December 6, 2007

Protect Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I reproduce below an urgent appeal from the Skeptic Magazine to protect Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It is vitally important today for everyone who believes in freedom of expression as the mainstay of human progress and civilization, to lend their support to the likes of Ayaan Hirsi Ali around the world, lest the dystopian forces should win and impose their discredited and anachronistic ideas on all of us.

Urgent Appeal for Support to Protect Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Most of you will recall the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh (a descendent of the brother of the famous artist) in Amsterdam in 2004 at the hands of a Muslim thug who was offended by Van Gogh’s film about violence against women in the Muslim world (yes, that’s right, for accusing Muslims of being violent he was violently killed — shot eight times and nearly decapitated). The killer left a note proclaiming that the author of the script upon which the film was based, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, would be next. Since then, and especially since her book Infidel became a bestseller, Ali has lived in fear and under Dutch government security. The Dutch government has now removed its protection, leaving Ali to fend for herself, scrambling to find the means to hire private professional security.

I thank my friend Sam Harris for calling my attention to a new fund recently established in her name to raise money to pay for her security. I believe that this is a great moral cause that skeptics, humanists, and believers in civil liberties and freedom of speech can and should rally behind. Normally we call for general assistance in combatting irrationality in its generic form so pervasive in our world; here is a golden opportunity to give to a very specific cause in which irrationality threatens the life of a courageous free thinker and champion of liberty. I’ve made my donation. I hope you will as well. — Michael Shermer, Executive Director

LEARN more about Ms. Ali

WATCH Ms. Ali lecture

DONATE to Ms. Ali

Richard Dawkins Foundation
Supports Ayaan Hirsi Ali fund

In 2007, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science (RDFRS) convened a two-hour meeting between Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins (jocularly known as the “Four Horsemen”) in Christopher Hitchens’s apartment in Washington DC. Josh Timonen filmed their conversation using two high definition video cameras. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was originally invited to join them, but at the last minute she had to fly unexpectedly to the Netherlands. The remaining four discussants agreed with RDFRS’s proposal to donate to the Ayaan Hirsi Ali security fund all profits from sales of the DVDs from this remarkable conversation. The price will be $20, available at the end of December 2007. RDFRS also proposes to donate to the same fund the profits from a set of two DVDs, again filmed by Josh Timonen. This set features lectures by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, J. Anderson Thomson, Matthew Chapman, Eugenie Scott and Edward Tabash, at the 2007 conference of the Atheist Alliance International, held in Washington DC in 2007. The price of this set of two DVDs is also $20. he price of this 2-DVD set is also $20, and is available now through the RichardDawkins.net online store. All DVDs are NTSC, Region Free. READ more about the DVDs 

ORDER the 2-DVD set

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