Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a longtime critic of Islam and vocal atheist, has announced that she is now a Christian for both spiritual and civilizational reasons.
“I still have a great deal to learn about Christianity,” she wrote in an essay published this week. “I discover a little more at church each Sunday. But I have recognized, in my own long journey through a wilderness of fear and self-doubt, that there is a better way to manage the challenges of existence than either Islam or unbelief had to offer.”
In an essay published on the website UnHerd, the famous Muslim apostate Hirsi Ali recalled that the Muslim Brotherhood had a unique ability to transform her and her fellow teenagers into activists almost overnight.
Amid strict prayer and fasting sessions, the Somali-born Hirsi Ali and her friends were taught to hate Jews and avoid indulging in early pleasures or else face the wrath of Allah.
She said that the “zero-cost escape” from a life of “self-denial” and “harassment” offered by atheism made the absence of belief appealing to her for a time. The atheists in her circle, like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, offered her a new circle of friends that were both fun and clever.
However, as Hirsi Ali witnessed the threats posed to Western civilization via authoritarian regimes like Russia and China, the rise of global Islamism and the “viral spread” of woke ideology, the benefits of atheism seemed inadequate to combat the issues of modern civilization.
“We endeavor to fend off these threats with modern, secular tools: military, economic, diplomatic, and technological efforts to defeat, bribe, persuade, appease, or surveil. And yet, with every round of conflict, we find ourselves losing ground,” she wrote.
The atheist doctrine of “God is dead,” in her opinion, seemed now insufficient to find refuge in the “rules-based liberal international order.” The solution, Hirsi Ali found, was an embrace of one’s desire to uphold Judeo-Christian tradition.
She also praised the freedom of conscience and freedom found in Western civilization. She believes such freedom is the product of debate within Jewish and Christian communities.
“Unlike Islam, Christianity outgrew its dogmatic stage. It became increasingly clear that Christ’s teaching implied not only a circumscribed role for religion as something separate from politics. It also implied compassion for the sinner and humility for the believer,” she added.
Hirsi Ali admitted that she found life without any spiritual aspect “unendurable,” and atheism failed to answer the eternal question: What is the meaning and purpose of life?
The “God hole,” as she described it, inevitably left a void that has been filled by a “jumble of irrational, quasi-religious dogma.”
She believes without Christianity, the West cannot withstand China, Russia and Iran, cannot counter Islam with secularism and will be unable to fight “woke ideology,” which she claimed is determined to “destroy civilization.”
“The lesson I learned from my years with the Muslim Brotherhood was the power of a unifying story, embedded in the foundational texts of Islam, to attract, engage, and mobilize the Muslim masses,” she continued. “Unless we offer something as meaningful, I fear the erosion of our civilization will continue. And fortunately, there is no need to look for some New Age concoction of medication and mindfulness. Christianity has it all.”
Hirsi Ali became the victim of female genital mutilation in Somalia at just five years old. After surviving a civil war, beatings, and an arranged marriage, she received political asylum in the Netherlands as a young adult.
She later served as a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003 to 2006 and renounced her Islamic faith. In 2007, she helped to establish the AHA Foundation, which works to protect the rights of women in the West from oppression resulting from religious and cultural radicalism.
That same year, she made comments critical of Islam, telling Reason Magazine, “”Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars.”
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