Helynne's Reviews > The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam

The Caged Virgin by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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's review
Jan 17, 2011

it was amazing
Read from January 13 to 17, 2011

This is a courageous and vital statement from a woman who escaped the injustices and violence of Islam toward women and is now speaking out to inform the world how Islam should be changed. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who grew up in a strict Muslim family in Somalia, was supposed to marry a distant cousin in Canada, but managed to escape during the journey and take refuge in the Netherlands. There, she became a writer, filmmaker and Dutch parliamentarian who was determined to speak for Muslim women's rights. Her main platform in this book is that Muslim women who immigrate to the Western world must be accorded the same rights as other Western women despite their religion. Therefore, the traditional hands-off, absolutely freedom-of-religion policy that Western countries have toward Muslim residents is actually devastating to women. Women's rights--indeed all human rights--supercede freedom of religion when said religion tends to violence and domination of women. Hirsi Ali, who now resides in the United States, also speaks in this book about the horrors of female genital mutilation--a common practice in Muslim societies. She also describes a documentary film she helped write and produce called Submission. (Theo Van Gogh, the man who helped her produce the film was subsequently murdered by Muslim extremists). Hirsi Ali also lists steps that Muslim women must take if they wish to escape an intolerable situation and start life anew. This book is a must-read for anyone who values basic human rights.
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