Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancels tour

From the Australian

Internationally renowned author and anti-Islam campaigner Ayaan Hirsi Ali has pulled out of her Q&A appearance and cancelled her upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand, citing security concerns as one of the reasons for the decision.

Ms Hirsi Ali was due to appear on the ABC’s panel program, along with 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus; former Denmark PM Helle Thorning; and The Australians editor at Large Paul Kelly. The ABC has yet to announce a replacement for Ms Hirsi Ali.

She had also planned to speak in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland from Thursday to Sunday this week, but pulled out suddenly.

“Ayaan Hirsi Ali regrets that for a number of reasons including security concerns, she must cancel her upcoming appearances in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland,” those with interviews organised in Australia were told. “She wishes the event organisers Think Inc, success in their future endeavours and hopes to be able to return to Australia in the not too distant future.”

Ms Hirsi Ali lives with around-the-clock security protection due to her criticisms of radical Islamists.

Ms Hirsi Ali’s trip to Australia had sparked protests from a group of Muslim women who accused her of hate mongering and bigotry. Nearly 400 people signed an online petition against Ms Hirsi Ali’s speaking tour.

“Against a backdrop of increasing global Islamophobia, Hirsi-Ali’s divisive rhetoric simply serves to increase hostility and hatred towards Muslims,” the petition, posted on Change.org, said.

The Somali-born Dutch-American activist, author, and former politician, is an outspoken opponent of female genital mutilation.

Last month Think Inc said it had been harassed about her appearance.

Its insurers were contacted and warned there could be trouble, and venues where she was scheduled to speak had been contacted and warned that there would be protests where she was due to appear.

Much of this was done by an individual called Syed Murtaza Hussain of the Council for the Prevention of Islamophobia Inc. He informed Festival Hall in Melbourne there would be 5000 protesters outside the venue if the engagement went ahead.

The comments are excellent, btw.