Thursday, October 23, 2008

Infidel, Finale

I finished reading Infidel last night. This is a very powerful book, and if you've ever wanted to learn more about Islam and the right's of Muslim women, I highly suggest picking it up. Granted, this is one person's point of view, and unfortunately her point of view has put her life, and those around her, in unbelieable danger.

Hirsi Ali's personal story is amazing. In just 10 years she went from being an immigrant who didn't speak the language to a member of the Dutch Parliament, changing the way the governement looked at immigrant groups and changing policies in relation to Muslim women. Her bravery has to be commended, and her will to stand up and speak out, well, she's just a very courageous woman. And the most amazing thing is: I don't think she felt she was being brave. She never really questioned why she wrote the papers she did, why she made the comments she did, why she filmed Submission and put it out there for people to see. She was fighting for the women of her culture, and nothing was going to stop her, because if she didn't do it, who would?

I'll leave you with this quote from the Epilogue:
People accuse me of having interiorized a feeling of racial inferiority, so that I attack my own culture out of self-hatred, because I want to be white. This is a tiresome argument. Tell me, is freedom then only for white people? Is it self-love to adhere to my ancestors' traditions and mutilate my daughters? To agree to be humiliated and powerless? To watch passively as my countrymen abuse women and slaughter each other in pointless disputes? When I came to a new cluture, where I saw for the first time that human relations could be different, would it have been self-love to see that as a foreign cult, which Muslims are forbidden to practice?

Life is better in Europe than it is in the Muslim world because human relations are better, and one reason human relations are better is that in the West, life on earth is valued in the here and now, and individuals enjoy rights and freedoms that are recognized and protected by the state. To accept subordination and abuse because Allah willed it - that, for me, would be self-hatred.

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