With my recent travels, I had the opportunity to start a new book called ‘Nomad: From Islam to America‘. It is written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who authored in 2008 a bestseller book called ‘Infidel‘. I had heard about both books and have seen her speak before, but I was torn which book to buy and read first. I decided on the second book. I just finished it and am quite happy with my decision.
She does an excellent job of describing her family and its dysfunctions. Whether the problems manifest from society, tribal/ clan or religion, the reader gets a good picture of the spaghetti of contradictions and oppressions that permeate her life before entering Western civilization. She then talks about how her views and experiences morph as she integrates into the Netherlands and ultimately comes to America. She finishes the book by discussing the core problems in the clash of our civilizations (i.e. Islam and the West) along with thoughts around remedies/ challenges. You can find an interview with her about this book at:
In my opinion, the book’s primary focus is on women’s rights (or lack there of) in Muslim countries. She does talk about Radical Islam, but the two in my opinion are connected at the hip. So much so, that I feel everyone should read this book and that it should be cumpolsury in our high schools. I understand there are a significant number of people who object to its content. I feel the content is just what all of us need for having an open and healthy discussions about women’s rights across the world and combatting radicalization of Muslims.
The fact that honor killings happen on our soil (like Arizona, Texas and New York), that we’ve had terrorist shootings perpetrated by US born Muslims (see Major Midal Malik Hassan at Ft. Hood) and attacks by immigrant Muslims (such as the bombing of the Boston Marathon), highlight that such discussions need to happen as part of our education system. When I say education system, I am not only referring to children, but also people who come to the US to work or as refugees. It is absolutely imperative in my opinion that we educate people in our country to treat women equally, with dignity and with respect.
You can find more thought provoking interviews and talks by her at:
- ‘Multiculturalism is a form of racism‘ via Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, Australia
- ‘Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West‘ via William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale University
Lastly, she has started a foundation to help protect and defend the rights of women in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture. You can read more at:
With the growing influence of the Muslim Students Association in our university campuses (like UCSD, UC Davis, UCLA and many others), I strongly feel we need to take an active role in rooting out their hate filled speech.