Heretic Book Summary - Heretic Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Heretic summary

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

2.7 (72 ratings)
19 mins
Table of Contents

    summarized in 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Islam is not a peaceful religion, and Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic states commit violence in its name.

    In order to understand why crimes are committed in the name of Islam, and to be able to resolve this problem, we need to look at the core concepts and foundational texts of Islam. More importantly, we need to reconsider what they mean.

    Because as it stands now, Islam is not considered a peaceful religion.

    Of course, the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful. However, the holy text of Islam, the Qur’an, justifies violence by explicitly allowing for it in certain situations. For instance, the Qur’an says violence is justifiable in cases of blasphemy, adultery or when family honor is threatened.

    More importantly, though, Islamic terrorists believe that the Qur’an calls for violence.

    The Kouachi brothers believed that the magazine Charlie Hebdo had committed blasphemy by printing cartoons depicting Muhammad. Therefore, they believed their killing spree at the magazine’s offices on January 7, 2015, was justified by the Qur’an.

    They clarified this belief by sparing the life of a female employee, explaining that they didn’t kill women and telling her, “What you are doing is bad. I spare you, and because I spare you, you will read the Qur’an.”

    In addition, Islamic terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Islamic State and Boko Haram cite religious texts when advocating violence.

    But these beliefs aren’t just the interpretation of individuals or terrorist groups; some countries also follow these beliefs. In Pakistan, criticism of the Prophet Muhammad or of Islam is considered blasphemous and punishable by death.

    In Saudi Arabia, the Islamic royal family allows beheadings. One recent spate occurred in August, 2014, when a beheading occurred almost every day. Meanwhile, in Iran, stoning is an acceptable form of Islamic punishment and homosexuality is a crime punishable by hanging.

    If terrorists and states believe that Islam supports their violent acts, it makes sense to hold the religion and the Muslim community accountable for perpetuating this belief. In the next blink, however, we’ll see why this is difficult.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Heretic?

    Key ideas in Heretic

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Heretic about?

    Heretic (2015) takes an unblinking look at Islam and issues a call for reformation. By examining the fundamental scriptures of the Qur’an and Islamic law, we can find plenty of evidence to suggest that Islam has far too much justification for violence written into its core belief system. Find out why it’s not too late to change things and how the time might be perfect for an Islamic reformation.

    Best quote from Heretic increasing proportion of organized violence in the world is happening in countries where Islam is the [main] religion.

    —Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    example alt text

    Who should read Heretic?

    • Religious historians
    • Scholars of Islam
    • People interested in the reasoning behind Islamic terrorism

    About the Author

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an award-winning human rights activist and fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Growing up Muslim in Somalia, she moved to the Netherlands, where she went from cleaning factories to becoming a member of the Dutch Parliament. Her other books include Infidel and Nomad.

    Categories with Heretic

    Books like Heretic

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial