Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a prominent figure in the “New Atheists” movement, has made a public announcement about her conversion to Christianity. Renowned as a “champion of atheist thought,” Ali revealed her newfound faith in an essay published by UnHerd.
In her article, Ali expresses that she turned to Christianity not only for the meaning and solace it provides but also for its robust and unifying doctrine. She argues that Christian faith can strengthen individuals against various challenges.
Born in Somalia and raised Muslim, Ali has been a vocal critic of Islam, previously referring to it as a “nihilistic cult of death.” However, she now criticizes atheism, labeling it as a “weak and divisive doctrine” that offers no hope or defense against destructive forces.
Ali’s journey involves escaping a forced marriage and female genital mutilation in Somalia. Despite suffering these hardships, she had previously embraced atheism, influenced by the events of 9/11 and readings, including Bertrand Russell’s “Why I Am Not a Christian.”
The article suggests that Ali’s conversion to Christianity is driven by several factors. She points to global threats such as authoritarianism, global Islamism, and woke ideology. Ali argues that secular tools have proven ineffective against these forces and believes the answer lies in upholding the legacy of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Acknowledging that secularists value cultural, legal, and social inheritances rooted in Christianity, Ali emphasizes the importance of preserving the civilization built on this tradition.
Her decision to embrace Christianity also stems from a quest for spiritual solace and answers to life’s meaning and purpose. Ali criticizes atheism for failing to provide satisfactory responses, leading to a void that has been filled by irrational quasi-religious dogma.
Quoting G.K. Chesterton, Ali emphasizes that when people cease to believe in God, they become capable of believing in anything. She contends that Christianity offers a meaningful response to the challenges faced by Western civilization.
Despite acknowledging that she has much to learn about Christianity, Ali asserts that it provides a better way to manage the challenges of existence compared to Islam or unbelief.