Stranger to History: A Son's Journey through Islamic Lands

By Aatish Taseer

"Indispensable examining for somebody who desires a much wider realizing of the Islamic international, of its heritage and its politics." ―Financial Times

Aatish Taseer's fractured upbringing left him with many questions on his personal id. Raised by way of his Sikh mom in Delhi, his father, a Pakistani Muslim, remained determine. Stranger to heritage is the tale of the adventure he made to aim to appreciate what it skill to be Muslim within the twenty-firstcentury. ranging from Istanbul, Islam's as soon as maximum urban, he travels to Mecca, its so much holy, after which domestic via Iran and Pakistan. finishing in Lahore, at his estranged father's domestic, at the evening Benazir Bhutto used to be killed, it's also the tale of Taseer's divided kin over the last fifty years. contemporary occasions have additional a coda to Stranger to History, as his father used to be murdered via a political murderer. a brand new creation via the writer displays on how this occasion alterations the influence of the booklet, and why its message is extra proper than ever.

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By Aatish Taseer

"Indispensable examining for somebody who desires a much wider realizing of the Islamic international, of its heritage and its politics." ―Financial Times

Aatish Taseer's fractured upbringing left him with many questions on his personal id. Raised by way of his Sikh mom in Delhi, his father, a Pakistani Muslim, remained determine. Stranger to heritage is the tale of the adventure he made to aim to appreciate what it skill to be Muslim within the twenty-firstcentury. ranging from Istanbul, Islam's as soon as maximum urban, he travels to Mecca, its so much holy, after which domestic via Iran and Pakistan. finishing in Lahore, at his estranged father's domestic, at the evening Benazir Bhutto used to be killed, it's also the tale of Taseer's divided kin over the last fifty years. contemporary occasions have additional a coda to Stranger to History, as his father used to be murdered via a political murderer. a brand new creation via the writer displays on how this occasion alterations the influence of the booklet, and why its message is extra proper than ever.

Show description

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Regardless of how a lot schooling a Pakistani will get, his attitude is fastened on the age of ten or 11. if you happen to write on your checks that the devious – you might want to write devious,’ he stated, noticing my shock at his use of the note, ‘– that the devious Hindu did this and did that, then you definately cross. ’ now not non secular himself, yet possibly wondering his personal convictions, my brother persevered, ‘At a definite time in Europe, studying and schooling have been within the palms of the non secular orders. might be right here, too, a few form of renaissance may well start with schooling within the fingers of the non secular orders. ’ A renaissance! The revival of the good Islamic earlier in Pakistan. It was once the country’s current darkness, what my brother stated prior, ‘the feeling of overall civilisational defeat’, the contents of the yank imagine tank’s document, that made him dream of renaissance. In his pleasure, he forgot what constituted the type of renaissance he was once deliberating. He forgot the of these eu clergymen all these centuries in the past, translating books from Arabic into the eu languages. I’d been to adequate madrassas in my lifestyles, in adequate locations, to understand that almost all not just neglected books outdoors the Islamic earlier, they overlooked the Islamic thinkers too; they taught just one publication. Pakistan, the rustic based for the religion, by no means a part of the culture of excessive Islam, regularly, culturally, an accessory of Persia and Arabia, the rustic that this present day provided the oil-rich sections of that global with its menial labour, used to be by myself left to think in a superb Islamic destiny. And with that trust got here regularly the unsaid horror of India. * Karachi used to be a British urban and not often older than 150 years. till the Nineteen Sixties, it was once one of many cleanest, pleasantest towns within the sub-continent to stay in, a urban whose older population remembered the streets being washed within the mornings. yet immigration, and the move of the capital from Karachi to Islamabad, initiated its decline, leaving it this present day riddled with armed crime, sectarian strife and its outdated British streets in ruins. within the so much crowded sections, cluttered with suggest, vibrant little billboards, chemists, ‘footwear’ outlets, electric home equipment and mangled nests of wires, there have been the continues to be of the city’s best constructions. at the back of one light yellow façade, beautiful with slumbering columns, little raking cornices, blackened dentil embellishes and balustrades, the particular construction had fallen away. during the mask-like façade’s semi-circular home windows, it was once attainable this present day to determine the white open Karachi sky. on the street of stylish constructions, domes and clock towers have been slightly placing on, and in lots of the second one storey was once sealed with splintering sheets of plywood. Scattered around the outdated British urban have been Karachi’s squat administrative structures and resorts, many with Nineteen Seventies patterned concrete displays in entrance of them in order that they regarded as though they'd no distinctive degrees or home windows. The Sind membership used to be during this a part of the town, and girls weren't allowed into its billiards room and bar, no longer for Islamic purposes yet for old style colonial ones.

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