Muslim woman, June 26, 2007 (view all comments by Muslim woman)
As a Muslim woman who has always followed Islamic teachings faithfully and was raised by a fairly religious family, I am amazed at Hirsi Ali's ignorance and distortion of the Islamic faith. What Ali seems to have experienced is the backward traditions associated with tribalism that has nothing to do with Islam. Throughout the book, Ali provides very little credible support for her distortions on Islam. I honestly believe, should readers want an accurate representation of Islam and its treatment of women, this is definitely not the book to read, as it is far from the truth. Hirsi Ali mentions nothing of Islam's respect for women and Prophet Mohammed's success in ending ignorant, pre-Islamic practices such as the killing of female babies and the treatment of women as nothing but sexual objects. Contrary to Ali's claims, Islam elevated the status of women by enabling them to work, own property & inheritance, and even join men in battles. Examples from Islamic history are sufficient to refute Ali's lies, as history shows that Muslim women were working, owning property and even proposing to men in marriage, even before Western women started to slowly gain their rights. What Muslim and non-Muslim women experience today in the developing world is a result of corruption, poverty and patriarchy and not Islam. Furthermore, United Nations and Amnesty International reports show that female genital mutilation, which Ali inaccurately ties to Islam, are African tribal practices, carried out by traditional Muslims and Christians alike. As for forced marriages, this is another traditional practice common in many non-Muslim cultures, such as India for example. One could go on and on and easily refute every single claim made by Ali. The bottom line is, if Ali was capable of lying about her background to win assylum in the Netherlands, then one can expect her to lie about anything to win her way up. It is just unfortunate that Muslims who have great respect and love for their religion, have to pay the price for her lies.
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minjiwe, February 15, 2007 (view all comments by minjiwe)
I just finished reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book yesterday. Whew! That was quite a book! I found the book to be very informative and I learned a lot about the day-to-day life of Muslim women. I enjoyed the book if one can say they enjoyed reading about the abuse of women.
I found it interesting that from an early age Ms. Ali vigorously questioned the place of women in Islam. I feel that most of the time, if we are inculcated in a particular religious indoctrination, we don't question it so intensly. I also found it interesting that she, her brother and sister seemed to be so completely out of control! My goodness, they gave thier mother a hard way to go.
While I was reading the book I vacilated between thinking she could not be that ignorant of the consequences of her words; to she just did not care about the consequences. In a free society we should be able to safely voice our opinins - even if those opinins are offensive to others. And, in a free society we need to understand that our freedom ends when/if it affects another person; particularly if it causes the loss of life.
Still, I found the book to be a very good read and I would recommend it anyone.
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caliosman, October 29, 2006 (view all comments by caliosman)
Ayan Hersi Ali [ Ayan Hersi Morgan as her real name is] is not Muslim. She was born muslim but she never practiced the religion because she hardly mentions the rights and virtues that the holy Quran and Islam bestowed on Women.
Islam is a way of life and if one does follow a true islamic way, they can hardly render any comment that is meaningful. Mrs Ali lied all her life: lied she was raped; lied about her age, lied about her upbringing; lied to get asylum; and now she lies about Islam to make a name for herself.
Save your money and skip this fiction book.
A concerned Somali,
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postobitum, September 17, 2006 (view all comments by postobitum)
This book is an eye-opener! Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia and was raised in Islam. She now lives in the Netherlands and protests the atrocities and grievances committed against women and mankind in the name of Islam.
Her approach is not that terrorists are not representing Islam, but that they are, and we are not being hard or critical enough on the religion and those who defend it. She thinks that there is beauty, peace, and wisdom to be found in Islam but that those wonderful qualities are marred by the hate and ugliness that can also be found, mostly in the words of Muhammed.
Personally I think anyone who is interested in learning more about Islam and the current state of the world would find The Caged Virgin a worthy read, if not a great topic for debate.
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by Philadelphia Inquirer,
"At certain moments in cultural history, a particular book or pamphlet...catches fire by taking a spark already burning in people's hearts and minds and setting it ablaze on the printed page. The Caged Virgin is such a book. We live in such a moment."
"If her voice has some effect on leading the Western left back to its tradition of standing against racism, sexism and fascism, then Muslims will not be the only people she has emancipated."
by Library Journal,
"Contemporary and controversial, Ali castigates extremists who emphasize virginity to the point of violence and the failure of some muslims to self-criticize."
A world-renowned activist and feminist pulls no punches in her efforts to reform Islam in this international bestseller, available for the first time in English.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and eBooks — here at Powells.com.