This helped her to shift to the liberal People’s Party where she was elected to the Dutch Parliament. During her term in the Parliament, she was known for her straightforward stance on the treatment of ladies in Islam. She further came into the limelight as an activist when she collaborated with the director ‘Theo Van Gogh’ to make the controversial documentary ‘Submission’ which described the abuse of Islamic women. This created a lot of controversy and eventually made her resign from the parliament. Thereafter, she moved to the U.S. There she published her debut novel ‘The Caged Virgin’ which aimed at the absence of intervention by western societies in Islamic countries to stop women abuse. She further wrote a couple of novels which justified her reputation as a feminist. Her contributions as an activist were honored by various awards including the ‘European Bellwether prize’. Here is a compilation of quotes and thoughts by Ayaan Hirsi Ali which have been excerpted from her writings, books, speeches, interviews and work. Go through these notable sayings and quotations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali on freedom, self-expression, human rights, infidel, Muslims, fear, veil and liberalism.

Confronted with such flagrant acts of intolerance—such abuses of the freedom of speech—a free society must surely do more. For intolerance is the one thing a free society cannot afford to tolerate.

- Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The key imperatives of modernity: freedom of conscience, tolerance of difference, equality of the sexes, and an investment in life before death.

- Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In short, the liberation of the individual conscience from hierarchical and priestly authority opened up space for critical thinking in every field of human activity.

- Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

This wasn't just a band of frustrated Egyptian architects in Hamburg. It was much bigger than that,. and had nothing to do with frustration. It was about belief.

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Force and rape are not an issue because he is a believing Muslim and he is an Osman Mahamud.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture’s intolerance.

- Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Most of all, I think it was the novels that saved me from submission. I was young, but the first tiny, meek beginnings of my rebellion had already clicked into place.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

This move is called Qworegoys, and the women of my grandmother's family taught it to their daughters just as they taught them to make thorn-bush fences to protect the hut from hyenas.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Adults never explained anything. They saw children as akin to small animals, creatures who had to be tugged and beaten into adulthood before they were worthy of information and discussion.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A virgin's silence is the proper answer to a marriage proposal; it signifies a dignified consent.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

You must learn what to fear and what not to fear.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Such is the tragedy of girls and women who by the strictures of their upbringing and culture cannot own up to their body's desires, even to themselves.

- Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

It takes a long time to dissolve the bars of a mental cage.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

But without doubts, without a standpoint reached through questionings, human beings can't acquire knowledge.

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In a well-functioning democracy, the state constitution is considered more important than God's holy book, whichever holy book that may be, and God matters only in your private life.

- The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

As a reader, I could put on someone else's shoes and live through his adventures, borrow his individuality and make choices that I didn't have at home.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I would rather clean than beg.

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I lived in countries that had no democracy... so I don't find myself in the same luxury as you do. You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom because you don't know what it is not to have freedom.

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

...Bear true witness, even if it be against yourselves, your parents or your family.

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Wishful thinking about the peaceful tolerance of Islam cannot interpret away this reality: hands are still cut off, women still stoned and enslaved, just as the Prophet Muhammad decided centuries ago.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

You'll be pleased to hear, Christopher, that I am no longer a Muslim liberal but an atheist [....] I find that it obviates the necessity for any cognitive dissonance.

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Reality is not easy, but all this make-believe doesn't make it easier.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Drinking wine and wearing trousers were nothing compared to reading the history of ideas.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

There are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I would like to be judged on the validity of my arguments, not as a victim.

- Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

However, some things must be said, and there are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.

- Ayaan Hirsi Ali