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10 thoughts on “Infidel

  1. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    I was watching the BBC's 'Muslim Beauty Pageant and Me' hosted by and starring Dina Torkia an English Muslim who wears hijab not the black stuff but pretty fabrics I thought this is going to be good Balance I'm going to see that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is feverishly hysterical and that what she says might apply to the immigrants from Africa and even so from Arabia but not to British MuslimsThe girls who all wore hijab and a lot of makeup looked very pretty They had to undergo physicals and psychological testing to make sure they would be the best representative of Miss Muslimah and a shining example to Muslim women all over the world Our girl thought the psychological testing was a bit much with one of the uestions being 'would you rather spend time with friends or have sex'? LOL The girls liked singing Dina said that she had been taught that singing like her body and her hair were part of her attributes that should be hidden from men and she was really surprised it was acceptable I was surprised that her language 'Oh my God shit' and her husband's 'what the fucking hell' was considered acceptable from one so religious but perhaps that is me imposing my ideas on one of another faith But all this 21st century modernity went pear shaped and proved Ayaan right in the end They went to a village and Dina had to stay the night in a house where there was also an old man She felt she couldn't do this without a chaperone her husband so she phoned him in England and he said NO So she couldn't And as she said she couldn't do anything that her husband didn't want that wouldn't be Islamic She was submissive to him in every wayMost of the girls were from Indonesia but Miss Tunisia who was in every way uite ordinary was named the winner in a contest that looked totally fixed to Dina and to me She immediately spoke in Arabic on Palestine Gaza Ira Syria view spoilerAnd here is me silently saying Palestine was subdivided 30% into Israel and 70% into Jordan Why aren't you asking for the Jordanian majority of the land back? It wouldn't be because they are Muslims and it isn't Israel you hate as much as Jews and the West? hide spoiler


  2. Lyn Lyn says:

    Any woman born as a Muslim who has the courage to write a book openly critical of Islam has my respect A woman who has the brass to title that same book Infidel has my rapt attention Infidel by Ayann Hasli Ali is shocking brutally honest and captivating This woman’s courage and resilience are a testimony to the human spirit The letters and phone calls between her and her father are painfully real and troubling especially when read in the context of the harshness and violence of the culture from which she came Most endearing though is her indefatigable sense of hope and optimism despite all that she had seen and been through She is not blindly accepting of western culture she calls it like she sees it the good the bad and the ugly but she draws a stark and real portrait of the contrast between two worlds Also important to read was her observations and perspectives of the 911 attacks At the time Ayann was a political refugee in Holland These attacks and the world’s responses thereafter led her on a spiritual journey of uestioning her faith uestions and doubts that had been brewing for some timeWhen I was in Ira back in 2005 roughly the same time this book was coming out I met a man named Omar he was a Kurd who spoke English and we struck up a conversation It turned out that we were the same age I was dumbfounded by the great disparity in our childhoods While I had enjoyed a pleasant and non eventful youth in the suburbs of America Omar had been beaten shot and his family had been kicked out of their home As we talked I could not help looking at Omar’s right arm He was lucky to still have it; there was a horrific deformity in the forearm the result of a gunshot wound Omar explained that he had been taken to the nearest hospital and given rudimentary first aid and sent miles away to a Kurdish hospital The first hospital had been only for Arabs I could not believe that while I was riding around with my friends and having fun Omar was experiencing a much harder life Ayann is my age too and her childhood was very similar to Omar’s Growing up in Somalia Saudi Arabia and across eastern Africa Ayann described seeing beatings punitive amputations and beheadings and depicted receiving violent beatings and mutilation at the hands of her own family Her escape to Holland and her emancipation from the darkness of her past is a great story Her continued fight for civil and human rights and her ongoing struggles and life threatening difficulties are inspiring


  3. sisraelt sisraelt says:

    MARCH 25 2015Immensely disliked this book and tired of all the comments so I took down my review Moving on


  4. andreas andreas says:

    Infidel is the personal story of Ayaan Hirsi Ali a Somali woman who after a loveless childhood to put it very mildly came to Holland at the age of 20 claiming refugee status to escape an arranged and forced marriage and to assert her independence She was accepted found her way around studied political science became a citizen fell away from Islam and became a member of Parliament In 2004 she and Theo van Gogh made the short film Submission Part 1 which resulted in Theo's getting killed and Holland's being thrown into near chaos For her security she was hidden for two months and a half A bit than a year later when the book was almost finished her citizenship was revoked but later reinstalled she resigned from Parliament and left for the US to work at the American Enterprise Institute Surely stuff for a book but that's not even the main storyThe main story is the oppression of Muslim women back where Hirsi Ali grew up but also in Holland where African Muslim immigrants often seem to live the way they used to – outside Western society and in disregard of Western values The descriptions are stark Husbands who are almost universally evil mean and violent They are completely unaware of the fact that their wife is a person an individual a partner A man would be a good husband if he doesn't beat his wife this is what the author's girlfriends hoped for growing up A sad world where a decent man is a precious commodityWhere Hirsi Ali grew up violence was everywhere in the streets but also in the home The unifying theme of her childhood was brainless brutality one group against another and men against women People are organized in clans and diversions and differences between them are the defining principles of identity Violence utterly pointless and to no one's benefit is always presentIn the smaller scheme of things I was born on the wrong side of the fence But I have not suffered much hardship from it and the fence came down when I was only 14 opening a world of opportunity In the larger scheme of things thankfully I was born safely on the right side of the fence The fence that separates Africa from the rest of the world and madness from reason poverty from wealth life from death This is what the book doesn't tire of pointing out Sadly the fence isn't coming down and opportunity will continue to elude most AfricansFor all the horrors of Hirsi Ali's childhood of civil war of fleeing violence and the most wretched conditions the most shocking paragraphs of the book describe the author's and her sister's genital mutilation a process whose enormity the neutral terms excision and infibulation are utterly inadeuate to describe The author has suffered a violation so atrocious brutal and painful painful even to read that it is almost beyond my imagination I am strangely thankful for the graphic description because up to now I no clear idea what the procedure entailed But so I am speechless that anyone would consider this wise or necessary It surely takes a sick brain washed mind empty of independent thought and a heart empty of compassion and tenderness to advocate or perform such an operationThe first two thirds of the book are all personal account and analysis but the last third calls for action It is a long angry rant against the excesses of literally read Islam It is about liberating women encouraging them not to submit imploring them to stand up against ineuities and for their freedom Hirsi Ali is passionately outraged and it is a pleasure to read She has a reason for her anger and fights for a cause She wants to abolish sharia and set Muslims women free


  5. Caroline Caroline says:

    I'm kind of shell shocked The suishy Liberal views that have up to now dominated my concepts about immigration multiculturalism integration Islam the bura and a live and let live philosophy have all been shaken and stirred beyond recognition Hirsi Ali is an extraordinary woman to have survived and risen above her incredibly dysfunctional upbringing Dysfunctional in part because her family was rife with superstition anger and violence largely because her mother was a volatile and depressed Muslim fundamentalist from an incredibly restrictive culture who foisted a whole stack of bizarre ideas upon her children But her father was not a lot better Her description of her childhood in Somalia Saudi Arabia and Kenya is uite overwhelming For me one of the outstanding features was the degree to which it was permeated with burdensome religious ideas and the heinous practices that these ideas generated Even just the degree of time they had to spend learning about Islam and the uran meant they were limited in the time they had to learn about other thingsThe incredible thing was that when Hirsi Ali finally absconded to the Netherlands and met Western culture and ideas she was able to take huge intellectual gulps of fresh air and embrace the freedom politics and fairness of the society she found there She talks a lot in the book about Muslim women who are not able to make this leap but who remain stuck in the rigid structures of their upbringing This was not so for Hirsi Ali she learnt Dutch educated herself and eventually even ended up as a very popular member of parliamentOf course there are many Muslims who practise a benign and philanthropic form of Islam but Hirsi Ali makes it very clear that this is not always the case and it is not always the case in the West either She talks about Muslim enclaves in our cities where all sorts of gross Islamic traditions are still being continued forced marriages domestic violence against women FGM and honour killings She makes it clear that fundamentalism can often be an issue in immigrant societies and she stresses the difficulties of changing these attitudes and how these attitudes are often embraced by younger generationsShe is currently living in America working for The American Enterprise Institute a centre right think tank Under its umbrella she started the AHA Foundation which fights for women's rights especially concerning issues like FGM and and honour killings If I have moved a metaphorical five miles over the course of my life Hirsi Ali has moved at least a hundred miles over the course of hers I am still stunned by what she has managed to achieveWhat an incredible woman and what an incredible communicator If you only read one book this year make sure it is this one There are a lot of articles uestioning Hirsi Ali's attitudes Here is onehttpwwwslatecomarticleslifefa


  6. Amari Amari says:

    Last week I heard a colleague ranting about Islam and women's rights He was reading this book and espousing Hirsi Ali's views The next day I lent him my copy of the uran so that he'd have some background on the basic text of the religion he was trashing I tend to find that all of the major religious tomes are ridiculous hopelessly outdated and that it's not a flaw in religion but a fault of those interpreting fundamental texts in fundamentalist ways when religion becomes less a spiritual undertaking of peace and worthy living and a set of doctrines used against those who disagree andor were raised differently For the record I think religion is a load of garbage but I recognize its many compelling characteristics the difficulty of coolly analyzing the components of one's upbringing and the charisma of leaders who believe strongly in somethingIn any case the day after my friend grumblingly accepted my uran saying he was just sick of the whole thing he handed me this book Anyone on this site can see that I have a lot to read and my list is carefully weeded Having already read Desert Flower some years ago I was actually slightly annoyed to be put in the position of either a reading 350 pages probably a rehash that I didn't have time for or b not reading it and therefore admitting in essence that I am one of those people who likes to tell others what to read but feels insulted by the impertinence of anyone who might suggest I look into something I've not already considered reading and determined unworthy of my precious and currently very limited reading timeSo the five stars I've given the book along with the fact that I read it in less than 24 hours probably obviate the need for me to continue with what I am saying so I will stop here I don't know that I agree with all of Hirsi Ali's actions or arguments That's not the point for me I applaud her courage and her articulate thoughtful hard headed nature


  7. Tanja Berg Tanja Berg says:

    This would have been a four star rating but I'm upping it to five because this book has significantly altered my world view I've been one of those western liberals thinking that Islam is mostly about peace and that the violence of it stems only from the fanatics I'm revising that stance now and am wondering how I could ever have been so blindHere in Norway where I live everyone is ever so willing to adapt to immigrants We change our school traditions so that we do not offend people who have chosen to come here It's ridiculous It would never happen the other way around This book confirms my view and is concerned at how some asylum seekers form enclaves and refuse to adapt to western society I saw this particularly during the years I lived in Germany with the Muslim women who could not speak a word of German I too was an immigrant but I learned German enough to get by in six monthsI am straying Anyhow This book is about the life of Ayaan She is Somali and grew up in several countries Already in the 1980's Somalia was being torn apart in internal fighting between clans Her story is uite horrid The subjugation of women in the name of Islam was everywhere starting with the female gender mutiliation of children Women's sexuality must be repressed at any cost otherwise society would fall apart Ayaan was told When her father finally after many years of absence decide to marry her off to a man she had never met she balked and ran away to Holland The second part of the book is about Ayaan's emancipation from clan and religionThis is a powerful book about a woman with strength and courage than I thought imaginable The conent has shaken me to my core Highly recommended


  8. Amanda R Amanda R says:

    I feel like my imagination isn't big enough to even begin to comprehend what life is like growing up in Somalia Kenya and Saudi Arabia as a female Muslim with an absent father and an abusive mother Even though Ayaan does a good job covering her youth and describing her life to those who have no frame of reference for that kind of life it still is hard to imagine It goes without saying that those of us born and raised in the United States have been so amply blessed; its almost beyond comprehension So the most interesting part of the book in addition to getting an insider's view and perspective on Islam is when Ayaan makes a run for it and becomes a refugee in Holland This happens about two thirds through the book so by the time she makes her escape I was almost numb to the brutality of her existenance as a female Muslim Watching her discover democracy and a country where people don't routinly kill one another is most amazing It gave me a fresh perspective on our way of life and how great it truly is despite its faults Ayaan after realizing that this non Muslim country was a great place even though her up bringing told her that all non Muslim places would be awful she begins some serious soul searching about her faith Again very interesting to watch her uestion and reason with her faith and the Western lifestyle I won't give away the ending but she concludes with a controversial thought why is abuse and intolerance allowed to be masked in the name of religion? If you don't know who Ayaan is she made a short film with Theo Van Gough about the submission of women in Islam Theo was shot and stabbed to death in broad daylight in front of 50 witnesses His throat was slit and a letter was stabbed to his chest The letter was addressed to Ayaan The murderer was Muslim and says he killed Theo because he spoke out negatively about Islam


  9. Milan/zzz Milan/zzz says:

    If I ever decide to make a list of the most important books I’ve read “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali would surely find its place on itFirst time I’ve heard about Miss Hirsi Ali it was after murder of Theo Van Gogh because of his film “Submission part one” which he made in collaboration with Hirsi Ali Theo has been shoot and slaughtered in the middle of the day and the letter for Hirsi Ali in which assassin is promising the same to her was staked with knife in Theo’s chest It was really a huge shock with big impact across the EuropeLater “Submission part one” was in the program of the Free Zone Film Festival here in Belgrade and among the guests was Belgrade’s Imam and the conversation after projection was very interesting Sadly I would have much and much better uestion now after reading this bookAnyhow Infidel was one of the most wanted books on my wish list and you can’t imagine my thrill ness when I saw in Belgrade’s bookstores that it has been translated in Serbian I’ve read book in one swallow and then reread it slowly but it raised the same emotional reactionIt starts with the life of her grandmother and later mother in Somalia with such a vivid description of very strict life in Muslim community Her grandmother was an incredibly strong woman capable to accept the destiny and justify it as an Allah’s wish You might think that her actions might be uite brutal with her granddaughters and also comparing with the treatment with her grandson but she was following tradition and was believe that she’s doing rightThere in first part we are introduced how important is to know who your ancestors are It is actually fundamental to be familiar with entire family tree hundreds of years ago because in Somalia first uestion when you meet someone will be “Who are you?” and then they are starting to recite all ancestors until they find a mutual one That can save your life it saved Ayaan’s because the whole population of Somalia is divided in several clans and everything there is based precisely on that Any kind of help health care shelter financial helps etc It’s horribly tight bond between them and horribly huge risk if you disgrace your clanLater we see first “rebellion” in the actions of Ayaan’s mother but still she was women who followed the rule and also was able to accept her destiny because that was Allah’s will Ayaan’s family was a kind of nomadic ones because due to her father’s political activism they had to hide and run away from one place to another Therefore she lived during her childhood in Somalia Saudi Arabia Ethiopia and KenyaWhile reading those pages it was as if I’m reading some fictional story from another dimension Of course accent was on the women in Islam Obligation to be covered obligation to not leave the house without a man obligation to accept everything obligation to not argue obligation to bear obligation to be sexually available to her husband whenever he wants to “plough his field” obligation to be obedient obligation to submit Because word “Islam” means “submission” Moreover she was unfortunate enough to belong to the Muslim community where girls must be circumcised So indeed that part was like something from another worldWe can see how she was growing up physically and religiously How she wanted so badly to be a good Muslim woman who follows all the rules but in the same time she has had many uestions in spite the fact that uestions are forbidden It is one breathtaking image of immense mental struggle between her believes what she has been taught it’s the only truth and the life facts which were uite opposite It was literally painful to read emotion was uite similar to claustrophobiaEventually she started to talk with criticism about her own religion she was loud in her statement against position of women that especially refers in Muslim communities in European countries ie Holland and naturally pile up the anger of Muslim world on herselfIt is a breathtaking story of a woman who in her own words was lucky Once she was a child from the desert with extremely limited possibilities but who became elected member of a Dutch ParliamentBut what has the biggest impact on me is that I “found” myself in the book Namely I realized that I belong to the huge majority of European Christians who are trying to avoid speaking with criticism about other religions because that might be connected very easily with racism nationalism fascism etc Since I lived in the country that has fallen apart in undoubtedly religious war it was civilian war of course but in first place it was religious one I’m trying to be very tolerant and to understand the point of views of the “opposite” sideI realized that I do have very Christian look on Islam and religions in general I honestly believed that all religions therefore Islam as well are good are love peace tolerance etc Right? WrongAyaan Hirsi Ali in this book is telling us that Islam is love and tolerance in very limited sense but ONLY inside the Muslim world For all others who aren’t belonging to that world it is a threat because it gives a strict order to all believers to convert or kill the rest of us who are considered as nonbelievers Another amazing thing is that many inside the Muslim population are not aware of that because the Holly Koran is written in Arabic language they don’t understand What a paradoxWhat is written in Koran is not only religious message but an absolute constant that is defying every singe aspect in believer’s life It is uite unbelievable that it is expected from nowadays believers to strictly follow the rule and apply sanctions of desert tribes of Saudi Arabia in the 7th century But still if they’re not following those rules or even if they think of theirs reasons they’re not good believers and deserve to be punished And those things about unbelievers are written in KoranNow I really don’t know what to think? That’s why I’d love if I could have another opportunity to speak again with Belgrade’s Imam who is a very dear man but I’m wondering if he’s not aggressive toward Christians and doesn’t call his believers to be aggressive; if he doesn’t think that he lives in the country of nonbelievers; if he preaches love peace and tolerance he must be considered as a bad Muslim from the point of view of the followers of traditional Islam about whom Hirsi Ali is writing because that is not what Koran demandsThis book her entire life is a monument of freedom of speech Her criticism has arguments Europe is also criticized with every right Remember Danish cartoon scandal? A cancellation of theater plays which has the theme Prophet or even include Prophet together with representatives from other religions etc? That culture of self censorship will completely ruin European values That is not our heritage; that is not heritage of modern world Allowing speech of hatred which is targeting people who are not Muslims that can be heard in the mosues across the Europe we here are accepting and justifying it with freedom of speech; When Muslim communities in the Europe are practicing traditional Islam that violates numerous human rights we here are justifying that with religious freedom Is female genital mutilation performed on young girls on the kitchen table in the middle of Europe religious freedom?As I said I’m uite confused this book is so enormously thought provoking; I’m not paranoid person on the contrary Moreover my contact with Islam is not nearly like this I studied Farsi for several years and have many Iranian friends and I adore their cultural heritage; I know members of Muslim communities here and they aren’t nearly fanatics they are my friends and I can unuestionably rely on them I guess we Serbia are not rich enough to be interesting for refugees from much rigid and traditional environmentsHirsi Ali speaks with arguments and with statistic data of mainly women victims of Islamic fanatics inside their own families here in Europe Many are victims of self combustion with gasoline because they had sex before marriage in a front of their fathers and brothers If she refuse to kill herself they father or brother would kill her That’s not that can’t be religious freedomIt’s high time for us to realize that tolerance of intolerance is cowardice


  10. Telly Telly says:

    This masuerades as pure autobiography of the daughter of an iconic Somali revolutionary who was absent for most of her life and left her her brother and her sister to be cared for by a heavy handed grandmother and an abusive mother If I were rating the review as an autobiography I would give it an additional star As an autobiography it does not let you down although it does drag a little slower towards the endWhen reading this book however you uickly realize that there is somewhat of a political agenda I am not sure if most Americans would understand this since most would know very little if they know anything at all about Ali The fact is that she is again the daughter of a highly respected Somali nationalist and revolutionary She also served in the Dutch parliament which later became scandelous when it was disclosed that she had lied to obtain refugee status When you look at her whole life however it's easy to justify her lying Anyone who says they would not lie to escape some of the circumstances she endured in Somali Saudi Arabia Ethiopa and Kenya is lying She also became famous for her speeches and holding up the art mirror to Muslim society in particular its treatment of women and others who are mildly putting it pushed off to the sidelinesIn the end however the book does become political and I eventually found that she becomes a bit too heavy handed one sided and judgmental towards Islam For this reason I had to deduct some of my stars Unlike some of the other reviewers however I do not think Ali wrote an autobiography purely as an autobiography She has always been in the political spotlight; if anything I think she's now riding the wave on this book while she can


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Infidel ❴Epub❵ ➟ Infidel Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk One of today’s most admired and controversial political figures Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened that she would One of today’s most admired and controversial political figures Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened that she would be next She made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and resigned from the Dutch Parliament Infidel shows the coming of age of this distinguished political superstar and champion of free speech as well as the development of her beliefs iron will and extraordinary determination to fight injustice Raised in a strict Muslim family Hirsi Ali survived civil war female mutilation brutal beatings adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and life in four troubled unstable countries ruled largely by despots She escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands where she earned a college degree in political science tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West and fought for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament Under constant threat demonized by reactionary Islamists and politicians disowned by her father and expelled from family and clan she refuses to be silencedUltimately a celebration of triumph over adversity Hirsi Ali’s story tells how a bright little girl evolves out of dutiful obedience to become an outspoken pioneering freedom fighter As Western governments struggle to balance democratic ideals with religious pressures no other book could be timely or significant.