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“Talking about equality”

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali: ‘Why are Muslims so hypersensitive?’

Ayaan Hirsi Ali enters an apartment in New York followed by a bodyguard. The 40-year-old, who for the last six years has been unable to turn up at a venue without it being checked by security, is a writer, polemicist and critic of Islam. She is also a Somali immigrant, an ex-Muslim, a survivor of child genital mutilation, an exile many times over, a former Dutch MP, a black woman whose language would not, in places, look amiss in a BNP pamphlet, a remarked-upon beauty and a lady-in-peril, identities that lend her as a figurehead to disparate causes and bring on confusion in the people she meets…

“I’m not being rightwing,” she says. “The people who believe themselves to be on the left, and who defend the agents of Islam in the name of tolerance and culture, are being rightwing. Not just rightwing. Extreme rightwing. I don’t understand how you can be so upset about the Christian right and just ignore the Islamic right. I’m talking about equality.”

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