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
 
NEWTOWN, Conn. - April 10, 2020 - PRLog -- Clan leaders versus Ayaan: In April 1992, Ayaan's father Hirsi Magan joined the list of people who wanted to marry off Ayaan. But, as Ayaan puts it, unlike other suitor finders, when a Muslim father endorsed a husband for a daughter, there was no refusal. Fathers handing their daughter over in marriage is like God asking Jesus to carry the cross.

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.

Reflections: By far, this is the most spellbinding book I have read. And I have read books like The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, and The Castle by Kafka; books I swore could never be beaten.

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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