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Nomad: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations Paperback – 13 May 2010

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Nomad: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations + Infidel + The Islamist: Why I joined radical Islam in Britain, what I saw inside and why I left
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (13 May 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1847376649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847376640
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Both brave and intellectually honest...It is, in parts - especially early on - a brilliant book' --Sunday Times, May 23, 2010

'Zoe Strimpel is hooked by this dense, powerful meditation on religion, family and society' --City AM, May 13,2010

'a bold and passionately written book which should be essential reading for any politician [dealing with]...Islamism and immigration' --Evening Standard, May 13, 2010

'in this memoir she reiterates her strong preference for Western democracy and the urgent need for Englightenment values'
--The Times, May 22, 2010

'A story of rivalry, political intrigue and conspiracy . . . beguilingly written' --Guardian

'A rich and intricate story . . . full of colourful incident and detail, both historical and artistic . . . Jonathan Jones writes with engaging passion'
--RA Magazine

'Fearlessly uncompromising, it's no wonder [Hirsi Ali] has won plaudits from the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens' --Shortlist

'A bold and passionately written book, essential for any politician dealing with the closely related problems of Islamism and immigration' --Scotsman

`Confrontational, stinging, unsparing: Hirsi Ali has positioned herself at a pole that courts odium and danger' --Financial Times

`For anyone who has ever felt a tinge of rose-tinted nostalgia for the traditional . . . a bracing, and on the whole healthy, cold shower'

'To all those who argue that feminism is a dead cause, I recommend a few hours in this woman's company' --The Times, Summer reading choice

'[Hirsi Ali] combines a withering blast against liberals and multiculturalism alongside pen portraits of her own Muslim family'
--Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia, was raised as a Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992 Hirsi Ali went to the Netherlands as a refugee, escaping a forced marriage to a distant cousin she had never met. She denounced Islam after 9/11 and now works as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and for security in the West.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A. Norman on 20 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Hirsi Ali's previous book, 'Infidel', ranks as one of the best I've ever read. If it were a work of fiction, I would acclaim its writer as one of the greatest of our time. That it is also true makes it even more of a compelling read. 'Nomad' is its worthy successor in every way. Whereas 'Infidel' was a systematic account of her life, this book constitutes more of a compendious collection of her messages about women, integration of Muslims into Western society, and personal freedom. The result is a stunning thesis, drawing from a myriad of sources, to construct an argument of compelling, inexorable logic, while still retaining the compassion and humanity of its predecessor.

The book itself is divided into four sections. In the first, she gives accounts of the lives of her immediate family members, and describes in each case how a combination of tribal mentalities and the oppressions of Islam have ruined their lives. In the second, she tells of how she came to leave the Netherlands, why she chose to live in the United States, and the status of Islam there. In the third, she explains each of the three reasons which she believes hinder integration of Muslims into Western society. In the fourth, she details what we can do about it. (All of this is listed and explained in the Introduction to the book.) Some of the book is derived from her own personal experiences, other parts are from the experiences of people she knows, and some is from other sources. All of it is moving, fascinating and inspiring.

It is a rare book that can simultaneously horrify you, with its blunt, uncensored, hard truths, and uplift you with its message of reason, hope, and Enlightenment values. I couldn't recommend it more.
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Format: Paperback
Along with everyone else I loved this book - and applaud Ayaan (Ms Ali)'s grit and dynamism.

Not sure about leaving other than 'Enlightenment' cultures completely behind - pollenisation at least from some bushman ideas, the sheer endurance of desert peoples, or just 'genetic' diversity of life styles for health and the future etc; I'd be glad to see the 'to death' element expressed less literally (whether 'honour' killings or our 'death' stuff over raw materials like oil, and wars to boost the economy), perhaps it might be possible to do something constructive in place of these things. Yes! to women's freedom, and educational opportunity for all. Awareness and growth of each individual.

Post Charlie Hebdo, I'm rereading Jung (try Jung and the story of our time if you need a way in - otherwise I'm starting with the undiscovered self, Modern man in search of a soul, and Psychology and alchemy) Gandhi and Mandela. Ecological footprinting too.

Talking with a contemporary, she commented that in her youth she thought women's lib was sorted but many many men still view women as objects and not as beings, and in this light, traditional Islam may provide unfortunate frame for severe expressions of the 'undiscovered self' given that men have the tendency to impose harm on others and women on themselves. In this light 'reforming' Islam may not be as important as the discovery and individuation of the self at a global level.

In long walk to freedom Gaura a friend of Mandela says to him that if they rely on 'education' their liberation is going to be a long time coming and they need an engine to bring about change, and he thinks the ANC can be that vehicle. Film might provide ideas for self discovery that are cross cultural.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By verydeb on 12 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just read Infidel and Nomad by AH Ali and was fascinated by her life history and inspired by her courage. As a Somalian who has lived in several Muslim countries as well as Holland and the USA I felt she really knew the problems related to her faith and could not be accused of racism. A Must read!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Mandeville on 1 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admire Ayann Hirsi Ali; she has achieved so much in her life. However she is beginning to repeat herself a bit - unless this book is compiled from various articles? It is still an interesting read especially if you havent read anything by her before. I agree with her points on the reformation of Islam, although that religion is interpreted so differently by different people. My husband is a Muslim, from Gambia - I am an atheist. Some people need the reassurance they seem to get from believing in a God and good luck to them as long as they dont impost their views on others. It would be even more interesting if she could consider what would be the best method of producing inward debate among Muslims - acceptance is the foundation of the religion, so difficult to shift.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By HJR on 7 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Ayaan Hirsi Ali describes in graphic detail how backward looking, oppressive, anti-intellectual, orthodox and fascist the Muslim religion can be. She dissects the problems the western world has with the orthodox section of that religion and gives a stark warning as to what lies ahead if the west does not tackle the issues caused by this believe. She compares it to the development the Christian believe went through during the last centuries from an equally backward looking and oppressive religion to a modern set of believes and ground rules that value other people's believes.

As she says there is nothing wrong with the religion as such, it are the power hungry clerics that are the problem. Hey, have we not seen this somewhere before? Think corrupt communism, capitalism, dictators anywhere, etc. Anywhere where people want to have power over other people they dream up rules and dress them up in whatever is convenient for the era.

Another good book to read is The Messenger by Kader Abdollah. Currently it is only available in Dutch, but keep an eye out for it. The author has placed the verses of the Koran in chronological order so Muhammad's life story becomes visible. It describes the development of Muhammad from a lost soul to power hungry war chief and his inability to convince his followers himself, so he has to rely on 'messages' from Allah to solve problems he faces himself in his daily life. Very well written semi-fictional story based on the verses.

It is very revealing to see how you can guide uneducated people into believing anything. And again, this is not limited to the Muslim believe. Catholics, Jews, Hindus and all other religions use fear for the unknown (read God) to get people to do what the clerics (people in power) want them to do.
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