I've just finished this book and I cannot begin to describe the amount of respect and admiration I have for the author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. "Infidel" is an autobiography, and a testament of how resillient and a strong a woman can be. I have always respected Hirsi Ali for speaking out in support of women's rights but I can now say that she's become a personal hero. Wonderful book.
As a person of the left, I'd just like to point out that defending Muslims in the US against Islamophobia and discrimination is not the same as speaking up for or "defending" Islam. I often defend the right of people, with whom I disagree, to state their opinions and practice their beliefs.....just as I would hope that these people would do the same for me. I also am disturbed by comments that seek to blame "liberals" for defending the right of Muslims or other minorities to live a life free of hatred and discrimination.
It certainly was harrowing and enlightening. Other than the horrific choice her grandmother made and the death threats she's received, what I remember most vividly was her statement that the Dutch bend over backwards to welcome foreigners into their country, generously offer them food, shelter, work, medical care, education, etc. and in response the new arrivals refuse to assimilate. They close themselves off in their communities, immune to the culture and way of life around them, clinging to their ancient ways instead of meshing with a modern society. And they work toward building up their numbers so they can eventually establish a political foothold to boost their own way of doing things. To call that scary hardly even begins to describe the process.