Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali


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Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Continuing her journey from a deeply religious Islamic upbringing to a post at Harvard, the brilliant, charismatic and controversial New York Times and Globe and Mail #1 bestselling author of Infidel and Nomad makes a powerful plea for a Muslim Reformation as the only way to end the horrors of terrorism, sectarian warfare and the repression of women and minorities.

Today, she argues, the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims can be divided into a minority of extremists, a majority of observant but peaceable Muslims and a few dissidents who risk their lives by questioning their own religion. But there is only one Islam and, as Hirsi Ali shows, there is no denying that some of its key teachings—not least the duty to wage holy war—are incompatible with the values of a free society. 

For centuries it has seemed as if Islam is immune to change. But Hirsi Ali has come to believe that a Muslim Reformation—a revision of Islamic doctrine aimed at reconciling the religion with modernity—is now at hand, and may even have begun. The Arab Spring may now seem like a political failure. But its challenge to traditional authority revealed a new readiness—not least by Muslim women—to think freely and to speak out.

Courageously challenging the jihadists, she identifies five key amendments to Islamic doctrine that Muslims have to make to bring their religion out of the seventh century and into the twenty-first. And she calls on the Western world to end its appeasement of the Islamists. “Islam is not a religion of peace,” she writes. It is the Muslim reformers who need our backing, not the opponents of free speech.

Interweaving her own experiences, historical analogies and powerful examples from contemporary Muslim societies and cultures, Heretic is not a call to arms, but a passionate plea for peaceful change and a new era of global toleration. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders, with jihadists killing thousands from Nigeria to Syria to Pakistan, this book offers an answer to what is fast becoming the world’s number one problem.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062333940
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 462,949
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the New York Times bestselling author of Infidel, Nomad, and The Caged Virgin. A prominent speaker, debater, and journalist, she was chosen as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. She is now a fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Hirsi Ali is the founder of the AHA Foundation.

Table of Contents

Introduction: One Islam, Three Sets of Muslims 1

Chapter 1 The Story of a Heretic: My Journey Away from Islam 29

Chapter 2 Why Has There Been No Muslim Reformation? 53

Chapter 3 Muhammad and the Qur'an: How Unquestioning Reverence for the Prophet and His Book Obstructs Reform 77

Chapter 4 Those Who Love Death: Islam's Fatal Focus on the Afterlife 107

Chapter 5 Shackled by Sharia: How Islam's Harsh Religious Code Keeps Muslims Stuck in the Seventh Century 129

Chapter 6 Social Control Begins at Home: How the Injunction to Command Right and Forbid Wrong Keeps Muslims in Line 153

Chapter 7 Jihad: Why the Call for Holy War Is a Charter for Terror 173

Chapter 8 The Twilight of Tolerance 207

Conclusion The Muslim Reformation 223

Appendix: Muslim Dissidents and Reformers 239

Notes 251

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Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
JaneM2 More than 1 year ago
Heretic is the book that should open the debate concerning how worldview forms the intellectual template we all place over information that affects our lives and the world in which we live. We in the West are all capable of reciting the intellectual underpinnings of our own culture, its history and the fundamental ideas that animate our Western worldview. We teach this set of beliefs throughout our shared educational travels from early childhood through high school. Our cultural history, starting with the Enlightenment, the Reformation, and the Industrial Revolution, follows all of us through the formation of our American system of government and along our path of intellectual and technological development. Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s extraordinary book details much of the same for the ideas that underlie Islam, and she forcefully contrasts this worldview with that of the West. One cannot come away holding the opinion that the worldview inculcated in the minds of Muslims throughout the world today is essentially benign and one of peace. And she makes it abundantly clear that those who intone such unexamined analysis do us all a dangerous disservice, particularly for those who must craft our foreign policy going forward. We need this discussion to take place, and although we have rightfully enshrined religious tolerance in our laws and throughout our society, understanding what Hirsi Ali is saying permits us to respond to the impact of Islam throughout the world in ways that do not violate our own philosophy, ways that are consistent with our way of life and the world we hope to see for our own children. This debate must take place because it sits at our own cultural ground zero.
Maertel More than 1 year ago
Though some recently have questioned the author's perceived move to the right, her experience and survival have proven her to be an unparalleled resource for change for both the east and west.  If only, we would cease our stupidity and listen and ACT before it is way, way too late..  It would be good to know what Atallah  Shabazz thinks.
johnjohnjohn More than 1 year ago
Brilliantly written, exceptionally explained, incredibly informative.  I can't heap enough praise on this book, the bravery of the author and the importance of her message.  Please stop being ignorant and naive about Islam and do your own research on the need to reform the religion.  Start with this book.  It has a lot to teach you. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Provides some good insights into Islam, and into why there needs to be change. But then it also provides some equally good reasons why change could take several generations. . . if it ever happens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
judiflorida More than 1 year ago
EXCELLENT read, very informative. A MUST read. Lends understanding of the Koran.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author must be friends with Trump. Just because she had a bad childhood, she seems to now be media hungry for bashing Muslims.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book changed my life forever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Utter nonsense this book is really very badly written as she contradicts herself...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For white xenophobic neocons. This book caters to the zionists and southern redneck islamophobic republicans. If you like to boost your eurocentric world view, definitely read this book and be even more ignorant. Ive read her previoubooks and she pretty much goes through the same rhetoric. She must be desperate to remain relevant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was bad. But dont take my word for and read how bad it is for urself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can not belive i am the first to ever post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago