'Infidel' by Ayaan Hirsi Ali is another in the growing pile of 'life of Islamic women' type books that I have read of late. This time the setting is Africa and the tale just as gruesome as any other told hitherto. At first I assumed that the incidents narrated in these books had been largely exaggerated and over-dramatised to create a strong selling point. However, after reading so many, first hand accounts, it is hard to ignore the single most important message in them all. I will refrain from stating that message here but it is plain to those that read.
I am as yet undecided of whether books are to be maintained as accounts for posterity or treated as a cry for help. If one should read them for knowledge or glean from them an understanding of a problem that underlies our global society and is affecting humanity.
At times I am gripped with anger and a sense of urgency that makes me want to quit this rat-race altogether and take on the world for these women. At other times I feel hopeless or worse still don't feel much at all!
* ADDED LATER
The book really takes off in the last hundred pages. As Ayaan describes how she came to terms with her religion, God and the lack of humanity I was left open-mouthed at the bold frankness of it all. I was equally amazed and shocked at the simplicity with which she has listed shortcomings and solutions. Truly a bold book!