The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War

Shahan Mufti. Other Press, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-159051-505-1
Journalist Mufti incorporates the stories of his family and ancestors into a larger history of Pakistan and its post-9/11 political turmoil. He begins on the eve of his parents’ wedding in 1971, which coincides with the day India intervened in Pakistan’s civil war. This story is followed by discussions of clashes between supporters of Socialist Zulfiqar Bhutto and the devout Jamaat-e-Islami party, whose followers incited violence at Punjab University where Mufti’s father was a professor. The author discusses the complicated relationship between Pakistan and America, focusing on the Cold War and the Reagan administration’s funding of the guerrilla mujahideen, as well as the more recent wave of attacks ordered by President Obama. Moving toward the personal, Mufti describes his family’s alienation and harassment while briefly living in Ohio at a time rife with anti-Muslim sentiment and memories of acclimating when they moved back to Pakistan. He recalls living in Pakistan during the deadly protest at the Red Mosque and the hotel bombing that was an attempted assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s first female prime minister. Mufti takes readers on a tour of Lahore, his parents’ hometown, Sodhra, the town where his grandfather was born, and Islamabad, the nation’s capital, sharing his remarkable family tree, which includes an ancestor who was a close adviser to the prophet Muhammad. This astonishingly detailed, well-researched history is brought to life by the addition of Mufti’s personal story’ and journalistic acumen. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013
Release date: 09/24/2013
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Book - 187 pages - 978-1-59051-506-8
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