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Islam critic and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancelled her Australian tour, for security concerns.

Monday 3 April 2017, by siawi3

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-03/ayaan-hirsi-ali-cancels-speaking-tour-amid-security-concerns/8411408

Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancels speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand amid security concerns

April 3, 2017
about 5 hours ago

Photo: Ayaan Hirsi Ali was due to appear as a panellist on the ABC’s Q&A program. (Q&A)

Controversial speaker and vocal critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali has cancelled at the last minute her speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand, citing security concerns.

Ali was due to appear as a panellist on the ABC’s Q&A program tonight, but has also cancelled.

Her Hero of Heresy tour was due to begin in Brisbane on Thursday, before taking her to Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.

Ali said in a statement she regretted that, "for a number of reasons including security concerns", she had to cancel her upcoming appearances.

"She is very disappointed indeed about this but was left with no alternative following a succession of organisational lapses on the part of the event organisers, Think Inc," the statement read.

"Nevertheless, she wishes Think Inc success in their future endeavours and hopes to be able to return to Australia in the not too distant future."

Ali is a controversial figure attracting widespread criticism among the liberal left and death threats from the religious right.

She was born to a Muslim family in Somalia but renounced her religion after seeking political asylum in the Netherlands in the early 1990s.

She has repeatedly criticised radical Islamists and sharia law and wants moderate Muslims to reform their religion.

Ali joined Geert Wilders’ far right party in the Netherlands but moved to the United States after receiving death threats for helping to make a short film that showed images of violence against women alongside verses from the Koran.
Video: Women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali appeared on Q&A last year. (ABC News)

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Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/ayaan-hirsi-ali-islam-critic-and-author-cancels-australian-tour/news-story/130e9e7659bcc8de20f4cb03fd6c164d

Ali’s Q&A call ‘disturbing trend’
Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancels tour
Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali has cancelled her Australian tour.

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 Australian\s editor at Large Paul Kelly.

The ABC has yet to announce a replacement for Ms Hirsi Ali.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancelled her tour to Australia at the last minute and will not be appearing on tonight’s #qanda. #staytuned
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) 9:21 AM - 3 Apr 2017 · Sydney, New South Wales

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

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

“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.”

She was due on the ABC’s Q&A program tonight, as well as live in studio on Sydney’s 2GB Radio with Ben Fordham.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali cancelled her tour to Australia at the last minute and will not be appearing on tonight’s #qanda. #staytuned
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) 9:21 AM - 3 Apr 2017 · Sydney, New South Wales

Liberal MP Tim Wilson said the cancellation of the tour represented the way modern activists were hijacking public debate.

“It’s a reflection of what happens when modern left progressive activists think that violence or threats of violence or intimidation are a way of dealing with public debate by silencing or censoring people who disagree with them,” he told Sky New’s The Bolt Report.

“This is not the progressive left of the past that has always defended freedom of speech and the contest of ideas, instead of rather than debating ideas, they are just trying to silence their opponents. This is a very disturbing trend in Australian societies, it’s been happening in in other Western liberal democracies and it will not end well.”

Ms Hirsi Ali was born to a Muslim family in Somalia, but . She has attracted critics for speaking out about ­reforming traditional Islam and confronting militant Islam

She has been a controversial figure, earning, according to the event’s organisers, “widespread criticism among the liberal left and death threats from the religious right.”

The event was organised by Think Inc., a Sydney-based organisation that attempts to provoke debate and rational discourse through conversation.

About 2000 tickets had been sold to Ms Hirsi Ali’s speaking events in Australia.

Buyers were being notified by email about the cancellations and will receive refunds.

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 .

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. There have been other initiatives, including an abortive appeal on Change.org to prevent Ali from speaking.

Ms Hirsi Ali was elected to the lower house of the Dutch parliament. She moved to the US after receiving death threats for helping to make a short film that showed images of violence against women alongside verses from the Koran.

In a paper written for the Hoover Institute at Stanford University last month, Ms Hirsi Ali argues the public needs to be better educated about the political ideology of Islamists and the ways they recruit and finance their operations so they can reach their ultimate goal of imposing sharia law.

Additional reporting: AAP