Book Review: Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Clan leaders versus Ayaan: In April 1992, Ayaan's father Hirsi Magan joined the list of people who wanted to marry off Ayaan.
By: Anselm Chibuike
Ayaan participated in some elements of the ceremony, but when it came time for her to join her husband, Osman Moussa, in Canada where he lived, she disappeared and ended up in the Netherlands.
What a blow to her father, Hirsi Megan, who saw the consummation of the marriage as a testimony of his prestige and respect among the clan. Once in the Netherlands, she sought asylum and was granted it by the Dutch government.
Instigated by Osman and using his clout and connections in the clan network, Hirsi Magan traced and located her in Ede, a municipality in the Netherlands. Unable to convince Ayaan to get back to her appointed husband, the father summoned her before elders of the clan for arbitration.
Ayaan versus the clan reached a climax when the elders cornered her, where she lived in Ede. After the preambles about preserving parental honor and maintaining the prestige and words of the clan, especially in marriage matters, the leader asked a pointed question.
"So, why are you stalling from going to live with your husband, and why does your father need us to enforce the laws of the clan?"
Ayaan responded, "It is the will of the soul, no one can coerce someone else soul into marriage."
Perplexed but with the wisdom befitting clan elders, they freed her from further marriage obligations, thus permitting her to follow her soul, and that was what she did.
However, The Infidel, to me, is a book to beat. It is not hard to see why Ayaan is the only person who could write such a book; a book that looks into social, religious and cultural beliefs from multiple angles, written in a context only available to someone who spoke multiple languages, lived in different cultures, attended different educational and religious schools and was raised in an abusive family.
Three times tears drained from my eyes to wet my cheeks. That a child should suffer so much physical and mental abuse from her mother kept me sobbing off and on.
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