Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Industrialization of Africa
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Dutch-American feminist filmmaker and political writer. She is author of several books, the latest of which is Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now. She is also founder of the AHA Foundation, a former fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former member of the Dutch parliament.
Ali is a vocal critic of Islam whose writings often focus on the religion's subjugation of women. Her work is controversial and has resulted in numerous death threats. In 2004 Ayaan gained international attention following the murder of Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh had directed her short film Submission, a film about the oppression of women under Islam. The assassin left a death threat for her pinned to Van Gogh's chest. This tragic event, and Ayaan’s life leading up to it, are all chronicled in her best-selling book, Infidel.
I think we should be doing business with them. I don’t believe in aid because it has been proven for the last 50 years that it doesn’t work. But trade. Invest in Africa. Let Africans change their own destiny. I lived in Kenya for a long time, and when a mass uprising expressed in the form of demonstrations comes about against the government, the government then violently puts that down. Now a number of the Africans that I spoke to and knew at the time would say if Daniel Radmore did not have all this money that he is getting from Britain and other western countries in aid, he would not be able to buy the weapons to crash us. But in many African countries, because of aid, the authoritarian figures there can afford to get the weapons and the money to oppress their own people. That’s an issue that aid workers simply don’t want to deal with, and I think it’s a shame.
Recorded on: 8/15/07
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