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Showing posts from February, 2011

My Name Is Iran

Nope, not my name! It's another book I've read for my ISU. This time around, I was not organized as I was with Infidel. Although I didn't do a page-by-page log for that novel, but after reading it through once, I was still able to retain information and locate the quotes that I had wanted with quite ease. Ardalan's was a bit hard, as the flow was not as coherent as Hirsi Ali's. In terms of writing style, I was more comfortable with Hirsi Ali's. Hirsi was also more fiery when it came to her arguments, and her experiences were told in a matter-of-fact morbid recollections and sometimes an angry tone. Ardalan's was more affectionate and romanticized, and although she went through an internal turmoil, it had less of the articulated severity in comparison with Hirsi Ali. It was quite docile and almost akin to Nafisi's Reading Lolita. (I started reading a few chapters and I just couldn't bear with the flowery language).

Basically, the book is an autobiogr…

Why Ayaan's Infidel feels so personal

I wrote this a while back also:

As always, religion has ALWAYS been an issue with me. Well, not because I am denying the notion of the human need to have a religion, but it's about the way I think or I see things is...unconventional.

I know I don't have a "religious" family, they never bug me to pray and what not, but they're not freethinkers either, I think.

I am very much aware that I lack religious knowledge (despite the fact that I almost always get A's on my Agama) and religion is only implemented loosely. Don't take it the wrong way, they do teach me morals, like what's right and wrong to the extent that I am almost overprotected. And I assure you, I don't go around rubbing boys' arses, mind you.

But due to bad experiences with supposedly "religious" people, I become hard-hearted and ironically prejudiced to this group of people. I can't help it. Sometimes, you just can't get along with certain people. As acquaintances, col…

I wrote this a while back

When did I start wearing my hijab?

Okay, I was pressured to wear it when I was in Primary School by the Ustazahs. And since I didn't go to Sekolah Agama like everybody else did, they had every reason to believe that there was something wrong with me. I remember coming back home telling my mum that if I don't wear my tudung I'll burn in hell.

My mom was totally against it, she'd said that I was too young and that it'd be hot, and it's not right for the ustazahs to force me to wear tudung. In Standard 5, they had this class nasyid performance thing. By Standard 5, most of my friends have all adopted the headcover. I didn't want to participate at first, I was the only one who didn't want to participate at that time, but after much coaxing from my class ustazah, so, okay, fine, I joined. One day when we were practicing, there's this ustaz who pointed out that I wasn't wearing one quite harshly. Well, I was a kid, I kinda cried. I didn't remember w…

Stuff To Think About

Reformation of Islam?

Last I've heard of it was during sejarah lessons about Islah movements by Syeikh (?) Muhammad Abduh and the lot of it.

After Infidel, there poses a question of whether or not there is a need to reform Islam.

Is it the reformation of Islam, or the reformation of Muslims?

In due course of this reformation, there is a debate regarding the reinterpretation of the Quran.

I've been watching some of these videos and I find them quite enlightening. I do wish there are more discussions such as these in my own classroom. The questions were also thought-provoking. I just wished that the questions or subject matter of religious discussions in classrooms were less politics oriented, which you may or may not have deep knowledge of what is going on. Why not take it to a more personal level on how you yourself evaluate your own interpretation of your religion?

Truth be told, I had wanted to become a devout Muslim, and once, my means of achieving that is following every s…


This is, I suppose, a pre-examination of the novel I will be doing for my English ISU. A sort of reader-response critical approach, or a collection of quotes from the book, if you may call it so.
I've just finished reading it, and somehow, I don't believe in destinies (you know all those chosen one fairytale yaddyadda), although I do believe in fate, the selection of this novel felt "destined". I had given my shortlisted books to my lecturer and he had chosen this for me, and looking at the various questions I've had and my most recent posts both on my Facebook and Blog, somewhat relates to the questions Ayaan herself had in Infidel.
My first impression of the book was, yep, it was hard. Because the setting was in Somalia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Netherlands, which I have never read books with settings such as these. Britain and America made up my staple reading materials, and recently, I've just added a few titles from Indian writers to my list.
Feminism, was a…