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Infidel: My Life is the story of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's life, describing her transformation from a curious little girl to a powerful free speech champion.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali's need to write this autobiography was inspired by the fateful turn of events that occurred in the year 2004. Ayaan had just finished working on a film titled Submission, which was directed and produced by Theo van Gogh. The movie was creating an uproar among Muslims, as the film castigated the treatment of women in Islam. Then on 2nd November, as van Gogh walked by the side of a street, he was attacked and killed by a Dutch Moroccan Muslim, Mohammed Bouyeri. Ayaan was immediately under the threat of attack as well.
These events compelled Ayaan to seek a life of privacy and safety. But while she lived on in quiet existence, she began to fight back against this culture of nabbing free speech. That was when Ayaan's life had taken a serious turn. She soon became a most controversial yet admired figure and a voice for freedom of speech and expression the world over.
Infidel: My Life talks about this transition in her life. It's an inspiring and truly riveting account of the two different worlds, one, in which she lives in a third world country, and the other, in which she is recognized by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world.
In Somalia and other places, she was raised in a strict Muslim family, and survived brutal beatings, female circumcision, and the civil war. She was also a believer in her adolescence, an aspect that is far removed from her life today. She ended up in a forced marriage, which she quit, and sought asylum in Netherlands, where she fought for the rights of women in Islam and the reform of the religion. She however faced strict opposition from reactionary Islamists and politicians with self-serving goals. Ayaan's voice, though, refused to die down.
Infidel: My Life therefore serves as the celebration of a spirit that fights for a cause even amidst severe adversity.
About Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a writer, atheist activist, feminist, and politician.
Some of her other books include The Caged Virgin: A Muslim Woman's Cry for Reason and Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.
Ayaan was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and born and brought up a Muslim. After shifting to places such as Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, her family finally settled in Kenya. In the year 1992, she sought political asylum in the Netherlands under controversial circumstances. Eleven years later, she was elected as a member of the lower house of the Dutch parliament. She, however, resigned after the eruption of a political crisis surrounding the potential stripping off of her citizenship. She studied at Leiden University, where she secured an MSc degree. The Moral Courage Award, Freedom Prize, Democracy Prize, Prize of Liberty, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Award are some of the awards she has received.