Ayaan Hirsi Ali vs Waris Dirie

I wonder which name is more well known around the world? My guess is Ayaan Hirsi Ali is more well known. They are both Somali and have experienced FGM and both ran away from home when their fathers tried to arrange marriages for them to older men. They both are activists who want to stop the practice of FGM and improve women’s rights.

How they differ is that Ali became a Dutch member of parliament, while Dirie became a fashion model. Dirie is a Muslim, while Ali is no longer a Muslim. They also differ in that while Dirie only talks about FGM and women’s rights, Ali talks politics and often voices biased and misinformed arguments concerning the West and the Muslim world. In other words, when discussing politics, Ali says what Westerners want to hear, not an honest and balanced criticisms of boths sides of the issues.
Since Waris Dirie is not as popular, in the media as Ali, here is something about her life
She was a UN goodwill ambassador in the fight against FGM. I don’t know if she is still working with the UN, since I have not seen her in any media reports recently. She has a foundation that campaigns against FGM. see here


August 5, 2007 - Posted by | Africa, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, FGM, Islam, politics, Somalia, Uncategorized, Waris Dirie, women's rights


  1. Actually, Hirsi Ali has a Muslim/Jewish equivalent. For more info on this, click here …

    Comment by Irfan | August 6, 2007 | Reply

  2. Here’s something else I wrote …

    Comment by Irfan | August 6, 2007 | Reply

  3. They are both amazing women!! and I admire them both greatly. I think what they are doing for the world is incredible especially in the eyes of women all over the globe. Personally Waris I think has gotten through to the people more because she still remains Muslim and has not given up religion altogether. I think religion is a good thing…it’s just when it is used for cruelty, punishment or control that it becomes a problem. I think Waris is helping people more and getting through with her arguments…Ayaan is fantastic but some of the things she has said although probably true will not get through the narrow minds of the people in Muslim countries. Waris has a better approach I think. The only way something like this can be changed is if the culture in itself realises they need the change. Both the AMAZING women are helping them to do this. GOODLUCK!!!

    Comment by reeah | November 19, 2007 | Reply

  4. I don’t think Ayaan Hirsi Ali is that great. She deliberately spreads misinformation to demonize Muslims. There are millions (Muslim and non-Muslims) that suffer all sorts of tragedies, but few sell out for money and fame to spread misinformation. If Ayaan Hirsi Ali sincerely wanted to change things in the Muslim world, she would not just only criticize Muslims, but would also criticize Western countries who while preach human rights and democracy, engage in regime change and support brutal dictators and kings who do their bidding.

    If you want to talk about an amazing women in politics there is Malalai Joya Click here to read about her.

    Comment by randalljones | November 22, 2007 | Reply

  5. I admire both of these women tremendously and pray for their physical safety daily, as well as their spiritual salvation. I am the author of Toropo ~ Tenth Wife which is anti-polygamy and anti-brideprice in Papua New Guinea. I lived on that island for nearly half of my life, and now Wahabi Muslims have taken over half of the island (Dutch New Guinea, nee Irian Jaya, nee West Papua). We in the West need to have our eyes opened to what these women are saying, and to what is taking place in our world. Sincerely, Linda Harvey Kelley

    Comment by Linda Harvey Kelley | November 23, 2007 | Reply

    • “Wahabi Muslims have taken over half the island”? Seriously? You are, I think referring to Indonesians, the vast majority of whom, although Muslim, are certainly NOT Wahabi, whatever you may think of their role in governing West Papua. Moreover, Indonesia has a large Christian minority that tends to be concentrated in the eastern islands.This includes members of the military. If you are really interested in not spreading misinformation, you might consider a little fact checking – or possibly getting your head out of the stereotype trough. (By the way, I lived in Java for 25 years, and yes, I do know what I am talking about.)

      Comment by Linda Zachri | March 2, 2016 | Reply

  6. Linda,
    How come Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other feminists living in the West have nothing to say about the trillions of dollars that the Saudis invest in the Untied States. How come they have nothing to say about the millions of dollars the U.S. makes selling sophisticated weapons to the Saudis? The Saudis do not even have the qualified personnel to use the weaponry, which is why they have to depend on the United States to defend them.

    There are many Muslim feminists living in the West who put their lives in danger, but they do not get the same media attention that Ali gets because they do not bash Islam the way she does. See


    Speaking of Guinea

    Equatorial Guinea is an oil rich country and guess what? The United States and Britain have their hands over the oil wealth of tat country. Margeret Thatcher’s son Mark Thatcher was caught attempting an coup d’etat against New Guinea. Here is a 2005 article about this,,1397007,00.html

    Do you think it is a sheer coincidence that Wahhabism spreads wherever Westerners meddle?

    Comment by randalljones | November 23, 2007 | Reply

  7. Hello, I have nothing to add to this discussion, but wish desperately to be able to contact Miss Linda Harvey Kelly about her book Toropo – Tenth Wife. Miss Kelly, or administration of this blog, can you help me? My email is Thanks so much!

    Comment by Phil Martin | December 5, 2007 | Reply

  8. Phil,

    I can’t help you with this, maybe Linda will revisit this blog and see your request. You can try to see if the publisher of her book can provide you with her contact information.

    Comment by randalljones | December 7, 2007 | Reply

  9. Hi, everyone,
    My e-mail is, and I will be happy to hear from anyone who wants to write to me. I am working fulltime (actually at two jobs) and don’t have time to come on the Net every day, but do when I can. I want to go overseas again in a few months, and I will be where I will have no access to the internet for a few months. As for now I am in Michigan and happy to hear from you. Linda Harvey Kelley

    Comment by Linda Harvey Kelley | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  10. I hope EU gives protection to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. And I hope France gives her citizenship.
    I am writing from Internet Cafe in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea just now. I spoke to Maranatha Christian Academy about one of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s and Waris Dirie’s issues this morning.
    I am happy to hear another writer has come forward with Papua New Guinea women’s issues. Her name is Christina Kewa. Please look up her new book. She is in New Zealand now. All the best! Linda

    Comment by Linda Harvey Kelley | July 11, 2008 | Reply

  11. My hotmail account has been stolen by a hacker in October. I have not been able to get it back yet. Please do not write to me at because I cannot access it. Many thanks. I am still hoping for the best for these ladies, and others, like the 8-year-old girl married to the 47-year-old man in Saudi Arabia. Today’s news says a judge refuses to annul the marriage, and the mother’s own lawyer says she has no right to try to get the marriage annulled because she is not the legal guardian. Injustice all the way around!

    Comment by Linda Harvey Kelley | December 24, 2008 | Reply

  12. I read with interest Linda Harvey’s comments on Christina Kewa and my new book- “Being a Woman in Papua New Guinea- From Grassskirts and Ashes to Education & Global Changes.” This book captures the struggle of women in PNG and their scary stories of the abuse they face daily. I have just finished being the keynote speaker at several meetings during International Women’s Day. I am challenging rape, bride price and polygamy in PNG- and see them as root causes of domestic violence against women in PNG. Copies of this book are available, and also if wanting to be a part of this process- email me

    chritsina kewa- author

    Comment by Christina Kewa | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  13. all of you are banch of idiots just because she is no longer wanna protect her for how long?she will be found someday.let us see who protects her then………………………….

    Comment by Queeny | June 11, 2009 | Reply

  14. I believe doing the world good should not try to offend profound subjects of any part of the society.. meaning when Waris wants to fight for women right and go against FGM she is fighting the ghost of boneless culture and norm, she is trying to give people that she doesnt even know an experience of life that is better than here’s while on the other hand Hirsi has started with the FGM fight to reach the seat she occupies now in the dutch government and then started undermining a religion.. now hirsi has offended a religion which has angered people which as a result she isnt raising awareness in the affected area(s).. somali’s refuse to listen to a “sell out”, she has lost the audience in need and gained only those she sucked up to in the first place… if u want peace u dont use knives to cut but use the power of logic and reasoning.. u rather do what Waris did.. reach the status and spread a pure message.. with selfless profits. There is a huge difference between the 2 women.
    I am somali and suffered FGM and would love to change the fate of many little girls but would never misuse my suffering or offend a religion to gain sympathy or suck up to anyone coz that to me is mockery.

    Comment by Amal | April 19, 2011 | Reply

  15. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects?
    Thanks a ton!

    Comment by Methadone Treatment Centers | March 16, 2013 | Reply

  16. im a somalian male and im against FGM but i do not like Ayan Hirsi

    Comment by Mohamed | October 17, 2013 | Reply

  17. I would like to support both Hirsi and Waris for both suffered a lot in their previous years and are trying their best to irradicate such practices in future

    Comment by ranji | March 5, 2015 | Reply

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