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Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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Infidel (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,989None1,906 (4.22)184
Member:LisaMaria_C
Title:Infidel
Authors:Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Info:Free Press (2008), Edition: 1st ptg thus, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:non-fiction, 2012-around-the-world, biography, memoir, autobiography, current affairs, politics, Islam, Religion, feminism, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Holland, Netherlands, Africa, Muslims, Saudi Arabia

Work details

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (2007)

2007 (15) 2008 (16) Africa (83) atheism (39) autobiography (185) biography (215) book club (27) Ethiopia (18) feminism (50) history (24) Holland (40) Islam (306) Kenya (37) memoir (220) Middle East (25) Muslim (33) Muslim women (16) Muslims (31) Netherlands (85) non-fiction (261) politics (100) read (31) refugees (28) religion (130) Saudi Arabia (28) Somalia (129) to-read (68) unread (18) women (89) women's rights (39)
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» See also 184 mentions

English (130)  Dutch (4)  Danish (2)  French (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
Every now and then you read a book that is so powerful that you know it will remain with you a long, long time...this is one of them. The author is a Muslim woman born in Somalia who lived in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya before fleeing an arranged marriage to a man she had not met. Taking refuge in Holland, Ayaan continued her education, earned a masters degree in political science, Dutch citizenship and then became a member of parliament where she was a staunch critic of islam and an advocate for oppressed and abused Muslim women. Theo Van Gogh was so impressed with her message that he made the movie “Submission” for which she wrote the script and for which in broad daylight in the middle of the road he was murdered by a Muslim fanatic. This is an excellent book that I found I couldn’t put down. You don’t have to agree with her to appreciate the points that she makes in this book. ( )
  mlbelize | Jan 27, 2014 |
This was a very interesting memoir of a Somalian-born woman who rebels against her famiy's fundamentalist Islamic beliefs. The first half of the book is tough reading due to the subject matter, but definitely worth it. The story is well-written, well-paced and compelling. The author has caused me to rethink my understanding of Islam. ( )
  LoisB | Dec 18, 2013 |
Ayaan Hirsi Ali did it again--she easily pulled a five-star rating out of me for a second time. I had inadvertently read "Nomad" before "Infidel" because I did not have knowledge of this book as being her first one.

Once I started reading, "Infidel," I was hoping that she would not simply re-state everything I had already read in the other text. She did not. In fact, while the author's voice was consistent in both pieces of literature, the reader was educated with a series of micro-histories that could not be disregarded, neither in the character development of this fine woman nor in the culmination of Muslim Fundamentalist religious fervor on a worldwide scale.

Ayaan wanted to "...be judged on the validity of (her) arguments, not as a victim." This stance seemed to exist as a delicately crafted undercurrent of her stories while she continued to educate the reader about her life and that of so many innocent people around the world. When she asserted that "My combat was legitimate," it was Hirsi Ali's way of wrapping up all of the facts into a neat package and making it clear to the reader that he/she was in survival mode with the author as well.

The only difficulty I face in writing this review is that anything submitted cannot do this author's fine work the justice that it deserves. I find myself in awe of her life experience and how she has chosen to manifest them into an incredibly educated, passionate and compassionate existence.

In closing, I cannot wait to get my hands on her next book, "The Caged Virgin," and continue along the path of this educational journey and heightened sense of awareness that she has created. ( )
  LibStre | Oct 28, 2013 |
This is a difficult, important book. The language is not difficult -on the contrary, it is quite straightforward. What is difficult is to read about the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is a most remarkable woman. Raised by her devoutly orthodox Muslim mother and her very conservative Somali grandmother, she lives in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya as a child. Her doubts about what she is taught end up saving her, though her freedom has cost her dearly. Some feel she is writing an anti-Islamic screed thinly disguised as a memoir, but I disagree. Her arc is her growth as a woman and a human being, and that is necessarily framed within her beliefs about Islam. If I have a criticism, it is that she does not apply the same lens to the fundamentalist excesses of the other major world religions. However, that is not this book. Highly recommended. ( )
  Fogcityite | Jul 7, 2013 |
Fascinating.

This is the autobiography of a Muslim woman who came to question her faith, especially its effects on women. In doing so, she put her life at risk.

The book is well written, and begins with the author's childhood. She was raised by her mother and grandmother, frequently beaten and called names. As a young child, she suffered excision (often called female circumcision). Later, she was forced to marry a stranger from Canada by her father.

Ms. Ali escapes to Holland where she gains refugee status and, utlimately, citizenship. She becomes a Member of Parliament and outspoken advocate for Muslim women's rights. Her struggles -- both with her own beliefs and practices, and with the societies she is part of -- is the substance of this book. ( )
  LynnB | Jun 18, 2013 |
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Hirsi Ali, Ayaanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hitchens, ChristopherForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Abeh, Ma, Ayeeyo (Grandma), Mahad
And in loving memory of Haweya
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One November morning in 2004, Theo van Gogh got up to go to work at his film production company in Amsterdam.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743289692, Paperback)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali captured the world’s attention with Infidel, her coming-of-age memoir, which spent thirty-one weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of today’s most admired and controversial political figures. She burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened she would be next; and she made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and forced to resign from the Dutch Parliament.

Infidel shows the coming of age of this elegant, distinguished—and sometimes reviled—political superstar and champion of free speech—the development of her beliefs, iron will, and extraordinary determination to fight injustice done in the name of religion. Raised in a strict Muslim family, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female circumcision, brutal beatings, an adolescence as a devout believer, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four countries under dictatorships. She escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she fought for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam, earning her the enmity of reactionary Islamists and craven politicians.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her life story. An advocate for free speech and women's rights, Hirsi Ali lives under armed protection because of her outspoken criticism of the Islamic faith in which she was raised.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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