BOOK REVIEW by Jane Hightower
Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations
by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
If there is one person who exemplifies courage on the planet today, it is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. If there is one person who makes me truly grateful to be an American woman, it is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Although death threats from extremist Muslims over her first book Infidel sent Ali into hiding, here she is with another even more powerful tome, Nomad.
Born a Muslim in Somalia, Ali writes of her childhood and escaping an arranged marriage by seeking asylum in the Netherlands in Infidel, published in 2006. In Nomad, she delves into her journey, from accepting the tenants of Islam to believing in those of Western culture and freedom. Her experiences are moving and sometimes humorous. But, more importantly, she makes us understand how millions of women are living in today’s world and how deeply she believes that Muslim ideology is truly dangerous to our ideals and values in the West. She believes we are precariously underestimating the power of Islamic thought.
Ali lives in the United States now and is greatly concerned with how politically incorrect it seems to us to ask immigrants to assimilate. We go overboard to encourage people to keep their language and culture. She believes that encourages extremism by making it hard for immigrants to fit in and feel this is their new home. She speaks of her own family members living in the US and UK who have not assimilated and are very dysfunctional. She says these dysfunctional Muslim families are the perfect breeding ground for young martyrs who feel empowered by ideas of jihad.
While in Nomad Ali recounts things written about in Infidel, and while she has become somewhat of an extremist in her new thinking, and while much of this book is hard to read, it is an important and courageous manuscript. She lives with bodyguards and is sure not to fall into routines in her life, yet she has every intention of continuing to write. She explains, “If I were to stop. I don’t think it would help my situation. Once an enemy, always an enemy."