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Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Infidel (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4231651,578 (4.2)206
Authors:Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Info:Free Press (2008), Edition: 1st ptg thus, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Read but unowned
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)

  1. 30
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    SqueakyChu: How each woman, in two different religions, escaped from the binding expectations of her own religion's fervent religious requirements and expectations. Both are excellent autobiographies.
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» See also 206 mentions

English (156)  Dutch (4)  Danish (2)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  All (165)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
An amazing biography of a life still in progress. ( )
  DeborahJ2016 | Oct 26, 2016 |
Fascinating if not disturbing biography of a stridently heroic woman leaving Islam and successfully making her own way in life. Filled with information about Islam not previously known to this reader. ( )
  SLVLIB | May 23, 2016 |
A friend lent me this book to read, and I was finally able to sit down and finish it. I was shocked at some of the rituals that still continue to this day, saddened as well. As for the writing, it went pretty smoothly, and kept me interested up until the ending. Sounds funny huh, but I think I became a tad bored with it. To fight for something you believe in is very admirable. Unfortunate that her family will probably never have anything more to do with her, but I think she is a strong woman for standing up for what she believes in and trying to make changes. ( )
  gma2lana | May 9, 2016 |
Whatever you think of her - and I came into this book knowing knowing other than that the man she'd made her documentary with had been murdered - I really think that everyone should read this book. It's extremely well-written, very compelling, and gave me a much better understanding of the conflict in Somalia and post-colonialism in Africa in general. I also believe that Hirsi Ali's story is important in general, as a woman who grew up in Islam, increasingly strict Islam as she grew older, and then as an adult struggled with her faith and ultimately decided to fight for Muslim women's rights and a total reform of Islam for all follwers. There's a lot of backlash to what she says and proposes, but honestly, without being Muslim and without having grown up the way she did - looking at this only academically and socially and with only my education thus far as my standing point - I think she's right, what she's calling for and working toward makes sense. I have another book that is partially about her - Wanted Women: Faith, Lies, and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui, by Deborah Scroggins, that was published five years after Infidel. I'm interested to see what other information has come to light and what progress has been made in the five years since the end of Infidel. ( )
  Kristin_Curdie_Cook | Apr 29, 2016 |
This is a fascinating and thought-provoking book. It is an autobiographical tale that also touches on issues of religion, culture, women's rights, immigration, and personal freedom. I am reticent to agree entirely with her stance on Islam (which is, essentially, that it is not a peaceful religion and that it is a greater threat to Westerners than we think), partly because I think this is true of most religions and not just Islam. Religious zealotry is rarely (if ever) a good thing, particularly when it is used in the governance of nations. This is not exclusive to Islam, a fact that Ali doesn't really touch on. Granted, she was raised a Muslim and this is an autobiography, but her bold statements about Islam are at risk of being co-opted and distorted by people who believe in surveilling/registering all Muslims. So I think she needs to take some responsibility by drawing real and fair comparisons between Muslim nations and other troubled nations where religion is at the helm (see El Salvador) so that the focus is on the problems of religion in general and not just Islam.

The book spends a long time on Ali's youth, and by far the most exciting segment of the book is her escape to Holland, which is an unbelievable tale of bravery. The sections of the book that take place after college, her time in Parliament, and the chaos surrounding the status of her Dutch citizenship felt a little rushed. Nonetheless, it is a great and quick read, and I highly recommend it. ( )
  slug9000 | Mar 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:08 -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)

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