Thursday, August 2, 2007


I am reading this book called Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

It is really freaking me out. It is the story of a Somali girl who grows up dealing with clan customs (including female genital mutilation - ugh!), clan warfare, civil war, fundamentalist Islam. She lives in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Ethiopia and finally Holland. In all those countries (including Holland!) she chronicles the effect of Islam upon her soul, sexuality, family, ideas and life in general. It is not good.

I had nightmares last night after reading it. Basically she is saying that Islam is NOT a peaceful religion - that is just an interpretation by people who don't know. She tells her story to show that Islam is completely anti any kind of freedom (intellectual, spiritual, political not to mention sexual). Her strongest case is, of course, that Muslim girls and women are routinely beaten and even killed, all sanctioned by the Koran. There are no individual rights in Islam. It is all about submission, slavery to Allah.


Now, I haven't read the Koran and I strongly believe that you can't just take other people's opinion in these matters. But man, I don't WANT to read it. I'm still trying to read through the Bible. HOWEVER, shouldn't we all want to understand better the movement that has the Western world in its cross hairs?

So, now my goal is to reconcile my belief that America's interventionist policies in the Middle East have led to the current conflict, with a deep abhorrance of a moral system that violates individual rights and liberty. Ali says that the Muslims really do want to convert the entire world. What are we supposed to do with that?

Aside from using US force (which I don't think we should), how can we combat a mindset that systematically tortures, cages and abuses women? Double yikes!

Reading Dickens' David Copperfield was a lot easier and much more fun (though perhaps not as relevant? I suppose one could argue either way.)

Here's to summer reading.