Hat tip Weasel
The young woman, aged 32, whose father is a Muslim imam in the north of England, has moved house 45 times to escape detection by her family since she became a Christian 15 years ago.
Hannah, who uses a pseudonym to hide her identity, told The Times how she became a Christian after she ran away from home at 16 to escape an arranged marriage.
The threats against her became more serious a month ago, prompting police to offer her protection in case of an attempt on her life.
* Obviously none of the British dhimmi’s in government or immigration have considered internment and deportation for her clan.
She was speaking on the eve of the launch of a new charity in London today to promote greater religious awareness. Muslims in Britain who wish to convert to Christianity are living in fear of their lives because of Islamic apostasy laws, a senior Church of England bishop will warn at the invitaton-only launch in west London.
The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, will claim “freedom to believe” is under threat in Britain because of Islamic hostility to conversion.
Hannah, now employed in multi-faith youth work and who gives talks to churches on Islam, is the daughter of a Lancashire imam whose seven other children are demanding she return to Islam. She has been in hiding,
since her home was attacked by a group of men armed with knives, axes and hammers, in 1994. She will describe today how she is in fear of her life after the death threats against her were recently renewed.
She said: “I left home and I had nowhere to go. My religious education teacher gave me somewhere to live. Even though she tried to make me stay at home on Sundays, I am quite rebellious by nature and I started to go to church with her out of curiosity.”
She said she had been in hiding, on and off, ever since, and has now been given a telephone number she can call for an instant response by police should she need help. The latest threat was a text message from one of her brothers, warning he could not be responsible for his actions if she did not return to Islam.
Hannah said she was looking forward to getting married so she could change her name and escape detection by her family. Not all Muslims in Britain are this extreme, she believes.
“It is representative of some Muslims. I know the Koran says that anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word. But I do not think every Muslim would actually act on that.”
Earlier this year, a Policy Exchange study found that 36 per cent of British Muslims aged between 16 and 24 believed those who converted to another religion should be punished by death.
Dr Nazir-Ali will speak out on behalf of Hannah and others suffering persecution for their beliefs in the UK at today’s launch of Lapido Media, a new charity which is seeking to promote “religious literacy” in world affairs.
The Bishop is expected to describe how sharia law in many countries, including parts of Britain, punishes apostasy with death and is viewed as treason by theocratic governments. Dr Nazir-Ali will call on society to offer greater protection, by increasing understanding of what makes people vulnerable.
Pakistan-born Dr Nazir-Ali, who has a Christian and Muslim background, is patron of Lapido Media, funded by donations and trusts including the Jerusalem Trust. The word ‘lapido’ means ‘to speak up for’ in the Acholi language of Northern Uganda. The charity has been named in honour of the courage of Acholi church leaders who campaigned for an end to a little-reported 20-year war there, involving the abduction of 25,000 children
* A Rice surprise: who would have guessed?
Ayaan claims Rice helped her get a green card.
The US Secretary of State, she says, expressed her admiration for everything Hirsi Ali “has done for women and freedom.” Rice even helped her obtain a green card, she says proudly. It is quite possible that money to pay for her bodyguards over the past few weeks has been paid by associates of the Bush administration.
Former Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali is worshipped by foreign intellectuals, but not always welcome at home. Her opinions provoke Muslims as well as the European left, and she’s been living in very public exile from the Netherlands for over a year.
Even her clothing is provocative, though not at first glance. Ayaan Hirsi Ali wears a soft brown designer jacket with an embroidered floral pattern. When she takes off the jacket, though, there’s a black T-shirt. A black T-shirt underneath reads, in several languages (including Arabic): “Neither Whore Nor Submissive.”
She smoothes the T-shirt, stretches and says: “It’s a fantastic slogan, isn’t it?”
Who can be surprised that this woman polarizes people? That some consider her a kind of Joan of Arc, while others see her as an incorrigible radical? As someone who says that she wants to help oppressed Muslim women, and yet may do more them more damage than good? The daughter of a Somali opposition politician who fled to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage, Hirsi Ali is an expert at offending others. A rebellious spirit lurks beneath her graceful exterior and designer clothing.
Since the murder of Theo van Gogh, with whom she produced a film critical of male dominance in Muslim families three years ago, the 38-year-old Hirsi Ali has been traveling the world without a place to call home. She now lives in the United States, but recently came to Europe to promote her autobiography, which has just come out in paperback in Germany.
One of the reasons Hirsi Ali travels so much is a dispute over her personal protection that has been raging for weeks. After calling the Prophet Muhammad a pedophile and a tyrant, Hirsi Ali has become the target of Muslim fanatics.
And the threats are serious. Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent, shot van Gogh as he was riding a bike down an Amsterdam street in November 2004. In a note he pinned to his victim’s chest with a knife, Bouyeri also threatened to kill Hirsi Ali. By then she already had bodyguards, paid for by the Dutch government. After Van Gogh’s murder the protection was heightened, and three years later Dutch intelligence still considers the risk to her life to be very high.
But she moved to the United States in September 2006, and after a year abroad, was told by the Netherlands that government money for her protection would be canceled — she would have to pay for it herself. The bodyguards who protected Hirsi Ali’s life 24 hours a day, seven days a week, had already cost The Hague â‚¬2 million ($2.93 million).