The Caged Virgin
A review by Frank Hepple of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s The Caged Virgin (Free Press, 2006)
(Reviewed November 2011)
This is a perspective of Islam from the life experience of a Somali woman raised as a Muslim. At the age of twenty-two she was engaged by her father to be married to a distant relative in Canada, but realized that this would mean “living out my days in isolation as a housewife and mother”. She successfully fled to the Netherlands, was granted asylum, learned Dutch then worked in various places, including abortion clinics and women’s refuge centres, as an interpreter.
She criticized Islam through newspapers, radio and TV, trying to expose the plight of Muslim women, received death threats and was elected to parliament.
Her experience of Islam was of a religion of fear, where all knowledge was contained in the Koran (thus stifling the spirit of enquiry) and in which women are completely subservient to the men of the household, often compelled to leave school to marry at a very young age to serve as factories for the production of sons. She recounts various tragedies and impossible situations suffered by Muslim women in her experience, and concludes that the way Islam itself is taught and practiced is the source of their problems and is a huge handicap to Muslims throughout the world. She advises Muslims to look very critically at their religion to find and correct those problems. This of course is not allowed in Islam so the solution will be long, difficult and dangerous.
We are all familiar with Islamic women wearing the hijab and the burqa, which the author sees as badges of subjugation and but one of many signs of women’s enslavement in Islam.
This is a message from a very brave woman: recommended reading.
Indoctrination of ANY religion through mindless recitation of mantras and catechism is totalitarian indoctrination.
Jesus of Nazareth often answered a question with a question, indicating that he wished people to THINK for them self in order to understand them self.
All religion SHOULD be based on people's own knowledge of them self, an understanding of what motivates them if it is to have integrity and value.
True understanding comes when people have the ability to see things from another person's point of view.
Posted by Lonnie Lad
Authoritarianism of ANY complexion no matter from where it comes, whether based in politics, religion or even so called "science" is truly the pox of the world.
Ultimately, it usually comes down to people on situations of power protecting their own vested interests.
Posted by Lonnie Lad