Savitri's Reviews > Infidel

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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's review
Jan 24, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, memoir-biography, political
Read from January 21 to 24, 2011

I loved reading this book. It was difficult to put down. So difficult I went to bed at 5 a.m. and finished the book within 24 hrs. There was one thing that bugged me but hey, it's her autobiography.

There are a few different types of books that I love to read and one type is the historical type, whether it's fiction or non-fiction. This is one and the best part: It's not a fiction.

Even as an Asian born in the biggest Muslim country and raised by Catholic and Muslim families (yes, talk about tolerance) it's tough to imagine life in traditional and strict Muslim countries, for women and children especially. Even when I was little I always thought that it's normal for all children to go to school, be loved, protected, etc. As I got older I realized that there were poor people but as far as I knew the children went to school, even if it was only until 6th grade. In high school, when I started reading the news, I started hearing about women being beaten, raped and killed but I've always thought of it as just bad luck.

I learned a lot about Infidel. I felt so blessed and fortunate that I was allowed to choose my belief (I was baptized at the Catholic church while my parents are Haj), have never been beaten (or spanked), made my own choice on a mate, very educated, and can say whatever I want to -- to a man even.

I found out a few things about the Quran too that I've never heard before from my mom. She always said that Islam is a peaceful religion but then there are those verses that said otherwise in the Quran. My mom doesn't speak Arabic and although she's a Haj she never went to a Madrasah or things like that on a regular basis growing up. She memorized the prayers and most likely received the translation from elsewhere. I wonder if she knows about the not so peaceful part of the Quran.

I like the writing style of Ayaan. The book's easy to read with a good pace. I read the Kindle version, found a few errors, but after reading the sentence a few times the errors were mentally fixed. There was one thing that bothered me... Ayaan's attitude on the danger of her speaking out the way she did. I do admire her. I admire her quite a bit. But I just thought that she was so naive to think that the threats to here were mild or thinking that nobody would want to kill for speaking out a little bit. I just don't quite understand her train of thought back then. She knew how women and children could be treated, she knew how severe the beatings could be for just talking back to the husband, so thinking that men would take her words lightly was a bit ignorant. Fathers kill daughters, honor killings they said, so Ayaan's life would be nothing to an insulted extremist Muslim stranger.

I wonder if there will ever be Enlightenment for the Muslims. I wonder if there will be a Muhammad Interrupted book, like Barh Erhman's Jesus Interrupted book, 50 years from now. I think it's still a while though if this ever happens. Women need to be educated and be protected by their countries on their basic rights as human beings.

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message 1: by Lora (new) - added it

Lora Okay---you convinced me. Thanks for the fantastic review. Clearly you read much more series books than I do. :) Sounds like this one is worth a break from my pure-escape phase.

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