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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.

HannaYou 6 June 16
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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.

Marber Level 2 Sep 19, 2020

Regardless of right or left, liberal or conservative, everyone should live a life free of hatred and discrimination, that's something no reasonable person can be against. And I also agree that you should defend the rights of people you disagree with, but that needs to go both ways. In the case of AHA, she spoke out precisely to help minority women and got hatred and death threats.


A great book by a great woman.


I love this book! Thanks for this post.


Unfortunately a lot of "Liberals" dislike her because she talks against Islam...

She speaks the truth, and sadly a lot of people don't like the truth so they direct their rage at her (which makes her even more admirable because she speaks out in spite of all the threats).

Right, I've even heard that directly from the mouth of the most liberal (and ferociously non-religious) person I have ever met. I find it baffling that people who practice no religion could be so fiercely opposed to Christianity and yet so very quick to defend Islam and Muslims. My guess is it's because liberals tend to favor minorities, protecting the "poor, downtrodden and oppressed" from the "big, bad guy in charge." Agree? Disagree? What other reasons can anyone offer? A couple years ago I attended a Richard Dawkins talk and he said the same thing - he couldn't figure out why liberals speak up for Islam.

@RobInTex I always assumed it was because too many people, regardless of political persuasion, are unable to separate the religion from the people who practice it.I know several people from Muslim countries and they are all wonderful generous kind people who do not proselytize their religion, put down others, or judge me for having none.

I'm pretty sure you could create almost any "religion" and no matter how banal if that was the thing followed by millions eventually some of them would find a way to turn it into something bad. Take those same people and give them a set of rules from 1000 years ago when life was a constant battle just to not die the next day and well, bad shit happens.

I guess some think that Christianity is that much better but Christians have had 900 more years to get their genocidal growing pains out of the way - just look at many countries that are more recent adoptees of Christianity. Not going well in many of them.

So anyway, I think some can't separate people from their religion so they think to defend someone one has to defend their religion.

@prometheus Several good points made there. It's fascinating and also very sad to see that religions do indeed need many centuries to experience "growing pains." I recently read The Evolution of God by Robert Wright and it shows in minute detail how a religion (and its god or gods) can evolve as societies change. I also think the defense of Islam may be a late addition to the embrace of countercultures that began in the 60s. After WWII and the 50s came the hippies and revolutionaries and the idea that Christianity and much of the "American way" were useless, outmoded, boring old news - time for us to adopt foreign cultures and practices that could teach us new things, sometimes in detail, at other times just scratching the surface of so many exotic, mysterious traditions.

@RobInTex I have to admit I'm woefully ignorant of the creed of Islam - other than the mostly bad bits that people like to cite. Kind of like the Bible. But that I've at least read and was technically raised a Christian so more familiar territory. I did sit down to read the Quran but it was tough going and I gave up pretty quickly. Someone needs to create objective summaries of these books. But from what little I know there isn't anything that magical about Islam - it's not like it has reincarnation, or multiple gods, and magical stuff beyond miracles - not even sure it has those unlike the Bible.

@prometheus Right, I've read about half the Koran. Will finish it, but I have no idea when. Not really in a hurry since I can't say I've enjoyed it so far.


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.

RobInTex Level 4 June 16, 2020

That was also something that stood out to me, but mostly because I've seen it in the US, and it's something I notice now in Germany. While I was in college, in Virginia, I volunteered as a teaching assistant for this church-related organization where they taught English as a second language. Many of the students had just arrived in the US, which is why they were taking the course, but what amazed me were two Korean women who had been living there for 15 and 30 years, respectively. Some of the other students who had been there for a couple of months were more fluent in English than these women. It was astonishing to me. But there is such a large Korean community in that area that they didn't really need to learn the language, meaning they weren't pushed into integrating. This is not to say anything negative about the Korean community; they were all hard-working, decent people, but there was such a rift between the two cultures and languages, I was shocked.
The same thing is happening here in Germany. Take the Turkish community, many of whom were born and raised here and yet they have this disdain for Germans and their culture. Most Turks only date/marry other Turks, choose Turkish citizenship over German citizenship (even though themselves and their parents were born in Germany and are eligible), etc. There is a noticeable separation, and I think it does more harm to the society.


She is a hero of mine as well ... I relate to her in so many ways ... We even have the same birthday

Ex-Muslim Level 3 June 16, 2020

Thanks for the rec.

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