A word of caution for this novel: if you do not handle abuse against children well you should possibly find a lighter read. The entire novel is not about that, and in fact I think that it goes into more detail in her other novel Infidel but I just thought I would put out a warning. Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes about her current mission to bring awareness about certain practices of Islam that show an evil side to religion.
It is written from a tribal Islamic background and some of the experiences she went through as a child and some of the Islamic teachings she learned are not a part of mainstream Islam. Many of these aspects seem to be the tribal traditions mixed with Islamic traditions. This is my personally opinion, I am not an expert in Islam, however part of my degree is concentrated in Middle East and Islamic studies so I am just using my own knowledge here. I love Ayaan Hirisi Ali’s work, I do not 100% agree with everything she writes but she is a great writer with an interesting life and an important message.
She is also a great advocate of women rights which I fully support. She also writes about her life in Holland as an immigrant and as a Member of Parliament and her trouble with Islamists who threaten her with death. There are chapters about her family and flashbacks to her childhood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. She also talks about what she was taught as a child and what she hopes to achieve in the future with regards to Islam.
This novel was very well written and could paint a very vivid picture about what life is like for some women. I do not mean to give much away but the sense that I got from this book was that not only is she trying to denounce Islam and saying that it has evil aspects to it but she seems to defend Christianity immensely. She is a self-proclaimed atheist and clearly despises a lot about Islam but yet she seems to be saying that Christianity is the road towards peace.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I am not saying religion should cease to exist. It is important to have faith and belief in something and religion is always going to be one of those controversial topics no one can agree on. Both Islam and Christianity are developed from previous monotheistic religions and share the same basic values. I am sure that in both the Bible and the Quran there are passages that promote violence, some intentionally but others that is just how they are being interpreted. I realize that what I have just said may come across as me hating the book, but I assure you it is worth the read and there is a lot to learn from this book and writer.
I have provided a link to her website for those who would like to learn more about her mission. http://theahafoundation.org/about/
If you have read the book, make sure to leave your comments down below. I should warn you that any "hate crime" comments or things of this nature will be deleted. Let us all be open-minded adults who take on the subject matter in this book with the level of seriousness it deserves. Thank you.
Labels: Book Review, Conversation Bookshelf