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review 2017-10-23 16:53
The 9/11 Generation Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror by Sunaina Marr Maira

 

 
It is a theme I love to treat this one.
I had three correspondents in NYC and the day of 9/11 I lived a real nightmare because I didn't still know if they were all safe.

That terrorist attack was for all of us a sort of before and after.

We understood someone launched an unclear war with hidden soldiers: phantom ones ready to sacrifice their lives for destroying our Western civilization and many poor innocent human beings. A dirty war.
It was more than clear that our old world would have changed forever. Like also our destiny.

This one is a book that wants to let us discover the other face of that post-terrorist attack; the most hidden part of it, the one no one speak about too much: what happened in the immediate in the Muslim communities located in the USA and interacting with the rest of people mainly white ones.
We speak of South Asians, Arabs and Afghan Americans.
The discrimination they lived because of this terrorist attack and diffidence they experienced but also their fight for being considered well and not included in the spiral of diffidence created and wanted by terrorists.
What did they start to be? Activists, rising their voices against discrimination, fighting for human rights of every sorta.

The 9/11 Generation Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror  by Sunaina Marr Maira published recently by New York University Press starts the trip in the democratic California in a place like the Silicon Valley for brains arriving from every part of the world.

The Silicon Valley and San Jose are places populated by open minded minds but where, young people from the ethnic groups said before experienced psychological violence, verbal violence, after 9/11 in particular if they were undocumented citizens just for the fact of being of the same ethnic group or religion of the terrorists. And sometimes not just verbal.

The answer the creation of an activist movement in grade to speak internally and externally at the USA.
Why this?

Because young people understood first of all that it was necessary  sharing a best knowledge of their communities, their religion and their customs in the USA and with the other Americans, although they were ready to fight and promote their activism outside as well.

It's a very interesting book. It speaks at the mind and heart of everyone and again this one another book reporting of communities and ethnic groups fighting in the USA for their Rights and the rights of an entire, wounded humanity devastated by hate, diffidence, racism and persecution.


Highly recommended.


I thank NYU Press for the physical copy of this book.


Anna Maria Polidori
Source: alfemminile.blogspot.it
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review 2017-03-17 04:48
Rezension | Im Schatten des Granatapfelbaums von Tariq Ali
Im Schatten des Granatapfelbaums - Tariq Ali,Margarete Längsfeld

Beschreibung

 

Granada im 15. Jahrhundert.

 

Das spanische Königshaus erobert sich sein Land zurück. Infolge dessen finden Buchverbrennungen statt und die muslimischen Bürger sehen sich gezwungen zum Christentum zu konvertieren, da schon bald ein Leben als Anhänger des Islams oder als Anhänger des Judentums gefährdet ist. Mitten im Geschehen müssen die Familienmitglieder der muslimischen Huydal Familie einen Weg in die unsichere Zukunft finden.

 

Meine Meinung

 

Der historische Roman „Im Schatten des Granatapfelbaums“ von Tariq Ali spielt um das Jahr 1490 in Granada (im maurischen Spanien). Tariq Ali erzählt von der turbulenten Zeit während der Reconquista und schildert eindrücklich die Ereignisse, die sich zu dieser Zeit in einer gläubigen muslimischen Familie abspielen.

 

Während des Handlungsverlaufs lernt man die fein gezeichneten Charaktere der einzelnen Familienmitglieder kennen und lieben. Besonders den jungen Yasid und seine Schwester Hind mit ihrer weltoffenen unglaublich liebenswürdigen Art hatte ich schnell in mein Herz geschlossen.

 

Die Reconquista beschwört schrecklichen Ereignisse herauf, die für eine ordentliche Gänsehaut sorgen. Wie gebannt habe ich die weitere Entwicklung verfolgt und bin gar nicht mehr aus dem Staunen heraus gekommen. Unglaublich wie eine weltoffene Religion unterdrückt und verbannt wird, und wie stark es die Zukunft einer Familie beeinflusst, die normalerweise glücklich hätte sein müssen.

 

Besonders die Einblicke in den friedlichen islamischen Glauben und wie dieser im Alltag einer maurischen Familie praktiziert wird, fand ich äußerst interessant. Mindestens ebenso beeindruckt war ich von Yasids älterem Bruder Suhayr, der mutig seinen Weg geht und bereit ist für die Sicherheit seiner Familie (und die seines Volkes) alles aufzugeben.

 

Das einstmalige friedliche Zusammenleben von Muslimen, Christen und Juden wird zwar angeschnitten, hätte meiner Meinung nach aber noch mehr Beachtung verdient. Schlussendlich erlebt man in diesem Roman hautnah die Zerstörung eines solchen Friedens mit.

 

Über den Autor

 

Tariq Ali wurde 1943 in Lahore (damals Britisch-Indien, heute Pakistan) geboren. Als 20-Jähriger emigrierte er nach London, wo er Politik und Philosophie studierte und 1968 zum Führer und Vordenker der internationalen Studentenbewegung wurde. Heute arbeitet er als Schriftsteller, Filmemacher und Journalist. Er veröffentlichte zahlreiche Bücher zur Weltgeschichte und -politik, Bühnenstücke, Drehbücher und Romane. (Quelle: Heyne Verlag)

 

Fazit

 

Ein beeindruckender Roman über den islamischen Glauben, die Zwangskonvertierung zum Christentum. Das Ganze vor der malerisch schönen Kulisse des maurischen Spaniens!

Source: www.bellaswonderworld.de/rezensionen/rezension-im-schatten-des-granatapfelbaums-von-tariq-ali
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-02 22:38
Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue - Maajid Nawaz,Sam Harris

'Liberals imagine that jihadists and islamists are acting as anyone else would given a similar history of unhappy encounters with the West. And they totally discount the role that religious beliefs play in inspiring a group like the Islamic State - to the point where it would be impossible for a jihadist to prove he was doing anything for religious reasons. Apparently it's not enough for an educated person with economic opportunities to devote himself to the most extreme and austere version of Islam, to articulate his religious reasons for doing so ad nauseam, and even to go as far as to confess his certainty about martyrdom on video before blowing himself up in a crowd. Such demonstrations of religious fanaticism are somehow considered rhetorically insufficient to prove that he really believed what he said he believed.' - Sam Harris page 47-48

 

I think that one paragraph sums up my frustrations with the debate on Islamic terrorism. Imagine if you went back in time to see the Knights Templar not give an inch in battle, driven by their religiously inspired, fervent belief in martyrdom. The conclusion you draw from this is that this was at root a frustration garnered from hundreds of years of eastern foreign policy in the form of Jihad and the knights' reaction has nothing to do with religion. Surely you'd have to be at least dishonest in that scenario to discount the role of religious conviction? And yet as Harris demonstrates, this has almost become a mainstream political opinion amongst so called liberals. Harris continues -

 

'The belief that a life of eternal pleasure awaits martyrs after death explains why certain people can honestly chant "we love death more than the infidels love life." They truly believe in martyrdom - as evidenced by the fact that they regularly sacrifice their lives, or watch their children do so, without a qualm. As we have been having this conversation there was an especially horrific attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, where members of the Taliban murdered 145 people, 132 of them children. Here's an except from an online conversation with a Taliban supporter in the aftermath of the massacre - Human life only has value among you worldly materialist thinkers. Death is not the end of life. It is the beginning of existence in a world much more beautiful than this. Paradise is for those pure of hearts. All children have pure hearts. They have not sinned yet... They have not been corrupted by their kafir parents. We did not end their lives. We gave them new ones in paradise, where they will be loved more than you can imagine. They will be rewarded for their martyrdom."

 

I think that speaks for itself. You would have to make the claim that the Taliban supporter is lying, in order to undermine the idea that extreme religious conviction plays some part in the terror debate and I personally think the weight of evidence rests against you if you do.

 

But anyway that's not even the debate that people should be having, the debate should be how do you deal with the tide of Islamist and jihadi groups around the globe? Maajid Nawaz argues that Islamism, the political belief of fundamentalism and the spreading of Islamic law and customs across all nations, must be defeated at grass roots levels within the Muslim community. They estimate that Islamist groups make up between 15 and 25% of the world's 1.6 billion strong Muslim population. He sees The Obama administrations refusal to name Islamism as being at the root of groups like IS as a failure. He believes that naming the problem instead of avoiding it, gives Muslims a choice to either 'reclaim our religion and its narrative, or allow thugs and demagogues to speak in its name and impose it on others. Calling it extremism is too relative and vague and sidesteps the responsibility to counter its scriptural justification.' He means scriptural justification here in the sense that one may interpret many things from the Qu'ran and ahadith and one of those readings is the skewed beliefs of Islamic State. He also mentions however that another essential thing that needs to happen is for there to be an acknowledgement that there are many different interpretations possible, each to the person who reads the scripture. Essentially if the Muslim community can get to the stage where the interpretations are personal to the person and there is no right answer, this is the first step on the way to pluralism and secularism. 

 

I've done rather a hatchet job here of what is a short, at 128 pages, yet valuable conversation in which the intricacies and problems of the debate are analysed in such greater depth. Despite its small length, it is definitely a worthy addition to the field and a good discussion between two respectful men, one a liberal Muslim, the other a liberal atheist. The more this is talked about and the less it is approached with apprehension and shame the better for our society. 

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review 2017-01-17 21:26
In the Shadow of Islam & The Oblivion Seekers
In the Shadow of Islam - Isabelle Eberhardt
The Oblivion Seekers (Peter Owen Modern Classics) - Isabelle Eberhardt

In the Shadow of Islam & The Oblivion Seekers are both collections of writing by another lady travel writer that I have encountered - Isabelle Eberhard. 

 

Never heard of her? I had not either, but a quick look at her biography ensures that I will look at a more in-depth biography about her.

"ISABELLE EBERHARDT (1877–1904) was born in Geneva, the illegitimate daughter of a former Russian Orthodox priest and a part-Russian, part-German aristocratic mother. Her father was an anarchist and nihilist who was to convert to Islam, and his daughter’s life was to take similar dramatic turns before her tragically early death at the age of twenty-seven. Increasingly isolated from her family and her inheritance, she was plagued by emotional and financial problems, but she had a fierce will. From an early age she dressed as a man for the greater freedom this allowed, and she developed a literary talent and a gift for languages, including Arabic. Like her father Eberhardt became drawn to Islam. She converted while in Algeria with her mother. After her mother’s death she cut all ties with her family, called herself Si Mahmoud Essadi and travelled throughout North Africa. She became involved with Qadiriyya Sufi order, married an Algerian soldier, worked as a war reporter, helped the poor and needy and fought against the injustices of French colonial rule. She was also the victim of an assassination attempt but later successfully pleaded for the life of the man who attacked her. She openly rejected conventional European morality of the time, preferring to choose her own path, and drank alcohol, smoked marijuana and had numerous affairs. She died in a flash flood in Aïn Séfra, Algeria, in 1904."

 

Eberhardt, Isabelle. In The Shadow of Islam (Modern Classics) (Kindle Locations 25-32). Peter Owen Publishers. Kindle Edition. 

In both collectoins, In the Shadow of Islam & The Oblivion Seekers, Eberhardt describes life in norther Africa, Algeria to be precise, from the point of someone actually living with the people at around 1900. She doesn't cling to any European perspectives she may hold and gives a voice to the people she encounters, their believes, their customs, their reasoning. She describes tribal rivalries, domestic issues, love, slavery, hardship, wealth - all of which seems to have its place in her settings. The stories are not  connected and aren't really stories either. Rather they are vignettes of observations or conversations mixed with stories. 

 

Because Eberhardt does not give the account from the perspective of a European traveller, but of someone who is searching for her own self, she does not judge. or at least, she pretends not to judge.

 

The stories truly are interesting. However, her writing is - lyrical as it is - does at times come across as too stylised to be a true account of her observations. Some poetic licence was no doubt at play.

 

When looking at both collections separately, In the Shadow of Islam is a better book. It contains one or two stories that are also in The Oblivion Seekers but I found the translation of the stories in In the Shadow of Islam to have a much better flow.

 

In a way this is surprising because The Oblivion Seekers has gathered more praise on account of the translation by Paul Bowles, which in my opinion is not warranted. I found Bowles' translation hard to read. 

 

In the Shadow of Islam - 3.5*

The Oblivion Seekers - 2.5*

 

 

 

‘I don’t care if I dress as a workman, but to wear ill-fitting, cheap and ridiculous women’s clothes, no, never...’

 

-- Isabelle Eberhardt

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review 2016-11-22 13:42
Book #841 - 338,854 Pages Read
It IS About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate (The Control Series) - Glenn Beck

I really enjoyed this one and I agree with about 95% of the material in this book. Not going to say much more about this book as many out there have opinions on this subject that are all over the board and I am going to respect that. Thank you.

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