WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Endowment for Middle East Truth honored women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her role in speaking out against the oppression of women in radical Islamic countries.
“I think about the threat of radical Islam to all of us almost every day,” Hirsi Ali said during remarks delivered via Skype to a Washington dinner Wednesday night.
She described her 13-year-old nephew’s schooling at a madrassa in Nairobi, which he attended all day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and was taught only about the Koran and Sharia law.
“I find that to be a poverty, a desert, for knowledge and culture,” Hirsi Ali said.
She said the leadership of radical Islam has a violent agenda that attracts the most attention, as well as a non-violent agenda, teaching their followers lies about non-believers.
“Once we possess a counter-narrative to the story they provide, I think we could win this battle,” Hirsi Ali said.
In addition to Hirsi Ali, EMET honored Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Palestinian Media Watch founder Itamar Marcus and Alliance of Iranian Women founder Manda Zand Ervin.