Outspoken atheist is now a Christian convert

Christian convert

A longtime critic of Islam and an outspoken atheist has become a Christian convert.

“There are a number of reasons,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali said when she announced her new spiritual direction.

She’s been a Muslim, a lapsed Muslim, an atheist and – now – a lapsed atheist. The vacuum left by the vanishing of a spiritual dimension to her life needed filling.

Ali says she came to Christianity both as part of a spiritual journey and as a response to the “nihilistic vacuum” of the modern world.

She could see the reality that writer GK Chesterton put so clearly: “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything,”

Spiritual journey

Born into the Muslim faith, Ali has long been a prominent critic of Islam. As a young girl in Somalia she suffered female genital mutilation.

In 2002 she renounced her Muslim faith and declared herself an atheist. Since then, she has been a vocal critic of many Muslims’ “extremist violence and intolerance”.

Her 21-year period as an atheist is now officially over, she says.

She has announced that she now considers herself a member of the Christian religion.

In an essay published on British website UniHerd, Ali wrote that she turned to Christianity in part “because I ultimately found life without any spiritual solace unendurable — indeed very nearly self-destructive.”

Why Christianity?

“Atheism failed to answer a simple question: What is the meaning and purpose of life?” she said.

She argued that “the void left by the retreat of the church” in the modern world “has merely been filled by a jumble of irrational quasi-religious dogma.”

As for seeking 21st century solutions – she says there is “no need to look for some new-age concoction of medication and mindfulness” to address these present crises: “Christianity has it all.”

She also feels a global responsibility too, which influenced her decision to embrace Christianity.

“Western civilization is under threat” from multiple fronts including Russia and China, “global Islamism and woke ideology” her essay says.

“We endeavor to fend off these threats with modern, secular tools: military, economic, diplomatic and technological efforts to defeat, bribe, persuade, appease or surveil.

“And yet…we find ourselves losing ground.”

Ask instead – “What is it that unites us?”

Ali says she became a Christian convert because upholding the Judeo-Christian tradition is the only credible answer.

That’s because its legacy includes an “elaborate set of ideas and institutions designed to safeguard human life, freedom and dignity.”


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