Hirsi Ali regrets damaging Christianity by equating it with Islam


Christian Life

Joe-Lize Kruijsse-Brugge, CNE.news

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Photo Wikimedia Commons

Former atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali regrets the "damage" she's caused to Christianity. In a debate with the well-known atheist Richard Dawkins, she defends her decision to become a believer herself.

Hirsi Ali withdraws all her previous statements that all religions, including Christianity, were damaging to the world, she said during the conference, as reported by Christian Post. Looking back, she regrets her words and the consequences of her statements, Hirsi Ali acknowledged. She admitted that she promoted scepticism over faith without offering a viable moral alternative so that people fell into a void as they left the Christian faith.

"What you value in Christianity is something that really is absolutely necessary to pass on to the next generation", Hirsi Ali told Dawkins, pointing out that "we have failed the next generation by taking away from them that moral framework and telling them it's nonsense and false".


Last year, Hirsi Ali, who had been a member of the New Atheist Movement in which Dawkins plays a central role, admitted in an open letter that she had converted to Christianity. In response, Dawkins authored a critical response, being sceptical about the truth of Ali's conversion. “Seriously, Ayaan? You, a Christian? You are no more a Christian than I am”, he wrote.

During the Dissident Dialogues conference in New York earlier this month, the two went into debate about their views. Hirsi Ali again stated that she really did convert to Christianity and believes the Bible. "On the personal level, yes, I choose to believe in God", she said, as reported by Unherd. "And I think that there, we might say, let's agree to disagree. I think it's something subjective, and it's a choice. There are things that you see and perceive that a different person cannot perceive."


Her statements convinced Dawkins insofar that he now believes that Ayaan's choice for Christianity is genuine. "I came here prepared to persuade you, Ayaan, that you're not a Christian. I think you are a Christian, and I think Christianity is nonsense", he said.

Dawkins pointed out that Christianity is a religion "obsessed with sin", but Hirsi Ali strongly disagreed. "Christianity is obsessed with love", she countered. "The message of Christianity is a message of love. It is a message of redemption. It is a story of renewal and rebirth... And that story, I think, makes Christianity actually a very, very powerful story for the human condition and human existence."


The two did agree on the threat posed by Islam. Dawkins called it a "nasty religion". Earlier this year, he stated that he considered himself a cultural Christian and would choose Christianity over Islam every single time.

Hirsi Ali, born in Somalia, grew up as a Muslim, the Dutch daily Reformatorisch Dagblad writes. She broke with the religion when she became an adult, criticising the oppression of women within Islam. She was a member of the Dutch Lower House for a number of years, before she emigrated to the United States. Currently, she works as a researcher at Stanford University.



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