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Infidel

by

Infidel Cover

ISBN13: 9780743289689
ISBN10: 0743289684
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Excerpt

Introduction

One November morning in 2004, Theo van Gogh got up to go to work at his film production company in Amsterdam. He took out his old black bicycle and headed down a main road. Waiting in a doorway was a Moroccan man with a handgun and two butcher knives.

As Theo cycled down the Linnaeusstraat, Muhammad Bouyeri approached. He pulled out his gun and shot Theo several times. Theo fell off his bike and lurched across the road, then collapsed. Bouyeri followed. Theo begged, "Can't we talk about this?" but Bouyeri shot him four more times. Then he took out one of his butcher knives and sawed into Theo's throat. With the other knife, he stabbed a five-page letter onto Theo's chest.

The letter was addressed to me.

Two months before, Theo and I had made a short film together. We called it Submission, Part 1. I intended one day to make Part 2. (Theo warned me that he would work on Part 2 only if I accepted some humor in it!) Part 1 was about defiance — about Muslim women who shift from total submission to God to a dialogue with their deity. They pray, but instead of casting down their eyes, these women look up, at Allah, with the words of the Quran tattooed on their skin. They tell Him honestly that if submission to Him brings them so much misery, and He remains silent, they may stop submitting.

There is the woman who is flogged for committing adultery; another who is given in marriage to a man she loathes; another who is beaten by her husband on a regular basis; and another who is shunned by her father when he learns that his brother raped her. Each abuse is justified by the perpetrators in the name of God, citing the Quran verses now written on the bodies of the women. These women stand for hundreds of thousands of Muslim women around the world.

Theo and I knew it was a dangerous film to make. But Theo was a valiant man — he was a warrior, however unlikely that might seem. He was also very Dutch, and no nation in the world is more deeply attached to freedom of expression than the Dutch. The suggestion that he remove his name from the film's credits for security reasons made Theo angry. He told me once, "If I can't put my name on my own film, in Holland, then Holland isn't Holland any more, and I am not me."

People ask me if I have some kind of death wish, to keep saying the things I do. The answer is no: I would like to keep living. However, some things must be said, and there are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.

This is the story of my life. It is a subjective record of my own personal memories, as close to accurate as I can make them; my relationship with the rest of my family has been so fractured that I cannot now refresh these recollections by asking them for help. It is the story of what I have experienced, what I've seen, and why I think the way I do. I've come to see that it is useful, and maybe even important, to tell this story. I want to make a few things clear, set a certain number of records straight, and also tell people about another kind of world and what it's really like.

I was born in Somalia. I grew up in Somalia, in Saudi Arabia, in Ethiopia, and in Kenya. I came to Europe in 1992, when I was twenty-two, and became a member of Parliament in Holland. I made a movie with Theo, and now I live with bodyguards and armored cars. In April 2006 a Dutch court ordered that I leave my safe-home that I was renting from the State. The judge concluded that my neighbors had a right to argue that they felt unsafe because of my presence in the building. I had already decided to move to the United States before the debate surrounding my Dutch citizenship erupted.

This book is dedicated to my family, and also to the millions and millions of Muslim women who have had to submit.

Copyright © 2007 by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

jazzmom636, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by jazzmom636)
This book changes your worldview. She describes life experiences that the Western reader would find abhorent, but from her viewpoint were the expected norm. A must read for women everywhere.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
itsmerunning, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by itsmerunning)
This was an amazing book. And sn amazing woman. I learned so much more than I expected. It has stayed with me, and I find myself thinking about it often. It is a biography of life in Somalia and other countries through the eyes of a little girl, and then follows her as she goes to a western country. She now lives in USA under guard. Loved it!!!!
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mbcoffee, January 10, 2010 (view all comments by mbcoffee)
This is a powerful memoir of an amazing woman. Such depth in her story and perspective. It's a must read!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743289689
Author:
Hirsi Ali, Ayaan
Publisher:
Free Press
Author:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Author:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Refugees
Subject:
Politicians
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Muslims -- Netherlands.
Subject:
Hirsi Ali, Ayaan
Copyright:
Publication Date:
February 2007
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
353
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Political
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Africa » Somalia
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » World Feminism
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies

Infidel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 353 pages Free Press - English 9780743289689 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Ali's memoir Infidel reveals an extraordinary woman who survived a harrowing early life, fled to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage, and was elected to that country's Parliament before death threats landed her under 24-hour guard. Not every reader will agree with her political and religious positions, but her intelligence, resilience, and courage are inspiring. I was deeply moved by her response, near the end of the book, to questions of what it is like to live with death threats. She recites her many brushes with death, from the moment of her birth onward, and concludes, "Even with bodyguards and death threats I feel privileged to be alive and free." It is to her credit that she dedicated herself to bringing that freedom to other oppressed women.

"Review" by , "Ms. Hirsi Ali's struggles to gain a toehold in her new country, and her perceptions of the West, told through innocent eyes, put flesh and blood on an immigrant story repeated countless times throughout Western Europe."
"Review" by , "While often horrifying and heartbreaking, Infidel is an ultimately inspiring story of defiance, resilience and truth-seeking."
"Review" by , "[A]t its core, her story is about a crisis of faith, and her compelling account of her transfiguration offers a glint of hope that, like Christianity before it, Islam may be brought to its senses by legions of incensed apostates."
"Review" by , "[T]he book reads like a...coming-of-age novel — except that a Muslim girl from Mogadishu was never supposed to develop a sense of 'self' in the first place."
"Review" by , "A charismatic figure...of arresting and hypnotizing beauty...[who writes] with quite astonishing humor and restraint."
"Synopsis" by , In this profoundly affecting memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia to her intellectual awakening in the Netherlands to her life under armed guard in the West.
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