I just finished listening to Ayaan Hirsi Ali read her book Infidel. All 17 hours and 34 minutes of it. To be listening to her actual voice makes this book all the more powerful and meaningful to me.
The book starts with the following introduction:
One November morning in 2004, Theo van Gogh got up to go to his film production company in Amsterdam. He took out his old black bicycle and headed down a main road. Waiting in a doorway was a Moroccan man with a handgun and two butcher knives. As Theo cycled down the Linnaeusstraat Mohamad Boriar approached. He pulled out his gun and shot Theo several times. Theo fell off his bike and lurched across the road then collapsed. Boriar followed. Theo begged, “Can’t we talk about this?” But Boriar shot him four more times. Then he took out one of his butcher knives and sawed into Theo’s throat. With the other knife he stabbed a five page letter onto Theo’s chest. The letter was addressed to me.
After that powerful opening paragraph she quickly goes back in time to when her grandma was young and works forward in great detail. At times I questioned the purpose of detailing her early and even pre-birth years. What does it matter that her father was imprisoned by a communist dictator in Somalia? Why the details of her mother working as a maid years before Ali was born? Why the stories her grandmother told her? Or the games she played with her sister? But by the time she described, in great detail, what she calls the excision of her sister and her I understood why. Although she doesn’t explicitly say it she was “born of good stock”. She was the least of her siblings academically. But her strength of will, ability to reason, and courage were of such a level that am in awe of her.
And after escaping to the Netherlands she struggled academically while attending University Leiden. But she obtained her political science degree, became an atheist, and a member of the Dutch Parliament. She worked to liberate Muslim women from the beatings and the domination by men.
How did this come about? How did she successfully escape and so many others, including her sister, fail? She is a very strong person but there other things too. Western culture planted the seeds in her mind, those seeds took root and through some good luck enabled her to cast off her destiny of submission and beatings.
The western culture had a profound influence on her included things such as Nancy Drew books and Harlequin romance novels. Through such simple ordinary things we take for granted she and her sister obtained a glimpse of what they thought was only a fantasy world. But when she saw the streets of a German city for the first time it crystallized into reality.
I want to believe there is way other than military domination to win the war against those in the Muslim world who seek our total destruction. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has given us a road map to do just that.
Here is Submission, the 10 minute movie written by Ali and produced by Theo van Gogh. It resulted in van Gogh’s murder, Ali going into hiding for weeks, and the effect to Dutch politics was like a 130 dB klaxon going off next to your bed in the quiet of the night.
Submission Part 1
Submission Part 2
And this is what Fred Thompson has to say about Ali. Go Fred!
Ali is now a Resident Fellow at American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. Just today they posted a paper by her, Islam’s Silent Moderates.
I will be reading and listening to all of her works from now on.