Monday, November 22, 2010

A thoughtful nomad

I reviewed Ayaan Hirsi Ali's new book, "Nomad" in the Register for Sunday. She is a remarkable woman -- in case you don't know the story, Somali-born, Muslim-raised, but took off and ended up in Holland when her father was sending her to Canada to marry a relative she didn't know. She stayed in Holland, attended university and eventually renounced Islam, in part for the way it treated women and in part for the way it stilted the mind, and was elected to the Dutch parliament from the free-market Liberal Party. She helped Theo Van Gogh (great-grandson of Vincent's brother) make that film about the treatment of women under Islam, shortly after which Theo was shot and stabbed to death in Amsterdam by a fanatic Muslim. After that she had to have bodyguards wherever she went and eventually decided to move to the United States.

This is a deeply personal book, more so than her first book, "Infidel," with lots about her personal experiences, doubts and troubles, and her various relatives who have mostly failed to integrate into the West though they live there. The only thing that concerns me is that she would consider banning madrasas. I understand the depth of her own experience, and also agree that they are mostly used for indoctrination into the most poisonous form of Islam, but still think that should be allowed in a free society.

Still, an eminently worthwhile book.

No comments: