I, Safiya – 2005

SafiyaIt’s easy to read this book as a statement against Islam but I don’t think that is the purpose. Safiya refers to Allah time and time again and she’s thankful for her beliefs. Allah is greater. You can have what opinions you like about her situation but for her, it’s reality. If your opinion after reading this angers you against Islam I think you’re making your own assumptions. I realize that it’s hard to separate the story of the woman and the religion that surrounds her.

Saifya had a hard upbringing, there’s no doubt about that. She was married in her early teens with a man forty years her senior. She had her clitoris cut off as an infant and she was denounced several times from her marriages. She’s lost children to decreases and finally, she was condemned to death by stoning for giving birth to a child while unmarried. These are only a few things that are described in her story. It’s a really strong story and It’s hard to stop reading when you reach a new chapter.

Just as things usually are, the most interesting part is when everything is downing downhill for Safiya. The more trouble and hard times, the more fascinating. I don’t know if that makes me a monster or not but those things fascinate me much more than when brighter things happen in the person’s life. Because brighter things do happen for Safiya, that’s the point of the book. Her death penalty got the attention of the world and in the end, she was acquitted. If not, there wouldn’t be any book I think. At least not in the word of Safiya.

But as I said, read this as a story of Safiya, and not as propaganda against Islam. Your tears will fall, mine did!

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Tommy Snöberg Söderberg

Autodidact film scholar and music-loving thinker who reads the occasional book.

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