cover image Letters to a Young Muslim

Letters to a Young Muslim

Omar Saif Ghobash. Picador, $22 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-11984-1

This deeply personal book of letters written from Ghobash to his two sons reveals what it is like to be a Muslim parent amidst the increasing ideological polarization of the “global war on terror.” Speaking from his own history of pain, loss, and trepidation, Ghobash, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Russia, attempts to guide his children through the philosophical currents, impassioned conversations, and global context of terror, neo-imperialism, and the crisis of authority in the Islamic world. He advises his sons (and, by extension, other Muslim youth) to make decisions on how to harmonize their lives as faithful, peaceful Muslims in a tech-rich, pluralistic, and thoroughly modern world. Ghobash offers his compassionate and cultivated advice on the basics of Islamic history, the sheer diversity of its practice, and what to do when one faces Islamophobia or encounters violent radicalism in fellow Muslims. Above all, he instructs his children to take responsibility as individual Muslims and not to follow others on a path toward dichotomous thinking and violent reactions. He urges them to pursue a middle path that is simultaneously true to Islam and yet effectively and energetically engaged in the modern world. This is a fantastic book for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. (Jan.)