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7 Local Warehouse Politics- International Studies

Infidel

by

Infidel Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

1. Hirsi Ali tells us that this book is "the story of what I have experienced, what I have seen, and why I think the way I do" (page xii). Which experiences does she highlight as being integral to forming her current views on Islam?

2. "No eyes silently accused me of being a whore. No lecherous men called me to bed with them. No Brotherhood members threatened me with hellfire. I felt safe; I could follow my curiosity" (page 185). This passage refers to Hirsi Ali's initial impression of walking the streets in Germany. What other significant differences between the West and Islamic Africa did she observe during her first days in Europe? Upon arriving in Holland, what were her initial impressions of the Dutch people and the Dutch government? Did these change significantly as she lived there

3. How did Hirsi Ali's immigration experience and integration into Dutch society differ from those of other Somalians?

4. Discuss the differences that Hirsi Ali noticed between raising children in Muslim countries and raising children in the West. In particular, what did she notice about Johanna's parenting? How were Muslim parents different from Dutch parents in their instructions to their children on the playground? (see page 245).

5. In Hirsi Ali's words, "a Muslim girl does not make her own decisions or seek control. She is trained to be docile. If you are a Muslim girl, you disappear, until there is almost no you inside you" (page 94). How do the three generations of women in Hirsi Ali's family differ in their willingness to "submit" to this doctrine?

6. As seen through Hirsi Ali's eyes, what factors contributed to Haweya's death? How might members of her family describe events differently?

7. Although Hirsi Ali mostly refrains from criticizing her father, she publishes the personal letter he wrote her upon her divorce. Why do you think she included this letter? Were you surprised by any other intimate details of her life that she revealed in the book?

8. The events of September 11th caused Hirsi Ali to reread sections of the Quran and to evaluate the role of violence in Islam. Consequently, her interpretation of September 11th differs from those around her. What doe she conclude? Do you agree with her analysis?

9. On page 295, Hirsi Ali lists the three goals she wished to accomplish by joining Parliament. By the book's end has she accomplished all three? How did her views of the Dutch government change over time?

10. Examine Hirsi Ali's relationship with her brother. How did Mahad's and Abeh's reactions to her political work differ?

11. Throughout her political career, Hirsi Ali has made several bold statements challenging the Muslim world. In your opinion, were these declarations worth the risk?

12. Has this book changed the way you view Islam? According to Hirsi Ali, is Islam compatible with Western values and culture? Do you agree with her?

Enhancing Your Book Club

1. Visit the website for the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, the Washington D.C. think tank that Hirsi Ali joined upon leaving Holland. Take a look at the articles that Hirsi Ali has posted, and bring one to share. The website is located at www.aei.org.

2. Go to www.youtube.com to watch a version of Theo van Gogh and Hirsi Ali's film, Submission: Part One.

3. Research the Quran before your group meeting and choose a passage to examine together.

4. Take a look on the web for Hirsi Ali's most recent statements about freedom of speech, women's rights, or religion in schools. (For example, in April 2006 she publicly stated her support of the Danish cartoonists' rights to publish images of Muhammad.) Bring in a copy of any interviews you find and share with your group.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Alice Charkes, January 7, 2013 (view all comments by Alice Charkes)
I was fascinated to learn about this author's upbringing and the meaning of living as a devout Moslem. It was horrifying to see how lowly women are esteemed in that religion, and just as shocking to read about the author's passage to moral, religious, political, and intellectual freedom from childhood to adulthood. A must read!
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Christin, August 13, 2012 (view all comments by Christin)
Wow! Ayaan is an amazing lady! Her courage and determination is incredible. Reading her life story makes me so grateful to have been born when and where I was. It would be nice to think that I could have done the same as her, faced with the challenges she was, but in all honesty I think I would have crumbled. She has a lot of important things to say about very complex issues facing society today.

Highly recommended!
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Judy Thorgeirsson, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Judy Thorgeirsson)
I really enjoyed this book because it told of a young woman's struggle in the Islamic culture and her steadfastness to pursue her own ideas. It is a true story and shows how one woman survived and overcame the male dominated society of Islam.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743289696
Author:
Hirsi Ali, Ayaan
Publisher:
Free Press
Foreword by:
Hitchens, Christopher
Foreword:
Hitchens, Christopher
Author:
Ghonim, Wael
Author:
Sowmya, V. B.
Author:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Author:
Koteswaramma, Kondapalli
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Women
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Refugees
Subject:
Politicians
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
Democracy
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Subject:
revolution;Egypt;politics;activism;memoir;manifesto;Arab region;social networks;
Subject:
Nonfiction
Subject:
niall ferguson; ayaan hirsi ali submission; ayaan hirsi ali biography; ayaan hirsi ali memoir; ayaan hirsi ali quotes; muslim; muslim dutch parliament; theo van gogh; christopher hitchens; caged virgin; american enterprise institute; anders breivik; ayaan
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5 in

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Related Subjects


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

Infidel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 160 pages Free Press - English 9780743289696 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.

"Synopsis" by ,
A narrative of the revolution in Egypt, followed by lessons that can be applied to any revolution, anywhere.
"Synopsis" by , The revolutions that swept the Middle East in 2011 surprised and captivated the world. Brutal regimes that had been in power for decades were overturned by an irrepressible mass of freedom seekers. Now, one of the figures who emerged during the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and shares the keys to unleashing the power of crowds.

Wael Ghonim was a little-known, thirty-year-old Google executive in the summer of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The pages following expanded quickly and moved from online protests to a nonconfrontational movement.

The youth of Egypt made history: they used social media to schedule a revolution. The call went out to more than a million Egyptians online, and on January 25, 2011, Cairos Tahrir Square resounded with calls for change. Yet just as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation. After he was released, he gave a tearful speech on national television, and the protests grew more intense. Four days later, the president of Egypt was gone.

    

The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us. He saw the road to Tahrir Square built not by any one person, but by the people. In Revolution 2.0, we can all be heroes.

"Synopsis" by ,
When it was first published in India, ninety-four-year-old Kondapalli Koteswarammas autobiography was acclaimed by the Telugu literary world. Koteswaramma is well known as the widow of Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, founder of the Maoist movement in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and her life spans a tumultuous century of Indian politics that included the Independence movement, Communist insurrection, and the militant leftist Naxalite movement. A child widow at the age of five, she went on to marry Seetharamaiah and work for the Communist Party of India. She was later forced to live underground with her family in the difficult years of the late 1940s. Then Seetharamaiah deserted her and everything changed. Painfully, Koteswaramma worked to rebuild her life, only to face tragedy again when both of her children died as young adults. When many others would have given up, Koteswaramma responded by enrolling in school, taking a job, raising her grandchildren, writing poetry and prose, and eventually establishing herself as a thinking person in her own right.

Now in English, The Sharp Knife of Memory is a searing memoir that will resonate worldwide as it explores the nature of memory and gives a firsthand account of the arrival of womens political independence in India. That Indian women often face incredible suffering is known, but that they can fight back and emerge winners is exemplified in the life of Koteswaramma.

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