This book had a lot of “stop and think” moments. Usually, these were to do with things people said to the author about what it means to be Muslim, but it also had a lot to do with the difference between being “Indian” and being “Pakistani”.
This is one of those cases where you really need to avoid judging the book by its cover.
I really loved the over-arching message in this book. Going against the widespread notion that Muslims should hate Jews is something that more people should be doing. I particularly enjoyed that Fatah used evidence from the Quran and the Hadith to back up his point is key, since lots of Muslims the world over (particularly the fundies) use these texts to justify their hatred.
To be honest, this was one of my least favourite books so far this month.
The topics that Imtiaz discusses are interesting, as are his points of view. I particularly liked the unedited essay that opens the book, which he wrote shortly after 9/11. Sadly, though, the “unedited” theme seems to follow throughout the book.
I originally wanted to read this book because it seemed to be one of the few YA novels that has a Muslim protagonist, and one of the even fewer YA novels that has a male Muslim protagonist. (I mean, I’m sure there are more, but this is one of the first that I’ve heard of.)
Then I started reading about how many awards this book has won over the past year. And you know what? They are entirely deserved.