Muslim-turned atheist tells American minorities they are in the best place in the world

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
In her latest book Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues that a reformation of the Islamic faith is the only way to end Islamic extremism. |

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner)-- A Muslim-turned-atheist author who is calling for a reformation of the Islamic faith in her latest book Heretic has also hailed the United States as "the best country in the world" for black people, women and other minorities.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 45, is a Somali-born women's rights activist who fled to the Netherlands as a young woman seeking to escape a forced marriage. Also an outspoken critic of Islam, Ali has faced threats from extremists for her liberal views and choice to denounce the Islamic faith.

Her unorthodox opinions on Islam and unique perspectives on women's issues in the Western world were highlighted in an April 5 interview with the The Daily Beast.

"We are so blessed as women to live in the United States. The best place to be a woman in the world is in the U.S.," Ali said pointing to the law and public support of women's equal rights as the reason.

Ali immigrated to the United States in 2006 following controversy regarding her Dutch citizenship which led to her resignation form Parliament. The former politician's personal experience as a minority across international and continental borders perhaps led to her further thoughts on the plight of minorities in America.

"The best place to be black in the world is in the U.S. Is it perfect? No. Are we confronted with threats? Yes. But it's the perfect place to fight [them] off," Ali said. "I cannot imagine what it is like to be a black man living in Saudi Arabia, in Iran—even where the majority of people are black, like Africa."

Gays were not exempt from Ali's remarks. Despite the current freedom fight between advocates of religious liberties and anti-discrimination activists Ali statements suggested homosexuals in America were still more accepted than European gays who have previously held the right to marry.

"I cannot imagine a better place to be gay than in the U.S. I know that all European countries have accepted gay marriage and here in the U.S. we're still struggling to accept that. On the other hand, when the jihadists in Europe attack gays in the streets, the governments don't protect them," Ali said.

To the religious fighting for to keep their freedoms she shared the same message,"The best place to be Jewish in the world, besides the state of Israel, is in the U.S. The best place to be Christian is in the U.S."

Ali is the author of the New York Times best seller Infidel and its sequel Nomad, two memoirs in which she shares about becoming an atheist and the journey of her emigration from Africa through her arrival in America.