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The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam (Anglais) Broché – 1 avril 2008

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Biographie de l'auteur

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was raised Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands as a refugee. She earned her college degree in political science and worked for the Dutch Labor party. She denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks and now serves as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West.

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 208 pages
  • Editeur : Atria Books; Édition : Reprint (1 avril 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0743288343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743288347
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 1,8 x 21,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Tout au moins, c'est ce que pensent les Islamistes radicaux. Il convient donc de faire en sorte qu'elle ne soit pas, comme Eve, la tentatrice par excellence. On va donc la mutiler dans son intimité, la cacher sous un couvre théière, lui interdire éducation, sortie de la maison etc... elle ne sera bonne qu'à la reproduction et au plaisir du musulman mâle.

Quand aurons nous le courage, dans nos sociétés Européennes évoluées, de lutter vigoureusement contre les pratiques abominables que subissent, chez nous, nos soeurs musulmanes?

Bravo pour Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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134 internautes sur 141 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
an important and moving book 24 janvier 2007
Par ShamayimBlue - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of The Caged Virgin, sets out to explain the Islamic religio-cultural mentality of staking a family's and clan's honor on the virginity and chastity of the females. Her book also exposes the numerous brutal and misogynistic practices perpetrated against women in order to keep them submissive and preserve the group's reputation; these practices include female genital mutilation, culturally sanctioned domestic abuse, forced marriages (including child marriages), and honor killings. One of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's key points is that this religio-cultural mentality and these abuses are prevalent in Muslim immigrant communities in the West. Unfortunately, politicians, academics, journalists and law enforcement officials often turn a blind eye on the plight of immigrant women, operate on a double standard that is tacitly permissive of these "cultural differences", or simply do not work efficiently enough at assisting Muslim women who are in danger.

The author herself, born in Somalia, suffered forced genital mutilation as a child and fled an arranged marriage to a stranger; growing up she was also educated to despise infidels, particularly Jews. When she arrived as a refugee in Holland, she took up work as an interpreter among Dutch Muslims and saw firsthand numerous examples of the problems and traumas of Dutch Muslim women and also men. She then became an MP, in the hopes of implementing public policy that would assist immigrants. In her book, and in speeches and interviews that she has given, she criticizes a "multicultural" or "politically correct" approach to the immigrant communities, which allows those communities to operate entirely with their own separate set of values and not assimilate any conception of individual, universal rights and personal freedom. Community leaders are often quick to call any criticism of their cultural practices as "racist" or "intolerant", no matter that in Dutch society - and western society in general - some of these practices are outright criminal. Politically correct, multiculturalist politicians and officials would rather not "offend" these outspoken representatives of the immigrant community, even though by not causing any offense, they are ignoring the suffering of too many Dutch Muslim women and girls, who live on Dutch soil and are entitled to the government's protection from harm and oppression. The same scenario plays out in other European countries, as well, and might be taking root in the US; community spokespeople and heads of ethnic and immigrant organizations will be quick to use the language of western values and multiculturalism in order to direct attention away from the absence of such values in their communities.

All of these issues are discussed in the book, which is not written as a hateful rant or an angry diatribe. The author writes urgently and with feeling; these matters are understandably close to her heart, and should be of utmost importance to the world at large as well. Though in recent years she embraced atheism, she does not prescribe this as a course of action, and she does not write contemptuously of religious Muslims. What she urges is an age of enlightenment for Islam; she wishes for free thought, unhindered expressions of dissent, and a general promotion of the welfare of women, including their active participation as equals in the social sphere. She cites examples of Muslim women and girls in Europe who are yearning not to conform exactly to their families' wishes; they might want something as simple as dressing in a more western style, to choosing whom they wish to marry, what job to hold, how many children to have. The author sees in these women the promise of a reform for how Islam is still widely practiced. She hopes for the predominance of more modern and liberal interpretations of the Koran.

The book includes the script that Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote for Submission, the film directed by Theo Van Gogh, who was brutally murdered by a jihadist for his audacity to use his personal right of free expression in order to criticize cultural abuses; the film focuses on passages from the Koran that have been used to justify various abusive practices against women. The Caged Virgin also includes an open letter to Muslim women and girls who come from strict, traditionalist families but who are seriously contemplating starting their own life and not conforming to their families' idea of what life for a woman should be like. Again, to make this clear, the author does not lump all Muslims together into one way of thinking or practicing their religion. She also describes her own family honestly and without bitterness; she will quite clearly write about the pain caused by her father's rejection of her, but also notes the times when, growing up, he complimented her intelligence and generally had more of a sense of humor than her mother. Her father was also opposed to female genital mutilation; it was her grandmother who arranged for it to happen, during one of her father's lengthy absences from home. She does not set out to portray all Muslim women as victims; she points out great courage and strength when she has observed those traits, and she also makes the important observation that women themselves police and enforce misogynistic cultural practices. Her concern also extends to how these cultural practices affect men - boys, for instance, who grow up in a household with an uneducated and abused mother, and men who enter marriage with no understanding of women.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes with courage, honesty, and clarity; she expresses her personal vision and does not shy from exposing abuse. She knows what is at stake here, from the personal lives of Muslims to the broader issue of peaceful co-existence with the west. She dismantles the arguments of politically correct multiculturalists without viciousness, only with steady persuasiveness. She is a necessary voice in public life and the ongoing struggle for personal freedom and individual values.
95 internautes sur 101 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Courageous and highly readable 13 janvier 2007
Par Peter Uys - Publié sur
Format: Relié
In this perceptive work, Ayaan Hirsi Ali explores a major problem of our times with admirable fluency and erudition. In the preface she points out the similarity in attitude towards the Soviets by leftists then and Islamic culture now by the adherents of multiculturalism. Because of the victim culture, those intellectuals refuse to criticize oppressive practices as Muslims are perceived to be victims of the West. For the same reason, Israel is fiercely condemned because it belongs to the West while the Palestinians get a free pass. She considers this wrongheaded and racism in its purest form, the idea of the "other" that must be shielded at all costs.

She asks the advocates of the multicultural society to acquaint themselves with the suffering of women who are treated as chattels. The notion of "group rights" are detrimental to Muslim women, and without emancipation, the socially disadvantageous position of Muslims will persist. She laments the fact that Muslim women are not listened to and calls for self-examination in the culture. Hirsi Ali also deals with the clash of cultures in Europe and examines the triangles of power in the Muslim world itself: the triangle of the strong leader, the clergy and the army, and the triangle of apathy, fundamentalism and refugees/emigration.

The author provides a brief history of her early childhood in Somalia and her personal emancipation when she emigrated to the Netherlands and explains why she had to leave Holland for the USA. There is also an interview with prominent Canadian Muslim reformer Irshad Manji, a chapter on genital mutilation and 10 tips for Muslim women who wish to leave their oppressive circumstances. A full transcript of the documentary film Submission is included, the movie that led to the death of Theo van Gogh. Hirsi Ali claims that instead of empowering Muslim students through research and training, European universities have become activist centers to further the Palestinian cause.

She considers Muslims in Europe and around the world to fall into three broad categories: the terrorists and the fundamentalists that assist them, the tiny group of reformers that embraces the open society and the large number of undecideds who are caught in a mental vise, the painful contradiction between the harsh tenets of an intolerant religion and the values of the open society. She believes that the first victims of Muhammad are the minds of Muslims themselves as they exist in a situation of cognitive dissonance. Western cultural relativists flinch from criticism of Muhammad for fear of offence, preventing western Muslims from reviewing their own moral values.

This insightful work provides first-hand experience and knowledge of the particular worldview and serves as an appeal for clear thinking, enlightenment and individual liberation. Hirsi Ali nails it when she shows how various evils result from a belief based on fear. Although not flawless, The Caged Virgin is a torch of courage and reason in the darkness of oppression and brainwashing. The book concludes with bibliographic notes and an index. I also recommend Now They Call Me Infidel by Nonie Darwish, Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabriel, Menace in Europe by Claire Berlinski, While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer and The Force of Reason by the late Orianna Fallaci.
163 internautes sur 192 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good but not complete 1 janvier 2007
Par scg - Publié sur
Format: Relié
After reading the reviews I went back and read the book a second time highlighting and marking it up as I went. I did this because I won't be one giving this book four or five stars and I want to be fair to the author.

I must give credit where credit is due. Ms. Ali demonstrates an enormous amount of courage and great personal risk to herself to speak out against the seventh century warlord culture of Islam. Just look what happened to Van Gogh for making the film with her. As Ms. Ali correctly points out Islam is intolerant of any criticism. She even quotes another individual "You have no right not to be insulted in a democracy" which is something Islam cannot cope with.

Ms. Ali's theme of the brutality and subjugation of women in Islam strikes home for me. I have seen this in other parts of the world as I have lived over half my life outside of the US in some countries where walking about without a firearm in your immediate possession was an invitation to your death. Few Americans, most Westerns as well, have zero knowledge of the second class status of women in other parts of the world. Also with three daughters and three grand daughters of my own it gets as close to home as I care to have it.

I have attended school with male students from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Burma, and Kenya where Islam is alive and well. They are spoiled - period. These students, while polite guests in the US enjoying things they deny others, made no bones about people outside the elite or royal family. Their view of women was such that animals had not only more rights but greater value. Ms Ali's theme of genital mutilation of women falls right in this vein of discussion.

I was pleased to see Ms. Ali discuss the naïveté of left wing secular liberals and multiculturalists who see others as victims and then blame themselves for the victims. Here in the US we call this the "blame America first crowd." She aptly points out that this group fails to criticize the victims by allowing them to deny their own accountability and responsibility for their current position in life. Ms. Ali challenges us and Muslims to name any great discoveries in the past few hundred years by Islam. The answer is none. This relates directly to Islam's grievance with the West for our freedom and accomplishments. Additionally, Ms. Ali "slams" the universities, who receive taxpayer dollars, for being activist centers for the spread of radical Islam, e.g., the Wahhabism from Saudi Arabia.

Ms. Ali also mentions Sayyid Qutb, a radical, as well as others that Bin Laden follows. Through this she demonstrates the lack of education given to most Muslims, specifically women, and the total lack of desire to integrate into other societies or cultures. In short, Islam refuses to "play well in the sand box with others."

Ms. Ali's chapter Submission containing the transcript was especially moving. To be treated without the most basic human dignity and compassion is something we can all read about but thankfully will not have to endure ourselves. This chapter reminded me of what my late grandmother told me many decades ago. If a woman wants to know if she has a man watch what he does with power. If he uses it to help others she has a man; if he uses it to harm others she has a boy. War is one thing but to brutalize another human being for some arcane dogma flies in the face of common sense never mind any legal or religious tenets.

Now for the "con" part of my review.

Ms. Ali is especially bitter over the widespread custom of female genital mutilation so much to the point that I felt she over did it. Yes she has a very valid point however I felt she "beat a dead horse." Additionally this topic was spread throughout the book rather than being addressed, in totality, in one or two consecutive chapters.

I was somewhat disappointed, not that she referred to Bertrand Russell, but for not telling her audience that he is the author of "Why I am not a Christian." Yes Ms. Ali has chosen atheism, free to do so, but she should be clear about the viewpoints of sources she quotes or refers to. On this note I found her referring, in chapter five, to Karen Armstrong a known apologist for Islam. Ms. Armstrong's writings are squarely in the court of the "blame the west first crowd." Given Ms. Ali's strong criticism of Islam I am surprised she chose to refer to Ms. Armstrong at all.

While Ms. Ali has "converted" to atheism after reading the Atheist Manifesto and asks that no one necessarily follows her, I found her statement that she believes most people to be atheists at heart to be contradictory at best. This is especially noted by her living in the Netherlands and now the US, as I understand it, since both are founded on the Judaic- Christian ethic/culture.

Chapters six and seven should have been the very first chapters in her book. This would have correctly set the stage for the reader as to where the author was "coming from." Additionally, the book was just recently translated from Dutch for wider circulation. The book should have been edited for those items relating to the politics of the Netherlands. Nice to know information but not essential to readers outside of the Netherlands. Also the method of using notes was strange as they referred to page numbers and were never used as footnotes or endnotes. This makes it troublesome to locate the exact sentence the note is referring too and causes you to read the note first then the book.

I found Ms. Ali's use of the Decalogue (The Ten Commandments) to state some of her beliefs strange for a self proclaimed atheist. Also some of the things she wrote about had nothing to do with the commandment itself that she wrote under. I am still trying to get all of the point of this chapter.

Chapter eight makes me seriously doubt that either the author or Irshad Manji has ever read the Quran/Koran. On page 90 Ms. Manji states "...Islam is a beautiful and tolerant religion." The author lets this go by unchallenged! In the Koran, using the chronological order of the sura's/chapter's, sura 9 was the second to last one written, i.e., 113 out of 114. Since the Koran uses the principle of abrogation then sura nine is the last word on intolerance. Just read Sura 9 - 5 and 9 - 29. The term People of the Book means Jews and Christian. Also Islam gives the People of the Book three choices: 1) convert to Islam, 2) Dhimmi status (subdued), or 3) Beheading. Now does that sound tolerant? For those not familiar with the Koran it is not laid out in chronological order but from longest chapter to shortest chapter.

Ms. Ali refers on page 169 to the Swiss scholar Tariq Ramadan as a moderate and is dismayed he was denied a visa at the last minute to enter the US. Well Ms. Ali didn't do a search on the Internet or she would have found out why: (most of this was available before Ms. Ali wrote her book)

* He is Islamist royalty - his maternal grandfather, Hasan al-Banna, founded the Muslim Brotherhood

* He has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Mr. Turabi in turn called Mr. Ramadan the "future of Islam."

* Mr. Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.

* Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian indicted for Al-Qaeda activities, had "routine contacts" with Mr. Ramadan, according to a Spanish judge (Baltasar Garzón) in 1999.

* Djamel Beghal, leader of a group accused of planning to attack the American embassy in Paris, stated in his 2001 trial that he had studied with Mr. Ramadan.

* Along with nearly all Islamists, Mr. Ramadan has denied that there is "any certain proof" that Bin Laden was behind 9/11.

* He publicly refers to the Islamist atrocities of 9/11, Bali, and Madrid as "interventions," minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement.

* French Intelligence agencies suspect that Mr. Ramadan (along with his brother Hani) coordinated a meeting at the Hôtel Penta in Geneva for Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy head of Al-Qaeda, and Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, now in a Minnesota prison.

* Mr. Ramadan's address appears in a register of Al Taqwa Bank, an organization the State Department accuses of supporting Islamist terrorism.

I do recommend that you purchase and read this book. It is worthwhile but please be aware of some of the things that I have mentioned. Hopefully it will make it easier to read and follow. Some other resources for further reading are:

Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabriel; Now They Call Me Infidel by Nonie Darwish: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Truth about Muhammad both by Robert Spencer. Mr. Spencer also runs the website This website will give you numerous links to others for you to do some more "homework."

These books are complete with references and additional readings.
37 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A hero for our time 14 août 2006
Par Scott Bresinger - Publié sur
Format: Relié
While imperfect, this is an excellent introduction to the ideas of one of today's most challenging thinkers about Islam's interaction with Western Culture. Until recently a member of the Dutch parliment (due to a ridiculous controversy about her asylum application in the early 90's), contends that Islam must have a reformation if it is to exist peacefully in the modern world. She is particularly interested in the rights of immigrant women, who she believes are allowed to suffer due in part to Europe's liberal cultural sensitivity--their unwillingness to interfere with the cultural practices of immigrants, even when it condemns women to a life of servitude and physical/mental abuse. "The Caged Virgin," her first book, was written primarily for a Dutch readership, where it was originally published in 2004. This edition includes some new material (references are made to the Muhammad cartoon controversy and the London tubeway bombings). Due to a short film she wrote, "Submission, Part One," directed by Dutch firebrand Theo Van Gogh, she came to the attention of the world at large. Van Gogh was murdered in broad daylight by and Islamic extremist, and Ms. Ali was forced into hiding. When she emerged, she had bodyguards with her at all times, much like author Salman Rushdie. This book features the full transcript of the film, so readers can judge for themselves whether it deserved such a violent reaction.

Although Ms. Ali is herself a Muslim apostate and even an atheist, she maintains that it is possible for Islam to reform itself (indeed, she believes it must, to avoid a state of perpetual war). To this end, the book includes a short interview she conducted with Ugandan-born Canadian author Irshad Manji (her book, "The Trouble With Islam" is available on Amazon). Although Manji is completely westernized--no head covering, a feminist and even an open lesbian--she still considers herself a proud and faithful Muslim. Many readers may accuse them of not having a "true" knowledge of the religion, but that is part of their point. How many Christians know the details of the bible, yet still maintain faithfulness? Thus, they seek to reconcile Islam with secularism, by placing each in its own realm. Though Ms. Ali has rejected religion entirely, she doesn't expect anybody to follow her.

Elsewhere, there are chapters about female genital mutilation, a barbaric practice still performed by many African Muslims, which Ms. Ali condemns in no uncertain terms. In another chapter, she gives advice to young Muslim women who wish to leave the often abusive confines of their own families. There is also a wealth of autobiographical information, which sheds light on how she arrived on her conclusions. Though this is far from a perfect book--it is in places "preachy" (ironically) and a bit stiff--but overall she's a bold and even heroic person whose challenging ideas deserve to be listened to.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Greatly informative 12 mai 2007
Par Nubbins Nicholson - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Much of this I'd read and heard of but this is the best first-person accounting. I'd expected some dubious complaints, found a riveting story of truth and facts and personal acceptances and growth.
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