This book surprised me, in a good way. I read a bunch of reviews about it a few months back, and thought that it looked interesting, but wasn’t sure about whether I’d enjoy it. I tend not to enjoy books that are written about people’s spiritual lives, though there are some exceptions. One of those exceptions is that I really enjoy reading about people’s struggles with their religion, and their struggle to reconcile their religion with society or with the religions of other people around them.
Sheema Khan had written a monthly column for the Globe and Mail, as well as articles for other publications, for a number of years before coming out with this book. Of Hockey and Hijab is a collection of essays encompassing a wide variety of topics, ranging from terrorism and anti-Semitism to women’s rights in society and in the Qur’an (written as “Koran” in this book) to being a hijabi playing sports and the experiences of others like her. Khan focuses on the divide between Western non-Muslims and Muslims from around the world, particularly on the difference between ideas or stereotypes of Islam and the “real deal”.
There really is no “plot” to this book, which is something that usually turns me off of a book. However, so long as you approach The Prophet as a book for spiritual contemplation and philosophy, rather than as a story with a beginning, middle, and end, it is definitely enjoyable.