Kerri's Reviews > Infidel

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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's review
May 11, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in May, 2008

This was an incredibly powerful, eye-opening book. I have been aware of most of the atrocities that Ali has endured, or has seen other endure, but it was always from some abstract, peripheral viewpoint. Ali, by writing this autobiography, put these realities right in front of my face to deal with. I think I am much like the residents of Holland she describes in her book, who want to deny the negative attributes of a race or religion in the name of equality or not being "racist".

...on the other hand, I think it must be aknowledged that Ali's view of Islam as inherently cruel and unfair comes from her own personal experiences, which were experienced in her own clans, within a very distinct classes and sects of Muslims, and though she believes it is reflective of all Islamic culture, she only has her own experiences to back that up. I do, actually, agree with her politics, but the statistics she has gathered on specific practices related to Islam is more convincing to me than her generalized opposition of the religion.

Despite this, her story is a powerful and important one.
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Laurie I think your last paragraph is right on. And it was interesting that she was so into political science and reason and empiricism, but to me she did exactly what she was opposed to in presenting her experience as indicative of all Islam.

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