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Infidel: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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Post Infidel: Ayaan Hirsi Ali 
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/14/books/14grim.html

A story about Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a strong female leader who is challenging Radical Islam from within. An amazing woman with an amazing story.

This is exactly what will lead to dialogue and change happening from within Islam. I applaud Ms. Ali's courage, and can't wait to get my hands on her book.



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A Somali by birth and a recently elected member of the Dutch Parliament, Ms. Hirsi Ali had waged a personal crusade to improve the lot of Muslim women. Her warnings about the dangers posed to the Netherlands by unassimilated Muslims made her Public Enemy No. 1 for Muslim extremists, a feminist counterpart to Salman Rushdie.

The circuitous, violence-filled path that led Ms. Hirsi Ali from Somalia to the Netherlands is the subject of “Infidel,” her brave, inspiring and beautifully written memoir. Narrated in clear, vigorous prose, it traces the author’s geographical journey from Mogadishu to Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and her desperate flight to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage.

At the same time, Ms. Hirsi Ali describes a journey “from the world of faith to the world of reason,” a long, often bitter struggle to come to terms with her religion and the clan-based traditional society that defined her world and that of millions of Muslims all over.


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It sounds like a very interesting read. Please follow up after you finish it, and let us know what you found.

This issue goes back to something we've discussed on this forum before. I am personally very skeptical that women are content under their oppression in some fundamentalist Muslim societies. I find it very comparable to the situation in the old USSR. The Soviet government tried mightily to keep its people uninformed about life in the West, and as long as they could, the population was relatively docile. But once Soviet citizens were exposed to communication, media materials, and people from the West, they became discontent with the lives they were compelled to lead, and this was key to the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union and its totalitarian regime.

I believe that we would see the same phenomenon if repressed Muslim women are given access to Western style freedoms. If it happens, I hope they are able to hang on to what is good and beneficial in their beliefs, but still be able to live their lives as free people with choices in life and the ability to prosper and contribute to their potential. The revolution will occur from within, not without.

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Post !!! 
Thanks for the excellent Valentine's Day gift idea, Dora. BTW, Barnes & Noble has the book available for 20% off, and another 10% off for members. I look forward to reading it.

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thrice wrote:


I believe that we would see the same phenomenon if repressed Muslim women are given access to Western style freedoms. If it happens, I hope they are able to hang on to what is good and beneficial in their beliefs, but still be able to live their lives as free people with choices in life and the ability to prosper and contribute to their potential. The revolution will occur from within, not without.


Precisely.

It's such a fine line to walk. I agree that there are gains to be made by Muslim women in terms of personal freedoms and basic human rights. However, attacking Islam as inherently repressive only further polarizes the issue and forces Muslim women into the awkward position of having to defend their culture and religion before they feel free to challenge them. I think the more we listen to Muslim women's own voices and own experiences, the more support we can give them, and the greater the likelihood that change will happen from within.

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