Vhalros's Reviews > Infidel

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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Jul 07, 2012

really liked it

This is the autobiography of a Ayan Hirsi Ali, a Somali Muslim who had a pretty awful childhood. At twenty, she sought asylum in Holland, and eventually became a member of parliament and becomes an atheist.

The first part of the book essentially describes her life, and the latter part reflects on the question "Why is life in Holland (or in the West) so much better than life in Somalia?" She concludes that its a matter of attitude, and the reason for the bad attitude is Islam.

There is much to agree with in her work. Certainly, the treatment of women in her culture was barbaric. And its true this barbarism is justified with Islam. Its also true that these views are not a fringe group in the Islamic world, but are held by a disturbingly large number of people.

However, I'm not sure if this means that Islam as religion is fundamentally incompatible with democracy. Certainly, a literal interpretation of the Koran and Shiria is incompatible with rational thought, and therefore democracy, but is it the case that no sane form of Islam can exist?

I'm not even sure if that question is one Ali would answer in the affirmative. I can't tell if she is advocating a reform of Islam or an end.

Regardless, the book is still an interesting perspective, and I recommend it to almost any one.
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