Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Biography: Infidel


From Booker Rising…

The autobiography is called Infidel, which is a term that some Muslims have called the former-Muslim-turned-atheist. The Somali-Dutch, moderate-conservative feminist and former parliamentarian who now lives in D.C. and works for the conservative American Enterprise Institute, follows The Caged Virgin, which focused on Islamic sexism. Publishers Weekly states: “In this suspenseful account of her life and her internal struggle with her Muslim faith, she discusses how these views were shaped by her experiences amid the political chaos of Somalia and other African nations, where she was subjected to genital mutilation and later forced into an unwanted marriage.

While in transit to her husband in Canada, she decided to seek asylum in the Netherlands, where she marveled at the polite policemen and government bureaucrats. Ali is up-front about having lied about her background in order to obtain her citizenship, which led to further controversy in early 2006, when an immigration official sought to deport her and triggered the collapse of the Dutch coalition government. Apart from feelings of guilt over van Gogh’s death, her voice is forceful and unbowed—like Irshad Manji, she delivers a powerful feminist critique of Islam informed by a genuine understanding of the religion.”

… original story at Booker Rising (link here).

posted by shona

I read “The Trouble With Islam Today” by Irshad Manji. I ordered this Ali book.


Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Religion

10 responses to “Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Biography: Infidel

  1. Jupiter

    Hi Shona

    Good Post.

    I’ve followed the story of this brave woman and marveled at her inner strenght and the courage that she diaplayed in the midst of a hostile fanatical muslim immigrant population in Holland.

    Let this be a lesson to policy makers here in Barbados who believe we can have wholesale importation of persons with different religous,cultural and ethnic beliefs ,and trust that they will integrate well with the local population.

    Experience teaches us that they form enclaves and hold on to their beliefs and practices while insisting that the host country accomodate these practices even if it means going against the law and custom of the land.

    We only have to go down Kensington New Road to see what I mean.

    I still worry for this young lady’s safety in Washington because I know how ignorant some of these fanatical jihadists are.

    I wish her well though in her future ahead.

  2. Pat

    I hope all she has in common with Irshad Manji is her writing and the way moslem men treat moslem women. Manji is still a practicing moslem and is despised as homosexuality is, apparently, contrary to the teaching of Islam.

  3. Sofiqul Islam

    I would like to comment on Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s issue. I sincerley show my sympathy to this individual who has suffered in the hand’s of brutal regime in the african content. I believe her suffereing is more to do with the cultral and traditional values.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali by all means had a story to tell – “The cultral oppression”, “traditional conflicts” in her community. In her work the writting of the quran on a naked womens body is a clear attack on Islam by herside then the media. She was oppressed by individuals, Why attack on the belife of millions of others? Any Religion teaches peace and love for humanity, just because of the minority you don’t blame and attack majority.

  4. Jupiter

    Saw in yesterday’s Sunday Sun, the commissioner of police and the Defence force chief taking off their shoes as they entered the mosque,and listened reverentially with head bowed.

    I hope they keep in mind that it is important to respect not only the muslim religous beliefs and teaching,but respect all religous beliefs,and that the law of the land must apply equally to all citizens.

    Somehow I don’t think they would show the same respect and care for the rastafarian bretheren.

    After all they are only poor black barbadian men and women.

    I am mindful of what the Archbishop of york,and others in England are saying that in their desire to make muslim immigrants feel welcome they have gone overboard in their political correctness which has resulted in ethnic and religous enclaves,rather than an attempt to participate and integrate in the britsh society.

    There are now concerns in Britain about saudi funded muslim school teaching children as young as 5 years that jews are pigs and christians infidels.

    A few extremist mosques have also been preaching hatred and encouraging jihad.

    Whilst there is no such evidence of this in Barbados,I’m saying why must all countries respect muslim beliefs and practices,but muslim countries like Pakistan,Saudi Arabia,Yemen,Sudan etc not respect the rights of christian believers?

  5. I am a fan of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In fact I have posted an interview of her by Glenn Beck (CNN) on my blog-site. But that is not why I am posting, I am posting because I read Sofiqul Islam’s “apologetic” [a Greek word meaning “defense of”] of Islam, and I must confess that I am amazed that Sofiqul Islam blamed Islam’s ills on a regime in Africa.

    I am sure Sofiqul is aware of how women and “the People of the Book” are treated in every nation – not only in Africa – in the Middle East that has Sharia implemented. Or even how the Islamic populace in countries that are not currently under Sharia Law, but are a majority Islamic in their conviction, treat these women and Christians and Jews.

    I think having a religion that has a founder of it, Muhammad, personally slitting and ordering the cutting of the throats of 900 people is factor enough to know that the pure Islamic religion taught in the Quran is at odds with the West and its freedoms, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali so eloquently lays out in her book, “Infidel.” (Compare this to the founder of Christianity healing a soldier’s ear after one of his apostles tried to defend him by cutting off said ear.)

    I am sure some in Sofiqul circle will compare the Jewish and Christian Old Testament killings to that in the Quran, but the major difference is that the Old Testament descriptions of violence are “descriptive” and not “prescriptive.” Unfortunately for our friend Sofiqul, the passages that espouse violence in the Quran are not only descriptive, but prescriptive to boot. Which is why Ayaan could even write a book like this. This “prescription” is on the TV everyday and has destroyed many people’s lives.

    I applaud the courage Ayaan Hirsi Ali is showing in the face of certain death by a religion that prescribes violence. Keep in mind that she was the writer of the movie “Submission” that got that Dutch film producer killed. A religious Muslim stabbed him 28-times in the chest with a knife, however, the last plunge of the knife had a manifesto on it about who was going to be killed next, and that person was Ayaan. She is on the “Religion of Peace’s” hit-list. I only wish it were a religion of peace.


  6. Tyler B

    I just saw a panel of four educated and informed
    people on a U.S. program discuss these issues.

    Ayaan was clearly the best among them, and is
    a great credit to Somalia. What a crime it would
    be if the arrogance of someone’s ‘faith’ destroys her.

  7. Minnie

    Why I Would Love To Root For Ayaan, But Cannot

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a fascinating paradox: a brave, brilliant, outspoken Black woman in a white xenophobic nation who ultimately divested herself of her religion and nationality in mutual embrace of an ultraconservative, fascist political ideology that legitimized her white patriarchal racist Dutch political colleagues’ campaign against people just like her — immigrants. Her rise in Dutch politics was fuelled by her staggering intellectual alienation. She paints Islam with broad, Western hegemonic, racist strokes; as well as pushed for The Netherlands to close its borders to asylum seekers and cull its immigrant population — such is her exteriority.
    Wonder instead why, following her ironic, albeit unfair, expulsion from The Netherlands, she was wooed by an ultraconservative, hawkish Washington, DC-based think tank.

  8. Fosi

    What really captured my attention most is the lack of understanding of Islam showed by the commentators. I am really opposed the way people display the character of Islam. Islam is more than a controversial religion. It is actually a complete way of living. The teachings of Islam are clear and don’t need to be twisted. So, the mere experience of one individual cannot be used to criticize the ever-rich principles of Islam and its beloved Prophet of Allah, Muhammed. Nevertheless, what would have you felt if I condemn Christianity by using evidences written by a girl who was mistreated, raped and later on threated by a crocodile of priests in one church. That is impossible, haa. Then, stop your actions.

  9. Thwilly

    Fosi says that the commentators misunderstand Islam, that it is not just a religion but a “complete way of living”. He is unhappy that Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s experiences are used to criticize the principles of Islam. I guess he didn’t really read her book. Her whole point is that her experience was NOT unique, that thousands of women are beaten and mistreated every day in the world of Islam and that the men who inflict such suffering justify their actions by citing the Koran. Of course Islam is a “complete way of living”. Unfortunately, this way of living often involves horrendous injustices (e.g. stoning a woman to death because she was raped).

    I am not a Christian, but I can see that Christianity is condemned on a daily basis by all kinds of people in the West and in the East, sometimes with good evidence and sometimes not, BUT I have noticed that the reaction of Christians is NOT to call for a fatwah (demand the death of those who are speaking).
    One of Ayaan’s main points is that most people in the West are careful not to judge Islam as violent, but she points out that the Koran actually calls for Muslims to kill non-believers. So, Fosi, is this one of the teachings of Islam that she has “twisted”. I myself have spoken to young men from Saudi Arabia who admitted to me that in their household it was acceptable for them to rape the maid, because she was not a “believer” (she was Hindu) and so their actions were sanctioned by Allah.

    You can talk until you are blue in the face about how Islam means love and peace, but as long as such atrocities are carried out in its name, it will be regarded by civilized people (just as we can now judge the Catholic Church during the Inquisition) as barbaric, cruel and stupid.

  10. neeli

    After reading the comments I feel that people are understanding the biography of Ayan Harris as a picture of Islam but it is evident it is a reflection of the society she lived in. She certainly has a right to inform world of what she has been through but reader’s have no right to blame a religion which is practices by billions to blame for all the suffering she has had. If Islam was to blame for this suffering of society then whether she wrote this book or not it wouldn’t have made a difference. As all the teachings of Islam are in Quran and Hadith so anybody who wants to critictize Islam should make a reference to those. Otherwise one can only stuck in the distressing story of her and as she blames Islam for her suffering or at least what I understand from the comments of people that they understand that her suffering was result of Islam is totally wrong. I think that no religion can be blamed for the suffering of people as humanity most suffers when they fail to follow a religion. One can observe that in Holocaust, Pol Pot’s Genocide and WW1 AND WW2 as they can noway be linked to religion but they caused much more suffering than the woman suffering in middle east now.