Ayaan Hirsi Ali feels 'regret' for mocking Christianity

Richard Dawkins and Ayaan Hirsi Ali discussed her conversion to Christianity in a discussion moderated by Unherd editor Freddie Sayers.(Photo: X)

Women's rights activist and recent convert to Christianity, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has said she feels "regret" for having once mocked the faith she now claims as her own. 

She shared a platform with the evolutionary biologist and staunch atheist Richard Dawkins for the inaugural Dissident Dialogues conference in New York at the weekend. 

Ali has been on quite a faith journey, being born a Muslim in Somalia before becoming a new atheist alongside Dawkins and a fierce critic of her birth religion. Then last year she made headlines when she became a Christian, saying that Christianity was the only "credible answer" to the global challenges of Islam, communism and woke ideology. 

She admitted to conference moderator Freddie Sayers, Unherd editor, that she did "regret" lumping all religions together as destructive forces in the past. 

Now she feels that undermining Christianity simply created a moral void that has been filled with ideas that are harmful to civilisation.

"What you value in Christianity is something that really is absolutely necessary to pass on to the next generation," she said.

"And we have failed the next generation by taking away from them that moral framework and telling them it's nonsense and false.

"We have also not protected them from the external forces that come for their hearts, minds and souls."

She admitted that she "did mock faith in general and probably Christianity in particular".

"But I don't do that anymore," Ali continued. "I have come down to my knees to say that the people who always had faith have something that we who lost faith don't have."

She said that while New Atheism comes from a place that says "there's nothing", she has come to accept that "there is something". 

"And when you accept that there is something, there's a powerful entity — for me, [that's] the God that turned me around," she said. 

Dawkins recently admitted to being a "cultural Christian" and said on Saturday that although he considers himself "Team Christianity" he still thinks "Christianity is nonsense" and a "milder form" of "mind virus" than Islam.