A harrowing yet hopeful story of modern-day religious persecution.

The Wrong Kind of Muslim


A heartfelt memoir of Muslim-on-Muslim discrimination and oppression.

On April 26, 1984, the government of Pakistan issued a comprehensive law rendering criminal the expression of the Ahmadi sect of Islam. Ahmadi leaders who continued to address their congregations in their official capacities were arrested; mosques were tightly policed or shut down; Ahmadi Muslims caught “acting Muslim” were subject to summary imprisonment and worse. Widespread discrimination by the nation’s Sunni majority focused not only on Ahmadi Muslims but also on Shia Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Hindus and atheists. Rashid’s family was caught up in the violence and confusion of these so-called blasphemy laws. Yet when the members moved to the United States in 1987, they faced similar, though not as intense, discrimination and suspicion. The heartbreak of both worlds is movingly captured in Rashid’s memoir, in which he relates not only his own experiences but those of the many victims he interviewed. “I visited blood-splattered mosques, touched scars left by gunfire, grenades, and shrapnel, and prayed for the departed at their final resting places,” he says. Embarking on a “Jihad—of the pen,” Rashid effectively dramatizes some of these stories—including that of his cousin Danyal (not his real name), whose imprisonment and torture provide the book’s most memorable passages—to raise readers’ awareness of the plight of religiously persecuted minorities in Pakistan. Rashid deftly mingles personal anecdotes with polemical fire, outlining the history and nature of the Ahmadi sect, detailing the claustrophobic bigotry of Pakistan’s ruling mullahs and authorities, and convincingly broadening his scope to encompass “the millions, or rather, the billions around the world who live under the veil of oppression of conscience.” Stories of graphic violence—for instance, gunfire erupting during prayer services crowded with children—alternate with the author’s repeated calls for understanding, tolerance and free inquiry. “The antidote, therefore,” he writes, “is education and compassion. Education combats the ignorance, and compassion melts away fear.” Although his memoir offers a penetrating look at the strange specifics of a terrorist mindset, it is equally insightful on the psychology of the religiously oppressed. Along the way, the vivid narrative avoids easy answers, since there are none.

A harrowing yet hopeful story of modern-day religious persecution.

Pub Date: May 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-0989397704

Page Count: 254

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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