Beyond Belief : Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples by V. S. Naipaul
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What is going on in the countries where Islamic fundamentalism is most dominant? One of the world's greatest writers tells us what he found. In his first volume, Among the Believers, published seventeen years ago, Naipaul explored the nature of the faith he discovered and its capacity for revolution in Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Malaysia. These countries. he found, can easily be set on the boil. As he writes in Beyond Belief: "Everyone not an Arab who is a Muslim is a convert. Islam is not simply a matter of conscience or private belief. It makes imperial demands. A convert's world view alters...He rejects his own; he becomes, whether he likes it or not, a part of the Arab story .... The disturbance for societies is immense, and even for a thousand years can remain unresolved". Beyond Belief takes the story on front Among the Believers. Naipaul focuses this time on the people and lets them tell their stories -- of being a Revolutionary Guard during the war with Iraq; of being a writer in Indonesia; of being an abused wife seeking shelter with a human rights agency. It is powerful, compelling, and at times disturbing, but indispensable reading for anyone who wishes to understand what lies behind the turmoil.


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