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The Imam's Daughter Paperback – 29 Apr 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rider (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846041481
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846041488
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Brilliant and compelling...raises issues which are worthy of serious consideration and discussion" (Baroness Cox)

"Terrifying" (Dominic Lawson Sunday Times)

"Compelling" (Church Times)

Book Description

The extraordinary true story - an imam's daughter escaping her abused childhood - now in paperback

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is one of the few books I have read in a day, I just couldn't put it down. How sad that we could let a girl suffer like this. Shame on social services, as most of their staff staff let her down so badly. Vital reading for teachers who really care for their kids. Hannah you are an incredibly brave and resilient person, or you had a great God who was their all the time to support and be your real father when your own father let you down so badly.

Its not for me to judge but you mention the hipocrisy of our society who turns a blind eye to these things in case we upset our Muslim brothers. Yet am I not right in thinking that your Father remains unpunished for what he did because you dont want to upset the honour of your family? - Are you not falling into the same trap? Should not society be protected from a man like that whether he is a Christian a Muslim or an Athiest, whatever the risks to his family's honour?
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Format: Hardcover
This book should be required reading for all involved in inter-faith dialogue with Muslims. It tells the story of a young woman born into a Pakistani Muslim family somewhere in the North of England--she has changed her name, the names of others and the name of her home town in order to protect herself and those who helped her. Her father was both the local Imam, and an abusive husband and father. Some the author's earliest memories is of the beatings her father meted out on her mother. When she, at the age of five, intervened to protect her mother, "Hannah" herself became the object of his violence. That violence soon became sexual in nature. "Hannah" endured some ten years of beatings and rapes at the hands of her father before she left home, helped by a teacher at the local six-form college. Her conversion to Christianity resulted in threats, and indeed attempts, of further violence from her family and former community, because of "the shame" her apostasy from Islam occasioned. After resettling in the South of England she eventually gained a measure of peace and happiness through her new found faith and a happy marriage. I could not put the book down. It is a compelling narrative--horrifying and yet truly hopeful. It exposes the corrosive force the sub-continent's culture of shame and honour has on its form of Islam and the resulting hypocrisy of those who should be committed to the principal "No compulsion is there in religion" (Qur'an 2:256 [Arberry's translation]). The book also brings to light the disturbing reality of religious persecution in modern-day Britain. I cannot recommend the book highly enough; it is an immensely important and timely book.
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Format: Hardcover
This thoughtfully written memoir is a horrifying walk through one young woman's experiences of growing up in an abusive and love-less family within a particularly closed Pakistani Muslim community in the north of England. Amidst the horror there are familiar references to life in the 80s (well known soap operas, musical fads, penguin biscuits and shell-suits), which keep the narrative - strange and unbelievable as it is in places - grounded and real.

Hannah's real gift though is the authenticity with which she uses her experience to help the reader understand just how great are the disconnections between different communities in our 'green and pleasant land', and how the most well-meaning interventions from the state can - through ignorance and political correctness - achieve the exact opposite of what was intended. It's a powerful challenge to the 21st Century relativist philosophy prevalent in the West: there are consequences of the beliefs and cultures by which people choose to live, and the more we understand these, the better able we will be respond appropriately, to live in community, and to support those who are vulnerable.

Hannah is a courageous young woman, who - without denigrating Islam overall (she is clear that she knows that all women's experience of Islam is not the same as hers, and notes that the abuse in her family was not necessarily related to their faith per se) - offers and eloquent wake-up call to the rest of us.
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Format: Paperback
This is the compelling story of the young Muslim girl whose family came from a small rural community in Pakistan, and whose father was the local Imam. His position made him virtaully untouachable, and beyond reproach in the eyes of His community. For this reason his wife and eldest daughter endured years of physical and sexual abuse in silence, knowing that nobody in thier own community woould come to thier aid, or even believe them. On top of the abuse, Hannah highlights her father's hateful, narrow-minded and prejediced attitude towards Non-Musilms, and White British people in particular. So extreme was the prejudice that Hannah and the other members of her family were not permitted to bring White people into thier house, or openly associate with them.
Thus the first 16 years of Hannah's life were tainted by darkness, terror, abuse and brutal repression, her only escape was through acts of rebellion against the strict rules set down by her father, which bought with them the risk of beatings and worse on the if Hannah's father found her out.

Her eventual escape from this life came about purely by chance, and the deperate please for assistance from the few trusted college tutors that Hannah had befriended.

Contrary to what some reviewers have claimed, the author is not Anti-Muslim, or the wider Pakistani communnity in general. On the contrary, she states that those families who came from urban regions tended to be more enlightened and liberal in thier values and lifestyle then her own family. Her criticism is reserved mainly for the practice of forced marriage, and the narrow insular worldview of some within the community that she grew up in, which excludes and vilifies all other cultural influences.
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