Saturday, 18 November 2017

Ayaan Hirsi Ali – ‘Infidel’

It was a mere accident, me discovering Ayaan Hirsi Ali through this video. I liked her ideas and started afterwards searching for information regarding her on the internet. With every information, I became spellbound. I didn’t expect such people to exist anymore.

My dilemmas regarding what happens to women in different corners of the world has been tormenting me for some time. I have tried a couple of times to discuss them with other people, but somehow it seemed to always come up against a ‘democratic’ wall – every one should deal with their problems in their own way. Far is from me to consider myself a Joan of Arc fighting for the rights of women throughout this planet, but I do admit that I have often felt responsible or even ashamed to be able to enjoy liberties and rights, while other women were simply not. And I admit that I have often felt terrified with the thought of being born in another part of this world, where being a woman values just as much as a door mat. It was, thus, a mere happening that I was born here and not there. A happening that makes one appreciate a different meaning of the word luck.

As for the issue with religion, I stand by the questions raised by Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her book ‘Infidel’. How many of ‘our Orthodox beliefs’ aren’t, actually, superstitions? Why, if God loves us all as equals, do we have to stand while in church to the left, for women, and to the right, for men? Why should women cover their heads when entering a church? Why is the fact of covering one woman’s head more important than receiving the communion? Why the mentioning of women’s submission to men? Why must women multiply like Rachela? Why, if God loves us all as we are, some must hide or be ashamed regarding their sexual orientation? Why... ? And finally, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali recommends for Islam, why do we stand against an update of the religions that exist on this Earth? Why do we continue to live our lives according to ancient precepts that no longer have anything in common with the way society is now?

The novel ‘Infidel’ cannot be suspected of trying to attract followers or divide religions into good or bad. It is a confession of a woman who has gone through terrible life experiences, she has survived them, she has fought (sometimes, even against her own prejudice) and lived in order to tell the story. Ayaan Hirsi Ali does not incite to any hysteria against Islam. She only asks questions, and I would add, encourages us to ask ourselves important questions, too.

P.S. The rating on goodreads does not reflect Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book, and it was influenced by the quality of the editing. Actually, I recommend this novel with all my heart. The Romanian version of the novel ‘Infidel’ lacks around thirty pages of the English version. I contacted Rao Publishing House, but I received no information regarding this error. Should you buy the Romanian version, please pay attention to what comes next after page number 160. If it is follwed by page number 129, then you have the same version as me (from which pages 161-192 are missing).

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