3 Apr 2017

Controversial Islam critic cancels Australia-NZ tour

9:22 pm on 3 April 2017

Controversial speaker and vocal critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali has cancelled her speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand at the last minute.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali renounced Islam and joined the Dutch far-right Party for Freedom before moving to the US. Photo: AFP

Ms Hirsi Ali was due to appear as a panellist on ABC programme Q&A tonight, but has also cancelled.

Her 'Hero of Heresy' tour was due to begin in Brisbane on Thursday, before taking her to Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.

Tour organiser Think Inc said the cancellation was because of "a number of reasons including security concerns, and she hopes to be able to return to Australia in the not-too-distant future".

Ms Hirsi Ali released a statement saying she was forced to cancel because of organisational lapses on the part of Think Inc.

She has reportedly attracted widespread criticism among the liberal left and death threats from the religious right.

The 47-year-old was born to a Muslim family in Somalia but renounced her religion after seeking political asylum in the Netherlands in the early 1990s.

She has repeatedly criticised radical Islamists and sharia law and called for moderate Muslims to reform the religion.

Ms Hirsi Ali joined Geert Wilders' far-right party in the Netherlands but moved to the United States after receiving death threats for helping to make a short film that showed images of violence against women alongside verses from the Koran.


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