Depending on your point of view, at some point or another you will hate reading Infidel, but you need to read it. You need to read it because Ayaan Hirsi Ali risked her life to express the ideas and share the stories in this book.

You will hate it because it will show you things that will surprise and unsettle you; things that you will be hesitant to believe could be possible anywhere in the world. You’ll say things aloud like “No way!” and “Oh my god!” while you stay up late to finish just one more chapter. It’s a fast read (almost breathless by the end), and amazingly it’s not a work of fiction.

Infidel begins with Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s early life in Somalia, her travels between her native home and Saudi Arabia and Kenya as she grows into womanhood and finally her introspective and controversial life in Holland as a refugee, a translator, a student and finally a politician. Along the way you watch her develop her unique point of view as a logical, necessary effect of her experiences. I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises or dull the impact of her powerful writing, so I’ll only say that women’s rights, physical and mental abuse, sexism and the role of Islam in the modern world are very thoroughly and satisfyingly analyzed and discussed.

I’ve always liked the phrase “vote with your dollars.” And accordingly, I used my $20 to vote in support of basic human rights and freedom of speech for people regardless of their gender and religious background. (And to help cover the costs of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s security detail!) I encourage you to do so also and buy Infidel.


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