Book Fortynine: Infidel

Infidel , Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I think that this book is best read on the level of this one woman's personal story. In this regard, this is a very powerful book. Her life, history, family and struggles (physical, emotional, and spiritual) are truly amazing. However, where I think this book takes a turn into the land of controversy is in her sweeping statements of Islam. I'm not one to say whether or not she's right or wrong, but what I personally connected with in these statements was not in her condemnation of Islam, but in her condemnation of any and all religion. Any American right-winger who thinks that she is the bee's knees ought to take a closer look at what she's really saying about all religions.

We read this for neighborhood bookclub, and it sparked some very interesting discussion. I honestly don't have any hard and fast opinions to share here (other than the above), but one thing I do wish for were more solutions offered in this book to the many problems and issues posed. I mean, what in the world are (Liberal) westerners supposed to do about all the shitty parts of Islam (you know, the systemic suppression of women, female genital mutilation, killing of all infidels, etc.), while still being open to allowing for the free expression of religion for all? Yes, there are some obvious answers, but there are also some super complicated ones that make me glad I'm not in any sort of public office that is responsible for figuring these kinds of things out.


Anonymous bellcurves said...

Interesting. I have heard of this book but not read it. But I am reminded of the book "Nine Parts of Desire", and also of journalist Asra Nomani, a.k.a. "the woman who went to the front of the mosque". Have you read either 9 Parts, or "Standing Alone In Mecca"? There are no easy answers or solutions esp where religion is concerned. Yeah no kidding--glad we're all not the ones charged with figuring it all out...

December 17, 2008 at 5:43 AM  

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