Peggy Sue's Reviews > Infidel

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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's review
Jan 23, 2008

it was amazing
Read in June, 2007

This book is a must read for all people trying to understand the Muslim attitude and outlook. Hirsi Asaan Ali is a courageous woman who has given us a peek into her mind on what a Muslim thinks. I quote so you can see how powerful she is.

"We Muslims had been taught to define life on earth as a passage, a test that precedes real life in the Hereafter. In that test, everyone should ideally live in a manner resembling, as closely as possible, the followers of the Prophet. Didn’t this inhibit investment in improving daily life? Was innovation therefore forbidden to Muslims? Were human rights, progress, women’s rights all foreign to Islam?

By declaring our Prophet infallible and not permitting ourselves to question him, we Muslims had set up a static tyranny. The Prophet Muhammad attempted to legislate every aspect of life. By adhering to his rules of what is permitted and what is forbidden, we Muslims suppressed the freedom to think for ourselves and to act as we choose. We froze the moral outlook of billions of people into the mind-set of the Arab desert in the seventh century. We were not just servants of Allah, we were slaves.

“Saudi Arabia is the source of Islam and its quintessence. It is the place where the Muslim religion is practiced in its purest form, and it is the origin of much of the fundamentalist vision that has, in my lifetime, spread far beyond its borders. In Saudi Arabia, every breath, every step we took was infused with concepts of purity or sinning and with fear. Wishful thinking about the peaceful tolerance of Islam cannot interpret away this reality: hands are still cut off, women still stoned and enslaved, just as the Prophet Muhammad decided centuries ago.

The kind of thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia, and among the Muslim Brotherhood in Kenya and Somalia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feudal mind-set based on tribal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypocrisy, and double standards. It relies on the technological advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam.

We need to educate ourselves about the Muslim faith which is the faith of over half of the world's religious. This book woke me up. I highly recommend it.
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05/03/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4)

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message 4: by Sana (new) - rated it 1 star

Sana She is extremely biased. You should read some more books. This is not a comprehensive perspective.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Women are stoned and enslaved in Islam?!!
Okay,let me clear one thing over here.Women are neither enslaved nor oppressed in Islam.How do I know that?Because I am a Muslim girl brought up in a Muslim family.I don't know what the author had to go through in her childhood as I haven't read the book.But what ever it was,considering the fact that she blamed Islam for it and said that Islam is "enslaving women" and stuff.Well that is clearly not correct.

David "She is extremely biased." Biased does not equal wrong. Facts are facts. But do continue whining about "bias" like it will change the truth.

message 1: by Sahra (new) - added it

Sahra Interesting how she states that Islam relies on the West for innovation and technology as if it has always been this way. However, I think it's often forgotten that it was Muslims who first invented Algebra, optics, universities and hospitals amongst other things. Some of these inventions set the groundwork for much of the Wests modern work.

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