Who are we?
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.
Question: How do you understand human nature?
Transcript:I believe that there is human nature, and that good . . . what we consider to be good or virtuous, and what we consider to be bad are all in us – in each and every individual. But that as conscious beings, we are able to discern what we consider good and to develop that, and to suppress the bad side in us – the jealousy, the unkindness, the desire to dominate and, you know, kill. All these desires are in us. But the more we become aware of them, the more we are able to control them, to restrain them. And that that is part of reason, _________ with reason. There are more and more people coming up and attacking reason and saying that’s not the case; but I do believe that that’s . . . all of us are born with it. It doesn’t mean to say we are all born reasonable, but the faculty is there.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali answers the question, "Who are we?"
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