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Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of… (edition 2011)

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Title:Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations
Authors:Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Info:Free Press (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 277 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:non-fiction, autobiography, islam, cultural

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Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
First of all I am going to point you to my friend Milan's review.

To my surprise he touched all the subjects in the book that I wanted to.

Milan's great review

To be honest this book was very hard for me to read. Why? Because she warned us so many years ago and it seems that the people have had it with all the immigration and the wrong ways of treating them. It is affecting many people's daily life but the politicians do not listen and keep on muddle cuddling them to the expense of the people that lived there first.


I am very scared for the future of Europa and if nothing is done NOW I think it will be too late.

My daughter visited Paris and when she came back she showed me a video she had taped from the train. I thought she was joking and that it was a video from Africa. I saw tents and all the things you expect to see from Africa, but this was Paris!!

It is still so that if you say something negatively about Islam they say you are a racist. Stupid cause Islam is a religion, not a race!!!

Anyway that is how it is in The Netherlands. People do not dare to speak out because if they do they are accused of being racist.

Is it not weird that people can make fun of christian church or Jesus, but oh boy if you make a joke about islam or the prophet. If you do in public you will never be safe. The islam leaders will tell their people to kill you. And this is accepted by the rest of the world?

Oh they should not have made such a mean joke, they should know muslims have short straw????Come on!


Look at all the hate preachers who get money from the governments to rebuild churches and convert them into mosques and there they are allowed to preach their hatred towards the infidels.

Read Milan's review and read the book. I think if you live in America you maybe do not understand but jsut visit London, Amsterdam or Paris and you will.

This book is one I highly recommend but first read Infidel. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
This supremely courageous woman is truly wearing too many hats, playing the roles of Luther, Calvin and Gandhi for her faith. Hailing from Somalia, a country and people that must be saved from themselves.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
This supremely courageous woman is truly wearing too many hats, playing the roles of Luther, Calvin and Gandhi for her faith. Hailing from Somalia, a country and people that must be saved from themselves.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
Knowing I was taking a course on Islam, a dying friend gave two books by Hirsi Ali to me. So my expectations were high. After all, my friend was an intelligent person, not someone to cave in to religious fear-mongering or knee-jerk distrust of anything non-Christian. So I was surprised to find a remarkably unfair and simplistic book looking at the situation of Islam in the global realm.

One thing cannot be denied: Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an amazing woman. She grew up in a rigidly conservative Muslim family in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, always on the move because her dad was a political target. Her family was incredibly dysfunctional, and all her siblings in one way or another were left unable to function in the adult world. When her dad sent her from Kenya to Canada for an arranged marriage to a distant relatively, Hirsi Ali escaped, finding political asylum in Holland. There she found a culture where (as she puts it) questions were encouraged over dogmas, women were valued as more than just baby incubators, and positive change and innovation took place over oppressive and rigid tradition. She became a member of Parliament until moving to America, where she is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. All this before hitting 40 – wow.

So understandably, much of Hirsi Ali’s career is devoted to exposing radical Islam on a global scale. She wants her audience to feel that global Islam is a dangerous threat, that the line separating violent Islamists from civilian Muslims is dangerously thin.

This is where I must part with her. She always speaks of Muslims in the singular: “all Muslims” are conditioned to be violent, “Muslim women” are oppressed, etc. There is no problem that tribalism, extreme sexism, violence, and a lack of free speech are a part of the Islamic world. But she fails to qualify her statements. I have known half a dozen Muslim women, whose families come from three different Islamic countries, and only one of those six had the kind of upbringing Ali had. So already we can see that not every Muslim in the world is brought up in a family that fails to educate her, value her, etc.

Oh, and as for violence – I wonder what Hirsi Ali would make of John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed’s book What a Billion Muslims Really Think, in which they find that Muslims worldwide are not as radical as people like Hirsi Ali like to think. I’m also reminded of Reza Aslan’s point about “Muslim Rage,” that it has more to do with political agendas and regimes than being Muslim. Hirsi Ali does not argue from statistics. For example, she cites a few cases of honor killing (a young Muslim woman murdered by a family member to protect family honor from her sexual transgressions) in the U.S., then argues that honor killing must be a major problem among American Muslims. This reminded me of Richard Dawkins’ arguments that religion is intrinsically evil: find a few infuriating cases, get the reader angry, then jump to a broad conclusion. Basically, arguing from anecdotes.

Her statements about the veil were equally ridiculous. She says that the headscarf and veil “represent the mental and physical restrictions that so many Muslim women have to suffer.” Yes, in some (perhaps many) Muslim cultures, women are under immense social pressure to wear the veil, and may be legally or physically punished if they show their hair in public. But What a Billion Muslims Really Think shows that most Muslim women worldwide prefer some form of hair covering. My friends tell me that they feel more secure, more valued for their personality and intellect because men are not staring at their beauty. There’s just more ambiguity than Hirsi Ali wants to see.

So, no I would not recommend reading this book for a good portrait of global Islam. Hirsi Ali is far too much of an ideologue with all the attendant lack of self-criticism. Though she made some good points, she would have been more effective had she tempered them with some ambiguity. ( )
2 vote JDHomrighausen | Apr 2, 2014 |
It was interesting. The story of how she got from Somalia to America was fascinating. I was troubled by her not even bothering to acknowledge (only in the most dismissive terms) that her life was a privileged one. The leap that she expects other Muslim women to make, the one she made, is simply not possible.

The "tough love" approach to other Muslim women was something I found incredibly offensive. I doubt if it would have any effect in real life beyond losing a friend who desperately needed some friends at a difficult time in their life. ( )
  KarenM61 | Nov 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
As a work of impassioned zealotry, Nomad is an excellent read. It is a book that never hesitates to stand up for the Enlightenment and to proclaim that “West is Best.” As a manifesto for individual freedom it is powerfully subversive, appealing to wives, daughters, and sisters to abandon the tyranny of custom, to throw off the patriarchal yoke. But it offers no plausible avenues for religious reform within Islam.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0732289777, Paperback)

'This woman is a major hero of our times' RICHARD DAWKINS 'For me the three most beautiful words in the emerging language of secular resistance to tyranny are Ayaan Hirsi Ali' - Christopher Hitchens Ayaan Hirsi Ali caused a worldwide sensation with her gutsy memoir INFIDEL. Now in NOMAD she tells of coming to America to build a new life an ocean away from the death threats made against her by European Islamists the strife she witnessed and the inner conflict she suffered. It is the story of her physical and emotional journey to freedom - her transition from a tribal mindset that restricts women's every thought and action to life as a free and equal citizen in an open society. Through stories of the challenges she has faced she shows the difficulty of reconciling the contradictions of Islam with Western values. Hirsi Ali recounts the many turns her life took after breaking with her family and how she struggled to throw off restrictive superstitions and misconceptions that initially hobbled her ability to assimilate into Western society. She writes movingly of her reconciliation on his deathbed with her devout father who had disowned her when she renounced Islam after 9/11 as well as with her mother and cousins in Somalia and in Europe. Nomad is a portrait of a family torn apart by the clash of civilizations but it is also a touching uplifting and often funny account of one woman's discovery of today's America. This is Hirsi Ali's intellectual coming of age a memoir that conveys her philosophy as well as her experiences and delivers an urgent message and mission - to inform the West of the extent of the threat from radical Islam both from outside and from within our open societies. She calls on key institutions of the West - including universities the feminist movement and the Christian churches - to enact specific innovative remedies that would help other Muslim immigrants to overcome the challenges she experienced and to resist the fatal allure of fundamentalism and terrorism.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Hirsi Ali tells of coming to America to build a new life, an ocean away from the death threats made to her by European Islamists, the strife she witnessed, and the inner conflict she suffered. She calls on key institutions of the West--including universities, the feminist movement, and the Christian churches--to enact specific, innovative remedies that would help other Muslim immigrants to overcome the challenges she has experienced and to resist the fatal allure of fundamentalism and terrorism.… (more)

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