Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A moving account of a brave, stunningly beautiful woman, from African Islamic horror, to the liberal democracy of Holland. Ali shatters ideas of cultural relativism with personal experience that cannot be denied. This woman is a hero of enlightenment principles that we tend to take for granted, and Ali reminds us that for all of the problems of the west, we enjoy freedoms unimaginable to the majority of our planets human population. Intriguing is her first-hand account of the modern rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Africa; a movement of disenfranchised youth.
Ali has been marked for death by the enemies of free expression, and she holds her emancipation with such respect and gratitude that she refuses to be silenced by terror, even if it costs her her life, as it did for her film-maker/friend Theo Van Gogh. Infidel is a brilliant autobiography by a brilliant woman who evades any hint of exaggeration in being called a champion of free speech. When our press cowtows to the sensitive feelings of religious fanatics -- out of exaggerated respect for all things dealing with faith, at the cost of our most hard won freedoms -- Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an example of courage in the face of all forms of religious intimidation.
Powerful, and very important.
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