Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali


A Book Review by John Llewellyn

          There are poorly written books, books that deceive, scholastic books and well written, interesting books.  But rarely does a book come along that is so honest and powerful that it challenges the mind, changes perceptions and beliefs– and at the same time tugs at the heartstrings.

INFIDEL, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim woman and refugee from Somalia, is just such a book.  As a child she was forcibly “incised,” a euphemism for “female genital mutilation,” or “female circumcision.”  She was raised to be an obedient Muslim wife in the midst a cruel civil war, under the dogmatic auspice of the Muslim Brotherhood.  As a young woman she fled to Holland to escape a forced Islamic marriage.  While in the Netherlands, by way of cognitive observation, she was converted to Western secularism.  This naturally put her at odds with Islam, especially the dogmatic way Islam treats women.  Inspired to do something for the plight of Muslim women, after obtaining a college degree in political science and elected to Parliament, she had the prestige and  influence to do something meaningful.

You may have already discerned that Ayaan is not an ordinary woman.  What she has so far accomplished in comparison to where she came from is phenomenal.  Infidel is extremely well written with many poignant moments that are entirely consistent with the politics and traditions of Islam.  In reading over the acknowledgements she had help from agents, editors and a publisher.  Nevertheless, the story and prose are decisively hers and congruent with her intelligence and articulation.

What makes this book so powerful are the moral realities that we in the West have been unwilling as a culture to accept because of erroneous liberal beliefs and political correctness.  It takes someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali with the intrepidity to rise above poverty, religious oppression, ignorance and hopelessness to achieve a position where she can make a difference in an indifferent and tyrannical world.  Her book has several profound messages, but I think her most prominent message is:  The only freedom that is free, even in a backward country like Somalia, is the freedom to think.  Free thinking is an imperative when it comes to civility, industry and a free society.  And it is free thinking that oppressive religions like Islam work dogmatically to stifle.  This message supports my oft said contention that when you control information, you control behavior.

If we are going to preserve free speech, free industrialization and free trade, we must create and environment for free thinking.  With free thinking comes doubt, debate, solutions and introspection – the tools of civilization.  We must create and secure a social environment that produces minds like Spinoza, Paine and Kant.  But in the case of Ayaan – her splendid mind came about through adversity – and adversity tends to produce the most superb brand of ratiocination.

To the credit of Ayaan’s father, a devout Muslim and advocate of the Muslim Brotherhood, he insisted that Ayaan and her siblings go to school.  It was in school that she was introduced to books.  It was books, western books, that opened up her mind.  Because some of these books were in English, she taught herself English, so hungry was she to learn.

Books are records of ideas.  Even novels are stories that convey a series of ideas.  Almost without exception all the good students, the philosophers and famous authors were thinkers and habitual readers.  One of the more important influences a parent can exert is to teach their children to read and love books.

Defenders of the Muslim Brotherhood point out that it is a charitable, religious organization and is non violent.  The Brotherhood has been involved in teaching the poor, setting up hospitals and organizing commercial enterprises.  The Brotherhood’s slogan is: “Islam is the solution.”  In that regard it promotes the Quran, Hadith and Sharia Law which equates to:  dictating religious observance, family relations and government.  Islam, meaning “submission,”  is a theocracy – a theocracy with the goal that a caliphate must rule the world.

The Brotherhood boasts a membership in excess of 2 million and is the largest and most powerful of the Islamic organizations.  Charity is an investment that helps attract sycophants.  Although they are benevolent on one end, they condone polygamy, wife beating, female incision and honor killing at the other end, nor have they come out against the violence perpetrated by terroristic groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.  And there is compelling evidence that they are financing Islamic groups in America with the objective of replacing our Constitution with Sharia Law.  (See Stealth Jihad by Robert Spencer.)

Books – correction – good books have the power to influence morality, occupations, beliefs, patriotism and the pursuit of truth.  The Quran and every other book that reinforces the Quran are bad books because they are totalitarian, discriminate, tolerate and even incite violence.  But worst of all they dogmatically and coercively rob the true believers of free thought.

Ayaan and her sister were habitually beaten by their mother over trivialities. Their mother was a devote Muslim but was perpetually unhappy over where and how she must live and took her frustrations out on her children.  Her primary source of income was donations from the Brotherhood.  Their father, a politician and revolutionary was gone most of the time.

Without warning or preparation of any kind Ayaan and her sister were forcibly incised prior to age nine.  She describes the mutilation in detail which is horrific to read, and in my case aroused outrage.  As shocking as her description is it is something that every woman should read, especially women in the West, because if the Muslims ever get the upper hand it is something their daughters may have to endure.

At one point Ayaan attempted to be a good Muslim while being tutored by a convert, Sister Aziza, who taught that as a female, self contempt was the road to purity as well as a mandate from Allah.  The following quote is how Aziza explained why women should cover themselves.

As women, we were immensely powerful, Sister Aziza explained.  The way Allah had created us, our hair, our nails, our heels, our neck, and ankles – every little curve in our body was arousing.  If a woman aroused a man who was not her husband, she was sinning doubly in God’s eyes. By leading the man into temptation and evil thoughts to match her own.  Only the robe worn by the wives of the Prophet could prevent us from arousing men and leading society into fitna, uncontrollable confusion and social chaos.

This assessment by Sister Aziza has several serious implications.  It implies that women are inherently wicked which is about as stupid as the once Christian idea that the Garden of Eden myth about Eve and the Serpent justifies accusing  women of bringing evil into the world.

Secondly, what does this say about the Prophet Mohammad?  Where was his mind?  Does this mean he was so sexually aroused by the body of a woman that he needed to harness her with coercive doctrines, turn her into submissive property and a robed zombie-type with only her eyes showing?

The plight of the woman in Islam is obviously the work of Mohammad and not Allah, who ever that may be, which calls into question every aspect of the Quran.

Much of the same behavior Mohammad and his Quran has induced is very similar to the behavior induced by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Mormon fundamentalism  – especially towards women and non believers.  Furthermore the goals are the same – world domination and the assassination of apostates.  Now you may think that polygamy is the root cause.  Not so.   Polygamy is a byproduct of narcissistic authoritarianism.  It is only a matter of time before these cult-like, sadomasochistic, authoritative movements get around to polygamy or free love.  And what does that mean:  the Y-chromosome is pulling some strings.  Both Islam and Mormonism are theocratic, meaning they purport to be religious but are subversively political.  (My characterization is about Joseph Smith’s Mormonism and not the present Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

Both Islam and Mormonism are spinoffs from the Bible.  Mohammad and Joseph Smith are out of the same mold.  Joseph learned from the Masons, the Catholics and the Muslims.  This is made evident when he said, “I will be to this generation a second Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was ‘the Alcoran [Koran] or the Sword.’ So shall it eventually be with us.”  (Internet)   There is more than one version of this remark.   I remember reading somewhere (I have read so many books about Mormonism) where Joseph warned he would take up the sword like Mohammad and “shower the earth with blood,” or words to that effect.

According to Sister Aziza, Islam’s Allah like John Calvin’s Christian God, decided before each of us were born who shall be saved.  It is a matter of predestination.  Both Mohammad and Joseph Smith were selected by their God to be prophets while in the preexistence.  Jealousy is as demeaning in Islam as it is in Mormon fundamentalism – something to overcome.  Of course that only applies to the plural wives.

There are many things about Islam that we in the West can see to justify rejecting and excoriating it.  But if you were to pick just one reason, one reason alone in which to demonize Islam it would be the way they treat their women.  The following is a quote from page 94.

A Muslim woman must not feel wild, or free, or any of the other emotions and longings I felt when I read those [western] books.  A Muslim girl does not make her own decisions or seek control.  She is trained to be docile.  If you are Muslim girls, you disappear, until there is almost no you inside you.  In Islam, becoming an individual is not a necessary development; many people, especially women, never develop a clear individual will. You submit: that is the literal meaning of the world islam: submission.  The goal is to become quiet inside, so that you never raise our eyes, not even inside your mind.

Consider the following from page 103:

One day when I was seventeen, Boqol Sawm turned to the verses on how women were supposed to behave with their husbands.  We owed our husbands absolute obedience, he told the mothers and teenage girls who had gathered to listen to him.  If we disobeyed them, they could beat us,.  We must be sexually available at any time outside our periods, “even on the saddle of a camel,” as the hadith says.  This wasn’t any kind of loving partnership, or mutual giving;  it didn’t even sound possible.  But Boqol Sawm yelled, “TOTAL OBEDIENCE: this is the rule in Islam.

Boqol Sawm, a self-styled imam taught that life on earth was just a testing ground – a dogma that Joseph Smith also taught.  But according to Ayaan, no matter how hard she and others tried to obey and conform it was too strict.  Allah had ordained that the testimony of two women was equal to the testimony of one man.  A woman could not be trusted to govern herself, let alone govern others.  Women were inferior and irrational by nature.  It was not permitted to argue with an imam or question the Quran.

Ayaan was supposed to fly to Canada to join the husband she despised and was forced to marry.  Instead she fled to Holland, a liberal welfare state where she was received with open arms.  When qualifying for citizenship she lied about her name, using her mother’s surname instead  of her father’s surname.  She knew that her husband and other Muslims were looking for her.  She was therefore afraid of using her father’s surname.  This caused her political enemies in Holland to attempt to have her citizenship revoked – but it didn’t work.

Aryan’s defense of Muslim women ignited the wrath of Muslim men – creating chaos in Holland.  Instead of blaming Islam or Muslim men, Aryan’s Netherland enemies seemed to blame her.  But then, isn’t that way of political correctness?  Don’t stir up the Muslims!  If you offend their religious beliefs they will demonstrate, riot and create havoc.  God forbid, they might even fly an airplane into Parliament.  Which is another way of saying Muslim women are expendable.

While Ayaan was attending school in Holland she became an interpreter for the government as Muslim refugees poured into the Netherlands.  Many were women who had been abused even more than she.  Her struggle for an education is a story in itself.  When she was elected to Parliament she wanted to use her influence to do something for Muslim women.  For example, between October 2004 and May 2005 there had been eleven Muslim girls victims of honor killings.

She became acquainted with Theo van Gogh a film maker.  Together they made a short film entitled Submission that exposed the abuse of Muslim womenIt received a lot of attention, good and bad.  Ayaan received numerous death threats and as a result she was constantly escorted by government bodyguards.  The authorities thought she was in more danger than Gogh, who really didn’t want protection.

On November 2, 2004, Theo van Gogh was gunned down, stabbed and nearly decapitated.  The Muslim assassin from Morocco, left a 9 page letter pinned to his body with another knife.  The “threatening” letter, directed at Ayaan, can be read on the Internet if you click on Theo van Gogh.

Although Germany has the largest Muslim population in Europe, the Muslim population in the  Netherlands is substantial.  The Dutch people, at least in 2004 were  liberal  and non judgmental, allowing Muslim refugees and immigrants to enter their country.

The Muslims were more than willing to accept the good will of their host countries, bringing with them Islam and the contempt Islam demands they feel towards infidels.  They gathered in ghettos, organized, gathered strength and then made demands upon their host country that their religious beliefs, like Sharia Law, should become the rule rather than the exception.  Their gathering together is by design so they can control information and behavior and not due to social pressure.  The  world view of Muslims is forged by the imams.

Muslim communities became Islamic quasi-countries within a host country where they have their own rules and traditions.  In Holland, for example – brain washing, polygamy, female beatings, genital mutilations, forced marriages,  honor killings, and hatred of nonbelievers – is alive and well.   Islam’s most unifying agent is hatred – hatred is the driving force behind Islam,  virgins are next.

The host countries welcome their Muslim cousins in accordance to humanitarian concerns.  However, Islam sees it as a  way of exporting Islam.  The LDS Church sends missionaries around the world in an effort to spread Mormonism.  By way of comparison LDS success is a mere fraction of what Islam is doing.

According to the Internet in 1991 there were between 5 and 8 million Muslims in the United States.  I think that is an overstatement.  Writers commenting on the demographics of Islam do not always agree.  Some demographers tell us Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, and the fastest growing religion in the United States.   However, if these statistics come from Muslims, I suspect that Muslims like Mormon fundamentalists tend to embellish their numbers and exaggerate how they are victimized.

Nevertheless, there is no question Islam is growing in the United States due to immigration and Americans being converted.  It also appears to be true that Muslims are beginning to demand more religious privileges.   And it also appears that their objective is to replace our Constitution with Shaira Law, and they are making progress while our liberal intelligentsia hobbles itself with political correctness.

There are many Islamic experts  especially in academia.  Many of which will attempt to convince you Islam is a peaceable, tolerant religion and America has nothing to fear from Islam.  But I prefer to rely on those authors who have left Islam and they all agree that Islam is an oppressive religion that feeds on hatred.

If you are as concerned about Islam in America as I am then I recommend the following books:

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Stealth jihad by Robert Spencer

Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabriel

A God Who Hates by Wafa Sultan

Reading these books raises many questions.  The question foremost in my mind is, if Islam is so oppressive why is it the fastest growing religion in the world?  And why are American women converting to Islam?  Intriguing subjects for future research and essays.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Lizzie on June 8, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Interesting how the current climate of political correctness, fomented by secular liberalism, has opened the door for offshoot, oppressive religions to burgeon, since under the auspices of a PC attitude, no can criticize anything.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: