Friday, 12 February 2010
AYAAN HIRSI ALI's INFIDEL
AYAAN HIRSI ALI’s
INFIDEL is a pellucid memoir of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, born and brought up in Somalia in a traditional Muslim family. Her story is astonishing even while being profound.
Raised in a strict Muslim family and extended clan, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female circumcision involving genital mutilation, brutal beatings, an adolescence as a devout believer, the rise of Muslim brotherhood, and life in four countries under dictatorships. She escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in Holland, where she fought for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam, earning her the enmity of reactionary Muslims all over the world. The journey from being an orthodox believer to a champion of Women’s empowerment and a staunch atheist – it is one of the most memorable account of a person’s life story. She lives under constant threat from Islamists, yet refuses to be silenced.
Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali’s story tells how a bright, curious, dutiful little girl evolves into a pioneering freedom fighter. As Western governments struggle to balance democratic ideals with religious fanaticism, especially in the wake of 9/11, no other book could be more timely or significant. She worked as an interpreter in abortion clinics and shelters for battered women, fleeing from domestic violence. After earning her college degree in political science, she worked for the Labor Party in Holland. She denounced Islam after September 11 terrorist attacks and now champions the cause of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam and security in the West.
A riveting read, INFIDEL should be read by every woman and yes, all men.
PS: I sketched the arresting face of Ayaan Hirsi Ali as soon as I finished reading her book. I believe I have captured the determination in her eyes.