13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2008
I hadn't heard of Kola Boof until a few weeks ago, when the news came out that bin Laden had a "thing" for Whitney Houston-- according to his former mistress/sex slave. Always interested in the subject matter of Islamic terrorism, I ordered this book. I am so glad I did, too.
Kola Boof is a wonderful and HONEST writer. This is really one of the most passionate and honest memoirs I have read. She writes of her childhood growing up Muslim in Sudan-- the child of a Sudanese and an Egyptian. She shares her memories of her parents' love and her parents' murder. She shares her pain at being subsequently abandoned by her grandmother. Of the horrors she saw perpetuated by Muslim Arabs.
It's really an incredible book. Kola Boof's story is more of a testament to her life and her life's calling-- which is to educate the public about Islam and Islam's aim for Islamic rule and a return to the Caliphate. The author has seen unbelievable evil including rape, murder, beatings, theft. She talks about the slaves that the Muslims kept (her father was unhappy about this and spoke out-- that's why he was killed). She shares all of this with the reader eloquently and passionately. She will not be silenced.
Kola has denounced Islam and considers herself an African Woman and believes in "the Goddess". She is a feminist. However, because she criticizes Islam, she has been virtually ignored by the press and ignored by the Democratic party, although she is definitely a liberal democrat herself. The author points out the hypocrisy today within the Democratic party and the party's hypocritical tolerance for those who are intolerant of all, while being intolerant of those who just wish to speak the truth, share their stories, and share their information. This book is for EVERYONE, however. Please don't dismiss it because of your political leanings. This book is too important.
Some might find Kola a bit strong. This is her strength, though. She will not be silenced in the face of injustice. Her past could have cowered her, instead it gave her unbelievable strength. She is definitely a woman to be admired and listened to.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2013
Before I start this review, let me say I am a white female, well into my fifth decade and despite some rough times in my early adult years and a slightly rocky patch more recently, I have had on balance what can only be considered a priviledged life.
By all comparisons, Kola Boof has experienced far greater privations than most of us can imagine. And yet she is not a victim - she is overwhelmingly a surviver, and is determined that her beloved Sudan will also survive. She also desperately wants to raise the worth of black people - especially women - in global society.
This book is far more than an autobiography of one woman's struggles. It tells the story of the plight of a nation and the potential dilution of black African genetics and culture by political design, to the point of eradication. It is a book full of great insight and Ms Boof isn't affraid to offend, if it means getting her point across. She is brave and bold in her tackling of a subject many would fear to even begin to broach.
And all that in the face of public denial of her very existance, with the irony of the acceptance of her existance only begin admitted, when a fatwah was put on her. Kola says she is not a strong woman, maybe not, but she is tenatious, bold and despite all that has happened to her, she has never allowed herself to be a victim, maintaining a very solid sense of self and of belonging to her Sudanese origins and ancestors.
One cannot help but be moved by her instructions to her sons at the end of this book and admire how she voices her objections to manmade religions - i.e. made by men, the male of the species - which greatly devalue the female. The 'Scrapbooks' at the end of the book are also interesting and give a little more insight into who Kola Boof is.
This book is powerful and gives plenty of food for thought here. It's gone straight into my 'To Re-read' collection on my Kindle. It is a shame in some ways, that it is the Bin Laden connection that brings many to read this book - myself included - but this is definitely a book everyone should read, so I guess it doesn't matter what brings you to read it, as long as you do.
on 7 November 2012
I have just read this book and it stirred a lot of different thoughts, a lot of contrasting feelings.
It is not a book to read superficially, that's for sure. One needs an open mind, a willingness not to judge (and sometimes it is not easy!) and well, even the strength to stand up to some of her statements.
I appreciate her sincerity and I agree with many things she says, e.g. about Islam, about the rolw of women in Africa, about the slow denigration of African American identity. Only a very ignorant person could not see all this, as it transcends ethnicity.
She is also qualified to say these things out of her experiences, she is right to show where Westerners are patronising and ignorant towards Africa, she is right to talk about affirmation of black culture - there is no good coming from playing one's qualities down all the time.
However, I take exception with the constant berating of white women and the constant reference to the "lessening" of the African race if mixed with non-blacks. It seems like there is a massive inferiority complex at play here.
I am a white woman and my self-worth does not depend in the least on berating a black woman. I know what I am worth, full stop. It seems on the other hand that Kola Boof's self-worth depends on talking badly about white women, on repeating page after page how much better she is as an African mother, who has nappy hair and can bare her breasts. Big deal.
The fact is that most white women couldn't care less about this confrontational stance, they just go on about their life, maybe this is what grates so much as to have to repeat the "white women are bit**es" concept over and over again.
I think she could have put her points across in a much better way: one can still be honest and express controversial idea without alienating readers.
It is almost a form of racism in reverse - Ms Boof denies this, but I struggle to believe her.
For this reason, and for the fact that the book is not particularly well written and has a lot of spelling mistakes (where are editors when you need them?!), I give it 3 stars.
It is still worth reading, though.