In ‘Infidel‘, Ayaan Hirsi Ali takes us on an unforgettable journey of personal transformation. Her 1970′s childhood was a traditional Muslim upbringing requiring submission and obedience. She grew up in war-torn Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya with an absentee father and abusive mother to come of age as a member of parliament in Holland, and outspoken internationally renown activist.
Her brave and deeply personal memoir is arrestingly provocative because she is our contemporary. She tells of the realities of female subjugation, genital mutilation and arranged marriage because she lived it. Her overwhelming pain and naturally rebellious spirit fed her passion, leading her first to seek political asylum, and now to ongoing work in human rights. That pain captures your imagination on every page of her matter-of-fact retelling of a remarkable life. As a woman only six years her junior, I couldn’t help thinking “this could have been me.” She leaves her readers with a sense of raw numbness, unsure of whether to feel offended or ashamed.
‘Infidel‘ is seen by some as an anti-Islamic polemic. Ayaan, who must still live with armed guard protection even in the United States, is seen as being an enemy of the Muslim faith. Does she have a right to be angry? Does this autobiography have a political agenda? Has she been too critical of Islam? I will leave you to answer these questions when you read ’Infidel‘ for yourself.