Review: Infidel

“There are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.”― Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel

cvr_infidel-by-ayaan-hirsi-aliInfidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

MY RATING: 5/5 Stars

FTC NOTICE: Library Book

REVIEW: 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 ferver 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.

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15 thoughts on “Review: Infidel

    • You read a great, and vast, collection of books. Your mini-review of Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, captured the essence of her work. It looks like we read the works in reverse roder of each other, too! I admire your gift of being able to captue that “essence” in seemingly everything you read. I put too much time into my reviews…and, as such, it slows my productivity…for sure.

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  1. I also wrote a book review on this book on my blog, you can read it here https://iwritewutilike.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/book-review-infidel-by-ayaan-hirsi-ali/. It is unnecessarily long compared to yours, but I can tell you what I thought here.

    To be honest, I don’t think I even rated the book because it was very touchy for me for some reason. On the surface, Ayaan appears angry at the wrong party- her family- but she takes it out on Islam. To repeatedly say Islam is a violent religion as a matter of fact was just not the position I think she should have taken. Islam is practiced differently in most places, people do foul things in the name of Allah, the Qu’ran touches on violence but it also speaks on peace. I’m not an expert on Islam.

    As a Christian and Ghanaian, living in America, I know many a times, I’ve found in my life how religion and culture gets tangled to the point where sometimes it’s super hard to separate. Growing up things I thought were part of the Ghanaian culture I found was just part of Christianity and had nothing to do with Ghanaians and the other way around. I think Ayaan had similar issues, blurring culture into religion. I think she could have done a better job differentiating them. Islam in Ghana is different from Islam in Somalia but they all read the same Qu’ran, the difference come from cultural interpretation.

    Also, I wish she would have shared more about her sister. But i guess it isn’t her story to tell.

    what I did agree with her on is about integration. But the way she spoke about the Somalis abroad was done arrogantly. Calling them barbaric because they failed to adopt the Dutch as quickly as she had or wanted to keep being Somalis in Holland. But I do agree that when people travel abroad they have to integrate and learn new ways, but also find a way to keep their culture. It’s a balancing thing which is sometimes supper hard. She could have been more gracious but I also think it was said out of frustration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was definitely one of my shorter reviews. I read your thorough and multi-faceted review of the book, too; and, I found that I truly enjoyed your communications style. Like you, I agree that immigrants should integrate themselves. My grandmother came to the United States in 1903. It was a difficult journey back then. She had to quit school in third grade, because she had to work to help the family survive. My father said that when he was growing up, they spoke one language inside of the home, but outside they spoke English. Integration is important for many reasons, and I respect a person’s desire to maintain his/her heritage as well.

      As far as Ayaan Hirsi Ali was concerned, I felt that I had more insight into what got her to the point she was at in life, because I had already read her other book, “Nomad.” She chose to integrate and but also found that some members of her community were trying to hold her back from being successful.

      I agree that the book covered so many themes. While we may not agree on all of them, I found that you have a great way with words and understanding the complexities of things. I appreciate that, despite your difference(s) of opinion with my review, you stated your positions in a respectful manner. One can only wish that more people could be like that! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this book and my review.

      Liked by 1 person

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