The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast
The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast
About The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast
The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast is a home for critical thinking and common sense. Critical thinking, objective truth and free speech have always been under assault. Ayaan will talk to amazing people who have given a lot of thought to these issues. Some of her guests will surprise you. Some of the topics we’ll be covering are ones she's never approached before. What all Ayaan's guests will have in common is a passion for free inquiry and speech. They are not afraid to explore different perspectives, even if it means challenging their own assumptions, or violating cultural taboos. You, the audience, can make up your minds which arguments make most sense to you. We would love to hear your thoughts after each show. Follow The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ayaan).
Ayaan speaks with Sylvia Bennett-Stone about violence in America, the importance of community, the Black Lives Matter movement, and our flawed criminal justice system. Finally, they discuss how to find purpose after losing a child? Sylvia Bennett-Stone serves as the Executive Director of the Voices of Black Mothers United (VBMU) initiative. After losing her daughter to senseless violence in 2004... Source
Ayaan speaks with Rafael about his childhood, violent crime, the breakdown of family, antisocial behavior, and rehabilitation. They also discuss Rafael’s new book Criminal (In)justice, a critique of our increasingly radical criminal justice reform movement. Finally, how do we remind Americans of the inherent good of America? Rafael Mangual is a senior fellow and head of research for the Policing... Source
Ayaan speaks with Kmele Foster about family, discrimination, and individualism. They also try to answer the question of what happened to the American man? Our societal evolution to empower women has been an overwhelming good. But have we forgotten what a positive male role model looks like? Kmele Foster is a media entrepreneur, commentator, and civil liberties advocate. He’s co-founder of... Source
Ayaan speaks with Ian Rowe about the power of personal agency and how to build it. Ian introduces a new framework to help develop agency in individuals: the FREE framework (family, religion, education, and entrepreneurship). His new book, Agency, is out today. Ian Rowe is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on education and upward mobility, family formation... Source
Ayaan speaks with Jason Hill about free speech, immigration, and the power of individual agency. While they question the woke’s focus on equity and victimhood, above all, they are optimistic about the resilience of young people and the American determination to solve problems. Jason D. Hill is a professor of Philosophy at DePaul University and an Honors Distinguished Faculty member. Source
Ayaan speaks with Speaker Newt Gingrich about growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, and how life differs today. They also discuss divisions among both the Democratic and Republican parties, what Biden should do about the situation in Ukraine, and the biggest long-term threat to America. Speaker Newt Gingrich is Chairman of Gingrich 360, a multimedia production and consulting company based in Arlington, Virginia. As former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gingrich is well known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994, creating the first conservative majority in the House in 40 years. He was a Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2012. Gingrich is a Fox News contributor, podcast host (Newt’s World), and syndicated columnist. He is the author of 41 books, including 18 fiction and nonfiction New York Times bestsellers. His latest books include Beyond Biden: Rebuilding the America We Love and Trump and the American Future: Solving the Great Problems of Our Time. Gingrich and his wife, Ambassador Callista L. Gingrich, host and produce historical and public policy documentaries. Recent films include “The First American” and “Divine Mercy: The Canonization of John Paul II.” Recognized internationally as an expert on world history, military issues, and international affairs, Newt Gingrich is the longest-serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting course for Major Generals. He also teaches officers from all six services as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University. In addition, Newt Gingrich served as a Member of the Defense Policy Board. He was a member of the Terrorism Task Force for the Council on Foreign Relations, and he co-chaired the Task Force on United Nations Reform, a bipartisan congressional effort to modernize and improve the United Nations. Follow him on Twitter @newtgingrich. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan. Support this podcast at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan speaks with Megan Phelps-Roper about leaving the Westboro Baptist Church. They discuss how we can bridge the divide and have empathetic conversations across ideological lines. Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBTQ community, Jews, other Christians, the military, and countless others. As a child, teenager and early 20-something, she participated in the picketing almost daily and spearheaded the use of social media in the church. Dialogue with “enemies” online proved instrumental in her deradicalization, and she left the church and her entire way of life in November 2012. Since then she has become an advocate for people and ideas she was taught to despise — especially the value of empathy in dialogue with people across ideological lines. She speaks widely, engaging audiences in schools, universities, faith groups, and law enforcement anti-extremism workshops. Her book is titled Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving Extremism. Follow her on Twitter @meganphelps Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan. Support this podcast at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan speaks with Paulina Neuding about rising crime rates in Sweden, humiliation robberies against children, and what Swedish identity looks like today. They consider the social cost of speaking up, and how not saying anything is far more harmful. Paulina Neuding is a journalist based in Stockholm, Sweden. Ms. Neuding’s work, which focuses mainly on immigration and integration, has appeared in the New York Times, Politico, the Spectator and others. She was previously the European editor at Quillette. She is an editorial writer with center-right Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden, and a columnist with Danish Berlingske Tidende. Follow her on Twitter @paulinaneuding. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan. To support this podcast, subscribe at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan speaks with Michael Shellenberger about the drug addiction crisis taking over major U.S. cities. They also discuss the results of the Virginia elections, the potential of a political realignment and the COP26 conference. Michael Shellenberger is the founder and president of Environmental Progress and is the author of Apocalypse Never and San Fransicko. He has been working as a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30. He was Time magazine’s “Hero of the Environment” in 2008 and is an invited expert reviewer for the next Assessment Report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Follow him on Twitter @ShellenbergerMD. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan. Subscribe to support this podcast at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan speaks with Lawrence Krauss about the new religion of wokeism and how it spread throughout academia. They discuss the impacts that political correctness and cancel culture have on science, and what it means for the future. Lawrence Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist. He is President of The Origins Project Foundation and host of The Origins Podcast with Lawrence Krauss. He has written over 500 publications, including for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Quillette, The New Yorker, Prospect Magazine, and The Economist. Lawrence has written numerous popular books including NYT bestsellers: The Physics of Star Trek; and A Universe from Nothing. His newest book is The Physics of Climate Change. He received his PhD from MIT and then moved to the Harvard Society of Fellows. Following eight years as a professor at Yale University, he was appointed as a full professor with an endowed chair while still in his thirties. During his career, he has held endowed professorships and distinguished research appointments at numerous institutions. Between 2006 and 2018, he was Chair of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Ayaan speaks with Katharine Birbalsingh about the importance of schools providing both a classical education and a place of belonging for children. Katharine explains how and why she established Michaela Community School. They also discuss the American obsession with race and how that is affecting education. Katharine Birbalsingh is Headmistress and co-founder of Michaela Community School in Wembley, London. Michaela is known for its tough-love behavior systems, knowledge curriculum and teaching of kindness and gratitude. In 2017, the British Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills graded the school as “Outstanding” in every category. Katharine studied Philosophy & Modern Languages at The University of Oxford and has always taught in inner London. She has made numerous appearances on television and radio and has written for several UK publications. Katharine has written several books. Her latest came out in August, titled The Power of Culture. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Snuffy. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @Ayaan. Subscribe to support Ayaan’s podcast at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan speaks with LTG H.R. McMaster about foreign policy challenges and threats, the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the recent purging of members from military boards. LTG H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He serves as the Japan Chair at the Hudson Institute and Chairman of the Center for Political and Military Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy. He was the 26th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years after graduation from West Point. He holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World and Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam. He is host of the podcast Battlegrounds: International Perspectives on Crucial Challenges to Security and Prosperity. Follow him on Twitter @LTGHRMcMaster. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan.
Ayaan speaks with William McGurn about President Biden’s disastrous policy in Afghanistan. They discuss Biden’s speech declaring the end of the war, who really made the decision to leave Afghanistan, and the consequences that the U.S. faces from a botched withdrawal. William McGurn is a writes the weekly “Main Street” column each Tuesday for The Wall Street Journal, is a member of the paper’s editorial board, and is a FoxNews contributor. From 2005 to 2008, he served as chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush in the West Wing of the White House. Bill’s career has been as a newspaperman. He was the chief editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal, and spent more than a decade overseas – in Europe and in Asia – for the Journal’s overseas editions as well as for the Far Eastern Economic Review. Before joining Dow Jones, he worked as assistant managing editor for The American Spectator, managing editor for This World magazine, and Washington bureau chief for National Review. He has written for a wide variety of publications, from the Washington Post and the New York Post to the Spectator (London) and First Things. Bill is author of Perfidious Albion: The Abandonment of Hong Kong 1997, as well as a monograph on terrorism. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, and has a master’s in communications from Boston University. He has served on a number of voluntary organizations, including the Presidential Commission on White House Fellows. Bill is married to the former Julie Hoffman, and they have three daughters: Grace, Maisie, and Lucy. Follow him on Twitter @wjmcgurn. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan and subscribe to her website at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan asks Joe Lonsdale if we should rebuild or reform failing institutions. They also discuss Joe growing up in Silicon Valley, tech and the media, and whether or not the word “nerd” is still a derogatory term. Joe Lonsdale is the managing partner at 8VC, a US-based venture capital firm which manages several billion dollars in committed capital. He was an early institutional investor in many notable companies including Wish, Oculus, Joby Aviation, and Guardant Health. He has been on the Forbes 100 Midas List since 2016 and was the youngest member included in 2016 and 2017. Before focusing on institutional investing, Joe co-founded Palantir, a global software company known for its work in defense and other industries, as well as for providing the platform to run the COVID-19 common operating picture for key decision makers in over 35 countries. After Palantir, he founded and remains as Chairman of both Addepar, which has over $2.5 trillion managed on its wealth management technology platform, and OpenGov, which provides software for over 2,000 municipalities and state agencies. More recently, he is also a co-founder of Affinity, Epirus, Esper, Swiftscale Bio, Resilience Bio, and other mission-driven technology companies, which he continues to create with his team out of the 8VC Build program. Follow him on Twitter @JTLonsdale. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan and subscribe to her website at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan speaks with Valerie Hudson about patriarchy and its expressions throughout history. They also discuss dangerous practices that hold women back, such as child marriage, polygamy, and exclusion from inheritance. Valerie M. Hudson is a University Distinguished Professor and holds the George H.W. Bush Chair in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, where she directs the program on Women, Peace, and Security. Her co-authored books include Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population, Sex and World Peace, The Hillary Doctrine, and The First Political Order: How Sex Shapes Governance and National Security Worldwide. She is a co-founder and principal investigator of The WomanStats Project (http://womanstats.org). Follow her on Twitter @WomanStats, on Instagram @womanstats, and on Facebook at WomanStats Project. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan. Subscribe to her website at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan invites Yasmine Mohammed back on to discuss why the Canadian authorities would not help her escape her forced marriage to an Al-Qaeda terrorist. They discuss other examples of governments failing young, vulnerable girls. Yasmine Mohammed is a Canadian human rights activist who fights for the rights of women living within Muslim-majority countries, as well as those who struggle under religious fundamentalism, in general. She founded the nonprofit, Free Hearts Free Minds, which provides mental health support for members of the LGBT community and freethinkers living within Muslim-majority countries. Her memoir, Unveiled, tells of her experiences growing up in a fundamentalist Islamic household and her arranged marriage to a member of Al-Qaeda. Follow her on Twitter @YasMohammedxx. Donate to her work at Free Hearts Free Minds.
Ayaan speaks with Yasmine Mohammed about her marriage and escape from a man in Al-Qaeda. Yasmine Mohammed is a Canadian human rights activist who fights for the rights of women living within Muslim-majority countries, as well as those who struggle under religious fundamentalism, in general. She founded the nonprofit, Free Hearts Free Minds, which provides mental health support for members of the LGBT community and freethinkers living within Muslim-majority countries. Her memoir, Unveiled, tells of her experiences growing up in a fundamentalist Islamic household and her arranged marriage to a member of Al-Qaeda. Follow her on Twitter @YasMohammedxx. Donate to her work at Free Hearts Free Minds. Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan. Subscribe to her website at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan speaks with Nicholas Kristof about human rights abuses against women and girls around the world. They discuss his recent article, “A 14-Year-Old Bride, Wed to Her Rapist, Playing on a Jungle Gym,” and dive into the subjects of child marriage, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation. Nicholas Kristof has been a columnist for the New York Times since 2001. He graduated from Harvard, studied law at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and then studied Arabic in Cairo. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his coverage of Tiananmen Square and of the genocide in Darfur, along with many humanitarian awards such as the Anne Frank Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. With his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, he has written several books including A Path Appears and Half the Sky. Their latest book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, was published in January 2020. Follow him on Twitter @NickKristof Follow Ayaan on Twitter @ayaan and at ayaanhirsiali.com.
Ayaan speaks with Helen Joyce about her new book, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality. They discuss the rapid rise of gender-identity ideology, the differences between the US and UK, and much more. Helen Joyce is The Economist’s Britain editor. She joined the paper in 2005 as an education correspondent, and between 2010 and 2013 was the Brazil correspondent, based in São Paulo. Since then she has edited the paper’s International section and Finance and Economics sections. She has a PhD in mathematics from University College London, and before joining The Economist she edited Plus, an online magazine about math published by the University of Cambridge, and the Royal Statistical Society’s magazine, Significance. Helen has a new book, out this week, titled “TRANS: When Ideology Meets Reality.” Follow Helen on Twitter @HJoyceGender. Follow Ayaan at ayaanhirsiali.com or on Twitter @ayaan.
Ayaan speaks with Winston Marshall soon after he left the band, Mumford & Sons. They discuss his work helping Hong Kongers integrate into the UK, his interest in speaking up for the Uighurs in China, and much more. This episode was recorded on June 28th, 2021. Winston Marshall was the banjo player in the popular rock band, Mumford & Sons, from 2007-2021. In March, Winston tweeted “Congratulations Andy Ngo. Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.” Facing strong backlash from the Left for his tweet, he apologized to protect his band members. In June, he wrote an article on Medium where he explained the difficult decision to leave Mumford & Sons. Winston is the co-founder of Hong Kong Link Up, a non-profit organization which aims to link up British residents with Hong Kongers arriving in the UK. Follow him on Twitter @mrwinmarshall.
Society & Culture
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