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Famed Muslim-turned-atheist scholar: ‘Why I am now a Christian’

‘There is a better way to manage the challenges of existence than either Islam or unbelief’

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a global women’s rights activist and outspoken critic of Islam, is now openly professing her faith in Christianity.

Hirsi Ali, who at one point in her life considered herself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and also suffered female genital mutilation and a forced marriage at the hands of that religion, wrote in Unherd about her faith journey in a Nov. 13 piece headlined “Why I am now a Christian.”

Hirsi Ali is a Stanford University Hoover Institution scholar and prolific author, whose latest book is “Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights.”

In her column, she wrote that after she rejected Islam she embraced atheism because it “was a relief to adopt an attitude of scepticism towards religious doctrine, discard my faith in God and declare that no such entity existed.”

But it’s not enough anymore. She wrote the current triple threat facing the planet — the rise of communist authoritarianism in Russia and China, global Islamism, and the “viral spread of woke ideology” — demands an answer that unites humanity.

“We endeavour 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. We are either running out of money, with our national debt in the tens of trillions of dollars, or we are losing our lead in the technological race with China,” Hirsi Ali wrote.

“But we can’t fight off these formidable forces unless we can answer the question: what is it that unites us? The response that ‘God is dead!’ seems insufficient. So, too, does the attempt to find solace in ‘the rules-based liberal international order’. The only credible answer, I believe, lies in our desire to uphold the legacy of the Judeo-Christian tradition.”

Hirsi Ali added that her acceptance of Christianity goes beyond solving temporal problems.

“I would not be truthful if I attributed my embrace of Christianity solely to the realisation that atheism is too weak and divisive a doctrine to fortify us against our menacing foes,” she wrote. “I have also turned to Christianity because I ultimately found life without any spiritual solace unendurable — indeed very nearly self-destructive. Atheism failed to answer a simple question: what is the meaning and purpose of life?”

She wrote that her journey is still underway, but that she has come to understand that “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.”

MORE: Hirsi Ali at Yale: ‘I Considered Myself Once a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood’ (VIDEO)

IMAGE: Hoover Institution YouTube screenshot

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.