Sunday, September 16, 2007

Discussing the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

We had an incredible discussion on Sunday July 22 at the Revolution Cafe to exchange what we took away with us from reading the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her book Infidel.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West. Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following an Islamist's murder of her colleague, Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the movie Submission.

Infidel gave us the opportunity to discuss the author's life in Africa and then post-Africa and how she achieved to find residency in the Netherlands and become part of its political system. Among other things, we discussed how her voice in the book was trying to be objective as she did not want to be perceived as a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Her main message towards the end was that "the mistreatment of women is not an incidental problem in the Muslim world." This point led to more discussion in our group.

A great book to recommend to any book club!

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