raised a muslim but increasingly outraged by her religion's hostility towards women, ayaan hirsi ali has now become one of today's most talked-about, admired and controversial political figures because of her desire to free women from an oppressive muslim culture. her bestselling collection of essays, the caged virgin, now available in english for the first time, brings together some of her most passionate and compelling writing on a wide range of issues concerning islam. drawing on her own first-hand experience and cultural background, she assesses the role of women in islam both in practice and in theory; the rights of the individual; fanaticism; and western policies towards immigrant communities. provocative and compelling in equal measure, the caged virgin is an important addition to the ongoing debate about the 'clash of civilizations' and marks the debut of a writer and activist destined to be one of the key international figures of the early twenty-first century. .