Essay “Infidel”

1941 Words8 Pages
About two years ago I read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s memoir “Infidel” and was immensely moved by her story, especially the atrocities she went through in her childhood in Africa and the way she struggled to flee from an oppressive life. At that time, I could not imagine that anyone (except fanatic Muslims), let alone victims of the same oppression that she was, would not share her feelings and views. However, the reading of Ian Buruma’s Murder in Amsterdam sheds light on bigger and obscure components of this story, which clearly influenced some people to disapprove her behavior – even Islamic women. Like in Hirsi Ali’s story, Ian Buruma also identifies nuances in the main episode of the book – an episode that at face value could be described as a…show more content…
19). The shadow of World War II fueled the endeavor to put up a political system of tolerance and well fare in which welcoming the diversity of races and cultures seems to serve as a justification for the shameful past. “Never again, said the well-meaning defenders of the multicultural ideal, must Holland betray a religious minority” (p. 51). Contradictorily, although being part of this story and having his own family suffered from to the Nazi occupation, Van Gogh made of the Jews one target of his cruel intellectual attacks. And like them, were the Muslims also his “victims”. By calling himself the “village idiot”, Van Gogh thought he could say whatever he wished to whomever he wanted. Ironically, he then turned to be a victim of the same violence he so fiercely abhorred, after directing the film Submission. As a child, he was eccentric, provocative, and hard to deal with, said his mother, and as an adult he turned into a fierce supporter of the Enlightment. Maybe that was one of the reasons why he always contested whatever – and everything – that was incongruent to secular values. “To shake things up was Van Gogh’s aim in life”, says Buruma (p. 70). No doubt that Van Gogh found room for his harsh critiques against alienated immigrants in a time when the unlimited tolerance, something that many Dutch are so proud of, seemed to be backfiring on themselves and on their harmonious well-fare state. His
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