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Muslim

The Freedom to Love is Paramount in Ariana Mansour’s ‘He Never Deserved Me’

in Nonfiction by

For most American women, we cannot conceive of marrying a man we don’t love, much less marrying a man our parents and community chooses for us. Not to say that this doesn’t happen in some regions and/or faiths, or that it wasn’t a more common phenomenon in another time and place, but since the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and the mainstreaming of modern feminism, American women have been fighting for respect; not just respect of our persons, but of our needs, desires, passions and our choices. We won’t always make the right choices as life is overwrought with bad mistakes that began with the purest of intentions. But, we should be allowed to make those mistakes in a…

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Berenson’s ‘The Prisoner’ Strikes a Delicate Balance Between Fear and Paranoia

in Fiction by

In this age of great distrust, when even the most open-armed neighbor turns out to be a blood-thirsty sleeping cell waiting to enact some extremist cause, suspicion becomes the first natural line of defense, a secondary reflex when culture forces us to internalize the prevalence of danger. The Prisoner will feel like a fresh twist. The setting works in reverse, as the choice of story attempts to excoriate layers upon layers of phobia and paranoia. You could even venture to whisper that the story has a cleansing effect. In this case, John Wells, the main protagonist, is a Muslim convert who goes into hiding in the very epicenter of al Qaeda jihadist world, and so to infiltrate ISIS. Even though…

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Familial Relationships Gone Awry in ‘Home Fire’ by Kamila Shamsie

in Fiction by

An emotional and timely novel, Home Fire is a compelling story about Muslim families in crisis. Isma is the responsible older sister of twins Aneeka and Parvaiz. Their mother and grandmother have passed away and the twins are now 18 years old, so Isma, having previously put her ambitions on the back burner to look after her siblings, is leaving her home in London to travel to America for a work opportunity. Aneeka is beautiful and intelligent and will be studying law in London, and Parvaiz vacates the country on a quest to learn about his father, a known Jihadist, who fought in Chechnya and Afghanistan. In the US, Isma meets Eamonn, the son of a British politician who has a…

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Trailblazing Author Mike Bond Answers One Question about ‘Assassins’

in Thrillers by

Mike Bond writes with an urgency few other authors have been able to maintain. Mailer was able to do it to some degree. Tom Wolfe and Hunter Thompson had their ears to the ground. But Mike Bond has assumed this mantle for the 21st century. His writings have covered the most war-torn corners of the world to the familiar, rugged shores of Maine. Assassins (Mandevilla Press, December 8, 2016) covers a war that continues to define generations and it’s his most ambitious novel yet. With the Middle East being a melting pot of complicated strife, Bond maps a decades-long war through a military and cultural lens over several generations and characters. For our ‘One Question and Answer’ series I asked…

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