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The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam

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The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam Cover

ISBN13: 9780743288330
ISBN10: 0743288335
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Muslims who explore sources of morality other than Islam are threatened with death, and Muslim women who escape the virgins' cage are branded whores. So asserts Ayaan Hirsi Ali's profound meditation on Islam and the role of women, the rights of the individual, the roots of fanaticism, and Western policies toward Islamic countries and immigrant communities. Hard-hitting, outspoken, and controversial, The Caged Virgin is a call to arms for the emancipation of women from a brutal religious and cultural oppression and from an outdated cult of virginity. It is a defiant call for clear thinking and for an Islamic Enlightenment. But it is also the courageous story of how Hirsi Ali herself fought back against everyone who tried to force her to submit to a traditional Muslim woman's life and how she became a voice of reform.

Born in Somalia and raised Muslim, but outraged by her religion's hostility toward women, Hirsi Ali escaped an arranged marriage to a distant relative and fled to the Netherlands. There, she learned Dutch, worked as an interpreter in abortion clinics and shelters for battered women, earned a college degree, and started a career in politics as a Dutch parliamentarian. In November 2004, the violent murder on an Amsterdam street of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, with whom Hirsi Ali had written a film about women and Islam called Submission, changed her life. Threatened by the same group that slew van Gogh, Hirsi Ali now has round-the-clock protection, but has not allowed these circumstances to compromise her fierce criticism of the treatment of Muslim women, of Islamic governments' attempts to silence any questioning of their traditions, and of Western governments' blind tolerance of practices such as genital mutilation and forced marriages of female minors occurring in their countries.

Hirsi Ali relates her experiences as a Muslim woman so that oppressed Muslim women can take heart and seek their own liberation. Drawing on her love of reason and the Enlightenment philosophers on whose principles democracy was founded, she presents her firsthand knowledge of the Islamic worldview and advises Westerners how best to address the great divide that currently exists between the West and Islamic nations and between Muslim immigrants and their adopted countries.

An international bestseller — with updated information for American readers and two new essays added for this edition — The Caged Virgin is a compelling, courageous, eye-opening work.

Review:

"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." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"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." Newsday

Review:

"Contemporary and controversial, Ali castigates extremists who emphasize virginity to the point of violence and the failure of some muslims to self-criticize." Library Journal

Synopsis:

In Re-thinking Islam, Katajun Amirpur argues that the impression we have of Islam as a backward-looking faith resistant to the ideas of Enlightenment thinking is false. Amirpur introduces us to the Farsi term ‘nouandishi-ye eslami (New Islamic Thinking) and to influential reformers who are committed to democracy and human rights. The free-thinking Egyptian Quran scholar Abu Zaid, the academic Abdolkarim Soroush, a former member of Khomeinis Cultural Revolution Committee, and the American feminist Amina Wadud, who was the first woman to lead the faithful in Friday Prayer, all refute the idea that there is one true, fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Instead they call for greater freedom and equality of the sexes. By examining the ideas of these thinkers, Amirpur shows breadth and diversity of Islam as a multi-dimensional faith.

Synopsis:

In Rethinking Islam, Katajun Amirpur argues that the West’s impression of Islam as a backward-looking faith, resistant to post-Enlightenment thinking, is misleading and—due to its effects on political discourse—damaging. Introducing readers to key thinkers and activists—such as Abu Zaid, a free-thinking Egyptian Qur’an scholar; Abdolkarim Soroush, an academic and former member of Khomeini’s Cultural Revolution Committee; and Amina Wadud, an American feminist who was the first woman to lead the faithful in Friday Prayer—Amirpur reveals a powerful yet lesser-known tradition of inquiry and dissent within Islam, one that is committed to democracy and human rights. By examining these and many other similar figures’ ideas, she reveals the many ways they reject fundamentalist assertions and instead call for a diversity of opinion, greater freedom, and equality of the sexes. 

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was raised Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands as a refugee. She earned her college degree in political science and worked for the Dutch Labor party. She denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks and now serves as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West.

Table of Contents

Preface: Breaking Through the Islamic Curtain

1 Stand Up for Your Rights!: Women in Islam
2 Why Can't We Take a Critical Look at Ourselves?
3 The Virgins' Cage
4 Let Us Have a Voltaire
5 What Went Wrong?: A Modern Clash of Cultures
6 A Brief Personal History of My Emancipation
7 Being a Politician Is Not My Ideal
8 Bin Laden's Nightmare: Interview with Irshad Manji
9 Freedom Requires Constant Vigilance
10 Four Women's Lives
11 How to Deal with Domestic Violence More Effectively
12 Genital Mutilation Must Not Be Tolerated
13 Ten Tips for Muslim Women Who Want to Leave
14 Submission: Part I
15 The Need for Self-Reflection Within Islam
16 Portrait of a Heroine as a Young Woman
17 A Call for Clear Thinking

Notes
Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

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.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(17 of 30 readers found this comment helpful)
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.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(8 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
caliosman, October 29, 2006 (view all comments by caliosman)
Dear Reader:
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,
Ali Osman
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(16 of 42 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743288330
Subtitle:
s Rights
Author:
Hirsi Ali, Ayaan
Author:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Author:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Author:
Amirpur, Katajun
Publisher:
Gingko Library
Subject:
Women
Subject:
International
Subject:
Civil Rights
Subject:
Women's rights
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Islamic Studies
Subject:
Women in islam
Subject:
Women's rights -- Religious aspects -- Islam.
Subject:
Islam
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
April 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » World Feminism
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
Religion » Islam » General

The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Free Press - English 9780743288330 Reviews:
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Contemporary and controversial, Ali castigates extremists who emphasize virginity to the point of violence and the failure of some muslims to self-criticize."
"Synopsis" by ,
In Re-thinking Islam, Katajun Amirpur argues that the impression we have of Islam as a backward-looking faith resistant to the ideas of Enlightenment thinking is false. Amirpur introduces us to the Farsi term ‘nouandishi-ye eslami (New Islamic Thinking) and to influential reformers who are committed to democracy and human rights. The free-thinking Egyptian Quran scholar Abu Zaid, the academic Abdolkarim Soroush, a former member of Khomeinis Cultural Revolution Committee, and the American feminist Amina Wadud, who was the first woman to lead the faithful in Friday Prayer, all refute the idea that there is one true, fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Instead they call for greater freedom and equality of the sexes. By examining the ideas of these thinkers, Amirpur shows breadth and diversity of Islam as a multi-dimensional faith.
"Synopsis" by ,
In Rethinking Islam, Katajun Amirpur argues that the West’s impression of Islam as a backward-looking faith, resistant to post-Enlightenment thinking, is misleading and—due to its effects on political discourse—damaging. Introducing readers to key thinkers and activists—such as Abu Zaid, a free-thinking Egyptian Qur’an scholar; Abdolkarim Soroush, an academic and former member of Khomeini’s Cultural Revolution Committee; and Amina Wadud, an American feminist who was the first woman to lead the faithful in Friday Prayer—Amirpur reveals a powerful yet lesser-known tradition of inquiry and dissent within Islam, one that is committed to democracy and human rights. By examining these and many other similar figures’ ideas, she reveals the many ways they reject fundamentalist assertions and instead call for a diversity of opinion, greater freedom, and equality of the sexes. 
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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