Infidel: My Life by Ayaan Hirsi Ali - review by Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead

Woman Alone

Infidel: My Life


The Free Press 353pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

On 2 November 2004, the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered on his way to work in Amsterdam. His most recent film, Submission: Part 1, with images of a young Muslim woman raped, beaten and flogged, had raised a storm of protests among Holland's large Muslim community. On his body, his killer had pinned a warning: van Gogh's scriptwriter and the real author of the film, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, would be the next to die. Hirsi Ali, a Somali in her early thirties, was also a member of parliament for the Liberal Party.

Infidel, Hirsi Ali's account of her life up to that point, is a memoir about journeys. First, the real, geographical journey from her childhood in Somalia to refugee status in Holland, and then her matching moral voyage, from early religious observance to atheism. Both are fascinating. If it is not

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