I originally read this book way back in the late summer of 2008, but never got around to posting it because at the time, I didn’t know what to say. It was just so powerful that I couldn’t figure out words to describe the horrific and heroic life of a woman who dared to defy a faith that both consumed and destroyed her life. Infidel tells the story of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim woman, who, after years of living under the cloak of Islam, discovered that she no longer could embrace the faith. Her deflection from Islam and outspoken nature against the faith has burned her relationship with her father, her family, and the life of freedom she knew; because of the constant death threats against her, she now lives in seclusion in the United States.
In the mini movie Submission, Ali collaborated with director Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands. The video was so controversial that van Gogh was murdered in broad daylight by religious fanatics.
Even if you don’t agree with Ali’s portrayal of Islam, her book gives such an intimate portrayal of her life; at times I felt as if I walked in her shoes at the dingy apartment in Saudi Arabia, and as a religious stranger along the streets in Ethiopia. Her entire story-from faithful Muslim girl, to Dutch Parliament member, to social outcast–is beyond powerful. Below, the controversial video Submission.